Pathfinders of the West eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 313 pages of information about Pathfinders of the West.

[2] It is hard to tell who this Godefroy was.  Of all the famous Godefroys of Three Rivers (according to Abbe Tanguay) there was only one, Jean Batiste, born 1658, who might have gone with Radisson; but I hardly think so.  The Godefroys descended from the French nobility and themselves bore titles from the king, but in spite of this, were the best canoemen of New France, as ready—­according to Mr. Sulte—­to faire la cuisine as to command a fort.  Radisson’s Godefroy evidently went in the capacity of a servant, for his name is not mentioned in the official list of promoters.  On the other hand, parish records do not give the date of Jean Batiste Godefroy’s death; so that he may have gone as a servant and died in the North.

[3] State Papers, 1683, state that Dame Sorel, La Chesnaye, Chaujon, Gitton, Foret, and others advanced money for the goods.

[4] In 1898, when up the coast of Labrador, I was told by the superintendent of a northern whaling station—­a man who has received royal decorations for his scientific research of ocean phenomena—­that he has frequently seen icebergs off Labrador that were nine miles long.

[5] Jean was born in 1654 and was, therefore, twenty-eight.

[6] I have written both addresses as the Indians would chant them.  To be sure, they will not scan according to the elephantine grace of the pedant’s iambics; but then, neither will the Indian songs scan, though I know of nothing more subtly rhythmical.  Rhythm is so much a part of the Indian that it is in his walk, in the intonation of his words, in the gesture of his hands.  I think most Westerners will bear me out in saying that it is the exquisitely musical intonation of words that betrays Indian blood to the third and fourth generation.

[7] See Robson’s map.

[8] State Papers:  “The Governor of New England is ordered to seize all vessels trading in Hudson Bay contrary to charter—­”

[9] Radisson’s Journal, p. 277.

[10] Robson gives the commission to this governor.

[11] Later in Hudson Bay history, when another commander captured the forts, the prisoners were sold into slavery.  Radisson’s treatment of his rivals hardly substantiates all the accusations of rascality trumped up against him.  Just how many prisoners he took in this coup, no two records agree.

[12] Archives, September 24, 1683:  Ordinance of M. de Meulles regarding the claims of persons interested in the expedition to Hudson Bay, organized by M. de la Chesnaye, Gitton, Bruneau, Mme. Sorel. . . .  In order to avoid difficulties with the Company of the North, they had placed a vessel at Isle Percee to receive the furs brought back . . . and convey them to Holland and Spain. . . .  Joachims de Chalons, agent of the Company of the North, sent a bateau to Percee to defeat the project.  De la Chesnaye, summoned to appear before the intendant, maintained that the company had no right to this trade, . . . that the enterprise involved so many risks that he could not consent to divide the profits, if he had any.  The partners having been heard, M. de Meulles orders that the boats from Hudson Bay be anchored at Quebec.

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Pathfinders of the West from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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