THE first quarter of this century witnessed the concluding chapter in the sad history of this poor child of Nature, the Beothuck. So far as can be learned or is ever likely to be known, this ill-treated race passed out of existence as mysteriously as they entered thereupon, at least within the first half of the century. Gone, no one knows whither. Gone,

" Like the cloud-rack of a tempest:

Like the withered leaves of Autumn."

To-day a few mouldering remains, hidden away under the sea-cliffs, in remote localities, some indistinct, almost obliterated circular hollows which mark the sites of their former habitations, and an occasional stone spear or arrow head are all that is left to attest that such a people ever had an existence.

Found here by the first European visitors in their primitive ignorance and barbarity, they remained in that condition to within the memory of some persons still living, then they disappeared for ever. Perhaps in the happy "Hunting Grounds" of the hereafter they are now enjoying that peace and rest denied them on earth. Who can say ?

To quote from an admirable article in the Maritime Monthly Magazine of June, 1875, by the late Rev. Moses Harvey, entitled "Memoirs of an Extinct Race,"

"The friendly relations which at first existed between the White and Red men in Newfoundland, did not long continue. The savage people speedily began to exhibit a tendency to annex the white man's goods, when an opportunity offered; such objects as knives, hatchets, nails, lines or sails presenting a temptation which to them was almost irresistible. Their petty thefts were regarded by their invaders as crimes of the darkest dye, quite sufficient to justify the unsparing use of the strong arm for their extermination. The rude fishermen, hunters and trappers of those days were a rough lawless order of men, little disposed to try conciliation or kindness on a tribe of savages whose presence in the country was felt to be an annoyance. That they treated the poor Beothucks with brutal cruelty admits of no doubt. In fact, for two hundred years they seem to have regarded the red men as vermin to be hunted down and destroyed. We can hardly doubt that such treatment provoked the red men to deeds of fierce retaliation, and that at length `war to the knife' became the rule between the two races. The savages, at first mild and tractable and disposed to maintain friendly relations, became at length the fierce and implacable foe of the white man; and sternly refused all overtures for peaceable intercourse, when at length such offers were made by a humane government. Deeds of wrong and cruelty were perpetrated by the invader, and followed by retaliation on the part /63/ of the savages. In such a conflict the weak must go to the wall. Bows, arrows and clubs could avail little against the fire-arms of the white man; and gradually their numbers were thinned; they were driven from the best hunting ground -- grounds where for centuries their forefathers had trapped the beaver and pursued the reindeer; war, disease and hunger thinned their ranks; and now not a single representative of the red race of Newfoundland is known to be in existence."

About this time a reward having been offered for the capture of a Red Indian alive, at length a fisherman contrived to seize a young female, who was paddling in her canoe to procure birds' eggs from an islet a short distance from the mainland. This woman was immediately conveyed to the capital, the fisherman received his reward, and the captive was treated with great humanity, kindness, and attention.

" The principal merchants and ladies of St John's vied with each other in cultivating her good graces, and presents poured in upon her from all quarters. She seemed to be tolerably contented with her situation, when surrounded by a company of female visitors; but became outrageous if any man approached, excepting the person who deprived her of her liberty: to him she was ever gentle and affectionate. Her body and hair were stained of a red colour; as it is supposed, by juice extracted from the alder tree: and from the custom of dyeing the skin and hair, the nation has acquired the appellation of Red Indians(1)."

The records of Government House contain the following reference to this woman, dated September 17th, 1803:

"William Cull having brought an Indian woman from Gander's Bay to this Harbour, I have for his trouble and loss of time, paid him the sum of fifty pounds. The said William Cull also promised to convey the woman back to the spot from whence she was brought and to use his endeavours to return her to her friends among the Indians, together with the few articles of clothing which have been given her."

She remained with Cull the following winter, and was not brought back till the next season. Chappell is authority for the following statement, that

"The villain who deprived this poor savage of her relations, her friends, and her liberty, conceived, and actually carried into execution the diabolical scheme of murdering her on her voyage back, in order to possess himself of the baubles which had been presented to her by the inhabitants of St John's."

I do not think this statement has any real foundation on fact, as will afterwards be made apparent from Cull's narrative.

Anspach(2) gives the fullest and clearest account of this woman as she appeared before a large party of ladies and gentlemen at an entertainment given at Government House, as follows:

"Another remarkable occurrence assisted likewise in giving employment to the public curiosity, and attention. It was the arrival of a female native Indian of Newfoundland, brought in by the master of a vessel, who had seized her by surprise in the neighborhood of the Bay of Exploits. She was of a copper colour, with black eyes, and hair much like the hair of an European. She showed a passionate fondness for children. Beiog introduced into a large assembly by Governor Gambier, /64/ never were astonishment or pleasure more strongly depicted in a human countenance than hers exhibited. After having walked through the room between the Governor and the General, whose gold ornaments and feathers seemed to attract her attention in a particular manner, she squatted on the floor holding fast a bundle, in which were her fur clothes, which she would not suffer to be taken away from her. She looked at the musicians as if she wished to be near them. A gentleman took her by the hand, pointing to them at the same time; she perfectly understood his meaning, went through the crowd, sat with them for a short time, and then expressed in her way a wish for retiring. She could not be prevailed upon to dance, although she seemed inclined to do so. She was every where treated with the greatest kindness, and appeared to be sensible of it. Being allowed to take in the shops whatever struck her fancy. She showed a decided preference for bright colours, accepted what was given her, but would not for a moment leave hold of her bundle, keenly resenting any attempt to take it from her. She was afterwards sent back to the spot from whence she had been taken, with several presents, and a handsome remuneration was given to the master of the vessel who had brought her with strict charge to take every possible care for her safety(3)."

Bonnycastle says of this female: "She was stained both body and hair, of a red colour, as it is supposed from the juice of the Alder, and was not very uneasy in her new situation when in the presence of her own sex only, but would not permit any men to approach her, except her enslaver, to whom (which speaks volumes for him) she was ever gentle and affectionate."

Letter from William Cull to the Governor.

(Dated) FOGO, Sept. 27, 1804.

Addressed to Mr. Trounsell,

Admiral's Secretary.


This is to inform you that I could get no men until the 28th day of August, when we proceeded with the Indian to the Bay of Exploits and went with her up the river as far as we possibly could, for want of more strength, and there let her remain ten days, and when I returned the rest of the Indians had carried her off in the country. I would not wish to have any more hand with the Indians unless you will send round and insure payment for a number of men to go in the country in the winter. The people do not hold with civilizing the Indians, as they think they will kill more than they did before.

(Signed) WM. CULL.

Proclamation by His Excellency John Holloway, Esq., Vice-Admiral of the

"Red," Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Island of Newfoundland etc.

It having been represented to me that various acts of violence and inhuman cruelties, have been, at different times, committed by some of the people employed as Furriers, or otherwise, upon the Indians, the original Inhabitants of this island, residing in the interior parts thereof, contrary to every principle of religion and /65/ humanity, and in direct violation of His Majesty's mild and beneficial Instructions to me respecting this poor defenceless tribe. I hereby issue this my Proclamation, warning all persons whatsoever, from being guilty of acts of cruelty, violence, outrage and robbery against them, and if any Person or Persons shall be found after this Proclamation, to act in violation of it, they will be punished to the utmost rigor of the law, the same as if it had been committed against myself, or any other of His Majesty's Subjects. And all those who may have any intercourse or bide with the said Indians, are hereby earnestly entreated to conduct themselves with peaceableness and mildness towards them, and use their utmost endeavours to live in kindness and friendship with them that they may be conciliated and induced to come among us as Brethren, when the public, as well as themselves, will be benefited by their being brought to a state of civilization, social order, and to a blessed knowledge of the Christian Religion. And I hereby offer a Reward of Fifty Pounds to such person or persons as shall be able to induce or persuade any of the male Tribe of Native Indians to attend them to the Town of St. John's, as also all expenses attending their journey or passage. The same Reward shall be paid to any person who shall give information of any murder committed upon the bodies of the aforesaid Indians and being proved upon the oath of one or more credible witnesses.

I therefore call upon all Magistrates and other Officers of Justice, to promote to the utmost of their power, the intention of this Proclamation, by apprehending and bringing to justice all persons offending against the same.

Given under my hand at Fort Townshend

St John's, Newfoundland, the 30th July, 1807,


By Command of His Excellency,

G. MacBean.

Mr. Bland's fourth letter.


22nd September, 1807.


Since my return hither I have learnt that an Indian Canoe had been taken on the North part of this Island and carried to St. John's and that enquiries had been made respecting the manner by which our Fishermen had become possessed of this Boat. From all I can learn of this transaction, as the Fishermen concerned in it belong to Bonavista, no other mischief happened than that of depriving the poor Indians of their Canoe.

Government has frequently expressed a wish that some means could be suggested of effecting a friendly intercourse between our People and the Native Indians of this Island, but nothing serious has hitherto been attempted towards so desirable an end.

Without reference to correspondence with former Governors on this subject I will take the liberty to propose to Your Excellency that a small and select military party be stationed in the Bay of Exploits with a guide during the winter season and should it afterwards be found necessary one of the King's schooners during the summer months when the Indians resort to the sea coast in order to provide food for the winter. It is during this period that they are often met by the Northern Fishermen and unhappily interrupted in their endeavours to make this provision. There can be little doubt under present management that one at least of the two modes proposed would be successful in securing some of these savages, and common sense would then suggest what was further necessary to conciliate their good will and improve the intercourse.

The good to result from a successful attempt at conciliation must be an end to a long course of hostilities between our Savages and the native Savages of this /66/ Island, in which many lives on both sides have been lost, and I am sorry to add, there is too much reason to believe that the mischief with respect to the latter has been more extensive than is generally known.

That the condition of these unfortunate Savages would be considerably ameliorated by an intercourse with us can admit of no doubt, for they are an ingenious people, as all they do plainly evinces.

It would be useless, Sir, to enter upon long descriptions of this question. Your Excellency I am sure, independently of the pleasure of doing good, must discover the general advantage of effecting the measure proposed.

I have the honour to be, with great respect,


Your Excellency's most obedient, humble servant,


His Excellency,

John Holloway, Esq., etc.

From Governor Holloway to John Bland, Esq,.

October 5th, 1807.

I am favoured with your letter respecting canoe which some Fishermen had inhumanely taken from the Native Indians of this Island, and as the offenders are discovered, Lieut. McKillop has direction to bring them to this place where they will be tried for the same, and dealt with according to law. I feel much with you a desire to make some attempt to conciliate the minds of those poor wretches, and I have made a proposition to H. M. Ministers on that subject, which I hope will be attended to next summer, when I shall be happy to receive from you any further advice as to the best means of attaining an intercourse with these people.

Governor Holloway's letter to Viscourt Castlereagh(4).


20th May, 1808.

My Lord,

I have the honour to lay before Your Lordship, a copy of a Proclamation issued by me last year at Newfoundland respecting the Native Indians upon that Island. His Majesty's Instructions to the Governors have at all times directed that particular attention should be paid to these ignorant people, by endeavouring to bring them to a state of Civilization and friendly intercourse; and although every attempt to obtain this desirable end has hitherto failed on account of the cruelties that have heretofore been committed upon them I feel it imperiously my Duty to persevere in this humane attempt and therefore submit the following ideas which have occurred to me, for your Lordship's consideration, viz.: --

To have Paintings representing the Indians and Europeans in a Group, each in the usual Dress of their Country, the Indians bringing Furs, etc. to traffic with the Europeans, who should be offering Blankets, Hatchets, etc. in exchange. These pictures to be taken (by an Officer Commanding one of the Schooners) to the place usually resorted to by the Indians, and left with a small quantity of European goods and Trinkets, and when taken away by the Indians to be replaced by another supply.

A Guide (who is well acquainted with the Country) also to be employed, the expense of whom would probably amount to Thirty Pounds, and the Blankets, /67/ Hatchets, etc. to fifty Pounds more. Should this conciliatory overture fail the first year I think it might be advisable to repeat it a second; because these poor wretches have been so long ill treated that it may perhaps take some time to wean their minds from the strong impression of mistrust which they have imbibed from suffering repeated cruelties.

I suspect that the parties hitherto employed on this Service have purloined the Articles intended to have been given to the Indians and have claimed remuneration for pretended endeavours of effecting a social intercourse and friendship, which they have never attempted; or certainly so great an Inveteracy and Warfare could not have continued for so many years, as we have had possession of that Island, without effecting the least step towards a good understanding between us and them?

Waiting Your Lordship's opinions and Determination on this subject.

I have the honour to be,

My Lord,

Your Lordship's most obedient, humble servant,


The Right Honourable,

Viscount Castlereagh, etc.

20th May, 1808. A similar letter to the preceding, which is addressed to Lord Castlereagh, was sent the same day to Sir T. Cottrell, to be laid before the Right Honourable the Lords of the Committee of Council for Trade and Foreign Plantations, with a copy of the Proclamation respecting the Indians of Newfoundland.

The Governor's suggestion as to the picture was carried out, and it appears from the Colonial Records that he received it at Portsmouth before leaving for Newfoundland.

June 13th, 1808. Governor Holloway writes to Mr. Faukener (Sec. of the Board of Trade) from Portsmouth. "Picture from Mr. Reeves not yet arrived." And on June 14th /08 "Picture arrived." (Col. Records.)

Governor Holloway's reference to this expedition.

June 8th, 1808. Sundries purchased for the use of the Native Indians of Newfoundland:

40 prs. Blankets @ 10/ 20 0 0

20 " " @ 11/ 11 0 0

24 yds. crimson coating 7/6 9 0 0

36 " " baize 1/9 3 3 3

30 Red baize shirts 7/ 10 10 0

6 doz. glass bead necklaces 3/ 18 0

4 " " " " 4/ 16 0

18 Tin Pots 1/6 1 7 0

24 Helved Hatchets 1/9 2 2 0

12 " " 2/9 1 13 0

12 Pottery 2/ 1 4 0

1 cwt. 7 in. nails 2 10 0


64 3 0

Unexpected 35 17 0

- ------------

100 0 0


Nov. 19th, 1808. The Governor writes: "I am concerned at being disappointed in my endeavours to open an amicable intercourse with the Native Indians of Newfoundland, and to show their Lordships what steps I have taken for this desirable purpose, I beg leave to annex a copy of my orders to Lieut. Spratt, together with a list of the articles thought necessary for this service, but the Native Indians have not been seen on the sea coast this year. The same Officer is now under my orders to proceed again to Bay of Exploits as early as the ice permits with the painting and the articles he carried this year, all of which were brought back and are now deposited in the Court House at St. John's. The Micmac Indians who frequent the Island of Newfoundland from Cape Breton or Nova Scotia are at enmity with this unfortunate race of Natives, but I have taken steps to forbid their coming at all, being only plunderers and destroyers of the Beaver and other animals to the extinction of the species by taking them at improper times."

To Admiral Holloway from M. Faukener, Dec. 2nd, 1808. I lament that the united efforts of our friend Reeves and Miss Cuoran could not tame and catch a single Indian.

"In 1809 Lieut. Spratt was again ordered by Governor Holloway to proceed in an armed schooner to the Bay of Exploits and neighbouring parts, in order to attempt a communication with the native savages of the Island. He carried with him several articles which were intended as presents for them, and a large painting(5), which represented an officer of the Royal Navy in full dress shaking hands with an Indian chief, and pointing to a party of seamen behind him who were laying some bales of goods at the feet of the chief. Behind the latter were some male and female Indians presenting furs to the officers. Further to the left were seen an European and an Indian mother looking with delight at their respective children of the same size, who were embracing one another. In the opposite corner a British tar was courting, in his way, an Indian beauty.

"The importance of this attempt, and promise of promotion were sufficient inducements to Mr. Spratt to use every possible exertion in order to bring the enterprise to a successful issue. He was however disappointed. Notwithstanding his zeal and activity, he could not meet with any of the tribe; and after having remained the appointed time on that station, he returned to St. John's." (Anspach.)

The picture referred to above was Governor Holloway's idea which he communicated to Lord Castlereagh, when he was appointed Governor. It was painted in England, and sent down in a coach to Portsmouth to the Governor, who brought it out with him. Lieut. Spratt carried it back to St. John's, where it was lodged in the Court House(6).

Before leaving the country in 1809, Governor Holloway employed William Cull and several other men to make a winter journey into the /69/ interior of the country in quest of the Red Indians. These men, though they did not fall in with any of them, yet came across some interesting evidences of their existing in some numbers in this island, also of their

means of support and their modes of life. (Pedley(7).)

In 1810 Sir Thomas Duckworth, Governor, reissued the Proclamation of Commodore Duff. (Anspach.) Bonnycastle says "he published a new Proclamation for the protection of the Red Indians, and in the year following also another, offering a reward of one hundred pounds to any person who should bring about a friendly understanding with them."

Substance of the Narrative of Wm. Cull of Fogo.

On January 1st, 1810, Wm. Cull, John Cull, Joseph Meww, John Waddy, Wm. Waddy, Thomas Lewis, James Foster, and two of the Micmac Indians, set out upon the River Exploits, then frozen over, in quest of the residence of the native Indians, in the interior of the country. On the fourth day, having travelled about sixty miles, they discovered a building on the bank of the river, about forty or fifty feet long and nearly as wide. It was constructed of wood, and covered with rinds of trees and skins of deer. In this building they found in quantity about l00 deer, some part of which from its extreme fatness must have been obtained early in the fall. The fat venison was in junks entirely divested of bone, and stowed in boxes made of birch and spruce rinds, each box containing about 2 cwt. The tongues and hearts of the deer were stowed in the middle of each package. The lean venison, or that more recently killed, was in quarters and stowed in bulk, some part of it, with the skin on. In this store they saw three lids of tin tea kettles, which Cull believes to be the same given by Governor Gambier to the old Indian woman, taken in the second year of his Government. They also found several martin, beaver and deer skins, some of which were dressed after the manner of our furriers. On the opposite bank of the river stood a second store house considerably larger than the former, but they did not examine it, the ice being broken and the passage across being attended with some risk. They believe the width of the Exploits in this place to be nearly two hundred yards. In exchange for three small beaver-skins and nine martins, they left one pair of swan-skin trousers, one pair of yarn stockings, three cotton handkerchiefs, three clasped knives, two hatchets, some small bits of printed cotton, needles, pins, thread and twine. They saw two of the natives on their way to this store-house, but unfortunately they discovered the party and retired. The two store-houses above mentioned are opposite each other, and from the margin of the river on each side there extended for some miles into the country a high fence for the purpose of leading the deer to the river, as these animals travelled south or north. Along the margin of the river in the neighbourhood of these store-houses were erected extensive fences on each side, in order to prevent the deer, when they had taken the water, from landing. It appears that as soon as a company of deer, few or many, enter the river in order to /70/ pass south or north, the Indians, who are upon the watch launch their canoes, and the parallel fences preventing the relanding of the deer, they fall an easy prey to their pursuers, and the buildings above mentioned are depots for their reception. From these store-houses the Indians occasionally draw their supplies in the winter.

Cull and his companions conjecture that the residence of the Indians could not be very remote from these magazines, but want of bread and some difference of opinion among the party prevented them from exploring further.

Governor Sir John Thomas Duckworth, K.C.B., visited the Labrador in the summer of this year 1810, and issued a Proclamation to the native inhabitants thereof, warning them to live on terms of friendship with the Indians of Newfoundland.


WHEREAS, it is the gracious pleasure of His Majesty the king, my master that all kindness should be shown to you in his island of Newfoundland, and that all persons of all nations at friendship with him should be considered in this respect as his own subjects, and equally claiming his protection while they are within his dominions, as your brothers, always ready to do you service, to redress your grievances, and to relieve you in your distress. In the same light also are you to consider the native Indians of this island: they too are equally with ourselves under the protection of our King and therefore equally entitled to our friendship. You are entreated to behave to them on all occasions as you would do to ourselves. You know that we are your friends, and as they too are our friends, we beg you to be at peace with each other; and withall, you are hereby warned that the safety of these Indians is so precious to His Majesty, who is always the support of the feeble; that if one of ourselves, were to do them wrong he would be punished as certainly and as severely as if the injury had been done to the greatest among his own people; and he who dares to murder any one of them would be surely punished with death. Your own safety is in the same manner provided for. See therefore that you do no injury to them. If an Englishman were known to murder the poorest and the meanest of your Indians, his death would be the punishment of his crime. Do you not, therefore, deprive any one of our friends the native Indians of his life, or it will be answered with the life of him who has been guilty of the murder.(8)


At the same time Governor Duckworth offered a reward of £100 to any one who should zealously and meritoriously exert himself to bring about and establish on a firm and settled footing an intercourse with the natives. He further promised to such person that he should be honourably mentioned to his Majesty, and should find from the Governor such countenance and further encouragement as might be in His Excellency's power to give. (Pedley.)

This same year 1810 an armed schooner, the Adonis, was sent in command of Lieut. Buchan to renew the attempt to open up communication with the Indians. The schooner proceeded with a considerable /71/ quantity of such articles as were supposed to be acceptable to them. Buchan remained in the Bay of Exploits during the months of August and September, without seeing anything of the Indians. (Anspach.)

Buchan decided to winter here, and proceed up the river on the ice in search of them. His vessel was anchored in Ship Cove (now Botwood) and made secure for the winter by heavy chains passed around the trunks of stout trees on shore. Some of these stumps were to be seen when first I visited the Exploits River now some thirty-four years ago. They were studded all around with brass nails to prevent the chains from chafing through.

NOTE. Anspach believes the Bay and River Exploits was probably so called, "from successful rencounters with the native Indians who frequented this locality so much." He also says that Fogo Island was much frequented by them, in search of birds and eggs, especially the Penguin Rocks near it, where the great Auk formerly bred in such numbers.

In the name of His Majesty, King George the Third.


WHEREAS the Native Indians of this Island have by the ill treatment they have received from mischievous and wicked Persons been driven from all communication with His Majesty's subjects and forced to take refuge in the woods and have continually resisted all efforts that have since been made to invite them to a friendly intercourse, and Whereas it is His Majesty's gracious pleasure that every exertion should still be used to accomplish an end so desirable, for the sake of humanity. All persons are hereby enjoined and required on meeting with any of these Indians or of those who may resort to Newfoundland to treat them with kindness so as to conciliate their affections, and induce them to come among us and live in friendship with us, And as a reward to any Person who shall zealously and meritoriously exert himself as to bring about and establish on a firm and settled footing an intercourse so much to be desired he shall for the great service which he will thereby have rendered to His Majesty and to the cause of humanity receive the sum of One Hundred Pounds and shall moreover be honourably mentioned to His Majesty and shall find such countenance from the Governor and such further encouragement as it may be in his power to give. Or if the exertions of any person shall so far only succeed as to afford the probable means of effecting this object and as inducing a single Indian to communicate with us, through whom something more might be accomplished, or if any one shall discover their place of resort so as that an attempt may be made to treat with them, such person shall receive such lesser reward as the Governor shall deem adequate, and his services shall be acknowledged as they may deserve. And all Officers and Magistrates are commanded and enjoined to maintain and support good order and behaviour towards the said Indians, and in case any Person or Persons shall murder or commit any outrage upon them to use their utmost endeavours to apprehend such offenders and bring them to justice.

Given at Fort Townshend, St. John's, Newfoundland, this first day of August, 1810.


By Command of His Excellency,

R. C. Sconce.


Narrative of Lieut. Buchan's Journey up the Exploits River In search

of the Red Indians, in the winter of 18l0-1811.

Saturday, January 12th, 1811. -- On the eve of this date my arrangements were closed, and every necessary preparation made to advance into the interior, for the purpose of endeavouring to accomplish the grand object of your orders, relative to the Native Indians of this Island. For this service I employed William Cull and Mathew Hughster as guides, attended by twenty three men and a boy of the crew of his Majesty's schooner, and Thomas Taylor, a man in Mr. Miller's employ, and well acquainted with this part of the country.

The provisions, arms and other requisite articles, together with presents for the Indians, were packed on twelve sledges, and consisted of as follows: -- bread 850 lbs., sugar 100 lbs., cocoa 34 lbs., pork 660 lbs., salt fish 30 lbs., spirits 60 gals., equal to 480 lbs., rice 30 lbs., tea 6 lbs., tare of casks and packages 500 lbs., ships muskets, seven; fowling pieces, three; pistols, six; cut lasses, six; with cartouch boxes and ammunition equal to 270 lbs.; ten axes, and culinary utensils, forty pounds. Presents for the Indians; blankets, 30, woollen wrappers nine; flannel shirts eighteen; hatchets twenty six; tin pots, ten; with beads, thread, knives, needles, and other trifles, equal to 180 lbs. The sledges with their lashings and drag ropes are estimated at 240 lbs. One lower studding sail and painted canvas covers for the sledges, 120 lbs., spare snow shoes, Buskins, vamps, cuffs and 28 knapsacks, eighty pounds; making independent of a small quantity of baggage allowed to each individual, 3,620 pounds.

Jan. 13th. -- Wind NW., blowing strong; at 7 A.M. commenced our march; in crossing the arm from the schooner to Little Peter's Point which is two miles, we found it extremely cold, and the snow drifting, and the sledges heavy to haul from the sloppiness of the ice, but having rounded the Point we became sheltered from the wind until reaching Wigwam Point, which is two miles further up on the north side; here the river turns to the northward; a mile farther on is Mr. Miller's upper salmon station; the winter crew have their house on the south shore. 3 P.M., having reached the remains of a house occupied by Wm. Cull last winter we put up for the night, our distance made good being but eight miles in as many hours travelling. The night proved so intensely cold, with light snow at times, that none of our party could refresh themselves with sleep.

Jan. 14th. -- Wind NW., with sharp piercing weather. Renewed our journey with dawn, not sorry to leave a place in which we had passed so intolerable a night. Having proceeded on two miles, we came to the Nutt Islands, four in number, situated in the middle of that river, a mile above these is the first rattle or small waterfall, as far as the eye could discern up the river, nothing but ridgy ice appeared, its aspect almost precluded the possibility of conveying the sledges along; but determined to surmount all practicable difficulties, I proceeded on with the guides to choose among the hollows those most favorable. 3 P.M. put /73/ up on the north side, and fenced round the fireplace for shelter. This day's laborious journey I computed to be seven miles; the crew, from excessive fatigue, and the night somewhat milder than last, enjoyed some sleep. Left a cask with bread, pork, cocoa and sugar for two days, to be used on our return.

Jan. 15th. -- Blowing fresh from WNW. to NNW. with snow at times; the river winding from W. to NW. At 3 P.M. stopped on the north bank for the night, one mile above the Rattling Brook, which empties itself into this river. On the south side, on the western bank of its entrance, we discovered a canoe which I observed to be one that belonged to the Canadians who had resided at Wigwam Point. This day's journey exhibited the same difficulties as yesterday, having frequently to advance a party to cut and level, in some degree, the ridges of ice to admit the sledges to pass from one gulf to another, and to fill up the hollows to prevent them from being precipitated so violently as to be dashed to pieces; but notwithstanding the utmost care, the lashings, from the constant friction, frequently gave way; and in the evening, most of the sledges had to undergo some repair and fresh packing. Fenced the fire-place in; at supper the people appeared in good spirits; the weather milder; fatigue produced a tolerable night's rest. The day's distance is estimated to be seven miles.

Jan. 16th. -- Strong breezes from NNW. with sharp frost. Began our journey with the day. Several of the sledges gave way, which delayed us a considerable time. At 11 A.M. discovered two old wigwams on the north bank of the river; although they did not appear to have been lately inhabited, yet there were some indications of the natives having been here this fall. 2 P.M. Having reached the lower extremity of the great waterfall, we put up on the north side. While the party were preparing a fire and fence, I proceeded on, with Cull and Taylor, in search of an Indian path, through which they convey their canoes into the river above the overfall. Taylor, not having been here for many years, had lost all recollection where to find it; after a tedious search we fortunately fell in with it; there were evident signs of their having passed this way lately, but not apparently in any great number. Evening advancing, we retraced our steps, and reached our fire place with the close of day. The night proved more mild than any hitherto, and our rest proportionably better. Here I left bread, pork, cocoa and sugar for two days, and four gallons of rum.

Jan. 17th. -- South-westerly winds, with sleet, and raw cold weather. Began this day's route by conducting the sledges in a winding direction amongst high rocks, forming the lower extremity of the waterfall; having proceeded half a mile, we had to unload and parbuckle the casks over a perpendicular neck of land, which projecting into the rapid prevented the ice attaching to its edge, having reloaded on the opposite side, and turned the margin of coves for a third of a mile, we arrived at the foot of a steep bank, where commenced the Indian path; here it was also necessary to unload. Leaving the party to convey the things up the bank, I went on with Cull and Taylor, to discover the further end of the path; having come to a marsh, it was with difficulty we again traced it; at length we /74/ reached the river above the overfall, its whole extent being one mile and a quarter; having gone on two miles beyond this, we returned. At noon, the wind having veered to the SE. it came on to rain heavily; sent a division on to the further end of the path to prepare a fire &c. 3 P.M. All the light baggage and arms being conveyed to the fire-place, the sledges were left for the night halfway in the path, so that after eight hours fatigue, we had got little farther than one mile and a half. It continued to rain hard until 9 P.M. when the wind shifted round to the westward, and cleared up, the crew dried their clothes, and retired to rest.

Jan. 18th. -- Wind WNW. and cold weather. Leaving the party to bring on the sledges to the Indian Dock, and to repack them, I and the guides having advanced a mile, it was found requisite to cut a path of a hundred yards to pass over a point which the sledges could not round for want of sufficient ice being attached to it.

10 A.M. We now rounded a bay leaving several islands on our left; the travelling pretty good, except in some places where the ice was very narrow, and water oozing over the surface; most of us got wet feet. 2.30 P.M. Put up in a cave on the north shore as we should have been unable to reach before dark another place where good fire-wood was to be found; here the river forms a bay on either side, leaving between them a space of nearly one mile and a half, in which stood several islands, from the overfall up to these, the river in its centre was open. Having given directions for a fire-place to be fenced in, and the sledges requiring to be repaired, Cull and myself went on two miles to Rushy Pond Marsh, where he had been last winter, two wigwams were removed which he stated to have been there. The trees leading from the river to the marsh were marked, and in some places a fence-work thrown up; the bushes in a particular line of direction through a long extent of marsh had wisps of birch bark suspended to them by salmon twine(10), so placed as to direct the deer down to the river; we killed two partridges and returned to the party by an inland route; we reckon the distance from Indian Dock to this resting-place to be six miles.

Jan. 19th. -- Westerly wind and moderate, but very cold. Most of this day's travelling smooth, with dead snow, the sledges consequently hauled heavy, having winded for two miles amongst rough ice to gain a green wood on the south shore, that on the north being entirely burnt down, we put up at 4 P.M. A little way on the bank of a brook, where we deposited a cask with bread, pork, cocoa and sugar for two days consumption. In all this day's route the river was entirely frozen over; we passed several islands; saw a fox and killed a partridge, estimated distance ten miles; rested tolerably during night.

Sunday Jan. 20th. -- Wind WNW. and cold. Renewed our journey with the first appearance of day; at first setting out the sledges, in passing over a mile of sharp pointed ice, broke two of them repairing and packing delayed some time. At noon the sun shone forth, the weather warm, and a fine clear sky.

/75/ 4 P.M. -- Halted on an island situated two miles above Badger Bay Brook, which falls into this; on the north side; it appears wide, with an island in its entrance, and the remains of a wigwam on it. From this brook upwards, as also on the opposite side of the river, are fences of several miles, and one likewise extended in a westerly direction, through the island on which we halted, and is calculated to be twelve miles from the last sleeping place, and twenty miles from the Indian Dock: Hodge's Hills bearing from this ESE.

Jan. 21st, -- Wind westerly, with bleak weather. At dawn proceeded on. At noon several difficulties presented themselves in crossing a tract of shelvy ice, intersected with deep and wide rents, occasioned by a waterfall: the sledges were, however, got over them, as also some steps on the north bank. Having ascended the waterfall, found the river open and faced with ice sufficient on the edge of its banks to admit the sledges. At 4.30 P.M. put up for the night, and fenced in the fire-place. This day's distance is estimated at eleven miles, allowing seven from the island on which we slept last night up to the overfall, and from thence four miles to this.

From the waterfall upwards, on either side of the river where the natural bank would have been insufficient, fences were thrown up to prevent the deer from landing, after taking to the water, by gaps left open for that purpose. Repacked the sledges, two of them being unfit to go on farther, deposited a cask with bread, pork, cocoa and sugar, for two days. The party slept well.

Jan. 22nd. -- SW. winds with mild hazy weather. Having advanced two miles, on the south side, stood a store-house: Wm. Cull stated that no such building was there last winter; it appeared newly erected and its form circular, and covered round with deer skins, and some carcases left a little way from it; two poles were stuck in the ice close to the water, as if canoes had lately been there. Four miles from this, passed an Island, and rounded a bay, two miles beyond its western extremity, on a projecting rock, were placed several stag's horns. Wm. Cull now informed me that it was at this place he had examined the store-houses (mentioned in his narrative), but now no vestige of them appeared: there was, however, ample room cleared of wood for such a building as described to have stood, and at a few hundred yards off was the frame of a wigwam still standing; close to this was a deerskin hanging to a tree, and further on a trope with the name of "Rousell"; the Rousells live in Sops Arm and in New Bay. On the south bank, a little lower down, also stood the remains of a wigwam, close to which Cull pointed out the other store to have been; a quarter of a mile below on the same side, a river, considerable in appearance, emptied itself into this; directly against its entrance stands an Island well wooded. We continued on four miles, and then the party stopped for the night. Cull accompanied me two miles farther and we returned at Sunset. During this day's journey, at intervals, we could discern a track which bore the appearance of a man's foot going upwards. One of the sledges fell into the water, but it fortunately happened to be a shoal part, nothing was lost. Our distance made good today we allow to be twelve miles, and the river open from the last overfall with scarcely /76/ enough of ice attached to the bank to admit the sledges to pass on, and there are banks and fences in such places as the natives find necessary to obstruct the landing of the deer, some of these extending two or three miles, others striking inland. Divided the party into three watches, those on guard, under arms during the night.

Jan. 23rd. -- Wind westerly, wild cold weather. At daylight renewed our journey: the river now shoaled and ran rapidly; I wished to have forded it, conceiving that the Indians inhabited the other side; but found it impracticable. At 10 A.M., having advanced six miles, and seeing the impossibility of proceeding farther with the sledges, I divided the party, leaving one half to take care of the stores, whilst the other accompanied me, and taking with us four days' provisions, we renewed our route, the river now winded more northerly. Having proceeded on about four miles we observed on the south side a path in the snow where a canoe had evidently been hauled across to get above a rattle, this being the only sure indication that we had discovered of their having passed upwards from the store on the south side. The river narrowed, ran irregular, and diminished in depth very considerably. Having passed several small rivers on this side, we came abreast of an island, opposite to which, on the south side, was a path in the snow, from the water, ascending a bank where the trees were very recently cut, clearly evincing the residence of the natives to be at no great distance; but it being impossible to ford the river at this place, we continued on, but had not gone more than a mile, when turning a point, an expansive view opened out, and we saw before us an immense lake extending nearly in a NE. and SW. direction, its surface a smooth sheet of ice. We saw tracks but could not be certain whether of deer or men. We had lost for some miles the trace seen yesterday. On approaching the pond or lake we discovered on its NW. side two bodies in motion, but were uncertain if men or quadrupeds, it being nearly three o'clock. I drew the party suddenly into the wood to prevent discovery, and directed them to prepare a place for the night, I went on to reconnoitre. Having skirted along the woods for nearly two miles, we posted ourselves in a position to observe their motions; one gained ground considerably on the other: we continued in doubt of their being men until just before loosing sight of them in the twilight, it was discernible that the hindermost dragged a sledge. Nothing more could be done until morning; as it would have been impossible to have found their track in the dark; observing, on our return, a shovel in a bank of snow, we found that venison had been dug out, we however, found a fine heart and liver; this made a good supper for the party, whom we did not rejoin till dark. One third of the party were successively under arms during the night which proved excessively cold and restless to all.

Jan. 24th. -- Wind NE. and intensely cold. Having refreshed ourselves with breakfast and a dram to each at 4 A.M. commenced our march along the east shore with the utmost silence; beyond the point from whence I had the last view of the two natives, we fell in with a quantity of venison, in carcases and quarters, close to which was a path into the wood. Conjecturing that the Indians' habitations were here, we advanced in, but found /77/ it to be an old one; the party complained much of the cold, and occasionally sheltered themselves under the lee of the points. It at length became necessary to cross the pond in order to gain the track of their sledge; this exposed us entirely to the bitterness of the morning; all complained of excessive cold. With the first glimpse of morn, we reached the wished-for track, this led us along the western shore to the NE., up to a point, on which stood an old wigwam; then struck athwart for the shore we had left. As the day opened it was requisite to push forth with celerity to prevent being seen, and to surprise the natives whilst asleep. Canoes were soon descried, and shortly wigwams two close to each other, and the third a hundred yards from the former. Having examined the arms, and charged my men to be prompt in executing such orders as might be given at the same time strictly charging them to avoid every impropriety, and to be especially guarded in their behaviour towards women. The bank was now ascended with great alacrity and silence, the party being formed into three divisions, the wigwams were at once secured. On calling to the people within, and receiving no answer, the skins which covered the entrance were then removed, and we beheld groups of men, women and children lying in the utmost consternation; they remained absolutely for some minutes without motion or utterance. My first object was now to remove their fears, and inspire confidence in us, which was soon accomplished by our shaking hands, and showing every friendly disposition. The woman embraced me for my attentions to their children; from the utmost state of alarm they soon became curious, and examined our dress with great attention and surprise. They kindled a fire and presented us with venison steaks, and fat run into a solid cake, which they used with lean meat. Everything promised the utmost cordiality; knives, handkerchiefs, and other little articles were presented to them, and in return they offered us skins, I had to regret our utter ignorance of their language and the presents at a distance of at least twelve miles, occasioned me much embarrassment; I used every endeavour to make them understand my great desire that some of them should accompany us, to the place where our baggage was, and assist bringing up such things as we wore, which at last they seemed perfectly to comprehend. Three hours and a half having been employed in conciliatory endeavours, and every appearance of the greatest amity subsisting between us; and considering a longer tarry useless, without the means of convincing them farther of our friendship, giving them to understand that we were going, and indicating our intention to return, four of them signified that they would accompany us. James Butler, corporal, and Thomas Bouthland, private of marines, observing this, requested to be left behind in order to repair their snow shoes; and such was the confidence placed by my people in the natives that most of the party wished to be the individuals to remain among them, I was induced to comply with the first request from a motive of showing the natives a mutual confidence, and cautioning them to observe the utmost regularity of conduct, at 10 A.M., having myself again shook hands with all the natives, and expressed, in the best way I could, my intentions to be with them in the morning, we set out. They expressed satisfaction by /78/ signs on seeing that two of us were going to remain with them, and we left them accompanied by four of them. On reaching the river head, two of the Indians struck into our last night's fire place. One of these I considered to be their chief; finding nothing there for him, he directed two of them to continue on with us, these went with cheerfulness, though at times they seemed to mistrust us. Parts of the river having no ice it was difficult to get along the banks occasioning at times a considerable distance between me and the hindermost Indian. Being under the necessity of going single, in turning a point one of the Indians having loitered behind, took the opportunity, and set off with great speed calling out to his comrade to follow. Previous precautions prevented his being fired at. This incident was truly unfortunate as we were nearly in sight of our fire place. It is not improbable but he might have seen the smoke, and this caused his flight, or actuated by his own fears as no action of my people could have given rise to his conduct. He had however, evidently some suspicions, as he had frequently come and looked eagerly in my face, as if to read my intentions. I had been most scrupulous in avoiding every action and gesture that might cause the least distrust. In order to try the disposition of the remaining Indian he was made to understand that he was at liberty to go if he chose, but he showed no wish of this kind. At 3 P.M. we joined the rest of our party, when the Indian started at seeing so many more men; but this was of momentary duration, for he soon became pleased with all he saw; I made him a few presents and showed the articles which were to be taken up for his countrymen consisting of blankets, woollen wrappers, and shirts, beads, hatchets, knives and tin pots, thread, needles and fish hooks, with which he appeared much satisfied, and regaled himself with tea and broiled venison, for we brought down two haunches with us in the evening. A pair of trousers and vamps, being made out of a blanket, and a flannel shirt being presented to him he put them on with sensible pleasure, carefully avoiding any indecency; being under no restraint, he occasionally went out, and he expressed a strong desire for canvass, pointing to a studding sail which covered us in on one side. He laid by me during the night, still my mind was somewhat disturbed for it occurred to me that the natives on the return of their comrade who deserted us, might be induced from his misrepresentation dictated by fear to quit the wigwams, and observe our motions, but I was willing to suppress any fear for the safety of our men, judging that they would not commit any violence, until they should see if we returned and brought their companion; I was moreover satisfied that the conduct of our men would be such as not to give occasion to any animosity, and in the event of their being removed they would see the impossibility of safety in any attempt to escape.

Friday the 25th of Jan. -- Wind NNE. and boisterous with sleet. At 7 A.M. set out leaving only eight of the party behind. On coming up to the river head, we observed the tracks of three men crossing the pond in a direction for the other side of the river. The violence of the wind with the sleet and drift snow rendered it laborious to get on, and so thick was it at times that all the party could not be discerned, although at no great /79/ distance from each other. When within half a mile of the wigwams, the Indian, who walked sometimes on before, at others by my side, pointed out an arrow sticking in the ice; we also perceived a recent track of a sledge. At 2 P.M. we arrived at the wigwams, when my apprehensions were unfortunately verified; they were left in confusion, nothing of consequence remaining in them but some deer skins. We found a quantity of venison packs conveyed a little way off, and deposited in the snow; a path extended into the wood, but to no distance. Perceiving no mark of violence to have been committed, I hoped that my former conjectures would be realized, and that all would yet be well. The actions of the Indian however, were indicative of extreme perplexity and are not describable. Having directed the fire to be removed from the wigwam we were now in to one more commodious; one of the people taking up a brand for that purpose, he appeared terrified to the last degree, and used his utmost endeavour to prevent its being carried out. He either apprehended that we were going to destroy the wigwams and canoes, (of which latter there were six) or that a fire was going to be kindled for his destruction. For sometime he anxiously peeped through the crevices to see what was doing, for he was not at liberty. Perplexed how to act, and evening drawing on, anxiety for the two marines, determined me to let the Indian go, trusting that his appearance and recital of our behaviour would not only be the means of our mens' liberation, but also that the natives would return, with a favourable impression. After giving him several things, I showed a wish that his party should return, and by signs intimated not to hurt our people. He smiled significantly, but he would not leave us. He put the wigwam in order, and several times looked to the west side of the pond and pointed. Each wigwam had a quantity of deers' leg bones ranged on poles (in all three hundred). Having used the marrow of some of these opposite that we occupied, the Indian replaced them with an equal number of others signifying that these were his; he pointed out a staff and showed that it belonged to the person that wore the high cap, the same that I had taken to be the chief; the length of this badge was nearly six feet, and two inches at the head, tapering to the end, terminating in not more than three quarters of an inch; it presented four plain equal sides, except at the upper end, where it resembled three rims one over the other, and the whole stained red(11). The day having closed in, it blew very hard, with hail, sleet and rain. It became necessary to prepare against any attack that might be made upon us. The following disposition was made for the night, the wigwam being of a circular form, and the party formed into two divisions, they were placed intermediately, and a space left on each side of the entrance so that those on guard could have a full command of it; the doorway was closed up with a skin, and orders given for no one to go out. The rustling of the trees, and the snow falling from them would bave made it easy for an enemy to advance close to us without being heard. I had made an exchange with the Indian for his bow and arrows, /80/ and at 11 o'clock laid down to rest; but had not been asleep more than ten minutes, when I was aroused by a dreadful scream, and exclamation of "O Lord" uttered by Mathew Hughster. Starting at the instant in his sleep, the Indian gave a horrid yell, and a musket was instantly discharged. I could not at this moment but admire the promptness of the watch, with their arms presented, and swords drawn. This incident, which had like to prove fatal, was occasioned by John Guieme, a foreigner going out. He had mentioned it to the watch. In coming in again, the skin covering of the doorway made a rustling noise. Thomas Taylor, roused by the shriek, fired direct for the entrance, and had not Hughster providentially fallen against him at the moment, which moved the piece from the intended direction Guieme must inevitably have lost his life. The rest of the night was spent in making covers of deer skin for the locks of the arms.

Saturday 26th Jan. -- Wind ENE., blowing strong, with sleet and freezing weather. As soon as it was light the crew were put in motion, and placing an equal number of blankets, shirts and tin pots in each of the wigwams, I gave the Indian to understand that those articles were for the individuals who resided in them. Some more presents were given to him, also some articles attached to the red staff, all of which he seemed to comprehend. At 7 A.M. we left the place intending to return the Monday following. Seeing that the Indian came on, I signified my wish for him to go back; he however continued with us, sometimes running on a little before in a zigzag direction, keeping his eyes to the ice as having a trace to guide him, and once pointed to the westward, and laughed. Being now about two-thirds of a mile from the wigwams, he edged in suddenly, and for an instant halted; then took to speed. We at this moment observed that he had stopped to look at a body lying on the ice, he was still within half a musket-shot, but as his destruction could answer no end, so it would have been equally vain to attempt pursuit; we soon lost sight of him in the haze. On coming up we recognised with horror the bodies of our two unfortunate companions lying about a hundred yards apart; that of the corporal being first, was pierced by one arrow in the back; three arrows had entered that of Bouthland. They were laid out straight with their feet towards the river, and backs upwards; their heads were off, and carried away, and no vestige of garments left. Several broken arrow lying about and a quantity of bread, which must have been emptied out of their knapsacks; very little blood was visible. This melancholy event naturally much affected all the party; but these feelings soon gave way to sensations of revenge. Although I had no doubt as to the possibility of finding out the route they had taken, yet prudence called on me to adopt another line of conduct. As I could have no doubt that our movement had been watched, which the cross track, observed in coming up, evinced, my mind consequently became alarmed for the safety of those left with the sledges, and hence made it of the utmost moment to join them without loss of time. Prior to entering the river the people were refreshed with some rum and bread, and formed into a line of march, those having fire arms being in the front and rear, those with cutlasses remaining in the /81/ centre, and all charged to keep as close together as the intricacies would permit. On opening the first point of the river head, one of the men said he observed an Indian look round the second point, and fall back; on coming up, we perceived that two men had certainly been there, and retreated; we afterwards saw them at times at a good distance before us; the tracks showed that they had shoes on; this caused considerable perplexity; the guides (and indeed all the party) were of opinion that the Indians had seen the sledges, and that those two were returning down the river to draw us into a trammel; for they supposed a body of them to be conveniently posted to take advantage of us in some difficult pass. These conjectures were probable. They strongly urged my taking to the woods as being more safe; although this was certainly true, it would have been attended with great loss of time, for from the depth and softness of the snow, we could not possibly perform it under two days; and as the immediate joining my people was paramount to every other consideration -- for our conjectures might be erroneous -- and I was in this instance fain to suspect that curiosity had predominated over the obligations of duty, and that want of consideration had led our men up to view the pond, I therefore continued on by the river side. On seeing excrement recently evacuated it was found on examination to contain particles of bread, this relieved the mind for the Indians do not use this diet. At noon we arrived at the fireplace, and found all well after having spent four hours in unutterable anxiety for their fate. The two men that had acted so imprudently were easily discovered by the sweat that rolled down their faces; being made acquainted with the uneasiness they had occasioned, contrition for their misconduct was manifest. Whilst the party dined on pork, bread and rum, I pondered on the late events, and what in the present juncture was best to be done; my thoughts often wandered to the pond, but after half an hour's reflection, the following considerations fixed me in the resolution of proceeding down the river: -- 1st, it appeared to me next to a certainty that a numerous body of natives resided in the environs and outlets of the pond; taking this for granted, the hazard would have been greater than prudence would justify, for, after their perpetration, was it not to be supposed they would anticipate our conduct according to their diabolical system? I could not therefore entertain any hope of securing their persons without bloodshed, which would frustrate all future expectation of their reconciliation and civilization, the grand object in view. It will not be considered improper to remark that the very nature of the service intrusted to my care required the test of faith, and the danger increased by the sincere wish of rendering acts of friendship on our part whilst a malignant inveteracy subsists in the hearts and actuates the natives to deeds most horrid. 2nd, the state of the weather promising a rapid thaw, which would render our retreat down the river mpracticable; this, with the local situation of this part of the Exploits, were cogent reasons to follow the plan of descending the river. The thawing of the ice and snow, and waters from the interior causing the ice already to founder from the banks, so as to render it impossible to conduct the sledges, the knapsacks were filled with as much provisions as /82/ they could contain, and, taking with us rum for three days, we commenced our return, obliged to leave everything else behind. On reaching the point on which the old store has been stated to have stood, we observed on the island situated on this part of the river (as described on Jan. 22nd) nearly at its western end, the frame of an extensive store, apparently erected last summer, and not yet covered in; this island being well wooded, had obstructed our seeing it in passing upwards, and so surrounded with trees as to prevent our having a full view of it; this is a strong corroboration of Cull's statement. We continued our journey until dark, when we reached the fireplace occupied on the 21st; thus having performed four days' route, making in distance thirty-two miles, between this and where we left the sledges; the ice had become so much weakened as to give way several times, leaving some of the party for a short period on detached pieces from that bound to the banks.

Jan. 27th. -- Wind ESE. with small rain. At daylight renewed our journey, taking with us the provisions that had been left here. Having descended the upper waterfall, we found the river open in many places, that we had passed over in coming up, and the water flooded considerably over the ice, indeed we were under apprehension of the river breaking up, as the drift ice under us made a great noise. We reached our fireplace of the 19th and halted for the night, having performed two days' journey, a distance of twenty-three miles. Here we had deposited two days' provisions in a cask well headed, and placed fifty yards in from the west bank of the brook (the fire-place being on the east) and covered over with bushes and snow, insomuch as to consider it perfectly secure from any beast. I was therefore much surprised to find the bushes removed, the head taken out, seven pieces of pork missing, and some of the bread lying by the cask. The rapid thaw obliterated any track that might have formed our judgment as to its having been done by men or beast. I am inclined to attribute it to the former. One of the pieces of pork was found about two hundred yards from the spot. Some of the party complained of swollen legs.

Jan. 28th. -- Light winds from the SE., with rain during the night. The legs of several more of the party began to swell. The thaw still continued very rapid, with prospect of an immediate change. This circumstance, and the great probability of the river's bursting, from the likelihood of the drift ice becoming pent amongst the shoals, determined me, notwithstanding our fatigue and pain, to push forward, and if possible, to reach our fireplace of the 16th immediately below the great overfall, as the depth of the river below this would make it less subject to break up, and should it become necessary to undertake the laborious and slow travelling in the woods, our distance would become considerably diminished. By dark my wish was accomplished, after a most harassing and uncomfortable march of eighteen miles, the greater part of this distance being nearly knee deep in water, in all the days route we found the river opened in the middle.

All those with swollen legs had the parts effected rubbed with rum and pork fat.

Jan. 29th. -- Fresh winds from the SE. with rain. At dawn renewed /83/ our journey, the river still continuing to flood and open. On coming to the Rattling Brook, in addition to the canoe mentioned on the 15th we now found another. I knew them both to have belonged to the Canadians before spoken of, and as these were all they had, I supposed them to have travelled by land to St George's Bay. Halted at our fireplace of the 14th and refreshed ourselves; and took with us the provisions that had been left, and at 4 p.m. reached Cull's old house, where we had spent so intolerable a night on the 13th. Although my people were much fatigued and several of them with their legs much swollen and inflamed, yet they all solicited to proceed to the schooner, thinking they might get to her in a few hours. They were too sanguine, for I was sensible that many of them were in a state unable to perform what they so eagerly asked. I had also strong objections to approach the schooner by night, so we put up, having travelled this day twenty-two miles. It froze a little during the night.

Jan. 30th. -- Wind E. with fresh gales and rain; at 7 a.m. proceeded for the schooner, all hearts elated. We found it extremely tiresome; the waters that had flooded over the ice being partially frozen, but insuffficient to bear our weight, made it painful to all, but particularly to those with inflamed ankles; indeed, from the wet state our feet had been in for the last four days, no one escaped being galled. Abreast of Wigwam Point the river was considerably opened. At noon we arrived on board and found all well.

March 4th. -- The people having recovered from the effects of the former excursion, and sledges and casks being made for the reception of stores necessary for a second journey, the day was employed in packing and making the requisite preparations for our departure.

March 5th. -- Wind W. At 7 a.m. I left the schooner with a party of thirty men, having with us provisions and every necessary for twenty-two days. The day proved pleasant and mild, and hauling good, the ice being much levelled by the late thaws; halted for the night on the north side of the river, one mile above the second fireplace of the former journey.

March 6th. -- Wind W. with falls of snow. At 4 p.m. having reached our former fireplace at the end of the Indian path by the great waterfall we put up for the night and repacked our sledges. I went with a small party to view the waterfall, which circumstances prevented me from doing before. The sight repaid the trouble of getting to it. The scene was truly interesting; the upper part was formed by a number of cascades, and at last joining their united streams, rolled down one stupendous height of at least eighty feet perpendicular(12). The sound of this waterfall was at times plainly heard on board the schooner when lying in Peter's Arm, from which ascended a vapour that darkened the atmosphere for a considerable extent. The cavity below exhibited a number of small islands originally formed by the torrent.

March 7th. -- Wind S. with constant snow. At l0 a m., having come up to the islands opposite Rushy Pond Marsh, we found a wigwam on one of them where the natives had lived last summer. At 1 p.m. put up on the north side, about three miles above our fireplace of January 18th and /84/ distant from the Indian Dock nine miles. Very heavy fall of snow. Killed five partridges.

March 8th. -- Strong NE. gales, with constant snow and drift; no possibility of hauling. One of the party received so violent a contusion on the shoulder as to render his arm useless, by a tree falling on him. The snow this day fell ten inches.

March 9th. -- Wind W., blowing hard, with severe weather, rendering it unsafe to proceed.

March 10th. -- Strong gales, with constant snow, and very sharp weather, which continued throughout the day, with considerable drift.

March 11th. -- Wind W. with clear sharp weather. At 7 a.m. recommenced our journey. This morning four of our party were frost-burned. The hauling proved heavy, from the late snow and drift. At 2 p.m. put up on the north side, two miles below the Badger Bay Brook, and fourteen miles from our last night's sleeping place.

March 12th. -- Cloudy weather; wind W. At 8 o'clock passed Badger Bay Brook. At noon Hodges Hill bore ENE. two leagues. At 2:30 p.m. put up on the north side, about half a mile below the waterfall (which we had passed on January 21st)(13), and sixteen miles from our last resting place.

March 13th. -- Strong gales from ENE., and constant snow and sleet. At 7 a.m. crossed over and ascended the waterfall on the south side; hauled the sledges through some Indian paths; found several places in the skirts of the woods that had been recently dug up, where something must have been concealed, for the vacuums were lined with birch rind. At l0 a.m. we came up to the storehouse mentioned on Jan. 22nd; the poles that were then seen in the ice still remained, but their position altered. This store was circular, and covered in with deer skins; it was not so large as their wigwams. It was evident that the natives had been there since our passing down in the former journey; they had taken all the prime venison away, and had left nothing but a few inferior haunches, and a number of paunches, which were frozen firmly together; but many of these had, notwithstanding, been removed for the purpose of digging up the ground, where it formed a place somewhat longer than necessary for containing arrows; it is probable that it held arrows, darts, and other implements used by them in killing deer. I was surprised to find that the skins covering in that part of the store fronting the river and the inland side, were perforated with many arrows; this circumstance led me to conclude that they had come down in their canoes, and that some of them had taken a station on the bank, and had shot their arrows at the store, to ascertain whether we might not be concealed in it. Seeing that they had acted with such cautious suspicion, and considering it as betraying an inclination for resistance, made me abandon any further pursuit. Leaving red shirts in the storehouse, as an exchange for such venison as we could take, I returned to our last night's fireplace, not feeling myself warranted to run any further risk. It continued to snow, hail, and sleet the whole of this day.

March 14th. -- Wind W. At 9.30 a.m. set out on our return down the river, the hauling very heavy from the sleet and snow that had fallen /85/ yesterday. At 2:30 p.m. halted for the night, having travelled nine miles. Found John Weatherall deranged in mind.

March 15th. -- Wind SW. At daylight renewed our march: halted two miles below Badger Brook, at our fireplace of the 11th instant. Found it necessary to have a guard over John Weatherall.

March 16th. -- Wind N. with pleasant weather and good hauling. At 2 o'clock halted at the sleeping place of the 9th instant, three miles from Rushy Pond Marsh.

March 17th. -- Moderate with snow. At 11 o'clock reached the upper part of the great waterfall; hauled the sledges to the further end of the path, and put up at the sleeping-place of the 6th instant, called Indian Dock.

March 18th. -- Wind from the westward, with clear frosty weather. At noon heavy hauling; at dark reached Upper Sandy Point, and put up for the night at Millar's upper salmon station; the distance from the waterfall to this is reckoned twenty miles.

March 19th. -- Fresh breezes and clear frosty weather. At 9 o'clock set out, and at 11 arrived on board the schooner and found all well.

Concluding Remarks by Lieut. Buchan.

It will not be expected that I can give much information respecting the Indians of Newfoundland. Of a people so little known or rather not known at all, any account, however imperfect, must be interesting. It appears then that they are permanent inhabitants, and not occasional visitors.

The wigwams of the Newfoundland Indians are of a circular and octagonal structure. The first of these is simply a few poles supported by a fork and common to the various tribes in North America, but this kind is used by the natives of this island as a summer residence whilst employed on the ponds and rivers in procuring food for winter. Considerable pains were employed on these I found them in, and which were of the octagonal structure, the diameter of the base being nearly 22 feet, and enclosed with studs of four feet above the surface. On these was affixed a wall plate from which were projected poles forming a conic roof and terminating in the top in a small circle sufficient for emitting the smoke and admitting light, this and the entrance being the only apertures. A right line being drawn to equal distances from each of the angular points, was fitted neatly with a kind of lattice work forming the points of so many recesses which were filled with neatly dressed deer skins. The fire was placed in the centre of the area around which was formed their place of repose, everyone lying with their feet towards the centre and their heads up to the lattice work somewhat elevated. The whole was covered in with birch bark, and banked on the outside with earth, as high as the studding, making these abodes with little fuel warm even in the inclemency of winter. The whole was finished in a manner far superior to what might have been expected.

According to the report of William Cull, the storehouses seen by him were built with a ridge pole, and had gable ends. The frame of the store seen on the island I conceive to have been of that description as it certainly had a ridge pole.

Their canoes were finished with neatness, the hoops and gunnel formed /86/ of birch, and covered over with that bark cut into sheets, and neatly sewn together and lackered over with the gum of the spruce tree. Their household vessels were all made of birch or spruce bark. It did not appear that these were applied to any purpose of cookery. I apprehend that they do not boil any part of their diet,(14) but broil or roast the whole; there were two iron boilers which must have been plundered from our settlers. To what purpose they may apply these is uncertain, but they set a value on these, as on leaving their wigwams they had conveyed them out of our sight. They were well supplied with axes, upon which a high value is set; these they keep bright and sharp, as also the blades of their arrows, of which we found upwards of a hundred new ones in a case.

Report has famed these Indians as being of gigantic stature, this however is not the case as far as regards the tribe we saw, and must have originated from the bulkiness of their dress and partly from misrepresentation. They are well formed, and appear extremely healthy and athletic, and of the medium structure, probably from five feet eight to five feet nine inches and with one exception black hair. Their features are more prominent than any of the Indian tribes that I have seen, and from what could be discovered through a lacker of oil and red ochre (or red earth) with which they besmear themselves, I was led to conclude them fairer than the generality of Indian complexions. Conceive my astonishment at beholding a female bearing all the appearance of an European, with light sandy hair, and features strongly similar to the French, apparently about 22 years of age, with an infant which she carried in her cossack, her demeanour differing materially from the others. Instead of that sudden change from surprise and dismay to acts of familiarity, she never uttered a word, nor did she recover from the terror our sudden and unexpected visit had thrown them into. Their dress consisted of a loose cossack, without sleeves, but puckered at the collar to prevent it falling off the shoulders, and made so long that when fastened up around the haunches it became triple, forming a good security against accident happening to the abdomen. This is fringed round with cutting of the same substance. They also had leggings, moccasins, and cuffs, the whole made of the deer skin, and worn with the hair side next to the body, the outside lackered with oil and red ochre, admirably adapted to repel the severity of the weather. The only discernible difference between the dress of the sexes, was the addition of a hood attached to the back of the cossack of the female for the reception of their children. Their males, in having occasion to raise their bows, have to disengage the right shoulder and kneel down on their right knee. The bow is kept perpendicular, and the lower extremity supported against the left foot. Their arrows display some ingenuity, for the blade, which is of iron, is so proportioned to the shaft that, when missing their object, if in water it does not sink; but the blade preponderates and the feathers which direct its flight now becomes a buoy, and they take them up at pleasure. The blade of the arrow is shouldered, but not barbed.

The snow shoes, or rackets as they are called by some, differed from all others that I have seen. The circular part of the bow, which was cross-barred /87/ with skin thong, was in breadth about 15 inches, and lengthwise near three feet and a half, with a tail of a foot long. This was to counterbalance the weight of the front before the forecross beam. So far their make is like ours, with the difference of length, which must be troublesome in the woods, but if my conjectures are right, they travel but little in the woods when the snow is on the ground. Now this being placed on the ground and the foot on it, forms a curve from the surface, both ends being elevated. Their reason for this is obvious for the twofold purpose of preventing any quantity of snow from resting before the foot, and the other which shows a thought of effects tends to accelerate their motions, for it will appear that there will be a gaining on each pace equal to the distance between a straight line drawn from the centre of the foot to the front extremity, and the section of the curve contained between these two points. This together with the ease this form makes in walking must be considerable.

Fearful of raising suspicion prevented my ascertaining their exact number, but I shall be within bounds by observing that there could not be less than thirty-five grown persons. Of this number probably two-thirds were women, or it is likely that some of the men were absent. There could not be less than thirty children, and most of them not exceeding six years of age, and never were finer infants seen.

It has been conceived that want of sufficient quantity of nutritious food has prevented them from increasing, and the only thing connected with this idea is that they are not seen on the coast in such numbers as formerly. All else must be mere speculative reasoning, but it will be granted that my excursion has opened up a field from which to draw a fair conclusion. It will be readily admitted that a country intersected throughout with rivers and ponds and abounding with wood and marshy ground is well adapted for uncivilized life, and calculated for the vast herds of deer that annually visit it. This is proved by the incredible quantity of venison they had packed up, and there yet remained on the margin of the pond a vast number of carcases which must have been killed as the frost set in, many being frozen in the ice. The packs were nearly three feet in length, and in breadth and depth fifteen inches, closely packed with fat venison cleared of the bone, and in weight from 150 to 200 lbs., the cases were neatly made of bark.

The ponds abound with trout, and flocks of wild geese visit them in the months of May and October, and their vigorous appearance points out, that /88/ their exercise to procure food is only conducive to health. They are free from the pestilential attendants that await civil society also by war and disease brought on by intemperance. They can be subject to but few casualties and these only from the hazard of their canoes overturning passing down the rapids, which experience must in a great degree obviate.

To those entertaining an opinion of their numbers being few because of their not being seen so much as formerly, it may be proper to observe that formerly the disgraceful idea was conceived by many of our countrymen resorting to, and settling on the island, that their destruction attached merit to their persecutors and thus were they banished from their native haunts and looked upon as little better than beasts of the forest. Probably in those days they knew but little of the interior, and their chief dependence for food was on fish and sea fowl, for I cannot think that they were provided with the necessary implements for killing deer in sufficient numbers for their subsistence.

As our establishments and population advanced to the northward of Cape Freels, so were they obliged to retreat from the coast, but thus necessitated, the cause was rooted in their minds and the injuries they wantonly received were handed down from one generation to another. Providence bountifully supplied all creation according to their necessities, the evil that forced the natives to retreat brought with it the means whereby they led a more independent life, for as the fisheries increased and settlers became more numerous so were they enabled to procure iron and other articles by plunder, and from wrecks. We now find them with the requisites for their present situation, and the country shows that they have progressively fallen back and are now occupying the most central position from whence they can emerge without difficulty, in canoes, by rivers and a succession of ponds to either side of the island. Although it is still imagined that they from necessity, all come to the sea coast in the summer, as their canoes were seen last summer in various places between Cape John and Cape Freels, and at the same period. This only tends to satisfy me more strongly in the opinion that their population is considerably more than is generally admitted, for circumstances determine that the greater number remains in the ponds and rivers for the purpose of procuring venison for the winter, and that those who come out are but a small division compared to the whole, or that they are small parties sent from the distant bodies for the purpose of collecting what may be of use to them, and particularly for building canoes, as they have not, for the want of birch in the interior, the means.(15)

I have already stated the party that I came up with to be about 75 in number but surely it would be absurd to suppose that the whole of their tribe resided there. I will venture my ideas on the subject satisfied of their knowledge and respect for individual property and the great number of deer skins which were neatly dressed being so much more than equal to their own consumption. This would naturally lead us to conjecture that the overplus of skins was intended for barter for instance to exchange /89/ for canoes, iron and other articles brought in by those who came out to the seacoast. This is by no means unlikely, and coincides with the supposition that they live in independent companies, but having one principal chief. My leading reason for this conjecture is that those who come out do not return in time to lay in winter provisions; various inferences might be drawn on the subject. To venture even a guess of their total numbers would be hazarding too much. I am however inwardly convinced that their numbers are considerable and from what has been said may in some degree be drawn data from which those conversant in the rise and progress of population may form a reasonable conclusion.

Opinions are various as to their origin, some conceiving them to be from the continent of America, others, that they are of Norwegian extraction, nor can the veil of obscurity be removed until a free communication is opened with them. I had persons with me that could speak Norwegian and most of the dialects known in the North of Europe, but they could in no wise understand them. To me their tongue was a complete jargon uttered with much rapidity, and vehemence, and differing from all other Indian tribes that I had heard, whose language, generally flows in soft melodious sounds.

How far a continuation of leaving things for them might in time bring them to a friendly intercourse with us is not at present my object to enquire. I cannot however but express my strong desire that the business may be followed up until an opportunity occurs by which we may convince them of our good intentions towards them, and though I sensibly know and feel the effects of a winter journey to their abodes, and that it is attended with extreme labour, difficulty and risk, yet if other means fail, this with all its dangers I would again cheerfully undertake, but as far as respects the mere obtaining some of them, and which appears to me the first consideration, from the months of April to September is a likely time to fall in with them when out among the islands, extending from the river Exploits to the Wadhams, and from the river Exploits to Cape John, but to pursue this with success it is necessary to employ several boats. (Here follows a description of the country timber, &c.)

Had it not been for the disastrous fate of the two marines I should have esteemed my journey fortunate beyond all expectations. But however much I lament this circumstance, it by no means diminishes my hopes that every effort will be made to bring the natives into civil society, for it should be considered as a national object and ultimate success would wipe away a certain degree of stigma brought on us by the former barbarity of our countrymen. My opinion of the natives is not the worse for the fatal circumstance that has occurred, for I do not think the deed to have been premeditated. It is nevertheless impossible for me to assign a reason so to be freed from all doubt of the real cause of this unfortunate accident, but I may be permitted to suggest my ideas arising from reflection on the subject. Let it be observed that I had left the two unfortunate men without small arms, that the natives might have no cause for distrust, and without liquor lest it might lead them into improprieties. They were steady and well behaved, and my cautious injunctions for the guidance of /90/ their conduct, I flatter myself were not disregarded. Thus far I am satisfied that no offence was given to the natives. I therefore attribute to the flight of the Indian that was accompanying us to our sledges, the source from which sprung the misfortune. What could induce him but his own apprehensions it is impossible to say, but not so with his conduct afterwards, for it is reasonable to suppose that on joining his companions he told a tale of wonder but such as not to call his courage in question, for we know the actions of fear are narrated as those of boldness. I shall now turn the imagination to the wigwams; behold the natives thrown all into commotion and expressing themselves in vehement gesticulations and hasty preparations making for their departure. Our men view these motions with astonishment and are perplexed as to the reason; various ideas rush on the mind, they fancy me to have been attacked by another body of them, and in the skirmish suppose the Indian to have escaped. Their span of life is drawing to a crisis, the natives are now setting out, and of course taking them along with them. Courage heightened into madness by their critical situation, they determine to attempt an escape. Alas! fatal error, had cool reason been their guide, she would have pointed out the impossibility, for the appearance of fear is certain death from an Indian, that in looking for security we often rush into inevitable destruction, and thus we reason when secure from danger. This may be said to be the fancy of imagination but this is surely a foundation for her to work upon. Many other circumstances might have produced the same result, for instance, another tribe might have arrived at the wigwams and not having themselves seen, would not trust the recital of our friendly interview; be this as it may, on the first conjecture I rest as next to a certainty. I trust that in this dilemma my subsequent movements will be approved of, for any further attempt at that time, to a subsequent interview would in all probability have produced direful consequences, for their unenlightened minds would look to us for nothing but retaliation, the line adopted by me may tend to remove such an impression from their minds. To have urged them by pursuit to acts of defence would not only be highly unjustifiable in my own sight, but would have been acting diametrically opposite to the orders and object I was entrusted to execute."

Surveyor General Noad is authority for the statement, that Buchan made another expedition this same season (1811) and was to have undertaken still another the next spring, Noad says,

"Capt. Buchan, on his return to St. John's, after his ill fated expedition, sought and obtained permission from the Governor to return again in the summer, in the hope of meeting with the natives who came, at that seasaon, to the seacoast to fish, but he was disappointed in not meeting with them. He merely succeeded in finding some recent traces of them. He still solicited and obtained leave to winter in St. John's and go in quest of them early the ensuing spring. This request was also acceded to."

We have no other record of either of these latter expeditions, and with the exception of Governor Keats' proclamation of 1813, there does not appear to have been any effort made for at least five years to renew the attempt at opening communication with the natives, yet many complaints /91/ of their continued depradations were made from time to time, by the settlers on the northern parts of the island.

My own impression is that Buchan made a great mistake in taking along with him so many of the furriers, those inveterate enemies of the poor Red man, whose very presence was alone sufficient to cause their distrust. I believe were he to have taken instead some of those Canadians, whom he mentions, Micmac's, Abanakie's, or Mountaineers but especially the latter, they would have probably succeeded in making themselves understood by the natives, and thus his interview, which at first promised so well, might have resulted very differently, if indeed it were not crowned with complete success.

Proclamation issued by Governor Keats 1813.

In the name of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, acting in the name and on behalf of His Majesty King George III.


WHEREAS, It is His Royal Highness the Prince Regent's gracious will and pleasure that every kindness should be shown and encouragement given to the native Indians of this island, to enter into habits of intercourse and trade with His Majesty's subjects, resident or frequenting this Government. -- ALL PERSONS are therefore enjoined and required, to aid by all such means as may be in their power, the furtherance of this His Royal Highness's Pleasure. Such as may hereafter meet with any of the said Indians inhabitants are especially called upon by a kind and amicable demeanour to invite and encourage communication, and otherwise to cultivate and improve a friendly and familiar intercourse with this interesting people. -- If any person shall succeed in establishing on a firm and settled footing an intercourse so much to be desired, he shall receive One hundred pounds as a reward for his meritorious services. But if any of His Majesty's subjects, contrary to the expression of these, His Royal Highness's commands, shall so far forget themselves, and be so lost to the sacred duties of Religion and Hospitality, as to exercise any cruelty, or be guilty of any illtreatment towards this inoffensive people, they may expect to be punished with the utmost rigour of the Law.

Given under my hand at Fort Townshend

Saint John's Newfoundland, this 10th

day of August 1813, In the fifty third

year of His Majesty's Reign.

(signed) R. G. Keats Governor.

By Command of His Excellency

"countersigned" P. C. Le Geyt.

Capture of Mary March (Demasduit) on Red Indian Lake, in the month of

March 1819.

Various versions of this event have appeared from time to time in our histories and other publications, but as numerous discrepancies characterize these accounts, I prefer to give the story as I had it from the lips of the late John Peyton, J.P. of Twillingate, himself the actual captor of the Beothuck woman.(16)

/92/ The circumstance which lead to the capture of Mary March is related thus by Mr. Peyton. While prosecuting the salmon fishery and fur trade in the bay and river of Exploits, he was much tormented by the depradations of the Indians, who came, usually in the night time, and pilfered everything they could lay hands upon. The articles stolen were not often of great value, and consisted generally of such things as knives, axes, traps, hooks, lines, rope, canvass &c. Annoying as this undoubtedly was Mr. Peyton bore with it for a long time, and without using any retaliative measures. At length the Indians became so emboldened as to commit a theft and act of destruction of more than ordinary character, which he could not overlook. Mr. P. was living at the time at Lower Sandy Point, in the Bay of Exploits, his house and stores stood upon the sloping bank of the river and a long wharf, built on piers, extended from the shore out to the deep water. On this occasion, his large open boat, loaded with the seasons produce, lay at the head of the wharf, ready to proceed down the bay to market. It was one of those old style of boats, open amidship, with a cuddy at the forward and after ends, somewhat on the lines of the ancient caraval. Besides the cargo of salmon and furs, Mr. P. had stowed away in the cuddies his clothes, bedding, and several articles of value, including two silver watches, and some coins which were in his vest pockets, and there were also two guns and ammunition, culinary and other utensils aboard for use on the voyage.

Everything being in readiness, he and his crew were awaiting daylight and the turn of the tide to proceed on their journey. The night was very dark, and knowing that the Indians were about, a strict watch was kept, but seeing no prospect of a favourable time up till past midnight, he directed his men to lie down and take a rest while he himself would remain on guard. He took frequent turns up and down the wharf, and at one time said he thought he descried a dark object lying on the beach not far off which he was about to investigate, when one of his men assured him it was a splitting table that had been left there during the day, so he did not pay further heed to it. As the night drew on and everything appeared quiet, he concluded nothing would be disturbed during the few remaining hours before dawn, so feeling somewhat tired himself, he took one more thorough survey and then retired to the house to rest awhile. He threw himself down on a couch without removing his clothing, but he was so restless and uneasy that he could not sleep. An hour or so may have elapsed, when he jumped up and again visited the wharf. To his great mortification he found the boat with all its effects gone, and in the inky darkness could find no clue to the direction taken by the marauders.

He now called all his crew, and as soon as daylight made its appearance, started in pursuit. After many hours search they at length found the boat hauled up in a small creek at the mouth of Charles' Brook, away down on the other side of the bay. She was completely rifled, everything /93/ of a portable nature, including the cordage and sails being carried off. The guns alone, battered and broken, and otherwise rendered perfectly useless, were found in the bed of the brook not far away. To follow up the trail just then would be very difficult and most probably futile. Mr. Peyton accordingly proceeded to St. John's and laid the whole matter before the authorities whom, he said, were very reluctant to believe his story. The Governor, Sir Charles Hamilton, however, gave full credence to it, and empowered Mr. Peyton to search for his stolen property, and if possible try and capture one of the Indians alive.

Armed with this authority he chose the following winter, 1819, to make the attempt. At that season of the year the travelling on the frozen surface of the river would be easiest, and the Indians who would then have retired to their winter quarters in the interior would be least suspicious of being disturbed. He chose the month of March to make the journey, this month always being considered the best for winter travelling, owing to the settled character of the snow and hardness of the surface. With half a dozen of his hardy furriers he set out to traverse the Exploits River, but instead of following its entire course to Red Indian Lake, as Buchan had done, he turned off to the right some distance below, rightly conjecturing that by so doing he would strike the lake near the head of the N.E. Arm, where he expected the Indians would be encamped. His party reached the shore of the lake one afternoon late, but in time to observe the smoke of three wigwams on the north side, nearly opposite to where Buchan had found them encamped. Although the night proved intensely cold Peyton would not allow his men to kindle a fire lest the Indians should detect their presence. They sheltered themselves as best they could in a deep gully near the mouth of a small brook, and at the first appearance of daylight were on the move towards the wigwams, where they arrived before the occupants had yet awakened. They then surrounded them, but the Indians being aroused, darted forth and fled in all directions, some through the woods, others out on the frozen surface of the lake, before any of them could be secured. Being, as he said, a young active man at that time, Peyton determined to try and outrun some of them. Divesting himself of superfluous clothing, he gave chase to the nearest one on the lake, who seemed to lag somewhat behind the rest, and soon found that he gained considerably on this individual. After a while the Indian began to show evident signs of exhaustion, and finally stopped and made supplication for mercy. She, for it proved to be a woman, tore open her deer-skin cossack exposing her bosoms in an appeal to his manhood. In order to reassure her and allay her fears, he cast his gun aside into a bank of soft snow and then leisurely approached her with signs of amity, he laid hold of her and endeavoured to lead her back. He was now considerably in advance of his party who were following on behind, and as he tried to drag the woman with him some of the Indians turned and approached him. One powerful looking fellow came up furiously brandishing a bright new axe with which he would certainly have killed Mr. Peyton had not his men just then arrived on the scene and prevented it. The Indians then moved off and the party, taking the woman along with them /94/ returned to the wigwams which with their contents they thoroughly overhauled. One of the three wigwams was covered with the stolen boat sails, the other two as usual with birch bark. Inside were found many of the pilfered articles belonging to Mr. Peyton, besides several others similarly appropriated from other parties. They consisted of kettles, knives, axes, fish hooks and fishing lines &c. Some of the axes were quite new, and Mr. P. afterwards learned that they had been stolen from a store in White Bay the previous fall.

The watches had been broken into small pieces, which together with the coins were strung on deer-skin thongs, passed through holes drilled in them, and presumably intended for necklaces, amulets or some such adornment.

Mr. Peyton did not think there were more than fourteen or fifteen individuals in these three wigwams, but it was impossible to count them as they darted through the woods.

His party now retreated as they had come taking the woman with them, keeping a close watch all the time lest she should escape which she made attempts to do. Once while all were asleep she nearly succeeded. Taking off her outer deer-skin robe and placing it on the snow she noiselessly crawled along, dragging the skin after her to deaden the sound of her footsteps, or obliterate her track in the snow. She had gained a considerable distance when her absence was noticed, but she was soon recaptured and brought back. After this she made no further attempt but kept close to Mr. P. all the time, as though for protection, no doubt recognising in him the leader of the party and a man superior in every way to his fellows.

The woman was successfully conveyed to the shore, and according to Pedley, "was placed under the care of the Episcopal missionary of Twillingate." She appeared to be about twenty-three years of age, was of a gentle disposition, and intelligent enough to acquire and retain many English words which she was taught. It was ascertained that she had a child of three or four years old: it therefore became an object, dictated by the first feelings of humanity to restore her to her tribe. She was first brought to St. John's, where she remained several months, exciting a strong and kindly interest towards herself by her modest intelligent demeanour, she was everywhere treated with the greatest consideration and loaded down with presents by all parties. It is stated that she was allowed to go into the shops, select whatever she fancied, and take it away without question. Lieut. now Capt. Buchan was again selected by the Governor, and entrusted with the charge of returning her to her people, and great hopes were entertained that the recital of all she saw and of the kindly treatment meted out to her, would at last convince her tribe that nothing but amity and good feeling was desired by the whites henceforth.

Buchan proceeded to the Bay of Exploits with the woman (?) in the autumn of 1820, in his ship the Grasshopper, which was again secured for the winter at the same place as the Adonis in Ship Cove, now Botwood. Here he awaited the freezing up of the bay and river, before making the attempt to ascend to Red Indian Lake. Unfortunately, /95/ all his hopes were frustrated by the sad death of poor Mary March, on board his ship, Jan. the 8th 1820. Alas! this sad event was destined to frustrate the object of the expedition, and dash all the high hopes which it was expected to achieve. There was nothing left for him to do, but to convey the poor remains of the woman back to the place from whence she was taken. Her body was enshrouded in a neat deal coffin together with such trinkets as she had shown a preference for, including two wooden dolls much affected by her, a copper plate was also placed upon the coffin with her name, probable age, and date of her capture and death engraved thereon. While these preparations were in progress, the ship's armourer was employed in making a number of iron spear and arrow heads, all stamped with the broad arrow, to be presented to the Indians, should they be met with; or otherwise distributed along the banks of the river; where they could easily find them.(17)

When the ice was sufficiently strong the party, consisting of 60 marines and blue jackets, with Mr. Peyton and a few of his men as guides, set out on the journey up country. They dragged after them several sledges, constructed for the purpose, loaded with 32 cwt. of provisions, goods, and presents for the Indians. After passing the Grand Falls, twenty men were sent back, and afterwards batches of three or four, according as the loads grew lighter, and the men became fatigued. At a point on the river about 40 miles up, Mr. Peyton, who was in advance, struck his snow-shoe against something buried in the snow, which on examination proved to be the fresh frozen liver of a deer. Judging from this circumstance that the Indians could not be far off, he wished to make a search in the neighbourhood with a few of his men, but Capt. Buchan would not consent to dividing the party. They therefore proceeded onward to the lake, but found it entirely deserted. The three wigwams of last year were still standing, but had not apparently, been tenanted for some time. Through the roof of one of the wigwams they stuck two stout poles, and hoisting up the coffin containing Mary March's remains, lashed it firmly to the projecting ends of the poles, so as to place it beyond the reach of wolves or other wild animals.

After an ineffectual search about the lake Capt. Buchan concluded to make a detour on his return journey, persuaded thereto by Mr. Peyton. Instead of following the course of the river back to the bay the party struck into the country from the head of the N.E. Arm of the lake, and made a circuit of Hodges' Hill, coming out on the shore of Badger Bay Lake. No further indications of the Indians were met with in this journey, and the men becoming wearied with the long toilsome tramp, began to murmur loudly particularly the blue jackets who accused Peyton of having led them astray, and lost them. In order to reassure them that he knew where he was he brought them to a place where he showed them some of his traps with his name stamped on them. They now abandoned the search and returning to the sea coast rejoined their ship.

There is another version of the capture of Mary March which was /96/ published in the Liverpool Mercury of date -- written by an anonymous correspondent, who alleges that he accompanied Peyton's party and was witness to the whole transaction. This person appears to have been an agent for one of the mercantile firms at Fogo, and was on a visitation to some lumber camps belonging to his firm in the Bay of Exploits when the expedition was about setting out. He asked to be allowed to accompany it, which request was granted. His account coincides, in most particulars with that already given, except in some minor details, but it also contains some interesting particulars not there stated. It bears every evidence of being reliable, so without repeating what is unnecessary, I will give, in his own words, such further facts as are of interest in this connection.


Mr. Peyton afterwards learned from the woman Shanawdithit, the full particulars of the manner in which his boat was stolen. She was present all the time and knew every incident connected with this event. As Mr. P. rightly conjectured, it appears the Indians were watching all his movements very closely. There was a high wooded ridge behind his house, which from its peculiar outline had been named Canoe Hill. It bore some resemblance to a canoe turned bottom up. One tall birch tree on the summit of this ridge, (still standing at the time of my first visit 1871), was pointed out by Shanawdithit as the lookout from whence the Indians observed Peyton's movements, during several days preceding the depradation. She also informed him, that when he paid his last visit of inspection to the long wharf, before the taking of the boat, that the Indians were actually hidden in their canoe beneath the wharf, but kept so perfectly motionless, that in the dense darkness he did not observe their presence.


To the Editor of the "Liverpool Mercury."


Observing among the deaths in the Mercury of September 18th that of "Shanawdithit" supposed to be the last of the "Red Indians" or aborigines of Newfoundland, I am tempted to offer a few remarks on the subject, convinced as I am that she cannot be the last of the tribe by many hundreds. Having resided a considerable time in that part of the north of Newfoundland which they most frequented, and being one of the party who captured Mary March in 1819, I have embodied into a narrative the events connected with her capture, which I am confident will gratify many of your readers.

Proceeding northward, the country gradually assumes a more fertile appearance; the trees, which in the south are, except in a few places, stunted in their growth, now begin to assume a greater height and strength till you reach the neighbourhood of Exploits River and Bay; here the timber is of a good size and quality, and in sufficient quantity to serve the purposes of the inhabitants: -- both here and at Trinity Bay some very fine vessels have been built. -- To Exploits Bay it was that the Red Indians came every summer for the purpose of fishing, the place abounding with salmon. No part of the Bay was inhabited; the islands at the mouth consisting of Twillingate, Exploits island, and Burnt islands, had a few inhabitants. There were also several small harbours in a large island, the name of which I now forget,(18) including Herring Neck and Morton. In 1820 the population of Twillingate amounted to 720, and that of all the other places might perhaps /97/ amount to as many more; -- they were chiefly the descendants of West England settlers; and having many of them been for several generations without religious or moral instruction of any kind, were immersed in the lowest state of ignorance and vice. Latterly, however, churches have been built and schools established, and I have been credibly informed that the moral and intellectual state of the people is much improved. While I was there the church was opened, and I must say that the people came in crowds to attend a place of worship, many of them coming 15 and 20 miles purposely to attend. On the first settlement of the country, the Indians naturally viewed the intruders with a jealous eye, and some of the settlers having repeatedly robbed their nets &c., they retaliated and stole several boats sails, implements of iron &c. The settlers in return mercilessly shot all the Indians they could meet with: -- in fact so fearful were the latter of fire arms, that in an open space one person with a gun would frighten a hundred; when concealed among the bushes, however, they often made a most desperate resistance. I have heard an old man named Rogers, living on Twillingate Great Island boast that he had shot at different periods above sixty of them. So late as 1817, this wretch, accompanied by three others, one day discovered nine unfortunate Indians lying asleep on a small island far up the bay. Loading their guns very heavily, they rowed up to them and each taking aim fired. One only rose, and rushing into the water, endeavored to swim to another island, close by, covered with wood: but the merciless wretch followed in the boat, and butchered the poor creature in the water with an axe, then took the body to the shore and piled it on those of the other eight, whom his companions had in the meantime put out of their misery. He minutely described to me the spot, and I afterwards visited the place, and found their bones in a heap, bleached and whitened with the winters blast.

I have now I think said enough to account for the shyness of the Indians towards the settlers, but could relate many other equally revolting scenes, some of which I shall hereafter touch upon. In 1815 or 16,(19) Lieutenant, now Captain Buchan, set out on an expedition to endeavour to meet with the Indians, for the purpose of opening a friendly communication with them. He succeeded in meeting with them, and the intercourse seemed firmly established, so much so, that two of them consented to go and pass the night with Capt. Buchan's party he leaving two of his men who volunteered to stop. On returning to the Indians' encampment in the morning, accompanied by the two who had remained all night,(20) on approaching the spot, the two Indians manifested considerable disquietude, and after exchanging a few glances with each other, broke from their conductors and rushed into the woods. On arriving at the encampment, Capt. Buchan's poor fellows lay on the ground a frightful spectacle, their heads being severed from their bodies, and almost cut to pieces.

In the summer of 1818, a person who had established a salmon fishery at the mouth of the Exploits River, had a number of articles stolen by the Indians; they consisted of a gold watch, left accidentally in the boat, the boats, sails, some hatchets, cordage and iron implements. He therefore resolved on sending an expedition into the country, in order to recover his property.

The day before the party set off I arrived accidentally, at the house, taking a survey of numerous bodies of wood cutters belonging to the establishment with which I was connected. The only time anyone can penetrate into the interior is in the winter season, the lakes and rivers being frozen over, even the Bay of Exploits, though salt water, was then (the end of January) frozen for sixty miles. Having proposed to accompany the party they immediately consented. Our equipment consisted of a musket, bayonet, and hatchet; to each of the servants, a pistol; Mr. ______ and myself had, in addition, another pistol and a dagger, and a doubled /98/ barrel gun instead of a musket; each carried a pair of show shoes, a supply of eight pounds of biscuits and a piece of pork, ammunition, and one quart of rum; besides, we had a light sled and four dogs, who took it in turns in dragging the sled, which contained a blanket for each man, rum and other necessaries. We depended on our guns for a supply of provisions, and at all times could meet with plenty of partridge and hares, though there were few days we did not kill a deer. The description of one day's journey will suffice for all, there being but little variation. The snow was all the time about eight feet deep.

On the morning of our departure we set off in good spirits up the river, and after following its course for about twelve miles, arrived at the rapids, a deer at full speed passed us; I fired, and it fell the next instant, a wolf, in full pursuit made his appearance; on seeing the party he haulted for an instant, and then rushed forward as if to attack us. Mr. ______ however, anticipated him; for taking a steady aim and at the same time sitting coolly on an old tree, he passed a bullet through the fellows head, who was soon stretched a corpse on the snow, a few minutes after another appeared, when several firing together he also fell, roaring and howling for a long time, when one of the men went and knocked him on the head with a hatchet.

And now ye effeminate feather-bed loungers, where do you suppose we were to sleep? There was no comfortable hotel to receive us; not even a house where a board informs the benighted traveller that there is "entertainment for man and horse," not even the skeleton of a wigwam; the snow eight feet deep, -- the thermometer nineteen degrees below the freezing point. Everyone having disencumbered himself of his load, proceeded with his hatchet to cut down the small fir and birch trees. The thick part of the trees was cut in lengths, and heaped up in two piles between which a sort of wigwam was formed of the branches; a number of small twigs of trees, to the depth of about three feet were laid on the snow for a bed; and having lighted the pile of wood on each side, some prepared venison steaks for supper while others skinned the two wolves, in order, with the deerskin to form a covering to the wigwam; this some opposed as being a luxury we should not every day obtain. Supper being ready, wee ate heartily and having melted some snow for water, we made some hot toddy, that is, rum, butter, hot water and sugar; a song was proposed, and acceded to: and thus in the midst of a dreary desert far from the voice of our fellow men, we sat cheerful and contented, looking forward to the morrow without dread, anxious to renew our labors. After about an hour thus spent the watch was appointed, and each wrapped in his blanket; we vied in convincing each other, with the nasal organ, which was in the soundest sleep; mine was the last watch about an hour before daybreak. The Aurora Borealis rolled in awful splendour across the deep blue sky, but I will not tire my readers with a description. When the first glimpse of morn showed itself in the light clouds, floating in the Eastern horizon, I awoke my companions, and by the time it was sufficiently light, we had breakfasted and were ready to proceed. Cutting off enough of the deer shot the night before, we proceeded on our journey, leaving the rest to the wolves. Each day and night was a repetition of the same; the country being in some places tolerably level, in general covered with wood, but occasionally barren tracts, where sometimes for miles not a tree was to be seen. Mr. ______ instructed the men in which way he wished them to act, informing them that his object was to open a friendly communication with the Indians, rather than act on the principle of intimidating them by revenge; that if they avoided him, he should endeavour to take one or two prisoners and bring them with him, in order that by the civilization of one or two an intercourse might be established that would end in their permanent civilization. He strictly exhorted them not to use undue violence; everyone was strictly enjoined not to fire on any account. About three O'clock in the afternoon two men, who then led the party were about two hundred yards before the rest; three deer closely followed by a pack of wolves, issued from the woods on the left, and bounded across the lake, passing very near the men, whom they totally disregarded. /99/ The men incautiously fired at them. We were then about half a mile from the point of land that almost intersected the lake, and in a few minutes we saw it covered with Indians, who instantly retired. The alarm was given; we soon reached the point, about five hundred yards on the other side we saw the Indians houses, and the Indians, men, women and children rushing from them, across the lake(21), here about a mile broad. Hurrying on we quickly came to the houses; when within a short distance from the last house, three men and a woman carrying a child issued forth. One of the men took the infant from her, and their speed soon convinced us of the futility of pursuit; the woman however, did not run so fast. Mr. ______ loosened his provision bag from his back and let it fall, threw away his gun and hatchet and set off at a speed that soon overtook the woman. One man and myself did the same, except our guns. The rest, picking up our things followed. On overtaking the woman, she instantly fell on her knees, and tearing open the cossack, (a dress composed of deer-skin bound with fur), showing her breasts to prove she was a woman, and begged for mercy. In a few moments we were by Mr.______'s side. Several of the Indians, with the three who had quitted the house with the woman, now advanced, while we retreated towards the shore. At length we stopped and they did the same. After a pause three of them laid down their bows, with which they were armed, and came within two hundred yards. We then presented our guns, intimating that not more than one would be allowed to approach. They retired and fetched their arms, when one, the ill fated husband of Mary March, our captive, advanced with a branch of a fir tree (spruce) in his hand. When about ten yards off he stopped and made a long oration. He spoke at least ten minutes; towards the last his gesture became very animated and his eye "shot fire." He concluded very mildly, and advancing, shook hands with many of the party -- then he attempted to take his wife from us; being opposed in this he drew from beneath his cossack, an axe, the whole of which was finely polished, and brandished it over our heads. On two or three pieces(22) being presented, he gave it up to Mr. ______ who then intimated that the woman must go with us, but that he might go also if he pleased and that in the morning both should have their liberty. At the same time two of the men began to conduct her towards the houses. On this being done he became infuriated, and rushing towards her strove to drag her from them; one of the men rushed forward and stabbed him in the back with a bayonet; turning round, at a blow he laid the fellow at his feet; the next instant he knocked down another and rushing on -- like a child laid him on his back, and seizing his dirk from his belt brandished it over his head; the next instant it would have been buried in him had I not with both hands seized his arm; he shook me off in an instant, while I measured my length on the ice; Mr. ______ then drew a pistol from his girdle and fired. The poor wretch first staggered then fell on his face: while writhing in agonies, he seemed for a moment to stop; his muscles stiffened: slowly and gradually he raised himself from the ice, turned round, and with a wild gaze surveyed us all in a circle around him. Never shall I forget the figure he exhibited; his hair hanging on each side of his sallow face; his bushy beard(23) clotted with the blood that flowed from his mouth and nose; his eyes flashing fire, yet with the glass of death upon them, -- they fixed on the individual who first stabbed him. Slowly he raised the hand that still grasped young ______'s dagger, till he raised it considerably above his head, when uttering a yell that made the woods echo, he rushed at him. The man fired as he advanced, and the noble Indian again fell on his face; a few moments struggle, and he lay a stiffened corpse on the icy surface of the limpid waters. The woman for a moment seemed scarcely to notice the corpse, in a few minutes however, she showed a little motion; but it was not until /100/ obliged to leave the remains of her husband that she gave way to grief, and vented her sorrow in the most heartbreaking lamentations. While the scene which I have described was acting, and which occurred in almost less space than the description can be read, a number of Indians had advanced within a short distance, but seeing the untimely fate of their chief haulted. Mr. ______ fired over their heads, and they immediately fled. The banks of the lake, on the other side, were at this time covered with men, women and children, at least several hundreds; but immediately being joined by their companions all disappeared in the woods. We then had time to think. For my part I could scarcely credit my senses, as I beheld the remains of the noble fellow stretcbed on the ice, crimsoned with his already frozen blood. One of the men then went to the shore for some fir tree boughs to cover the body, which measured as it lay, 6 feet 7 1/2 inches. The fellow who first stabbed him wanted to strip off his cossack, (a garment made of deer skin, lined with beaver and other skins, reaching to the knees), but met with so stern a rebuke from ______, that he instantly desisted, and slunk abashed away.

After covering the body with boughs, we proceeded towards the Indian houses -- the woman often required force to take her along. On examining them, we found no living creature, save a bitch and her whelps, about two months old. The houses of these Indians are very different to those of the other tribes of North America; they are built of straight pieces of fir about twelve feet high, flattened at the sides, and driven in the earth close to each other; the corners being much stronger than the other parts. The crevices are filled up with moss, and the inside entirely lined with the same material, the roof is raised so as to slant from all parts and meet in a point at the centre, where a hole is left for the smoke to escape; the remainder of the roof is covered with a treble coat of birch bark, and between the first and second layers of bark is about six inches of moss; about the chimney clay is substituted for it.

On entering one of the houses I was astonished at the neatness which reigned within. The sides of the tenement were covered with arms, -- bows, arrows, clubs, axes of iron (stolen from the settlers), stone hatchets, arrow heads, in fact, implements of war and for the chase, but all arranged in the neatest order, and apparently every mans' property carefully put together. At one end was a small image, or rather a head, carved rudely out of a block of wood; round the neck was hung the case of a watch, and on a board close by, the works of the watch which had been carefully taken to pieces, and hung on small pegs on the board; the whole were surrounded with the main spring. In the other houses the remainder of the articles stolen were found. Beams were placed across where the roof began; over which smaller ones were laid: on these were piled a considerable quantity of dried venison and salmon, together with a little codfish. On ______ taking down the watch and works, and bringing the image over to the fire the woman surveyed him with anger, and in a few minutes made free with her tongue, her manner showing us that she was not unused to scolding. When Mr. ______ saw it displeased her, he rather irreverently threw the log on one side: on this she rose in a rage, and would, had not her hands been fastened, have inflicted summary vengeance for the insult offered to the hideous idol. Wishing to pacify her he rose, and taking his reverence carefully up, placed him where he had taken him from. This pacified her. I must here do the poor creature the justice to say, that I never afterwards saw her out of temper.

A watch was set outside; and having partaken of the Indian's fare, we began to talk over the events of the day. Both ______ and myself bitterly reproached the man who first stabbed the unfortunate native; for though he acted violently, still there was no necessity for the brutal act, -- besides, the untaught Indian was only doing that which every man ought to do, -- he came to rescue his wife from the hands of her captors, and nobly lost his life in his attempt to save her. ______ here declared that he would rather have defeated the object of his journey a hundred times than have sacrificed the life of one Indian. The fellow merely replied, "it was only an Indian, and he wished he had shot a hundred instead of one." The /101/ poor woman was now tied securely, we having, on consideration, deemed it for the best to take her with us, so that by kind treatment and civilization she might, in the course of time, be returned to her tribe, and be the means of effecting a lasting reconciliation between them and the settlers.

After the men had laid themselves down around the fire, and the watch was set outside the door, Mr. ______ and myself remained up and, in a low voice talked over the events of the day. We then decided on remaining to rest for three or four days; and in the meantime, to endeavour to find the Indians. I would I could now describe how insensibly we glided from one subject to another; religion -- politics -- country -- "home sweet home," -- alternately occupied our attention; and, thus in the midst of a dreary waste far away from the haunts of civilized man, we sat contentedly smoking our pipes; and Englishman-like, settled the affairs of nations over a glass of rum and water -- ever and anon drinking a health to each friend and fair, who rose uppermost in our thoughts. From this the subject turned to "specific gravity." Here an argument commenced. When illustrating a position I had advanced, by the ascension of the smoke from my pipe, we both turned up our eyes to witness its progress upwards: on looking towards the aperture in the roof what was our astonishment at beholding the faces of two Indians, calmly surveying us in the quiet occupation of their abode. In an instant we shouted "The Indians!" and in a moment every one was on the alert, and each taking his arms rushed to the door -- not a creature was to be seen; in vain we looked around; -- no trace save the marks of footsteps on the snow, was to be discovered, but these seemed almost innumerable. We fired about a dozen shots into the woods, and then retired to our dwelling -- and I then resolved to take alternate watch, and every half hour at least to walk around the house. During the night, however, we were not again disturbed, save by the howling of wolves and barking of foxes.

(signed) E. S.(24)

Still another account of the capture and death of Mary March with added details of much interest, appears in a lecture delivered by the Hon. Joseph Noad, Surveyor General of the Colony, in 1859, before the Mechanics' Institute at St John's. There is internal evidence that Mr. Noad derived most of his information direct from Mr. John Peyton, also from Mr. W. E. Cormack, with both of whom he must have been personally acquainted. Cormack again derived his information partly from the Beothuck woman Shanawdithit, which renders it all the more interesting.

After relating the circumstances which led to Mr. Peyton's expedition up the Exploits in 1819, pretty much as already given, he goes on to state, that on the 1st of March, 1819, the expedition set out with a most anxious desire, as they asserted, of being able to take some of the Indians and thus through them, to open a friendly communication with the rest. The leader of the party giving strict orders not on any account to commence hostilities without positive directions. On the 2nd of March a few wigwams were seen and examined, they appeared to have been frequented by the Indians during spring and autumn for the purpose of killing deer. On the 3rd a fireplace on the side of a brook was seen, where some lndians had recently slept. On the 4th the party reached a storehouse belonging to the Indians and on entering it they found five traps, and recognised them as the property of persons in Twillingate, as also part of a boat's jib, /102/ footprints were seen about the storehouse and these tracks were followed with speed and caution. On the 5th the party reached a very large pond(25), and footmarks of two or more Indians were distinctly discovered and soon after an Indian was seen walking in the direction of the spot where the party were concealed while three other Indians were observed further off going in a contrary direction. The curiosity of the whole party being strongly excited the leader of them showed himself openly on the point. When the Indian discovered him she was for a moment motionless, then screamed violently and ran off -- at this time the persons in pursuit were in ignorance as to whether the Indian was male or female. One of the party immediately started in pursuit, but did not gain on her until he had taken off his jacket and rackets, when he came up with her fast; as she kept looking back at her pursuer over her shoulder. He dropped his gun on the snow and held up his hands to show her he was unarmed, and on pointing to his gun which was some distance behind, she stopped, -- he did the same, then he advanced and gave her his hand, she gave hers to him and to all the party as they came up. Seven or eight Indians were then seen repeatedly running off and on the pond, and shortly three of them came towards the party -- the woman spoke to them and two of the Indians joined the English, while the third remained some 100 yards off. Something being observed under the cassock of one of them, he was searched, and a hatchet taken from him. The two Indians then took hold of the man who had seized the woman, and endeavoured to force her away from him, but not succeeding in this, one of them tried to get possession of three different guns, and at last succeeded in getting hold of one, which he tried to wrest from the man who held it; not being able to accomplish this the Indian seized the Englishman by the throat, and the danger being imminent, three shots were fired, all so simultaneously that it appeared as if only one gun had been discharged. The Indian dropped, and his companions immediately fled. In extenuation of this most deplorable event, to say the least of it, it is said, "Could we have intimidated him, or persuaded him to leave us, or even have seen the others go off, we should have been most happy to have spared using violence -- but when it is remembered that our small party were in the heart of the Indian country a hundred miles from any European settlement, and that there were in our sight at times, as many Indians as our party amounted to, and we could not ascertain how many were in the woods that we did not see, it could not be avoided with safety to ourselves. Had destruction been our object, we might have carried it much further."

The death of this Indian was subsequently brought before the Grand Jury, and that body having enquired into the circumstances connected with it, made the following statement in its presentment to the Court. "It appears that the deceased came to his death in consequence of an attack upon the party in search of them, and his subsequent obstinacy in not desisting when repeatedly menaced by some of the party for that purpose, and the peculiar situation of the searching party and their men, was such as to warrant their acting on the defensive."

/103/ Thus perished the illfated husband of poor Mary March, and she herself from the moment her hand was touched by the whiteman, became the child of sorrow, a character which never left her, until she became shrouded in an early tomb. Among her tribe she was known as "De-mas-do-weet," her husband's name was "No-nos-baw-sut."

In the official report Mary March is described as a young woman of about twenty-three years of age, -- of a gentle and interesting disposition, acquiring and retaining without any difficulty any words she was taught. She had one child, who, as was subsequently ascertained, died a couple of days after its mother's capture(26). She was taken to Twillingate where she was placed under the care of Revd. Mr. Leigh, Episcopal Missionary; who on the opening of spring came with her to St. John's. During the summer a small sloop was sent back with her to the northward. The commander was to proceed to the summer haunts of the Indians and restore her to her people, but he was unsuccessful in finding them, and he returned to St John's.

Capt. Buchan in the Grasshopper was subsequently sent. He left St. John's in September 1819 for Exploits Bay to winter there. Poor Mary March died on board the vessel at the mouth of the river, and her remains were conveyed up to Red Indian Lake by Buchan as already related.

Mary March or "Demasduit," according to herself had another name, " Waunathoake."

It was subsequently learnt from Shanawdithit, that the Indians saw Buchan's party passing up the river with the body of Mary March. They were, as Peyton conjectured, camped at the time in the woods, not far from where he saw the fresh liver of a deer, but on seeing the white men they lay very close till the latter had passed on out of sight. They then immediately broke camp and proceeded cautiously down to the sea shore by devious routes, there they concealed themselves and remained till they saw Buchan's party return and go aboard the ship. They then went back again and visited the Great Lake where they found the body suspended from the poles struck through the roof of the wigwam. They took it down and opened the coffin with their axes, on seeing its contents, they prepared a grave in which they placed the body together with that of her husband and child. Mr. W. E. Cormack afterwards saw this grave in 1817, and recognised the remains of Mary March from the plate that had been placed on the coffin by Buchan.

According to Bonnycastle, "Mary March, it is said, had hair much like that of an European, but was of a copper colour with black eyes. Her natural disposition was docile; and although fifty years old (?)(27), she vas very active, and her whole demeanour agreeable; in this respect, as wel1 as in her appearance, she was very different from the Micmacs, or any other Indians we are acquainted with."


Further references to Buchan's Two Expeditions, taken from the London "Times," in the British Museum, copied by Engineer Lieut. R. A. Howley, 1906.

LONDON "TIMES," Nov. 27th, 1811.

Extract of a letter from St. John's, dated Aug. 1, 1811,

"Lieut. Buchan returned from his expedition up the Bay of Exploits, about a month ago. It appears, that in the month of January he, with a party of sixteen or seventeen of the crew of the `Adonis' in exploring the interior of the country, came up with three wigwams, occupied by about seventy of the native Indians, by whom he and his party were received in a friendly manner; that after staying with them some time, he endeavoured to make known to them his intention of returning, for the purpose of presenting them with such articles as he had been supplied with, and which he apparently made them understand, would contribute to their comfort and convenience. Four of the natives voluntarily went with him; and two of his marines, with equal confidence, agreed to remain with the Indians until his return. Three out of the four Indians, however, parted from him in the course of the first day; the other remained with him all night, and returned with him and his party, back to the wigwams the next morning, which, they found, had been totally abandoned, and at no great distance from which, they found the dead bodies of the two marines they had left behind, both of whom had been murdered and their heads severed from their bodies; upon discovering which the remaining Indian ran off with the utmost speed, and neither him, nor any of the others, were they able to come up with afterwards.

Thus, unfortunately, has ended our attempt to open a friendly intercourse with the natives of this Island. Lieut. Buchan says, that he clearly understood, by signs which they repeatedly made to him to cross over an adjoining lake, that their principal encampment was in that neighbourhood and that they were much more numerous than we had formed any idea of. He seems anxious to engage in a second expedition, but thinks it advisable to send a considerable augmentation of force to ensure success to the undertaking. Whether any further attempt will be made at present, or not is uncertain."

LONDON "TIMES," JULY 1Oth, 1820.

"We learn by letters just received here from Newfoundland, dated June 5th that the expedition which left St. John's in the autumn of last year, under the direction of Capt. Buchan of H.M.S. `Grasshopper' having for its object, to open a communication with the aborigines of the island, by way of the Bay of Exploits, had failed, and that skilful and intelligent officer with his persevering companions, had returned.

It appears, that the `Grasshopper,' having reached the river, from St. John's, in December last, was housed over, and made secure, to enable the persons left on board to encounter the inclemency of a Newfoundland winter. Mary March the female native Indian prisoner, who was to have been the medium of communication with her native friends died on board the `Grasshopper,' before the expedition could set out from the Bay of Exploits.

About the middle of January, Captain Buchan, Mr. C. Waller midshipman, the Boatswain, and about sixty men, proceeded with sleighs on the ice, containing their provisions &c., as also the body of the female Indian; and the spot, having been pointed out by Mr. Peyton, a merchant who accompanied the expedition, where the rencontre took place between his party and the Indians, when the husband of Mary March was killed, her body, ornamented with trinkets &c. was deposited alongside that of her husband.

/105/ Captain Buchan continued a research of 40 days, but was not able to discover the slightest trace of the native Indians. Whether they had fled to some other part of the island, or had been exterminated by the Esquimaux(28) Indians, who, to obtain the furs with which they are covered are known to invariably murder them at evey opportunity, could not be ascertained; but it appeared useless to proceed any further in the search."


25th May, 1819.

The Grand Jury beg leave to state to the Court that they have, as far as it was possible, investigated the unfortunate circumstances which occasioned the loss of life to one of the Red Indian Tribe near the River of Exploits, in a late rencontre which took place between the deceased and John Peyton, Sr., in the presence of Peyton, Jr., his son, and a party of their own men, to the number of ten in all, and in sight of several Indians of the same tribe. The Grand Jury are of opinion that no malice preceded the transaction, and that there was no intention on the part of Peyton's party to get possession of any of them by such violence as would occasion bloodshed. But it appears that the deceased came by his death in consequence of the attack on Peyton, Sr., and his subsequent obstinacy, and not desisting when repeatedly menaced by some of the party for that purpose, and the peculiar situation of the Peytons and their men, was such as to warrant their acting on the defensive. At the same time that the Grand Jury declare these opinions arising from the only evidence brought before them, they cannot but regret the want of other evidence to corroborate the foregoing, viewing it as they do a matter of the first importance, and which calls for the most complete establishment of innocence on the part of the Peyton's and their men, they therefore recommend that four of the party should be brought round at the end of the fishing season for that purpose.



John Peyton's Narrative.


I beg leave to lay before Your Excellency the following statements by which it will appear to what extent I have been a sufferer by depredation committed on my property by the Native Indians, and which at last drove me to the necessity of following them to endeavour to recover some part of it again.

In April 1814, John Morris, a furrier of mine, came out from one of my furrier's tilts in the country on business to me, leaving in the tilt his provisions, some fur and his clothes. On his return to the tilt again he found that some persons had been there in his absence, and carried away and destroyed the provisions, and all the fur with many other little things but yet valuable to a furrier; the distance being 20 miles from the tilt to my residence he was obliged to sleep there that night, but the next day Morris came out and told me what had happened, and that he had evey reason to suspect that it had been done by the Red Indians. On the following morning I, with Thomas Taylor, another of my furriers, and John Morris, went to Morris's tilt and found what he had told me to be correct, and near the tilt I found part of an Indian's snow racket and a hatchet, which convinced me that the depredation had been committed by them. We, after this followed their tracks to Morris's different beaver houses and found that they had carried away seven of my traps. The damage done and loss I sustained on this occasion cannot be estimated at less than £15 independent of losing the season for catching fur.

In June 1814 Mathew Huster and John Morris were sent by me to put out a /106/ new fleet of salmon nets consisting of two nets 60 fathoms long. On going the following morning to haul them, they were cut from the moorings and nothing but a small part of the Head Rope left. From the manner the moorings were cut and hackled, and the marks of Red Ochre on the Buoys, we were satisfied that it was done by the Indians, no other persons being near us at that season. In the following August some of my people had an occasion to land on a point often frequented by the Indians, they saw there had been two wigwams built there that summer, but the Indians had left it some time, there they found the cork and part of the head rope of the nets, which convinced us who it was had cut away the nets in June. The damage done me by the loss of the nets was 20 lbs. independent of the fish that might have been caught by them that summer.

In August 1815 the Red Indians came into the harbour of Exploits Burnt Island in the night, and cut adrift from my stage a fishing boat, carried away her sails and fishing tackle; they also the same night cut a boat adrift belonging to Geo. Luff, of the same harbour. The loss I sustained here was full £10. In October 1817 I sent Edward Rogers, an apprentice, to set a number of traps for catching marten cats, they being apparently very plenty at that time. On going to visit his traps he found that fourteen of his best traps were carried away, and an Indian's arrow driven through the roof of the cat-house, at the end of the path were two Indian paddles, the loss here, independent of the fur, was 4 pounds, 18 s.

In September 1818 the Indians came to my wharf at Sandy Point, and cut adrift a large boat of mine which I had in the day loaded with salmon, &c., for St. John's market, and was only waiting for a fair wind to sail. On my missing her at half past one in the morning, I took a small boat, and with a servant went in search of her. About seven O'Clock in the evening I discovered her ashore in a most dangerous situation. With great diffficulty I boarded her, and found that the Indians had cut away her sails and part of her rigging, and had plundered her of almost every thing moveable. Her hull being much damaged, it was impossible to get her off without assistance. I proceeded to Exploits Burnt Island for a crew, and brought her into the harbour, the damage done to the boat and some part of her cargo, and the property stolen cannot be replaced under 140 or 150 lbs. Having so frequently suffered such heavy losses, on my arrival I waited on Your Excellency requesting permission to follow the property and regain it if possible, I made deposition of the truth of what I had asserted, and obtained Your Excellency's permission to go into the country during the winter.

On the first of March, 1819, l left my house accompanied by my father and eight of my own men with a most anxious desire of being able to take some of the Indians and thus through them open a friendly communication with the rest, everyone was ordered by me not upon any account to commence hostilities without my positive orders. On the 2nd March we came up with a few wigwams frequented by the Indians during the spring and autumn for the purpose of killing deer. On the 3rd we saw a fireplace by the side of the brook where some Indians had slept a few days before. On the 4th, at 10 O'Clock we came to a storehouse belonging to the Indians. On entering it I found five of my cat traps, set, as I supposed, to protect their venison from the cats, and part of my boat's jib, from the fireplace and tracks on the snow, we were convinced the Indians had left it the day before in the direction SW. We therefore followed their footing with all possible speed and caution -- at 11 O'Clock we left the greatest part of our provisions in order to make the more speed, as we were expecting to come up with them very soon -- at 1 O'Clock we came to a path where they entered the woods leading away about NNE. At 2 O'Clock we saw where they had slept the night before; we continued to travel till dark. On the 5th we commenced walking as soon as it was day. At eight we came to a large brook which ran about SW. We followed the course of the water which brought us into a very large pond. The wind blowing strong occasioned a heayy drift which destroyed all signs of the tracks; after travelling about one and a half miles I discovered the footing of two or more Indians quite fresh, we imagined they were gone into the /107/ woods for the purposes of partridge shooting. I ordered the men to keep close together and keep a good lookout towards the woods. On proceeding a little further I saw a high point projecting on the pond, and on looking over it very carefully I discovered one Indian coming towards us, and three more going the contrary way at some considerable distance. I fell back and told our party what I had seen, their curiosity being excited I could not restrain them from endeavouring to get sight of the Indians. I was not then certain there were no more in the same course I saw the one in. I could not tell at this time whether the Indian I saw was a male or female. I showed myself on the point openly, when the Indian discovered me she for a moment was motionless. She screamed out as soon as she appeared to make me out and ran off. I immediately pursued her, but did not gain on her until I had taken off my rackets and Jacket, when I came up with her fast, she kept looking back at me over her shoulder, I then dropped my gun on the snow and held up my hands to show her I had no gun, and on my pointing to my gun which was then some distance behind me, she stopped. I did the same and endeavoured to convince her I would not hurt her. I then advanced and gave her my hand, she gave hers to me and to all my party as they came up. We then saw seven or eight Indians repeatedly running off and on the pond and as I imagined from their wigwams. Shortly after three Indians came running towards us -- when they came within about 200 or 300 yds. from us they made a halt. I advanced towards them with the woman, and on her calling to the Indians two of their party came down to us, the third halted again about 100 yards distant. I ordered one of the men to examine one of the Indians that did come to us, having observed something under his cassock, which proved to be a hatchet, which the man took from him, -- the two Indians came and took hold of me by the arms endeavouring to force me away. I cleared myself as well as I could still having the woman in my hand. The Indian from whom the hatchet was taken attempted to lay hold of three different guns, but without effect, he at last succeeded in getting hold of my father's gun, and tried to force it from him, and in the attempt to get his gun he and my father got off nearly fifty yards from me and in the direction of the woods, at the same time the other Indian was continually endeavouring to get behind our party. The Indian who attacked my father grasped him by the throat. My father drew a bayonet with the hope of intimidating the Indian. It had not the desired effect, for he only made a savage grin at it. I then called for one of the men to strike him, which he did across the hands with his gun; he still held on my father till he was struck on the head, when he let my father go, and either struck at or made a grasp at the man who struck him, which he evaded by falling under the hand, at the same time this encounter was taking place, the third Indian who had halted about 100 yards, kept at no great distance from us, and there were seven or eight more repeatedly running out from the woods on the look out, and no greater distance from us than 300 yards. The Indian turned again on my father and made a grasp at his throat -- my father extricated himself and on his retreat the Indian still forcing on him, fired. I ordered one of the men to defend my father, when two guns were fired, but the guns were all fired so close together that I did not know till some time after that more than one had been fired. The rest of the Indians fled immediately on the fall of the unfortunate one. Could we have intimidated or persuaded him to leave us, or even have seen the others go off, we should have been most happy to have spared using violence, but when it was remembered that our small party were in the heart of the Indians country, one hundred miles from any European settlement, and that there were in our sight at times as many Indians as our party amounted to, and we could not ascertain how many were in the woods that we did not see, it could not be avoided with safety to ourselves. Had destruction been our object we might have carried it much further. Nor should I have brought this woman to the capital to Your Excellency, nor should I offer my services for the ensuing summer, had I wantonly put an end to the unfortunate man's existence, as in the case of success in taking any more during the summer and opening a friendly intercourse with them, I must be discovered.

/108/ My object was and still is to endeavour to be on good terms with the Indians for the protection of my property, and the rescuing of that tribe of our fellow-creatures from the misery and persecution they are exposed to in the interior from Micmacs, and on the exterior by the Whites. With this impression on my mind I offer my services to the Government for the ensuing summer and I implore Your Excellency to lend me any assistance you may think proper. I cannot afford to do much at my own expense, having nothing but what I work for, the expenses of doing anything during the summer would be less than the winter, as it will not be safe ever to attempt going into their country with so small a crew as I had with me last winter. Still these expenses are much greater than I can afford, as nothing effectual can be expected to be done under £400. Unless Your Excellency should prefer sending an expedition on the service out of the fleet, in which case I would leave the woman at Your Excellency's disposal, but should I be appointed to cruise the summer for them, and which I could not do and find men and necessaries under £400, I have not the least doubt but that I shall, through the medium of the woman I now have, be enabled to open an intercourse with them, nor is it all improbable but that she will return with us again if she can to procure an infant child she left behind her. I beg to assure Your Excellency from my acquaintance with the bays and the place of resort for the Indians during the summer, that I am most confident of succeeding in the plan here laid down(29).

I have the honour to be,

Your Excellency's very humble

and obedient servant,

(signed) John Peyton, Jr.


May 27, 1819.

Resolutions of a Town Meeting respecting the Indians.

At the Court House (Charity School) Sunday, 30th May, 1819.

Mr. Forbes in the Chair.

Resolved as follows: --

1st. That the gentlemen present do presently open a subscription for the purpose of defraying the expense attending the prosecution of the object before stated.

2nd. That a Committee of Five gentlemen be appointed by ballot to adopt the necessary measures in order to open a friendly communication with the Native Indians in the course of the ensuing winter, in the event of that object not being effected during the ensuing summer, and that the Committee be empowered to add to their number as they may deem fit, and that any three of their number be competent to act.

3rd. That the Rev. Mr. Leigh be considered one of the Committee independent of the five to be elected by ballot, &c.

Letter to Rev. Mr. Leigh.



31st May, 1819.


I have to desire you will cause it to be made known in the manner you may deem most expedient, to the Tribes of Micmac Esquimaux and other Indians frequenting the Northern parts of this Island, -- That they are not under any presence /109/ to harass or do any injury whatever to the Native Indians; for if they should be detected in any practices of that nature they will surely be punished and prevented from resorting to the Island again. But as they are all equally under the protection of His Majesty's Government, it is on the contrary recommended to them to live peaceably with the Native Indians, and endeavour to effect an intercourse and traffic with each other.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient servant,

(signed) C. HAMILTON.

Rev. John Leigh,



31st May, 1819.


I am requested to communicate to Your Excellency the resolutions of a meeting of certain of the principal inhabitants of this town which took place yesterday for the purpose of promoting a friendly intercourse with the Native Indians of the Island; and to lay before you an outline of the plan formed by the Committee of Gentlemen appointed for the purpose of carrying their wishes into effect; and at the same time to express the united hope of all, that Your Excellency will regard their proceedings as a sincere proof of the pleasure with which they view the benevolent work which has been commenced under your auspices, of extending to the Indians of this island the blessings of peace and the protection of law.

Having been informed by the Rev. Mr. Leigh that the Indian woman was to return with him to Twillingate, and that Your Excellency would shortly after despatch a sloop of war to the same place for the purpose of communication with her country men, if possible, in the course of the summer, we cannot but sincerely sympathise in all those feelings which such an undertaking is naturally calculated to awaken, and we indulge in the heartfelt hope that it will be attended with all the success it so justly deserves, and as far as success may depend upon zeal and perseverance, we have the surest pledge in the character of the service to which the enterprise is committed. At the same time the great interest which we will take in the measure naturally suggests the apprehension of possible failure and it is principally with the view of providing for that event, should it unfortunately occur, that we have been led to form a plan for an expedition in the winter, upon a scale which with the benefit of past experience, and the countenance of Your Excellency, we are induced to hope, cannot entirely fail in its object.

It is proposed in consequence of the exposure of a winter expedition, to engage about thirty men at Twillingate, who, from being inured to privations, and accustomed to fatigue in the woods, are supposed to be better fitted for a winter campaign, than men of more regular habits of life. And with this view Mr. Leigh has promised to inform us of the best men for the occasion. At the fall of the year a certain number of persons in whom every confidence may be placed, will proceed from this place to Twillingate, with every suitable provision for the expedition, and being joined with the other party will proceed in a body up to the lake in the centre of the island where it is ascertained the Indians pitch their winter habitations. Upon meeting with the Natives they will deliver up the woman to her friends, as the offering of peace, and the best pledge of sincerity, together with such presents as may be deemed suitable, should they be able to induce two or three of the Chiefs to accompany them to Twillingate, they will return immediately, but should the Indians want confidence the party will secure themselves from attack, and remain some days in the country with the view of dissipating their doubts by daily acts of confidence and kindness.

As the success of every enterprise must in a principal degree depend upon the safe keeping of the Indian woman, we have to request that Your Excellency would /110/ be pleased to direct her to be delivered over to Mrs. Cockburn of Twillingate (the sister of Mr. Hart of London) or Mr. Burge, a respectable inhabitant of that place, where means will be provided for her instruction in as much of our language as time will allow, until the expedition may be ready to move in February or March.

Of course, Sir, all these arrangements are made in the contemplation of the possible event of not being able to effectuate any intercourse during the summer, and of its not being deemed proper to pursue the measure on the part of the Government in the winter. But in the meantime we are anxious to contribute our endeavours to promote the general object, and shall be most happy to be employed in any way that Your Excellency may think we can be useful.

I have the honour to be,


Your most obedient,

humble servant,

(signed) FRANCIS FORBES.(30)

His Excellency

Sir Charles Hamilton.

Capt. Glascock, H.M.S. Drake. Orders to proceed to the Northward to endeavour to return an Indian woman to her Tribe.

By Sir Charles Hamilton, Bart, Vice-Admiral of the Blue and Commander-in-chief of His Majesty's Ships and vessels employed and to be employed at and about the Island of Newfoundland, &c.

You are hereby required and directed to proceed without loss of time in His Majesty's Sloop Drake under your command to Greenspond, in Bonavista Bay, for the purpose of communication with His Majesty's Surveying vessel Sydney or the Scrub Tender, and on falling in with either you will put on board the stores and instruments brought out in the Drake for the surveyor, and discharge into her Mr. Payne, Midshipman appointed to the Sydney.

You will then proceed forthwith to Morton's Harbour in New World Island, and on passing the Harbour of Twillingate in the island of that name you will make the signal (by firing two guns) previously concerted on to the Rev. Mr. Leigh, who will meet you at Morton's Harbour with a female Indian who was recently taken and brought round to this place, and who it is an object of much interest and importance to return to her tribe, or to any of the settlements or wigwams of the Native Indians that may be seen on the coast during the summer, and you will concert with Mr. Leigh and Mr. Peyton, Jr., the measure best calculated for carrying this object into execution and act accordingly.

As the coast on which you are likely to find these Indians has never been surveyed, and is little known, but is represented as being very dangerous. You will leave His Majesty's Sloop at Morton's Harbour and proceed with your boats, entering such bays and rivers as may be most likely to be frequented by the Indians during the summer season. But this is not to prevent your proceeding in the Drake to some other port further to the Northward, if you can without unnecessary risk or hazard effect it with the assistance of any person acquainted with the coast. As the principal objects in view are to return the female Indian in question to her tribe and to establish a friendly communication with these aborigines, great care must be taken to select for this enterprise such persons of the crew as are most orderly and obedient, and every proper means you can suggest used to bring them to an interview, in doing which, as the greatest caution must be observed, it will be advisable to refrain from using fire-arms for any purpose before these objects are accomplished.

/111/ Notwithstanding these instructions, the best mode of returning this female Indian to her friends, and of effecting an amicable intercourse with them, must in a great degree depend upon local and unforeseen circumstances. It is therefore entirely left to your own discretion in conjunction with the Rev. Mr. Leigh, under the fullest reliance upon your care and attention to her while she is under your protection, but it would be advisable that you should take that gentleman and Mr. Peyton, Jr., with you in the boats, and none others except those who may be absolutely serviceable on such an expedition.

So soon as you shall have effected the object of these instructions, you will return immediately in the sloop you command to this port. Or in the event of your finding it impossible for you to return the female Indian without imminent risk to her or your own party before your provisions are exhausted you will consult with Mr. Leigh on the best method of providing for her until I am informed of the result of your efforts and return hither.

Before you leave Morton's Harbour, as directed in the former part of these instructions, you will attend to the directions contained on the accompanying letter marked No. 2.

Given under my hand on board the Sir Francis

Drake, in St. John's Harbour, the 3rd June, 1819.

(signed) C. HAMILTON.

To William Nugent Glascock, Esq.,

Commander of His Majesty's Sloop Drake.

By command of the Commander-in-Chief.

(signed) P. C. LEGEYT.

Order to Capt. Glascock to search for Indians.

NO. 2.



3rd June, 1819.


Adverting to the circumstances attending a journey undertaken by Mr. John Peyton, Jr., accompanied by his father and a party into the woods in the spring of this year for the purpose of endeavouring to recover some property which had been stolen from him during the last year, it appears that in a scuffle with some Native Indians, one of the latter fell -- and as the subject was during the stay of Mr. Peyton at St. John's brought before the Grand Jury, I send herewith a Copy of the Proceedings on that occasion, together with the copy of Mr. Peyton's Narrative, and I desire that before leaving Morton's Harbour with the female Indian as directed by my order of this date, you do in conjunction with the Rev. Mr. Leigh (Magistrate) call before you the persons engaged in that expedition, and take down their examinations touching this transaction, and if it should appear that any of the party are culpable you are to bring him or them to St. John's to take their trial in the Supreme Court for the same, with such witnesses as may be necessary to establish the fact.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient servant,

(signed) C. HAMILTON.

Captain Glascock, (Magistrate),

His Majesty's Sloop Drake.


List of Articles delivered to Capt. Glascock for the Indians.

NO. 1. List of Articles delivered to Captain Glascock of His Majesty's Sloop Drake for distribution among the Native Indians pursuant to the foregoing order -- viz.:

Blankets Double 30 in No.

Frocks Red 8 "

Cloaks 5 "

Looking-glasses, small 24 "

Knives 24 "

Strings of Beads 15 "

Dishes of Tin 3 sets of 6 Ea.

Small tin pots 12 in No.

Sail needles of sizes 72 "

Awls 24 "

(signed) C. HAMILTON


3 June, 1819.

NO. 2.

List of Presents intended for the Native Indians.

41 yds. Blanketing 14 lbs. Soap

17 1/2 yds. Red Baize 6 Pairs of Child's Hose

6 Single Hatchets 2 Lock Saws

6 " 6 Tin Pans

1 Doz. Clasp Knives 1 Tinder Box, complete

6 Boat's Kettles 1 Rand of Salmon Twine

1 Doz. Large Clasp Knives 3 Doz. Trout Hooks fitted

1 Doz. Men's Sanquahan Hose 400 Sewing Needles

6 Teapots with covers 4 lbs. Bohea Tea

6 tin Pints 6 " Shingle Nails

6 Hammers 12 " Mixed "

5 Pairs Scissors 2 " Thread of colours

1 Pair large ditto 1 Iron Saucepan (gal)

2 Doz. Iron tablespoons 1 " (quart)

1 gross Middle G. Hooks 12 Half pint tin cups

2 Doz. Long Lines 12 Pair of Blankets of Sizes

1 Rand of Ganging Twine 2 Doz. Red Shirts

1 Doz. Rands of Sewing Twine 30 lbs. Loaf Sugar

3 gin Traps 1 Iron pot

1 Pitsaw Files 9 1/2 lbs. Cheese

1 Doz. Flat Files 1 Doz. Rack Combs

3 Tartan Caps 1 Oak Cask

4 Red Caps 1 Cask Butter

Copy. P. C. Geyt, Secy.



3 June, 1819.


You are aware that before you left St. John's a meeting of the inhabitants took place respecting Shendoreth,(31) the Native woman. The gentlemen who form the Committee appointed on that occasion have, through the Chief Justice, laid the /113/ outline of their plan before the Governor and as that plan is chiefly formed upon the possibility of failure in the summer expedition they have expressed their wishes in such an event that the Indian may be delivered over to Mrs. Cockburn, of Twillingate (the sister of Mr. Hart of London) or Mr. Burge, a respectable inhabitant of that place, to whom they will send instructions. I am therefore desired by the Governor to communicate the same for your information in consulting with Capt. Glascock respecting her disposal in the event of your not succeeding in the desired object.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient servant,

(signed) P. C. LEGEYT,


Rev. John Leigh,


To the Chief Justice in reply respecting the intended communication with

the Native Indians.



5th June, 1819.


I have been favoured with your letter of the 31st May enclosing the Resolutions of a meeting of the principal inhabitants of St. John's, and I feel great pleasure in observing the liberality with which they have come forward in the cause of humanity and to the establishment of an intercourse with the Native Indians of this Island, and particularly their anxious solicitude towards the female herself, who was the immediate object of their meeting. I trust, however, that the measures I have been induced to adopt will be the means of returning her in safety to her tribe, and that her reception amongst us may produce the long desired object of an intercourse which cannot fail to afford them many of the comforts and benefits of civilization.

I have communicated to Capt. Glascock and the Rev. Mr. Leigh the wishes of the meeting, respecting the Indian woman being left under the care of Mrs. Cockburn in the event of their not being able to return her to her friends, as from the total want of the means of communication much has necessarily been left to their prudence and local knowledge in all cases that could not be absolutely foreseen.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient, humble servant,

(signed) C. HAMILTON.

Francis Forbes, Esq.,

Chief Justice.

Report of Capt. Glascock.



20th July, 1819.


I beg leave to report my proceedings relative to the manner in which I have executed your Order of the 3rd ult. since I last communicated with you from Morton's Harbour dated the 11th June. From that period to the 14th I corresponded with the Rev. Mr. Leigh on the subject of the Indian female joining at /114/ Morton's Harbour, when he, accompanied by her, arrived for the purpose of delivering her up to my charge. She being then in a delicate state of health, and as Mr. Peyton, Jr., would be otherwise occupied by private business until the 17th ult. I took the opportunity of the lapse of time to open a Surrogate Court to transact the necessary business of the District. From having run through the ice on the 6th I had reason to suppose the cutwater and copper about the bows was damaged, and from the carpenter reporting to me he could repair the same by heaving the brig down three or four streaks, I, in consequence of his report lightened her of her guns, stores and provisions and hove her partly down alongside a schooner on the 15th ult.

The distance from Morton's Harbour to that line of coast on which the Indians frequent during the summer being too great for boats to communicate with His Majesty's Brig, I found it necessary to survey the coast from the above to Fortune Harbour, which port appeared to me to be the safest and most convenient for the Drake to remain during the absence of the majority of her crew who would be employed in the boats. On the 17th I sailed for Fortune Harbour and arrived there in the evening of that day, having on board Mr. Peyton and the Indian female, and on the 18th after issuing the Edict marked No. 1, I proceeded with the cutter and gig accompanied by Mr. Peyton and the Indian female to New Bay, and returned on the 20th without having seen any symptoms of newly cut paths to lead me to suppose the Indians had yet visited the coast.

On the 22nd ult., accompanied by Mr. Peyton, I proceeded in the cutter up the Bay and River Exploits taking the precaution on the night of the 23rd to row with muffled oars as far as the lower waterfall(32) would allow a boat to reach, and at dawn on the morning of the 24th I entered the woods with Mr. Peyton in search of the wigwams, but found none except those in which the Indians had resided in the last summer. After having rowed a Night Guard from the 23rd to the 25th I returned to the brig, confident the Indians had not fixed their abode in the lower part of the Exploits for a distance of forty-five miles which I thoroughly examined.

The Indian woman being indisposed I sent the Master on a week's cruise in the cutter for the purpose of making a sketch in order to enable us to row a Night Guard instead of wandering about it by day for want of local information as to the extent of those Bays most frequented by the Indians. He returned on the 4th instant, for the particulars of his cruise I refer Your Excellency to his log.

On the 28th ult. I again proceeded up the River Exploits with Mr. Peyton in the gig a report (which proved false) having reached me of the Indians having arrived at the lower waterfall wigwams of last year, I as before rowed up at night with muffled oars, with the hope of surprising the Indians before daylight. But again, to my disappointment, after the boat's crew having suffered much from every description of insect, so much as to cause blindness. I left Exploits for a new line of coast to the Southward of the above river called Indian Arm, a distance of forty miles, and returned as per log on the 30th sick with three of the boat's crew.

The Indians having been seen in Badger Bay, a distance of forty miles to the Westward of Fortune Harbour, I despatched the first lieutenant in the gig, accompanied by Mr. Peyton, on the morning of the 1st instant, giving him the written Order marked No. 2. On the 5th instant finding myself equal to duty, I left Fortune Harbour in the cutter, accompanied by the Indian woman for Seal Bay, SW. distant 20 miles. About 7 in the evening of that day during a heavy thunder squall, I perceived a canoe to windward of me a mile, crossing from the Western Shore, but before I could come up with her, she disappeared round a point throwing overboard a paddle and a few live birds. From the first moment of my seeing her to the time she disappeared occupied a lapse of time of twenty minutes, and from the circumstance of not having seen her on the beach where the Indians landed, authorizes me to suppose they have some mode of concealing their boats, either by /115/ sinking them in the deep water, or folding them up in a portable shape for the convenience of conveying them quickly through the woods.

I immediately landed my party, the Indian female at the time remaining quiet in the cutter exhibiting an apathetic indifference as to the result of the fate of these unfortunate savages. I asked her on my return (not having seen any traces of either canoe or Indians) whether she would follow them in the woods, or remain with me, the latter choice she preferred, and from the conversation I had with her, I have every reason to believe she never wishes to join them, unless either brought to the tribe she was taken from originally, or delivered safe up to some of the larger settlements of these aborigines.

At sunset on the 5th I left Seal Bay with an intention to enter it again at night so as to be exactly on the spot where the Indians landed by dawn of the morning of the 6th. I arrived there at that time and having examined well the woods about it, I determined upon withdrawing the three boats employed in the three Bays to preclude the possibility of the Indians supposing our intention was to harass them. On the boats joining me I took advantage of Mr. Peyton's local knowledge of an Indian path which communicated from Charles' Brook, River Exploits, to the Southern Arm of New Bay, to concert a plan with Lieut. Munbee to form a junction with my party at a pond off that brook, where I should be at 2 precisely on the morning of the 9th. In order to effect this the boats were unavoidably separated from each other a distance of thirty-three miles, merely to cross a neck of land about a mile and a half in breadth. At the appointed time each party entered the woods, taking the Indian paths on both sides, so that in the event of any settlement having been established there (as is customary every summer) we must inevitably by the plan adopted have surprised them before daylight. Our hopes, however, were disappointed by finding the old wigwams totally unoccupied.

From the circumstance of the Indians having deserted this favourite abode in which they have resided for the last seven successive summers, it appears almost conclusive that it is not their intention to visit the River Exploits so soon after the many depredations they committed in it last year. This conclusion may be strengthened by the probability of their dreading a premeditated punishment, a consequence their own guilt might teach them to expect, added to the fact of Mr. Peyton's having taken an Indian female from their tribe; I returned on the evening of the 9th, as also did Lieut. Munbee.

On the 10th I directed Lieut. Munbee, accompanied by Mr. Peyton and the Indian woman, to proceed into Badger and Seal Bays, and land with her together with Mr. Peyton, soliciting her to convey them to the neighbouring wigwams, which she accordingly did through paths which they never could have discovered without her assistance. She gave them to understand the Indians had been there some few days back, but in consequence of her not having had a personal interview with them, she could not possibly be prevailed on to remain there. Lieut. Munbee, after having left a few presents in the wigwams, returned with her and the two boats on the 14th.

Thus, Sir, have I accounted to you of the proceedings of the boats from the 18th June to the 14th July, during which time a continual Night Guard has been rowed for upwards of ninety miles along the coast, and the most zealous and active energy manifested by the officers and ship's company I ever witnessed.

They have suffered much in consequence of being exposed for upwards of a week at a time in open boats, but custom would have seasoned them to this, could they have taken their natural rest by sleep, of which they were totally deprived by the tormenting tortures of every description of insects which infest this coast.

I cannot, Sir, conclude this detail without mentioning to you the steady, zealous and ever active conduct of Mr. Peyton, Jr., whose exertions were unexampled to accomplish the desired purpose for which he accompanied me. His whole time has been devoted to this service, and I don't hesitate to pronounce it to be my opinion that Your Excellency could not have selected a more proper person to assist me in the execution of your orders.

/116/ Not having many days bread on board, I thought it expedient to return forthwith to St. John's, delivering up on the 16th instant the Indian female into the charge of the Rev. Mr. Leigh, who came on board off Twillingate for that purpose and I this day beg leave to report the arrival of H. M. Sloop under my command now safely moored in this harbour.

I have the honour, etc.,

(signed) WM. NUGT. GLASCOCK.


Instructions to Commander Buchan, R. N.

By Sir C. Hamilton, Bart., Vice Admiral of the Blue, and Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty's Ships and Vessels employed and to be employed at and about the Island of Newfoundland, &c.

You are hereby required and directed to proceed in His Majesty's Sloop Grasshopper under command to Twillingate where you will deliver to the Rev. Mr. Leigh the accompanying letter respecting an Indian woman taken in the spring of this year, whose return to her tribe (the aborigines of this island) it is an object highly desirable to accomplish, and you will therefore after consultation with him take such measures for affecting this purpose as in your judgment may appear to be most likely to lead to a favourable result; but as those measures must almost wholly depend upon local circumstances and considerations, it is entirely left to your discretion to adopt such course of proceeding as the information you will obtain may suggest; you will remain on the service herein directed until the decreasing state of your provisions shall render it necessary to return to St. John's. If, on the contrary you should be of opinion that the object of returning this Indian before the winter season is impracticable, you will return forthwith to this place, making such arrangement for her disposal until that period as under all circumstances you may judge most convenient and desirable.

You will be supplied with some articles of use and interest to the Native Indians (a list of which you will receive herewith) which you will dispose of as may appear most advantageous in availing yourself of any occasion that may be presented of a friendly intercourse with those people, or that may open the door to so desirable an object.

You will, if it should not interfere with other arrangements, call at Trinity on your return to St. John's, to transact such Court business as may be brought before you, and to enquire into such of the petitions herewith enclosed as opportunity may offer.

Given under my Hand on board the Sir

Francis Drake in St. John's

Harbour, the 8th August, 1819.

(signed) C. HAMILTON.

To David Buchan, Esq.

Commander of His Majesty's Sloop,


By command of the Commander-in-Chief.

(signed) P. C. Legeyt.

/117/ List of Articles delivered to Captain Buchan of His Majesty's Sloop Grasshopper for distribution among the Native Indians pursuant to the foregoing order, viz.: --

Looking-glasses 27 in No.

Knives 24 "

Strings of Beads 9 "

Dishes of Tin 3 sets of 6 ea.

Small Tin Pots 12 in No.

Boiling Kettles & Pots 5 "

Smaller " 6 "

Sail needles of sizes 72 "

Awl blades 36 "

Salmon Twine 6 lbs.

Ganging Twine 7 Rands.

Small Cod Lines 12 in No.

Thread 3 lbs.

(signed) C. HAMILTON

Vice-Admiral & Governor.

St. John's, Newfoundland,

8 August, 1819.

Instructions to Capt. David Buchan in his 2nd Expedition during

the winter of 1819-20.

By Sir Charles Hamilton, Bart., Vice- Admiral of the White and Commander-in- Chief of His Majesty's Ships and Vessels employed and to be employed at and about the Island of Newfoundland, &c.

Whereas the establishment of an amicable intercourse with the Native Indians of this Island is an object to which my attention is particularly directed by His Majesty's instructions, and is highly to be desired as affording future means of extending to that miserable people the blessings of civilization. And whereas I have great confidence that from your known zeal, prudence and perseverance joined to the advantages arising from previous local knowledge gained by you on a former expedition of the same nature, the best hopes may be entertained of a successful result to an enterprise of so much interest. You are therefore hereby required and directed to complete the provisions of His Majesty's Sloop Grasshopper under your command to ten months, and proceed the first favourable opportunity to Twillingate where you will receive on board the Indian woman with the circumstances of whose detention in the spring of this year you are already acquainted and the returning of whom to her tribe, is under every consideration of humanity, an object of special solicitude, and may also prove of the utmost utility in facilitating the ultimate end of these orders. You will then go on to the River Exploits and there take up such a situation as you may consider most appropriate and convenient in which to secure His Majesty's Sloop for the winter; when your attention will first be directed to cutting wood for housing her in and preparing the additional apparel and materials peculiarly adapted to the journey into the interior, for which purpose you will be supplied with whatever you may consider and point out as necessary or desirable, not only as regards the preservation of the health of your people in general, but as may tend to the accommodation and comforts in particular of the party who may accompany you.

You will also be provided with such articles as are considered of use and interest to the Native Indians, of which you will dispose of in such manner as you may deem best calculated to answer the intention.

/118/ With the knowledge and experience which you already possess, you may yet consider it desirable to be accompanied by some steady persons who from having lived long in the vicinity of the summer haunts of the Indians may be presumed to be well informed on many local points and you are therefore authorised to bear as supernumeraries for victuals only on the books of the Grasshopper any such persons as you may conceive may be of service to you in that character, provided that the number you may so bear shall not exceed the number of men she may be short of her established compliment.

Having secured the ship for the winter and completed the necessary preparations for the journey, you will set out with such number of officers and men as you may consider advisable, adequately supplied with provisions and armed for defence according to your judgment and proceed in quest of the Native Indians with the object already promised, of returning to her people the Indian woman beforementioned and endeavouring by the best means in your power to open and establish a friendly intercourse with them.

In an undertaking of this nature it is impossible to give any specific instructions, where so much must depend on adventitious circumstances, but in leaving the execution of this enterprise wholly to the dictates of your own mind, with the object always in view of treating amicably with this people, I have the fullest confidence that in the sound exercise of your judgment and discretion the best hopes of a favourable result may be entertained.

As soon as the season is sufficiently advanced you will return to St. John's unless you should consider that your remaining longer in the Exploits would be advantageous to the service in which you are employed, in which case you will transmit to me an account of your proceedings by the earliest opportunity.

Given under my Hand on board the Sir Francis Drake in St. John's Harbour the 22nd September, 1819.

(signed) C. HAMILTON.

To David Buchan, Esq.,

Commander of His Majesty's Sloop GRASSHOPPER,

By command of the Commander-in-Chief,

(signed) P. C. Legeyt.


September 10, 1819.

To His Excellency

Sir Charles Hamilton.

I humbly beg leave to address Your Excellency stating that in the month of April 1817, I was plundered by the Red Indians in the bottom of White Bay, property to the amount of fifty pounds taken from the winter house, and the Micmac Indians infest White Bay in that manner that makes it impossible for me or any other person settled here to make a life of it by catching fur. I have 200 traps and used to catch three hundred pounds of a winter, but now I do not catch forty or fifty pounds in consequence of the Micmacs infesting that Bay. They also infest the Bay of Islands, Boon Bay and the Bay of St. George's. I am informed by those that live there that they do a great deal of injury to the fur catchers in that quarter. Their principal resort is in St. George's Bay where they are in the habit of selling their fur to Mr. Philip Le Chewy, a Jersey Merchant. I am fully convinced that if an order was sent to the principal people of the above places, it would deter them in future, the name of a Man of War would make them keep off. If Your Excellency thinks proper to send any communications to the principal people of the above Bays, I will be the bearer, as I am in the habit of crossing the Island, the names of the principal /119/ people living in the different bays are Ralph Blake, Bay of Islands, Philip Le Arvy, St. George's Bay, and John Payne, of Boon Bay. I am fully persuaded that if those are empowered it will put a stop finally to their visiting the Island, which is much desired by all who are concerned in the fur business.

I am,

Your Excellency's

most obedient and humble servant,


(signed) JOHN X GALE



(signed) Henry Knight

" Jno. Sarrel

Colonial Correspondence. Newfoundland, Vol. 39.

Despatch from Governor Hamilton to Earl Bathurst.



Sept. 27th, 1819.

My Lord,

With reference to the 11th article of the general instructions of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent to me as Governor of Newfoundland, relative to the Native Indians of this Island. I have the honour to lay before your Lordship a statement of occurrences which I should have communicated at an earlier period, had I not hoped that from the measures I adopted on my first knowledge of the subject, I should at the same time have had to announce that the result had answered my expectations. Such however was not the case -- but subsequent considerations have induced me to pursue a plan which I have a confident hope may essentially promote and ultimately effectuate the benevolent object of the instructions above mentioned the protection and civilization of that unfortunate Tribe.

The circumstances to which I allude are briefly these. A respectable person of the name of Peyton, who carries on considerable Salmon Fisheries in the River Exploits, and who is also a conservator of the Peace, had for the last four years been greatly annoyed and suffered extensive injury in his fishing Establishments, evidently (from traces which could not be mistaken) occasioned by the Indians, who, taking advantage of the temporary absence of his servants carried away or damaged his property to that degree that he was induced at last to go into the interior, with the view if not of recovering a part to endeavour by an interview to show that he was ready to barter with them for any articles of which they might stand in need, and he accordingly set forward on the 1st of March of this year, accompanied by his father and eight of his own men, and proceeded into the interior. Upon the 5th day on a frozen lake of some extent, he came in sight of a party of Indians who immediately ran off. Mr. Peyton however, by throwing away his arms, and making signs of an amicable nature, induced one to stop, who upon his coming up proved to be a woman, and who interchanged with himself and his men, such expressions of a friendly disposition as appeared to be perfectly understood by her. The other Indians however did not seem to possess the same peaceable sentiments, but approaching in increased numbers from different parts of the lake, laid hands on some of Mr. Peyton's men, when a scuffle ensued, in the course of which it is to be regretted that one of the Indians fell by a musket ball at the moment when the life of Mr. Peyton Senr., whom the Indian had seized by the throat, was in imminent danger. The others then dispersed, and Mr. Peyton returned accompanied by the woman, and proceeded immediately to the island of Twillingate in the vicinity of his establishment, where he placed her under the care of the Revd. Mr. Leigh Episcopal Missionary, who, upon the opening of the season came with her to St. John's to receive my instructions.

/120/ The circumstances of the transactions on the lake were by my desire laid before and minutely investigated by the Grand Jury, who were of opinion that the party were fully justified under all the circumstances in acting as they did, on the defensive.

I mention this as a proof to Your Lordship that no wanton act of cruelty was committed or attempted by Mr. Peyton or his men.

This female appeared to be about 23 years of age, of a gentle and interesting disposition, acquiring and retaining without much difficulty any words she was taught; in the course of her residence at Twillingate Mr. Leigh ascertained that she has a child 3 or 4 years old. It therefore became, under every feeling of humanity, independent of all other considerations, an object in my mind to restore her to her tribe; and I accordingly with this view sent a small sloop of war to that part with orders to her commander to proceed to the summer haunts of the Indians, and endeavour to fall in with some of them. From this attempt however he returned unsuccessful, not having met with any. Such was the state of the case, when the opportune arrival on this station of Captain Buchan in the Grasshopper who had before been employed on a winter expedition in search of the Indians (of the particulars of which Your Lordship is already in possession) determined me to avail myself of his voluntary service in an endeavour to return the Indian woman, and to effectuate an object for which he is so eminently qualified, as well from his previous experiences as from his cool judgment, zeal, perseverance, and conciliatory conduct, and when the condition of this miserable people, subject to the wanton attacks of the Micmac and other tribes of Indians frequenting and traversing this Island, who have an inveterate aversion to them is considered. I hope the measures I have been induced to adopt for their protection and with the view of obtaining their confidence and bringing about a friendly intercourse with them, will meet with Your Lordship's approbation.

Having made the necessary arrangements, Capt. Buchan sailed on the 25th inst., under orders of which I have the honour to enclose a copy.

The additional clothing for his crew, peculiarly requisite in such an undertaking and the necessary articles of traffic or presents for the Indians have occasioned an expense which I shall have the honour of laying before Your Lordship with my accounts for the present year.

I have the honour to be with great respect,

My Lord,

Your Lordship's most obedient humble servant,


Colonial Correspondence. Newfoundland, Vols. 40 to 48.


28th June 1820.

Governor Hamilton to Earl Bathurst.

Encloses Capt. Buchan's account of his journey in search of the Native Indians. The presence of the Indian woman had led them to hope for amicable intercourse with her tribe, and her unfortunate death may have a bad effect. However the conciliatory measures used by Capt. Buchan in the disposal of her remains will, he hopes diminish any hostile feeling.

An Officer of H. M. Sloop Drake has used fire-arms, during an attempt to fall in with some of the Indians in their summer haunts. This was a direct violation of orders. Believes he acted through an error in judgment.

/121/ Captain Buchan's Report of 2nd Expedition.



10th March, 1820.

Sir Charles Hamilton, Bart.

Commander in Chief &c.


My letter of the 8th of October stated up to that period the progress that had been made in preparation for wintering at this anchorage; and that Your Excellency may be put in the earliest possession of the more prominent events that have since occurred, I avail myself of an opportunity of conveyance to Fogo to state with brevity such particulars only as seem necessary to convey a general outline of my proceedings.

It was not until the 25th of November that I received Mary March, the Indian female, conducted hither by Mr. John Peyton Jr. and notwithstanding that my first interview in August led me to conclude that she was in delicate state of health, I could not but grieve to see the progress that a rapid decline had made in the interval, and I observed that she had imprudently thrown aside the flannels which during the summer she wore next to her body, and was otherwise thinly clad. Warm dresses were now provided for her and a woman to attend carefully on her; it however soon became too apparent that even should the skill and great care of the surgeon protract her existence through an inclement winter, it was utterly impossible that she could be in a state to travel into the interior; it therefore became a matter of such solicitude to commence the journey as soon as the weather would permit with the view if possible of opening a communication with her countrymen, and of inducing some of them to accompany me to her, as a meeting must in its consequence have operated most powerfully towards effecting the desirable object of producing to those poor creatures the blessings arising from civilization, every preparation was consequently made. She often would express to Mr. Peyton and myself that we should not find the Indians, and said "gun no good" but would never hear of us going in without her, at the same time giving us to understand that she only wanted her child and that she would return with us. Nature gradually sunk, but she always continued cheerful until the 8th of January, when she suddenly expired at 2 P.M. A few hours before she had been looking over the track of my former journey which I had frequently got her to do, and which she latterly understood, and took delight in speaking of the wigwams. A short period before her death she was seized with a sort of suffocation, and sent for me and Mr. Peyton who had that morning gone for a walk, she soon recovered and appeared as usual, but I had not left her more than a quarter of an hour when being again summoned, I hastened to her and beheld her lifeless, her last wish appears to have been to see Mr. Peyton, and she ceased to respire with his name upon her lips. She seemed always much satisfied when he was near and looked up to him as her protector. Her mild and gentle manners and great patience under much suffering endeared her to all, and her dissolution was deeply lamented by us.

As the melancholy event had not been anticipated, it left me without instructions how to act, and as it was now out of my power to return to St. John's, I considered it still desirable to prosecute the original design, and many reasons determined me to have the corpse conveyed to the place of her former residence.

The unusual openness of the season prevented my venturing to put this into practice until the 21st of January, when accompanied by Mr. John Peyton Jr. (of whose unremitting zeal and attention and that of my officers no expressions of mine can do sufficient justice, but I shall feel it my duty to speak my sentiments more fully in a subsequent communication) I set out, the party fifty in number were amply provided with every necessary for forty days, that could with propriety be taken on such a service. In expectation of meeting considerable difficulty between this and the first /122/ overfall, twenty five miles from hence, an auxiliary party of ten men and an Officer was selected to accompany us so far, even with this additional reinforcement the impediments were so many and in some cases almost insurmountable that it was not until the 26th that we reached the Indian path only one mile beyond the lower part of the fall. On the 27th the auxiliary party set out on their return with the addition of one man that had got slightly burnt in the feet. We were until the 29th employed repairing the sledges which had become much shattered, and others totally useless were replaced with catamarans. We must otherwise have been delayed here, for until this morning there was not sufficient ice attached to the banks of this part of the river for conducting the sledges.

Former experience led me to expect that the greatest difficulties and most laborious part of our route was now over, but new and more serious obstacles occurred. The ice which covered the surface of the river, from former eruptions was exceedingly treacherous. On the 28th after halting the party for the day, I proceeded half a mile on to a point to observe the state of the ice beyond, when it suddenly lifted several feet attended with a rumbling noise, and the immediate overflowing of the ice near the bank made my return somewhat difficult. On the 31st many of the party with myself fell in, precautionary measures were instantly taken to prevent frostburn, and was put up on the South side of the river, about two miles and a half below the Badger Bay Ponds, and twenty-three from the Indian path.

Mr. Waller and Mr. Peyton with one man were sent forward to a point a mile off to examine its sufficiency for the party to continue on in the morning, they crossed to the other side and Mr. Peyton ascended a tree to obtain a more commanding view; just as they obtained this position the ice appeared in great agitation, and fearful of being totally cut off from us they made a desperate push to recross, the ice now ran rapidly, the pans coalesced and receded with great velocity, leaving them in great jeopardy, but they at length providentially reached the shore.

Towards the evening the river became pent and burst with repeated noise, not unlike the discharge of Artillery; it was with the utmost difficulty we were able in time to get our sledges which had been secured on a bed of Alders, sufficiently into the woods to ensure their safety, as their former position was so quickly overflown that several of the bread packs upon them were unavoidably got wet. There being no immediate prospect of quitting this place, a store was thrown up for the reception of our provisions, ammunition, &c. whilst some of our sledges might undergo repair to enable us to proceed on. The Catamarans were broken to pieces, not being of a construction calculated for the description of travelling we had to contend with, which compelled me most unwillingly to send back a Midshipman and thirteen men, the necessary supplies of provisions, axes, &c. were got in readiness and on the morning of the 2nd of February they proceeded down the banks of the river, two of this party were considerably frost-burnt in the feet, and a third had a severe cut with an axe in the foot. They nevertheless got safe on board on the 6th. Four sledges out of twelve were all that could be put in a condition to proceed on, and lest these should give out, knapsacks were provided for each individual, in order to be able at anytime to abandon them. The frost had been very severe for three days which fastened the river above, where we reached by passing over two necks of burnt woods for three miles. On the 6th after halting for the night, Mr. Peyton with a reconnoitring party observed evident signs of Indian snow-shoes going upwards but were soon lost on hard ice, and although a light fall of snow took place during the night a feint trace was visible next morning. The river was still very feeble, and a quantity of bread got wet by one of the sledges falling in.

On the 7th at noon we got to the north side about four miles below the second overfall, which have nothing but burnt woods on its banks, obliged me in the face of great danger to cross to the south shore to reach a place fit to stop at for the night, to do so we were under the necessity of conveying each package separately about a mile and a half, the ice in many places so fragile as to admit with risk but one at a time to pass: every appearance indicated the probability of its again bursting and /123/ this was soon demonstrated. Mr. Peyton and myself leaving the party to prepare for the night proceeded on to the overfall, where from the deep and wide rents in the ice of great thickness, it appeared that not more than two hours before there must have been a great convulsion, the body of water that occasioned this found vent under, so that the surface was but little overflowed.

On the 8th after crossing this part and cutting a path through the woods, we ascended until reaching the level above the cataract, we again trimmed along the bank, many places having no more ice attached than merely to admit the sledges to pass.

On the spot where I had before found the small storehouse, was now erected a very large one with wall-plates; it was uncovered and appeared to have been left in haste and much disorder; coming opposite we found a raft of thirty feet in length and four and a half broad, this was formed of three logs of dry asp, eighteen inches in diameter, and secured together with much ingenuity. A great quantity of deer skins, some paunches, liver and lights were found concealed in the snow, several wigwams appeared to have been inhabited in the early part of the winter, and one in particular must have had a fireplace in it a few days before. The marks of the sledges were yet distinctly seen, in which they had conveyed the venison, and some of that meat was scattered about some way further on. The Indians having had recourse to rafts, and the hurried manner in which they appeared to have removed their means of subsisting for the winter, strongly marked on my mind the improbability of at this time accomplishing an interview with them, and I could not but lament the unguarded proceedings of one of the officers employed in the Drake's Boats, after the recent and unhappy occurrence that took place at the taking of the Indian female which must have convinced this untutored race that a plan was laid for their destruction, it is not unlikely that they discovered us on our approach to the Badger Bay water; the dread of our intentions no doubt stimulated them and our long detention in that vicinity gave them time for the removal of their stores, and every appearance tended to convince that it must have been effected about that period. I shall here remark that a deposit of provisions was left at the great overfall to cover our retreat from that to the Brig, and at our store two miles below Badger Bay River, everything was left but what was considered essential to carry with us which consisted of nineteen days provisions, the remains of Mary March, and requisite presents to make our visit acceptable in the event of our falling in with the tribe; at the fireplace just below the second overfall, distant from Badger Bay River twelve miles and a half, was also left two days provisions to succour our return to the store just mentioned. Leaving the party to prepare a resting place for the night, Mr. Peyton accompanied me four miles further and returned at dusk. The water oozed over the narrow sheet of ice that had adhered to the bank where the Indians hauled their sledges, from which circumstance all trace of their route was soon lost, it was not however, observed that the bank had in any place been ascended by them. The next morning continuing our journey, encountering many obstructions from the open state of the river, after abandoning one of the four sledges and passing several wigwams, we at length on the 11th reached the great Pond, a distance of twenty-two miles from the second overfall, which we crosssed in a NE. direction for five miles, and at three O'Clock arrived at the former residence of our deceased friend. The frame of two wigwams remained entire, the third had been used as part of the materials in the erection of a cemetery of curious construction where lay the body no doubt of the Indian that had fallen, and with him all his worldly treasure, amongst other things was linen with Mr. Peyton's name on it, everything that had been disturbed was carefully replaced, and this sepulchre again closed up, some additional strengthening had been put to it this fall. The coffin which was conveyed to this spot with so much labour was unpacked and found uninjured, it was neatly made and handsomely covered with red cloth ornamented with copper trimmings and breastplate. The corpse, which was carefully secured and decorated with the many trinkets that had been presented to her, was in a most perfect state, and so little was the /124/ change in the features that imagination would fancy life not yet extinct. A neat tent that was brought for the purpose was pitched in the area of one of the wigwams, and the coffin covered with a brown cloth pall, was suspended six feet from the ground in a manner to prevent its receiving injury from any animals; in her cossack were placed all such articles as belonged to her that could not be contained in the coffin, the presents for the Indians were also deposited within the tent as well as the sledge on which they had been carried, and all properly secured from the weather.

A footing was seen here and considered that of a man; these wigwams were situated on the North-West side four or five miles from the North-Eastern extremity of the pond by which Mr. Peyton formerly entered and nearly opposite to where I found the natives. Not doubting that ere long this place would be visited, and that the steps that had been taken might make some favourable impression I resumed my journey along the North-West side something more than forty-six miles, and nearly in a West direction, when our view became obstructed by the intersection of two points from the opposite shores; here I halted at 2 P.M. on the 14th and despatched Mr. Waller accompanied by Mr. Peyton and a party to reach the extremity of the pond, if possible to do so and regain me by night. In our way to this place several places were observed where the natives had formerly resided and in one instance a temporary wigwam, such as would have been erected by a person on a march, had very lately been occupied, and I was induced to believe that in many spots were to be seen the almost obliterated impression of rackets and moccasins, but so indistinct as to make it extremely doubtful; these led to the eastward. At nightfall the party returned having reached the extremity of the pond which extended about five miles further on in a west and west by North direction, and terminated by a river fifty yards wide which continued in the same course as the pond; a wigwam was observed near its termination where still remained the apparatus for killing deer and preserving the venison and skins which had been used late in the fall. It was remarked that the Southern side of a ridge of elevated mountains on the opposite side to our fireplace, extending in a West North West direction, was clothed in snow whilst those parts facing the North were bare, this indicated our near approach to the sea, but the scarcity of my provisions and still more some of the party being unwell, forbade following my strong desire to ascertain this point, I therefore reluctantly yielded to the necessity of returning and with the rising Sun the following morning began to retrace our steps. At noon on the 16th we reached the head of the river Exploits the only one receiving its water from the great Pond, though several disembogue into it. My intention had been to return by a chain of marshes connected with the Eastern end of the pond and leading to the river halfway between its head and the first overfall; but increasing indisposition of several of the party amongst whom was Mr. Peyton, lame in one foot, and being left with only two days provisions rendered it expedient to lose no time in falling back on our deposits, we accordingly retreated down the river and slept on the 17th at our former fireplace opposite the Indians store, where we discovered a second raft similar to that before mentioned, which had escaped observation in going up from being covered with snow. A trap belonging to Mr. Peyton found here was with some arrows suspended to a pole, and a red flag left displayed to attract notice. This was done at several places, and an Union Jack was shown at the tent that contained the coffin. On the 18th after winding along the banks and taking to the woods occasionally below the waterfall, we were enabled to cross to the South side some distance beyond our deposit, for the river had opened where it was formerly pent. A party was despatched to bring down the provisions, whilst the rest halted to take refreshments, and on their return we again proceeded, and by the 19th reached the store, where commenced preparations for extending the journey along the Badger Bay waters. The following day Mr. Stanly midshipman with 13 men including all those that were indisposed was directed to proceed down to the brig by easy stages. Mr. Peyton's feet had got so much better that he made one of my party on our new route which we began on the 21st, entered upon the Badger /125/ Bay waters at 10 A.M. and soon discovered the track of a racket and sledge, but unfortunately could not trace it to any distance; we passed several uninhabited wigwams and a quiver that had lately been placed on the stump of a tree. We continued to follow up a succession of ponds laying generally in a ENE. direction, passed cutting of trees and other Indian marks; but none that appeared to be very recent until entering the fifth pond, where we found a tree upon a projecting point just above a cataract, about forty feet in height, the bark of which was stripped off leaving only a small tuft on the top and from that downwards were painted alternate circles of red and white, resembling wide hoops. There was also a temporary wigwam, and the whole had the appearance of a place of observation. Having penetrated four miles into the seventh pond and twenty-four miles from our first entrance into these waters we crossed a ridge and took to a chain of marshes and woods and on the evening of the 25th reached a furrier's tilt of Mr. Peyton situatead on the New Bay Great Pond distant from the seventh pond before mentioned twenty miles ESE. nearly one day's march from Peter's Arm.

Desirous of gaining all information possible connected with the natives, on the morning of the 26th having previously seen Mr. Waller with the rest of the party on his way to the Brig, I proceeded with Mr. Peyton and two men only towards New Bay, and following the run of a river connected with ponds and marshes, &c. making nearly a NE. course for twelve miles we reached at midnight Mr. Rousells house in the SW. Arm of New Bay, but not finding him at home we hastened our departure on Sunday morning the 27th for the ship, as rain and a rapid thaw had now set in. After five miles of very heavy travelling we reached Mr. Skinner's South Arm, New Bay, and remained there until Monday, when, after crossing ridges, woods and marshes we came out on the Exploits opposite to Mr. Peyton's establishment at Lower Sandy Point, five miles below Peter's Arm, and arrived on board the next morning after an absence of forty days. Found that Mr. Waller and his party had reached the Brig on the day he left me; Mr. Stanly from the weak state of his men that were with him did not arrive until the following day. Circumstances had obliged him to leave behind most of the stores. I trust, notwithstanding the haste with which this narrative is drawn up that the occurrences are set forth sufficiently clear to enable Your Excellency to appreciate the infinite labour and difficulty attending this journey and that nothing has been omitted within my power for the attainment of the desirable object of my mission, this plain detail will enable Your Excellency to determine if it still be an object to keep me employed longer on this service. In order to be perfectly ready for its continuance, I have two gigs finished, and two more will be in readiness ere the ice enables me to move.

It is impossible for me to hold out success when so much depends on fortuitous circumstances but I will venture to say that it is my opinion that there would be a great probability of it by following up the operations without intermission until the last of August, for I cannot but indulge a hope that the appearance of amity which we have left behind must manifestly tend to convince them of our friendly intentions in opposition to the unhappy event in the one case, and the unwarrantable conduct of Mr. Trivick in the other. I therefore under these considerations shall continue to prosecute this enterprise until I receive your further instructions for my guidance, and to this end a party of fifteen in a few days will proceed agreeable to the enclosed order. I could have wished to go myself, but feel at present unequal to such an undertaking, and my presence on board becomes necessary for future arrangements. I am happy to report that an expedition where so much was necessarily hazardous that no individual of the party has received any material injury, and those that were indisposed are now recovered or in a state of convalescence. On the discharge of the nine men that were entered after my arrival here, for the winter only, the compliment of the Brig will remain nine seamen, one boy, and four marines short, this includes the three deserters on board the Sir Francis Drake; it would be desirable on a continuance of this service to be complete. The provisions to the /126/ end of July are complete in all species, and the enclosed will shew what is wanted to make them so to the end of August.

I have the honour to &c.,

(signed) D. BUCHAN,




28th May, 1820.


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 26th inst. this day, requiring me to state what took place when I fell in with a party of Native Indians in Badger Bay, near New Bay, and the orders I received from Capt. Glascock on that occasion.

In reply I beg to state that on the 30th June last in pulling round a small point in Badger Bay I observed three Indians in a canoe about 150 yards distance, and 50 from the shore. I immediately made towards them endeavouring to make them understand that we wished to communicate with them, but they shewed no disposition to listen to us, were evidently getting away, and might if they got ashore easily escape into the woods, where it would be fruitless to follow them; under these circumstances I thought the only means left me to come up with them, was by firing a musket and thus throwing them into confusion, which it partially effected, but being by this time near the shore they unfortunately escaped as I anticipated.

I beg further to state that the almost certain hope of being able to intercept them before they got on shore, together with my anxiety and the utter impossibility of tracing them through the woods, could possibly have induced me so far to deviate from Capt. Glascock's orders not to fire.

We went into the woods after them, but found it in vain to pursue them; we left some presents in the wigwams near where the Indians landed, and afterwards pulled to some distance from this place and concealed ourselves in hopes of their returning but next morning when we went back we found everything in the state we left it; we came two days after and found they had returned and canoes, presents, &c., all taken away.

I have the honour to be,

Sir, with the greatest respect,

Your most obedient servant,

(signed) JNO. TRIVICK,(33)


H. M. Sloop Drake.


Sir Charles Hamilton, Bart.

/127/ Colonial Office. Newfoundland. Out Letters. Vol. 2.


9th October, 1820.

Governor C. Hamilton,


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 20th June last, transmitting Captain Buchan's detailed accounts of his journey in search of the Native Indians in the early part of the present year; and to acquaint you that the conduct of Capt. Buchan affords an additional instance of the zeal and judgment of that Officer in situations of no inconsiderable difficulty and delicacy, and although he has not succeeded in the actual object which he had in view, yet his failure is in no degree to be attributed to other than accidental causes.

I have, &c.,


Further characteristics of Mary March (Waunathoake).

The following particulars of Mary March were obtained from Revd. Mr. Leigh, with whom she stayed, by Sir Hercules Robinson, Commander on H.M.S. Favourite on the Newfoundland station.

Sir Hercules' paper was written on board his ship at sea and is dated November 7th 1820. He says he is writing from memory of several conversations he held with Mr. Leigh at Harbour Grace some weeks previously. He regrets he did not immediately note them down before many interesting facts had escaped his memory. He does not say whether he himself ever saw the Indian woman, but it is not probable he did, as she died on board Buchan's ship the Grasshopper at the mouth of the Exploits, on Jan. 8th 1820, and it is not likely Sir Hercules was then or previously in the country.

The first part of his paper is merely a reiteration of what has already been given relative to the relations subsisting between the Micmac's and the Beothucks, and the latter and the Whites (fishermen). Coming down to the actual capture of Mary March, and the shooting of her husband, the author goes on to state. "The anguish and horror which were visible in her intelligent countenance, appeared to give place to fear, -- and she went to the murderer of her husband clung to his arm as if for protection, and strange to say a most devoted attachment appeared from that moment to have been produced towards him, which only ended with her life. -- To him alone she was all gentleness, affection and obedience, and the last act of her "brief eventful history" was to take a ring from her finger and beg it might be sent to him.

The tribe were in the neighbourhood of this disastrous meeting and it was necessary that the party should secure their retreat, they had a sleigh drawn by dogs in which Mary March, as she was afterwards named, and as we may now call her, immediately placed herself, when she understood she was to accompany the party, and directed them by signs to cover her over, holding her legs out to have her moccasins laced, and both here and subsequently, by her helplessness, by the attention she appeared habitually, to expect at the hands of others, and by her unacquaintance with any laborious employment, she indicated either a superiority of station, or that she was accustomed to a treatment of female savages very different from that of all other tribes. She was quite unlike an Esquimau in face and figure, tall and rather stout body, limbs very small and delicate, particularly her arms. Her hands and feet were very small and beautifully formed, and of these she was very proud, her complexion a light copper colour, became nearly as fair as an European's after a course of washing and absence from smoke, her hair was black, /128/ which she delighted to comb and oil, her eyes larger and more intelligent than those of an Esquimau, her teeth small, white and regular, her cheek bones rather high, but her countenance had a mild and pleasing expression. Her miniature taken by Lady Hamilton, is said to be strikingly like her; her voice was remarkably sweet low and musical. When brought to Fogo, she was taken into the house of Mr. Leigh, the missionary, where for some time she was ill at ease, and twice during the night attempted to escape to the woods, where she must have immediately perished in the snow. She was however carefully watched, and in a few weeks was tolerably reconciled to her situation and appeared to enjoy the comforts of civilization, particularly the clothes, -- her own were of dressed deer-skins tastefully trimmed with martin, but she would never put them on, or part with them. She ate sparingly, disliked wine or spirits, was very fond of sleep, never getting up to breakfast before 9 O'Clock. She lay rolled up in a ball in the middle of the bed. Her extreme personal delicacy and propriety were very remarkable and appeared more an innate feeling than any exhibition of "tact" or conventional trick. Her power of mimicery was very remarkable and enabled her quickly to speak the language she heard, and before she could express herself, her signs and dumb Crambo were curiously significant. She described the servants, black-smiths, Taylor, shoemaker, a man who wore spectacles, and other persons whom she could not name, with a most happy minuteness of imitation; it is a beautiful provision that savages and children who have much to learn, should be such good mimics, as without the faculty they could learn nothing, and we observe it usually leaves them when they no longer want its assistance. To this we should often ascribe family resemblances which we think are inherited, but to return to Mary March. She would sometimes though rarely speak fully to Mr. Leigh, and talk of her tribe, they believed in a Great Spirit but seem to have no religious ceremonies -- Polygamy does not appear to be practised. Mr. Leigh is of opinion there are about 300 in number. I forget the data from which he calculated. They live in separate wigwams. Mary's consisted of 16 -- the number was discovered in a rather curious manner. She went frequently to her bed room during the day, and when Mr. Leigh's housekeeper went up she always found her rolled in a ball apparently asleep, at last a quantity of blue cloth was missed, and from the great jealousy that Mary shewed about her trunk suspicion fell upon her, her trunk was searched and the cloth found nicely converted into 16 pairs of moccasins, which she had made in her bed, two pairs of children's stockings were also found, made of a cotton night-cap, Mr. Leigh had lost one, but Mary answered angrily about her merchandize. "John Peyton, John Peyton," meaning that he had given it to her, at last in the bottom of the trunk the tassell of the cap and the bit marked "J. L." were found, when looking steadfastly at Mr. Leigh she pointed to her manufacture said slowly -- "Yours" and ran into the woods. When brought back she was very sulky and remained so for several weeks. The poor captive had two children and this was probably the tie that held her to her wigwam, for though she appeared to enjoy St. John's when she was taken there and her improved habits of life -- She only "dragged a lengthened chain" and all her hopes and acts appeared to have a reference to her return. She hoarded clothes, trinkets and anything that was given her and was fond of dividing them into 16 shares. She was very obstinate but was glad to be of any service in her power, if not asked to assist, she was playful, and was pleased with startling Mr. Leigh by stealing behind softly, her perception of anything ridiculous and her general knowledge of character showed much archness and sagacity. An unmarried man seemed an object of great ridicule to her, when she was taken into St. John's on entering the harbour, she said to Messrs. Leigh and Peyton, "You go shore, John Peyton, when go shore no Emamoose,"(34) ha ha. She was quite indifferent to music, did not seem to perceive it, liked exhibiting herself to strangers, and was very fond of putting on and taking off all the dresses, ribbons and ornaments that were given her.

Mr. Leigh once drew on a bit of paper, a boat and crew, with a female figure /129/ in it going up a river and stopping a moment at a wigwam, described the boat freighted as before returning -- Mary immediately applied the hieroglyphic, and cried out -- "no, no, no, no." She then altered the drawing taking the woman out and leaving her behind at the wigwam, when she cried very joyfully "Yes, Yes good for Mary." A variety of representations more obscure than this she perceived with great quickness and had much satisfaction in the mode of communication. She remained a short time at St. John's, and acquired such facility in speaking English that sanguine hopes of conciliating, and opening a communication with the tribe through her means were entertained and when Sir Charles Hamilton despatched Captain Buchan to the Exploits to make the attempt it was hoped for this poor devoted handful of Indians that the measure of their sufferings was full, and that they were at last to be brought within the influence and blessings of Christianity and civilization. It was ordered otherwise, the change of dress, or change of living or whatever it may be that operates so fatally on savages separated from their native habits, spared not poor Mary. She left St. John's with a bad cough and died of consumption on nearing the Exploits, aged 24 -- Capt. Buchan after a laborious journey reached the wigwams -- but found them empty; and deposited there the coffin of Mary with her presents, dresses, moccasins, &c. The experiment I think was hazardous, the Indians on returning may perceive the truth, or they may fancy poison, insult, or any barbarities practised on their forefathers, which they carefully and immemorially record.

I have written these notes, from recollection of conversations with Mr. Leigh at Harbour Grace several weeks ago, and I regret that I neglected to note them before many interesting particulars had escaped my memory.


His Majesty's Ship "Favourite"

at sea, November 7th 1820.

The author then gives a vocabulary of the Beothuck language, obtained by Mr. Leigh from Mary March, during her stay with the latter. As this is fully dealt with in one of Prof. Gatschet's papers I need not give it here. I might observe, however, that any vocabulary obtained from this woman can scarcely fail to be defective. She could not in so short a time have acquired so perfect a knowledge of English as to make herself clearly understood, whilst her interlocutors could not have so fully mastered the phonetics of her own language as to be able to render the sounds correctly. As much of the interpretation also had to be conducted by signs, it is but reasonable to suppose misunderstandings must have occurred between the parties, as to what was really meant at times.

In 1822, Mr. William E. Cormack, a philanthropic gentleman, who had conceived an intense desire to communicate with the Red Indians and endeavour to ameliorate their hapless condition, undertook a journey on foot across the interior of the Island, accompanied only by one Micmac Indian. He failed in finding any trace of them, but his daring undertaking and the intensely interesting character of his journal of the trip across country, in its then, utterly unknown condition, warrants me in giving it a place here.

October 30th. -- Rain, snow, and wind, in the early part of the day compelled us to stop and encamp. We shot a hare, the first we had killed; it was white, except the tips of the ears and tip of the tail, which always remain black. The hare of Newfoundland is the Arctic hare, Lepus arcticus. It sometimes weighs fourteen pounds and upwards. There is no other kind in the Island. The grouse, during severe snow storms at night, allow the snow to drift over them, and thus covered, obtain shelter. While in this situation a silver thaw sometimes comes on, and the incrustation on the surface becomes too thick for them to break through in the morning, and immense numbers of them perish by being in that manner enclosed. When we were crossing a lake on the ice my Indian fell through and with great exertion saved himself. While he was struggling my new friend Gabriel stood still and laughed; Joe did not look for assistance, nor did the other evince the least disposition to render any, although he was, compared with my position on the lake, near to him. Upon my remonstrating with Gabriel about his manifesting a want of feeling towards Joe, when perishing, Joe himself replied to me, "Master, it is all right; Indian rather die than live owing his life to another." The other had acted in sympathy with the self-dependent sentiment.

October 31st. -- We travelled over hills and across lakes about twenty miles, fording in that space two rivers running north-easterly, and which are the main source branches of the river Exploits. This large river has therefore a course of upwards of two hundred miles in one direction, taking its rise in the south-west angle of the Island, and discharging at the north-east part. The Indians are all excellent shots, and the two men now with me displayed admirable skill in killing the deer at great distances and at full speed, with single ball. Nearly a foot of snow had recently fallen, which cast a monotonous sublimity over the whole country, and in a great measure concealed the characteristics of the vegetable as well as the mineral kingdoms. /158/ We encamped at night at the southern extremity of what is said by my Indians to be the most southern lake of the interior frequented by the Red Indians, and through which was the main source branch of the River Exploits. At the same lake, the Micmacs and the Indians friendly with them commence and terminate their water excursions from and to the west coast. They here construct their first skin canoes upon entering the interior, or leave their old ones upon setting off on foot for the sea coast. The distance to St. George's Harbour is twenty-five miles or upwards, which part of the journey must be performed on foot, because no waters of any magnitude intervene. I named the lake in honour of His Majesty George the IV.

November 1st. -- For nearly twenty miles to the westward of George the Fourth's lake, the country is very bare, there being scarcely a thicket of wood. During this day we forded two rapid rivulets running south-west to St. George's Bay. Deer had hitherto passed us in innumerable straggling herds. But westward of George the Fourth's lake, and particularly as we neared the coast, very few were to be seen. While ascending a mountain, I felt myself suddenly overcome with a kind of delirium, arising I supposed from exhaustion and excessive exertion, but fancied myself stronger than ever I was in my life. It is probable, under that influence, that if the Indian who last joined had not been present, I would have had a rencontre with my other Indian.


The West Coast.

In the evening (1st November) about eighteen miles west of George the Fourth's lake, from the summit of a snowy ridge which defines the west coast, we were rejoiced to get a view of the expansive ocean and St. George's Harbour. Had this prospect burst upon us in the same manner a month earlier, it would have created in my mind a thousand pleasures, the impression of which I was now too callous to receive; all was now however accomplished, and I hailed the glance of the sea as home, and as the parent of everything dear. There was scarcely any snow to be seen within several miles of the sea coast, while the mountain range upon which we stood, and the interior in the rear, were covered. This range may be about two thousand feet above the level of the sea, and the snow-capped mountains in the north-east are higher. The descent was now very precipitous and craggy. A rapid river called Flat Bay River, across which we were to ford, or if swollen, to pass over upon a raft, flowed at the foot of the ridge. It threatened rain, and sun was setting; but the sight of the sea urged us onward. By sliding down rill courses, and traversing the steeps, we found ourselves with whole bones, but many bruises, at the bottom, by one o'clock the following morning. We then, by means of carrying a large stone each on our backs in order to press our feet against the bottom, and steadying ourselves by placing one end of a pole, as with a staff or walking-stick, firmly upon the bottom of the lawn or lee side, to prevent the current from sweeping us away, step after step, succeeded in fording the river, and encamped by a good fire, but supperless, in the forest on the banks of the river.

November 2nd. -- Upon the immediate banks of Flat Bay River, there is some good birch, pine, and spruce timber. The soil and shelter are even so good here that the ground spruce (Taxus Canadensis)(44) bearing its red berries, constitutes the chief underwood, as in the forests of Canada and Nova Scotia. In the afternoon we reached St. George's Harbour. The first houses we reached, two in number, close to the shore, belonged to Indians. They were nailed up, the owners not having yet returned from the interior after their fall's hunting. The houses of the European residents lay on the west side of the harbour, which is here about a mile wide, and near the entrance; but a westerly gale of wind prevented any intercourse across. /159/ Having had no food for nearly two days, we ventured to break open the door of one of the houses, -- the captain or chief's as we understood from my last Indian, and found what we wanted -- provisions and cooking utensils. The winter stock of provisions of this provident man named Emanuel Gontgont, the whole having been provided at the proper seasons, consisted of six barrels of pickled fish, of different kinds, viz.: young halibuts and eels, besides dried cod fish, seal oil in bladders, and two barrels of maize or Indian corn flour.

November 3rd. -- We were still storm-stayed in the Indian house, in the midst of plenty. It seemed remarkable that the provisions were entirely free from the ravages of rats and other vermin, although left without any precaution to guard against such. There was a potato and turnip field close to the house, with the crops still in the ground, of which we availed ourselves, although now partly injured by frost.

November 4th. -- A party of Indians arrived from the interior, male and female, each carrying a load of furs. Our landlord was amongst them. Instead of appearing to notice with displeasure his door broken open and house occupied by strangers, he merely said, upon looking round and my offering an explanation, "Suppose me here, you take all these things."

We crossed the harbour, and were received by the residents -- Jersey and English, and their descendants -- with open arms. All European and other vessels had left this coast a month before, so that there was no chance of my obtaining a passage to St. John's, or to another country. There were too many risks attending the sending to sea any of the vessels here at this season, although I offered a considerable sum to the owners of any of them that would convey me to Fortune Bay on the south coast, from whence I might obtain a passage to Europe by some of the ships that had probably not yet sailed from the mercantile establishments there.

After a few days I parted with my Indians -- the one, who had with painful constancy accompanied me across the Island, joining his countrymen here to spend the winter with them, and return to his friends at the Bay of Despair in the following spring; the other, having renewed his stock of ammunition and other outfits, returned to his family which we had left in the interior. Having now crossed the Island, I cannot help thinking that my success was in part owing to the smallness of my party. Many together could not so easily have sustained themselves; they would have multiplied the chances of casualties, and thereby of the requisition of the attendance, and detention of the able. It is difficult to give an idea of, or to form an estimate equivalent to, the road-distance gone over. The toil and deprivations were such that hired men, or followers of any class, would not have endured them. At St. George's Bay, as at all other parts of Newfoundland except the towns, the country is nearly as destitute of paths and roads as at the time of the discovery of the Island; the intercourse between the settlements, being by water, during bad weather is entirely suspended. I remained at St. George's Bay Harbour under the hospitable roof of Mr. Philip Messervey, the principal inhabitant, to rest and recover from the fatigues and deprivations of my journey, and from a hurt received while descending the mountains to the coast. At St. George's Harbour there are about twenty families, amounting to one hundred souls, most of the parents natives of England and Jersey. Their chief occupation is salmon fishing and furring; a little cod fish is also cured. They catch annually three or four hundred barrels of salmon, according to the success of the fishery, and procure fur, including what is obtained from the Indians by barter, to the value of nearly four hundred pounds. They possess four schooners, three of them being built by themselves and one by the Indians, in which most of the male inhabitants make one voyage annually, either to Halifax, Nova Scotia, or to St. John's, Newfoundland, to dispose of their fish and fur. Some of them barter their produce with trading vessels from Canada and New Brunswick, or with the vessels of any other country that may come to the coast, receiving provisions and West Indian /160/ produce. They all cultivate potatoes, and some keep a few cows. The harbour is six or seven miles in length. On the east side the soil is good; red, white, and blue clays are found here. Along the banks of the several rivers which flow into the harbour, are strips of good land; some good pine spars and birch timber fit for shipbuilding are also to be found there. The young black birch,(45) as far as my observation went, is called here the "witch hazel." St. George's Harbour, although barred, may be entered by vessels of any burthen. There is no other ship harbour between Cape Ray and Port au Port; but there is good anchorage in the roadstead between Cod Roy Island and the main Island near Cape Anguille. None of the other harbours can be entered even by small craft when the wind blows strong westwardly. The trade and pursuits of the inhabitants of the other parts of St. George's Bay, and, it may be observed, of all the other parts of the French Shore, are very similar to those of the other parts of St. George's Harbour. To the southward, at what is called here the Barasways, are seven or eight families, amounting to nearly sixty souls, who catch annually from 150 to 200 barrels of salmon, and obtain fur to the value of one hundred pounds. They have one schooner which carries most of their produce to St. John's, Newfoundland, or to Halifax, Nova Scotia; they bartering a part with trading vessels at Cod Roy. At the Great and Little Cod Roy rivers, towards the southern extremity of St. George's Bay, there are twelve or fourteen families, amounting to seventy or eighty souls, who catch annually four or five cwts. of cod fish, about fifty barrels of salmon, and obtain a little fur. The salmon fishery of St. George's Bay, under which head are included, with few exceptions, all the able men, are in summer divided into about thirty fishing crews of two or three men each, with boats and nets, and occupy the salmon fishery at the shores and rivers all over the bay. At the Bay of Islands, north of St. George's Bay, there are six -- and at Bonne Bay, still further north, there are several families; north of that, on the west coast, there are no inhabitants. At the north-east part of the French Shore, between Quirpon Island and Cape John, there are a few stray settlers, whose value cannot be reckoned upon, further than that their occupations are in aid of the French fisheries. Taking an aggregate view of the French Shore, there are resident upon it upwards of fifty British families, consisting of about three hundred souls, who catch annually nearly seven hundred barrels of salmon; fur, to the value of six hundred pounds; cod fish and herrings, four hundred pounds; making, together with the shipping built, the total value of the exports of the British residents on the French Shore, 2400 or 2500 pounds. The usual mode of paying servants on the west coast is, allowing them one-third of the fruits of their industry, salmon, fur, or otherwise, the employer providing diet. The principle is well worthy of imitation on the east coast. St. George's Harbour, locally called Flat Bay, as well as the estuaries of all the rivers on the west coast, is famous for abundance of eels. The Indians take them in great quantities by spearing in the mud, and pickle them for winter use. If there was a market, they might be, as indeed they have been to a limited extent, exported. The French Shore of Newfoundland is one of the most valuable in the globe for fisheries. At this day it is nearly in a primitive state, although in summer occupied by hundreds of French ships, which send forth their thousands of batteaux and men brought from France, all eager in the pursuit of the cod fishery. Mackerel might be taken at St. George's Bay in any quantity in the fall of the year only, but none are caught now.

This fishery, were it pursued, would succeed that of the salmon in the order of season, and the process of curing is similar. Herrings might likewise be caught to supply and suit any demand and market, as they are of all sizes. Whale and seal also abound in their respective seasons, but none are killed. The British residents on the French Shore feel very insecure in the enjoyment of their Salmon fishery and in any extension of their property, by reason of the peculiar tenure in regard to the French. A satisfactory solution of the mystery as to their rights has not yet /161/ been communicated to them, although they have made repeated applications at head quarters at St. John's. But the French are at present friendly disposed to them, although their rights are treated as a mere sufferance. There is here neither clergyman, school-master, church nor chapel. Yet during my short stay, there was one wedding (an Indian couple, Roman Catholics, married by a Protestant resident, reading the Church of England service from a French translation) and four christenings, celebrated by the same person, with feasts and rejoicings suitable to such events.

November 16th. -- Being now much recovered by the various attentions at St. George's Harbour, during my stay of ten days, I set out on foot to the southward along the sea shore, accompanied by two of the young Jersey residents, in hopes, by walking and boating, to reach Fortune Bay, a distance of upwards of two hundred miles, before all the vessels for the season had sailed for Europe. We slept, as intended, in a deserted salmon fisher's hut on the shore, being unable to reach any habitation.

November 17th. -- We forded the mouths of several minor streams, and that of the north of third Barasway river, it having no harbour at its estuary. In the evening reached the second Barasway river, a distance of twenty-four miles from St. George's Harbour, and where reside the nearest inhabitants. Our walk all the way was on a sandy rock beach at the bottom of cliffs washed by the sea. The cliffs are formed chiefly of red sand-stone, red ochre, blue clay, and gypsum, sixty or seventy feet and upwards in height, with a deep bed of red alluvial earth everywhere superimposed. The gypsum is of the compact kind, with hard nodules throughout; the beds extend into the sea, in which stand water-worn projections, sometimes of grotesque forms. A few miles north of the Barasway river there is a vertical stratum of a dark green-coloured rock resembling verde antique, running through the gypsum deposit, owing to the great hardness and durability of which its entering resembles a wall running into the sea. Gypsum also abounds inland, at the Rattling Brook, Flat Bay River, &c.

In the immediate vicinity of the Barasway rivers, as well as elsewhere in St. George's Bay, there are both sulphurous and saline springs. One of the former, strongly saturated, occurs near the sea shore about a mile north of the second Barasway river; another is said to exist about seven miles from the sea up the Rattling Brook, which runs into the sea, a short distance north of the second Barasway river. Of the saline springs, one is situated about two miles up the second Barasway, another up the Rattling Brook, and a third is said to be on the neck of land at Port au Port, westward of Fall Mount. Coal of excellent quality lies exposed in strata in the bed and banks of a rivulet between the first and second Barasway rivers, about seven and nine miles from its mouth. The harbour at the mouth of the second Barasway river, as well as that of the first, is barred, having only eight or nine feet of water on the bars at high tides. The vicinity of the Barasway rivers, as of all the river courses in Newfoundland, is an interesting and untrodden field for the geologist, and for the naturalist generally. The inhabitants at the Barasway rivers were now in their winter houses under the shelter of the woods, having recently left their summer residences at the shore. Like the people at St. George's Harbour, they are industrious and frugal; the extent of their salmon fishery and furring has been already noticed. The following animals are entrapped and shot here for their furs: -- Martens, foxes, otters, beavers, musk rats, bears, wolves, and hares. Although ermines are numerous, the inhabitants do not preserve their skins, because they are small, their value not being known. Some of the residents have well-stocked farms, the soil being good. Oats, barley, potatoes, hay, &c., are produced in perfection, and even wheat. As evidence of the capabilities of portions of Newfoundland for agricultural purposes, notice must be taken of the farm of my hostess, Mrs. Hulan, at the second Barasway river. The stock on it consisted of six milch cows, besides other cattle; the dairy could not be surpassed in neatness and /162/ cleanliness, and the butter and cheese were excellent; the butter made, exclusive of what was kept for her comparatively numerous domestic establishment, was sold, part to the residents at other places in the bay, and part to trading vessels that come to the coast in summer. The cellar was full of potatoes and other vegetables for winter use. She was also an experimental farmer, and exhibited eight different kinds of potatoes, all possessing different qualities to recommend them. Of domestic poultry there was an ample stock. Mrs. Hulan, although not a native, had lived in St. George's Bay upwards of sixty years, and remembers the celebrated navigator, Cook, when he surveyed the coast. She is indefatigably industrious and useful, and immediately or remotely related to, or connected with, the whole population of the bay, over whom she commands a remarkable degree of maternal influence and respect. The coast southward from hence to Cod Roy, a distance of upwards of thirty miles, and where the nearest inhabitants in that direction were, was too rugged and bold to admit of our walking along the shore. The inhabitants there, or at St. George's Harbour, were ready to exert themselves to get me forward. A forced march, which might occupy ten days, over a snow-covered mountainous country in the rear of the coast, had few attractions just now, and on

November 19th, the weather proving favourable, two young men of Mrs. Hulan's establishment launched forth with me in a small skiff to row and sail close along the shore, as wind and weather might permit. My kind hostess, aware of the probable detention we might meet, provisioned the little bark for two days.

November 20th, 21st, and 22nd. -- While passing in a boat, the formation only of the coast could be viewed, not examined. Between the south Barasway river and Cod Roy the coast is a continued range of cliffs, along which there is neither harbour nor shelter of any kind for even a boat. A light skiff or punt is therefore the safest mode of conveyance along this horrific coast in the inclement season of the year; for here and there between the cliffs there is a spot of beach with a ravine well known to the inhabitants, at which, although far apart in the event of being overtaken by bad weather, a skiff can run ashore, and the crew at the same instant jumping out, haul her up beyond the reach of the surf. This we were forced to do several times, and to clamber to the top of the cliffs until the weather moderated. The cliffs to within three miles north of Cape Anguille are formed chiefly of old, red, and variegated sandstone and sandstone of the coal formation. Then, at a narrow opening called Snake's Bight, another formation succeeds, and from thence southward to Cape Anguille the coast is principally formed of dark bluish stratified rocks, with an inclination of about thirty degrees. Beds of a narrow strata of a red rock, presenting a series of stripes to the sea, alternate. This latter portion of the coast has many irregularities and shiftings in the strata, and single vertical strata of a reddish brown rock, seemingly trap or green-stone, pervade it in different directions, sometimes presenting an extensive smooth mural front to the sea.

November 23rd. -- We doubled Cape Anguille and reached Cod Roy. Cape Anguille seems to be formed of quartz rock in front and granite in the rear, it being a projection of the granitic ridge that defines the west coast. Cod Roy -- and here there is an island of the same name -- is close to Cape Anguille on the south. The inhabitants, as at the Barasway rivers, were in their winter houses in the woods, and their boats laid up for the winter. I, however, soon obtained a volunteer in the principal resident, named Parsons, to convey me as soon as the weather would permit in his skiff round Cape Ray, and to the next place where a boat could be procured. Owing to the shelter and anchorage for shipping at Cod Roy, as already noticed, and to its immediate proximity to the fine fishing grounds about Cape Ray, it is the central point of the French fisheries in summer. Many square rigged vessels are here loaded with dried cod fish for France; and hundreds of batteaux brought from France in the fishing ships scatter from hence in all directions over the fishing grounds. There are here five resident families. Gypsum abounds at Cod Roy.

/163/ November 28th. -- Having awaited at Cod Roy five days in vain for an abatement of the strong north-west wind to permit of our putting to sea in a skiff, I set out with Parsons on foot to the southward by the sea shore. Great Cod Roy River is about six miles south of Cod Roy Island. We crossed the gut or entrance between the sea and the expansive shallow estuary of this river in a boat of one of the residents. The entrance is barred with sand, and has only about six feet of water. There reside here five families with their servants, amounting to twenty-eight souls. They catch about forty barrels of salmon annually, which, with herring, and a trifling cod fishery, are their chief means of subsistence. Coal is found on the south bank of Great Cod Roy River, six or seven miles from the sea. The land between Cod Roy and where the coal occurs is low and flat; so that in the event of the coal being raised, it could be conveyed by means of a railroad from the mines to the shipping. There were at this time ten Indian families encamped for the winter on the banks of Great Cod Roy River, about ten miles from its mouth. The chief attraction for the Indian here is the abundance of eels and trout. Little Cod Roy River is about six miles south of that of Great Cod Roy, and has also a gut at its estuary, which we in like manner crossed in a boat. Its entrance is likewise barred, and has only three feet of water; but forms, like Great Cod Roy River, an expansive harbour inside. There are here two resident families only, amounting to, with servants, seventeen souls. They exist by furring, and a small cod fishery, the quantity of salmon caught being very trifling. Both the Great and Little Cod Roy Rivers have their friths protected from the sea by sand hills or downs. The residents of Cod Roy and at these rivers, with the exception of Parsons, and one or two others recently settled there for the sake of the cod fishery, are extremely indolent and ignorant, differing in these respects from the rest of the inhabitants of St. George's Bay. The extent of their salmon and cod fisheries, and of their furring, was noticed when speaking of the occupation collectively of the inhabitants of St. George's Bay. The coast between Cod Roy and Great Cod Roy River is formed chiefly of mural cliffs of horizontally stratified sand-stone of the coal formation, with alternations of red earth, blue clay, and gypsum. From Cod Roy River to Cape Ray it presents downs to the sea. The downs near the sea shore are raised into hillocks, and in the rear they are level. In the vicinity of Cod Roy there are also downs, and here are numerous funnel-shaped hollows, some of them twenty yards wide across the mouth and many yards deep. Most of the hollows are dry; they are caused, as it is known to geologists, by fresh water springs dissolving the beds of rock salt and gypsum underneath, and by the earth, sand, and other superimposed substances thus falling in.(46) They sometimes assume the shape of an inverted funnel, having a small aperture only at the surface, and a hole below. Cattle have fallen into the latter description and been lost. The sand composing the downs is of a yellow white colour, with minute shells of various kinds and minute radiated brown pyrites abundantly intermixed. They produce only sand-hill grass, Carex arenaria, and the sea pea or vetch, Pisum maritimum.

The soil in St. George's Bay is the best, and at the same time forms the most extensive tract of good soil any where on the coast of Newfoundland. It is a low flat strip nearly the whole length of the Bay, lying between the sea shore and the mountains in the rear, interrupted only by Cape Anguille, which juts into the sea. It seldom exceeds two miles in breadth except at the rivers, and there it extends many miles up the country along the banks. The granite mountains behind appear generally clad with firs, except along the summits, which are bare. Iron pyrites of various forms occur in abundance on the west coast, particularly at Port au Port and that neighbourhood. They are generally of the radiated and kidney-shaped structure, encrusted with a white earthy substance. Some of them weigh several pounds, and many of them have garnets embedded. Pure hornblende rock in large masses, some four or five feet in diameter, is met with at the Cod Roy Rivers; coal is /164/ reported to exist at other places on this coast, besides being at the Barasway and Cod Roy Rivers. The Indians say it lies exposed in such abundance on the surface of the earth near the mouth of a brook on the west side of Port au Port that they have made fires of it on the spot; and this is an excellent harbour for shipping. Verde antique, of a dark green colour, spotted or mottled with white, is found at the north of Port au Port on the bed of what is called the Coal river, a few miles from the sea, and brought down in pieces by the Indians for the manufacture of tobacco pipes. The natural productions of the west coast, viewed in relation to the neighbouring countries are well deserving the attention of Canada in particular. Coal and the other valuable minerals are here in abundance, and may be considered at the very threshold of that country by means of steam navigation, to the extension and support of which that material so directly contributes. Iron is probably to be found in more profitable forms than pyrites. By means of steamships, the countries bounding on the Gulf and River St. Lawrence could defy foreign aggression and command an extension of commerce.

November 29th. -- Cape Ray. -- Having slept the previous night in the winter house of one of the families at Little Cod Roy river, we to-day walked round Cape Ray, here leaving the French Shore and entering upon American Newfoundland, or that division of the coast on which the Americans have a right of fishing and of drying their fish. On the shore north of Cape Ray lay several wrecks of ships and their cargoes of timber. Cape Ray is a low point formed of dusky coloured trap rock, intersected in some places with vertical strata of green trap, running in an east and west direction. The coal formation of St. George's Bay adjoins. On the very Cape there resides during summer a person of the name of Wm. Windsor, with his family. We found him in his winter hut in a spruce wood two or three miles to the eastward of the Cape. The most perfect contentment, cheerfulness, poverty, and hospitality were the characteristics of the monarch of Cape Ray. His resources, through the means of fishing, enabled him to procure a sufficiency of coarse biscuit, molasses, and tea, by which, together with fowling, he supported his family. He wore no covering on his head, even when exposed to the inclement weather -- Nature, aided doubtless by habit, providing him with an extraordinary mat of hair, as she does the inferior animals here with fur. The high lands of Cape Ray lie several miles inland, north-east of the Cape, and consist of a group of granite mountains seemingly nearly two thousand feet in height. The scenery among them is sublime; the steep sides of the wedge-shaped valleys appear smooth and striped at a distance, owing to the crumbled rocks and blocks detached by frost being hurled from the very summits to the bottom, where they lie in heaps of ruins. I had reluctantly to behold only the treasures laid open to the mineralogist. Snow and ice lie in beds on these mountains all the summer. The vicinity of Cape Ray is remarkable for great numbers of foxes, induced here by the abundance of their chief food, viz, the berries of the vaccinium or partridge berry and that of the vaccinium or hurtle berry. We were several days storm-stayed by winds and snow, and the inefficiency of the ice to bear us across the rivulets, at a boat harbour called the Barasway, six or seven miles east of the Cape. The person in whose winter house we here stopped, his summer residence being at Port au Basque at the eastward, had now entrapped and shot about eighty foxes, black, silver gray, patch, and red, in less than two months; all those colours are produced at one litter. The foxes are mostly caught in iron spring-traps, artfully concealed (not baited) in the path-ways along the seashore. It may be noticed that on the west coast of Newfoundland, there is neither Scotchman, Irishman, nor rat to be met with; nor, it is said, has any member of these European families taken up an abode west of Fortune Bay.



American portion of Newfoundland.

December 5th. -- Port au Basque, the nearest harbour to Cape Ray on the East, about twelve miles distant therefrom, we reached by boat from the Barasway. It had a fine open entrance, and good anchorage, and is sufficiently capacious for any number of ships to ride in safety. The rendezvous for fishing vessels, small craft and boats, is a long narrow passage, immediately adjoining the west side of the harbour, formed by a chain of Islands which lie close along the coast, and is called Channel. Four families reside here during the summer, pursuing the cod fishery at that season, and the furring in winter. A small safe basin called Little Bay, with a narrow entrance, adjoins Port au Basque immediately on the East. There are no summer residences here, but two persons engaged in the cod fishery at the Dead Islands in summer were encamped in the woods for the winter. They undertook to convey me in their little skiff to Dead Island, the next harbour to the east; and in consequence, I here parted with my faithful and daring attendant, Parsons, from Cod Roy.

December 7th. -- Dead Island. -- Reached this place from Little Bay. The harbour, here called Pass, is fit for any ships, and like Channel, is a narrow passage between a string of Islands and the main Island. Port au Basque and Channel, and the Dead Island or Pass, are both excellent stations at which to carry on the American fisheries. The fishing grounds in the vicinity of Cape Ray are probably the best on the Newfoundland coast for the resort of fishermen from a distance, they being peculiar in this important point, that the cod are always to be found in abundance upon them, and caught at all seasons when the weather is not too boisterous, and then the neighbouring harbours mentioned afforded shelter to the fishing craft. The fishery may be commenced here six weeks or a month earlier than at any other part of the coast, and continued in the fall of the year until Christmas. Many industrious fishermen within a hundred miles eastward, do not leave these grounds until the end of December. The cod caught in October, November, and December is called winter fish. At Fortune Bay to the eastward, on the same coast, winter fish is caught by means of the smaller boats in the months of January, February, and March, in deep water close to the shores. The winter-caught fish is of a better quality than that taken at any other season. It is allowed to remain in dry salt during the winter, and dried in the first warm weather in spring; being then sent to a foreign market, it arrives at an early season of the year, when there is no other newly-cured fish to compete, and brings fifty per cent. or upwards more than the fish dried in the preceding year. There is no winter fish caught at Newfoundland except at the south-west coast. At the Dead Islands three families reside in summer, whose chief pursuit is the cod fishery. These Islands are composed chiefly of mica slate. I was here fortunate in finding a very respectable industrious inhabitant, named Thomas Harvey, still occupying his summer house at the shore, and his fishing boat or shallop not yet dismantled for the winter. Although no ordinary remuneration was equivalent to the risk at this inclement season on so dangerous a coast, Harvey unhesitatingly manned and provisioned his boat to enable me to reach Fortune Bay.

It would have been impossible without the probability of being either frozen or starved to walk along this coast at this season of the year, it is so indented with deep bays and rivers, and in a manner uninhabited and unexplored.

December 8th. -- We set sail from the Dead Islands, passed by a harbour called Burnt Island, where reside two families who pursue the cod fishery. The weather being stormy, we were forced afterwards to put into the Seal Island, some /166/ fifteen miles to the eastward. Seal Island is a fine safe harbour with two entrances, one east, another west. There is one resident family only here, seemingly in good circumstances by means of the cod fishery. The prevailing rock here is mica slate.

December 11th. -- Strong winds and snow had compelled us to remain all night at Seal Island. We now got under weigh, with a fair wind, cheerfully passing by Harbour le Cou, uninhabited; Garia, with one resident family in summer; Indian Island, with one resident family; La Poile, a noble deep bay with two resident families; and reached Grand Brit, a good little harbour with two entrances, the west being the better, and where reside two families in summer, whose habitations were now locked up and deserted.

December 12th. -- Set sail, and reached Cingserf, a good harbour for vessels of any size; the best anchorage is on the east side. Within the harbour there are many small inlets. It has no summer residents, nor could we discover any signs of winter occupants. Trap rock prevails here.

December 13th. -- Having passed the night at Cingserf, we set off again with a fair wind; touch at and pass through amongst the Burgeo Islands. Here is a sheltered roadstead with good anchorage. At Burgeo Islands there are eleven or twelve, and in the vicinity, five or six resident families. Burgeo Islands are formed of gray granite, and very barren. The part of the main Island opposite to them, as well as that for some miles westward, presents steep and perpendicular cliffs of old red sandstone to the sea. In the evening we reached the Rameo Islands, the east extremity of that portion of the Newfoundland coast at which the Americans have a right of fishing and of curing fish. There are only two resident families here. The Americans have, by the treaty of Ghent, a right of fishing and curing their fish in common with British subjects, on the coast between Cape Ray and the Rameo Islands, an extent of about seventy-five miles. This portion of the coast, although possessing many fine harbours besides those noticed here, contains scarcely forty resident families, or two hundred and fifty souls on the whole of it. The chief pursuits of these people are the cod fishery in summer, and entrapping foxes and other wild animals for their skins in the fall. The salmon fishery is a very minor object, as the rivers are not so large nor numerous as on the west coast. The fishermen, or planters as they are called, obtain their outfits to enable them to carry on the fisheries from the merchants at Fortune Bay. They annually catch about three thousand cwts. or quintals or upwards of cod fish, make about forty-five tuns of cod oil, and obtain fur to the value of one hundred pounds. The approach to many of the fine harbours here is dangerous from the want of surveys of the outer coast. Thousands of valuable lives have been lost by shipwreck, particularly to the eastward of Cape Ray, in consequence of most dangerous currents and sunken rocks that exist here, being unnoticed upon any chart; and until the colonists themselves take up the cause of humanity, it is not likely these dangers will for a long time be made known or a light-house erected on that coast. The residents here, as at St. George's Bay, and at most of the north and west harbours of the Island, have both summer and winter houses. They retire to the residences or huts in the woods on the setting in of the winter, for facility of firewood and shelter; the labour attending the conveyance of fuel to their summer residences at the shore, which are exposed to every inclemency of the weather, being very great. They sometimes remove to a distance of thirty miles and even farther to the sequestered woods at the heads of bays and harbours, and on the banks of rivers, taking with them their boats, furniture, and provisions, and re-appear at the coast in the month of April. The habits and imperative performances of the beaver for preservation of self and kind, are at least equally perfect with those of the European settlers or Indians on the coast. Each have their summer and winter abodes, and respectively provide for their retirement, &c. Sea fowl and birds of passage resort to the south-west /167/ coast in great numbers in the fall of the year; and during that season, as well as in winter, constitute a considerable portion of the provisions of the inhabitants. The dogs here are admirably trained as retrievers in fowling, and are otherwise useful. The smooth or short-haired dog is preferred, because in frosty weather the long-haired kind become encumbered with ice upon coming out of the water. They are fed on fish, purposely cured for them. The Loup Cervier,(47) a common animal in all the adjacent countries, is not considered to be a native of Newfoundland, although one was caught last year in La Poile Bay, and another killed in the same neighbourhood a few years ago. In these instances it is probable that the animals have either crossed or been blown over upon the ice from some of the neighbouring countries. Neither squirrel, porcupine, or racoon have been met with on the Island. Penguins were once numerous at this coast, their breeding place having been the Penguin Islands, about fifteen miles north-east from Rameo Islands. They have been extirpated by man, none having been seen for some years past. Halibuts abound more at the south-west coast than elsewhere. The young,(48) in the fall, is one of the finest fishes on these coasts; but its excellence seems to be little known except to the fishermen and their families. It may be cured in several ways.


South coast of Newfoundland -- Termination of Journey.

December 14th. -- The coast was now everywhere clad in its winter white mantle, and most of the birds of passage had left the shores for a more genial climate. Having spent the night at the Rameo Islands, we set sail eastward, entering now upon the British Newfoundland coast. This part may be considered out of the province of the present narrative, although, except to the immediate residents, little better known than the coast just gone over. The coast at the entrances of White Bear Bay and Old Man's Bay is formed of trap rocks and red sandstone alternating. Pass by Little River, a good harbour; Cape La Hune, where two families reside; Bay Francois, with three resident families; New Harbour, three resident families; Rencontre, four families; and reach Richard's Harbour, where several families reside in summer.

Cape La Hune, as well as the coast thence to Richard's Harbour is formed chiefly of trap rock. Richard's Harbour is a complete basin surrounded on all sides by steep trap hills, of four hundred feet and upwards in height. The entrance is very narrow and deep, rocks on the west side overhanging to that degree as to render it awful to behold while passing under.

December 16th. -- Having been wind-bound one day in Richard's Harbour, a favouring breeze now carries us to the Bay of Despair, and in sight of the whaling and cod fishery establishment of Messrs. Newman, Hunt & Co., of London. The few inhabitants, and their pursuits, between Rameo and the Bay of Despair, are similar to those farther to the westward. The rock formation of the coast between Cape Ray and the Bay of Despair may be noticed in a general view as follows: red sandstone, of the coal formation, is found next to the trap rock, six or eight miles east of Cape Ray. Then we come to primitive rocks, mica slate, gneiss, and granite; next are trap and old red sandstone alternating, which, with the granitic rocks, form the coast all the way eastward, presenting little else than most barren and precipitous hills, half clad with stunted firs, and indented everywhere with harbours, bays, and rivers. Few of the harbours have any soil at those parts nearest the sea, there being merely debris in small patches. At the head, however, of most of the harbours and bays, and along the margins of the waters that discharge into them, some good /168/ soil and spruce timber are to be found. Rock crystals of different colours are stated by the inhabitants to occur in quantities at Harbour Le Cou and Diamond Cove in that neighbourhood. Several of the inhabitants possessed transparent specimens as curiosities.

Upon reaching the establishment of Messrs. Newman and Co., at the Bay of Despair, I learnt with satisfaction that the last ship for England this season from this coast was to sail within a few days from another of their establishments in Fortune Bay. Harvey's boat and men now went back to the Dead Islands, but not without apprehension on my part for their safety, contending against westerly winds on this inhospitable coast at such a season. For while we were coming, with a fair wind, every drop of water and spray that came into our boat congealed as it fell, thus binding together boat, ropes and sails in one mass of ice.

Here ended a four months' excursion of toil, pleasure, pain, and anxiety, succeeded by the delight of being again restored to society, which was enjoyed with the gentlemen and families of the mercantile establishments at the Bay of Despair and Fortune Bay.

It was impossible to reach St. John's, and I took passage at Little Bay, in Fortune, by the ship "Duck," sailing on the 28th December, and arrived in Dartmouth, in England, on the 10th February, 1823.


OCTOBER, 1822.

Winds Bright Rainy Foggy and Snowy

Days Days Drizzly Days Days

September W & SW 19 3

4th to NW 1 1

30th S 2 1



22 5


October, W & SW 9 1 2 1

31 days NW 3 2

N 2 1

S 2 2

SE 2 1

E 2

NE 1


19 3 4 5

Sept, as above 22 5


Weather of 58 days 41 8 4 5



Capture of three Beothuck women.

In the spring of 1823, a party of Indians was seen on the ice in New Bay, an arm of the Great Bay of Notre Dame, by some furriers. On the first meeting, these amiable whites shot a man and a woman who were approaching them, apparently for food. The man was first killed, and the woman in despair, remained a calm victim. (Bonnycastle.) Three other women afterwards gave themselves up. They were in a starving condition. Cull who captured them brought all three and placed them in charge of Mr. Peyton who was the Magistrate for the district. Peyton deemed it the best thing he could do to bring the women to St. John's. On their arrival there, however, it soon appeared that one of them was far gone in consumption, and the health of the other two was precarious. It was, therefore, judged proper to hasten the return of two of them.

The service of conducting them back devolved upon Mr. Peyton who was furnished with a large number of presents, consisting of such articles as were calculated to gratify a barbarous tribe. These his instructions directed him to use as circumstances and his own discretion might render most suitable as "an incitement to those poor creatures to repose confidence in our people in that part of the coast they frequent." (Pedley.)(49)



10th June, 1823.


I grieve to have it to report that information has reached me of the violent death of an Indian man and woman natives who were shot by two of our people early this spring in Badger Bay; the particulars of this melancholy event have not yet reached me, but I am in hourly expectation of Mr. Peyton's arrival here with one of the offenders. Since this unfortunate occurrence took place, Mr. Cull and a few men with him fell in with an Indian man and an old woman, the former fled, but the latter approached and joined our people. Some days after this she led Mr. Cull to where her two daughters were, the one about twenty, the other about sixteen years of age. I am much pleased to find that these interesting females are under the care of Mr. Peyton, and I understand he brings them with him; as a vessel sails today for England I am desirous that you should be made acquainted with these events, as it may again induce His Majesty's Government to hold out their protecting hand to this unfortunate race of human beings whose blood seems to be shed without remorse. I shall take the first opportunity of presenting you with every information connected with these transactions.

I have the honour to be,


Your most obedient,

humble servant,

(signed) D. BUCHAN, Comm.

Copy (signed) P. C. LEGEYT.

To His Excellency

Vice Admiral Sir C. Hamilton, Bt.,

&c., &c., &c.



P. C. Legeyt, Secy.


18th June, 1823.


I beg to inform you that I have now in my charge three women natives of this island who were taken in March and April last by Wm. Cull and others who consigned them to my care, being a Magistrate, and as I have reason to suppose than an amicable intercourse with these people is much desired by Government, I considered it best to bring them here in order to place them under the direction of His Excellency the Governor, but as I find that Sir Charles Hamilton is not yet arrived, I would most strenuously advise that they be immediately returned, and what renders this step most pressing is that one of them is far gone in a consumption, and the health of the other two has been very precarious since I have had them. That this object may be accomplished with the least possible delay I shall be happy to take them to the Bay of Exploits, whither I return immediately, and place them so near their people that they may readily rejoin them; and if this project meets your approbation, I would take the liberty of suggesting the propriety of providing such presents to be sent with them as will best promote the effect desired, and the cause of humanity.

As the schooner I brought them here in requires repair, it is desirable to provide them with a more eligible place of abode for the few days I remain at this place both on account of the general comfort of all, and the critical situation of the sick one who requires medical aid and attendance which can best be procured through your influence.

I have the honour to be,


Your most obedient,

humble servant.

(Signed) JOHN PEYTON, Jr. J.P.

Capt. D. Buchan.


P. C. Legeyt, Secy.



18 June, 1823.


Your letter of this day's date communicating the circumstances of your having brought with you three Native women of this Country, has been perused by me with much interest and consideration, and I hasten to acquaint you that Mr. Bland, the High Sherriff, is instructed to see that these objects of our solicitude be instantly provided with every requisite comfort suitable to their condition. Mr. Watt, Surgeon of the Grasshopper, will pay every attention in his power to promote the recovery of their health. The desirable object of endeavouring to open an amicable intercourse with their tribe shall have my fullest consideration.

I have the honour to be,


Your most obedient,

humble servant,

(signed) D. BUCHAN,


Mr. John Peyton, Jr.,


/171/ The most circumstantial account of the capture, &c., of these three women is contained in a work entitled Newfoundland and its Missionaries, by the Rev. Wm. Wilson, Methodist Minister, who gives an extract from his journal as follows.



June 23rd, 1823.

Last week there were brought to this town three Red Indians so called, who are the aboriginal inhabitants of this island. They are all females and their capture was accomplished in the following manner.

In the month of March last a party of men from the neighbourhood of Twillingate were in the country hunting for fur. The party went two and two in different directions. After a while one of these small parties saw on a distant hill a man coming towards them. Supposing him while at a distance to be one of their own party, they fired a powder gun to let their friend know their where-about. The Red Indian generally runs at the report of a musket, not so in the present instance, the man quickened his pace towards them. They now, from his gait and dress, discerned that he was an Indian, but thought that he was a Micmac and still felt no anxiety. Soon they found their mistake and ascertained that the stranger was one of the Red Indians. He was approaching in a threatening manner with a large club in his hand. They now put themselves in a posture of defence and beckoned the Indian to surrender. This was of no use, he came on with double fury, and when nearly at the muzzle of their guns one of the men fired and the Indian fell dead at their feet. As they had killed the man without any design or intention, they felt deeply concerned, and resolved at once to leave the hunting ground and return home. In passing through a droke of woods they came up with a wigwam which they entered, and took three Indian females, which have been since found to be Mother and her two daughters. These women they brought to their own homes, where they kept them till they could carry them to St. John's and receive the Government reward for bringing a Red Indian captive.

The parties were brought to trial for killing the man, but as there was no evidence against them, they were acquitted.

The women were first taken to Government House and by order of His Excellency the Governor, a comfortable room in the Court house was assigned to them, as a place of residence, where they were treated with every kindness. The mother is far advanced in life, but seems in good health. Beds were provided for them but they did not understand their use, and slept on their deer skins in the corner of the room. One of the daughters was ill, yet she would take no medicine. The doctor recommended Phlebotomy and a gentleman allowed a vein to be opened in his arm to show her that there was no intention to kill her, but this was to no purpose, for when she saw the lancet brought near her own arm, both she and her companions got into a state of fury; so that the Doctor had to desist. Her sister was in good health. She seemed about 22 years of age. If she had ever used red ochre about her person, there was no sign of it in her face. Her complexion was swarthy, not unlike the Micmacs; her features were handsome; she was a tall fine figure and stood nearly six feet high, and such a beautiful set of teeth, I do not know that I ever saw in a human head. She was bland, affable and affectionate. I showed her my watch she put it to her ear and was amused with its tick. A gentleman put a looking glass before her and her grimaces were most extraordinary, but when a black lead pencil was put into her hand and a piece of white paper laid upon the table, she was in raptures. She made a few marks on the paper apparently to try the pencil; then in one flourish she drew a deer perfectly, and what is most surprising, she began at the tip of the tail. One person pointed to his fingers and counted ten; which she repeated in good English; but when she had numbered all her fingers, her English was exhausted, and her numeration if numeration it were /172/ was in Beothuck tongue. This person whose Indian name is Shanawdithit, is thought to be the wife of the man who was shot.(50) The old woman was morose, and had the look and action of a savage. She would sit all day on the floor with a deer-skin shawl on, and looked with dread or hatred on every one that entered the Court house. When we came away, Shanawdithit, kissed all the company, shook hands with us and distinctly repeated good bye.

June 24th. -- Saw the three Indian women in the street. The ladies had dressed them in English garb, but over their dresses they all had on their, to them, indispensable deer-skin shawls; and Shanawdithit thinking the long front of her bonnet an unnecessary appendage had torn it off and in its place had decorated her forehead and her arms with tinsel and coloured paper.

They took a few trinkets and a quantity of the fancy paper that is usually wrapped around pieces of linen; but their great selection was pots, kettles, hatchets, hammers, nails and other articles of ironmongery, with which they were loaded, so that they could scarcely walk. It was painful to see the sick woman who, notwithstanding her debility, was determined to have her share in these valuable treasures.



28th June, 1823.


In reference to my letter of the 10th instant I now have the honour to inform Your Excellency that Mr. Peyton arrived here on the 18th, bringing with him three Native females of this Island, their respective ages are apparently about 43, 24 and 20. There is reason to believe that the eldest is the mother of the others, and she bears all the marks of premature old age. The second is labouring under an affection of the lungs, which it is much to be apprehended may soon terminate her existence. The youngest is of a very lively disposition and quick apprehension.

Captain Roberts having declined all interference in matters not immediately connected with the squadron, I have on this occasion considered it my duty to pursue the steps as detailed in the accompanying documents; I also transmit for Your Excellency's information a copy of the legal proceedings taken relative to the murder of the two Indians. I trust that the measures taken by me in so important a crisis may meet with your approbation.

I have the honour to be,


Your most obedient,

humble servant,

(signed) D. BUCHAN,


His Excellency

Vice Admiral Sir C. Hamilton, Bt.,

&c., &c., c.

Copy (signed) P.C. LEGEYT,



P.C. Legeyt,




28th June, 1823.


As it appears to me in every point of view of the first consideration that the three female Aborigines should be conducted with the least possible delay to such station as may enable them with the less difficulty to rejoin their tribe, I feel /173/ most desirous on behalf of His Excellency the Governor to facilitate this pleasing object, and it is particularly gratifying to me that my personal knowledge of your humanity, zeal and ability qualified you in an eminent degree for this confidence and trust which I impose on you under a perfect conviction that your proceedings herein will prove most satisfactory to His Majesty's Government. You will, therefore, again take charge of the three native females with the presents enumerated in the annexed schedule, which you will use as circumstances and your discretion may render most suitable as an incitement to these poor creatures to repose confidence in our people on that part of the coast they frequent.(51)

It is impossible to give adequate written instructions on a subject that must even vary according to the circumstances of the moment, and as you are perfect master of what were my intentions and views in the expeditions of 1819 and 1820, it renders it altogether unnecessary for me to say anything on these heads. Should you, however, find it necessary to carry your operations to any part of the coast not included between the NW. entrance of the Exploits, tracing up the Western side of that Bay by Charles's Brook to the River Exploits, you will leave at Exploits Burnt Island, as also at Twillingate, a letter of instruction where you may be found in the event of His Excellency wishing to communicate with you. You will likewise acquaint the Governor with your proceedings as opportunities may offer.

I have the honour to be,


Your most obedient,

humble servant,

(signed) D. BUCHAN,


To John Peyton, Jr.


July 23rd, 1823.


I beg leave to acquaint you for the information of the Governor that I left the three Indian women on the 12th instant at Charles' Brook and that they appeared perfectly happy at our leaving them. I called there again on the 14th instant, when I gave them a little boat, at which the young woman was much pleased, and gave me to understand that she should go to look for the Indians and bring them down with her. I am sorry to add the sick woman still remained without hopes of her recovery.

I have the honour to be,


Your most obedient,

humble servant,

(signed) JNO. PEYTON, Jr.

Copy (sgd) P. C. LEGEYT,


To Captain D. Buchan,

H.M.S. Grasshopper


June 29th, 1825.

Extract of a disputation from R. A. Tucker, Esq. Administering

to the Government of Newfoundland,

to R. W. Horton, Esq.

"You are doubtless aware that three of the Aborigines of this Island were brought to St. John's about two years ago, and two of them died very shortly after their return to the Bay of Exploits, the third, a woman about 18 or 19 years of age is still alive, and from the person under whose charge she has since continued I understand that she has acquired a sufficient knowledge of the English language to communicate that information respecting her tribe which we have so long been desirous to obtain. She states that the whole number of her tribe did not exceed fifteen persons in the winter of 1823, and that they were obliged by the want of food to separate into three or four parties. Of these fifteen, two were shot by some of our settlers, one was drowned and three fell into our hands, so that only nine at the utmost remain to be accounted for, and Mr. Peyton (the person in whose house the Native Indian resides) tells me that from the circumstance of his not being able to discover the most distant trace of any of them for the two last winters he is convinced that they must all have perished.(52)

If such be the fact, this woman is the sole survivor of her race and of course whatever curiosity may be felt regarding it can be gratified by her alone.

Among other conjectures which have been formed relating to this tribe, it has I believe been supposed by a gentleman(53) of talent and learning that they were the remains of Icelandic Colony, and an opportunity is now afforded of ascertaining the truth of this hypothesis, as the language will determine whether they are of Norwegian origin or not. It must also I conceive be interesting to learn from her what notions they had of a Supreme Being, to examine into the present state of her mental faculties and to try how far they are susceptible of improvement by education. Regarding her therefore in these and in many other particulars as an object of considerable interest, I have been irresistibly compelled by my feelings to draw your attention to her."

An old man named James Wheeler, well known about St. John's a few years ago, told me that he distinctly remembered, when a mere lad, seeing these three women passing along the street as described by Rev. Wm. Wilson. He said the people stopped everywhere to look at them, especially the young folk, himself amongst the number, and when the children would crowd around them, Shanawdithit would make a pretence of trying to catch some of them. They would immediately scatter in all directions, child like, then she would give vent to unbridled laughter. Their fear appeared to be a matter which greatly pleased her, nor did she seem the least abashed at anything.

We are indebted to Mr. W. E. Cormack and to Mr. John Peyton for the subsequent history of the three women. Cormack relates the story of their capture pretty much as above, except that he says the husband of the old woman ran away, and in attempting to cross a creek on the ice fell through and was drowned.(54) Also about a month before this event, and a few miles distant, the brother of this man (Shanawdithit's uncle), and his daughter belonging to the same party, were shot by two other English furriers, one or two more of the party escaped to the interior.

/175/ After remaining a few weeks in St. John's the women were sent back to Exploits with many presents in the hope that they might meet and share them with their people. They were conveyed up the river Exploits some distance by a party of Europeans and left on the bank with some provisions, clothing, &c., to find their friends as they best might. Their provisions were soon exhausted, and not meeting any of their tribe, they wandered on foot down the right bank of the river, and in a few days again reached the English habitations. The mother and one daughter here died shortly afterwards, and within a few days of each other. The survivor, Nancy, or Shanawdithit, was received and taken care of by Mr. Peyton, Junior, and family.

Mr. Peyton informed me that after the Indian women came back he had a tilt built for them on the shore of the bay near his own dwelling and supplied them with food, &c., but that the sick girl quickly grew worse, and soon died. He said the old mother used to treat her to a vapour bath frequently, by heating stones and dropping them into a pail of water in the room till a dense vapour of steam was created, somewhat after the manner of a modern Turkish bath. When the old woman died he took Shanawdithit into his house where she acted as a kind of servant, doing, however, pretty much as she liked.

An old woman, Mrs. Jure, of Exploits Island, whom I met in 1886, and who resided with the Peyton family at the same time as Nancy, gave me the following particulars concerning her. Nance, as she was familiarly called, was swarthy in complexion but with very pleasing features, rather inclined to be stout(55) but of good figure. She was bright and intelligent, quick to acquire the English language, and of a retentive memory. She was very pert at times, and when her mistress had occasion to scold her, she would answer very sharply, "what de matter now Missa Peyton, what you grumble bout." At times she got into sulky fits, or became too lazy to do anything. When such moods were upon her she would go off and hide in the woods for days together, only returning when the sulks had worn off, or when driven back by hunger. She would allow no familiarity on the part of the fishermen who frequented Peyton's house, but on one occasion, when amongst others, an individual possessing an extremely red beard and hair was amongst the number, she showed the greatest partiality to this man, even going to the length of sitting on his knee and caressing him; to the no small confusion of the big shy fisherman, and to the great amusement of his companions.(56) She was very ingenious at carving and could make combs out of deers' horns and carve them beautifully. She would take a piece of birch bark, double it up and bite with her teeth into a variety of figures of animals or other designs, i.e. to say when the bark was again unfolded, the impressions thereupon would be such.

I have seen myself, a Micmac Indian perform this same feat. He would select a piece of thin clear inside bark, which was soft and pliable, /176/ then fold it several times tightly. By some peculiar way of manipulating his teeth, he would leave their impress in the bark, upon unfolding which the figures were distinctly recognizable.

According to Mr. Peyton, she exhibited the greatest antipathy to the Micmacs, more especially towards one Noel Boss, whom she so dreaded that whenever he, or even his dog made their appearance, she would run screeching with terror and cling to Mr. P. for protection. She called this man Mudty Noel ("Bad Noel"). She stated that he once fired at her across the Exploits River, as she was stooping down in the act of cleaning some venison. In proof of this she exhibited the marks of gunshot wounds in her arms and legs; one slug passing through the palm of her hand. Mr. W. E. Cormack, to whom she also showed these marks, confirms this statement.

The remainder of poor Shanawdithit's story is soon told; she remained in obscurity at Peyton's house, Exploits, till the autumn of 1828 when the "Beothuck Institute," at the instance of Mr. Cormack, its President, had her brought to St. John's. She then resided with Mr. C. until he left the country some time in the spring of 1829, she was then transferred to the care of Mr. Simms, Attorney-General of the Colony, and died in the month of June of that same year.

In 1824, two Canadian Indians (Micmacs?) reported seeing a party of Red Indians, with two canoes, on the right bank of the Exploits River, about half way between the coast and the great lake. Friendly gestures were exchanged across the river and no collision took place (so Cormack was informed by the two Micmacs themselves).(57)

In 1827 Mr. Cormack undertook a second expedition into the interior, with the same object as formerly. His account of this journey is best told in his own language.

Captain David Buchan, R.N.

Captain David Buchan who figures so prominently in Newfoundland history, more especially in connection with the attempts to open up communication with the Beothucks, is worthy of an extended notice here.

David Buchan was born in Scotland in 1780. In 1806 he held a Lieutenant's commission in the British Navy. Exactly when he first came to Newfoundland I have been unable to ascertain, but Lieut. Chappel in his Voyage of the Rosamond speaks of Buchan in 1813 as having been several years engaged in surveying the coast line.(58) In 1810, he was sent by the Governor, Sir John Thomas Duckworth, to winter at the Bay of Exploits and ascend the river next spring to search out the abode of the Indians. His narrative of that journey gives full details of the expedition, and of the murder of his two marines, &c. He was at the time in /177/ command of the armed schooner Adonis. In 1813 his ship, together with the Rosamond, Capt. Campbell, convoyed the Newfoundland fishing fleet home to England. They left St. John's in December, and had a very stormy passage. When nearing the English Channel the ships became separated in a violent gale, and the Rosamond did not again rejoin the fleet, but the Adonis picked up the convoy after a while, and accompanied it, till in the vicinity of the Scilly Islands when it was attacked by a large fleet of French ships. Buchan's small vessel being unable to cope with such a superior force, had to run for safety, and barely escaped being captured by throwing overboard all her heavy guns.(59)

In 1816 he was promoted to Commander, and was again on this station. During the absence of the Governor that winter he acted as his deputy in command here. It was a winter of much distress and misery brought about by a great conflagration in which most of the town of St. John's (the capital) was destroyed. This was followed by famine, and consequent lawlessness. Buchan acted throughout with such cool, courageous and humane conduct as to succeed in averting worse calamities. He was then in command of H.M.S. Pike, and during the winter he put all his crew on short allowance to relieve the distress of the inhabitants. For his humane and praiseworthy conduct during this trying season, he was presented with a most flattering address of thanks by the Grand Jury, and also with a service of plate by the inhabitants.

Again during the following winter of 1817-18 still more disastrous fires, accompanied by even worse disorders occurred, Buchan again saved the situation, and by his courage and discipline, succeeded in preserving order and tranquility, for which he was again the recipient of much deserved praise.(60)

During the summer of 1818 two celebrated Arctic expeditions were undertaken, the one in command of Ross and Parry, was sent in search of a North West Passage, the other in command of Capt. Buchan and Lieut. Franklin, proceeded towards the pole by way of Spitzbergen. Capt. Buchan in the Dorothea was in chief command, while Lieut. Franklin in the Trent was second. This was the celebrated, and ill-fated Sir John Franklin's first expedition into Arctic waters. Other heroes of Arctic fame took part in this expedition, Beechey was First Lieut., and Back, Admiralty Mate on board the Trent with Franklin. Early in June they reached Spitzbergen, and after being beset with the ice for a while, they sailed again on June 7th and succeeded in passing the NW. boundary of that island, but were stopped beyond Red Bay, and remained fast in the floe 13 days, when they took shelter in Fair Haven. On the 6th of July they again sailed North and succeeded in reaching Lat. 80 degrees 34 minutes North, but could not proceed further.

Buchan now turned towards Greenland, but while sailing along the edge of the ice, encountered such a sudden and furious gale, that in order to save his ships, they had to run before it into the ice pack, thereby /178/ greatly injuring them by the violent contact with the heavy floe. Beechey describes the scene in vivid colours, he says the impact was terrific. "It threw every man off his legs prone on the deck, the crunching of the timbers, bending of the masts, and tolling of the ship's bell, was enough to arouse the utmost apprehension on the part of the officers and crew, yet," he adds, "the conduct of all other such trying circumstances was admirable." "I will not conceal," he says, "the pride I felt in witnessing the bold and decisive tone in which orders were issued by the commander (Franklin) of our little vessel and the promptitude and steadiness with which they were executed by the crew."

The ships were greatly damaged, and when the gale abated, and the pack broke up sufficiently to release them, the Dorothea was in a sinking condition; but they made their way back to Fair Haven and partially repaired them. They then sailed home, arriving back in October.

The next year Buchan was again on the Newfoundland Station and it was in the fall of this year (1819) that he was sent North with poor Mary March, who, as we are aware, died on board his ship the Grasshopper at Peter's Arm, Exploits Bay, in January 1820.

In 1822, Buchan was tried by court-martial, at St. John's on board H.M.S. Albion for some alleged disobedience of orders, but he was honourably acquitted. The charge was brought against him by Capt. Nicholas.

In 1825 he was appointed Surrogate, and at the first term of the Supreme Court in 1826, High Sheriff. Previous to this date he had been made a Justice of the Peace for the Island. His name appears as far back as 1813, amongst a number of other naval officers in the Court Records, who were similarly appointed as J.P.'s for the Island generally.(61)

During the year 1820 Buchan acted as floating Surrogate in the Egeria at Harbour Grace, and administered justice in conjunction with the Rev. Mr. Leigh, resident Episcopal Missionary of that place. Two men named Butler and Lundrigan of Harbour Main were summoned before them for some offence, but as they refused to obey the summons, Buchan sent a posse of marines to arrest them. They were brought to Brigus where they were tried for contempt of Court and sentenced to be publicly flogged. This action aroused public indignation all over the country, especially in St. John's, and a tremendous furor was raised. The leading citizens took the matter up and subscribed funds for the accused to bring the case before the Supreme Court. The case went against Buchan, who was fined and severely censured. It was then brought to the notice of the British Government, and Buchan's cruel and arbitrary conduct was made the subject of a special investigation.(62) It resulted in the doing away with the Surrogate Courts, and the substitution of properly trained legal gentlemen to administer justice thereafter.

I learn from Barrow's Arctic Voyages, that Buchan was lost in the /179/ Upton Castle, coming from India, a ship that was never heard of after the 8th of December 1838. His name was removed from the list of living Captains in 1839.

Buchan is described by those who remember him, as a man of about 5 ft. 7 in. in height, of slight active build, and as being a regular martinet. He married a Miss Marie Adye about 1802-03. From his granddaughter, Miss Eva Buchan of 17 Kidbrooke Park Road, Blackheath, S.E., England, I have learned some few further particulars of Capt. Buchan, and have been also kindly furnished with a photograph of him copied from an oil painting.

She says Capt. B. married a Miss Maria Adye about 1802-03. Her father was his eldest son and was with him on his Arctic Expedition, and she often heard him describe it. He died when she was quite young. She does not say what other descendants Capt. B. left. On her grandmother's side, two of her great uncles were distinguished officers, the one under Wellington, and the other as Flag-Lieut. with Nelson.

There is still preserved in the family some silver plate presented to Capt. Buchan in 1817-18 by the inhabitants of Newfoundland.

I learn from a letter of Mr. W. E. Cormack that Buchan was in Newfoundland as late as 1828. Again from the records, a letter from Col. Secretary, Mr. Joseph Crowdy of date Sept. 1, 1835 acknowledges receipt of a letter from Capt. Buchan tendering his resignation of the High Sheriffship, dated Aug. 27th, 1835. He probably left the country for good that year.

The following interesting particulars relative to the capture of Mary March, also of Nancy, her mother and sister, &c., were procured for me some years ago by the Rev. J. St. John, P.P., of Salmonier, from a very old inhabitant of that place named Curtis.

Substance of Mr. Curtis's Story.

"In the October of 1819, I left St. Mary's to go to Twillingate where Mr. John Peyton wanted me to build a schooner. In the spring of that year Peyton had brought Mary March from Grand Pond(63) to Twillingate. The Indians had the summer previous robbed his boat, and he went with 7 or 8 armed men to recover whatever he could from them. When they came upon the Indians one of them having proved troublesome and threatened to use the hatchet with which he was armed, Peyton's men were forced to shoot him. Mary March returned willingly with them to Sandy Point, where the women took care of her, washed the ochre from her person, and clothed her. She was of medium height and slender, and for an Indian, very good looking. Then he brought her to St. John's to the Governor. Governor Hamilton sent her back by Peyton to Twillingate where she remained with Parson Leigh, who wished to learn her language. Capt. Buchan of the Grasshopper was employed searching for Red Indians in the fall of 1819 to civilize them. Peyton brought Mary March from the Parson's house to the Man-of-war lying in Peter's Arm of the river Exploits, where Capt. Buchan took charge of her. She died on board this vessel in the spring of 1820. I saw Peyton and others bring the corpse, decked out with all the presents and trinkets she had, back on the ice to the Indian camp about 130 miles up the river. Captain Buchan and several of his men went /180/ on this expedition, in all about 30 men. They were very unsuccessful having seen no Indians nor any trace of them. They afterwards went in by Badger Bay but found none there either.

In the month of March(?) 1823, I lived at Indian Point in the Exploits. W. Cull brought three Indian women, mother and daughters to my house expecting to meet Peyton there. Not finding him there, he started, after having been detained 7 or 8 days at my house by unfavourable weather, to bring the women down to Burnt Island to Peyton, who was commissioned by Government to look after them. We brought these Indians to St. John's in the new schooner Anne, which I had just finished. The Government sent them back again with us to the Exploits. They lived in a hut outside our door until Peyton gave them their liberty and furnished them with a small flat boat for the summer. They paddled up the river and landed at Point of Bay where the mother died.(64) Here the daughters buried her in the following manner. They laid a sheet of birch bark on the ground, upon which they placed the corpse, which they covered with more rind. Upon this they placed stones and the burial was finished. They left then for Lower Sandy Point where cooper Pike lived. Here the elder sister died in about a week. The remaining sister Nance paddled in the flat, back to us at Burnt Island, and lived with Peyton and myself until Cormack took her to St. John's, where she died.

Whilst she lived with Peyton she acted, freely and without being obliged, the part of servant, and a very industrious and intelligent servant she was. She made the fire, prepared the tea, swept and scrubbed the floor, washed the clothes, cooked &c. She never made the bread. I never saw her with a needle, but I often saw her stitch by passing the thread through a hole made with a sharp point or awl. I never saw anything in the conduct of the woman to indicate a belief in God. Peyton's religion was very unobtrusive, and he never had prayer in common in his house, in which Nance might join. I am unable to say whether she or the others were baptised, certainly they showed no knowledge of christianity. I am doubtful even as to whether they believed in a future life. Speaking with Peyton on this subject I was told by him that when the elder daughter was sick, he saw the mother light a fire in the tent and hold the girl in the smoke, throwing in certain weeds, and at times raising her hands and eyes imploringly as if in prayer, to some supernatural Being. After her mother's and sister's death, Nance never spoke any more of them, and seemed to forget them altogether.(65) They were much given to theft. Nance and her sister played a trick on a poor fisherman. They opened a barrel of pork belonging to him, and having selected the fattest pieces, cut off the fat and then cut the vamps off a fine pair of boots to contain it. They could use no salt, very little pork, no sweeting, no butter -- in fact they ate very little of anything. We understood from `Indian Nance' that it was her mother, who died at Point of Bay, that scalped(?) (beheaded) the marines in 1811. Certainly her appearance showed her capable of any cruelty. We called her `Old Smut.' She was thought to be the instigator of every wicked act the Indians did.

Wm. Cull told me that he was employed as principal guide by Capt. Buchan in his first expedition to the Indians in the Adonis, when two of his marines were killed by the Indians. These two men were left by Buchan as hostages at the Indian camp whilst he took three Indians with him to where he left some presents and trinkets the night before. The three Indian hostages fled from Buchan and the two marines were stripped naked by the Indians and when they were flying naked down the river the Indians fired at them and shot them. An old Indian woman took their scalps."(66)

/181/ Another old man of Exploits Bay, named Gill, gave me some further particulars about Nance and her companions. Gill's mother was also a servant in Peyton's employ at the time Nance lived with him, and he stated that he often listened with deep interest to his mother talking of her and relating other stories of the Indians.

"Nance was a married woman, according to her own account and left two children in the interior, which she used to express great anxiety about. She said her tribe were very strict about the moral law, and visited severe penalties on any one who transgressed. Burning alive at the stake being the fate of the adulterer, which was witnessed by the whole tribe who danced in a circle around the victim. Nance was fired at by a Micmac Indian once as she was engaged washing venison in the Exploits River. He waited till she turned to walk up the bank when the old ruffian deliberately fired at her across the river wounding her severely in the back and legs. The poor creature dropped the venison and limped off into the woods. In describing the incident she would act the part, limping away after being shot at. She was perfectly aware who the perpetrator of this dialolical act was, -- one Noel Boss, by name, and ever afterwards entertained the greatest fear at sight of this villain or even his dog. It is said of this Noel Boss, that he boasted of having killed 99 Red Indians in his time, and wished to add one more to the number so as to complete the hundred. He afterwards fell through the ice on Gander Lake while laden with six heavy steel traps, and was drowned, by far too good a fate for such a monster.

Nance was very pert at times and openly defied Mrs. Peyton when the old lady happened to be cross with the servants. Nance would laugh in her face, and say, `Well done Misses, I like to hear you jaw, that right'; or `jawing again Misses.' They had named her Nance April from the month in which she was captured, they did not then know her Indian name. Her elder sister was named Easter Eve, that being the day of their capture, whilst the old mother was named Betty Decker, because the party who captured them were engaged at the time decking a vessel. In personal appearance Nance was very similar to the Micmacs, being about the same colour and broad featured. Her hair was jet black, and her figure tall and stout. She was a good worker, and performed the usual household avocations, such as washing, scrubbing &c. with satisfaction. At times she fell into a melancholy mood, and would go off into the woods, as she would say to have a talk with her mother and sister. She generally came back singing and laughing, or talking aloud to herself. She would also frequently indulge in the same practice at night, and when asked what was the matter would reply, Nance talking to her mother and sister. When told not to be foolish, that they were dead and she could not talk to them, she would say, `a yes they here, me see them and talk to them.' She was very gentle and not at all of a vicious disposition, was an adept at drawing or copying anything. Capt. Buchan took her on board his man-of-war, gave her drawing paper and materials &c., he then showed her a portrait of his mother which she copied very accurately. She made very neat combs out of deers horns and carved them all over elaborately. She would take a piece of birch bark fold it up, and with her teeth bite out various designs representing leaves, flowers &c.(67) Her teeth were very white and even. She was strictly modest and would allow no freedom on the part of the opposite sex. Once when an individual attempted some familiarity he was so rudely repulsed that he never afterwards dared to repeat the offence. She would not tolerate him near her. He was a Mudty man (bad man). She seemed well aware of the difference between right and wrong, and knew if a person cursed or swore he was doing wrong, `mudty man' she would say. She is described as a fine worker, was a good clean cook and washer. When first taken /182/ the woman had quite a job to wash off the red ochre and grease with which her person was smeared.

When she fell into one of her melancholy moods and ran off into the woods she would turn round saying, `All gone widdun (asleep) Nance go widdun too, no more come Nance, run away, no more come.' She was fond of colours and fine clothes. Capt. Buchan sent her a pair of silk stockings and shoes from St. John's in which she took great pride."

The widow Jure, whom I met at Exploits, Burnt Island, in 1886, and who was also a servant at Peyton's, during Nancy's time gave me much information about the Indian woman. She confirmed all the above particulars. This Mrs. Jure had learned some of the Beothuck language from Nance who used to compliment her on her pronunciation. Unfortunately she had now forgotten nearly all of it. But on my producing a vocabulary of the language and reading it over for her she remembered several words and pronounced them for me. She also corrected some which were misspelt, etc.

Formation of the Beothuck Institution.

From the Royal Gazette of November 13th, 1827.

At a numerous meeting of the friends of this Institution in the Court House at Twillingate, on Tuesday the 2nd day of October 1827, the Honourable Augustus Wallet Des Barres, Senior Assistant Judge of the Supreme Court, and Judge of the Northern Circuit Court, of Newfoundland, in the Chair.

The Honourable Chairman briefly eulogized the object of the Institution, when the following statement, in support thereof, was made by W. E. Cormack, Esq., the founder:

"Every man who has common regard for the welfare of his fellow beings, and who hears of the cause for which we are now met, will assuredly foster any measures that may be devised to bring within the protection of civilization that neglected and persecuted tribe -- the Red Indians of Newfoundland. Every man will join us, except he be callous to the misfortunes or regardless of the prosperity of his fellow creatures. Those who by their own merits, or by the instrumentality of others, become invested with power and influence in society, are bound the more to exert themselves -- to do all the good they can, in promoting the happiness of their fellow men: and if there be such men in Newfoundland, who say there is no good to be gained by reclaiming the aborigines from their present hapless condition, let them not expose their unvirtuous sentiments to the censure of this enlightened age. -- Is there no honest pride in him who protects man from the shafts of injustice? -- nay, is there not an inward monitor approving of all our acts which shall have the tendency to lessen crime and prevent murder?

We now stand on the nearest part of the New World to Europe -- of Newfoundland to Britain; and at this day, and on this sacred spot, do we form the first assembly that has ever yet collected together to consider /183/ the condition of the invaded and ill-treated first occupiers of the country. -- Britons have trespassed here, to be a blight and a scourge to a portion of the human race; under their (in other respects) protecting power, a defenceless, and once independent, proud tribe of men, having been nearly extirpated from the face of the earth -- scarcely causing an enquiry how, or why. Near this spot is known to remain in all his primitive rudeness, clothed in skins, and with a bow and arrow only to gain his subsistence by, and to repel the attacks of his lawless and reckless foes: there on the opposite approximating point, is man improved and powerful: -- Barbarity and civilization are this day called upon to shake hands.

The history of the original inhabitants of Newfoundland, called by themselves Beothuck, and by Europeans, the Red Indians, can only be gleaned from tradition, and that chiefly among the Micmacs. It would appear that about a century and a half ago, this tribe was numerous and powerful -- like their neighbouring tribe, the Micmacs: -- both tribes were then on friendly terms, and inhabited the western shores of Newfoundland, in common with the other parts of the island, as well as Labrador. A misunderstanding with the Europeans (French) who then held the sway over those parts, led, in the result, to hostilities between the two tribes; and the sequel of the tale runs as follows.

The European authorities, who we may suppose were not over scrupulous in dealing out equity in those days, offered a reward for the persons or heads of certain Red Indians. Some of the Micmacs were tempted by the reward, and took off the heads of two of them. Before the heads were delivered for the award, they were by accident discovered, concealed in the canoe that was to convey them, and recognized by some of the Red Indians as the heads of their friends. The Red Indians gave no intimation of their discovery to the perpetrators of the unprovoked outrage, but consulted amongst themselves, and determined on having revenge. They invited the Micmacs to a great feast, and arranged their guests in such order that every Beothuck had a Micmac by his side, at a preconcerted signal each Beothuck slew his guest. They then retired quickly from those parts bordering on the Micmac country. War of course ensued. Firearms were little known to the Indians at this time, but they soon came into more general use amongst such tribes as continued to hold intercourse with Europeans. This circumstance gave the Micmacs an undisputed ascendancy over the Beothucks, who were forced to betake themselves to the recesses of the interior, and retired parts of the island, alarmed, as well they might be, at every report of the fire-lock.

Since that day European weapons have been directed, from every quarter, (and in latter times too often) at the open breasts and unstrung bows of the unoffending Beothucks. Sometimes these unsullied people of the chase have been destroyed wantonly, because they have been thought more fleet, and more evasive, than men ought to be. At other times, at the sight of them, the terror of the ignorant European has goaded him on to murder the innocent, -- at the bare mention of which civilization ought to weep. Incessant and ruthless persecution, continued for many generations, has given these sylvan people an utter disregard and abhorrence of /184/ the very signs of civilization. Shanawdithit, the surviving female of those who were captured four years ago, by some fishermen, will not now return to her tribe, for fear they should put her to death; a proof of the estimation in which we are held by that persecuted people.

The situation of the unfortunate Beothuck carries with it our warmest sympathy and loudly calls on us all to do something for the sake of humanity. -- For my own satisfaction, I have for a time, released myself from all other avocations, and am here now, on my way to visit that part of the country which the surviving remnant of the tribe have of late years frequented, to endeavour to force a friendly interview with some of them, before they are entirely annihilated: but it will most probably require many such interviews, and some years, to reconcile them to the approaches of civilized man.

Several gentlemen of rank, in England and elsewhere, have viewed with regret the cruelties that have been exercised towards those people; and have offered to come forward in support of any measures that might be adopted, to offer them the protection and kindness of civilization. -- Amongst the foremost of those are His Lordship the Bishop of Nova Scotia. -- and amongst ourselves, the Hon. Augustus Wallet Des Barres. I lay his Lordship the Bishop's correspondence upon that subject on the table. -- After this day we shall expect the co-operation of many such independent and enlightened men.

I hope to be able to effect, in part, the first objects of the Institution -- that of bringing about a reconciliation of the Aborigines, to the approaches of civilization. I have already commenced my measures, and am determined to follow up, in progression, what steps may appear to be the best for the accomplishment of the object I have long had in view. I hope to state to the public, in a few weeks, the result of my present excursion; on which I am to be accompanied by a small party of other tribes of Indians.

(signed) W.E. CORMACK.

It was then proposed by W.E. Cormack, Esq. -- seconded by Charles Simms Esq. and unanimously resolved, -- That a Society be formed to be called the "Boeothick Institution," for the purpose of opening a communication with, and promoting the civilization of the Red Indians of Newfoundland.

1st. -- Proposed by Charles Simms Esq., seconded by Joseph Simms, Esq. and unanimously resolved, -- That the affairs of the Institution be conducted by a Vice Patron, President, Treasurer, and Secretary who shall perform their duties of their offices gratuitously.

2nd. -- Proposed by Joseph Simms, Esq., -- seconded by John Stark, Esq., and unanimously resolved, -- That this Institution shall be supported by voluntary subscriptions and donations; and that persons be appointed at different places to receive the same.

3rd. -- Proposed by John Stark, Esq. -- Seconded by Doctor Tremlet -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That the funds to be raised in support of /185/ this Institution, shall be at the disposal of the Vice Patron, President, Treasurer, and Secretary; and that an account of the receipts and disbursements shall be made out, and exhibited at the annual Meetings.

4th. -- Proposed by W.E. Cormack Esq. -- seconded by Joseph Simms, Esq. and unanimously Resolved, -- That the officers of this Institution shall meet on the 1st of June, in each year, at St. John's, and oftener, if necessary, upon special summonses.

5th. -- Proposed by W.E. Cormack, Esq. -- seconded by John Stark, Esq. and unanimously resolved, -- That the Honourable and Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia be requested to accept the office of Patron to this Institution.

6th. -- Proposed by W.E. Cormack, Esq. -- seconded by Doctor Tremlet and unanimously Resolved, -- That the Honourable Augustus Wallet Des Barres be Vice Patron.

7th. -- Proposed by the Reverend John Chapman, -- seconded by Thomas Slade, Esq. -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That W.E. Cormack Esq. be President and Treasurer.

8th. -- Proposed by W.E. Cormack, Esq. -- seconded by John Stark, Esq. -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That John Dunscomb Esq. be Vice President.

9th. -- Proposed by the Reverend John Chapman, -- seconded by Andrew Pierce, Esq. -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That John Stark Esq. be Secretary.

10th. -- Proposed by W.E. Cormack, Esq. -- seconded by John Stark Esq. and unanimously Resolved, -- That the following gentlemen be Honorary Vice Patrons--

Professor Jameson, President of the Wernerian Society.

John Barrow, Esq. one of the Secretaries to the Admiralty.

11th. -- Proposed by Mr. Bell, -- seconded by the Reverend John Chapman, -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That no additional officers be appointed, with the exception of Honorary Patrons, Vice Patrons, and corresponding Members, who may be chosen from time to time at the meetings of the Institution.

12th. -- Proposed by Charles Simms, Esq. -- seconded by David Slade Esq. -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That annual subscribers, to any amount, shall be entitled to a copy of the Report of the proceedings of the Institute.

13th. -- Proposed by Joseph Simms, Esq. -- seconded by W.E. Cormack, Esq. -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That every subscriber contributing an annual payment of Ten Pounds, or a donation of One Hundred Pounds, shall be Honorary Patrons; and that every subscriber contributing an annual payment of Five Pounds, or a donation of Fifty Pounds, shall be Honorary Vice-Patrons of this Institution.

14th. -- Proposed by the Reverend John Chapman, -- seconded by W.E. Cormack, Esq. -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That the Treasurer /186/ shall receive all monies collected in aid of the funds of this institution, and from time to time invest the same in Exchequer Bills except a competent sum for current expenses.

15th. -- Proposed by Thomas Lyte, Esq. -- seconded by the Reverend John Chapman -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That Shanawdithit(68) be placed under the paternal care of the Institution; the expense of her support and education to be provided for out of the general funds.

16th. -- Proposed by Doctor Tremlet -- seconded by Thomas Lyte, Esq. -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That the best thanks of this meeting are due, and hereby given to W.E. Cormack, Esq. the founder of this Institution, for the deep concern and great interest he has already taken in attempting a communication with the Red Indians, in his perilous journey across this Island, in the year 1822; and for his praiseworthy perseverance to establish, on a solid basis, the means of attaining the objects of this Institution.

17th. -- Proposed by James Slade, Esq. -- seconded by Andrew Pearce, Esq. -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That John Peyton, Esq. be Resident Agent and Corresponding Member at Exploits.

18th. -- Proposed by W.E. Cormack, Esq. -- seconded by Chas. Simms, Esq. -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That the thanks of this meeting are due, and hereby given, to John Peyton, Esq. for the valuable information afforded by him; and that he be requested to continue to use his best endeavours to promote the humane objects of this institution.

19th. -- Proposed by Joseph Simms, Esq. -- seconded by the Honourable the Chairman -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That the proceedings of this meeting, together with the statement made by W.E. Cormack, Esq. -- be published in the Newspapers of the Colony.

20th. -- Proposed by W.E. Cormack, Esq. -- seconded by John Stark, Esq. -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That the following gentlemen be corresponding Members of this Institution:

The Reverend John Chapman,(69) Twillingate.

Benjamin Scott, Esq., Harbour Grace.

Charles Simms, Esq., St. John's.

John Peyton, Esq., Exploits.

Thomas Slade, Esq., Fogo.

Robert Tremlett, Esq., Twillingate.

Joseph Simms, Esq., Twillingate.

Andrew Pearce, Esq., Twillingate.

James Slade, Esq., Twillingate.

David Slade, Esq., Fogo.

Thomas Lyte, Esq., Twillingate.

The Rev. Mr. Sinnott, Kings Cove.

Capt. Hugh Clapperton, R.N., the traveller in Africa.

/187/ 21st. -- Proposed by the Honorable Chairman -- seconded by W.E. Cormack, Esq., -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That an opportunity be afforded to such gentlemen as may be desirous of expressing their wish to support the objects of this Institution, of entering their names with the Secretary.

(signed) A.W. DES BARRES,

Chairman of the Meeting.

The Honorable Judge Des Barres having left the chair, and the Reverend John Chapman having been called thereto, it was proposed by Joseph Simms, Esq. -- seconded by W.E. Cormack, Esq. -- and unanimously Resolved, -- That the thanks for this meeting are eminently due to the Honorable A.W. Des Barres, for his able conduct in the Chair.

(signed) J. CHAPMAN.

The substance of Cormack's narrative of his second expedition is contained in McGregor's British America and was obtained direct from Cormack himself, according to the author. Bonnycastle copied it from McGregor, verbatim et literatim.

Extracts from the Edinburgh "New Philosophical Journal,"

Dec. 1827, pp. 205-206

Civilization of the Aborigines of Newfoundland. -- Our active and enterprising friend Mr. W.E. Cormack, whose interesting journey across Newfoundland appeared in a former Number of the Journal, is about to embark on another undertaking, which will, we hope, prove successful. He writes to us as follows: "Exploits Newfoundland, October the 27th, 1827. -- I have been looking forward to communicate with you on the condition of the Beothucks or Red Indians, the aborigines of Newfoundland. I am here with three Indians, -- a Micmack, a Mountaineer, and a Bannakee (Canadian) -- equipped and ready to set off into the interior, in search of some of the Beothucks, to endeavour to obtain a friendly interview with them as a step to commence bringing about their civilization. I leave the sea coast to morrow and intend to devote a month in traversing those parts of the country where they are most likely to be met with. The season of the year will not admit my traversing every place where they may be found, but I expect to come up with some of their encampments within a month hence. Government made one vain attempt to reconcile this tribe to the approaches of civilization about sixteen years ago; but to civilize a long persecuted tribe of savages requires repeated attempts of this kind.


"New Philosophical Journal," Jan. 1828, pp. 408-9-10.

Mr. Cormack's Journey in search of the Red Indians. -- The following particulars of the expedition of our friend Mr. Cormack are extracted from the Newfoundland Journal (Ledger) of December last -- "The enterprising gentleman, W.E. Cormack, Esq., who, it will be remembered, left this place about the middle of Sept. last, for the purpose of taking an excursion into the interior of the country, with a view to discover the retreat of the Red Indians, and with the ultimate object of introducing them to civilized life, returned to this town on Wednesday last, in a small schooner, from Twillingate. We have had some conversation with Mr. Cormack, and the following may be regarded as a brief outline of the route which this gentleman has taken. -- `Mr. Cormack accompanied by three Indians, entered the mouth of the river Exploits, at the North West Arm, and proceeded in a North-westerly direction, to Hall's Bay, distant about forty or fifty miles. At about half way, namely, at Badger Bay, Great Lake, he was encouraged by finding some traces, indicating that a party of the Red Indians had been at that place sometime in the course of the preceding year. From Hall's Bay, a Westerly course into the interior was taken, and about thirty miles were traversed, towards Bay of Islands, and to the Southward of White Bay, when discovering nothing that could assist him there, Mr. Cormack proceeded Southwardly, to the Red Indians' Lake, where he spent several days, examining the deserted encampments, and the remains of the tribe. At this place were found several wooden cemeteries, one of which contained the remains of Mary March and her husband, with those of others; but discovering nothing which indicated that any of the living tribe had recently been there, Mr. Cormack rafted about seventy miles down the river, touching at various places in his way, and again reached the mouth of the Exploits, after an absence of thirty days, and having traversed 200 miles of the interior, encompassing most of the country which is known to have been hitherto the favourite resort of the Indians. Mr. Cormack is decidedly of opinion that the tribe have taken refuge in some sequestered spot in the neighbourhood of Bay of Islands, west of White Bay, or in the South west part of the Island; and having found where they are not, he apprehends very little difficultly in finding where they really are: Mr. Cormack has engaged three of the most intelligent of the other Indians to follow up his search in the ensuing year; and he feels persuaded that the pursuit will be ultimately attended with complete success.'"

A much fuller account of this last expedition of Cormack is contained in the Journal for March 1829, and as it is Mr. Cormack's own report I give it here in full.


"Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal," March 1829.

Report of Mr. W.E. Cormack's Journey in search

of the Red Indians of Newfoundland.

Read before the Beothuck Institution at St. John's,

Newfoundland. Communicated by Mr. Cormack.

Pursuant to special summons, a meeting of this Institution was held at St. John's on the 12th day of January 1828; the Hon. A.W. Desbarres, Vice Patron, in the chair. The Hon. Chairman stated, that the primary motive which led to the formation of the Institution, was the desire of opening a communication with, and promoting the civilization of, the Red Indians of Newfoundland; and of procuring, if possible, an authentic history of that unhappy race of people, in order that their language, customs and pursuits, might be contrasted with those of other Indians and nations; -- that in following up the chief object of the Institution, it was anticipated that much information would be obtained respecting the natural productions of the island; the interior of which is less known than any other of the British possessions abroad. Their excellent President keeping all these objects in view, had permitted nothing worthy of research to escape his scrutiny, and consequently a very wide field of information was now introduced to their notice, all apparently highly interesting and useful to society, if properly cultivated. He was aware of their natural anxiety to hear from the President an outline of his recent expedition, and he would occupy their attention further, only by observing, that the purpose of the present meeting would be best accomplished by taking into consideration the different subjects recommended to them in the President's report, and passing such resolutions as might be considered necessary to govern the future proceedings of the Institution.

The President, W.E. Cormack, Esq., then laid the following statement before the meeting.

Having so recently returned, I will now only lay before you a brief outline of my expedition in search of the Beothucks, or Red Indians, confining my remarks exclusively to its primary object. A detailed report of the journey will be prepared, and submitted to the Institution, whenever I shall have leisure to arrange the other interesting materials which have been collected.

My party consisted of three Indians, whom I procured from among the other different tribes, viz. an intelligent and able man of the Abenakie tribe, from Canada; an elderly Mountaineer from Labrador; and an adventurous young Micmac, a native of this island, together with myself. It was difficult to obtain men fit for the purpose, and the trouble attending on this prevented my entering upon the expedition a month earlier in the season. It was my intention to have commenced our search at White Bay, which is nearer the Northern extremity of the Island than where we did, and to have travelled Southward. But the weather not permitting to carry our party thither by water, after several days delay, I unwillingly changed my line of route.

/190/ On the 31st of October 1828 last, we entered the country at the mouth of the River Exploits, on the North side, at what is called the Northern Arm. We took a North-westerly direction to lead us to Hall's Bay, which place we reached through an almost uninterrupted forest, over a hilly country, in eight days. This tract comprehends the country interior from New Bay, Badger Bay, Seal Bay, &c., these being minor bays, included in Green or Notre Dame Bay, at the North-east part of the island, and well known to have been always heretofore the summer residence of the Red Indians.

On the fourth day after our departure, at the East end of Badger Bay Great Lake, at a portage known as the Indian path we found traces made by the Red Indians, evidently in the spring or summer of the preceding year. Their party had had two canoes; and here was a canoe-rest, on which the daubs of red-ochre, and the root of trees used to tie it together appeared fresh. A canoe-rest, is simply a few beams supported horizontally about five feet from the ground, by perpendicular posts. A party with two canoes, when descending from the interior to the sea coast, through such a part of the country as this, where there are troublesome portages, leave one canoe resting, bottom up, on this kind of frame, to protect it from injury by the weather, until their return. Among other things which lay strewed about here, were a spear shaft, eight feet in length, recently made and ochred; parts of old canoes, fragments of their skin-dresses, &c. For some distance around, the trunks of many of the birch and of that species of spruce pine called here the Var (Pinus balsamifera) had been rinded; these people using the inner part of the bark of that kind of tree for food. Some of the cuts of the trees with the axe, were evidently made the preceding year. The traces left by the Red Indians are so peculiar, that we were confident those we saw were made by them.

This spot has been a favourite place of settlement with these people. It is situated at the commencement of a portage, which forms a communication by a path between the sea-coast at Badger Bay about eight miles to the North-east, and a chain of lakes extending Westerly and Southerly from hence, and discharging themselves by a rivulet into the River Exploits, about thirty miles from its mouth. A path also leads from this place to the lakes, near New Bay, to the Eastward. Here are the remains of one of their villages, where the vestiges of eight or ten winter mamateeks or wigwams, each intended to contain from six to eighteen or twenty people, are distinctly seen close together. Besides these, there are the remains of summer wigwams. Every winter wigwam has close by it a small square mouthed or oblong pit, dug in the earth about four feet deep, to preserve their stores, &c. in. Some of these pits were lined with birch rind. We discovered also in this village the remains of a vapour-bath. The method used by the Beothucks to raise the steam, was by pouring water on large stones made very hot for the purpose, in the open air, by burning a quantity of wood around them; after this process, the ashes were removed, and a hemispherical framework closely covered with skins, to exclude the external air, was fixed over the stones. The patient then crept in under /191/ the skins, taking with him a birch rind bucket of water, and a small bark dish to dip it out, which by pouring on the stones, enabled him to raise the steam at pleasure.(70)

At Hall's Bay we got no useful information, from the three (and only) English families settled there. Indeed we could hardly have expected any; for these, and such people, have been the unchecked and ruthless destroyers of the tribe, the remnant of which we were in search of. After sleeping one night at a house, we again struck into the country to the westward.

In five days we were on the highlands south of White Bay and in sight of the highlands east of the Bay of Islands, on the West coast of Newfoundland. The country south and west of us was low and flat, consisting of marshes, extending in a southerly direction more than thirty miles. In this direction lies the famous Red Indians' Lake. It was now near the middle of Nov. and the winter had commenced pretty severely in the interior. The country was everywhere covered with snow, and for some days past, we had walked over the small ponds on the ice. The summits of the hills on which we stood had snow on them, in some places, many feet deep. The deer were migrating from the rugged and dreary mountains in the north, to the low mossy barrens, and more woody parts in the south; and we inferred, that if any of the Red Indians had been at White Bay during the past summer, they might be at that time stationed about the borders of the low tract of country before us, at the deer-passes, or were employed somewhere else in the interior, killing deer for winter provision. At these passes, which are particular places in the migration lines of path, such as the extreme ends of and straits in, many of the larger lakes, -- the foot of valleys between high or rugged mountains, -- fords in the large rivers, and the like, -- the Indians kill great numbers of deer with very little trouble, during their migrations. We looked out for two days from the summits of the hills adjacent, trying to discover the smoke from the camps of the Red Indians; but in vain. These hills command a very extensive view of the country in every direction.

We now determined to proceed towards the Red Indians' Lake sanguine that, at that known rendezvous, we would find the objects of our search.

Travelling over such a country, except when winter has fairly set in, is truly laborious.

In about ten days we got a glimpse of this beautifully majestic and splendid sheet of water. The ravages of fire, which we saw in the woods for the last two days, indicated that man had been near. We looked down on the lake, from the hills at the northern extremity, with feelings /192/ of anxiety and admiration: -- No canoe could be discovered moving on its placid surface, in the distance. We were the first Europeans who had seen it in an unfrozen state,(71) for the three former parties who had visited it before, were here in the winter, when its waters were frozen and covered over with snow. They had reached it from below, by way of the River Exploits, on the ice. We approached the lake with hope and caution; but found to our mortification that the Red Indians had deserted it for some years past. My party had been so excited, so sanguine, and so determined to obtain an interview of some kind with these people, that on discovering from appearances every where around us, that the Red Indians, the terror of the Europeans as well as the other Indian inhabitants of Newfoundland, -- no longer existed, the spirits of one and all of us were very deeply effected. The old Mountaineer was particularly overcome. There were everywhere indications, that this had long been the central and undisturbed rendezvous of the tribe when they had enjoyed peace and security. But these primitive people had abandoned it, after being tormented with parties of Europeans during the last 18 years. Fatal rencounters had on these occasions unfortunately taken place.

We spent several melancholy days wandering on the borders of the east end of the lake, surveying the various remains of what we now contemplated to have been an unoffending and cruelly extirpated race. At several places, by the margin of the lake, small clusters of winter and summer wigwams in ruins. One difference among others, between the Beothuck wigwams and those of other Indians, is, that in most of the former there are small hollows, like nests, dug in the earth around the fire place, one for each person to sit in. These hollows are generally so close together, and also so close to the fire place, and to the sides of the wigwam that I think it probable these people have been accustomed to sleep in a sitting position. There was one wooden building constructed for drying and smoking venison, in still perfect condition; also a small log house, in a dilapidated condition, which we took to have been once a store-house. The wreck of a large handsome birch rind canoe, about twenty-two feet in length, comparatively new, and certainly very little used, lay thrown up among the bushes at the beach. We supposed that the violence of a storm had rent it in the way it was found and that the people who were in it had perished; for the iron nails, of which there was no want, all remained in it. Had there been any survivors, nails being much prised by those people, they never having held intercourse with Europeans, such an article would no doubt have been taken out for use again. All the birch trees in the vicinity of the lake had been rinded, and many of them and of the spruce fir or var (Pinus balsamifera) Canadian balsam tree, had the bark taken off, to use the inner part of it for food as noticed before.

Their wooden repositories for the dead are in the most perfect state of preservation. They are of different constructions, it would appear, according to the character or rank of the person entombed. In one of them, which resembles a hut ten feet by eight or nine, and four or five feet high /193/ in the centre, floored with squared poles, the roof covered with rinds of trees, and in every way well secured against the weather inside, and the intrusion of wild beasts, there were two grown persons laid out at full length on the floor, the bodies wrapped round with deer skins. One of those bodies appeared to have been placed here not longer ago than five or six years. We thought there were children laid in here also. On first opening this building, by removing the posts which formed the end, our curiosity was raised to the highest pitch, but what added to our surprise, was the discovery of a white deal coffin, containing a skeleton neatly shrouded in muslin. After a long pause of conjecture how such a thing existed here, the idea of Mary March(72) occurred to one of the party, and the whole mystery was at once explained.

In this cemetery were deposited a variety of articles, in some instances the property, in others the representation of the property, and utensils, and of the achievements, of the deceased. There were two small wooden images of a man and woman, no doubt meant to represent husband and wife; a small doll, which was supposed to represent a child (for Mary March had to leave her only child here, which died two days after she was taken); several small models of their canoes; two small models of boats; an iron axe; a bow and quiver of arrows were placed by the side of Mary March's husband; and two /194/ fire-stones (radiated iron pyrites, from which they produce fire, by striking them together) lay at his head; there were also various kinds of culinary utensils, neatly made, of birch rind and ornamented, and many other things some of which we did not know the use or meaning.

Another mode of sepulture which we saw here was, where the body of the deceased had been wrapped in birch rind, and with his property, placed on a sort of scaffold about four feet and a half on the ground. The scaffold was formed of four posts, about seven feet high, fixed perpendicularly in the ground, to sustain a kind of crib, five feet and a half in length by four in breadth, with a floor made of small squared beams, laid close together horizontally, and on which the body and property rested.

A third mode was, when the body, bent together, and wrapped in birch rind, was enclosed in a kind of box, on the ground. The box was made of small squared posts, laid on each other horizontally, and notched at the corners, to make them meet close; it was about four feet by three, and two and a half feet deep, and well lined with birch rind, to exclude the weather from the inside. The body lay on its right side.

A fourth and the most common mode of burying among these people, has been, to wrap the body in birch rind, and cover it over with a heap of stones, on the surface of the earth, in some retired spot; sometimes the body, thus wrapped up, is put a foot or two under the surface, and the spot covered with stones; in one place, where the ground was sandy and soft, they appeared to have been buried deeper, and no stones placed over the graves.

These people appear to have always shewn great respect for their dead; and the most remarkable remains of them commonly observed by Europeans at the sea-coast, are their burying places. These are at particular chosen spots; and it is well known that they have been in the habit of bringing their dead from a distance to them. With their women they bury only their clothes.

On the north side of the lake, opposite the River Exploits, are the extremities of the two deer fences, about half a mile apart, where they lead to the water. It is understood that they diverge many miles in north-westerly directions. The Red Indian makes these fences to lead and scare the deer to the lake, during the periodical migration of these animals; the Indians being stationed looking out when the deer get into the water to swim across, the lake being narrow at this end, they attack and kill the animals with spears out of their canoes. In this way they secure their winter provisions before the severity of that season sets in.

There were other old remains of different kinds peculiar to these people met with about the lake.

One night we encamped on the foundation of an old Red Indian wigwam, on the extremity of a point of land which juts out into the lake, and exposed to the view of the whole country around. A large fire at night is the life and soul of such a party as ours, and when it blazed up at times, I could not help observing that two of my Indians evinced uneasiness and want of confidence in things around, as if they thought themselves usurpers on the Red Indian territory. From time immemorial /195/ none of the Indians of the other tribes had ever encamped near this lake fearlessly, and, as we had now done, in the very centre of such a country; the lake and territory adjacent having been always considered to belong exclusively to the Red Indians, and to have been occupied by them. It had been our invariable practice hitherto to encamp near hills, and be on their summits by dawn of day, to try to discover the morning smoke ascending from the Red Indians' camps; and to prevent the discovery of ourselves, extinguishing our own fire always some length of time before daylight.

Our only and frail hope now left of seeing the Red Indians lay on the banks of the River Exploits, on our return to the sea coast.

The Red Indian's Lake discharges itself about three or four miles from its north-east end, and its waters form the River Exploits. From the lake to the sea-coast is considered about seventy miles; and down this noble river the steady perseverance and intrepidity of my Indians carried me on rafts in four days, to accomplish which otherwise, would have required probably two weeks. We landed at various places on both banks of the river on our way down, but found no traces of the Red Indians so recent as those seen at the portage at Badger Bay, Great Lake, towards the beginning of our excursion. During our descent, we had to construct new rafts at the different water-falls. Sometimes we were carried down the rapids at the rate of ten miles an hour or more, with considerable risk of destruction to the whole party, for we were always together on one raft.

What arrests the attention most, while gliding down the stream, is the extent of the Indian fences to entrap the deer. They extend from the lake downwards, continuous, on the banks of the river at least thirty miles. There are openings left here and there in them, for the animals to go through and swim across the river, and at these places the Indians are stationed and kill them in the water with spears, out of their canoes, as at the lake. Here, then, connecting these fences with those on the north-side of the lake, is at least forty miles of country, easterly and westerly, prepared to intercept all the deer that pass that way in their periodical migrations. It was melancholy to contemplate the gigantic, yet feeble efforts of a whole primitive nation, in their anxiety to provide subsistence, forsaken and going to decay.

There must have been hundreds of the Red Indians, and that not many years ago, to have kept up these fences and pounds. As their numbers were lessened so was their ability to keep them up for the purpose intended; and now the deer pass the whole line unmolested.

We infer, that the few of those people who yet survive have taken refuge in some sequestered spot, still in the northern part of the island and where they can procure deer to subsist on.

On the 29th November we again returned to the mouth of the River Exploits, in thirty days after our departure from then having made a complete circuit of about 200 miles in the Red Indian territory.(73)

/196/ I have now stated generally the result of my excursion, avoiding for the present, entering into any detail. The materials collected on this, as well as on my excursion across the interior a few years ago, and on other occasions, put me in possession of a knowledge of the natural condition and production of Newfoundland and, as a member of an institution formed to protect the aboriginal inhabitants of the country in which we live, and to prosecute enquiry into the moral character of man in his primitive state, I can at this early stage of our institution, assert, trusting to nothing vague, that we already possess more information concerning these people than has been obtained during the two centuries and a half in which Newfoundland has been in the possession of Europeans. But it is to be lamented that now, when we have taken up the cause of a barbarously treated people, so few should remain to reap the benefit of our plans for their civilization. The institution and its supporters will agree with me, that, after the unfortunate circumstances attending past encounters between Europeans and Red Indians, it is best now to employ Indians belonging to the other tribes to be the medium of beginning the intercourse we have in view; and indeed, I have already chosen three of the most intelligent men from among the others met with in Newfoundland, to follow up my search.

In conclusion, I congratulate the institution on the acquisition of several ingenious articles, the manufacture of the Boeothicks, some of which we had the good fortune to discover on our recent excursion; -- models of their canoes, bows and arrows, spears of different kinds, &c. and also a complete dress worn by that people.(74) Their mode of kindling fire is not only original, but as far as we at present know, is peculiar to the tribe. These articles, together with a short vocabulary of their language, consisting of 200 to 300 words, which I have been enabled to collect, proved the Boeothicks to be a distinct tribe from any hitherto discovered in North America. One remarkable characteristic of their language, and in which it resembles those of Europe more than any other languages do, with which we have had an opportunity of comparing it -- is its abounding in diphthongs. In my detailed report, I would propose to have plates of these articles, and also of the like articles used by other tribes of Indians, that a comparative idea may be formed of them; and when the Indian female Shanawdithit arrives in St. John's I would recommend that a correct likeness be taken, and be preserved in the records of the institution. One of the specimens of mineralogy which we found in our excursion, was a block of what is called Labrador Feldspar,(75) nearly 4 1/2 feet in length, by about three feet in breadth and thickness. This is the largest piece of that beautiful rock yet discovered anywhere. Our subsistence in the interior was entirely animal food, deer and beavers which we shot.

Resolved, -- That the measures recommended in the President's report be agreed to; and that the three men, Indians of the Canadian and Mountaineer tribes, be placed upon the establishment of this Institution, to /197/ be employed under the immediate direction and control of the President; and that they be allowed for their services such a sum of money as the president may consider a fair and reasonable compensation: That it be the endeavour of this institution to collect every useful information respecting the natural productions and resources of this island, and, from time to time, to publish the same in its reports: That the instruction of Shanawdithit would be much accelerated by bringing her to St. John's, &c.: That the proceedings of the institution since its establishment be laid before his Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonial Department, by the President, on his arrival in England.

(signed) "A.W. DES BARRES,

Chairman and Vice-Patron."

Letters of W.E. Cormack, Esq., addressed to John Stark, Esq., Secretary of the Beothuck Institution, relative to affairs of the Institution, &c.

Mr. Peyton's Exploits.

26th October, 1827.

John Stark, Esq.

My Dear Sir,

Since you left me I have been at Gander Bay, and engaged two more Indians into my service, a Micmac and a Mountaineer. They are all here now ready and equipped for the expedition and I expect to sail from here to Hall's Bay tomorrow, to enter the country there; traverse from thence to White Bay, thence traverse towards the Red Indian's Lake, thence return traversing to and about Badger Bay Ponds and River. The season will be too late to go over any more of the country in search of the Red Indians, but I expect to discover them in this circuit. Whether I succeed now or not in forcing a friendly intercourse with any of them, I am determined to bring about in a few years an intercourse between them and the Europeans.

Enclosed is a copy of the statement I made for the meeting of the friends of the Boeothuck Institution at Twillingate. I sent Judge Des Barres a copy of the same by the last opportunity for St. John's. In it there was a mistake in the first page, -- nearest part of the New World to the Old, "say nearest part of the New World to Europe &c." -- at the beginning of page fourth for "more independant &c. say such independant &c." You know what place in the report of the proceedings to put my statement. I give the Indians I have employed five pounds per month, and five pounds each if we succeed in obtaining an interview with the Red Indians. To carry objects into effect, the Boeothuck Institution will require about 250 pounds per annum. All the officers must exert themselves in raising funds sufficient. I am in hopes of meeting some of the Red Indians within a fortnight hence. Dr. Tremlett has come to Exploits with me and is here now.

The Gazette has seemed to take more interest in Indian affairs than any of the other N.F.L. papers, and I think you should give the report of the proceedings of the meeting at Twillingate to it for insertion.

/198/ I hope you have introduced Capt. Clapperton as a corresponding member of the Boeothuck Institution. I have employed John Lewis, who you saw on board the Dewsbury, to visit the Red Indians after he returns with me from this visit, to take them in some presents, and otherwise make advances to them to come out to some of the European settlers. I will by degrees have them civilized.

I remain,

My dear sir,

Yours truly,

(signed) W.E. CORMACK.

Second Letter (in reply to Mr. Stark 21st December).


24th December, 1827.

John Stark, Esq.

My Dear Sir,

I have regretted day after day, before as well as since the recipt [receipt] of your esteemed letter of the 21st. inst. that occupations sometimes of one kind and sometimes of another have prevented me the pleasure of telling you that I had returned from my visit to the territory, the ancient territory, of the Boeothucks. You have seen the gleaning of outline of my route in the newspapers. We found traces at Badger Bay Great Lake, convincing us that they had been there last year, a party of them with two canoes: It buoyed us up with expectations; but at the Red Indians' Lake, between two and three weeks afterwards, we had to suffer bitter disappointment from the loss of hopes of seeing any of them alive on that excursion: They had totally deserted their favourite Rendezvous, -- the Great Lake, -- five or six years appeared to have had elapsed since any of them had been there: their wooden cemeteries -- tombs, deserted wigwams: The banks of the noble River of Exploits we afterwards also found abandoned. -- Again referring you to the Gazette I have the strongest hopes that next summer will tell us how many and where they are: I have employed three Indians to go direct to White Bay and Bay of Islands next spring in search of them; they are not to relinquish the pursuit until they succeed in making brothers of them; and when they bring a Red Indian man to Peyton's or other English house, as a brother, they are to receive 100 pounds: Before they succeed in this, some expense will necessarily be incurred. Reports about the Red Indians I now set aside. The Indians employed now know where to go for them, putting reports and assistance from any but ourselves at defiance.

Accept my thanks, and I was much pleased at the report of the formation of the Boeothuck Institution, as well as, for your other services, subsequent to that event. Judge Des Barres has been so occupied lately, that I have hardly seen him; but we are to meet to-morrow morning on business. Boeothuck is the pronunciation of the word in question, -- or Beo-thuck, or Boe-thick, the emphasis being on the diphthong oe and almost dropping the o. The report is yet only in embryo, but in a few days will have this pleasure again with something on that point. &c. &c.

Remaining my dear sir, in the meantime,

Yours very truly,

(signed) W.E. CORMACK.

P.S. I sail for England on the 10th prox. in the Brig. Geo. Canning.


Third Letter written after his return from England 1828.


20th May, 1828.

My dear Stark,

I am, &c. . . . then follows a lot of personal matters of no importance, and references to various friends &c. Only one paragraph refers to the affairs of the Boethuck Institution, as follows, "I have read with great interest the proceedings relative to the Boeothuck affairs, during my absence. We may expect to here [hear] from John Louis, from North part of the island in August or September. I have every expectation, that an interview, as desired would be obtained.

Enclosed are two Liverpool papers, besides in these, the Boeothuck Institution and its objects were noticed in several other English and Scotch papers, Edinburgh Philosophical Journal &c. &c."

I remain my dear sir,

Yours very truly,

(signed) W.E. CORMACK.

Fourth Letter to Mr. Stark.

dated May 21st, 1828.

(This contains no references to the Beothuck Institution or its affairs.)

Fifth Letter to Mr. Stark.

dated ST. JOHN'S,

May 24th, 1828.

My dear Sir,

He first refers to the previous letter and then goes on to say. "It gives me much pleasure now to tell you that I received this morning from Fortune Bay a very agreeable report of the progress of our Indians; John Louis had been joined by the two Indians we were so desirous of getting into our service." The following is extract of Mr. Crude's letter (Mr. C. of Newman and Cos. Gaultois) "John with two other Indians (Peter John and John Stevens) left this 27th March in pursuit of the Red Indians, -- they seem to be almost confident of finding them." Please to communicate this to our worthy member Mr. Scott. I expect to hear from the party themselves in a month or so.

(signed) W.E. CORMACK.

P.S. I will see Judge to-morrow and write you on the subject of our meeting on 1st June.

26th May, 1828.

In anticipation of the first of June, Judge Des Barres and I had some conversation on the subject of our meeting on that day: It is not imperative that our Secretary be here on Monday next, but it will be imperative on him to attend when a meeting of the Boeothuck Institution is called in consequence of the Boeothucks having been met with by the party in search of them. We intend to have a meeting on that day, and will thank you previously to send in a list of subscriptions to the future welfare of the Institution, that we may publish them.

In truth my

Dear Sir,

Yours &c.



Sixth Letter to Mr. Stark


21st June, 1828.

My dear Stark,

The three Indians John Louis, John Stevens and Peter John returned here last night, in a schooner from river Exploits. They travelled from Bay of Despair to St. George's Bay (Harbour) -- thence W. 70 degrees N. to Bay of Islands -- over the Bay of Islands Lake(76) -- thence S.E. to the Red Indian Lake, and down the River Exploits: the only place left unsearched (and that above all others where they are most likely to be found is White Bay). They ought to have gone there before they returned. We think of sending them now, in a vessel going that way, to White Bay and settle the question as speedily as possible, whether any of the Boeothucks survive or not. This vessel goes hence on Tuesday. We are to have a consultation to day &c.

I remain my dear Sir,

Yours very truly,

(signed) W.E. CORMACK.

Letters of John Stark, Esq., Secretary of the Beothuck Institution.

Addressed to W.E. Cormack, President.

First Letter (in reply to W.E.C.'s of 26th October).


21st Dec., 1828.

My dear Sir,

I congratulate you most sincerely upon your safe return to your friends and am very glad to find from Mr. Lilly that you are in good health and spirits, which I hope you will long continue to be blessed with. You will have seen the Gazette of the 13th ulto. I regret that being so very busy prevented my more close attention to the publication of our proceedings. I have sent one copy to Mr. Barrow, privately, and one copy to a Liverpool Newspaper, also a copy to Sir Charles Hamilton,(77) but I have not, nor shall I, take any steps publicly to gain subscriptions without your advice. I think when you have had time to sound the St. John's folks you should appoint some one to go round for subscriptions, apprise me of that fact and I shall instantly set about it in Conception Bay. I shall on the other hand, most readily attend to any suggestion of yours to further your views and ultimate proceedings which every nerve of mine shall be strained to promote to the very summit of your wishes, and to the best of my ability. You will also I suppose write to the Bishop, Doctor Jamieson, and Mr. Barrow, and if necessary a memorial should be drawn up to Government after we shall be able to shew to the world what our subscriptions are. News I have none to communicate, notwithstanding which I shall hope to hear from you when you have had a little respite.

I remain

My dear sir,

Yours most faithfully,

(signed) JOHN STARK.

P.S. Pardon this hasty scrawl.

If the word "Boothick" is wrong and should be Boethick, pray tell Mr. Winton and see him correct it before his Almanack comes out &c.


Second Letter (in reply to W.E.C.'s 26th May).

28th May, 1828.

Dear Cormack,

I last night received your kind letter of the 26th. I have only time now to say that I delayed calling for subscription for the Boeothuck Institution in the hope of a successful Seal-fishery, thinking by that mode to get more money than I can now reasonably expect. -- I last night wrote Mr. Cozens and to Mr. Pack on the subject, and I shall myself go round Harbour Grace one day this week and get all I can, but I beg you will not publish anything till all our lists reach you. I cannot possibly come to St. John's till after the 7th June, but I shall be with you soon after that day. I am proud, very proud to hear of Lewis' success so far and I augur much good from his exertions.

I shall leave no stone unturned to serve you in the pursuit of the benevolent object you have in view. Judge Des Barres is also a warm friend of the cause.

In great haste

(signed) J. STARK.

Third Letter. (Reply to W.E.C. June 21st.)

23rd June.

My dear Cormack,

I duly received your letter of the 21st and regret very much indeed the result of the trip of the Indians. I think with you that it is the duty of the Society to try the only spot remaining unsearched, and you are surely the best judge of the means that ought to be adopted, for my own part I will second any measure you may propose in order to carry into full effect the designs of the Society. &c. . . .

Yours very truly,

(signed) J. STARK.

Fourth Letter.


12th September, 1828.

8 P.M.

Dear Cormack,

We proceed to Peyton's at One o'clock to-morrow in Mr. Pearce's Yacht for the express purpose of bringing Shanawdithit down with us and if we arrive back in time I hope she will accompany this letter in Clarke's schooner to sail on Monday. The more I thought of her deplorable and dark situation, the more I have been impressed with the great importance of her education being proceeded in forthwith, in addition to every other consideration, I feel that individually and collectively the Boe-othuck Institution are doubly called upon to take that unfortunate creature under our own immediate protection for shall it be said that we have held out to the public hopes which cannot be realized, or shall we permit ourselves to be accused of lukewarmness in a cause likely to be so glorious in the results, nay but setting aside these propositions, shall we not as members of society do all in our power to reclaim a very savage from the verge of continued ignorance. I am sure you will heartily join with me in the opinion I have now expressed of her speedy removal to St. John's not only as a measure calculated to do her a real service, but a measure which will /202/ afford you and me the satisfaction of knowing that we have contributed our mite in the general cause of humanity. I find I am running on and classing myself with you, in your efforts to reclaim from ignorance a portion of your fellow creatures, but when I reflect I deny that I have any right whatever to do so, I leave you all the credit and may the palm be thine, &c. . . .

Believe me to continue,

Your sincere friend,

(signed) JOHN STARK.

W.E. Cormack, Esq.

Fifth Letter.


11 P.M. 16th September, 1828.

My dear Cormack,

As I advised you by Mr. Clark's schooner, we came away without her. Mrs. Peyton however very kindly sent us a boat with her this day. She is now at Mr. Chapman's, both Mr. and Mrs. C. have been very kind to her indeed. This will be handed to you by Mr. Abbott who carries round Shanawdithit for you. Mr. Abbott if he charges anything for her passage will not demand more than twenty shillings, but I have not paid him anything, you can therefore arrange with him, I think if he gets credit for 20/- subscription that will pay her passage, I proposed this and he did not seem to object. Thus you have at last arrived at something tangible, and I should by all means recommend her being immediately placed under the care of some steady woman, and placed at school every day, by the bye have her vaccinated at once. She wants new clothes but I thought it better to send her to St. John's for there she can get clothes much cheaper than here. Let me suggest that a stout watch should always be kept over her morals and that no one should be allowed to see her without special permission. You will I dare say tell me it is in vain for me to suggest these things to a man of your sound sense and discriminating knowledge of human nature, yet I feel that if I were to neglect doing so, I might perhaps blame myself when it would be too late. The great interest taken in this unfortunate creature by the Attorney General renders him peculiarly well fitted, being a married man, to advise you what to do upon the occasion. I ought to say that Mrs. Peyton was quite willing for her to come away and I hope Mr. Peyton will not be displeased. To please Nancy I shall give her a separate note for you. She says the found arrow never could have been made by an Indian. An old fellow named Dale of Exploits says positively that he saw the smoke of the Red Indians' wigwams last winter, but I fear that if there are any left they must be very few indeed in number.

Mr. Willoughby has generously subscribed Ten pounds to form a fund for the support of Shanawdithit, but exclusively for that purpose. I think if we cannot find out any more of the Aborigines she ought at all events to be educated and supported for life by the public, and an annuity might be purchased and settled upon her, of this however more when we meet or when I shall have more leisure to write you. Nancy sails at 8 to-morrow morning if the wind is fair. We also sail for Fogo early to-morrow mornign but I shall see her first if possible. Judge Des Barres sends her a little sea stock on board, &c. . . .

Yours very faithfully,

(signed) JOHN STARK.


Sixth Letter.


16th September, 1828.

Dear Cormack,

This note will I trust be handed to you by the Red Indian Shanawdithit herself. She asked me if you had any family, I told her that when I left St. John's you were single but that I could not tell how long you would remain so. Above all things I request you will get her vaccinated by Doctor Carson upon the very day she reaches Saint John's, pray let nothing prevent this.

Yours faithfully,

(signed) JOHN STARK.

The following letter from the Micmac Indian, John Lewis, to Judge Des Barres, is so characteristic of those people, I deem worthy of insertion here.

CLOD SOUND March 6th 1828.

Sir The Barer Peter John he could not go Without any assistance from that you or your order which is much in need of want few Articles one Barrill of flour and 1 wt Bread and some Clothing 3 yds. of Braud cloth

10 yds. of Bleue Sarge

4 yds. of Callico

30 lbs. Sugar

and sended first opportunity in Silvage or in Clod sound if possible because it will be no body it in Clod sound but Peter Johns wife & 4 Chielderens all the rest of Indians be in the country for Beaver hunting or other thing else Family and all and it will be no body saport or stay with peters wife childrens. as for John Stevens-s-family the father he tak care of.

Sir your humble servant


Letter from Prof. Jameson.

(Enclosing copies of letters from John Barrow, Esq. and Lord Bathurst.)

Dear Sir,

I send for the information of your brother(?) copies of letters I have received in regard to his Newfoundland journey which you may have some opportunity of forwarding to him. I am pleased to find both Lord Bathurst and Barrow interested and think their good wishes may be of service to your brother in Newfoundland. Pray present to him my kindest remembrance and tell him from me that we expect from him on his return still more information in regard to Newfoundland.

I am dear sir

Yours faithfully,

(signed) R. JAMESON.


From Dr. Barrow to Prof. Jameson.

ADMY. 18th September.

My dear Sir,

I have sent the chart, memoir and letter of Mr. Cormack together with your letter to Lord Bathurst, who however is just now out of town, and when he has seen them I have desired to have them again for the purpose you mention of making them public; they appear to be very creditable to the zeal and enterprise of Mr. Cormack in a difficult country of which we know little or nothing.

I am dear Sir,

very truly yours,

(signed) JOHN BARROW.

From Dr. Barrow to Prof. Jameson.

ADMY. 22nd Sept.

My dear Sir,

I now send you Lord Bathurst's letter to me in return to Mr. Cormack's communication through you, which I hope will encourage him to add to the information he has already procured. I am strongly for making public every addition to our knowledge of the globe.

I am my dear Sir,

very truly yours,

(signed) JOHN BARROW.

Letter from Lord Bathurst to Dr. Barrow.

My dear Sir,

I am much obliged to you for having transmitted to me Mr. Cormack's account of his Route through the interior of Newfoundland -- a country of which we are very ignorant, as I think that with one exception it has not been traversed before. The state of the Red Indians had attracted my attention many years ago, as there was reason to believe that our people had frequently put them to death without sufficient provocation, and in some instances I am ashamed to say, they were shot at in mere sport. There was no wonder that they flew from all our approaches, and it is not impossible that the Micmac Indians may have contributed to this indisposition to accept the advances which have been made them. Mr. Cormack's attempts to conciliate them could not be otherwise than interesting, and you will have the goodness to desire Professor Jameson to convey to Mr. Cormack my thanks for the communication.

I can have no objection to the publication of the account particularly under so respectable an editor as Professor Jameson.

Yours very sincerely,

(signed) BATHURST.


Letter to Mr. Cormack relative to his journey across country and

his reply thereto.

My dear Sir,

Will you oblige me by informing me in what year you made your journey into the interior, and whether the particulars were transmitted to the Secretary of State.

Very faithfully yours,

(signed) W.A. CLARKE.

31st July, 1827.


My dear Sir,

I made my excursion across the interior of the Island in the months of September and October 1822: A few general remarks and an outline of my route, were in the following year transmitted to Earl Bathurst, by my friend Prof. Jameson of Edinburgh. My journal with particulars, I have not yet been either contented or at leisure to revise.

Yours very truly,

(signed) W.E.C.

31st July, 1827.

Letter from Judge Des Barres.


6th August, 1827.

My dear Sir,

I have just heard from good authority that the Northern Circuit Court will be opened at Twillingate on the 11th of September ensuing and I can only repeat that I shall be most happy in offering you a passage or in any manner to facilitate the very humane and praiseworthy expedition which you have in comtemplation.

I am my dear Sir,

Yours very faithfully

(signed) A.W. DES BARRES.

Letters from the Bishop of Nova Scotia, Dr. Englis, to

W.E. Cormack and replies.


PLACENTIA, August 10th, 1827.

My dear Sir,

You expressed a wish that I should communicate to you the result of my reflection upon an attempt to have a friendly conference with the remnant of the Red Indians, if after due search, it shall be ascertained that such remnant exists.

I cannot hope to offer anything worth your consideration, but fulfil my engagement by occupying part of the leisure which a thick fog has given me, in writing this letter.

/206/ That an attempt at such conference is due to any of the unhappy tribe that may have survived all the efforts for their destruction by English, French, Esquimaux, Micmacks and Mountaineers, must be granted by all who have any feeling; in the hope that they may be brought into the neighbourhood of protection from their numerous destroyers; and cherished and instructed.

It has appeared to me that no pains should be spared in giving immediate instruction to Shanawdithit or Nancy that she may thoroughly understand the object of the proposed conference, and be well prepared to explain it in her native language -- and this may be more difficult than she imagines, in consequence of her long disuse of her own dialect.

The party attempting the conference should not be so large as to create much alarm. Yourself, Mr. Peyton, Shanawdithit, your Mountaineer and one other, would in my opinion, be sufficient, but great pains should be taken in selecting such a person as could be depended upon for coolness and discretion. As the Boeothucks have only bows and arrows a defence might easily be provided by light shields, which might be so constructed as to form good pillows. Two folds of skin, with light wadding between them would be sufficient, but they should be proved. Shanawdithit should be dressed and painted, as when she was first taken, and the sound of their own language from her, would probably induce any of them to stop. But I repeat she is not yet sufficiently instructed to be a good interpreter. She must learn more English, and keep up a knowledge and practise of her own language.

Although your services are kindly offered gratuitously, Peyton has lost so much by the Indians that it would be unreasonable to expect the same from him. I would therefore recommend that a plain statement should be drawn up of the intended rational attempt, and subscriptions would be obtained here and in England to defray the expense and recompence Peyton, and any balance might be appropriated to the Instruction and provision for Shanawdithit if none others should be found, and if others should happily be found, I would place them near their best hunting ground, and under protection, intelligence of which should be communicated with unsparing pains, to our own people, the French, and Mickmacks and all other Indian tribes. A little assistance in clothing, food, fishing gear and arms; and amunition to be periodically issued, would enable them to live. The expense would be small, and Government would defray it. Civilization we may hope would gradually follow. Capt. Canning and Mr. McLauchlin of the Rifle Brigade, who can endure more fatigue in forest walking than any persons I know, and are alike cool and intrepid would delight to share in the undertaking, and if you will let me hear from you particularly of your plan, I think it would be greatly assisted, if it should be possible to have their personal aid.

It is needless to say that I shall be glad to hear from you and that you have the best wishes of my dear Sir,

Your faithful servant,


W.E. Cormack, Esq.

Second Letter.

HALIFAX, September 11th, 1827.

My dear Sir,

I was glad to learn from your letter of the third that you were so near the commencement of your benevolent journey, to which I cordially wish the fullest and most gratifying success.

Your plans appear to be judicious, and I wish it were in my power to assist them by any suggestions worth your attention. All savage Nations, whose language /207/ is necessarily defective, are accustomed to symbols; ingenious in the use of them, and quick in ascertaining their meaning. Some are of a general character, and could be suggested by Mountaineer or Micmac. Any that more particularly belong to the Boeothuck may probably be painted out and explained with Mr. Peyton's help by Shanawdithit. She may also assist in depicting her own tribe and their dress and habits as she is clever with a pencil. Friendly feasts between the Europeans and the different Indians -- paddling in the same canoes -- presentation of gifts -- laying down or burying offensive implements. -- A marriage ceremony, if they have one. -- Feeding their children, occur to me; but they seem so obvious that you will hardly have passed them over; but I should have more dependence on anything suggested by Shanawdithit as known, and in use among her tribe. -- She can also perhaps supply peculiar marks on trees, and the shores of lakes and rivers.

I shall be very anxious to hear of your progress, and shall feel an interest in the whole of your undertaking -- repeating my best wishes, and my prayers for your preservation, and a blessing on your efforts. I remain my dear Sir,

Your faithful servant,


W.E. Cormack, Esq.

Third Letter.

HALIFAX, Dec. 21st, 1827.

My dear Sir,

I was much gratified to receive your letter of Oct. 25th written at Mr. Peyton's. You have excited my warm interest in the expedition in which you were just embarking, and great anxiety for its success. Your plans seem to have been formed with great judgement, but it is certainly to be regretted that Mr. Peyton could not attend you. In case of severe trial, I should fear the steadiness of your Indian companions would not be sufficient, and when they fancied their own lives in danger, I should be equally afraid of their firing and flying.

Should the Boeothuck be found and not brought in, I should think Shanawdithit might very well go to them on the second visit.

The report of your expedition will I hope be printed immediately. It might be well to add to it a detail of expenses to be defrayed by the Institution. If a few copies are sent to me, I will endeavour to make them useful both here and in England. I shall request my friend Mr. Dunscomb to do my part for me.

Allow me to thank you for the honour I have received in being nominated as Patron of your benevolent Institution; but I would beg to suggest the propriety of leaving this office open for His Excellency Sir Thomas Cochrane, who will promote our object. I shall be sufficiently distinguished if I may be permitted to occupy a part of the Vice Patron's chair, where I would hope to find myself near the Chief Justice.

If you should see Mr. Peyton after you receive this, be so good as to assure him I enquired &c. . . .

I hope this letter will find you safely returned to St. John's, where as well as elsewhere you have my best wishes for every success and blessing.

I remain my dear Sir,

with much esteem

your faithful servant,



Fourth Letter.


Sept. 18th, 1828.

My dear Sir,

I was happy in receiving your letter of August the 8th a few days ago at Quebec. That which you were so good to write from Liverpool has not yet reached me, owing probably to my absence from Halifax since the early part of May.

You have my best thanks for an account of the efforts already made for the discovery of the Boeothick, if any remain. The good work should be continued, until it becomes morally certain that none remain, and I have requested our excellent friend Mr. Dunscomb to do all that may be proper for me in the renewal of subscriptions as they may be expedient. The prospect of success seems clouded, but however late the effort, it will be a consolation to have done all that was now possible.

I am now on my way to Boston, and will make the enquiries you desire respecting Fisheries, with the result of which you shall be duly acquainted.

You speak of a change of profession, but do not name the line to which you look forward. I can only say you have my wishes and my prayers for right direction, and a blessing upon your course; and that I am with much regard and esteem,

Your faithful servant,


W.E. Cormack, Esq.

Cormack's Letter in reply.


26th October, 1828.

My Lord,

I was favoured by yours of Sept. 18th from the River St. Laurence, and I hope since that time your journey has been as agreeable to you as you could wish. I regretted you had not received my letter of April written in Liverpool, England, because I stated to you therein the reason that I for one, could not name either our Governor or Chief Justice Patron or Vice Patron of the spontaneous Boeothuck Institution.

The party of Indians sent in search of the Beothucks have again returned, without finding any traces of these people so recent as those I met with last year. The Red Indian woman Shanawdithit has been at length brought to St. John's, and for the present is staying in my house: I really apprehend since the return of the party, and from Shanawdithit's testimony, that the tribe of the Red Indians not only reduced to a mere remnant, but are on the very verge of extinction. Reports of some European settlers, make them to have been seen this summer at a place called Nippers Harbour in Notre Dame Bay about 20 miles S. of Cape St. John. The instructions of the party sent in search were that they should not return to us, without unequivocally ascertaining that the Red Indians were or were not totally extinct and not having done so, to save themselves from further censure, one or two of the party have volunteered to go to Notre Dame Bay again without reward to put the matter at rest. It is a melancholy reflection that our Local Government has been such as that under it the extirpation of a whole Tribe of primitive fellow creatures has taken place. The Government and those whose dependence on it overcame their better feelings still withhold their countenance from the objects of the Institution, and protection from the unfortunate female dropped off among us /209/ from the brink of the extermination of her tribe. Most of the Officers of Government and respectable civilians however feel humanely.

Shanawdithit is to leave me in a week or two to stay with Mr. Simms the Attorney General. This gentleman has been one of the warmest advocates here for humanity towards her people and I know it will be a gratification to him to take care of her and have her instructed. As she acquires the English language she becomes more interesting; and I have lately discovered the key to the Mythology of her tribe, which must be considered one of the most interesting subjects to enquire into. Looking forward, I entreat you to learn from time to time how she is coming on; for it is to such feelings as yours and Mr. Simms' that this unprotected creature will owe her value(?), and be prevented from sinking into abject dependance. She is already a faithful domestic servant. I say these things merely from the fear that she might be cast on the mercy of the Local Government of N.F.L., under which all the rest of the tribe have suffered.

To have this pleasure again soon I remain my Lord with the highest esteem,

Yours faithfully,

(signed) W.E. CORMACK.

To His Lordship, The Bishop

of Nova Scotia.

Bishop Englis's fifth letter.

HALIFAX, Nov. 13th, 1828.

My dear Sir,

Upon my return to this place on Saturday last, I found your missing letter from Liverpool, and I have since been favoured with that of Oct. 27th.

I am greatly obliged by your interesting accounts of the search that has been made for any remnant of the Boeothucks, and although there is too much reason to apprehend that no remnant is left there is some little satisfaction in having caused the best possible search for them, however late. I am glad that poor Shanawdithit is in such good hands, where due regard will I trust be given to her moral and religious instruction. I shall enquire for her with interest, and shall be glad if I can contribute to her welfare.

While at Boston I made the enquiry respecting the fisheries. I found generally that upon an average of five years the value of fish caught has been about 1,500,000 dollars, the export about 600,000 so that nearly two-thirds are consumed in the country. The reports I forward will I hope supply the greater part of the details you wished.

With sincere wishes for your happiness, and with kind regards to many friends around you

I am, My dear Sir,

Your faithful servant,


W.E. Cormack, Esq.


Cormack to Bishop of Nova Scotia.


10th January, 1829.

My Lord,

According to promise I now enclose you an unfinished paper on the value of Newfoundland and its fisheries. If you take the trouble to read it, and will make any suggestions or corrections I will be glad to receive them. The source of information on the French Fisheries are the most defective, but I may be enabled to rectify what is wanted here when in England this winter.

Shanawdithit is now becoming very interesting as she improves in the English language, and gains confidence in people around. I keep her pretty busily employed in drawing historical representations of everything that suggests itself relating to her tribe, which I find is the best and readiest way of gathering information from her. She has also nearly completed making a dress of her tribe.

Herewith you have the commencement of a compendium with the Natural History Society of Montreal, left open for your perusal or use. It may be unnecessary to beg the favour that it might afterwards be put into the printing office.

I expect to sail for England about the end of this month, and may not return here again. My address is at John MacGregor Esq. 56 Chapel Walks Liverpool.

I remain My Lord,

with the highest esteem

Your obedient servant

(signed) W.E.C.

To the Hon. & Right Revd. Bishop of

Nova Scotia.

Manuscript of W.E. Cormack's, apparently written after his

last expedition in search of the Red Indians.

On reflecting after my expedition in search of them that this primitive nation, unknowing and unknown to civilization, were so nearly extirpated, and that perhaps at that moment the remnant of them were expiring in the clothing armour and circumstances similar exactly to what such might have been previous to the discovery of America by Europeans, and for fear impressions I had received on my expedition might wear off, I lost no time in gathering together every fact and relic in my power relating to such a purely sylvan race. Most fortunately with the assistance of two gentlemen similarly interested in the subject as myself, I obtained the guardianship of the last survivor of them, a female who had been taken prisoner in a state of starvation some years before by several English fishermen at the seacoast, but which interesting individual had remained until that moment in obscurity in an outport at a distant part of the island. Having given her the confidence that she was to be protected and kindly treated by every white person as long as she lived instead of being illtreated, I elicited from her most interesting facts, and a history of her people which together with my own observations when in search of them in the interior, form nearly all the information that can ever be obtained relating to these aborigines.

/211/ They have been a bold heroic and purely self dependant nation never having either courted or been subdued by other tribes or Europeans. But what early mind -- a power -- could face gunpowder and firelocks? Hence their annihilation.

To connect primitive man with civilization, refinement and the arts -- is more immediately the object of this moment, and here we can come directly to facts the most interesting.

That they have been a nation superior to all others adjacent to them is evident from the remains we have of them, and is admitted by the other tribes on the continent of America. Indeed the fear of the other tribes of them, even felt at this very moment, although it is only of their shadow speaks for itself.

Every fact relating to this isolated nation similar or dissimilar to what has been met with amongst other tribes is interesting because it concerns man at a time more remote than any history.

Commencing with their dwellings we see the first remove from a few poles stuck in the ground and meeting at the top, and a skin or rind of trees laid on under which to lie down to sleep, from that we see the remove to the upright wall for a dwelling, in which to stand and move in comfort, next we see the remove from the simple circular to the angular and straight walled dwelling, from the octagonal to the five sided.

Then in their style of adorning the posts or poles outside of their doors, we can evidently trace the corinthian(?) a complete order in architecture, different countries producing animals with different kinds of horns, will cause variations in the capital.(78)

Mamateek or Wigwam.

Their Mamateeks, or wigwams, were far superior to those of the Micmac's. They were in general built of straight pieces of fir about twelve feet high, flattened at the sides, and driven in the earth close to each other; the corners being made stronger than the other parts. The crevices were filled up with moss, and the inside lined with the same material; the roof was raised so as to stand from all parts and meet in a point in the centre, where a hole was left for the smoke to escape. The remainder of the roof was covered with a treble coat of birch bark, and between the first and the second layers of bark was placed about six inches of moss, about the chimney clay was substituted for the moss. The sides of these mamateeks were covered with arms, that is, bows, arrows, clubs, stone hatchets, arrow heads, &c. and all these were arranged in the neatest manner. Beams were placed across where the roof began, over which smaller ones were laid; and on the latter were piled their provision -- dried salmon, venison, &c.


Beothuck Dress.

This was peculiar to the tribe, and consisted of but one garment, -- a sort of mantle, formed out of two deer skins, sewed together so as to be nearly square, -- a collar also formed with skins, was sometimes attached to the mantle, and reached along its whole breadth. It was formed without sleeves or buttons, and was worn thrown over the shoulders, the corners doubled over at the chest and arms. When the bow was to be used the upper part of the dress was thrown off from the shoulders and arms, and a broad fold, the whole extent of it, was secured round the loins, with a belt, to keep the lower part from the ground, and the whole from falling off, when the arms were at liberty. The collar of the dress was sometimes made of alternate stripes of otter and deer skins sewed together, and sufficiently broad to cover the head and face when turned up, and this is made to answer the purpose of a hood of a cloak in bad weather. Occasionally, leggings or gaiters were worn, and arm coverings, all made of deer skins. Their moccasins were also made of the same material; in summer, however, they frequently went without any covering for the feet.

Beothuck Arms.

These whether offensive or defensive, or for killing game were simply the bow and arrow, spear and club. The arrow heads were of two kinds viz. -- stone, bone or iron, the latter material being derived from Europeans, and the blunt arrow, the point being a knob continuous with the shaft. The former of these was used for killing quadrupeds and large birds. Two strips of goose feathers were tied on to balance the arrow, and it has been remarked by many persons who have seen the Red Indian arrows, that they have invariably been a yard long; the reason of this would seem to be that their measure for the arrow was the arm's length, that is from the centre of the chest to the tip of the middle finger, that being the proper length to draw the bow; -- the latter was about five feet long, generally made of mountain ash, but sometimes of spruce.(79)

The spears were of two kinds, the one, their chief weapon, was twelve feet in length, pointed with bone or iron, whenever the latter material could be obtained, and was used in killing deer and other animals. The other was fourteen feet in length and was used chiefly, if not wholly, in killing seals, -- the head or point being easily separated from the shaft, -- the service of the latter being indeed mainly, to guide the point into the body of the animal, which being effected, the shaft was withdrawn, and a strong strip of deer skin, which was always kept fastened to the spear head was held by the Indian, who in this manner secured his prey. This method of taking the seals may be compared to that of taking the whales. The handle of the harpoon being chiefly to guide the point, to which the /213/ cord is attached, into the body of the animal and then hauling against it until the fish is exhausted. The Esquimaux adopt a similar plan the point of their harpoon or spear being somewhat different in form.(80)


These varied from sixteen to twenty two feet in length, with an upward curve towards each end. Laths were introduced from stem to stern instead of planks. They were provided with a gunwhale or edging which, though slight, added strength to the fabric -- the whole was covered on the outside with deer skins sewed together and fastened by stitching the edges round the gunwhale.(81)


The language of the Boeothucks, Mr. Cormack is of opinion, is different from all the languages of the neighboring tribes of Indians with which any comparison has been made. Of all the words procured at different times from the female Indian Shanawdithit, and which were compared with the Micmac and Banake (the latter people bordering on the Mohawk) not one was found similar to the language of the latter people, and only two words which could be supposed to have had the same origin, viz., "Kuis" -- Boeothuck -- and "Kuse" Banake -- both words meaning Sun, -- and "Moosin" Boeothuck, -- and "Moccasin" Banake and Micmac shoe, or covering for the foot. The Boeothuck also differs from the Mountaineer and Eskimo languages of Labrador. The Micmac, Mountaineers, and Banake, have no "r" the Boeothuck has; the three first use "l" instead of "r." The Boeothuck has the diphthong "sh" -- the other languages have it not. The Boeothucks have no characters to serve as hieroglyphics or letters, but they had a few symbols or signatures.

Method of Interment.

The Boeothucks appear to have shown great respect for their dead, and the most remarkable remains of them commonly observed by Europeans at the sea coast, are their burial places. They had several modes of interment. One was when the body of the deceased had been wrapped in /214/ birch rind, it was then, with his property, placed on a sort of scaffold about four feet from the ground, the scaffold supported a flooring of small squared beams laid close together, on which the body and property rested.

A second method was, when the body bent together and wrapped in birch rinds was enclosed in a sort of box on the ground, -- this box was made of small square posts laid on each other horizontally, and notched at the corners to make them meet close, -- it was about four feet high, three feet broad, and two feet and a half deep, well lined with birch rind, so as to exclude the weather from the inside, -- the body was always laid on its right side.

A third and most common method of burying among this people was to wrap the body in birch rind, and then cover it over with a heap of stones on the surface of the earth; but occasionally in sandy places, or where the earth was soft and easily removed, the body was sunk lower in the earth and the stones omitted.

The marriage ceremony consisted merely in a prolonged feast which rarely terminated before the end of twenty-four hours. Polygamy would seem not to have been countenanced by the tribe.

Of their remedies for disease, the following were the most frequently resorted to.

For pains in the stomach, a decoction of the rind of the dogwood was drunk.

For sickness amongst old people -- sickness in the stomach -- pains in the back, and for rheumatism, the vapour bath was used.

For sore head, neck &c. pounded sulphuret of iron mixed with oil was rubbed over the part affected, and was said generally to affect a cure in two or three days.

For sore eyes, -- woman's milk as a wash.

Proclamation to the Micmacs.

This was evidently written by Cormack to be submitted to the Governor for approval, but I cannot learn that it was ever issued.

KING GEORGE is sorry his children the Red Indians live for no good, his children the Micmacs hunt and sell fur to the English. King George wants to tell Red Indians not to hunt beaver always, but to come to the salt water to catch fish: to leave the beaver for the Micmacs because English know Micmacs a long time. Any Micmac who brings Red Indian to St. John's to speak to Governor or to me will receive a reward of 20 pounds a year each, as long as he or they live, a silver medal each, and a grant of Red Indian Lake for six years. But if Micmacs kill Red Indians King George order all Micmacs to go away from Newfoundland.

Part of another manuscript of Cormack's written after his last

expedition into the interior.

In this he states that he has acquired several ingenious articles of the Beothuck manufacture, some of which were discovered on his last journey, models of canoes, bows and arrows, spears of different kinds, &c. and also a complete dress worn by that people. Their mode of kindling /215/ fire by striking together two pieces of iron pyrites is not only original, but as far as we at present know, peculiar to the tribe.(82) These articles together with a short vocabulary of their language, which I have been enabled to collect, proved the Beothucks to be a distant tribe from any hitherto discovered in North America. In my detailed report, I would propose to have plates of these articles and also of the like articles used by other tribes of Indians, that a comparative idea may be formed of them, and when the Indian female Shanawdithit arrives in St. John's, I would recommend that a correct likeness of her be taken and preserved in the record of this Institution.(83)

Resolved that the measures recommended in the President's report be agreed to; and that the three men John Louis, John Stevens, and Peter John, Indians of the Canadian and Mountaineer tribes be placed upon the establishment of this Institution to be employed under the immediate direction and control of the President and that they be allowed for their services such a sum of money as the president may consider a fair and reasonable compensation, &c.

The three Indians above mentioned were sent out in search of the Beothucks as it appears from a report of proceedings of the Beothuck Institution, dated February 7th, 1828, when it was considered besides the pay, to offer a bounty of $100 to them in the event of their discovery of the residence of the Red Indians, or the Indians themselves still living &c.

The following documents in reference to these expeditions appear amongst the transactions of the Beothuck Institution, now in my possession.

Beothuck Institution.

At a meeting of the members of the Institution the 7th day of February 1828 at the Court House.

The Honorable A.W. Desbarres in the chair, -- it was moved and unanimously resolved.

First. -- That the Instructions for the party composing the expedition to discover the Red Indians and which are now ready be adopted and acted upon by the Society.

Second. -- That a bounty of one hundred dollars be paid to the party sent in pursuit of the Indians, in addition to the sum granted for their services by the President W.E. Cormack Esq. provided it appear by subsequent investigation that they shall have discovered the abodes of the Red Indians now in existence.

/216/ INSTRUCTIONS to John Louis the chief of the party of Indians upon the establishment of the Boeothick Institution respecting the route to be taken by the party in quest of the Red Indians in the winter of 1828.

John Louis will proceed forthwith to Clode Sound in Bonavista Bay, and inform John Stevens and Peter John that they have been nominated as the most proper persons to be attached to this Institution for opening a friendly communication with the Red Indians and that they will be compensated for such services as they may perform, by such a sum of money as the President W.E. Cormack Esq. shall consider just and reasonable. --

John Louis will then make arrangements with John Stevens and Peter John to attend him on the expedition to discover the abodes of the Red Indians, which expedition is to proceed from Fortune Bay on or before the tenth day of March next.

The party will in the first place proceed to White Bear Bay in order if necessary to consult with a party of Micmacs there from thence proceed through the country (interior) to St. George's Bay, then through the country to the Bay of Islands Lake,(84) then pass through the country to the westward of Red Indian Lake to White Bay, and from thence return back to the River Exploits and wait on John Peyton Esq. and the Rev. Mr. Chapman for further instructions.

Instructions to the party under the direction of John Louis in case they shall meet with or discover the abodes of the Red Indians.

The Institution having originated from a sincere desire of establishing a friendly intercourse with that unhappy race of people the Red Indians, and of protecting the lives of the few who survive at this day, any communication with them that can by any possibility lead to an unfriendly result ought to be avoided. -- John Louis and his party will therefore at all times bear in mind that great caution and perseverance are eminently requisite to accomplish the important and intricate designs of the Institution, and they will avoid coming in contact with the Red Indians under any circumstances however favourable they may appear to be.

They will however, endeavour to ascertain as correctly as they possibly can the numbers of Red Indians now in existence and the country occupied by them, and they will then immediately return to St. John's to report the particulars of their discovery in order than another expedition upon a more matured plan, and other measures, expedient and necessary may be adopted by the Institution.

(signed) W.E. CORMACK

President of the

Boeothuck Institution.

February 1828.

/217/ The following account of this expedition is taken from the Newfoundlander, of date June 26th 1828.


ST. JOHN'S, 24th June, 1828.

At a meeting of the subscribers to the Boeothic Institution held at Perkin's hotel this day, to receive the report of the three Indians employed by the Institution, on their return from researches after the Native Red Indians; and to consider what further measure may be proper to adopt, in order to ascertain whether there are any aborigines still existing in the island, and their place of abode &c. with a view to open a friendly intercourse with them, and to assure them of protection and safety. --

The President W.E. Cormack Esq. was called to the chair.

An account was then exhibited of the journey and route of the Indians employed by the Institution during the last four months. John Louis left St. John's on the 12th of February, and proceeded to Clode Sound; whence, being joined by John Stevens and Peter John the party proceeded to Bay Despair,(85) principally for the purpose of collecting information from the other Indians. They thence proceeded in a North Westerly direction to St. George's Bay, whence they took an Easterly course, about forty miles, to the West end of the Great Bay of Islands Lake, without discovering any recent signs of the Red Indians.

Having left this lake, at the Eastern extremity, the party set out in a South Eastern direction to the Red Indian's Lake, where they constructed another canoe, and remained upwards of a week in examining the different creeks and coves, but with the same ill success. They then paddled down the Exploits River, and in two days reached Mr. Peyton's upper establishment, where they procured a passage to this place, and arrived on the 20th inst.

It appearing from the foregoing particulars, that the party had passed over and examined the whole of the country in the interior, where the Red Indians are likely to be found, except that part of the country in the vicinity of White Bay, a large tract of which remains yet unexplored. --

It was moved and unanimously resolved,

1st. That the three Indians be again employed to proceed forthwith to explore and examine the country in the interior of and adjacent to White Bay: and the President of the Institution be authorised to employ one of the European settlers to accompany the Indians.

2nd. That as the Indians have now to explore a part of the island contigious to the French fisheries, it may prove beneficial to the objects of the Institution, to interest the French people in the enquiries after the aborigines, and to solicit the aid of the French Commandant in affording facilities to the progress of the Indians now employed &c. also to request the French authorities to inform the president, Mr. Cormack, if any of the Red Indians have been met with in the neighbourhood of the French fisheries.

/218/ 3rd. That in addition to the pay per month, the Indians employed shall have a gratuity of $150, in the event of their discovering the abode of the Red Indians now living.

4th. That as the money already subscribed is inadequate to defray the necessary expenses attending the expedition to White Bay the friends of the Institution be again requested to contribute their aid in support thereof.

5th. That the account of the receipts and expenditure of the Institution now exhibited be passed, and that the same be printed.

6th. That William Thomas Esq. be requested to accept the office of Treasurer to the Institution.

Letter to French Commandant.


26th June, 1828.


The condition of the Aborigines or Red Indians of Newfoundland has always had the solicitude of the English Government, and several attempts have been made, ineffectually, to bring these people within the pale and protection of civilization.

A Society was formed last year among the principal inhabitants and others connected with Newfoundland, and called the "Boeothick Institution," for the purpose of renewing the attempts to open a friendly intercourse with these people. A party composed of a few of the most intelligent men from among the other tribes of Indians met with here, was sent to search for their abodes, which after an absence of several months exploring the country in the vicinity of St. George's Bay -- of the Bay of Islands -- the Red Indians' Lake and the Exploits River lately returned without discovering any recent traces of them, proving that this unfortunate Tribe are now very much reduced in numbers, and that they have taken refuge in some sequestered spot. It only remains to explore to the North and the vicinity of White Bay to determine their existence or extinction; and with this impression, the party are again sent to explore the interior in these parts. They are directed to commence their search from Croke Harbour.

The Society, anxious to avail themselves of every circumstance that may operate favourably to their views have taken upon themselves to request your good offices in affording any facilities to the mission that may tend to the accomplishment of the object they have in view; and the Society will further feel thankful for any information you may be able to give them relating to the Red Indians, or if any traces of that tribe have lately been seen in the vicinity of the French Fisheries.

I have the Honor to be


with the highest consideration

and respect,

Your most obedient

humble servant.

(signed) W.E. CORMACK,

Pres. of the Boeothick


A Monsieur,

Le Commandant

Administrateur pour Sa Majestie

Le Roi de France,

A Terre Neuve.

/219/ Later on in the same year the same party of Indians were sent out again, as appears from the following documents.

INSTRUCTIONS to John Louis, John Stevens, and Peter John respecting the route to be taken in quest of the Red Indians, the summer of 1828.

The party will proceed on board the schooner Eclipse, the master of which will receive directions to land them at Croke Harbour; John Louis will then deliver the letter directed to the French Commandant, who has been requested to afford him any information that may tend to the discovery of the Red Indians. If any of them are to be met with in that vicinity, John Louis is required to apply for written directions as to the part of the country which the French Commandant may point out is the most likely to discover their habitation, and he will then proceed to examine that country, provided the country so recommended to be examined, does not lie further than 20 miles north of Croke Harbour. -- John Louis will, in case he receives no intelligence respecting the Red Indians at Croke, or that he is unable to discover any of the tribe to the north of Croke Harbour, proceed westwardly into the interior about twenty miles, thence taking a southwardly direction to White Bay, thence passing round the head of White Bay, and thence in the most proper direction through the country to the house of Mr. Peyton the resident agent at Exploits Burnt Island, being careful to examine particularly the whole of the lakes, rivers and country along the route now described, so that the party may be able to give the most unequivocal information that no part of the country has been left unsearched. John Louis will therefore make a plan of the country he may pass over, marking down every lake, river and mountain, so that Mr. Peyton who is already intimately acquainted with the interior may be able to afford the Institution his opinion and observations thereon.

(signed) W.E. CORMACK,

President of the Boeothick


We have the following reference to this last expedition, in an address to the Institution, which bears no date but was evidently at some time subsequent to the return of the Micmac party, probably in the fall of 1828, and is written by the President.


Since we met in October on the return of the last expedition in search of the Red Indians, our separate avocations otherwise have prevented our coming together again until now, on the business of our Institution. At that meeting you were made acquainted with the result on the last expedition; a more detailed account of it being left to be given at a future day. We regret to have to acknowledge that: the result only tends to confirm our fears for the fate of the Boeothicks, and proves that the tribe if not totally extinct, are expiring, a remnant only of them exists, so small and occupying so small a space that they have been passed by unnoticed. The last expedition you are aware, left this in June last to explore the most northern parts of Newfoundland, where it appeared possible the Red Indians might have taken refuge.

They proceeded to the French Shore and examined the northern parts of the island. . . . From the head of White Bay they took a south-eastern direction and again came out at the seacoast in Notre Dame Bay, discovering nothing on their whole line of route indicative of any of the /220/ Red Indians having been recently alive in these parts; but old marks of them abound everywhere from White Bay to Notre Dame Bay. On the French Shore the party visited besides Belvie, Croke, Crouse, and Canada Harbour. At Croke the French Commodore on the part of his Government afforded them every assistance that might in anyway further their object, in men, boats, ammunition and provisions, and the same facilities were secured to them along the whole French line of shore. The French authorities could give them no information of any traces of the Red Indians having been seen in the neighbourhood of their fisheries.

Although we may infer where the remnant of the Red Indians would most likely be found, yet from the certainty of the smallness of their number, if any really do exist, it would not be prudent again to send armed. . . . (the remainder of this MS. is torn off).

From the "Royal Gazette," October 21st, 1828.

Those who are curious in enquiries relating to man have a treat just now in St. John's such as is not likely again to be met with. There are at present at Mr. Cormack's house, accessible at all times to those who feel an interest, individuals belonging to three different tribes of North American Indians, viz. a Mountaineer from Labrador, -- two of the Banakee nation from Canada, -- and a Boeothick, or Red Indian of Newfoundland, the last a female. They all speak different languages -- and are good specimens of the race. The men are 5 feet 10 inches and a 1/2 and 5 feet 11 inches in height.

The three men are those that were sent a few months ago, in search of the Red Indians. They have returned without finding any recent traces of these people to the North or in the vicinity of White Bay. One of the party has volunteered to go for nothing to search that place at Notre Dame Bay, where the reports of the European settlers make them out to have been seen a few weeks since.

Suggestions, Hints &c. re Red Indians.

Ascertain their mode of counting.

Ascertain their mode of counting Micmacs.

Religious belief of the Red Indians.

Religious belief of the Micmacs.

History of the Red Indians by Micmacs. Examine the most intelligent of the Micmacs, and record each account to compare afterwards if marks of truth. The history by Nancy to compare with Micmacs.

Nancy's history of them and record to compare with Micmacs to see if they correspond in any way or points.

Note all Red Indian words.

Red Indian skulls, male and female.

Ascertain from Nancy and from Micmacs if ever any white faced or light haired people have been seen amongst the Red Indians: (No, Capt. Buchan not correct)?(86)

/221/ Procure specimens of every implement they have, including dress of males and females.

Have they any exterior form of worship?

Approach 1st [first] Nancy, 2nd [second] me, 3rd [third] Micmac.

If any opportunity offers, offer to exchange my gun &c. or whatever the Red Indians suppose most valuable to me for one of their children; say my gun, powder, shot for a boy.

Ascertain how they record events amongst themselves. Have the Red Indians any dogs amongst them or domestic animals? (No.)(87)

Their Government.

Have the Boeothucks short arms like the Esquimos? (No.)

Burying places near Exploits Burnt Island and Caves where numerous large skulls are here lying, they have an idea that those were spirits.

NOTE. The above looks like instructions to some one, possibly to the Micmac guides, but more probably to some member of the Beothuck Institution, or to Mr. Peyton who may have been asked to thus interrogate Nancy (Shanawdithit) while in his charge.

(From Noad.)

"Though Shanawdithit acquired a knowledge of English slowly, yet it is said before her death she could communicate with tolerable ease.

She feared to return to her tribe, believing that the mere fact of her residing amongst the whites for a time, would make her an object of hatred to the Red men.

In person Shanawdithit was 5 feet 5 inches in height -- her natural abilities were good. She was grateful for any kindness shown her, and evinced a strong affection for her parents and friends. She evinced great taste for drawing, and was kept supplied with paper and pencils of various colours, by which she made herself better understood than she otherwise could.

In her own person, she had received two gunshot wounds, at two different times from volleys fired at the band she was with by the English people of Exploits. One wound was that of a slug through the leg. Poor Shanawdithit, she died destitute of this world's goods. Yet desirous of showing her gratitude to one from whom she received great kindness, she presented a keepsake to Mr. Cormack and there is something very affecting under the circumstances in which she was placed, as associated with the simple articles of which the presents consisted. They were a rounded piece of granite -- a piece of quartz -- both derived from the soil of which her tribe were once the sole owners and lords, but which were all the soil she could then call her own; and added to these was a lock of her hair."


History of the Red Indians of Newfoundland.



To begin in the year 1829 to write a history of the Red Indians of Newfoundland, is like beginning to write the history of an extinct people. All that they have left behind them being their name and one wonders that they left nothing else.

Although Newfoundland has been occupied by Europeans for two centuries and a half, that is since the discovery of the New World, nothing of consequence has been collected and preserved relating to the aboriginal inhabitants, the Red Indians.

The Island has often changed hands from one European power to another, but from among all these vicissitudes all that has been preserved relating to the aborigines of the country, are a few fabulous fragments, which have shone out now and then as connected evidence of the contention of the existence of this remarkable tribe, inhabiting the island. The stories about them have not been credible. These aborigines it is evident never courted friendship with the whites and their stern self dependent character withstood the European allurements.

We have traces enough left only to cause our sorrow that so peculiar and so superior a people should have disappeared from the earth like a shadow. The only considerable search has at length, but alas too late, been made to prove that they are irrevocably lost to the world.

Of the Aborigines of Newfoundland. (Cormack.)

Unoffending, they have been cruelly extirpated: a purely self-dependent people, known to the world only, as it were, a meteor that had been. They were never allowed to discover nor taste of civilization, what thoughts must they have entertained of the white man?

Pizarro's offences to the Peruvians when first discovered, do not tarnish the Spanish name compared with the stain upon that of the English, for their cruel and wanton extermination of the little nation of the first occupants of Newfoundland.

The heroic Spaniards at the glorious period alluded to, could not comprehend, and therefore dared not trust the probable power of an overwhelming race and wonderful people in a world just discovered. Not so were the circumstances of the English and the people under our notice. The place of the latter is now a monumental blank to excite the surprise and indignation of humanity.

The first American Indians brought to England, were three from Newfoundland by Sebastian Cabot on his second voyage of discovery, and presented to Henry VII in 1497.(88)

/223/ The early voyagers to Newfoundland, the Portuguese, English, French and Spaniards were in general, up till the middle of the 17th century, on a friendly footing with the aborigines of the Island, and thought highly of their tractability and mental powers. The parties were mutually serviceable to each other. Early writers speak of the English as the first and only aggressors upon the Red Indians, and that the savages returned them forbearance and good for evil, formerly English fishermen, strangers alike to Government protection and to mild laws were not so criminal for having extirpated the aborigines as the Government authorities under whose passive irresponsibility the deed was perpetrated.

In the year 1800 the Governor of Newfoundland sent a Captain Le Breton to examine the nature of the North coast of the island and enquire about the aborigines. Capt. Le B. returned without seeing any of them but in several places found very recent traces of them.

In several instances aboriginal females have been captured by Europeans and brought to St. John's for exhibition, but none of the men have for a century past fallen into our hands alive.

Thus in 1804 an old woman was brought from the Northward to St. John's and after a few weeks sent back. But it is reported, true or false, that she was murdered by the parties who accompanied her for the sake of getting possession of the presents she had received to carry back to her people.

In 1815 Sir Richard Keats the Governor at that time, dispatched Capt. Buchan in H.M. Schooner Pike to the River Exploits, in the North part of the island, with instructions to endeavour to open friendly intercourse with the Red Indians. The expedition failed in its object.(89)

In 1819 the Governor Sir Charles Hamilton, having offered a reward of one hundred pounds to any one who would bring a Red Indian to St. John's, an armed party of English went up to the Red Indian Lake, by way of the river Exploits, on the ice, and surprised a party in their camp, carried off by force, the female afterwards known as Mary March, killing her husband and his brother(90) in their attempt at rescue. Thus the breach between parties was still widened.

Mary March was carried to St. John's where she was considered a very interesting woman. Her health declined. In the autumn of 1819 Capt. Buchan was ordered to convey her back to where she was taken from. Unfortunately she died on board the vessel at the mouth of the River Exploits. Capt. Buchan however, carried her body up to the great lake (Jan. 1820) by way of the Exploits on the ice, but not meeting with any of her people at the lake, left the body there, so placed that it might be found by her tribe upon their revisiting the spot. Fresh traces of the Indians were seen by Capt. B. on the banks of the Exploits upon his way up.

In 1823, early in the spring three females, a mother and her two /224/ daughters in Badger Bay near Exploits Bay, being in a starving and exhausted condition, allowed themselves in despair to be quietly captured by some English furriers, who accidentally came upon them. Fortunately (?) their miserable appearance when within gun shot, led to the unusual circumstance of their not being fired at. The husband of the mother, in endeavouring to avoid the observation of the white men, attempted to cross a creek upon the ice, and fell through and was drowned. About a month before this event, and a few miles distant the brother of this man and his daughter, belonging to the same party, were shot by two other English furriers.(91) One or two more of the party escaped to the interior.

The three female captives were brought to St. John's where they remained four or five weeks, and were then sent back to Exploits with many presents in the hope that they might meet and share them with their people. They were conveyed up the River Exploits some distance by a party of Europeans, and left on the bank with some provisions, clothing &c. to find their friends as they best might. Their provisions were soon exhausted, and not meeting any of their tribe, they wandered on foot down the right bank of the river, and in a few days again reached the English habitations. The mother and one daughter here died shortly afterwards, and within a few days of each other. The survivor Nancy or Shanawdithit was received and taken care of by Mr. Peyton junior and family.

After 1823, there is no evidence that any of the Red Indians were fallen in with by Europeans. In 1824 a party with two canoes were seen on the right bank of the River Exploits about halfway between the coast and the great lake, by two Canadian Indians who were crossing that part of the country on a hunting excursion. Friendly gestures were exchanged across the river, and no collision took place.(92)

In 1826, (in the spring) recent traces of the Red Indians were seen by some other Micmacs at Badger Bay Great Lake.

In 1827, the writer undertook a journey into the interior in search of the Red Indians, the narrative of which will appear in due order.

With the occasion of this expedition the Beothuck Institution was formed, and as the proceedings and circumstances of this institution will throw light upon the subject before us they are here given.

(From W.E. Cormack's Letter Book.)

The Royal Gazette, Friday September 18th 1827.

The Royal Gazette, Tuesday November 6th.

The Royal Gazette, Tuesday November 14th? 13th 1827.

Edinburgh Philosophical Journal Dec. 1827.

At a meeting &c. . . . in England.


Chairman and Vice President.

/225/ Narrative of my Journey (to come here).

The Royal Gazette Tuesday February 19th 1828.

The Public Ledger St. John's Tuesday June 24th 1828.

The Newfoundlander St. John's Thursday June 26th 1828.

The Royal Gazette St. John's Tuesday July 1st 1828.

The Public Ledger St. John's Friday Sept. 5th 1828.

St. John's 26th June 1828.

15th of October 1828. John Louis and party arrived at St. John's from Exploits per schooner.

The Royal Gazette Tuesday October 21st 1828.

The Newfoundlander Thursday August 9th 1828.

The Public Ledger Tuesday September 2nd 1828.

The report of the Red Indians having appeared at Green Bay upon particular investigation proved not to be founded upon truth.

On the 20th of September 1828 Shanawdithit arrived in St. John's from Mr. Peyton's at Exploits, where she had remained five years in obscurity, and from whence she was now brought by the desire of the Beothuck Institution.

Shanawdithit was now the object of the peculiar care and solicitude of the Beothuck Institution, and the last of the Red Indians.

To this interesting protege we are indebted for nearly all the information we possess regarding her tribe, the aborigines of Newfoundland. Although she had been five years and upwards amongst the English, upon her arrival the second time in St. John's she spoke so little English that those only who were accustomed to her gibberish, could understand her. By persevering attention now however, to instruct her, she acquired confidence and became enabled to communicate. She evinced extraordinary powers of mind in possessing the sense of gratitude in the highest degree, strong affections for her parents and friends, and was of a most lively disposition. She had a natural talent for drawing, and being at all times supplied with paper and pencils of various colours, she was enabled to communicate what would otherwise have been lost. By this means, aided by her broken English and Beothuck words, she herself taught the meaning of to those around her. The chief points of the following history, notices of the manners, customs, language, armour &c. of her tribe are derived.

In person Shanawdithit was inclined to be stout, but when first taken was slender.

The following is a summary of what was obtained and learned from her by the use of the materials mentioned and by broken English aided by portions of her own language which she put into the power of those around her to understand. (This document is unfortunately missing from Cormack's papers.)

Shanawdithit lived nearly nine months under the protection of the Institution during a considerable portion of which time she was unwell.

Shanawdithit gives the following account of Capt. Buchan's expedition to the Great Lake in 1816(93) and the state of her tribe at that time.

/226/ At the time the tribe had been much reduced in numbers in consequence of the hostile encroachments and meetings of the Europeans at the seacoast. But they still had, up to that period, enjoyed unmolested, the possession of their favourite interior parts of the island, especially the territory around and adjacent to the Great Lake and Exploits River. Their number then, it would appear, hardly amounted to one hundred, seventy-two it is stated by Shanawdithit.

They were all encamped in their winter quarters in three divisions on different parts of the margin of the Great Lake.(94)

The principal encampment was at the east end of the lake, on the south side, a little to the east of the estuary of the lake; which forms the river Exploits. There were here three mamateeks or wigwams, containing forty-two people. One of these wigwams was Shanawdithit's father's, and she was in it at the time. A smaller encampment lay six or eight miles to the westward on the north side of the lake, consisting of two mamateeks with thirteen people, and another lay near the west end of the lake, on the south side, and consisted of two mamateeks with seventeen people.

A census of the aborigines at this period derived from one of themselves, will be interesting to all Newfoundlanders.

In the principal settlement, that which Capt. Buchan visited, there were:

In one wigwam, -- 4 men, 5 women, 3 children

-- 3 other children. . . . . . . . . . . 15

In another, 4 men, 2 women, 3 girls, 3

children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

In another, 3 men, 3 women, 2 single women, 5

children and 2 other children. . . . . . 15



In the second settlement, that on the north

shore of the lake, in the two

wigwams -- 3 women, 4 men, 6

children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

And in the third settlement, that at the

S.W. end of the lake:

In 1st wigwam -- 2 men, 4 women, 3

children. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

In 2nd wigwam -- 3 men, 3 women, and

two children. . . . . . . . . . . 8





Total 72

It was the principal encampment that Capt. Buchan fell in with. He took it by surprise and made the whole party prisoners. This occurred in the morning. After a guarded pantomimic interchange of civilities for several hours, it was agreed that two hostages should be given on each side, for Capt. Buchan wished to return down the river for an additional supply of presents, in order thereby the better to secure the friendship of the Indians.

Capt. Buchan had no sooner departed with his men and hostages than the Indians, suspected he had gone down the river for an additional force to come up and make them all prisoners, and carry them off to the /227/ seacoast. Their suspicions were strengthened by the sudden appearance of one of the two Indians who had gone with Capt. Buchan, and had run off when only a few miles down the river, and they resolved to break up their encampment immediately and retire further into the interior, to where the rest of their tribe were, and where they would be less liable to be again surprised.

To insure concealment of their proceedings, they first destroyed the two Europeans left as hostages, by shooting them with arrows, then packed up what clothing and utensils they could conveniently carry, crossed the lake on the ice the same afternoon, carrying the heads of the two Europeans with them, one of which they stuck upon a pole and left at the north side of the lake. They then followed along the margin of the lake westward, and about midnight reached the nearest encampment of their friends in that direction. The alarm was given, and next morning all joined in the retreat westward. They proceeded a few miles in order to reach a secure and retired place to halt at in the hope of soon learning something of the Indian whom Capt. Buchan had taken with him. On the second day the Indian appeared amongst them, and stated to them that upon returning with the whitemen, (Capt. B.'s party) and discovering the first encampment deserted he instantly fled and escaped.(95) All now resumed the retreat and crossed over on the ice to the south side of the lake where the only remaining and undisturbed encampment lay. Upon reaching this shore a party was despatched to the encampment which lay further westward to sound the alarm. This encampment was then likewise broken up and the occupants came east to join their tribe. To avoid discovery, the whole retired together to an unfrequented part of the forest situated some distance from the shores of the lake carrying with them all the winter's stock of provisions they possessed.

In this sequestered spot they built six wigwams, and remained unmolested for the remainder of the winter (about six weeks). They brought one of the European hostages heads with them, stuck it upon a pole, danced and sang round it. (See Shanawdithit's drawing Plate I.)

When spring advanced, their provisions were exhausted, some of them went back to the encampment at which they had been surprised by Capt. Buchan, and there supplied themselves out of the winter stock of venison that had been left there.

After this disaster the tribe became scattered and continued dispersed in bands frequenting the more remote and sequestered parts of the northern interior. In the second winter afterwards, twenty-two had died about the river Exploits, and in the vicinity of Green Bay: and the third year also numbers died of hardship and want.

About two years after the general breaking up De-mas-do-weet (afterwards Mary March) was married to Nonos-baw-sut. She was four years married before she had children.

In 1819 the tribe had become reduced to less than half the number that they were three years before, the whole amounting now to thirty-one. /228/ They were all encamped together in three winter wigwams at one spot on the north side of the Great Lake, near the east end, opposite to the place where Capt. Buchan had surprised them three years before (?) (eight years). One wigwam contained thirteen persons, three couples being married, another wigwam contained 12 persons, 3 couples being also married. Another 6 persons, 1 couple married.

An armed party of English, 9 in number, now again came up from the coast to the lake for the purpose of carrying off some Red Indians, instigated by the reward held out by the Governor for a Red Indian man.

The English espied a small party of the Indians on the ice near the shore and stealing upon them gave chase, and overtook one of them (a woman) whom they seized; one of the Indians upon seeing this halted, came back alone into the midst of the armed men, and gave them to understand that he would have the woman. Another Indian then approached; a parley and altercation took place; the whitemen insisted upon carrying the woman with them, in which they were opposed by the first Indian, who in defiance of the muskets and bayonets by which he was surrounded strove to rescue the woman: he was shot on the spot, and the other Indian, who now attempted to run off, was shot dead also.(96)

Shanawdithit was present in the encampment on the north shore of the lake.

Thus was De-mas-do-weet, or Mary March kidnapped, in the accomplishment of which her heroic husband (for that was he who struggled with the Banditti) was murdered, as was also his brother (?), the other Indian, in attempting to rescue her, and in consequence, her only child, an infant, died two days afterwards (see Shanawdithit's drawing).

Disastrously disturbed again their number now was reduced to twenty-seven.

Mary March was taken to the coast and in the spring conveyed to St. John's. It has been already mentioned that Capt. Buchan was employed in the ensuing winter (Jan. 1820), to conduct her to the interior. She having died while under his care, he conveyed her remains to the Great Lake where it was afterwards found by her tribe and removed into the cemetery and placed by the side of her husband (for further details of her burial, see narrative of Cormack's 2nd journey into the interior page 193). The cemetery was built for her husband's remains upon the foundation of his own wigwam.

In the winter of 1819-20 the tribe was encamped in three wigwams at Badger Bay waters a few miles from the north bank of the River Exploits. Capt. Buchan's party was seen by them going up the Exploits on the ice, and they immediately afterwards went up to the lake by a circuitous route, to ascertain what he had done there, when they found as stated, Mary March's remains. Shanawdithit was present. No other death it is stated, took place until the winter of 1821. In 1822 one half of their number were encamped at the Great Lake, the other half on the right bank of the River Exploits. The latter half were seen by two /229/ Canadian Indians as above mentioned and consisted of 6 men, 5 women, 4 boys, and 2 girls. . . . 17.

In 1822-23, when Shanawdithit makes out there were still 27 alive. They were all encamped on the Badger Bay waters, at the N.W. corner of the second lake from the River Exploits, in four wigwams. She accounts satisfactorily for deaths, so that the number was reduced in the spring of 1823 to thirteen alive in the interior.

Shanawdithit's father's wigwam contained five. Her father and one of the family here died, in consequence of which her mother, sister and herself went to the seacoast in search of mussels to subsist on. Shanawdithit's uncle's wigwam contained seven. The uncle and his daughter were shot by (Curnew and Adams) as alluded to before(97) (see note * below). Three died at this encampment, and two died at another lake to the eastward (at c, on plan Plate V). The third wigwam contained nine, one of whom died. The fourth wigwam contained six, two of whom died and four removed in April further eastward. Thus from her father's and uncle's wigwams all were dead or gone away, while of the nine in the third wigwam eight survived, and of the six in the fourth, four survived, leaving but twelve individuals beside Shanawdithit, her mother and sister alive.

The surviving remnant (consisting of 6 men, 3 women, 2 single women and 2 boys) she says, went by a circuitous route northerly, westerly and southerly from the Badger Bay waters to the Great Lake. Here ends all positive knowledge of her tribe, which she never narrated without tears.

* NOTE. This man Shanawdithit's uncle, it will be remembered was the same individual who accompanied Lieut. Buchan in 1811, down the river Exploits to where the presents were stored, and who remained with Buchan until the discovery of the bodies of the two marines, when he took to flight and rejoined his people. I conjecture that the remembrance of his kind treatment at the hands of Buchan and his party, led him to conclude that the whites generally were inclined to be more amicably disposed towards his tribe thereafter, and that this impression, coupled with his miserable plight, caused him to advance so boldly upon the wretches who so foully murdered him, (a single, unarmed, half starved man), and afterwards, in sheer wantonness, shot his poor daughter.

NOTE from Conquest of Canada by Henry Kirke, M.A., B.C.L., Oxon.

In a foot note the author says, "I have been informed by Admiral Sir H. Prescott G.C.B., who was for many years Governor of Newfoundland (1834 to 1840) that he went there with the firm conviction that the Beothicks were still to be found in the Island, but after careful investigation and enquiry, he was persuaded that the race was extinct."

Notes relative to the Red Indians from the Records

of the Beothuck Institution.

(Loose papers in W.E. Cormack's handwriting.)(98)

RED INDIAN ARROWS, DRESS &C. -- The arms for offence and defence and for killing game, consisted of Bows, arrows and spears. Their arrows were of two kinds viz. the stone, bone and iron (the latter material being derived from Europeans), for /230/killing quadrupeds, and large birds; the blunt arrow, (the point being a knob continuous with the shaft), for killing small birds (see figures 1, 2, and 3).(136)

Two strips of goose feather were tied on to balance this arrow.(137)

Their arms are those of all rude people unacquainted with the arts and civilization. The bow is about five feet long, made of the Mountain Ash (Dogwood), but sometimes of spruce and fir,(138) seasoned over fire. Their arrows now, are all barbed with iron, but formerly with stone &c. The iron they find in the wrecks of boats &c. about the English settlements, and they sometimes pilfer it from about the fishermen's premises.

FIRE STONES. -- Two pieces of radiated iron pyrites, which he (Cormack) thinks they must have procured from the west coast, about Bay of Islands.(139)

THE BOTTLE-NOSED WHALE. -- Which they represented by the fishes tail, frequents in great numbers, the northern bays, and creeps in at Clode Sound and other places, and the Red Indians consider it the greatest good luck to kill one. They are 22 and 23 feet long.(140)

Asceres(?) is the Goddess of corn, and her image was worshipped by the Romans; so is the image of the Whale's tail worshipped by the Red Indians, that animal affording them more abundant luxury than anything else, sometimes so large and fat an animal is the greatest prize.

Stray Notes in Cormack's handwriting. Dated June 24th 1851.(141)

Little bird-Ob-seet. Black Bird-Woodch. Blunt-nosed fish Mo-co-thut. Profiles of man and woman.

Men singing to Ash-wa-meet, with Eagles feathers and deer ears in cap. Eagle -- Gob-id-in. -- Woodpecker Shee-buint. -- Lump fish Ae-she-meet. (These notes apparently refer to drawings.)

The Beothics have a great many songs. Subjects, -- are of whiteman, Darkness, Deer, Birds, Boats, Of the other Indians, Bears, Boots, Hatchet, Shirt, Indian Gosset, Stealing man's boat, Sheils, Pots, Whiteman's houses, Stages, Guns, fire stones, wood or sticks, Birch rind, Whiteman's jacket, Beads, Buttons, Dishes, men dead, Whiteman's head, Ponds, Marshes, Mountains, Water, Brooks, Ice, Snow, Seals, Fishes &c, Salmon, Hats, Eggs &c.

In the song two or three wigwams sometimes join.

To show the number of the tribe, not long ago they inhabited within the remembrance of people still living, all the country between Bonavista Bay and Bay of Islands, and traces are to be seen all along in these parts. Shanawdithit received two gunshot wounds at two different times, from shots fired at the band she was with by the English people at Exploits; One wound was that of a slug or buck shot through the palm of her hand, the other was a shot through her leg. I have seen the scar of the wound on her hand, and so have others in St. John's.

The Red Indians never wash except when a husband or wife dies, then the survivor has in some water heated by stones in a birch rind kettle, decocted with the shrimps(?) of dogwood tree, or Mountain Ash.

The vocabulary of the Red Indians is (I think) in Dr. Yates' possession, also a seal bone (broken but can be put together), Birch rind culinary vessels, Birch /231/ rind models of canoes. Spear point, Drawings by Shanawdithit, A map of the interior. The narrative of my journey in search of the aborigines (in MS).(142)

(signed) W.E. CORMACK,

24th June, 1851.

Death of Shanawdithit.

Shanawdithit died on the 6th of June 1829, and was buried on the 8th in the C.E. Cemetery, South side of St. John's.

The record of her interment is contained in the C.E. Cathedral Parish Register, of St. John's, and is as follows.

June 8th 1829.

Interred Nancy, Shanawdithe(143) aet. 23 South Side.

(very probably the last of the aborigines)

(signed) Frederick H. Carrington A.B.

Rector. St. John's.

The following notice of her death is taken from a St. John's newspaper of date June 12th 1829.

"DIED, -- On Saturday night the 6th inst., at the Hospital, Sha-na-dith-it-, the female Indian, one of the aborigines of this Island. She died of Consumption, a disease which seems to have been remarkably prevalent amongst her tribe, and which has unfortunately been fatal to all who have fallen into the hands of the settlers. Since the departure of Mr. Cormack from the Island, this poor woman has had an asylum afforded her in the house of James Simms Esq., Attorney General, where every attention has been paid to her wants and comforts, and under the able and professional advice of Dr. Carson, who has most liberally and kindly attended her for many months, it was hoped her health might have been re-established. Latterly however, her disease became daily more formidable, and her strength rapidly declined, and a short time since it was deemed advisable to send her to the Hospital, where her sudden decease has but too soon fulfilled the fears that were entertained of her."

A more extended notice of her death appeared in the London Times newspaper of England, of date Sept. 14th 1829, which was evidently written by Mr. W.E. Cormack, then in England, as follows: --

"DIED. -- At St. John's Newfoundland on the 6th of June last in the 29th year of her age, Shanawdithit, supposed to be the last of the Red Indians or Beothicks. This interesting female lived six years a captive amongst the English, and when taken notice of latterly exhibited extraordinary mental talents. She was niece to Mary March's husband, a chief of the tribe, who was accidentally killed in 1819 at the Red Indian Lake /232/ in the interior while endeavouring to rescue his wife from the party of English who took her, the view being to open a friendly intercourse with the tribe.

This tribe, the Aborigines of Newfoundland, presents an anomaly in the history of man. Excepting a few families of them, soon after the discovery of America, they never held intercourse with the Europeans, by whom they have ever since been surrounded, nor with the other tribes of Indians, since the introduction of fire arms amongst them. The Chinese have secluded themselves from the interference of all nations, their motives being understood only to themselves, and the peculiarities of that people are slowly developed to others. But in Newfoundland, nearly as far apart from China as the antipodes, there has been a primitive nation, once claiming rank as a portion of the human race, who havae lived, flourished, and become extinct in their own orbit. They have been dislodged, and disappeared from the earth in their native independence in 1829, in as primitive a condition as they were before the discovery of the New World, and that too on the nearest point of America to England, in one of our oldest and most important Colonies."



&C. 1836.

This is evidently the title page to another history of the Beothucks, but as it appears on a separate sheet, without any other reference, I can only conjecture that such is the case. The date of 1836 would indicate that this history was written by Cormack some seven years after he left the country for good. Whether it was published or not I could not ascertain, but I think it most probable that it was, either in some magazine or newspaper in England or Scotland.

William Epps Cormack.

Of all those whose names are connected with the sad history of the aborigines of Newfoundland, there is not one whose name stands out more conspicuously than that of William Epps Cormack, the daring explorer who first essayed to cross the interior of this great island, in 1822.

Now-a-days, our knowledge of the principal features of the country are commonplace enough. One can rush across the island by the aid of "the Iron Horse," in a short space of time, penetrate its remotest interior in a few days journey, traverse on foot or by canoe along its numerous water courses and over its great lakes from points on the cross country railway. The modern traveller must entirely fail to appreciate the toil /233/ and hardship, and the almost unsurmountable difficulties Cormack had to contend with in his great undertaking. It is only those like myself, who were privileged to follow in the wake of this intrepid explorer, before the advent of the railway, who can form any idea of what he had to go through. Accompanied only by a single Micmac hunter of uncertain reliability,(144) he braved the terrors of the vast unknown interior, which was supposed to be filled with innumerable savages and wild beasts, such as bears, wolves, etc., ready to devour the foolhardy person who would venture to invade their solitude.

The country was thought to present almost insurmountable difficulties in the form of inaccessible mountains, extensive and intricate lakes and rivers or impassable morasses. In a word this "Terra incognita" was invested with all the terrors of the unknown, with which imagination, or perhaps wilful misrepresentation could endow it. But above all, it was supposed to be peopled by numerous ferocious and bloodthirsty savages, to whose bitter hatred of the white man was added the desire to be revenged, for the cruel treatment they had so long experienced at the hands of the latter.

It was surmised that they would show no mercy to the hapless white who might fall into their hands, or place himself in their power. All these considerations would be sufficient to dampen the ardour of any less daring spirit than that of Cormack, but such a man was not to be deterred, or turned back from his purpose by any real or imaginary dangers.

In view then of all the circumstances, and considering the state of our knowledge generally with regard to this great unknown land, at that early date, I look upon Cormack's daring undertaking as one worthy to rank with many of the more pretentious explorations of recent times.

Born of Scotch parentage, in this City of St. John's, May 5th 1796, his father, who was a well-to-do merchant gave him a liberal education, at the University of Edinburgh, under the tuition of Prof. Jameson, he acquired a good practical knowledge of the sciences, especially of Botany, Geology and Mineralogy. Whether this education unfitted him for commercial pursuits, or whether his natural inclinations tended towards a more cosmopolitan existence, it would appear that he became a regular rolling stone, a globe trotter, who could not remain long anywhere. He was however the very kind of individual fitted by nature and education for the hazardous undertaking he entered upon in 1822, in exploring the interior of his native land. But above all his philanthropic disposition filled him with a most ardent desire to endeavour to bring about friendly relations with the hapless Red Indians, the poor persecuted untutored savage of the interior wilds. He threw himself, heart and soul into this cherished idea, nor did he count the risks and dangers that confronted him in the least. The one desire of his life so actuated him that he seemed to look upon himself as the instrument by which the amelioration of the condition of the Beothuck was to be accomplished. Of course Cormack himself did not credit the bloodthirsty stories of the fierce relentless disposition of the /234/ Indians current among the fisherfolk. He knew that in most instances, their ferocity was grossly exaggerated for the purpose of forming an excuse for their own inhuman conduct. Even though he did place any reliance upon the oft repeated yarns of the settlers, he believed that in him lay the necessary qualifications to allay the fears of the Red men, turn aside their hostility, and bring them to a friendly understanding, of his good intentions.

Cormack appears to have been well fitted for the task he had laid out for himself. He is described by those who knew him as being a tall, long limbed, wiry individual, physically just the man to endure any amount of hardship and toil, and of such a lively sympathetic temperament as would sustain him under the most trying circumstances.

The late John Peyton, Magistrate of Twillingate, who knew him intimately, informed me, that he saw Cormack just as he was about to enter the interior on his second journey in 1827, and again on his return, when he came to Mr. P's house. At first he could scarcely recognize in the tall, gaunt, shaggy individual who stood before him the man whom he saw a couple of months previous start off full of life and vigour, clean, kempt and well kept. His appearance now betokened what the man had gone through in the interim.

The story of his itinerary on both of his journeys reads like a romance, and as these are now long out of print, and exceedingly rare, their inclusion in this work will be the means of preserving these most interesting narratives of the earliest exploration of the interior of Newfoundland, as well as doing tardy justice to this splendid character, in our historical annals.

Cormack died in New Westminster, British Columbia in 1868, and the following obituary, written by one who had known him intimately, as a cherished friend, appeared in the British Columbian of May the 9th, 1868.

Death of W.E. Cormack

"It was our very melancholy duty to announce in our obituary this day week a name intimately associated with almost every social and political movement that has taken place in this Colony, ever since its birth, ten years ago -- the name of William Epps Cormack.

"Mr. Cormack was born in St. John's Newfoundland on the 5th of May, 1796. About seven years thereafter, on the death of his father, the family returned to Scotland, in which country Mr. Cormack spent his schoolboy and most impressionable days. Endowed with a fine susceptibility of the beautiful in external nature, it seemed to afford him great delight to recount his boyish rambles amidst the pleasing and classic scenery of Southern Scotland. During one of his holiday excursions he visited Burns's `Bonnie Jean,' nothing very remarkable, perhaps, in the light of our prosaic time, but it formed a green spot in his memory which often blossomed into facetious pleasantry at congenial gatherings. He attended the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh; the subsequent fame of /235/ several of his class fellows at the former (the late Marquis of Breadalbane being one) was always, with him, a theme of much admiration and pride; the emotion -- possibly from mere associative ideal force -- occasionally rose into an impassioned love of his ancestral country. At Edinburgh he was fortunate enough to secure the personal friendship of Professor Jameson, the late celebrated Mineralogist, whose fascinating incitement to the study of the physical sciences he ever gratefully remembered.

"About the year 1818 he took out from Scotland to Prince Edward's Island two vessels with emigrant farmers, and established there the now flourishing settlement of New Glasgow.(145) About a dozen years thereafter he established an export trade of grain from the same Island to Great Britain, which we understand has increased immensely.

"In or about the year 1821 or 1822, he crossed the interior of Newfoundland, being the first European who had done so. The object being (1) to test the truth of certain fabulous-like statements regarding the occupation of the interior by a peculiar race of Indians, and (2) their existence being proved, to introduce them to civilized life. A notice of this exploration appeared in the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, (circa) 1828. Between the years 1819 and 1834 he added a good deal to the knowledge of the flora of North America, frequently sending home to the Linnean Society specimens of plants: a specimen of the Calluna Vulgaris, or common heath, contributed by Mr. Cormack, formed, not very long ago, an interesting subject of discussion in the Society, the question being: Whether the Calluna is indigenous to the American Continent? Some time within the period last above stated, he wrote an Essay on the British American and French Fisheries, for which he received a medal from the Montreal Natural History Society. He went to Australia in 1836, where he cultivated tobacco, with much success, for two or three years. He left that colony for New Zealand in 1839, and there laid the foundation of pastoral pursuits on an extensive scale by purchasing land from the natives and raising cattle and horses. But some difficulties occurred with the Home Government which materially interferred with the enterprises of the first settlers in that Island. While in New Zealand he exported spars (the Cowdie pine) to London on an extensive scale, principally for the Admiralty. He sent a numerous collection of the young forest tree seed of New Zealand to Kew Gardens, but seemed to be under the impression that some mishap had fallen them. He spent a few years in California engaged principally in mercantile and mining pursuits, varying their exciting though arid pleasures by forming a small hortus siccus of the magnificent plants of that State. In this Colony he took a most active part in everything which he thought would tend to its material and political progression; he fought hard to get the modicum of representative government which we now possess -- the peculiar beauties of which some of us, perhaps, have latterly been unable to perceive. One of the first members of our Municipal Council he devoted to its affairs, in an ultra-disinterested way, a great deal of valuable time. He was /236/ mainly instrumental in establishing an Agricultural Society in British Columbia, acting as its Secretary, and preserving -- uninfluenced by much that was disheartening -- its rather languid life. He had charge of the Ichthyological Department in connection with British Columbia's contributions to the Exhibition of 1862, (a very interesting account of the various kinds of salmon, &c., found in the Fraser accompanied the contributions) but nothing was ever heard of the fishes, the probability being that they did not keep through the tropics. The stomachs were not taken out, and this would certainly serve to hasten decomposition; the object in retaining the stomach, and mutilating the fish as little as possible, was a purely scientific one. The examination (by such a man as Professor Owen) of the contents of the stomach might have thrown some valuable light not only on ichthyology but on some of its allied sciences. He opened a correspondence a few years since with the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, and sent to it a variety of the grass seeds of this Colony, thinking the bunch grass, for instance, would find a congenial habitat in the Alpine districts of Scotland. By the last mail he contributed to the same Society a sample of a species of hemp indigenous to British Columbia, and was recently engaged in trying to procure one or two of our mountain sheep, with the view to improve the breed and wool of Great Britain. These animals, however, are not unknown in the Mother Country -- good specimens are to be seen in London and Edinburgh Museums; and if we remember rightly, a description of them is given in Richardson's Fauna Boreali Americana.

"Mr. Cormack was a great lover of field sports and outdoor amusements. Fishing and skating he was passionately fond of. During one of his occasional visits home he amused himself by revising and amplifying a small treatise on skating (originally written by a Lieut. Jones); and the old gentleman agreeably delighted and astonished everybody here, in 1862, by his graceful evolutions on the ice. He numbered amongst his friends and correspondents some of the most celebrated scientific and literary men of the last half century, such as Sir William Hooker, Professor Faraday, Dr. Ure, Dr. Hodgkin, (Chairman of the Aborigines Protection Society,) and the late talented, though somewhat eccentric, John Macgregor, author of the Progress of America, Commercial Statistics, &c., the last being a most intimate friend. Though fond of writing, Mr. Cormack has left no works to testify to his industry. It is only visible through the darkened light of half-forgotten newspapers and Reviews.

"The impulse of a strong fancy made him a wanderer -- the commercial man and the explorer in one. While he sought the respectable gains of commerce, he at the same time aimed at extending international knowledge, thus contributing to the welfare and happiness of man.

"He was naturally of a buoyant and happy disposition, genial and kindly; his manners were suave and dignified. Latterly, great bodily suffering somewhat tinged with bitterness a temper which was constitutionally mild. But no words of his were meant to be `unkind,' though they were sometimes, by those who did not understand him, `wrongly taken.' His warm appreciation of what he deemed the good works of /237/ the Roman Catholic Missionaries in this Colony showed that he had no narrow-souled religious notions. The Rev. Father Fouquet he held in the highest esteem.

"Though afflicted for years, he was only confined to bed about a month. His sufferings during the greater part of his confinement, though intense, never affected his mental powers. With a clear intellect and a consolatory resignation he met the approach of death.

"The greatest respect was paid by this community to his remains -- almost every one who could conveniently attend was at his funeral. The Fire Department (of which he was an honorary member) paid him special respect, the officers of the company carrying his body to the church. The funeral service was conducted by his estimable friend the Rector of Holy Trinity. Personally we have to mourn the loss of an esteemed and much valued friend. Several of our `old familiar faces' are, unhappily, leaving for other homes -- but one dear old face has passed away to `another and a better world.'"

The above obituary was written by Edward Graham, Esq., a gentleman who claims to have been on terms of intimate friendship with Cormack for many years.

NOTE. Amongst Cormack's numerous papers I came across the following Agreement, which fully bears out the statement as to the unreliability of his Indian guide.

Agreement between W.E. Cormack and Joseph Silvester of Bay of Despair.

I promise and agree with Joseph Silvester that if he accompanies me from St. John's to St. George's Bay by land towards the middle of the country of Newfoundland, that besides what I may have already done for him, that after he takes me safe there, that I will on our return, give his mother one barrel of pork, one barrel of flour and anything else that may be found suitable, and further, that he is to go along with me to England or Scotland and stay there as long as I do, and if he likes he may return to St. John's with me next year, or if he likes I will give him a passage in one of our vessels to Portugal or Spain in order that it might do his health good, and then from Spain he is to get his passage back to St. John's or to go in the same vessel to England and return by her to St. John's, and that I will give the Captain of the vessel particular directions to take care of him, and that whatever should happen he the Captain will take care of Joe. until his return to St. John's. When as Joseph Silvester is in St. John's he is to live at my house. If Joe. should ever go to Prince Edward's Island, I will give him a letter to my friends there to do what they can for him, he is to write me what it is, and I will always be very glad to perform what Joe. reasonably wants of me.

(signed) W.E. CORMACK.

Done in the interior of Newfoundland in about 48 degrees 20 minutes N. Lat. 54 degrees 50 minutes W. Long. on Sunday Sept. 14th, 1822.

/238/ It is quite evident from the above agreement that Mister Silvester had been showing the "White feather" and must have contemplated abandoning Cormack to his fate in the far interior, and that in order to retain his services it was necessary to offer him all these extra inducements.

Shanawdithit's Drawings.

[To be inserted later in pictorial form.]

(Covers pp. 238-51 in the original publication.)


Theories as to the origin of the Beothucks.

It is not my intention to pose as an authority on the ethnological, philological or linguistic affinities of the Beothuck. These subjects have been treated by several of the most learned scientists in all such researches. Various theories, have been advanced, and deductions arrived at, which, while I would not attempt to constitute myself an umpire to decide upon, I must confess leaves the question of their real origin about as much in the dark as ever. It would be presumption on my part to even express an opinion, favourable or otherwise, upon any views entertained by such eminent authorities. I shall only here give the gist of their views as they have come to me, and leave the readers to judge for themselves as to which carries most weight.

All the attempts made to solve this great problem, are of an exceedingly interesting character, and there is a strong temptation to elaborate thereon, but with such meagre material at our disposal we cannot hope to arrive at any definite conclusion at this late date.

Mr. W.E. Cormack, that intrepid and philanthropic gentleman, who devoted so much time and money with the view to bringing about amicable relations with the poor Red men, and who also made a deep study of everything relating to their manners, customs, language &c., conceived the idea that the Beothucks might possibly have derived their origin from the Norsemen, whom tradition asserts, discovered America in the tenth century, and afterwards sent out colonies to inhabit therein. No doubt Cormack was led to this supposition by the recently published translation of the Icelandic sagas, just then made public, by the learned Danish Antiquary Dr. Rink. Cormack apparently seized with avidity this interesting story and saw in it a possible solution of the mystery. Could he have established his theory it would have been a complete confirmation of the story of the sagas, and would have made his name famous, amongst the savons of his day. That he was filled with this theory is apparent from his writings, and I find amongst his notes attempts to compare the Beothuck language with that of Iceland and Greenland dialects. He frequently refers to its possible European origin, points out the fact of its possessing all the sounds of those of Europe, while differing radically from the languages of all the neighbouring tribes. Cormack seems to have held on to this view to the day of his death, for I have quite recently learned, from one who knew him intimately in British Columbia, a Mr. Smith, that Cormack did not think the Beothucks were Indians he had an idea that they came from Norway or Sweden. "The late Bishop Mullock of St. John's also seemed to favour this opinion and thought that they might be descendants of Liefs Colonists, possibly intermixed with some aboriginal people."

There are others who favour the theory of a Basque origin as the traditions of that hardy race of fishermen claim that they had made their /252/ way to our shores anterior to Cabot, and that the term "Baccalaos" for Codfish, said to have been used by the natives, was derived from them. Again some learned authors seem to see in the Basque language a remote yet notable resemblance, at least in form to American Indian languages in general.

But the concensus of opinion of those most competent to judge has long ago decided against this supposed European origin, and the most careful comparison of the linguistic characteristics of the language has led to the conclusion that it is clearly Indian or American. But having decided this point it has not been found quite so easy to determine to what great family of Indian dialects the Beothuck language really belongs. The most eminent authorities upon this phase of the question, such persons as Prof. Rob. Gordon Latham, of the Anthropological Society of Great Britain, Prof. Albert S. Gatschet of the Ethnological Bureau Washington, and the Rev. John Campbell, L.L.D., and the late Sir Wm. Dawson all differ in the conclusions they have arrived at. But before entering upon the question as treated by the above named gentlemen, I must record here a most ingenious and certainly very interesting theory put forward by Mr. Wm. Sweetland, Magistrate of Bonavista, who wrote an unpublished history of Newfoundland in 1837. I have been kindly favoured with a perusal of this work by his grand daughter Mrs. C.V. Cogan wife of the Rector of St. Mary's Church, St. John's, South.

Mr. Sweetland begins by stating that when Shanawdithit was brought to St. John's and while she resided with Mr. W.E. Cormack, he had frequent opportunities of conversing with her.

"On one of these occasions," says Mr. S. when questioned as to the origin of her tribe, she stated, "that `The Voice' told them that they sprang from an arrow or arrows stuck in the ground." Upon this Mr. Sweetland weaves an elaborate story of their descent from one Ogus Khan a great Tartar Chieftain who flourished about 675 B.C. Though I am by no means prepared to accept this theory, I must confess it possesses much that seems plausible, and is altogether of such an interesting character, never, so far as I know having been put forward by any other writer, I feel justified in inserting it here in full.

"This Ogus Khan according to his Tartar historian, having overrun the greater part of Asia, which he conquered and subdued, he then began to move towards the eastward, conquering all the great cities that lay in his way, and bringing all the minor states and kingdoms under his sway. Being in the city of Sham, he ordered one of his most faithful attendants to bury privately, a golden bow in the eastern part of the neighbouring forest; but in such a manner, that only an exceeding small bit of it could be seen, which being done he commanded the same person to bury so likewise, three golden arrows, in the west side of the same forest. A year later, he sent his three eldest sons, `Kuin,' or the Sun, `Ay,' or the moon, and `Juldus,' or the Star, to hunt on the east side of the aforesaid forest with orders to bring him whatever they found therein. Then he despatched his three younger sons, with orders to repair to the chase but on the west side only. The first of these had the appellation /253/ `of Kuck,' or the Heaven; the second that of `Tag,' or the Mountain; and the third that of `Zenghiz,' or the Sea. The former, besides a large quantity of game, brought with them, at their return the golden bow they had found; and the latter the three golden arrows, likewise much game. The Khan, having caused the game to be dressed, and added many other dishes to it, made a great feast on this occasion; after the conclusion of which, he divided the golden bow amongst his three eldest sons, and permitted also the three others to keep each of them, a golden arrow. He resided some years in the principal towns he had conquered; and having left strong garrisons in those of them that were defensible, he led back his army into his hereditary dominions.

"At his return he erected a magnificent tent, adorned with golden apples, curiously enriched with all sorts of precious stones; and invited to a grand entertainment his sons, the nobles, and all the officers of distinction in the Empire. He ordered nine hundred horses, and nine thousand sheep to be killed on this occasion; and provided nine leather bottles filled with brandy, and ninety with Kumiss, or mares' milk, for the use of his illustrious guests. Then having thanked his sons for their inviolable fidelity to him, he made them sovereign princes, giving them subjects of their own. As for the lords of his Court and his principal Officers, he rewarded each of them according to his respective merit. His three eldest sons received from him the name of `Bussuk,' that is broken, in memory of the golden bow which they had found, and parted among themselves and to the three youngest he gave the surname of `Utz-ock' or three arrows, in remembrance of the adventure above mentioned. Then telling them, that among their ancestors, a bow was the symbol of dominion, and the arrows that of ambassadors, he appointed Kuin, his successor, and declared the descendants of the `Bussucks' only to have a right to the crown. As for the `Utz-ocks,' and their posterity, they were to remain in a state of subjugation to their brethren for ever.

"In fine, this great conqueror made himself master of Kathay, and subdued all the Turkish tribes or nations of the East. He also reduced Persia, Korassan, Media, or Adarbayagjan and Armenia, and planted in the countries he possessed himself of, the true religion. Those who embraced it he treated with great lenity, and even heaped many favours upon them; but the Idolators he cut off without mercy. He likewise left Governors in all his conquests, commanding them to govern according to the Oguzian laws, which he had caused to be promulgated for the good of all his subjects.

"The memory of Ogus Khan is still held in high veneration over a great part of the East. He is considered as the greatest hero, except the famous Janghiz Khan, that ever lived, at least in the Eastern part of the world, by the Turks and Tartars of all denominations. The Ottomans or Othmans Turks so called in contradistinction to the Turkish or Tartarian tribes, settled in Great and Little Tartary, from him assume the name of Oguzians; and pretend that the Ottoman family is descended in a direct line from Ogus Khan.

"Ogus Khan having reigned according to the Tartar Historian, one /254/ hundred and sixteen years, departed this life, and was succeeded by his son Kuin or Ghun Khan. That Prince being advised thereto by one of his fathers old councillors of the tribe of Vigus, made a partition of the Empire. He divided Ogus Khan's immense dominions amongst the six brothers already mentioned, and all their sons. As each of them, therefore had four sons born in lawful wedlock, and four by his concubines, Kuin Khan's dominions were greatly dismembered, and after this event, assumed quite a different form. This we learn from Abul Ghazi Bahadur, the Khan of Khowarazm; but according to Mahommed Ebu Emin Khouandschah, commonly called Murkhoud the Persian Historian, the division of the Turkish Nation into tribes, which this seems to allude to, happened in the time of Ogus Khan.

"That Prince, says this author, divided the Oriental Turks, that is to say all those remote Turkish or Tartar Nations seated beyond the Gihon, on the Oxus, into twenty four different tribes. As many of them are still in being, an account of them will be found in the modern History of the Tartars.

"Having conducted my readers thus far by placing before them the history of the only two nations, with whom the Beothick of Newfoundland can reasonably claim affinity, allow me to examine the premises upon which that affinity is founded. The first of these as it regards Boetia, will not be found upon investigation to be so improbable as at first sight it may appear.

"The name Boetia resembles so closely that of Boeothic, that we may reasonably infer that the only alteration which time and custom has made between them, is that of changing the a of the first into c or ck of the latter, which slight alteration will not go to annihilate the supposition that they were originally one and the same signification.

"The fable of the Ox having conducted Cadmus into Boeotia has in my humble opinion no other reference than to the former situation of the tribe or family on the Oxus where, as I have already stated the Tartar tribes were partly seated at the division of Ogus Khan's vast dominions.

"In the next place, the tradition or fable of the two arrows given by Shanawdithit the Beothic woman to Mr. Cormack bears a close similitude to the circumstance recorded of Ogus Khan by the Tartar Historian, which has been related above; coupled with the name Boeotic (which I take for granted had the same signification with Boeotia, which meant an Ox) fixes their identity as descendants of one of the three younger sons of Ogus Khan, who was situated at the time of their separation from the parent stock, on or near the Oxus, west of the forest of Hyrcania, or if you please suppose the word Utz-ock, or the three arrows, in process of time, to have changed into Boeotzook or Butz-ock, the similitude will in some measure bear me out in claiming for them an affinity with one of Ogus Khan's youngest sons.

"The determination of the matter must be left in the hands of the learned and curious, should it be worth their attention and consideration, the purport of the writer being to shew as regards the Beothics, in the first instance, the probability of their Tartar extract, the route pursued by them from their own country into America, and that the Beothucks of /255/ Newfoundland were not the descendants of Scandinavians as some authors assert, or Norwegians as others.

"That they emigrated hither from Canada will easily be admitted by all acquainted with their proximity to the Straits of Belle Isle, which separates Newfoundland from Labrador.

"That they gave name to a bay in their neighbourhood, whither the Canadians frequented, and that they were in habits of friendly intercourse with them till the arrival of civilized man from Europe who quickly sowed the seeds of discord amongst them which eventually led to the annihilation of the Beothuck, for at this period the European

Of their name and race

Hath scarcely left a token or a trace'

save and except a few scattered vague reminiscences collected towards the end of their time, from the last of their race."

In considering the foregoing dissertation of Mr. Sweetland I have been impressed with a few rather remarkable coincidences, if nothing more. In the name given by Ogus Khan to his eldest son, "Kuin" the Sun, we have a very close resemblance to the Beothuck term for that luminary "Kuis." Several of the other terms used, while not so closely resembling any of the known words of the vocabulary of our Red Indians, have nevertheless a decided Beothuck sound, especially in such words as "Bussuk" and "Utz-ock."

With reference to the theory of their origin from the three arrows stuck in the ground, I find on referring back to the so-called mythological symbols, that the last three of these figures might be taken to represent arrows. The first of these indeed corresponds exactly with the description of the bluntpointed arrow described by Cormack, as used for killing small birds, "the point being a knob continuous with the shaft," and without feathers at the small end. The other two at their upper end are so fashioned that it might easily be conceived that this was intended to represent feathers, but there is nothing at the other end to indicate points or heads.

I must now proceed to the consideration of what the other more recent, and presumably more scientific authorities have to say on the subject of the possible origin of this mystical race.

Professor Latham gives it as his opinion that they were undoubtedly a branch of the great Algonkin family of North American Indians. In his Varieties of Man published in 1850, he says, of the Beothucks, "The particular division to which the Aborigines of Newfoundland belonged has been a matter of doubt. Some writers considering them to have been Eskimo, others to have been akin to the Micmacs, who have now a partial footing on the Island.

"Reasons against either of those views are supplied by a hitherto unpublished Beothuck vocabulary with which I have been kindly furnished by my friend Dr. King of the Anthropological Society.

"This makes them a separate section of the Algonkins, and such I believe them to have been."

/256/ NOTE. -- A table of the chief affinities between the Beothuck and other Algonkin languages or dialects, has been published by the present writer in the proceedings of the Philological Society for 1850.

The late Sir Wm. Dawson was of opinion that the Beothucks were of Tinne stock, a branch of the great Chippewan family, but neither Latham nor Gatschet acquiesce in this view.

Prof. Albert S. Gatschet of the Ethnological Bureau of Washington who has certainly given a deeper study to this subject than any other authority I know of, and who has taken infinite pains in comparing the Beothuck vocabulary with many of the dialects of the neighbouring Indian tribes of the mainland, is decidedly of opinion that the language possesses no real affinity with any of these, that it is a mistake to suppose they were Algonkins, or yet Chippewans. "There is nothing in their language to indicate their origin from either of those great families, that in fact they were `Sui generis,' a people of themselves, apart and distinct from all others we know anything of."

The Rev. John Campbell, L.L.D., another distinguished Philologist, is most pronounced in his opinion that the Beothucks were undoubtedly Algonkins, and that Latham was right in so concluding. This gentleman makes a comparison between some thirty or forty Beothuck words and a similar number of Malay-Polynesian and deduces therefrom the probability that the ancestral Beothuck stock was located in Celebes, and he imagines that they belonged to the same tribe as the New England Pawtuckets and Pequods, and adds that "their vocabulary agrees best with those of the New England tribes."

From such a diversity of opinions held by such eminent Scientists it is impossible to form any definite conclusion as to the origin of the Beothucks, yet there can be little doubt that they must have originally come from the mainland of America, and everything seems to point to the narrow Strait of Belle Isle as the most probable course of their migration. The fact that they were always on friendly terms with the Labrador Indians seems strong presumptive evidence that it is in this direction we should look for their nearest kin. This is further borne out by a statement of Shanawdithit to Mr. Peyton, recorded in one of his notes, viz. that the traditions of her people represented their descent from the Labrador Indians. The further fact that they were at such deadly enmity with the Micmacs, would preclude the idea that they were in any way closely allied to that tribe by ties of kindred.

There are several traditions of the remnant of the tribe having again crossed over to the Labrador shore, and having either died out or become absorbed by some of the resident tribes either the Nascopie or Mountaineers, but none of these traditions are well authenticated. John Stevens, a Canadian Indian, one of those employed by Cormack, told Mr. Peyton that the last signs of the Red Indians were seen near Quirpon, on the extreme NE. Coast of this Island about 1838(?). Bonnycastle, in his History of Newfoundland (1842) relates that while cruising in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the Governor General of Canada, in the summer of 1831, that they found "the Indians, a sort of half bred Esquimaux, /257/ who were employed in the Salmon fisheries of the King's Ports, on the Labrador shore, were very much agitated and alarmed in the Bay of Seven Islands, by the sudden appearance of a fierce looking people amongst them, of whom they had neither knowledge nor tradition, and who were totally different from the warlike Mountaineer, or Montagnards of the interior, who came occasionally to barter at the posts."

"I believe," he adds, "the strangers themselves were as much alarmed at seeing the very unusual circumstance of three ships of war riding in that splendid basin, and finding that the part of the shore they had arrived at was occupied by a large storehouse and a dwelling, with some tents; for, after frightening the others out of their wits, they disappeared as suddenly as they came."

He concludes thus: "These were, very possibly, the poor disinherited Red Men, who, it had been the disgraceful practice of the ruder hunters, furriers, and settlers of Newfoundland, to hunt, fire at, and slaughter, wherever they could find them, treating these rightful lords of the soil as they would the bears and wolves, and with just as little remorse."

Hon. Joseph Noad, Surveyor General of Newfoundland in a lecture delivered by him in 1852, says "That the Micmacs still believe in the existence of the Beothucks and say some 25 years ago (1827) the whole tribe passed over to Labrador, and that the place of their final embarkation, as they allege, is yet indiscernible."(146)

The Royal Gazette of Sept. 2, 1828 contains the following statement re the Red Indians. "Nippers Harbour, where the Red Indians were said to have been seen three weeks ago, and where one of their arrows was picked up, after having been ineffectually shot at one of the settlers, is in Green Bay."

Physical Features of the Beothucks.

A great diversity of opinion seems to have existed as to the physical characteristics of this strange tribe. It has been customary on the part of fishermen and others to describe them as a race of gigantic stature and numerous instances are recorded to bear out this statement. Major George Cartwright, in speaking of the Indians he saw on an island in Dildo Run, says "One of them appeared to be remarkably tall."

The anonymous writer in the Liverpool Mercury, who was present at the capture of Mary March, speaks of her dead husband, as he lay on the ice, measuring six feet seven and a half inches.(147) A man killed in Trinity Bay by the fishermen is described as a huge savage, and another /258/ said to have been seen by one Richards, in Notre Dame Bay was pronounced to be seven feet tall, this was probably the same individual described by an old fisherman to Mr. Watts of Harbour Grace as being a huge man with immense chest development.

I have myself frequently heard fishermen talk of the large bones of skeletons they had come across, and say by placing the thigh bones (femur) alongside their own legs to compare them they were found to be much longer as a rule.

Nevertheless, I take it that most of these statements are highly exaggerated, and were the outcome of fear, or perhaps for the purpose of affording an excuse, for the wanton destruction of such formidable enemies. No doubt, as in most other races of the human family there were individuals of exceptional big stature, but all the more trustworthy evidence in our possession goes to prove conclusively that the Beothucks were people of ordinary stature only.

I shall here give a review of such facts bearing on this head as are contained in the foregoing pages.

Richard Edens, in his Gatherings from writers on the New World, says, "The inhabitants are men of good corporature, although tawny like the Indians." Jacobus Bastaldus writeth of the inhabitants thus: "They are whyte people and very rustical."

Pasqualligi, the Venetian Ambassador at Lisbon writing to his brother in Italy, describes the savages brought home by Cortereal thus: "They are of like figure, stature and respect, and bear the greatest resemblance to the Gypsies, they are better made in the legs and arms and shoulders than it is possible to describe."

Damiano Goes, a contemporary Portuguese writer, in his Chronica del Rey Dom Manuel, gives the following description of them: "The people of the country are very barbarous and uncivilized, almost equally with the people of Santa Cruz, except that they are whyte [white], and so tanned by cold that the whyte [white] colour is lost as they grow older and they become blackish. They are of middle size, very lightly made &c."

Cartier in 1534-5 says, "These are men of indifferent good stature and bigness, but wilde [wild] and unruly."

John Guy, who met and traded with them in 1612 at the head of Trinity Bay, also says, "They are of a reasonable stature, of an ordinary middle size. They go bare-headed, wearing their hair somewhat long but cut round: they have no beards; behind they have a great lock of hair platted with feathers, like a hawk's lure, with a feather in it standing upright by the crown of the head, and a small lock platted before." . . . . "They are full eyed, of blacke colour; the colour of their haire [hair] was divers, some black, some brown and some yellow,(148) and their faces somewhat flat and broad, red with oker, as all their apparel is, and the rest of their body; they are broad breasted, and bold, and stand very upright."

Whitbourne does not describe their personal appearance and it is therefore presumable that he never actually saw any of them.

/259/ In Patrick Gordon's Geographical Grammar 1722, it is stated, "The natives of this Island are generally of middle stature, broad faced, colouring their faces with ochre."

Lieut. John Cartwright did not see any of them and therefore does not describe their personal appearance.

Anspach, writing in 1818, thus describes the Indian female captured in 1803, "She was of a copper colour, with black eyes and hair much like the hair of an European."

Bonnycastle says of this female, "She was stained both body and hair, of a red colour, as is supposed from the juice of the alder."

But it is to Lieut. Buchan, and Mr. John Peyton we are indebted for the most circumstantial and reliable description of the Beothucks. Both these gentlemen, as is known, came into closer contact with them than any others of education and clear intelligence, therefore I would take their statements as being thoroughly reliable. Buchan, during his amicable intercourse of several hours duration at Red Indian Lake in 1811, had an opportunity such as no other person, at least in modern times, enjoyed of taking close observation, not merely of one or two indivuduals, but of the whole tribe. He describes them very fully thus: "Report has famed these Indians as being of gigantic stature, this is not the case, and must have originated from the bulkiness of their dress, and partly from misrepresentation. They are well formed and appear extremely healthy and athletic, and of the medium structure, probably from five feet eight to five feet nine inches, and with one exception, black hair. Their features are more prominent than any of the Indian tribes that I have seen, and from what could be discovered through a lacker of oil and red ochre (or red earth) with which they besmear themselves I was led to conclude them fairer than the generality of Indian complexion." In counting their numbers he says, "There could not be less than thirty children, and most of them not exceeding six years of age, and never were finer infants seen."

Mary March (Demasduit) is described in the official reports as a young woman, about 23 years of age, of a gentle and interesting disposition. Bonnycastle says, "She had hair much like that of an European, but was of a copper colour, with black eyes. Her natural disposition was docile. She was very active and her whole demeanour agreeable. In this respect as well as in her appearance, she was very different from the Micmacs or other Indians we are acquainted with."

Capt. Hercules Robinson, writing of her from information obtained from the Rev. Mr. Leigh, says, "She was quite unlike an Esquimau in face and figure, tall and rather stout in body, limbs very small and delicate, particularly her arms. Her hands and feet were very small and beautifully formed, and of these she was very proud; her complexion a light copper colour, became nearly as fair as an European's after a course of washing, and absence from smoke, her hair black, which she delighted to comb and oil, her eyes larger and more intelligent than those of an Esquimau, her teeth small, white and regular, her cheek bones rather high but her countenance had a mild and pleasing expression. Her voice was remarkably sweet, low and musical."

/260/ Old Mr. Curtis, who was in Peyton's employ when she was brought out from the interior, says, "She was of medium height and slender, and for an Indian very good looking."

Rev. Wm. Wilson, in his diary gives a very graphic description of the three women captured in 1823, as he saw them in the Court House at St. John's. He says, "The mother was far advanced in life, she was morose, and had the look and action of a savage, she seemed to look with dread and hatred on all who approached her. The oldest daughter was in ill health, but her sister, Shanawdithit or Nancy, was in good health, and seemed about 22 years of age. If she had ever used red ochre about her person, there was no sign of it in her face. Her complexion was swarthy, not unlike the Micmacs her features were handsome, she was a tall fine figure, and stood nearly six feet high, and such a beautiful set of teeth, I do not know that I ever saw in a human head. She was bland, affable and affectionate. She appeared to be of a very lively disposition, and was easily roused and prone to laughter."

Old widow Jure of Exploits Island, who was a domestic in Peyton's employ, at the time Nancy resided with the family, describes her as rather swarthy in complexion, but with very pleasing features. She was rather inclined to be stout, but nevertheless of a good figure. She was very bright and intelligent, and quick at acquiring the English language, and had a most retentive memory. At times she was very pert, and inclined to be saucy to her mistress, then again she would fall into sulky moods, take fits of laziness, and absolutely refuse to do any work. When in this state of mind she would sometimes run away from the house, and hide herself in the woods for a day or two, but always came back in better humour. In fact she was a big, grown, wayward, pettish child, to all intents.

Mr. Curtis, before mentioned, says she was industrious and intelligent, that she performed all the usual household work, except bread making and did everything well. Old John Gill, whose mother also lived with Nancy at Peyton's, confirmed all the above statements, and added further, "Nancy was very similar to the Micmacs in appearance, having about the same complexion and broad features. Her hair was jet black and coarse, her figure tall and stout. She was a good worker when she felt inclined that way. She was subject to occasional melancholy moods, and when in this state of mind would do nothing. On the whole she was of a very gentle disposition, and not at all inclined to viciousness. She displayed a marvellous taste for drawing or copying anything, and was never so happy as when supplied with paper and lead pencils. She was strictly modest in her demeanour, and would permit no freedom on the part of the male sex. She took great pride in some fine clothes given her by Captain Buchan."

Cormack also speaks of her natural talent for drawing. He says she evinced extraordinary powers of mind in possessing the sense of gratitude in the highest degree, strong affections for her parents and friends, and was of a most lively disposition. He says in person she was inclined to be stout, but when first taken was slender.

/261/ The Hon. Joseph Noad, Surveyor General of the Colony, who writes as though he had seen Shanawdithit, describes her in similar terms. He says, "her natural abilities were good, she was grateful for any kindness shown her. In height she was five feet five inches."

Bonnycastle speaks of seeing a miniature of Shanawdithit "which without being handsome, shews a pleasing countenance, not unlike in expression to those of the Canadian tribes, round with prominent cheek bones, somewhat sunken eyes, and small nose."

Finally Mr. Peyton informed me that the Red Indians as a whole were not such gigantic people as represented by some of the fishermen, they were of medium height only, of a very active lithe build. They were a better looking people than the Micmacs, having more regular features with slightly aquiline noses, not so broad featured, and much lighter in complexion. They did not appear to be so fond of gaudy colours as their continental neighbours, except as regards their custom of using red ochre.

The above are about all the really reliable and trustworthy references to the physical characteristics of the Beothuck tribe known to me.

Status of the Red Indian Women.

Amongst the Beothucks the women seem to have been held in greater esteem and been treated more in accordance with civilized notions of what is due to the weaker sex, than was usual amongst savage peoples. At least we are led to infer as much from several facts contained in the foregoing references and traditions.

There are two or three instances recorded, where when surprised by the whites, the women had recourse to appealing their enemies' sympathy or better nature, by laying bare their bosoms, thus disclosing their sex, in the vain hope of turning aside their enmity. I look upon this fact as clearly indicating that such an appeal would be considered amongst themselves as one calculated to ward off the threatened blow. Then again we have the noble example of affection displayed by poor Nonos-a-ba-sut, husband of Mary March, who did not hesitate to face his enemies and brave death itself, in the endeavour to rescue his wife from the despoilers' hands. There is the further example of filial affection displayed by the Indian boy August, who said if he could come across the ruffian who shot his mother, he would wreak vengeance upon him.

In the tradition about the Carbonear white women captives, we are told that these women were treated with every consideration by the Indians, and that they observed that their own women were also well treated by the sterner sex, in that respect, fully as well as amongst civilized beings.

Mr. Peyton informed me, that when conveying Mary March out to the sea coast, they drew her on a sled. She seemed to demand and expect kindly treatment at their hands. She would sit upon the sled, put out her feet and intimate by signs she wanted someone to lace up her moccasins, and in many other ways seemed to look upon such little services as /262/ a matter of course. Both she and Nancy during their sojourn amongst the white people, looked for and expected as their right such small attentions, and resented anything approaching rough, harsh or unseemly conduct on the part of the fishermen.

The Custom of using Red Ochre.

Many theories have been advanced to account for this curious custom of using red ochre, a mixture of red earth, oxide of iron and oil or grease, called by the Beothucks Odemet. It appears to have been their universal practice to smear everything they possessed with this pigment. Not only their clothing, implements, ornaments, canoes, bows and arrows, drinking cups, even their own bodies were so treated. Small packages of this material, tied up in birch bark, are found buried with their dead, and there is evidence even that long after the flesh had decomposed and fallen away, they must have visited the sepulchres and rubbed ochre over the skeletons of their departed kin. At least one such now in the local museum was certainly so treated.

It was of course this custom which gave origin to the name of Red Indians commonly applied to these people. There are many conjectures as to the purpose of this style of adornment. Some writers suppose it may have been intended as a protection against the elements, or the mosquitoes, but it is more generally conceded that the red colour had for them some greater significance, something supernatural, perhaps intended to act as a talisman, to ward off the spirits of evil, or perhaps as a charm against the machinations of their enemies.(149)

Whatever may have been the real object, it was invariably indulged in, and several places around the coast are still pointed out where the Indians procured the red material. One of those in Conception Bay, is known as Ochre Pit Cove, another in the Bay of Exploits as Ochre Island.

Of course this custom of painting the body with some such pigment was not confined to the Beothucks, for it appears to have been practised by most savages the world over. We are told that the ancient Britons besmeared themselves with woad. In the report of the United States Survey West of the 100th Meridian, mention is made of certain tribes of the Pacific slope, who were in the habit of painting or staining their persons with a red colour, supposed to be for protecting their flesh from the Sun's heat. If we go back still further, it would appear that the ancient Greeks were not exempt from a similar practice.

/263/ Amongst most of the tribes of North America various colours were used to render the features as repulsive as possible, by being daubed on in streaks so as to present a most hideous appearance, calculated it is believed, to strike terror into their enemies. I scarcely think however, that such could have been the object aimed at by our own aborigines, for previous to the coming of Europeans, and the influx of Micmacs from the mainland they had no enemies that we are aware of.

Lieut. Chappel in his Voyage of the Rosamond, says in a footnote, "Both ancient and savage nations have manifested this propensity to paint or dye their persons. The image of Jupiter preserved in the Capitol at Rome was painted with minium, and a Roman Emperor wishing to assume a God-like aspect, when entering the city in triumph, ornamented his skin in imitation of the God. The image of the Sphinx in Egypt is painted red. The ancient Britons painted their bodies of various colours, and Capt. Cook relates that the natives of Van Diemens Land had their hair and beards anointed with red ointment."(150)

Numerous other references to these peculiar customs might be quoted, but as they are all pretty much of the same character, and moreover do not throw much light upon the subject, it is not necessary to give them here. The most up to date scientific references are as follows:

Report of Bureau of Ethnology U.S. 1882-3

Significance has been attached to several colours amongst all peoples and in all periods of culture, and is still recognized in even the highest civilizations. As for instance, the association of black with death and mourning, white with innocence and peace, red with danger; yellow with epidemic, disease, etc.

Red seems to be more universally used than any other colour, and, amongst various peoples, had its various significance. The Tabernacle of the Israelites was covered with skins dyed with red, and today the Roman Pontiff and Cardinals are distinguished by red garments.

In ancient art this colour had a mystic sense or symbolism and its proper use was an important and carefully considered study. Red was the colour of Royalty, fire, Divine love, the Holy Spirit, creative power and heat. In an opposite sense it symbolised blood, war, hatred, etc. Most of the North American Indians adorned some portions of their bodies /264/ with this and other colours, especially when going to war, hence the term "Putting on the war paint."

Amongst the New Zealanders Red (kura) was closely connected with their religious belief. Red paint was their sacred colour. Their Idols, stages for the dead, and all offerings or sacrifices, their Chiefs' graves, houses, war canoes, etc., were all painted red.

To render anything tapu (taboo) was by making it red. When a person died his house was thus coloured. When the tapu was laid on anything, the Chief erected a post and painted it red or kura; wherever a corpse rested some memorial was set up and painted red. When the hahunga took place, the scraped bones of the Chief were so ornamented, and then wrapped in a stained cloth mat and deposited in a box smeared with the sacred colour and placed in the tomb. A stately monument was then erected to his memory which was also so coloured.

In former times the chief anointed his entire person with Red Ochre when fully dressed on state occasions.(151)

Tattooing seems to have taken the place of painting the body amongst these people in more modern times. This custom is also prevalent amongst many of the natives of the Pacific Islands. The Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands, and the natives of Alaska carried out this custom to a perhaps greater degree than any other savage people. Even the Esquimau of the far North indulged in it to a lesser degree, amongst the female sex, the married women only, tattooed the face especially the cheeks, forehead and chin with simple designs.

In the case of the Queen Charlotte Islanders the custom seems to have attained the highest degree of art. Not only the face and arms, but all the fleshy portions of the body were covered with most grotesque designs, representing real or imaginary animals. They were the crests or armorial bearings of the tribe or family to which the individual belonged. Both painting and tattooing the person in this fashion has been made the subject of recent study especially by the Jesup North Pacific Expedition sent out to British Columbia in 1897. The question of "Why do the Indians paint their faces?" was one of those which engaged the most earnest attention of the expedition, and it was found to have a far deeper significance than was hitherto supposed to be the case.

The fact of the matter is, that every paint mark on an Indian's face is a sign with a definite meaning which other Indians may read. The same applies to the tattoo marks. The whole design represented the totem (crest) or armorial bearing of the tribe or family, to which the individual belonged, just as the civilized gentleman of noble birth has his crest or coat of arms to distinguish his family.

The subject is a far reaching one as it can be seen that it carries us back almost to the advent of the human race on this globe. There are some who hold that even Adam himself may have indulged in the red ochre habit, as his very name signifies "red earth."

/265/ But to return to our Aborigines the Beothucks, I am greatly inclined to the belief that with them as with the Maoris, the custom had some sacred significance, or was connected in some way with their religious belief. The mere fact of their visiting the dead and smearing the very bones with red ochre, also of their depositing packets of the material with the corpse in its last resting place, is a clear indication that they supposed the colour to have some specially saving virtue, for the deceased on his journey to the "Happy hunting ground."

Traditions current among the fisher-folk and other

residents about the Aborigines, or Red Indians.

There are numerous traditions, especially amongst the inhabitants of the more Northern Bays, relative to the Red Indians. While it is impossible to vouch for the correctness of many of these stories, there can be little doubt that the majority of them have some element of truth in them. They are chiefly of a sanguinary character, and refer to various encounters with the Red Men. As all these stories are more or less interesting, I shall give them just as they were related to me, except a few which are of too revolting a character to put in print.

I cannot here attempt to arrange these occurrences according to dates, as nothing definite could be obtained on that point. What appears to be probably one of the oldest relates to Carbonear and was obtained from Mr. Claudius Watts, a very old and intelligent resident of Harbour Grace, now bordering on the century mark,(152) through his son Mr. H.C. Watts. Mr. Watts remembered a very old inhabitant of Carbonear, a Mr. Thos. Pike, who died in 1843, at the great age of 103. This man's father came out from England at an early date. He remembered seeing an encampment of Red Indians on Carbonear Beach, with whom he traded, exchanging iron and other articles for furs &c. He said the Indians were camped there for several days, and during that time some of them went down the shore to a place called Ochre-Pit Cove to procure red ochre, so much prized by them. Pike had in his possession for a long time some stone implements and other articles given him by the Indians, which remained in his family for many years but were eventually destroyed by a child putting them in the fire, when the heat split them into fragments. A sister of old Mr. Watts who predeceased him many years, used to relate a tradition current in her young days amongst the older inhabitants of Carbonear, to the effect that once the fishermen from that place who used to go into Trinity Bay every season to fish, surprised a number of Indians in a canoe. These all made their escape except one young girl who was sick and unable to get away. They brought her to Carbonear with them and kept her for some time but the Indians made a raid upon the place while the men were absent fishing, and not only recaptured the girl but carried off three white women of the place. The women were returned to Carbonear in the following spring, unharmed, and fully dressed in deer /266/ skins. They gave a most favourable account of their treatment by the Indians, describing them as more like civilized people than savages. Their women, they said were handsome, and the men of immense stature. They had but one wife each, as these they treated as well as white people did their wives.

The cause of the kidnapping of the three women was supposed to be in retaliation for the capture of the girl, who it appeared was a chief's daughter and a person of note amongst them.

The tradition of the Indians procuring red ochre at the place since called Ochre-Pit Cove, about six miles below Carbonear on the north shore of Conception Bay, has long been current.

Mr. C. Watts distinctly remembers many of the old people some 80 years ago, speaking of this tradition, which had been handed down from one generation to another. According to his story the first settlers on the north shore of Conception Bay, below Carbonear, had frequently seen the Indians come to Ochre-Pit Cove and take away red ochre therefrom, and there was a place in the cliff called Red Man's Gulch, from the circumstance. A very old man named Parsons, who lived in this cove, and was the grandson of another man of the same name who was one of the very first settlers on the shore, used to state, when his grandfather came there an old Englishman who preceded him often spoke of the Indians whom he saw taking ochre from the cliffs. Sometimes they came overland from Trinity Bay, but more frequently in their canoes from up the shore somewhere. The settlers did not molest them in any way at that time, and the old Englishman in particular was on quite friendly terms with them.

Mr. Watts also states that an old trapper once told him that in the month of May, he with some others were hunting somewhere on the South side of Notre Dame Bay, when they came across the body of a huge Indian laying dead by the side of a river. As there were no signs of violence or any marks of shot wounds on the body, the trappers concluded that the man must have fallen through the ice and been drowned, and when the river broke up the body had been carried down by the freshets to where they saw it.

Mr. Watts remembers many years ago, hearing from a reliable source, that some hunters being in the interior of Labrador near Forteau came across the footprints of men, who judging from their great strides, must have been of immense stature. The hunters came up with the encampment of these people about sunset, but as soon as they showed themselves, the Red Men, as they called them, made a hasty retreat, leaving all their camp equipage behind. Another tradition amongst the Carbonear men who used to fish in the straits of Belle Isle was to the effect, that the Nascopie Indians of Labrador told of a strange race of big men having been seen by some of their tribe on several occasions. It was thought the Nascopie and Eskimo killed them out.


Notes on the Red Indians from

"Newfoundland and its Missionaries"

By Rev. Wm. Wilson. Page 308.

"A place called Bloody Bay(153) on the north side of Bonavista Bay, has often been named to the writer as a place where frequent encounters had occurred with the Red Indians. . . .

"In a place called Cat Harbour, some Indians came one night and took all the sails from a fishing boat. The next day they were pursued and when seen, were on a distant hill, with the sails cut into a kind of cloak, and daubed all over with red ochre. Two men belonging to the party who had gone in pursuit of the Indians, were rowing along the shore, when they saw a goose, swimming in the water, and went in pursuit of it. But it proved to be merely a decoy, for while their attention was arrested two Indians rose up from concealment, and discharges their arrows at them but without effect."

A man named Rousell, one of the first settlers in Hall's Bay, was reputed as being a great Indian killer.

Many stories are told of this old Rousell's treatment of the Indians. It is said he never went anywhere without his long flint-lock gun, and woe betide the unfortunate Beothuck who dared to show himself near where Rousell was. It has even been stated that should a bush move or any noise emanate therefrom Rousell would immediately point his gun at the spot and let go. He is said never to have spared one of the natives. In the end, they killed him and carried off his head as was their usual custom.(154)

On the other hand a brother of his who never molested the poor creatures was treated well. They did him no injury, except to help themselves occasionally to a salmon from his weir. They would even come to one side of the brook while he was at the other and take a fish out before his face, so bold were they with him. They would call him by name Tom Rouse, and hold up the fish for him to see it. They were perfectly aware of the difference between the two brothers, and that while one was their deadly enemy, the other would not harm them.

Thomas Peyton, son of the man who captured Mary March, told me that another old man named Genge who lived alone at a place called Indian Arm, frequently saw the Red Indians, but he never interfered with them, they in turn did not harm him. They would approach his tilt at night and peep in through the chinks at him, but he always had a dog with him, of which the Indians were very much afraid. They would not dare enter the tilt while the dog was there. Genge used to put out a salmon or other food for them through a trap in his door, and they, understanding it was so meant, would approach and take it away. They never harmed or in anyway interfered with this man, except to visit his weir or nets and take out a salmon to eat. As in the case of Rousell, they would come while Genge was present at one side of the river and /268/ from the other side, run out on his dam and dexterously spear a fish and make off with it. He never fired at them, and they were perfectly aware of his friendly disposition, and in turn never molested him further than to take an occasional fish, as above stated. He would leave a fish on his splitting table for them then watch from his tilt to see them come and take it away. He also stated that they would go where he had his nets hung up to dry and pick the sea-weed out of them.

Another man named Facey or Tracy lived in Loo Bay salmon fishing, and had a boy with him. Once when the boy was out in a boat shooting sea birds, and while rowing along shore, he was shot in the throat with an arrow, by some Indians concealed in the bush. The boy siezed [seized] his gun (an old flint lock), and raised it to fire at the place where the arrow came from, but as he raised to his shoulder the profuse bleeding from his wound fell into the pan of the gun, damping the powder so that it would not ignite. He then rowed back in all haste and informed his master of what had occurred. "Never mind," said Facey (?), "I'll settle that." Forthwith he loaded up all his guns, and at daylight next morning set off in his boat to hunt up the Indians. As he pulled along shore he observed a path leading into the woods, which he followed up, and soon came across an Indian wigwam in which the inmates were still asleep. He raised the deer-skin door and peeped in. There were two occupants only still sound asleep (my informant stated that the Indians were great sleepers). Facey (?) called out to them twice before they became aroused, and as soon as they jumped up, he fired first at one, then seizing a second gun fired at the other. He would never admit that he killed them, only stating that he gave them a fright.

I was once informed that some fishermen or furriers in some part of Notre Dame Bay, having been subjected to frequent depradations on the part of the Indians, determined to kill them out. The furriers went in pursuit, and succeeded in surprising the Red men while still asleep in their wigwam. They stole cautiously forward, surrounded the wigwam and then set it on fire. The wigwam or mamateek, being constructed of birch bark, a most inflammable material, was ablaze in a minute or two. The unfortunate Indians rushed from the blazing structure and tried to escape, but they were shot down as they emerged, and not a single individual escaped alive.

On June 13th 1809, one Michael Turpin, an Irishman, was killed and scalped (head cut off)(?) at a place called Sandy Cove on Fogo Island, near Tilton Harbour. He with others, men and women, were engaged planting their gardens, some distance from the settlement, when the Indians made a descent upon them, all fled and escaped except Turpin who was shot down with arrows. One of the women was the first to give the alarm. The settlers rallied and went in pursuit, but the Indians had made good their retreat, having first cut off Turpin's head which they carried off with them.

Fishermen relate that on several occasions the Indians were seen in their canoes coming from the Funk Islands(155) where they had been in search /269/ of eggs and sea birds. This invariably took place during foggy weather, and it was only when they suddenly appeared out of the fog, in the vicinity of the fishing boats that they were seen. On such occasions, as soon as they described the fishing boats, they immediately swerved to one side and made off at great speed. It is certain that they did visit these distant islets (over forty miles from the main island), as some of their paddles and other belongings were found on these island rocks. It is thought probable some of them had been wrecked there during one of their visits.

A very intelligent native of Old Perlican in Trinity Bay named Jabez Tilley, gave me the following tradition, which he often heard the old people relate when he was a youth.

Several of the then oldest inhabitants remembered the depradations committed by the Indians as late as 1775. They came at night and stole the sails and other articles from a boat on the collar,(156) as well as all the gear they could lay hands upon. Tilley's informant, a Mrs. Warren, with others were up all night splitting fish in a stage close by, but they did not hear the Indians approach. Next day a party was organized and being fully armed set out in pursuit. They saw the smoke of the Indians camp near Lower Lance Cove, and laying concealed all night, they surprised the Indians, while still asleep, at daylight next morning, when they shot seven of them, but the rest escaped. One huge savage, after being shot twice, rose up again and discharged an arrow at them, but he was immediately shot through the heart. He is said to have been nearly seven feet tall.

The fishermen now loaded their boats with the stolen articles and also everything belonging to the Indians they could carry away. Being desirous of exhibiting the huge savage at Perlican, but having no room in their boat for the body, they tied a rope around his neck and tried to tow him along. A strong N.E. breeze having sprung up, they were obliged to cut the corpse adrift, and make all speed back.

The poor Indian's body drove ashore at Lance Cove Head where it lay festering in the sun till the autumnal gales and heavy seas dislodged it.(157) In the meantime, all through the summer many visited the place to inspect the body.

Another tradition was current to the effect that on one occasion 400 Indians were surprised and driven out on a point of land near Hant's Harbour, known as Bloody Point, and all were destroyed.

Tilley related other stories he had heard which are altogether too revolting to give in detail here.

J.B. Jukes, M.A., F.G.S., F.C.P.S., who conducted a Geological Survey in Newfoundland in 1839-40, and afterwards wrote a book of his travels, entitled, Excursions in Newfoundland, relates that his Micmac guide, one Sulian, had a tradition that about the beginning of the 17th Century, a great battle took place between the Micmacs and the Red Indians at the head of Grand Pond (Lake), but as the former were then /270/ armed with guns they defeated the latter, and massacred every man, woman and child.

Peyton always affirmed that the Red Indians had a great dread of the Micmacs, whom they called Shannock, meaning bad Indians, or "bad men." They used to point out a tributary of the Exploits, flowing in from the South, by way of which the Micmacs, came into their territory. He accordingly named this Shannock Brook, now Noel Paul's Brook. Peyton also told Jukes that the Red Indians were on good terms with the Labrador Indians (Mountaineers)(?) whom they called Shudamunks, or Shaunamuncks, meaning "good Indians." That they mutually visited each others country and traded for axes and other implements. The Mountaineers, he said, came over from Labrador across the Strait of Belle Isle, they were dressed in deer skins similarly to the Beothucks, but they did not redden themselves with ochre. The Red Indians also knew the Esquimaux, whom they despised, and called the "four paws."

Jukes mentions the old tradition about the feast of the Micmacs and Red Indians, the discovery of the former's treachery, and their consequent destruction, and adds, "after this feast frequent encounters between them took place, the one already mentioned near the head of Grand Pond, and another at Shannock Brook on the Exploits, but the Micmacs possessing fire arms were usually victorious."

An old man named George Wells, of Exploits Burnt Island, gave me the following information in 1886. He was then a man of 76 years of age, and remembered seeing Mary March and Nancy (Shanawdithit) at Peyton's. He confirmed the statement about Shanawdithit being a tall stout woman, nearly six feet high. His great uncle on his mother's side, Rousell of New Bay, saw much of the Indians and could tell a great deal about them. He, Rousell was killed by them while taking salmon out of his pound (weir) in New Bay River. The Indians hid in the bushes and shot him with arrows, wounding him very severely. He ran back towards his salmon house where he had a gun tailed, but he fell dead before reaching it. Rousell used to relate many stories about the Indians, he often lay hidden and watched them at work. Once as he rowed along shore he saw several of them on a hill, who shouted out to him. They were ensconced behind a big rock to shelter themselves from shot, as they could not induce him to come nearer than within several gun shots of them, one big Indian drew his bow and fired an arrow in the air with such strength and precision that it fell in the after part of his boat and pierced through an iron or tin bail-bucket pinning it to the plank at the bottom.

They frequently lay in ambush for the fishermen and even used decoys, such as sea birds attached to long lines. When the fishermen approached and gave chase to the birds, in their boats the Indians would gradually draw their decoys towards the shore, in order to get the boats within reach of their arrows. They sometimes used "dumb arrows," all of wood, without any iron point, which by reason of their lightness fell short when fired off, thus leading the fishermen to believe they could approach nearer without running any risk, but when they did so they were met with a shower of well pointed and heavier arrows.

/271/ The Indians once stole a salmon net from Rousell's brother in Hall's Bay and carried it across to the Bay of Exploits, they then cut out every second mesh and used it for catching seals. I was told here that some Red Indians were killed in White Bay, some years after Shanawdithit's death(?).(158)

Wells stated that the Rousell's had many implements belonging to the Indians, including also some of their canoes. He confirmed the shape of the canoe, except that it was round on the bottom similar to the Micmac's.(159) He represented it thus being very high at the bows. According to him their dress consisted of a single robe of deer skin, without sleeves, belted around the waist, and reaching midway between the knee and ankle. The moccasins were made from the deer's shanks, just as they were cut off from the legs, and sewn round to form the toe part. They reached up the calf of the leg to about the end of the deer skin robe, and were tied round with deer skin thongs.

In summer, he says they wore no clothes.(?) They never washed but smeared themselves over with red ochre. Their bows were fully 6 feet long made of spruce or fir and were very powerful. They were thick in the central part but flattened away towards either end, where the spring chiefly lay. The string was of plaited (twisted)(?) deer skin. There was a strip of skin fastened along the outer, or flat side of this bow. The hand grasping the bow passed inside this strip, with the arrow placed between the fingers to guide it. So dexterous were they in the use of this weapon, that they could arrange five or six arrows at a time between the fingers, and shoot them off, one after the other, with great rapidity, and unerring aim. The point or spear of the arrow was made of iron, and was fully 6 inches long.(160)

Wells is positive they knew how to heat and forge iron, he says they would keep it several days in the fire to render it soft. They used an old axe, set it into a junk of wood, with the sharp edge turned up, upon which they would work the iron back and forth, till it assumed the requisite shape and then grind it down sharp on a stone.

One of the most remarkable stories I have heard was related to me by an old fisherman, in the Bay of Exploits in 1886. It runs as follows: "Once a crew of fishermen were somewhere up the Bay, making what is termed a `winter's work,' i.e. cutting timber and sawing plank for boat and schooner building, etc. While at work in their saw-pit, beneath a sloping bank and close to the woods, they were annoyed by someone throwing snow balls at them, from the top of the bank. Thinking it was some friends from another camp, who were amusing themselves in this way, they did not pay much heed at first, but after a while, as the annoyance continued, one of the party determined to investigate. He climbed up the /272/ bank and entered the woods, and not returning again, his companions, after a long delay, believing something must have happened to him, went in search, he was nowhere to be found. They soon came across footprints in the snow, apparently made by Indians, and then unmistakable signs of a struggle. It was very evident to them that their unfortunate companion had been seized by the Red men and forcibly carried off. In vain they searched all around but the Indians had a good start of them and had gone away into the interior with their captive. Nothing more was heard of the missing man till a year or more had elapsed. One day some fishermen including some of the same party, were rowing along shore in the vicinity, when they were suddenly surprised by seeing a man rush out of the woods, jump into the water, and make towards them, at the same time making signals and calling some of them by name.

"Although dressed in deerskin, and besmeared with red ochre, like all the Indians they nevertheless recognized their long lost friend, and rowed towards him. In the meantime, just as he gained the boat a number of Indians appeared on the beach, wildly gesticulating and discharged a flight of arrows at the party. One, a woman, holding aloft an infant, waded out to her waist in the water, and entreating the fugitive by voice and gesture to come back, but seeing it was of no avail, and that the boat into which he had clambered, was moving away from the shore she drew from her girdle a large knife, and deliberately cut the infant in two parts, one of which she flung with all her might towards the retreating boat, the other, she pressed to her bosom, in an agony of grief.

"The fisherman now told his story, which was to the effect that upon climbing over the bank, and entering the woods he was suddenly pounced upon, bound and gagged before he could make any outcry, by the Indians who were concealed in a hollow close by. They then made a precipitate retreat, carrying him with them, away into the interior. For a long while they kept a close watch upon him never leaving him for a moment unguarded. One of the Indian women who took a particular fancy to him, presumably because he was a red headed man, was given him to wife in Indian fashion, and in course of time a child was born to them. The tribe wandered about the interior from place to place, and believing now that their captive had become thorougly reconciled to his surroundings, they relaxed their vigilance. On again approaching the seacoast and seeing some of his old friends and associates, his natural desire to regain his liberty and return to his fellow whites, overcame all other considerations. He made a dash for the boat and as we have seen was fortunate enough to escape the arrows and rejoin his friends."

A man named Carey or Kierly, whose descendants are still living at Herring Neck, was one of those who accompanied Peyton to Red Indian Lake, at the time Mary March was captured. He frequently related the story of her capture, and told how the husband of Mary seized old Mr. Peyton by the throat and would have made short work of him, had not someone stabbed the Indian in the back with a bayonet. This was probably the same Carey whom Cormack mentions as having killed the Indians in New Bay, and boasted of it as a deed to be proud of.


Inspector Grimes' stories.

Inspector Grimes of the Newfoundland Constabulary, a native of Notre Dame Bay, heard many stories about the Indians in his younger days. He said his father remembered seeing the man June and confirms the statement of June's taking charge of a fishing boat. June was drowned by the upsetting of his boat while entering Fogo Harbour.

He relates how a party of fishermen were attacked in their boat by the Indians and all killed except one man who managed to effect his escape with an arrow sticking in his neck behind the ear, in this plight he reached his home with the boat.

He heard of two boys being killed on Twillingate Island, their heads cut off and carried away.

One Richmond, a noted Indian killer, told many stories about them. He said he once saw a dead Indian 7 feet tall. When questioned as to whether he shot the man, he would say no, he found him dead by the side of a brook, and supposed that he had been drowned by falling through the ice, and that the body had been carried down by the spring freshets. Everybody believed he shot the man, and it was common talk that Richmond and another man, in a boat, were proceeding under sail along shore to overhaul their Otter traps, when peeping beneath the sail he observed an Indian on the shore, in the act of adjusting an arrow to fire at them. He sung out to his companion to shoot quickly. The other grabbed up his gun but it missed fire, where upon Richmond seized his own gun and killed the Indian dead on the spot.

Richmond or Richards(161) was another of those furriers who was present with the Peytons at the capture of Mary March in 1819. He was fond of relating the following stories.

Richmond used to say the Indians were nasty brutes and stunk horribly. It has frequently been asserted by others also that they took a delight in befouling everything belonging to the fishermen especially anything in the way of food, they came across, but I expect, if the truth were known, this was merely used as a pretext for destroying them.

Another man named Pollard was also reputed as a great Indian slayer, and was one of those who openly boasted of his achievements in that line.

An old man named Jones who was with Peyton at the capture of Mary March stated that they found in one wigwam, Peyton's watch broken up and distributed about the wigwam, also in a Martin skin pouch some silver coins which were in Mr. Peyton's pockets at the time his boat was stolen. This man also affirmed that the Indians had a kind of telegraphic communication between the several wigwams, by means of salmon twine stretched along from one to another. This was raised above the ground, and rested in the forks of sticks, stuck up at intervals, or on the branches of /274/ trees which happened to come convenient. By this means if one wigwam was surprised the alarm could be given to the others by pulling the string. He did not say what was the medium at the end of the line by which the alarm was received.

Rev. Mr. Cogan C.E. Missionary informed me that a man named Butler of White Bay was with Peyton in 1819 at Red Indian Lake and amongst other things found in their wigwams, picked up a silver tablespoon.

In the latter part of the 18th century, a dozen or more furriers came in contact with a large body of Red Indians somewhere in the interior, when a pitched battle was fought between them. The Indians were led by a huge powerful looking man who appeared to be their chief, and who tried to induce his party to rush on the whitemen and overwhelm them, but they were too much afraid of the long flint-lock guns with which the latter were armed. After a few discharges of arrows on the one side and balls or slugs on the other, the chief who was hit twice and badly wounded, rushed forward alone, and seized one of the whitemen in his arms, and was making off with him when a well directed ball from the leader of the furriers struck him in the side. He fell forward releasing his hold on the whiteman, who immediately ran back and rejoined his fellows. When they saw their chief laid low the rest of the Indians fled from the scene. The dying chief was seen to hold his hands beneath the wound in his side, and catch the blood flowing therefrom and then drink it, but his life soon ebbed away. The furriers said had the Indians rushed on them in a body as their chief desired they could have easily killed the whole party, before they would have time to reload their guns.

Somewhere about this same date a man named Cooper was killed by the Indians, in some part of Notre Dame Bay. His brother, who was then at college in England, on learning the circumstance, swore he would be avenged upon them. When arrived at manhood he came back to Twillingate, learned all he could about the Red Men, their habits, location &c., he then fitted out a skiff, and procured a number of guns with plenty of ammunition, to go in search of them. As he could not induce anyone to join him, he got hold of a poor halfwitted individual, made him drunk, took him aboard the skiff, and started off for New Bay during the night time. He arrived there early in the morning. The Indians observing gave chase in several canoes. When Cooper saw so many of them he tried to get away, but as the wind was light the canoes soon gained upon him. Seeing he could not escape them he took down his sail and prepared to do battle. When within about 100 yards of the skiff one of the Indians fired an arrow at Cooper which barely missed him. He returned the fire and kept up a regular fusilade, firing as fast as his companion could reload the guns. They tried to surround him, but some of their canoes were riddled with shot and ball and began to fill with water, so they turned and made for the shore. When out of range of shot Cooper continued to fire ball at them, and the story goes that not one canoe reached land, and that a number of the Indians were /275/ killed or drowned. The canoes were large and each contained quite a number of men.

At Herring Neck the Indians committed several depradations. Once they cut up the sails of a fishing boat and all the fishermens' lines, besides doing various other mischief. They lay concealed in their canoe underneath the fishing stage while the fisherfolk were at work therein, and as soon as the latter retired to their houses, the Indians emerged, and were rowing away when detected. The fishermen gave chase but the Indians, having a good start, managed to make good their escape.

On another occasion they made their appearance at the same place, when all the fishermen were absent, and only two women, a mother and daughter, named Stuckly, were at home. The older woman was out of doors spreading clothes to dry when the Indians raided the house, and one of them seized the girl, a young woman of about 19 years of age, and was carrying her off bodily, when she screamed to her mother for help. The old woman immediately ran to her assistance, and seizing one of the poles supporting her clothes line, struck the Indian such a stunning blow on the head, that he dropped his burthen and made off holding his hand to the injured part.

Mr. Thos. Peyton, to whom I referred this story, has recently (Dec. 1907) written me fully confirming this occurrence in most particulars. Strange to say he obtained his information quite recently and directly from a granddaughter of the woman who figured in the above incident. Peyton's version of it is so interesting I give it here in full.

"While on a visit to Herring Neck recently, I boarded at Mr. John Reddick's, an old friend of mine. His late wife was a daughter of old John Warren, late of Herring Neck, the only man I ever heard of as coming to this country from the Island of St. Helena. He was a powder Monkey on board the Frigate `Arethusa' etc.

"One evening as old Mr. Reddick and myself were having a yarn, and the conversation turned on the Red Indians. I related what Sergt. Grimes had told you [me(?)] about the Indians chasing a woman at Herring Neck, when to my great surprise, Reddick's daughter, a woman between 40 and 50 years of age, and very intelligent at that, said, `Why Mr. Peyton that woman, Mrs. Stuckly was my grandmother,' and she then related the whole story as she often heard it from her mother.

"It was not at Herring Neck that the occurrence took place, but on the South side of Twillingate Island where the family then resided before removing to Pikes' Arm, Herring Neck. The two young women were in behind their house, berry picking, when they observed an Indian creeping towards them. They instantly ran towards the house and being pretty fleet of foot, the Indians did not gain on them very fast. On drawing near their home the dogs began to bark and this encouraged them to renewed exertions. On nearing the house, one of them, then a young able woman, caught up a pole, faced about, and went for the Indian, the dogs assisting her by barking and yelping at him, at this the Indian turned and made for the woods. The woman did not however get within striking distance of him, and adds Mr. Peyton, `I guess it was well for /276/ him she did not, or he would have got an awful crack on the head, most likely he would have been stunned, and then the dogs would have finished him off for certain.' It was not long after this that the family removed to Herring Neck.

"Old Mr. Reddick confirmed his daughter's story, having often heard his late wife speak of it, as she heard it from her mother, one of the young women in question."

* * * * * * * * *

The Rev. Philip Tocque, in his curious work, entitled Wandering Thoughts, relates a conversation he had with an old man named Wiltshear, a resident of Bonavista. It is in dialogue form and is as follows:

"How long have you been living in this place?"

"About twenty-five years, previous to which I resided several years in Green Bay,(162) and once during that period barely escaped being transported."

"Under what circumstances?"

"In the year 1810, I was living to the northward. Five of us were returning one evening from fishing, when, on rounding a point, we came close upon a canoe of Red Indians; there were four men and one woman in the canoe. Had we been disposed to have shot them we could have done so, as we had a loaded gun in the boat. The Indians however, became alarmed, and pulled with all speed to the shore, when they immediately jumped out and ran into the woods, leaving the canoe on the beach. We were within ten yards of them when they landed. We took the canoe into our possession, and carried it home. In the fall of the year, when we went to St. John's with the first boat load of dry fish, thinking a canoe would be a curiosity, we took it with us in order to present it to the Governor; but immediately it became known that we had a canoe of the Red Indians, we were taken and lodged in prison for ten days, on a supposition that we had shot the Indians to whom it belonged. We protested our innocence, and stated the whole affair to the authorities; at last the canoe was examined, no shot holes were found in any part of it, and there being no evidence against us we were set at liberty."

"Did you ever see any of the encampments of the Red Indians?"

"Yes, frequently; I have seen twelve wigwams in the neighbourhood of Cat Harbour. A planter living there built a new boat, for which he had made a fine new suit of sails. One night the Indians came and carried away every sail. The planter and his men, immediately it was discovered, set out in pursuit of the Indians. After travelling nearly a day, they espied them on a distant hill, shaking their cossacks at them in defiance, which were made out of the boat's sails, and daubed with red ochre. Seeing that further pursuit was fruitless they returned home. The next day, however, the planter raised a party of twenty-five of us. We proceeded overland to a place where we knew was an encampment; when we arrived, we found twelve wigwams, but all deserted. Previous to our leaving by land, two men were despatched in a skiff, in order to /277/ take us back by water. On approaching near the place of the Indians, they saw a fine goose swimming about a considerable distance from the shore. They immediately rowed towards it, when one of the men happened to see something dark moving up and down behind a sand bank. Suspecting all was not right, they pulled from the shore, when they saw two Indians rise up from concealment, who immediately discharged their arrows at them, but they were at too great a distance to receive any injury. After the sails had been taken, the Indians, expecting a visit, placed these two of their party to keep watch. The goose was fastened to a string in order to decoy the men in the boat near the shore, so as to afford the Indians an opportunity of throwing their arrows at them. The two Indians on watch communicated intelligence of the arrival of the boat to the encampment; hence the cause of the forsaken wigwams when we arrived."

"How large were the wigwams?"

"They were built round, and about thirty or forty feet in circumference. The frame consisted of small poles, being fastened together at the top and covered with birch rind, leaving a small opening for the escape of the smoke. Traces of their encampments are still to be seen along the Cat Harbour shore, consisting of large holes etc. being left in the sand."

"Did you ever hear of any of the Indians having been taken?"

The answer to this question is just a repetition of Buchan's expedition, in a garbled and incorrect version, also an account of the three women who gave themselves up in 1823. The only interesting part of the reply is the statement that, "I recollect seeing two Red Indians when I was a boy, at Catalina; their names were William(?) June and Thomas August(163) (so named from the months in which they were taken). They were both taken very young, and one of them went master of a boat for many years out of Catalina."

"I remember reading something of Lieut. Buchan's expedition."

"Do you think any of the Red Indians now exist in the country?"

"I am of opinion that, owing to the relentless exterminating hand of the English furriers and the Micmac Indians, that what few were left unslaughtered made their escape across the straits of Belle Isle to Labrador."

Thos. Peyton informed me that but for his father's intercession and strong evidence as to Wiltshear's good character and innocence of the crime attributed to him, it would have gone hard with him, in fact as Peyton put it, "He would have hanged shure."

Joseph Young's story.

Joseph Young, better known as Joe Jep or Zoe-Zep, which is simply the Micmac way of pronouncing his Christian name, is a resident of Bank Head, Bay St. George. Joe is a half breed Indian with a considerable blending of the Negro element in him, a most unusual combination by /278/ the way, and was reared up by the Micmacs of that locality. In his younger days there lived in the same neighbourhood an old Indian woman named Mitchel, whose parents were Mountagnais from Labrador. Joe often listened to this old body relating stories of the Red Indians, one of which was as follows.

"When quite a small girl she with her father, mother and a young brother, were hunting in the vicinity of Red Indian Lake. Having secured a good deal of fur they were proceeding down the lake in their canoe, preparatory to starting for the sea coast, when just at dusk one evening they observed the light of a fire through the woods, near the side of the lake. Supposing it to be some of their Micmac friends who were camped there they landed, and went in to investigate. They found a wigwam which proved not to be that of a Micmac but of a Red Indian family. Nothing daunted Old Mitchel went forward, raised the skin covering the doorway and looked in, being followed by the other members of his family. They beheld an old Red Indian man and woman with a young man and a little girl seated around the fire. At first the inmates seemed to be struck dumb with fear at this unexpected intrusion, and stared at the new comers in mute astonishment. Mitchel however, succeeded in allaying their fears after a little while, and seeing their miserable half starved plight, for they had roasting on sticks before the fire for their supper, three miserable Jays only, which was evidently all their stock of provisions, he made signs to them to come with him to his canoe and that he would give them venison. They understood him, and the boy and girl went out with him. He gave each a piece of venison, which the little girl in delight wrapped in her cloak and ran back to the wigwam, while Mitchel and wife brought up a kettle full of boiled meat and placed it over the fire to warm, and when it was ready they served it around to all hands on pieces of birch bark. The poor Beothucks expressed their gratitude as best they could for all this kindness, and invited Mitchel and his family, by signs to share their wigwam for the night. The two little girls, who were nearly about the same age, and too young to recognise any difference between them, soon became fast friends. Mrs. Mitchel remembered what childish glee she felt at meeting a companion so far in the interior, and after so many weary months of toil and lonesomeness, and how she played with her new found friend. They could only communicate with each other by signs, as neither understood a word of the other's language. They all seated themselves around the fire, and learnt from the Beothucks that on account of deer being so scarce and their fear to hunt much in the open, they had been reduced to great straits for food. Next morning at daylight the young Red Indian youth ascended a tree which they used for a lookout, and seeing some deer swimming across the lake, he jumped down, seized his bow and arrows, and without a moment's hesitation, pushed off the Mountaineers canoe, jumped aboard and paddled away after the deer. She described him as an active athletic lad who handled the paddle with such strength and dexterity that he actually made the canoe fly through the water. He soon returned with a dead deer in tow. Mitchel stayed several days with them, and being well supplied with guns and /279/ ammunition, killed several deer which he left with them for food. He also presented the young Beothuck with a gun and ammunition and taught him how to use it before leaving them, for all of which kindness the Beothucks showed the utmost gratitude."

Mathew (Mathy) Mitchel, grandson(?) of the woman Joe heard the story from, confirmed it, in so far as, that his grandparents did see a Beothuck wigwam at Red Indian Lake and went to investigate, but states the Red men had fled, though the fire was still burning in the centre and on three sticks stuck up, were the heads (only) of three Jays. They did not see the Red Indians or remain over night, and he says Joe was drawing upon his imagination in supplying the other details.

Mathy also told me that his grandfather and some others once saw three Red Indians' canoes full of people poling up the Exploits. They watched in concealment till the canoes were opposite them, when they fired off a gun in the air. Immediately the Beothucks made for the opposite shore, landed and ran off into the woods. In their haste the canoes went adrift and the tide catching them brought them quickly across the river to the side the Micmacs were on. There were still two small children in them who had not had time to get away, but immediately the canoes touched the shore these got out, grabbed up their deer skin clothes and made off.

Noel Mathews, one of my Micmac canoe-men, related to me the following traditions, which he learned from his mother and old Maurice Louis, the Chief of his tribe. This man Louis was one of those who accompanied W.E. Cormack in 1827, in his expedition to Red Indian Lake.(164)

Noel confirms the shape of the Beothuck canoe, and of its being sewn with rootlets, and the gunwales being bound with the same, but there was this difference between it and the Micmac canoe. The latter is served all over from end to end, while that of the Red Indians was only served at intervals, and there were spaces cut in the gunwales to receive the binding so as to make it flush with the rest of the gunwale.

He relates how one Noel Boss, or Basque, I presume the same individual mentioned by Peyton and others, had much to do with the Red men, but he avers that it was always of a friendly nature. This Noel Boss on one occasion met two of them, a young man and a lad, crossing a marsh, with loads on their backs. He went towards them but they ran away. He also ran and finally caught up with them as they could not go fast, being burthened with their heavy loads which they would not discard. The young man could have easily outrun him, but he would not abandon the lad, who was greatly frightened. When Boss came up with them he looked the young man in the face and addressed him, but the latter only laughed and still kept on running. Boss made several attempts to get him to stop and have a palaver, but in vain, he then turned off and let them go their way. On another occasion this same man Boss with some of his own people, came out on the banks of the Exploits River and saw a Red Indian canoe on the opposite side with several people in it. The Micmacs again tried to parley with them across the river but the Red men /280/ apparently did not relish their company, so they paddled away up the river. (Evidently another version of Mathy Mitchel's story.)

The only tragic story Noel related was that of a Micmac with his wife who coming to the shore of the Grand Lake near where the river flows out, saw a Red Indian wigwam on the opposite side. The man proposed to go across in their skin canoe and visit them, but his wife demurred, being too much afraid of them. He however, persisted in going himself. She remained behind and concealed herself in the bushes to await events. She saw him land, and also saw two Beothucks come forward and take him by the arms, and lead him up to their mamateek, into which all three entered. After a considerable time elapsed, the two Red men came forth carrying their belongings, got into their canoe and paddled away. After a long wait seeing no sign of her husband returning, she mustered up courage to venture across. Having constructed a raft she ferried herself over, but on entering the now silent mamateek, she was horrified to find the headless body of her husband stretched on the floor. The head as usual having been carried off by the Beothucks.(165)

I met old Maurice Louis in 1870 but unfortunately was not aware that he possessed any information of this kind, a circumstance which I greatly regret. Had I known it, possibly, I might have obtained many valuable and interesting traditions from him.

The Rev. C.V. Cogan, C.E. Missionary in the District of White Bay, gave me some interesting information, relative to the Red Indians' doings in that locality, most of which was gleaned from the oldest inhabitant named Gale or Gill,(166) then almost a nonogenarian, who died about the year 1889. Gale's father was one of the first settlers in White Bay, and saw a good deal of the Indians, being subject to their depradations on more than one occasion. Mr. Cogan's informant frequently heard his father relate his experiences. He once saw two canoes full of Indians paddling across the bay, and related how they made a descent upon his premises, situated at the extreme head of the bay, when all the males were absent, hunting for fur in the interior. The Indians broke open and looted his store of every article which took their fancy all of which they carried off with them. Amongst other articles there were some silver spoons with the family crest engraved upon them. This Gale is said to have belonged to some family of distinction in England, but for some unknown cause had run away and hidden himself in this out of the way place. One of the spoons in question was subsequently found in a wigwam or mamateek at Red Indian Lake, at the time of Mary March's capture, and is now in Mr. Cogan's possession.(167)

/281/ While the Indians were looting the store, the women folk of Gale's household watched them from their residence, and old Mrs. Gale stood on guard at a window with a heavily loaded flint lock musket pointing towards them ready to fire should they attempt an attack on the house itself.

Mr. Cogan heard of two fishermen going into Western Bay, and observing some Indians on the beach, they fired at them and drove them off. The fishermen then went ashore to boil their tea kettle but while so engaged, the Indians returned and stealing out to the edge of the woods, shot the two men with arrows. They then mutilated the bodies in a shocking manner. The bodies were buried where found, and during Mr. Cogan's incumbency they were come across in clearing away a site for a new church.

Information obtained from Mr. J.B. Wheeler, J.P., Musgrave Harbour, N.D.B.

Mr. Wheeler was well acquainted with a very old man named John Day, who died but a few years ago at an advanced age. Day, in his younger days was a servant of the Peytons, and was another of the party who accompanied them at the time of Mary March's capture in 1819. Mr. Wheeler often heard the old man relate the whole circumstance, and gave me from memory, Day's story. It is so similar in almost every detail to Mr. Peyton's own narrative that it would be needless to repeat it here. I shall merely give a few items not before stated.

According to this old man's story, the party were furnished with articles of barter in hope of trading with the natives for furs. Speaking of Mary March, he said she was very ill at the time of her capture, yet she took her baby in her arms and ran after the other Indians as they retreated, but was not able to keep up with them. Her husband seeing she was likely to be captured, turned back and took the child from her, but in her weak state she could not run fast enough and was soon overtaken. As soon as the husband saw this he gave the baby to another man, and turned back to try and rescue his wife. Breaking off a fir bough he placed it on his forehead, as a flag of truce and boldly came towards the white men. Seeing his wife's hands tied with a handkerchief he attempted to unloosen them, and to lead her away. They tried to prevent him and capture him also, but raising one hand, with a single blow he felled the first white man who approached him. The whites, six in number, then gathered around him, and tried to seize him, but with another blow he struck down a second man, rendering him insensible. Recognizing Mr. Peyton, Sr., as the leader he made towards him, grasped him by the collar and shook him so violently that Mr. Peyton called out for help, saying "Are you going to stand by and let the Indian kill me?" John Day asked, "Do you think master's life is in danger?" All cried out, "Yes." Instantly one of the crew fired and shot a ball into him, while another stabbed him in the back with a bayonet. He still held old Mr. Peyton firmly, and would soon have choked him. Peyton beckoned for further help, the men then struck down the Indian with the butts of their muskets before they could succeed in making him relinquish his grasp of their master's throat. He had to be beaten insensible before he would let go. Day believed that had the party of white men not been armed with muskets, the Indian would have been a match for them all in /282/ a hand to hand encounter. He was a very strong powerful man, and as he lay dead on the ice they measured him and found he was considerably over six feet in height.

I have had much communication with Mr. Thomas Peyton, D.S. of Twillingate, son of John Peyton the captor of Mary March. Mr. Peyton, Jr., is one of the very few now remaining who knows anything of the Indians, and his information is all second hand, having been derived chiefly from his father and mother, and from old servants or employees of the family. In reply to various inquiries addressed to him from time to time by myself, I cull the following items.

Mr. Thomas Peyton says, I never heard of any boy or girl being lost in Notre Dame Bay, except one boy named Rousell of New Bay. He was in the habit of going into the country by himself to look after his father's traps, and on one of these occasions he did not return. On a search being made his gun was found leaning against a tree near the country path, but the lad himself was never heard of afterwards. It is believed that the Indians either killed him or carried him off. Peyton says, I never heard of but one man being killed by the Indians, that was Thomas Rousell, about the year 1787. I was informed by Henry Rousell, residing in Hall's Bay, that the first five men who attempted to make a settlement in that Bay were all killed by the Indians(?). A crew came up from Twillingate shortly afterwards and found their bodies with the heads cut off and stuck on poles. One of the latter men was a Capt. Hall after whom the Bay was named.

Henry Rousell's Grandfather was a servant with Squire Childs and purchased the rights of that merchant to the salmon fishing in the brooks of Hall's Bay for the sum of 90 pounds about 1772.

I never heard of a white settlement being attacked by the Indians, nor of any white person being carried off, nor did I ever hear of the Indians scalping any body. I have only seen a part of a Red Indian canoe on an Island in the Exploits River near Rushy Pond. The birch bark was very neatly sewn together with roots. I had several descriptions of their canoes given me, the best by Joe Joe, Micmac, Long Joe as we called him. He found one by the side of the river near Badger Brook once, and launching it got in, and pushed off from the shore, but said Joe, "he develish [devilish] crank, me get ashore again as quickly as possible."

Peyton says Nancy's sister died at Charles's Brook, Nancy and her mother then paddled up to Lower Sandy Point, where she told the men in charge of the salmon station her sister had gone "winum," asleep, dead. The men then went down and buried the body. Her mother died a few days later at Sandy Point. Nance sewed the body up in a blanket and it was buried there, she was then sent down to Exploits Island to Mr. Peyton's house.

Peyton often heard his mother and old Mrs. Jure speak of Cormack. They described him as a long legged, wiry, but eccentric individual. He could eat almost anything. The Rev. John Chapman, C.E. Missionary, then residing in Twillingate, was married to Cormack's sister.

Mary March, when captured gave expression to the deepest grief at /283/ the death of her husband, and showed her hatred of the man who fired the shot at him, by never coming near him. Old John Day said she was named after a young lady whom he knew well living at Itsminister, Newtown, Devon(?). This is certainly not correct. Old Mr. Peyton himself often told me she was so named from the month in which she was taken.

John Wells, a native of Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo Island, with five others left his home in a boat to go to Fogo, but as the wind was against them and blowing fresh, they pulled into Shoal Bay towards a place called the Scrape. Seeing a sea pigeon swimming near the shore, they rowed in close, to get a shot at it, when an Indian who was hidden away, suddenly fired an arrow at them. It pierced Wells's hand and pinned it to the oar he was holding. The wound was a very nasty one and became much inflamed. It never properly healed, and eventually caused his death. This story was confirmed by Mr. Wheeler, who had it from Wells' own widow.

Mr. Thos. Peyton states that he personally knew many of the old furriers in the employ of his father and had been much in their company in his younger days. He gives the names of a few of them, such as John Day, Thomas Taylor, John Boles, Maurice Cull, and Humphrey Coles, from all of whom he heard many stories about the Indians, most of which have now slipped his memory. Old John Boles told him that on one occasion while rowing to his salmon nets in Hall's Bay, he saw an Indian run out on the edge of a cliff, and raise his bow. Knowing how accurate was their aim, Boles seized one of the boats thwarts and held it over his head; the arrow after poising in the air a moment, came down so fairly as to embed itself in the board. Catching up his flint lock gun, the old man used to add gleefully, "I peppered his cossack for him." These old furriers would never confess to the actual killing of an Indian. They used to say that the Indians were in great dread of the Whiteman's powder and shot.

In one of his letters Mr. Peyton says he often heard when a boy at school that an English youngster was killed on the south side of Twillingate Harbour, near Hart's Cove, which was the usual anchorage for vessels coming from England. The boy went ashore for water, and was caught by the Indians and killed. Two other boys who went ashore one Sunday to wash their clothes in Kiar's Pond were also killed, and when a crew of men went to search for them they found the bodies, and at the same time saw on a point about half a mile to the westward a party of Indians making off.

"I never heard the Red Indians spoken of as giants," he adds. "Richmond or Richards(?) used to say the Indians were nasty dirty brutes, because no doubt their camps and the grounds about them smelled of seal fat and putrid animal matter lying around. I frequently heard the old men of Fogo speak of the Indian man June."

"After the killing of Thomas Rousell, his friends waged a war of extermination on the Indians. They killed a number of them at a place called Moore's Cove, near Shoal Tickle."

Peyton never heard of the Whiteman being carried off by the Indians /284/ and reappearing with the woman and child, as related by John Gill of Exploits, nor does he believe the story. Having lived so many years in the Bay of Exploits and mixing with so many of the people who had seen and had something to do with the Red men, he thinks if there were any truth in this story he could scarcely fail to have heard of it. He once heard from a clergyman of the body of an Indian being picked up in the landwash near Phipp's Head in that Bay, who was supposed to have been shot, but adds, after careful enquiry found there was no truth in the story.

One Jacky Jones, whose proper name was Snelgrove, was a servant of his father's, and was with him at the capture of Mary March. He often travelled with this man and obtained much information from him. He refers to the story told by Joe Young, and believes there may be some truth in it. He was well acquainted with both Jack Mitchell, Micmac, and his wife. He often heard old Jack talk some sort of gibberish which he called Red Indian.

He tells a story of his own grandfather having once surprised some Indians in their wigwam, at Sandy Point, Birchy Island, when they all ran away. One woman having forgotten her child in her haste, ran back for it. Just as she was coming forth from the wigwam with the child, his grandfather arrived at the entrance. He tried to stop her, but she pulled off her moccasin, and struck him such a blow in the face with it as to nearly blind him, thereby making good her escape.

He never heard of the White woman seen by Capt. Buchan at Red Indian Lake. It is very strange that none of those who were with Buchan at the time, nor any one else, so far as I am aware ever mentioned this fact, still more remarkable that Peyton's father never referred to it. Yet I cannot believe that a man of Capt. Buchan's intelligence and powers of observation could have made any mistake.

Rev. Silas T. Rand's story.

The Rev. Silas Tertius Rand of Hantsport, N.S., was a gentleman who had much intercourse with the Micmac Indians of that Province, and who published a grammar and lexicon of their language several years ago. At my request in 1887, he furnished me with the following interesting "Anecdote of the Red Indians of Newfoundland."

He said the story was related to him by one Nancy Jeddore (Micmac) of Hantsport, N.S., who received it from her father, Joseph Nowlan who died about fifteen years previous, at the advanced age of ninety-five years.(168) Mr. Rand says, "I have seen and conversed with him many a time, but I did not know then that he had spent a good many years in Newfoundland, and also among the Esquimaux, as his daughter informs me was the case. Had I been aware of these facts, I might have gathered I doubt not, many interesting facts respecting the people whom he had seen and of whom he had heard. As Nancy's statements agree with what /285/ is related by others respecting the Beothucks, and as I have full confidence in their correctness, as heard from her father, I am well satisfied as to their general accuracy."

The Story.

"The Micmacs time out of mind have been in the habit of crossing over to Newfoundland to hunt. The Micmac name for this large Island, is `Uktakumk,' the Mainland, or little Continent.

"Note. -- It is `Uktakumkook,' in the case locative, the form in which the name generally occurs.

"The name," he says, "seems to indicate that those who first gave it had not discovered that it was an Island. The Micmacs who visited it knew that there was another tribe there, but never could scrape acquaintance with them, for as soon as it was known that strangers were in the neighbourhood, these Red Indians -- called Red from their profuse use of Red ochre, -- and who were believed to be able to tell by magic, when anyone was approaching -- would gird on their snow shoes, if it was in the winter season, and flee as for their lives. But on one occasion three young hunters from `Megumaghee,' Micmac-land -- came upon three lodges belonging to these people. They were built up with logs around a `cradle hollow,' so as to afford a protection from the guns of an enemy. These huts were empty and everything indicated that they had just been abandoned. The three Micmacs determined to give chase, and if possible overtake the fugitives, and make friends with them. They soon came sufficiently near to hail them and make signs of friendship, but those signs were unheeded, and the poor fellows, men, women, and children, fled like frightened fawns, and like John Gilpin's horse, `as they fled left all the world behind.' Nothing daunted, however, the young men continued the pursuit. Finally one of the fleeing party, a young woman, snapped the strap that held her show-shoe. This delayed her for a few moments. It was necessary to sit down and repair it. Her father ran back to her assistance and she was soon again on the wing. But the mended strap again gave way; and by this time the pursuers were so near that the poor creature was left behind, her companions would not halt for her. She shouted and screamed dolorously but her shrieks and cries were unheeded, and she was soon in the hands of the three hunters. They endeavoured to make her comprehend that they were not enemies but friends, that they would not injure a hair of her head. But although she probably understood the signification of their gesticulations, she had no confidence in them. She resisted wildly all attempts to lay a hand upon her and cried and shrieked with terror whenever one of them came near her. They tried to induce her by signs to go back with them to their encampment, and that she should be kindly treated and cared for. But this she positively refused to do. They offered her food which she refused to touch. Night was coming on and her friends were evidently now far away. The hunters could not leave her there to perish so they constructed a shelter and remained at the place for several days. Finally they succeeded in some measure in pacifying /286/ her. Of one of the young men she ceased to be afraid. She went back with them to their camp, but still for several days refused all nourishment, but she clung to the young fellow who had first won her confidence, keeping as far as possible from all the rest, standing or crouching behind him, and keeping him between herself and the others. After a few days, however, she became pacified, and after remaining with them two years, she had learned to speak their language, and became the wife of that one of her captors to whom she had first become reconciled. Then she recounted her history.

"Joseph Nowlan, my informant's father, saw her many a time, and conversed with her on these subjects, but these details are lost. One summer when on the Island, Nowlan boarded with the family. The woman became the mother of a number of children.

"Such is the story referred to by Mr. Gatschet. I can only regret that I had not known something of these matters during the life of Mr. Nowlan: How much interesting information I might have obtained."



May 21, 1887.

A friend of mine in New Brunswick (Mr. Edward Jack) at my request interviewed a very old Melicite Indian of that Province named Gabriel, or Gabe, as to what he knew of the Newfoundland Indians. Gabe had often heard of them from the older people of his tribe, who used to visit this island periodically in quest of fur. It was however so long ago since these excursions took place, and Gabe's memory was now so defective, he could remember but little of what he had learned from his forbears.

The only thing learnt from this old Melicite which was at all of an interesting character is the following story.

"On one of these annual expeditions, three young hunters of his tribe, came across a Red Indian wigwam (mamateek) and took its occupants unawares. The latter rushed forth in great haste and betook themselves to the woods as was their custom when suddenly disturbed. No doubt the poor creatures had been so harassed by both whites and others, that they expected no mercy at the hands of either, but on this occasion, at least, according to Gabe, they were allowed to make their escape without molestation.

"In the hurry of their precipitate flight the Red men left behind a little baby boy rolled up in furs, in a corner of the wigwam, which the Melicites discovered on searching the interior. Being inclined for amusement, they took some charcoal from the fire and mixing it with grease, they smeared the poor little infant all over till he was as black as any nigger [Negro]. They then determined to watch and see what the effect would be when the Beothucks returned, so hiding themselves in the thick forest close by, they awaited patiently a long time. At length they saw the Beothucks cautiously approach, with stealthy step, and peering about them /287/ in every direction. At length they became sufficiently emboldened to enter the wigwam. On beholding the little black piccaninny, they fairly howled with laughter, and apparently enjoyed the joke immensely. Upon this the hunters stealthily withdrew and did not further molest them. This was about all that old Gabe could recollect, of the many stories he had heard in his younger days."

In the Royal Gazette of January 1862, an article appeared on the "Aborigines of Newfoundland," signed W. Avalonis. It was of considerable interest, and ascertaining that the author was Mr. William Sweetland, Magistrate of Bonavista, from whom I have already quoted extensively, the gist of his remarks were copied and are here given.

The author first refers to Buchan's expedition, as already fully set forth. He says he was personally acquainted with Capt. Buchan, and had frequent conversation with him about the Red Indians. He also says, in referring to Shanawdithit "that when brought to St. John's and while residing in the house of Mr. Cormack, during her residence with him, formed a pretty extensive vocabulary of the language of her people."

"On one of these occasions, we learnt," says he, "from her that the marines left by Capt. Buchan, had in no way misconducted themselves, and that the Indians continued to treat them with kindness, until the return of the chief, who had deserted Buchan's party that day. On his return to the wigwams he called his brethren together, and proposed to put the marines to death immediately, but this the others would not consent to do, and opposed it for a long time most strenuously, nevertheless, the chief eventually gained his point by having persuaded them of the necessity of doing so. The poor fellows were thrust forth from the huts, and from the direction in which their remains were discovered by Buchan and his party on their return to the pond, they were apparently intent upon returning to the Exploits to seek their commander. They were shot down by arrows from behind and beheaded.

"This confirms Lieut. Buchan's surmise that their death was occasioned by the return of the chief, possibly without presents. This chief, who directed their destruction, appears to have been of a sanguinary temperament with peculiarly marked features. The act completed, the inhabitants of the encampment fled with precipitation to the Indian town, where their account of the strange visitors and subsequent destruction of two of their number at the encampment caused great consternation, lest Lieut. Buchan and his party should return and annihilate them with his thunder. The safe return of the Indian who had accompanied Buchan to the depot, and Lieut. B's subsequent deposit of presents at the wigwams served, in some measure, to reassure the tribe, and relieve them somewhat from their fears of retaliation, but not sufficiently to do away with that suspicion which they naturally felt, that Buchan only wanted the opportunity to fall upon and annihilate the whole tribe, or at least we may infer as much from their darting arrows through the store before they ventured into it, as related by Lieut. Buchan.

"In questioning Shanawdithit as to the origin of her tribe she stated /288/ that `the Voice' told them that they sprang or came from an arrow stuck in the ground." Then follows the long dissertation as to their Tartar derivation from Ogus Khan &c., already given in full.

Mr. Sweetland further adds, "that they were at one time on friendly terms with the White fishermen and even assisted them in their operations, as attested by Whitbourne, John Guy and others. He remarks that two splendid opportunities were suffered to pass, by the traders resigning in Trinity and Bonavista Bays aforetimes, without taking advantage of them, to bring on an intercourse with the Red Indians, by means of the two Red Indian boys who fell into their possession, and who were reared up and employed by the parties who captured them. The one was named Tom June and the other John August. The former appears to have induced his patron to sit down and spend a day with his parents and his brothers and sisters, who had pitched their tent near them, and dwelt therein, at Gambo, during the whole of one winter. The other, John August, whose remains lie interred in the Churchyard at Trinity, usually in the fall, during many years, took his canoe, went off up the bay, and returned to his quarters at the end of a fortnight or three weeks; the interval, it is supposed, he spent visiting his family in the interior, but he does not appear to have committed the secret to anyone."

Lieutenant Chappell who published a book in 1818, entitled The Voyage of the Rosamond, also makes several references to the Red Indians. He says "on meeting a Micmac Indian in Bay of St. George, he asked him if the savage, Red Indians, inhabiting the interior of the country, also looked up to God, when with a sneer of the most ineffable contempt, he replied. `No; no look up to God: killee all men dat dem see, Red Indian no good.' `Do you understand the talk of the Red Indians? Oh no; dem talkee all same dog; Bow, wow, wow.' This last speech was pronounced with a peculiar degree of acrimony."

Chappell it was who, referring to the Indian woman captured by Cull in 1804, observed it was said that this woman had been made away with on account of the value of the presents, which amounted to an hundred pounds. "Mr. Cormack told MacGregor, author of `British America,' in 1827, that if Cull could catch the author of that book within reach of his long duck gun, he would be as dead as any of the Red Indians that Cull had often shot."

Description of a Beothuck Sepulchre on an

Island in the Bay of Exploits.

During the summer of 1886 while engaged surveying the Bay of Exploits, the author paid a visit to a burial place of the Beothucks on an uninhabited island called Swan Island, a few miles south of Exploits Harbour, to examine a place of sepulchre I had often heard of. It is situated on the S. side of the Island, just inside two island rocks, and is so hidden from view that one would never detect it unless shown the place. On this occasion I had procured a guide who knew its location well, having previously entirely failed to find it on my own account.

/289/ It is approached by a little cove which leads up to the base of a jagged broken cliff, rising almost vertically from the water to a height of some fifty or more feet. On either side there are fissures or ravines reaching inland, occupied by dense bushes and some fairly large trees, which grow right down to the water's edge effectually concealing any appearance of a cave, from view. On the right hand side the cliff ends very abruptly, and the trees grow so close to its edge that it was necessary to almost squeeze oneself between the cliff and the nearest tree to get access to the rear. A slight elevation is then seen forming a sloping floor reaching up behind and beneath the cliff which here overhangs considerably. In fact it is in reality a great fissure in the back of the cliff. It slopes down so far that the upper overhanging part projects fully 15 or 20 feet, and forms a kind of canopy which affords complete shelter from the elements.

The floor of this semi-cavern was a mass of loose fragments of rock, fallen from the cliff above, mixed with sand and gravel. On removing some of this loose debris, fragments of human bones, birch bark and short pieces of sticks were found all confusedly mixed together. This may be accounted for by the fact that the place had been frequently visited before and pretty thoroughly ransacked. Nevertheless our search was fairly well rewarded, although the human bones were all too fragmentary and too much decayed to be worth preserving. A few rib bones and sections of vertebral columns only were intact. The fragments of birch bark were perfectly preserved. Some of those showed neat rows of stitching in single and double lines. The small sections of trees were cut to fit across the crevice immediately over the bodies, and on these the birch bark must have been laid, the whole being then covered or weighted down with loose rock and gravel, but all this had been disturbed and pulled to pieces. Some of the wood was so rudely hacked off at the ends as to suggest that it had been cut with stone implements, while other pieces were so cleanly cut as to leave no doubt steel axes had been used. This would seem to imply that burial had taken place here both before and after the advent of the white man.

After a good deal of labour in removing the heavier pieces of rock, and digging into the more gravelly parts beneath, a few articles of interest were found, such as carved bones, pieces of iron, broken glass bottles, fragments of lobster claws and other shells, and some sections of clay pipe stems. Two or three sticks sharpened at the ends and partly charred by fire were evidently used for roasting meat. Some small and much decayed fragments of bows and arrows, all still retaining evidence of having been smeared with red ochre were amongst the finds. But by far the most interesting articles recovered were the carved bones, and discs made of shells perforated in the middle.(169) These with strings of wampum, consisting of segments of clay pipe stems alternating with others of the inner birch bark and small rings of sheet lead, were all strung on deer skin thongs. Far in at the back part of the crevice, resting on a shelf of the rock, a good many carved bone ornaments were found, of a very interesting character, some of these were made of ivory, probably Walrus' tusk, but by far the greater number consisted of flat pieces of deer's leg bones. /290/ They were of various shapes and sizes and all had curious designs carved on either side, no two of which were exactly alike, and every piece had a small hole drilled through one end. Several pieces were between four and five inches long, and all tapered towards the end in which the hole was drilled.

The wider end averaged about half an inch; some were cut square across, others obliquely, and still others forked or swallow-tailed. A number of other pieces were short and presented two, three and some four prongs; two were cut in the shape of triangles, and several others in forms undescribable. The designs on these were very elaborate, but did not seem to indicate anything beyond the whim or fancy of the designer. There were also several combs and a variety of nondescript articles.

Perhaps the most interesting of all were a number of square blocks of ivory, about one inch long by 3/4 wide and 1/4 in thickness, perfectly plain on one side but elaborately carved on the other. A fine double marginal line ran around near the edge on each of the four sides, inside of which was a double row of triangular figures meeting at their apex on a central line, extending across the face of the block. The triangular figures on four of the blocks were eight in number, four on either side, while on another block there were six such at each of the narrower ends, twelve in all. In the central space of this latter block there appears a large figure exactly resembling the capital letter H. A few other blocks were merely scored with fine lines crossing each other at right angles. Another set of somewhat similar articles were of diamond shape of about two inches long, carved also on one side only. None of these latter pieces have holes in them, and one is led to the conclusion they were used for entirely different purposes than any of the other ornaments. They seem to suggest something in the form of our dice, and were probably used for gaming.

Mr. Gatschet in one of his papers read before the Archaelogical Section of the University of Pennsylvania (May 1900), describes a Micmac game called "Altesta-an-" consisting of a wooden tray, or "Waltes" and several small carved discs of bone, which latter were placed on the tray and tossed into the air and as they fell on the ground or on a skin spread out thereon, each counted according to the design on such as fell face upwards. I have very little doubt but that the Beothucks possessed a somewhat similar game, of which the blocks above mentioned formed the counters. There was nothing corresponding to the wooden tray or Waltes found, but Mr. Gatschet states that a sheet of birch bark was frequently substituted for this, so it is quite probable the Beothuck used only the latter, and did not preserve it. If the above supposition for the use of these articles be correct, it would prove an interesting fact that two tribes so hostile to each other should have anything in common. It may point to more friendly relations in former times, but of this we have nothing of a definite nature.

The few remaining articles discovered here are clearly indicative of a more recent origin, they consist of fragments of iron pots, nails and clay pipe stems evidently French, for one piece is stamped with a fleur de lis and a lion Rampant, Arms of Francis I of France (?). A few chips of chert were found but no arrow heads or spears of any kind. Had such been /291/ here at any time they were probably all picked up by those persons who had preceded me in the search. The only other articles to be noted were fragments of broken bottles, and of shell fish such as mussels, Mytilus edulus, salt and fresh water clams, especially Mya arenaria, the scollop, Pecten islandicus, and some broken lobster claws. There were among other nondescript articles several teeth of animals, some apparently of the seal and walrus, with two or three pigs' tusks. Most of these had holes bored in them like the other ornaments, these with fragments or lumps of radiated iron pyrites, used as fire stones, made up the remainder of the find.

A visit was paid to another island further in the Bay, on which a few articles only were obtained. The cliff here had fallen and the burial place was covered with tons of large fragments of rocks which would take several days to remove, and in any case the overhanging cliffs were too dangerous to work under. In the short time spent here we only succeeded in finding some pieces of birch bark, a few much decayed fragments of human bones, one very perfect forked bone ornament and the battered spout of a copper tea kettle.

I might add here that numerous carved bones similar to those above described have been found from time to time in other burial places on all sides of the island. The shape or pattern of all these varies but little, yet there are scarcely any two designs exactly alike. Invariably they show the trace of red ochre, especially in the interstices of the designs carved upon them.

/293/ Mr. R.S. Dahl, M.E., has furnished me with the following particulars of Indian burying places visited by him in Placentia Bay and information received from Benjamin Warren who first found these places.

Red Indian grave on Hangman's Island, one of the group of Ragged Islands in that Bay. Particulars:

The grave was covered with a Birch Bark shield (see fig., p. 291) made of strips of birch bark neatly sewn together and laid upon sticks, eighteen in all. These were supported by one long central pole, lengthwise which was 4 inches in diameter and 10 feet long. The cross sticks were 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 7 feet long. These were placed about 4 inches apart, and the strips of bark covering 10 and 12 inches wide were sewn onto them. The long central lengthwise pole was placed underneath and supported the covering. This covering or pall was held in place by being weighted down with small rocks and gravel, or soil.

The cave in which the remains were found is described thus: The roof overhung the grave so as to completely protect it from the weather. It was about 25 feet from high water mark and about 10 feet above it. I saw a piece of the bark in which the seam overlapped about 1 inch, and the stick holes were exceedingly regular about 1/8" apart, double rows about 1/4". A number of winkles neatly cut and holed and the absence of weapons indicated a woman's grave.

On another island called Tilt Island of the same group Mr. Dahl examined a place called Indian Hole where several fragments of human remains and some stone implements were found. He enumerated the articles found here and on Hangman's Island as follows:

Indian Hole, Tilt Island.

1 rib bone 1 arrow head

1 tibia 3 small beads

1 patella 2 large flat beads on stick

1 bone(?) 1 feather

1 metatarsal bone Birch rind with stitched holes

1 piece of a cross stick

On Hangman's Island.

Birch rind with stitched holes and a number of small bones of doubtful origin. Found by Mr. Warren on Hangman's Island 24 bone charms(?) made of bone or such hard substances approximately as sketch.

In the Annals of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, for 1856, there is a coloured frontispiece representing SHANAWDITHIT or NANCY, and said to be a facsimile of an original painting.(170) The following interesting article explains the portrait and gives the source from whence it was obtained.

"Our frontispiece is the portrait of a woman who is believed to have been the last survivor of the Beothicks, the aboriginal people of Newfoundland. That ancient race was, unhappily, suffered to die out, without any attempt, beyond good intentions on the part of Europeans, for their conversion to the Christian faith.

"An interesting account of Shanawdithit is given by Bishop Englis [Inglis] of Nova Scotia, who visited the Island of Newfoundland in 1827 and in the course of his visitation reached, on July 2nd, the River and Bay of Exploits, on the North East shore of the Island. The ship in which the Bishop sailed went up the river for twenty-five miles, and landed in a spot which the Bishop describes.

"The weather was fine, but as hot as I have ever felt it; while the ship was being provided with wood, we went in the boats about thirteen miles up the river to a rapid where we landed, and walked about two miles to a splendid waterfall. The land is good, finely wooded with large timber, and the scenery is rich and picturesque. Mr. Peyton, who was with us, has twelve fishing stations for salmon along thirty miles of the river; and the abundance of seal, deer, wild fowl and game of every description is surprising. But our interest in all we saw was greatly increased by knowing that this was the retreat of the Beothick or red, or wild Indians, until the last four or five years.

"We were on several of their stations, and saw many of their traces. These stations were admirably chosen on points of land where they were concealed by the forest, but had long views up and down the river, to guard against surprise. When Cabot first landed he took away three of this unhappy tribe and from that day to the present they have had reason to lament the discovery of their island by Europeans. Not the least advancement has been made towards their civilization. They are still clothed in skins if any remnant of the race be left, and bows and arrows are their only weapons. English and French, and Micmacs and Mountaineers, and Labrador Esquimaux, shoot at the Beothick as they shoot at deer. The several attempts that have been made under the sanction of the Government to promote an intercourse with this race have been most unfortunate, though some of them had every prospect of success. An institution has been founded in the present year (1827) to renew these praiseworthy attempts, the expenses of which must be borne by benevolent individuals; and while I am writing, Mr. Cormack is engaged in a search for the remnant of the race; but as it is known that they were reduced to the greatest distress by being driven from the shores and rivers, where alone they could procure sufficient food, and none have been seen for several years, it is feared by some that a young woman who was brought /296/ in some four years ago and is now living in Mr. Peyton's family, is the only survivor of her tribe. The Beothick Institution have now assumed the charge of this interesting female, that she may be well instructed and provided for. Mr. Cormack has only taken with him one Micmac, one Mountaineer, and one Canadian Indian, and they are provided with shields to protect them from arrows, that they may not be compelled to fire. If they remain, they are hidden in the most retired covers of the forest, which is chiefly confined to the margins of lakes and banks of rivers. Mr. Cormack and his three companions are provided with various hieroglyphics and emblems of peace, and hope to discover the objects of their pursuit by looking from the tops of hills for their smoke, which may sometimes be seen at the distance of eight or ten miles in the dawn of a calm frosty morning. Who can fail to wish complete success to so charitable an attempt? We returned to our ship in the evening greatly delighted with everything we had seen, but much exhausted with excessive heat; several of the party also suffered from the mosquitoes, which were innumerable.

"Wednesday July 4th. The Weather continued fine and we had a rapid sail down the river at an early hour in the morning, making only one stop at a beautiful station on Sandy Point, from whence the Beothicks a few years ago stole a vessel and several hundred pounds worth of property from Mr. Peyton.

"Between nine and ten we landed at Burnt Island; and while the clergy were engaged in assembling the people for service, I had some conversation with Shanawdithit, the Beothick young woman I have already mentioned. The history of her introduction to Peyton's family is soon related. In April 1823, a party of furriers in the neighbourhood of the Exploits River, followed the traces of some Red Indians, until they came to a wigwam, or hut, from whence an Indian had just gone, and near it they found an old woman, so infirm that she could not escape. They took her to Mr. Peyton's, where she was kindly treated, and loaded with presents. After a few days she was left at her wigwam, while the furriers searched for others. Two females were soon discovered, whose dress was but little different from that of the men. Though much alarmed, they were made to understand by signs that the old woman, who was their mother, was at hand. The man who had been first seen was their father (?) who was drowned by falling through the ice. The women were in such lamentable want of food that they were easily induced to go to Mr. Peyton's. He took them to St. John's where everything they could desire was given to them, and after a stay of ten days they were taken back to Exploits, and returned to their wigwam, in full confidence that an amicable intercourse with their tribe would be established. One of the young women, who had suffered some time from pulmonary complaint died as soon as she was landed. In a short time the other two returned to one of Mr. Peyton's stations, nearly famished and very soon after they arrived the old woman also died, and Mr. Peyton has retained her daughter Shanawdithit, in his family ever since. She is fond of children, who leave their mother to go to her, and soon learned all that was necessary to /297/ make her useful in the family. Her progress in the English language has been slow, and I greatly lamented to find that she had not received sufficient instruction to be baptised and confirmed. I should have brought her to Halifax for this purpose but her presence will be of infinite importance if any more of her tribe should be discovered. She is now 23 years old, very interesting, rather graceful, and of a good disposition; her countenance mild, her voice soft and harmonious. Sometimes a little sulkiness appears, and an anxiety to wander, when she will pass twenty-four hours in the woods, and return; but this seldom occurs. She is fearful that her race has died for want of food. Mr. Peyton has learnt from her that the traditions of the Boeothick represent their descent from the Labrador Indians but the language of one is wholly unintelligible to the other. All that could be discovered of their religion is, that they feared some powerful monster, who was to appear from the sea and punish the wicked. They consider death as a long sleep, and it is customary to bury the implements and ornaments of the dead in the same grave with their former possessors. They believe in incantations. When the girl who died was very ill, her mother, who was of a violent and savage disposition, heated large stones and then poured water upon them until she was encircled by the fumes, from the midst of which she uttered horrid shrieks, expecting benefit to her suffering child.

"Mr. Chapman has been diligent in visiting and instructing the people during our short absence in the upper part of the river. A congregation was assembled at 11 O'clock, and forty-nine persons were confirmed. All of these were very decorous in their whole behaviour and many of them appeared sincerely devout.

"Shanawdithit was present. She perfectly understood that we were engaged in religious services, and seemed struck with their solemnity. Her whole deportment was serious and becoming. She was also made to understand my regret that her previous instruction had not been such as to allow of her baptism and confirmation, and my hope and expectation that she would be well prepared, if it should please God that we meet again. Mr. Peyton pledged himself that every possible endeavour should be made for this purpose.

"We learn from another source that Shanawdithit lived altogether six years in St. John's, N.F., first in the house of Mr. Cormack, then in that of Mr. Simms, Attorney General, but consumption, the fatal disease of her nation, at length carried her off. She died in the hospital in St. John's in 1829."

The foregoing may be looked upon as thoroughly reliable, coming as it does from one who actually saw and conversed with Shanawdithit, and moreover had the benefit of an intimate acquaintance with both Peyton and Cormack, two most intelligent persons.

Linguistic Affinity of the Beothucks.

The question of the linguistic affinity of the Beothucks with the neighbouring tribes of the Continent of America, as well as with certain /298/ peoples of the Old World, with whom it was surmised, by some writers, they might be allied is one that has received much attention at the hands of several eminent Philologists on both sides of the Atlantic.

Prof. Andrew Wilson, LL.D., F.R.G.S. of the University of Toronto, speaking generally of the origin of the North American Indian, says, "Language which is considered the only satisfactory evidence of affiliation of the different races of man has been appealed to in vain. Of the five hundred or more North American languages spoken by the aboriginal tribes of this continent, all have undergone the minutest study and classification by the most eminent Philologists and have afforded nothing that could establish any definite line of descent." If this be true of the continental tribes, it is still more applicable in regard to those insular peoples such as the inhabitants of Newfoundland.

In England Prof. Robb Gordon Latham, in the Transactions of the Anthropological Society of Great Britain treats largely on the subject of the Beothuck language. The late Sir Wm. Dawson, Principal of McGill University, Montreal, and the Rev. Dr. Patterson also studied the language. The latter gave the result of his investigations in the publications of the Royal Society of Canada, with remarks upon the language by the Rev. John Campbell, LL.D. Prof. Albert S. Gatschet of the Ethnological Bureau, Washington, U.S. made a most exhaustive study and analysis of the Beothuck vocabularies in our possession. He read three papers on this subject, before the American Philosophical Society, in June 1885, May 1886 and January 1890.

While the conclusions arrived at by these eminent scientists do not by any means solve the problem of the origin of the Beothucks, nevertheless they are all of so interesting a character that this history would be incomplete without their inclusion.

Mr. W.E. Cormack, who took such an active part in the endeavour to bring about a friendly understanding with the aborigines, and who was a gentleman of superior attainments, being a graduate of the University of Edinburgh conceived the idea that the Beothuck language pointed rather to an European than an American origin, and several other early writers were of the same opinion. The publication of the Icelandic Sagas no doubt gave rise to the supposition that possibly the Beothucks might be a remnant of the Norse Colonists, whom we are told formed a settlement on this side of the Atlantic in the 10th century, but a comparison of Beothuck with the Norse language failed to establish the slightest similarity between them. Capt. David Buchan was another who seemed to hold the same view, for he says in his concluding remarks, "I had persons with me that could speak Norwegian and most of the dialects known to the North of Europe, but they could in no wise understand them."

Other writers on the subject thought they might possibly have derived their origin from the early Basque fishermen, who claimed to have fished on the Banks and shores of Newfoundland prior to the advent of the Cabots. No doubt what gave rise to this supposition was the statement made on the supposed Cabot Map, that the inhabitants called the Codfish /299/ which abounded in these waters, Baccalaos, a purely Basque term, but this has long since been disproved. The Beothucks had no such term for the fish, they called the Cod, bobboosoret, another reason for this supposed affinity may be found in the peculiar construction of this Basque language, which, while it contained no words of a similar sound or meaning, nevertheless, bore a certain morphological resemblance to the North American languages generally. Mr. Horatio Hale points this out, in treating of the subject, when he says, "it is not in any positive similarity of words or grammar as would prove a direct affiliation, it is only in possessing that highly complex polysynthetic character which distinguishes the American languages. The likeness is merely in general cast and mould of speech, but this likeness has awakened much attention."

But the attempt to correlate the Beothuck with any European language having proved entirely abortive, thenceforth the attention of Ethnologists, who became interested in the subject, turned naturally to America, where a solution of the problem seemed most likely to be found. Yet here again, while the fact was established beyond question that the Beothuck language was undoubtedly Indian, i.e., American, still no clear relationship could be established between it and any of the continental dialects. This comparison likewise failed to reveal anything satisfactory.

Unfortunately, although the known words of this peculiar language preserved to us amount, according to Mr. Gatschet, to some four hundred and eighty vocables, "yet owing to the defective mode of transcription, no vocabularies had ever caused him so much trouble and uncertainty in obtaining from them results available for science."

About all that can be clearly established at this distance of time with regard to these vocabularies, is that they were obtained at different dates, and from three different individuals. The first in point of time, was that of the Rev. Mr. Clinch obtained from some unknown source about the end of the 18th century. It has been conjectured that Mr. Clinch obtained his vocabulary from John August who lived at Catalina during Mr. C.'s incumbency in the Parish of Trinity, but this is scarcely possible. August was taken from his mother, who was shot down, when he was only an infant, and as he ever afterwards lived amongst the whites, he had no opportunity of acquiring a knowledge of his mother tongue. It was also thought probable that the source of the vocabulary may have been the woman captured by Cull in 1804, but this cannot be as Mr. Clinch himself had died before that date (?). The occurrence of the term OUBEE, which is rendered into, "her own name," would certainly indicate that it was obtained from a female. Who this Ou-bee could have been can only be surmised, possibly it was the little girl mentioned by Governor Edwards and Mr. Bland, who lived at Trinity with a family named Stone about the same time as Mr. Clinch. The girl was afterwards taken to England, where she died.

The next vocabulary in point of time was that taken down from Mary March (Demasduit) by the Rev. Mr. Leigh, Episcopal missionary at Twillingate, with whom she resided after her capture, and again for sometime before Capt. Buchan took charge of her to restore her to her tribe. As Mary March could scarcely have obtained much proficiency in the /300/ English language during that short period of her sojourn with Mr. Leigh's family, it is only reasonable to suppose that she could not have made herself clearly understood, except by signs, and the use of the few words of English she had acquired, consequently it may be expected that many errors have crept into this vocabulary. The Robinson vocabulary was simply a reproduction of Leigh's with a few additional words subsequently obtained.

The third, and in point of real interest undoubtedly the most reliable, was that obtained by Mr. W.E. Cormack from Nancy (Shanawdithit). Mr. C., being himself a man of intellect and superior education, had an opportunity such as no one else possessed of acquiring a complete and reliable list of words from this woman. She, it will be remembered, had then been six years living with the Peyton family at Exploits, and had acquired considerable knowledge of English from them. During the last six or eight months of her existence she resided in Mr. Cormack's house, and he himself tells us he availed of the opportunity to closely question her on all matters pertaining to her tribe. The few other words which Mrs. Jure, Nancy's fellow servant at Peyton's was able to remember, constitute the whole range of the Beothuck vocabulary now preserved.(171)

It would of course be presumption on my part to attempt anything like a solution of the problem this language presents, especially in face of the fact that it has received at the hands of such eminent scientists the closest possible scrutiny, while their endeavours to elucidate it seem to have been completely baffled, as may be judged by the widely diverse conclusions arrived at.

Mr. Rob Gordon Latham in his paper on the "Varieties of man" published in Comparative Philology, London, 1850, pronounces the language to be distinctly Algonkin, he says, "The particular division to which the aborigines of Newfoundland belonged has been a matter of doubt. Some writers considering them to have been Eskimo, others to have been akin to the Micmacs, who have now a partial footing in the Island."

"Reasons against either of those views are supplied by a hitherto unpublished Beothuck vocabulary with which I have been kindly furnished by my friend Dr. King of the Anthropological Society. This makes them a separate section of the Algonkins, and such I believe them to have been."(172)

This view is upheld by the Rev. John Campbell, LL.D., of Montreal. The latter gentleman, after a careful study of the Rev. Dr. Patterson's paper on the Beothucks, says, "I have come to the deliberate conviction that Dr. Latham was right in classifying the extinct aborigines of Newfoundland with the Algonkins." After a comparison of some of their words with Malay-Polynesian, he adds, "This would tend to locate the ancestral Beothuck stock in Celebes." He further adds, "I imagine the /301/ Beothucks belonged to the same tribe as the New England Pawtuckets and Pequods, and that their remote ancestors must have formed part of a great emigration from the Indian archipelago consequent upon the Buddhist invasions of these islands prior to the Christian era."

Sir Wm. Dawson was of opinion that they were of Tinne or Chippewan stock, and instances the fact that the Micmacs of Nova Scotia had a tradition that a prior race of human beings occupied that country, whom the Micmacs drove out, and who they believe went over to Newfoundland and settled there. These he conjectures were the Beothucks, who remained isolated and undisturbed, except perhaps by the Eskimo, until the advent of the white fishermen on our coast.

In a letter I received from him, dated March 28th, 1881, he writes as follows: "I have looked up the vocabulary you sent me, and have shown it to Dr. S.M. Dawson, who knows something of the Western Indian Languages. We fail to make anything very certain of it. Latham was no doubt right in stating it to be different from Eskimo, but I see no certain affinities with Algonkin languages. The little it has in common with other American languages would perhaps, rather point to Tinne, or Chippewan affinities; but I would not at all insist on this.

"I sent the vocabulary to Rev. Mr. Rand of Hansport, N.S., who is our best authority on Micmac and Melicite. He fails to find any resemblance except in a few words mentioned below. Evidently the Beothuck language is something distinct from Eskimo on the North, and Micmac on the South, and its affinities, I fancy, are to be looked for among the Mountagnais or other tribes extending west from Labrador, and of whose languages I have no knowledge, etc."

Mr. Rand points out the following resemblance to Micmac which may have some significance.


Mathuis Mallijwa Hammer

Emet Mema Oil

Moosin M'Kasin Shoe

These are so far apparently related words. According to Lloyd,(173) John Lewis a Mohawk "Metis" who could speak several Indian dialects, told Mr. Curtis that the Beothuck language was unknown amongst the Canadian Indian tribes.

So far as the author is enabled to judge, Prof. Albert S. Gatschet certainly seems to have given the most profound study to this singular language. It so greatly interested him that he spared no pains to unearth everything he could possibly find bearing upon the subject. His study of the language extended over a period of five or six years altogether, and during that time he made the most minute investigation, and comparison with other Indian dialects, with all of which he was quite familiar. I should therefore be inclined to place more reliance in what this eminent Ethnologist has to say on the subject than upon the more cursory examinations of other authorities, however learned.


First Paper


Albert S. Gatschet, read before the

American Philosophical Society,

June 19th, 1885.

"Tribal names."

"The names by which this tribe is known to us are those of `Beothuck' and of Red Indians. Mr. Rob. Gordon Latham supposed Beothuck meant, good night in their own language, and that the tribe should hence be named the `Good Night Indians,' Beothuck being the term for `good night' in Mary March's vocabulary. But Indians generally have some other mode of salutation than this; and that word reads in the original MS. betheoate (not betheok, Lloyd), it is evidently a form of the verb baetha to go home; and thus its real meaning is: `I am going home.' The spellings of the tribal name found in the vocabularies are: Beothuk, Beothik, Behathook, Boeothuck, and Beathook; beothuk means not only Red Indian of Newfoundland, but is also the generic expression for Indian, and composes the word haddabothic body (and belly). Just as many other peoples call themselves by the term men, to which Indian is here equivalent, it is but natural to assume that the Indians of Newfoundland called themselves by the same word.

"Another term Shawatharott or Shawdtharut is given for Red Indian Man in King's vocabulary; we find also, Woas-sut Red Indian woman, cf. oosuck, wife; its diminutive woas-eeash, woas-eesh, Red Indian girl; mozazeesh, Red Indian boy.

"Red Indian was the name given them by the explorers, fishermen or Colonists, because they noticed their habit of painting their utensils, lodges, boats and their own bodies with red ochre. Most of the earlier explorers and historians mention this peculiar habit. Thus Joann de Laet, in his Novis Orbis, page 34, writes: `uterque sexus non modum cutem sed et vestimenta rubrica quadam tingit,' etc.

"This ochre they obtained from several localities around the coast as well as in the interior, and mixed it with fat or grease to use as a substance for daubing.

"The Micmac Indians called them Macquaejeet Ulno-mequagit, the Abnakis Ulnobah (Latham) in which alno, ulno means man, Indian.

"Language of the Beothuck."

"The results obtained by former writers from an investigation of their language not proving satisfactory to me, I have subjected the fragments which have reached down to our period to a new chirographic and critical examination, for the purpose of drawing all the conclusions that can fairly be drawn from them for ascertaining affinities, and thereby shed some light upon the origin of the Red Indians.

/303/ "The information we possess of the Beothuk tongue was chiefly derived from two women,(174) Mary March and Shanawdithit and is almost exclusively of a lexical, not of a grammatic nature. The points deducible from the vocabularies concerning the structure of the verb, noun and sentence, the formation of compound terms, the prefixes and suffixes of the language are very fragmentary and one sided. The mode of transcription is so defective that no vocabularies ever have caused me so much trouble and uncertainty as these in obtaining from them results available for science.

"Cormack obtained his vocabulary from Shanawdithit which seems more reliable and phonetically, more accurate than the one obtained from Mary March."

Below I reproduce the terms written in the same manner as transmitted, using the following abbreviations:


C. -- Cormack's vocabulary, from Shanawdithit.

Howl. -- Corrections of Leigh's printed vocabulary from his own Manuscript, made by James P. Howley.

K. -- Vocabulary of Dr. King, translated by Rob. Gordon Latham, London, April 1883.

No letter -- Rev. John Leigh's voc. from Mary March (Demasduit).


A-aduth seal-spear, C. Cf. amina.

Abemite gaping.

Abideshook; Abedesoot K., domestic cat; cf. bidesook.

Abidish "martin cat," marten. Micmacs call him cat; the whites of Newfoundland call a young seal: cat or harp-seal, because a design visible on their backs resembles a harp.(175)

Abobidress feathers; cf. ewinon.

Abodoneek bonnet, C.; abadung-eyk hat, K.

Adadimite or Adadimiute; andemin K. spoon; cf. a-enamin.

Adamadret; adamatret K. gun, rifle.

Adenishit stars; cf. shawwayet a star, K.

Adizabad Zea white wife.

Adjith to sneeze.

Adoltkhtek, adolthtek K., adolthe; ode-othyke C. boat, vessel seems to imply the idea of being pointed or curved; cf. A- aduth, adothook; Dhoorado, Tapathook.

Adosook K., Aa-dazook C. eight; Ee-aa-dazook eighteen, C.

Adothook; Adooch, K. fish-hook.

Aduse leg; adyouth foot, K.

Adzeech K.; adasic; adzeich C., two; ee-adzike twelve, C.; adzeich dthoonut twenty, C.

A-enamin bone, C.

A-eshemeet lumpfish, C.

Ae-u-eece snail, K.

Ae-wa-een C.; cf. ee-wa-en.

Agamet; aegumet K., buttons; money.

Aguathoonet grindstone.

Ahune, Ahunes, oun K. rocks. Misspelt Ahmee (Lloyd).

Ajeedick or vieedisk K. I like.

Akusthibit (ac- in original) to kneel.

Amet awake, C.

Amina deer-spear, C.

Amshut to get up; cf. amet. Howley supposes this to be from the same word as gamyess, q.v.

Anadrik sore throat; cf. tedesheet.

Anin comet; cf. anun spear (in skies?).

Annawhadya bread, K.; cf. manjebathook.

Annoo-ee tree; forest, woods K.

Anun spear, C.; cf. a-duth, amina, anin, annoo-ee.

Anwoyding consort; husband, when said by wife; wife when said by husband. Cf. zathrook.

Anyemen bow, K.; der. from annoo-ee, q.v.

A-oseedwit I am sleepy, K.

Aoujet snipe: Gallinago wilsonia, of genus Scolopacidae.

Apparet o bidesook sunken seal.

Ardobeeshe and madobeesh twine, K.; cf. meroobish.

Ashaboo-uth C.; iggobauth blood, C.; cf. ebanthoo.

Ashautch meat; flesh, K.

Ashei lean, thin; sick.

Ashmudyim devil, "bad man," C.; cf. muddy. The spelling of the first syllable is doubtful.

Ashwameet, ashumeet, mythological symbol drawn by Shanawdithit.

Ashwan, nom. pr., Eskimo.

Ashwoging C.; ashoging K., arrow; cf. dogernat.

Asson K. sea-gull.

Ass-soyt angry, C.

Athess; athep K. to sit down.

Awoodet singing.

Baasick bead, C., bethec necklace.

/304/ Baasothnut; beasothunt, beasothook K. gunpowder; cf. basdic.

Badisut dancing.

Baetha go home, K., becket? where do you go? baeodut out of doors, or to go out of doors, K. These three words all seem to belong to the same verb.

Baroodisick thunder.

Basdic; basdick K. smoke; cf. baasothnut.

Bashedtheek; beshed K. six, C. Rigadosik six Leigh's vocabulary seems to point to another dialect. Ee-beshedtheek sixteen, C.

Bashoodite Howl. to bite.

Bashubet scratch (verb?).

Bathuc; badoese K., watshoosooch K. rain; cf. ebanthoo.

Baubooshrat fish, K.; cf. bobboosoret codfish.

Bebadrook nipper (moskito).

Bedejamish bewajowite May, C.; cf. kosthabonong bewajowit.

Beodet money; cf. agamet, baasick.

Beothuk, Beothick K.; Behat-hook K.; Boeothuck (in Howley's correspondence); Beathook. (1) Indian; (2) Red Indian, viz. Indian of Newfoundland; cf. haddabothic.

Berrooick or berroich clouds.

Betheoate good night.

Bibidegemidic berries; cf. manus.

Bidesook; beadzuck, bidesuk K. seal; cf. abidesook, apparet.

Bidisoni sword.

Bituwait to lie down.

Boad thumb, K.

Bobbidist Howl.; bobbodish K. pigeon (guillemot, a sea bird). A species of these, very abundant in Newfoundland is Lomvia troile.(176)

Bobbiduishemet lamp; cf. boobeeshawt, mondicuet and emet oil.

Bobboosoret codfish; is the same word as baubooshrat.

Bogathoowytch, to kill, K.; buhashauwite to beat; bobathoowytch beat him! Beating and killing are frequently expressed by the same term in Indian languages; cf. datyuns.

Bogodoret; bedoret K. heart.

Bogomot or bogomat breast, K.; boghmoot woman's breast, K.; bodchmoot bosom, C.; bemoot breast, C.; cf. bogodoret.

Boobasha warm, K.; cf. obosheen.

Boobeeshawt fire, K.; cf. bobbiduishemet.

Boochauwhit I am hungry, K.; cf. pokoodoont.

Boodowit duck; cf. eesheet, mameshet.

Boos seek blunt, C.; pronounced busik.

Bootzhawet sleep (verb?) K.; cf. isedoweet.

Botomet onthermayet; botothunet outhermayet Howl. teeth(?).

Boyish birch bark; by-yeech birch tree, K.

Buhashamesh white boy, C.; buggishamesh boy, K.

Buhashauwite; cf. bogathoowytch.

Bukashaman, bookshimon man; buggishaman white man, K.

Butterweye tea, K. (English.)

Carmtack to speak, K.; ieroothack, jeroothack speak, K.

Cheashit to groan.

Cockaboset; cf. geswat.

Dabseek C., dabzeek K., abodoesic four; eedabzook fourteen, C.

Dattomeish; dootomeish K. trout.

Datyuns or datyurs not kill(?), K.

Dauoosett I am hungry, K., probably false; cf. boochauwhit.

Debine Howl., deboin K. egg.

Deddoweet; didoweet K., saw, subst.

Deed-rashow red, K.

Deh-hemin Howl., dayhemin K. give me!

Delood! come with us! K. dyoom! come hither! K. dyoot thouret! come hither! C. toouet (to) come, K. nadyed you come back, K.

Demasduit, nom. pr. of Mary March.

Deschudodoick to blow, C.

Deyn-yad, pl. deyn-yadrook bird, C.

Dho orado large boat, K.; cf. adoltkhtek.

Dingyam, dhingyam K., thengyam clothes.

Dogajavick fox, K.; cf. deed-rashow red; the common fox is the red fox.

Dogernat arrow, kind of.

Doodebewshet, nom. pr. of Nancy's mother, C.

Doothun forehead, K.

Dosomite pin.

Drona; drone-ooch K. hair; the latter form apparently a plural.

Dthoonanven, thinyun hatchet, K.

Dtho-onut, C.; cf. adzeech. Dyout, dyoat, come here.

Ebanthoo; ebadoe K. water.

Ebathook to drink, K,; zebathoong to drink water,K.; cf. ebanthoo, bathuc.

Edat or edot fishing line; cf. a-aduth, adothook.

Edru or edree; edachoom K. otter.

Ee- composes the numerals of the first decad from 11 to 19; it is prefixed to them and emphasized; cf. the single numerals.

Eeg fat, adj.

Eenoaja cold (called?), K.

Eenodsha to hear, K.; cf. noduera.

Eeseeboon cap, K.

Eeshang eyghth blue, C.

Eesheet duck, K.; probably abbrev. of mameshet, q.v.

Eeshoo make haste.

Eewa-en; aewa-en K., hewhine, o-owin K. knife; cf. oun. Leigh has also: nine, probably misspelt for: wine (wa-en).

Egibididuish, K., egibidinish silk handkerchief.

Ejabathook, ejabathhook K., sail; edjabathook sails.

Ejew to see, K.; pronounced idshu.

Emamoose, immamoose woman; emmamoose white woman, K.

Emamooset child; girl; emmamooset white girl, K.

Emet; emet K. oil; composes bobbiduishemet and odemet, q.v.

Emoethook; emmathook K. dogwood (genus: Cornus) or mountain Ash.

Ethenwit; etherwit Howl. fork.

Euano to go out; enano go out, Howl.

Ewinon feather, K.

Gaboweete breath, C.

/305/ Gamyess get up, Howl.

Gasook or yasook, yosook dry K.; gasuck, gassek, K. stockings.

Gausep dead, K.; gosset death, and dead, K.

Geonet tern, turr,(177) a sea-swallow; Lomvia troile (also called Urea troile), K. has geonet fur.

Ge-oun K.; gown chin.

Geswat fear, K.; cockaboset! no fear! do not be afraid! K.

Gheegnyan, geegn- yan, K., guinya eye.

Gheen K., geen (or gun?) nose.

Gidyeathuc wind.

Gigarimanet K., giggeramanet; giggamahet Howl. net.

Gobidin eagle, C.

Godabonyeesh November, C.

Godabonyegh October, C.

Godawik shovel; cf. hadowadet.

Gonathun- keathut Howl.; cf. keathut.

Goosheben lead (v. or subst.?).

Gotheyet ticklas,(178) a bird of the genus Sterna; species not identifiable, perhaps macrura, which is frequent in Newfoundland (H.W. Henshaw)?

Gowet scollop or frill; a bivalve, pecten.

Guashawit puffin; a bird of the Alcidae family: Lunda cirrhata.(179)

Guashuwit; gwashuwet, whashwitt, washawet K. bear.

Guathin; cf. keathut.

Gungewook Howl. mainland.

Haddabothic body; hadabatheek belly, C.; contains beothuk, q.v.

Hadalahet K.; hadibiet glass; cf. nadalahet.

Hadowadet shovel, K.; cf. godawik.

Hanawasutt flatfish or halibut, K.

Hanyees finger, K.

Haoot the devil, K.

Hodamishit knee.

Homedich, homedick, oomdzech K., good.

Ibadinnam to run, K.; cf. wothamashet.

Immamooset; cf. emamoose.

Isedoweet to sleep; cf. bootzhawet.

Itweena thumb; cf. boad.

Iwish hammer, K.; cf. mattuis.

Jewmetchem, jewmetcheen soon, K.

Jiggamint gooseberry.

Yaseek C., Yazeek K., gathet one; ee-yaziech eleven, C.

Yeathun, ethath yes, K.

Yeothoduc nine, C.; ee-yeothoduck nineteen, C.

Yeech short, K.

Kaasussabook, causabow snow, K.

Kadimishuite tickle; a rapid current where the tide ebbs and flows in a narrow channel of the sea.

Kaesinguinyeet blind, C.; from gasook dry, gheenyan eye.

Kannabuch long, K.

Kawingjemeesh shake hands, K.

Keathut, gonathun- keathut; ge-outhuk K., guathin; head. Keoosock., kaasook hill, K.

Kewis, Kuis, ewis, keeose K. sun; moon; watch. Kuis halfmoon; a mythological symbol drawn by Shanawdithit.

Kingiabit to stand.

Kobshuneesamut (ee accented) January, C.

Koshet to fall.

Kosthabonong bewajowit February, C. For the last part of word, cf. bedejamish bewajowite.

Kosweet K., osweet deer (caribou).

Kowayaseek July, C.; contains yazeek one.

Kusebeet louse.

Lathun; lathum(?) trap, K.; cf. shabathoobet.

Madabooch milk, K.

Maduck, Maduch to-morrow, K.

Madyrut hiccough.

Maemed, maelmed; mewet hand, K,; cf. meesh in kawingjemeesh; meeman monasthus to shake hands. Memayet arms.

Magaraguis, mageragueis son, K.

Magorun; magorum K. deer's horns.

Mamashee K.; mamzhing ship, vessel.

Mamatrabet a long (illegible; song?) K.

Mameshet; memeshet Howl., ducks and drakes (drake: male duck) probably the mallard duck, Anas boschas.(180)

Mameshook, mamudthun K. mouth; cf. memasook.

Mammateek, cf. meotick.

Mamishet, mamset, mamseet, K., mamisut C. alive. Doodebewshet mamishet gayzoot, or D. mamisheet gayzhoot, Doodebewshet is alive, K. mamset life, K.

Mamjaesdoo, nom. pr. of Nancy's father.

Mammadronit (or -nut) lord bird, or harlequin duck, contains drona.

Mammasheek islands; cf. mamashee.

Mammasaveet (or mammoosernit J. Peyton), mamasameet K., mamudthuk, mamadthut K. dog, mammusemitch, pl. mammasavit puppy.

Mamshet, maumsheet K. beaver (simply: animal).

Manaboret K., manovoonit Howl. blanket.

Manamiss March, month of, C.

Mandeweech, maudweech bushes, K.

Mandzey, mamdsei K., mandzyke C. black.

Manjebathook bread, C.

Manegemethon shoulder.

Mangaroonish or mangaroouish sun; probably son; cf. magaraguis.

Manune pitcher, cup.

Manus berries, K.; cf. bibidegemidic.

Marmeuk eyebrow.

Marot to smell, K. (v. intr.?).

Massooch, masooch salt water, K.

Matheoduc to cry.

Mathik, mattic stinking: mattic bidesuk stinking, rotten seal,(181) K.: mathic bidesook stinking seal; cf. marot.

/306/ Mattuis Howl. hammer; cf. iwish.

Memasook, mamudth-uk, mamadth-ut K. tongue; cf. mameshook.

Memayet arms; cf. maemed.

Meotick, meeootick, mae-adthike K. house, wigwam. Mammatik house, mammateek Howl. winter wigwam, meothick house, hut, tilt camp, K. (probably a windbreak).

Meroobish thread; cf. ardobeeshe.

Messiliget-hook baby, K.

Methabeet cattle, K,; nethabete "cows and horses."

Miaoth to fly.

Modthamook sinew of deer, K.

Moeshwadit drawing (?), mohashaudet or meheshaudet drawing-knife K.

Moidensu comb.

Moisamadrook wolf.

Mokothut, species of a blunt-nosed fish, C.

Monasthus (to touch?), meeman monasthus to shake hands; cf. maemed.

Mondicuet lamp, K.; cf. bobbiduishemet.

Moocus elbow.

Moomesdick, nom. pr. of Nancy's grandfather.

Mooshaman, mootdhiman K. ear.

Moosin moccasin, K., mosen shoe, K.

Moosindgei- jebursut ankle, C., contains moosin.

Mossessdeesh; cf. mozazeosh.

Motheryet cream jug; cf. nadalahet.

Mowageenite iron.

Mowead trousers, K.

Mozazeosh, mogazeesh K. Red Indian boy, mossessdeesh Indian boy, C.

Muddy, mandee K., mud'ti C. bad, dirty, mudeet bad man, C.; cf. eshmudyim.

Nadalahet cream-jug; cf. hadalahet, motheryet.

Nechwa tobacco, K., deh- hemin neechon! give me tobacco! Howl.

Newin, newim no, K.

Ninezeek C., nunyetheek K., nijeek, nijeck, five, ee-ninezeek fifteen, C.

Noduera to hear, K.; cf. eenodsha.

Nonosabasut, nom. pr. of Demasduit's husband; tall 6 feet 7 1/2 inches.

Oadjameet C. to boil, as water; v. trans. or intr.? moodamutt to boil, v. trans. C.

Obosheen warming yourself; cf. boobasha.

Obsedeek gloves, K.

Obseet little bird (species of?), C.

Odasweeteeshamut December, C.; cf. odusweet.

Odemen, ode- emin K., odemet ochre; cf. emet.

Odensook; odizeet, odo-ezheet K. goose; cf. eesheet duck.

Odishuik to cut.

Odjet lobster, K. and Leigh.

Odoit to eat; cf. pokoodoont.

Odusweet, edusweet K. hare; cf. kosweet, odasweeteeshamut.

Oodrat K., woodrut fire; cf. boobeeshawt.

O-odosook, oodzook C., ode-ozook K. seven, ee-oodzook seventeen, C.

Ooish lip.

Oosuck wife; cf. woas-sut.

Osavate to row; cf. wotha-in, wothamashet.

Oseenyet K., ozegeen Howl. scissors.

Osthuk tinker (J. Peyton); also called guillemot, a sea bird of the genus Urea.(182) Species not identifiable.

Oun; cf. ahune.

Owasboshno-un (?) C. whale's tail, a mythological emblem drawn by Shanawdithit; Dr. Dawson thinks it is a totem.

Ozeru, ozrook K. ice.

Podibeak, podybear Howl. oar, paddle; cf. osavate.

Pokoodoont, pokoodsont, bococtyone to eat, K.; cf. odoit.

Poochauwhat to go to bed, K.; cf. a-osedwit.

Pugathoite to throw.

Quadranuek, quadranuk K. gimlet.

Quish nails.

Shabathoobet Howl., shabathootet trap.

Shamoth, thamook, shamook, shaamoc K. capelan [caplin], a fish species.(183)

Shanandithit C., Shanawdithit, nom. pr. of Nancy, a Beothuc woman.

Shanung, Shonack, Shawnuk, Shannok, nom. pr., Micmac Indian, Shonack "bad Indians," Micmacs; cf. Sho-udamunk.

Shapoth K., shaboth candle.

Shansee C. and K., theant ten.

Shawatharott, Shawdtharut, nom. pr., Red Indian man; cf. zathrook.

Shawwayet a star; cf. adenishit.

Shebohoweet K., shebohowit, sheebuint C. woodpecker.

Shebon, sheebin river, brook, K.

Shedbasing wathik upper arm, C.

Shedothun, shedothoon sugar, K.

Sheedeneesheet cocklebur, K.

Shegamite to blow the nose.

Shema bogosthuc muskito; cf. bedadrook.

Shendeek C., shendee K., thesdic three, ee-shendeek thirteen, shendeek dtho-onut thirty, C.

Shewthake grinding stone, K.; cf. aguathoonet.

Shoe-wana, shuwan water bucket, of birch bark, drinking cup, K., shoe-wan-yeesh small stone vessel, C. A drawing of a shuwan, made by Shanawdithit, has been preserved (Howley).

Sho-udamunk (from Peyton), nom. pr. of the Mountaineer (or Algonkin) Indians of Labrador, Naskapi, or "good Indians"; cf. Shanung.

Sosheet bat, K.

Shucododimet K., shucodimit, a plant called Indian cup.(184)

Tapathook, dapathook K. canoe; cf. adoltkhtek.

Tedesheet neck, throat.

Theehone heaven, K.

Thengyam clothes; cf. dingyam.

Thine I thank you.

Thooret come hither! abbrev. from the full dyoot thouret C.; cf. deiood!

Thoowidgee to swim.

Toouet; cf. deiood!

/307/ Wabee wet, K.; probably misunderstood for white.

Wadawhegh August, C.

Wasemook salmon, K.; cf. wothamashet.

Washa-geuis K., washewnish moon.

Washawet, whashwitt K.; cf. guashuwit.

Washewtch K., washeu night, darkness; cf. month's names.

Washoodiet, wadshoodet to shoot, K.

Wasumaweeseek April, June, September, C. Said to mean "first sunny month"; cf. wasemook.

Watshoosooch rain, K.; cf. bathic.

Wathik arm, C., watheekee the whole arm, K.; cf. shedbasing.

Waunathoake, nom. pr. of Mary March (Howley).

Wawashemet o-owin moo meshduck we give you (thee) a knife, K.

Weenoun cheek, K.; cf. ge-oun.

Weshomesh (Lloyd, washemesh) herring; cf. wothamashet. Mr. Howley thinks that Washimish, the name of an Island, contains this term.

Whadicheme; cf. bogathoowytch to kill(?).

Widumite to kiss.

Woadthoowin, woad-hoowin spider, K.

Woas-eeash, woas-eesh Red Indian girl, K.

Woas-sut Red Indian woman, K., same as oosuck.

Wobee white, K.; cf. wabee.

Wobesheet sleeve, K.

Woin Howl., waine hoop.

Woodch blackbird,(185) C.

Woodum pond, K.

Wothamashet Lloyd, to run, woothyat to walk.

Zathrook husband; cf. anwoyding.

Zeek necklace, K., abbr. from baasick(?).

Zosoot K., Zosweet partridge. Ptarmigan is added to the term; but a ptarmigan (Lagopus alba) is not a partridge.(186)

Beothuck song preserved by Cormack.

Subjects of: -- Bafu Buth Baonosheen Babashot, Siethodaban-yish, Edabansee, -- Dosadooosh, -- Edabanseek.

Second Paper by Albert S. Gatschet

read before American Philosophical Society

May 7th 1886.

In this paper he first treats of the Robinson Vocabulary, so called, because it was furnished to the British Museum Library by Capt. Sir Hercules Robinson of H.M. Ship, Favourite, 1820. This vocabulary, as the Author states, was written from memory of conversations had with the Rev. Mr. Leigh at Harbour Grace, and being merely an incorrect copy of Leigh's own vocabulary obtained from Mary March, need not be considered here. There are a few additional words however which I shall include later.

Mr. Gatschet then treats of the grammatic elements of the language thus:


The points deducible with some degree of certainty from the very imperfect material on hand may be summed up as follows, the sounds being represented in my own scientific alphabet, in which all vowels have the European continental value:


a a

e a o

i i u u



ai, ei in by-yesh birch, madyrut hiccough; oi, in moisamadrock wolf; ou, au in ge-oun chin; oe may indicate o: emoethook (?), etc.


Explosives: Sounds of duration:

surd sonant Aspirates Spirants Nasals Trills

Gutturals: k g z h ng

Palatals: tch dsh y cl

Linguals: sh r,l

Dentals: t d th s,z n

Labials: p b w,(v?) m

The sound expressed by lth in adolthek, adolthe boat I have rendered by `l, the palatalized l, which is produced by holding the tip of the tongue against the alveolar or foremost part of the palate. It appears in many American, but not in Algonkin languages.

The sound dr, tr in adamadret, adamatret gun, drona hair, edru otter and other terms is probably a peculiar sound, and not a mere combination of d(t) with r.

The articulation dth seems distinct from the aspirate th of the English language; it occurs in dthoonanyen hatchet, dtho-onut ten, used in forming the decade in the terms for twenty, thirty, etc. (cf. theant and shansee ten). Perhaps it is th pronounced with an explosive effort of the vocal organ.

z is rendered in our lists by gh and sometimes by ch, as in yaseech one, droneeoch hairs, maduch to-morrow.

ts, ds are unfrequent [infrequent] or do not occur at all.

sch in deschudodoick to blow and other terms is probably our sk. f does not occur in Beothuck but is found in Micmac vocabularies; perhaps it would be better to have rendered there that sound by v'h, w'h, and not by f, for other Algonkin dialects show no trace of it.

l is unfrequent [infrequent] and found, as an initial sound, only in the term lathun trap. Whether r is our rolling r or not is difficult to determine.

th often figures as a terminal, but more frequently as an initial and medial sound.

Consonants are frequently found geminated in our lists, but this is chiefly due to the graphic method of English writers, who habitually geminate them to show that the preceding vowel is short in quantity: cf. dattomeish, haddabothic, immamooset, massooch.

The language exhibits the peculiarity not unfrequently [infrequently] observed throughout America, that final syllables generally end in consonants and the preceding syllables in vowels. Accumulations of consonants occur, but are not frequent; e.g. carmtack to speak, Mamjaesdoo, nom. pr. The majority of all syllables not final consists of a consonant followed by a vowel, or diphthong.

Too little information is on hand to establish any general rules for the accentuation. None of the accented words are oxytonized, but several have the antepenult emphasized: bashedtheek, ashwoging, dosomite; the term ejabathook has the accent still further removed from the final syllable. Very likely the accent could in that language shift as in other languages /309/ of America, from syllable to syllable, whenever rhetorical reasons required it. By some of the collectors the signs for length and brevity were used to designate the emphasized syllable, placed above or underneath the vowels.

Alternation of sounds, or spontaneous permutation of the guttural, labial, etc., sounds without any apparent cause, is traceable here as well as in all other illiterate languages. Thus the consonantic sounds produced in the same position of the vocal organs are observed to alternate between:

g and k: buggishaman, bukashaman man, etc.

g and z: bogomot, boghmoot breast.

g and h: buggishamesh, buhashamesh boy; bogathoowytch to kill, buhashauwite to beat.

tch and sh: mootchiman, mooshaman ear.

dsh and s, sh: wadshoodet, washoodiet to shoot.

r and d: merobeesh, madabeesh thread, twine.

t and d: tapathook, dapathook canoe.

t and th: meotick, mae-adthike house; mattic, mathick stinking.

d and th: ebanthoo, ebadoe water.

th and z: nunyetheek, ninezeek five.

th and s, sh: mamud-thuk, memasook tongue; thamook, shamook capelan [caplin].

s and z: osenyet, ozegeen scissors.

s and sh: mamset, mamishet alive; bobboosoret, baubooshrat codfish.

p and b: shapoth, shaboth candle.

In regard to vowels, the inaccurate transmission of the words does not give us any firm hold; still we find alternation between:

a and o: bogomat, bogomot breast; dattomeish, dottomeish trout.

a and e: baasick, bethec beads.

oi and ei: boyish, by-yeech birch.


The points to be gained for the morphology of Beothuk are more scanty still than what can be obtained for reconstructing its phonology, and for the inflection of its verb we are entirely in the dark.

Substantive. The most frequent endings of substantives are -k and -t, and a few only, like drona hair, end in a vowel. Whether the substantive had any inflection for case or not, is not easy to determine; we find however, that maemed hand is given for the subjective meeman (in m. monasthus to shake hands) for the objective case; in the same manner nechwa and neechon tobacco, mameshook and mamudthun mouth. Other terms in -n are probably worded in the objective or some other of the oblique cases: ewinon feather, magorun deer's horns, mooshaman ear, ozegeen scissors, shedothun sugar. Cf. the two forms for head.

A plural is traceable in the substantives deyn-yad bird, deyn-yadrook birds; odizeet goose, pl. odensook geese; drona, pl. drone-ooch hair; and to judge from analogy, the following terms may possibly be worded in the plural form marmeuk eyebrow(s), messiliget-hook bab(ies?), moisamadrook wolves(?), berroich clouds, ejabathook sails. Compare also edot fishing line, adothook fish hook; the latter perhaps a plural of the former. The numerals 7, 8, 9 also show a suffix -uk, -ook.

Adjectives are exhibiting formative suffixes of very different kinds gosset and gausep dead, gasook dry, boos-seek blunt, homedich good, ass-soyt angry, eeshang-eyghth blue, ashei lean.

/310/ The phrase shedbasing wathik upper arm would seem to show, that the adjective, when used attributively, precedes the noun which it qualifies.

The numerals of our list are all provided with the suffix -eek or -ook; what remains in the numerals from one to ten, is a monosyllable, except in the instance of six and nine. Yaseek is given as one and as first (in the term for April)(187) but whether there was a series of real ordinals we do not know.

Compound nouns. A few terms are recognizable as compound nouns, and in them the determinative precedes the noun qualified.

wash-geuis moon, lit. "night-sun."

bobbiduish-emet lamp; probably "fire-oil."

kaesin-guinyeet blind; probably for "dry on eyes."

moosin- dgej-jebursut ankle; contains moosin moccasin.

adasweet-eeshamut December; contains odusweet hare, rabbit.

aguathoonet grinding stone; probably contains ahune stone in the initial agu-, agua.

No pronouns whatever could be made out with any degree of probability.

Concerning the verbal inflection we are almost entirely without reliable data, nor do we know anything concerning the subjective and objective pronouns necessarily connected with conjugational forms.

(1) Verbs mentioned in the participle -ing or in the infinitive generally end in -t and -k.

-t: amshut to get up, awoodet singing, bituwait to lie down, cheashit to groan, marot to smell, kingiabit to stand, washoodict to shoot.

-k: carmtack to speak, deschudoodick to blow, ebathook to drink, odishuik to cut.

(2) Imperative forms, to judge from the English translation, are the following:

deiood! come with us! dyoom! come hither!

dyoot thouret! come hither! (Rob. kooret! kooset!)

nadyed you come back(?)

cockaboset! no fear! do not be afraid!

bobathoowytch! beat him!

deh-hemin! give me!

(3) Participal forms are probably represented by amet awake, gosset and gausep dead, apparet sunken (Rob. aparit).

(4) The first person of the singular is, according to the interpretation, contained in the vocables:

ajeedick or vieedisk I like.

boochauwit I am hungry; cf. dauosett.

a-oseedwit I am sleepy; cf. bootzhawet sleep, isedoweet to sleep.

thine I thank you; cf. what was said of betheoate.(188)

(5) Other personal forms of singular or plural are probably embodied in the terms:

pokoodoont, from odoit to eat.

ieroothack, jeroothack speak, from carmtack to speak.

becket? where do you go?

boobasha; cf. obosheen warming yourself.

(6) Forms in -p and -es, if not misspelt occur in athep, athess to sit down, gamyess get up, gausep dead.

/311/ (7) No conclusive instance of reduplication as a means of inflection or derivation occurs in any of the terms transmitted, though we may compare wawashemet, p. 307, Nonosabasut, nom. pr. Is mammateek a reduplication of meotick?


Derivatives and the mode of derivation are easier to trace in this insular language than other grammatic processes. Although the existence of prefixes is not certain as yet, derivation through suffixes can be proved by many instances, and there was probably a large number of suffixes, simple and compound, in existence. Some of the suffixes were mentioned above, and what may be considered as "prefixes(?)" will be treated of separately.

Suffix -eesh, -eech, -ish forms diminutive nouns:

mammusemitch puppy, from mamasameet dog.

Mossessdeesh Indian boy.

buhashamesh boy, from bukashaman man.

woaseesh Indian girl, from woas-sut Indian woman.

Shoewanyeesh small vessel, from shuwan bucket, cup.

mandeweech bushes(?): hanyees finger.

Probably the term yeech short is only deduced from the above instances of diminutives and had no separate existence for itself.

-eet, a frequently occurring nominal suffix:

a-eshemeet lumpfish, deddoweet saw, gaboweete breath, kosweet dear, kusebeet louse, methabeet cattle, shebohoweet woodpecker, sheedeneesheet cocklebur, sosheet bat, tedesheet neck, wobesheet sleeve, probably from wobee white. Also occurring as a verbal ending; cf. above, hence it is possible that the nouns in -eet are simply nomina verbalia of verbs in -eet, it.

-k, a suffix found in verbs and nouns:

ebanthook to drink, from ebanthoo water.

obesedeek gloves, perhaps (if not plural form) from obosheen, q.v.

Verbs in -k were mentioned supra; -ook forms plurals of substantives, also numerals; in Micmac the suffix for the plural of animates is -uk, -k, for inanimates -ul, -l; in Abnaki -ak, -al.

-m occurs in nouns like dingyam clothes, lathum(?) trap, woodum pond; also in ibadinnam, jewmetchem, etc.

-n, suffix of objective case and of many substantives.

-oret, nominal suffix in bobboosoret codfish, bogodoret heart, manaboret blanket, oodrat fire, shawatharott man.

-uit, -wit occurs in kadimishuite tickle, ethenwit fork, mondicuet lamp, Demasduit, nom. pr., guashuwit bear; also in sundry verbs.

-ut occurs in nouns:

woas-sut Indian woman, mokothut fish-species, madyrut hiccough.

Prefixed Part of Speech.

Follows a series of terms or parts of speech found only at the beginning of certain words. Whether they are particles of an adverbial or /312/ prepositional nature (prefixes), or fragments of nouns, was not possible for me to decide. The dissyllabic nature of some of them seems to favour a nominal origin.

bogo- buka-: bogodoret, abbr. bedoret heart.

bogomat breast.

bogathoowytch to kill, beat.

bukashaman man.

buggishamesh boy.

shema bogosthuc muskito.

-ee is the prefix of numerals in the decad from 11 to 19.

hada-, ada-, hoda-, odo-, od- is found in terms for tools, implements, parts of the animal body. a is easily confounded with o by English-speaking people.

haddabothic body, hadabatheek belly.

hodanishit knee; cf. hothamashet to run.

hadalahet glass and glass-vase.

hadowadet shovel; cf. od-ishuik to cut, and godawik.

adamadret gun, rifle.

adadimite spoon.

ardobeesh twine; is also spelt adobeesh (Howley).

adothook fishhook.

adoltkhtek, odo-othyke boat, vessel.

mama-, mema-. The terms commencing with this group are all arrayed in alphabetical order on pp. 305, 306, and point to living organisms or parts of such or dwellings.

Remarks on Single Terms.

For several English terms the English-Beothuk vocabulary gives more than one equivalent, even when only one is expected. With some of their number the inference is, that one of these is borrowed from an alien language. Thus we have:

devil ashmudyim, haoot.

comb edrathu, moidensu.

hammer iwish, mattuis.

money agamet, beodet. The fact that agamet also means button finds a parallel in the Greek language, where the term for bead, ao'nawa, ao'nap, forms also the one for coined money: tchatu aonawa, "stone bead" or "metal bead."

bread annawhadya, manjebathook.

lamp boddiduish-emet, mondicuet.

star adenishit, shawwayet.

grinding stone aguathoonet, shewthake.

shovel gadawik, hadowadet.

trap lathun, shabathoobet.

See also the different terms for cup (vessel), spear, wife, feather, boy, rain, to hear, etc. Concerning the term trap, one of the terms may be the noun, the other the verb (to trap). Terms traceable to alien languages will be considered below.

The term for cat is evidently the same with that for seal and marten, the similarity of their heads being suggestive for name-giving. In the term for cat, abideshook, a prefix a- appears, for which I find no second instance in the lists; abidish is, I think, the full form of the singular for all the three animals.

/313/ Of the two terms for fire, boobeeshawt means what is warming, cf. boobasha warm, oodrat is the proper term for fire.

Smoke and gunpowder are expressed by the same word in many Indian languages; here, the one for gunpowder, baasothnut, is a derivative of basdic smoke.

The muskito, shema bogosthuc, is described as a black fly(?).

Whadicheme in King's vocabulary means to kill.

Beothik as name for man, Indian and Red Indian is probably more correct than the commonly used Beothuk.

Botomet onthermayet probably contains a whole sentence.

The term for hill, keoosock, kaasook is probably identical with keathut head.

Ecshamut appears in the names for December and January; signification unknown.

Ethnic position of the Beothuk.

The most important result to be derived from researches on the Beothuk people and languages must be the solution of the problem, whether they formed a race for themselves and spoke a language independent of any other, or are racially and linguistically linked to other nations or tribes.

Our means for studying their racial characteristics are very scanty. No accurate measurements of their bodies are on hand, a few skulls only are left as tangible remnants of their bodily existence (described by George Rusk; cf. p. 413). Their appearance, customs and manners, lodges and canoes seem to testify in favor of a race separate from the Algonkins and Eskimos around them, but are too powerless to prove anything. Thus we have to rely upon language alone to get a glimpse at their origin or earliest condition.

A comparison with the Labrador and Greenland Inuit language, commonly called Eskimo, has yielded to me no term resting on real affinity. The Greenlandish attausek one and B. yaseek one agree in the suffix only.

R.G. Latham has adduced some parallels of Beothuk with Tinne dialects, especially with Taculli, spoken in the Rocky Mountains. But he does not admit such rare parallels as proof of affinity, and in historic times at least, the Beothuks dwelt too far from the countries held by Tinne Indians to render any connection probable. Not the least affinity is traceable between Beothuk and Iroquois vocables, nor does the phonology of the two yield any substantial points of equality. Tribes of the Iroquois stock once held the shores of the St. Lawrence river down to the environs of Quebec, perhaps further to the northeast and thus lived at no great distance from Newfoundland.

All that is left for us to do is to compare the sundry Algonkin dialects with the remnants of the Beothuk speech. Among these, the Micmac of Nova Scotia and parts of the adjoining mainland, the Abnaki of New Brunswick and Maine, the Naskapi of Labrador will more than others /314/ engross our attention, as being spoken in the nearest vicinity of Newfoundland. The first of these, Micmac, was spoken also upon the isle itself. Here as everywhere else, words growing out of the roots of the language and therefore inherent to it, have to be carefully distinguished from terms borrowed of other languages. It will be best to make here a distinction between Beothuk terms undoubtedly Algonkin in phonetics and signification and other Beothuk terms, which resemble some words found in Algonkin dialects. Words of these two categories form part of the list of duplex Beothuk terms for one English word, as given on a previous page.

(1) Beothuk words also occurring in Algonkin dialects:

-eesh, -ish, suffix forming diminutive nouns: occurs in various forms in all the Eastern Algonkin dialects.

mamishet: mamseet alive, living; Micmac meemajeet, perhaps transposed from almajeet.

mattuis hammer; Abnaki mattoo.

mandee devil; Micmac maneetoo, Naskapi (matchi) mantuie.

odemen, odemet ochre; Micmac odemen.

Shebon, sheebin river; Micmac seiboo; sibi, sipi in all Eastern Algonkin dialects for long river.

wobee white; Micmac wabaee, Naskapi waahpou, wahpoau white; also in all Eastern Algonkin dialects; cf. B. wobesheet

sleeve, probably for "white sleeve," and Micmac wobun


(2) Beothuk words resembling terms of Algonkin dialects comparable to them in phonetics and signification. Some of them were extracted from R.G. Latham's comparative list, in his Comp. Philology, pp. 433-455.

bathuk rain; Micmac ikfashak, -- paesuk in kiekpaesuk rain; but the other forms given in Beothuk, badoese and watshoosooch, do not agree; cf. ebanthoo water.

boobeshawt fire. The radix is boob- and hence no analogy exists with Ottawa ashkote, Abnaki skoutai and other Algonkin terms

for fire mentioned by Latham.

bukashaman white man, man. Affinity with Micmac wabe akecheenom white man (jaaenan man) through aphaeresis of wa- is exceedingly doubtful. Compare the Beothuk prefixed syllable


emet oil; Abnaki pemmee, Ojibew bimide oil; Micmac mema oil, fat, grease.

kannabuch long; cf. the Algonkin names Kennebec, Quinnipiac long inlet), and the Virginian cunnaivwh long (Strachey, p. 190).

kewis, kuis sun, watch; watcha gewis moon (the form kuis is misspelt).

Micmak nakoushet sun, topa-nakoushet moon (in Naskapi beshung, beeshoon sun and moon).

The ordinary term in the Eastern Algonkin languages is gisis, kisus, kishis for both celestial bodies; goes is the Micmack month appended to each of their month-names.

Magaraguis, magaragueis, mangaroouish son. Latham, supposing guis to be the portion of the word signifying son, has quoted numerous analogies, as Cree equssis, Ottawa kwis, Shawano koisso, etc., but Robinson has mangarewius sun, King has kewis, kuis sun, moon, which makes the above term very

doubtful. Probably it was the result of a misunderstanding;

cf. magorun deer(?), kewis sun.

mamoodthuk dog, mamoosem-itch puppy; Micmac alamouch, elmoohe dog, elmoojeek puppies, Abnaki almoosesauk puppies (alma- in Abn.

corresponds to mama- in Beothuk.)

mamudthun mouth. Latham refers us to Abnaki madoon, Micmac toon, but Leigh has mameshook for mouth and memasook for tongue, which proves that mam, -mem is the radix of the Beothuk word

and not dthun.

manjebathook bread contains in its final part beothuk man people; and in its first perhaps Micmac megisee, maegeechimk to eat,

mijese I eat, or the French manger, obtained through Micmac

Indians. So the signification would be "people's food."

manus berries; Micmac minigechal berries may be compared, provided mini- is the basis of the term.

moosin moccasin, meoson shoe; probably originated from Abnaki (and other Algonkin): mkison moccasin through ellipse.

mootchiman ear; in Algonkin dialects tawa is ear and therefore Latham is mistaken in comparing Micmac mootooween, Abnaki

mootawee (my ear).

muddy, mudti, bad dirty; could possibly be the transformed Ottawa

and Massach. word matche, /315/ Mohican matchit, Odjibwe

mudji bad, quoted by Latham. Ashmudyim devil is a derivative

of muddy.

noduera to hear is probably the Micmac noodak I hear (him).

woas-seesh girl is a derivative of woas-sut woman, and therefore

affinity with the Naskapi squashish girl through aphaeresis is not probable, sehquow (s'kwa) being woman in that language. In the Micmac, epit is woman, epita-ish girl.

The lists which yielded the above Algonkin terms are contained in: A. Gallatin's Synopsis, Archaeologia Americana, Vol. II, (1836); in Collections of Massachusetts Histor. Society, I series, for 1799, where long vocabularies of Micmac, Mountaineer and Naskapi were published; in Rev. Silas T. Rand's First Reading Book in the Micmac Language, Halifax, 1875, 16mo.; also in Abnaki (Benekee) and Micmac lists sent to me by R.G. Latham and evidently taken with respect to existing Beothuk lists, for in both are mentioned the same special terms, as drawing knife, capelan [caplin], Indian cup, deer's horns, ticklas, etc. W.E. Cormack or his attendants probably took all these three vocabularies during the same year.

In order to obtain a correct and unprejudiced idea of our comparative Beothuk-Algonkin lists, we have to remember that the Red Indians always kept up friendly intercourse and trade with the Naskapi or Mountaineer Indians of Labrador, and that during the first half of the eighteenth century, when Micmacs had settled upon Newfoundland, they were, according to a passage of Jukes' Excursions, the friends of the Beothuk also. During that period the Beothuk could therefore adopt Algonkin terms into their language to some extent and such terms we would expect to be chiefly the words for tools, implements and merchandize [merchandise], since these were the most likely to become articles of intertribal exchange. Thus we find in list No. 1 terms like hammer and ochre, in list No. 2 bread, moccasin, and dog. We are informed that the Beothuk kept no dogs, and when they became acquainted with these animals, they borrowed their name from the tribe in whose possession they saw them first. The term mamoodthuk dog is, however, of the same root as mamishet, mamset alive, which we find again in Micmac,(189) and it is puzzling that the Beothuk should have had no word of their own for alive. Exactly the same remark may be applied to wobee white and the suffixes -eesh and -ook, all of which recur in Algonkin languages. Concerning shebon river, we recall the fact that the Dutch originally had a German word for river, but exchanged it for the French riviere; also, that the French adopted la crique from the English creek, just as they have formed bebe from English baby. The term for devil could easily be borrowed from an alien people, for deity names travel from land to land as easily as do the religious ideas themselves. The majority of these disputed terms come from Nancy, who had more opportunity to see Micmacs in St. John's than Mary March.

In our comparative list No. 2 most of the terms do not rest upon radical affinity, but merely on apparent or imaginary resemblance. In publishing his comparative list, Mr. Latham did not at all pretend to prove by it the affinity of Beothuk to Algonkin dialects; for he distinctly states (p. 453): "that it was akin to the (languages of the) ordinary American Indians rather than to the Eskimo; further investigation showing that, of /316/ the ordinary American languages, it was Algonkin rather than aught else." In fact, no real affinity is traceable except in dog, bad and moccasin, and even here the unreliable orthography of the words preserved leaves the matter enveloped in uncertainty.

The suffix -eesh and the plurals in -ook are perhaps the strongest arguments that can be brought forward for Algonkin affinity of Beothuk, but compared to the overwhelming bulk of words entirely differing this cannot prove anything. In going over the Beothuk list in 1882 with a clergyman thoroughly conversant with Ojibwe, Rev. Ignatius Tomazin, then of Red Lake, Minnesota, he was unable to find any term in Ojibwe corresponding, except wobee white, and if gigarimamet, net, stood for fishnet, gigo was the Ojibwe term for fish.

The facts which most strongly militate against an assumed kinship of Beothuk with Algonkin dialects are as follows:

(1) The phonetic system of both differs largely; Beothuk lacks f and probably v, while l is scarce; in Micmac and the majority of Algonkin dialects th, r, dr and l are wanting, but occur in Beothuk.

(2) The objective case exists in Beothuk, but none of the Algonkin dialects has another oblique case except the locative.

(3) The numerals differ entirely in both, which would not be the case if there was the least affinity between the two.

(4) The terms for the parts of the human and animal body, for colors (except white), for animals and plants, for natural phenomena, or the celestial bodies and other objects of nature, as well as the radicals of adjectives and verbs differ completely.

When we add all this to the great discrepancy in ethnologic particulars, as canoes, dress, implements, manners and customs, we come to the conclusion that the Red Indians of Newfoundland must have been a race distinct from the races on the mainland shores surrounding them on the North and West. Their language I do not hesitate, after a long study of its precarious and unreliable remnants, to regard as belonging to a separate linguistic family, clearly distinct from Inuit, Tinne, Iroquois and Algonkin. Once a refugee from some part of the mainland of North America, the Beothuk tribe may have lived for centuries isolated upon Newfoundland, sustaining itself by fishing and the chase.(190) When we look around upon the surface of the globe for parallels of linguistic families relegated to insular homes, we find the Elu upon the Island of Ceylon in the Indian Ocean, and the extinct Tasmanian upon Tasmania Island, widely distant from Australia. The Harafuru or Alfuru languages of New Guinea and vicinity, are spoken upon islands only. Almost wholly confined to islands are the nationalities speaking Malayan, Aino, Celtic, Haida and Ale-ut dialects; only a narrow strip of territory now shows from which portion of the mainland they may have crossed over the main to their present abodes.


Third Paper by Albert S. Gatschet.

(Read before the American Philosophical Society, Jan. 3, 1890.)

Among the three vocabularies which I have recently had the good fortune of receiving, there is one just as old as the century, and another comes from an aged person who has actually heard words of the language pronounced by a Beothuk Indian. I take pleasure in placing these lists before the Society, together with a number of new ethnographic facts gathered in the old haunts of the extinct race, which will prove to be of scientific value.

The Jure Vocabulary.

While engaged in surveying the Bay of Exploits during the summer months of 1886, Mr. Howley became acquainted with Mrs. Jure, then about seventy-five years old, who once had been the fellow-servant of Shanawdithit, or Nancy, at Mr. John Peyton's, whose widow died about the close of the year 1885. Mrs. Jure was, in spite of her age, hale and sound in body and mind, and remembered with accuracy all the little peculiarities of Shanawdithit, familiarly called "Nance." Many terms of Beothuk learned from Nance she remembered well, and at times was complimented by Nance for the purity of her pronunciation; many other terms were forgotten owing to the great lapse of time since 1829. Mr. Howley produced his vocabularies and made her repeat and pronounce such words in it as she could remember. Thus he succeeded in correcting some of the words recorded by Leigh and Cormack, and also to acquire a few new ones. He satisfied himself that Mrs. Jure's pronunciation must be the correct one, as it came directly from Shanawdithit, and that its phonetics are extremely easy, much more so than those of Micmac, having none of the nasal drawl of the latter dialect. She also pronounced several Micmac words exactly as Micmacs pronounce them, and in several instances corrected Mr. Howley as to the mistranslation of some Beothuk words. The twenty-three words which Mr. Howley has obtained from this aged woman embody nine new ones; this enabled me to add in parentheses their true pronunciation and wording in my scientific alphabet.

The Clinch Vocabulary.

A vocabulary of Beothuk has just come to light, which appears to be, if not more valuable, at least older than the ones investigated by me heretofore. It contains one hundred and twelve terms of the language, many of them new to us. It was obtained, as stated, by the Rev. John Clinch, a minister of the Church of England, and a man of high education, /318/ stationed as Parish priest at Trinity, in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. The original is contained in the Record Book, preserved in the office of Justice Pinsent, D.C.L., of the Supreme Court at Harbour Grace, and it has been printed in the Harbour Grace Standard and Conception Bay Advertiser, of Wednesday, May 2, 1888, some biographic and other notes being added to it in the number of May 12th.

Among these the following will give us a clearer insight into the question of authenticity of Clinch's vocabulary. John Clinch was born in Gloucestershire, England, and in early youth studied medicine under a practitioner at Cirencester, where he became a fellow of Dr. Jenner, who discovered the celebrated specific against small-pox. In those times, no law compelled a man to undergo examination for diplomas; so Clinch migrated to Bonavista, Newfoundland, and established himself there in 1775 as a physician, but in 1783 removed to Trinity. Besides his practice, he conducted services in church, was ordained deacon and priest in London, in 1787, then worked over thirty years at Trinity in his sacred calling, until his death, which must have occurred about 1827. He has the merit of introducing vaccination upon that island, and there are people living now who were vaccinated by him. He was also appointed to judicial charges.

Simultaneously with Mr. Clinch, a Beothuk Indian stayed in that town, known as John August. Tradition states that he was taken from his mother when a child and brought up by a colonist, Jeffrey G. Street. He then remained in Street's house as an intelligent and faithful servant, and when arrived at manhood was entrusted with the command of a fishing smack manned by whites. Frequently he obtained leave to go into the country, where he probably communicated with his tribe. The parish register of Trinity records his interment there on October 29, 1788.

As there is no other Beothuk Indian known to have resided among white people of Newfoundland at that time, it is generally supposed that Mr. Clinch, who lived there since 1783, obtained his collection from none else but from John August. The selection of words differs greatly from that in Leigh's Vocabulary, but the identity of a few terms, which are quite specific, as hiccups, shaking hands, warming yourself, induces Mr. Howley to believe that he, Leigh, had Clinch's Vocabulary before him. One item in Clinch's list, "Ou-bee: her own name," seems to indicate that it was obtained from a female. Indeed, in 1803, a Beothuk woman was captured, presented to Governor Gambier, and subsequently sent back to her tribe. Mrs. Edith Blake, in her article, "The Beothuks," gives a description of her and of her presence at a social meeting at the Governor's house, St. John's.(191)

I have obtained a copy of the printed vocabulary through Mr. Howley. It was full of typographic errors, and these were corrected by him with the aid of a copy made of the original at Trinity by Mrs. Edith Blake, who took the greatest pains to secure accuracy. The Record Book states that Rev. Clinch obtained the vocabulary in Governor Waldegraves' time,(192) /319/ and the volume which contains it embodies documents of the year 1800; this date would form an argument against the supposition, that it was obtained from the female captured in 1803. Below I have reproduced all the terms of this vocabulary, as it surpasses all the others in priority, though perhaps not in accuracy. The words are all syllabicated, but none of them show accentuation marks; I have printed most of them in their syllabicated form.

Capt. Robinson has consulted and partly copied the Clinch vocabulary, as will be readily seen by a comparison of the terms in both.

The three Vocabularies combined.


CM. -- The W.E. Cormack vocabulary, from a Montreal copy of the manuscript.

J. -- The Jure vocabulary.

No letter. -- The Clinch vocabulary.

Words in parentheses contain the transcription of vocables into my scientific alphabet.

Abenick gaping, CM.

Abideeshook domestic cat, CM.

Abus-thib-e kneeling.

Adayook eight; ee-adajook eighteen, CM.

Adi-ab wood.

Adjieich two; ee-ajike twelve, adjeich atho-onut twenty-two, CM.

Adothe or odeothyke boat, vessel, CM.

Agamet buttons and money, CM.

Ah-wadgebick, awadgebick (awadshibik) middle finger, J.

Amshut or yamyess get up, CM.; cf. kinnup.

Anaduck sore throat, CM.

Arrobauth blood; ashabooutte or iggobauth (for izzobauth) blood, CM.

Atho-onut twenty; adjeich atho-onut twenty-two, CM.

Bashedtheek six; ee-beshedtheek sixteen, CM.

Bay-sot, bazot, besot, besut, to walk J.

Beathook Red Indian, CM.

Beteok good night, CM.

Boas-seek blunt, CM.

Bobodish sea pigeon, J.; bobbidish pigeon, black guillemot, CM.

Boddebmoot woman's bosom, CM.

Boo-it, buit (bu-it), thumb, J.

Boshoodik or boshwadit to bite, CM.

Botonet-onthermayet teeth, CM. (onthermayet alone means teeth; cf. below).

Buggishaman man, J.; bukashman or bookshimon man, CM.; pushaman, man.

Buggishamish boy, J.; bugasmeesh white boy, CM.

Chee-a-shit, groaning; cheasit, CM.

Chee-thing a walking stick.

Cobthun-eesamut January, CM.

Co-ga-de-alla leg.

Coosh lip.

Corrasoob sorrow; snow (snow, by confounding it with kausussa- book?).

Cowasazeek July, CM.

Cusebee louse; casebeet, CM.

Cush nails.

Dabseek four; ee-dabseek fourteen CM.

Deshudodoick to blow, CM.

Deu-is sun or moon (doubtful).

Dis-up fishing line.

Dogemat or ashoog-ing (Howley: ash-vog-ing) arrow, CM.

Drummet (drumt) hair, J.; don-na (Clinch).

Ebauthoo water; ebanthoo, CM.

Eemommoos, immawmoose (imamus) woman, J.

Eemommooset, immomooset (imamuset) girl, J.

Eewo-in, ewoin (iwo-in) knife, J.; yew-oin a knife.

Ejeedoweshin, edgedoweshin (edshidoweshin) fowl, J.

Ejibidinish silk handkerchief, CM.

Emeethook dogwood, CM.

Ersh-bauth catching fish.

Euano go out, CM.

Eve-nau feathers.

Gei-je-bursut; see moosin.

Giggaremanet net, CM.

Giwashuwet bear, CM.

Gosset stockings; gasaek, CM.

Gothieget ticklas, CM.

Goun chin, CM.

Gun or guen nose, CM.

Hadda-bothy body.

Hadibiet glass, CM.

Hados-do ding sitting.

Hanamait spoon.

Han-nan a spear; first letter uncertain.

Ha-the-may a bow.

Hedy-yan stooping.

Hods-mishit knee.

Hod-thoo to shoot.

Hod-witch fool.

Hurreen and huz-seen a gun.

Huzza-gan rowing.

Ii-be-ath yawning.

Io-ush-zath stars (doubtful).

/320/ Is-shu, izhu, ishu (izhu), make haste, J.

Ite-ween thigh.

Jib-e-thun (or, iib-e-thun) a trap or gin.

Jigganisut gooseberry, CM.

Yamyess; see amshut.

Yaseek one; ee-yagiesk eleven, CM.

Yeothoduck nine; ee-yeothoduck nineteen, CM.

Yew-one wild goose.

Yew-why dirt.

Keathut; gorathun (obj. case) head, CM.; he-aw-thou head, ke-aw- thon your head.

Kess-yet a flea.

King-able standing.

Kinnup, kinup, get up, J.

Koo-rae lighting; fire.

Koothabonong-bewajowite February, CM.

Kuis; mangaronish sun, CM.; kuis watch, CM.

Kuis and washewnishite moon, CM.

Mady-u-a leaves.

Magorum deer's horns, CM.

Mamasheek islands, CM.

Mamegemethin shoulders, CM.; momezabethon shoulder.

Mam-isutt alive, CM.

Mammadronitan lord bird(193), CM.

Mammasamit dog, J. (mammasavit is incorrect); mammasareet, mamoosernit dog, CM. (reet false for mit).

Mamooseemich puppy, CM.

Manarooit, blanket, CM.

Mangaronish; see kuis.

Manjebathook beard (on page 305; bread, which is probably false; see annawhadya), CM.

Mau-the-au-thaw crying; cf. su-au-thou.

Memajet anus, CM. (false for arms).

Memet hand, CM,; memen (obj. case) hands and fingers; meman momasthus shaking hands.

Me-ma-za tongue.

Menome dogberries.

Me-roo-pish twine, thread.

Mi-a-woth flying; meaoth flying, CM.

Midy-u-theu sneezing.

Mis-muth ear.

Mithie coal.

Moadamutt to boil, as dinner, CM.

Mom-au a seal.

Mome-augh eyebrow.

Moocus elbow.

Moosin and gei-je-bursut ankle, CM.

Mowgeenuck, mougenuk (maudshinuk) iron, J.; mowageene iron.

Mud-ty bad (dirty); mudeet bad (of character).

Mudy-rau hiccups.

Musha-a-bauth oakum or tow.

Nethabete cattle, CM.

Nine knife, CM. (false for u-ine, yewoin).

Nine jeck five; ee-ninezeek fifteen, CM.

No-mash-nush scalping.

Now-aut hatchet.

Obodish, obbodish, cat, J.; obditch a beast; cf. abideeshook.

Obosheen warming yourself.

Obseedeek gloves, CM.

Odasweet-eeshamut December, CM.

Od-au-sot rolling.

Oddesamick, odd-essamick (odesamik), little finger, J.

Odemet ochre, CM. (ochre mixed with oil, emet, Howley).

Onnus (ones) forefinger, index, J.

Oodzook seven; ee-oodyook seventeen, CM.

Oregreen (?) scissors, CM.

Oreru ice, CM.; cf. ozeru.

Osavate rowing, CM.

Osweet (oswit) deer, J.; osweet, CM.

Ou-bee (nom. pr. fem.) "her own name."(194)

Ou-gen stone.

Ou-ner-mish a little bird (species of?).

Outhermay teeth.

Ow-the-je-arra-thunum to shoot an arrow perpendicularly.

Pa-pa de aden a fork.

Pau-shee birch rind; paper.

Peatha fur, hair of beast.

Pedth-ae rain.

Pe-to-tho-risk thunder.

Pig-a-thee a scab.

Pis-au-wau lying.

Podibeac oar, CM.; poodybe-ac an oar.

Poopusraut fish.

Poorth thumb; cf. boad.

Popa-dish a large bird (species of?).

Posson the back.

Poss-thee smoke; cf. baasdic.

Pug-a-thuse beating; pug-a-tho throwing.

Pug-a-zoa eating.

Pug-e-non to break a stick.

Puth-u-auth sleep.

Shabathooret trap, CM.

Shamye currants.

Shansee ten, CM.

Shaub-ab-un-o I have to throw your trap.

Shau-da-me partridge berries.

Shebohowit; sheebuint woodpecker, CM.

She-both kissing.

Shedbasing upper arm, CM.

She-ga-me to blow the nose; shegamik, CM.

Shemabogosthuc muskito (black fly), CM.

Shendeek (or sheudeek?) three; ee-shaedeck thirteen, CM.

Shisth grass.

Shucodimit Indian cup, CM.

Sou-sot spruce rind.

Stiocena thumb, CM.

Su-au-thou singing.

Su-gu-mith birds' excrement.

Susut fowl, partridge.

Tapaithook canoe, CM.; cf. thub-a-thew.

Tedesheet neck.

The-oun the chin; cf. goun.

Thub-a-thew boat or canoe.

/321/ Thub-wed gie dancing.

Tis eu-thun wind.

Traw-na-soo spruce.

Tus-mug pin; tus-mus needle.

Tu-wid-yie swimming.

Waine hoop, CM.

Washeu night, darkness, CM.

Wasumaw-eeseek April, June, September, CM.

Washewnishite; see kuis and washeu.

Weshemesh herring, CM.

Who-ish-me laughing.

Widdun (widun or widan), asleep; also euphemistically for dead.

Woodrut fire, CM.

Wothamashet running, CM.; wothamashee running.

Wooth-yan walking.

Wyabick (wayabik) ring-finger, J.

Zatrook husband, CM.

Zosweet partridge (willow grouse), CM. (same word as susut).

Remarks on Single Terms.

The ending -bauth occurs so frequently that we may have to consider it as a suffix used in the derivation of substantives; thus we have, e.g., izzo-bauth blood, arsh-bauth catching fish, mushabauth oakum, tow.

emmamoose woman, emamoset child, girl, resemble strongly the following Algonkin terms: amemens child in Lenape (Barton), amosens daughter in Virginian (Strachey, Vocab., p. 183).

Ama'ma is mother in the Greenland Inuit.

The sound l occurs but four times in the words which have come to our notice: adolthtek, lathun, messiliget-hook, nadalahet. In view of the negligent handwriting in which all of these vocabularies have reached us, it is permitted to doubt its existence in the language.

menome dogberries is a derivative of manus berries.

mamoose whortle berries, Rob., is perhaps misspelt for manoose.

Cf. min grain, fruit, berry, in all Eastern Algonkin dialects.

ozeru, ozrook, ice; E. Petitot renders the Montagnais (Tinne) ezoge by "gelee blanche" (frost), t'en-zure by "glace vive." The resemblance with the Beothuck word seems only fortuitous.

poopusraut fish is identical with bobboosoret codfish (or bacalaos, Mscr.).

pug-a-zoa eating; the latter probably misspelt for beating.

stioeena thumb, CM., is misspelling of itweena, which means thigh, not thumb.

The new ethnologic and linguistic facts embodied in this "Third Article" do not alter in the least the general results which I deduced from my two previous articles and specified in Proceedings of 1886, pp. 226 to 428. On the contrary, they corroborate them intrinsically and would almost by themselves be sufficient to prove that the Beothuck race and the language were entirely sui generis. By the list contained in this "Third Article" the number of Beothuck vocables known to us is brought up to four hundred and eighty, which is much more than we know of the majority of other American languages and dialects.

The violent hatred and contempt which the Beothucks nourished against all the races in their vicinity seems to testify by itself to a radical difference between these and the Algonkin tribes. The fact that we know of no other homes of the Beothuck people than Newfoundland, does not entitle us to conjecture, that they were once driven from the mainland opposite and settled as refugees upon the shores of that vast island. It is more /322/ probable that this race anciently inhabited a part of the mainland simultaneously with the island, which would presuppose that the Beothucks were then more populous than in the historic period. Numerous causes may account for the fact that we do not notice them elsewhere since the beginning of the sixteenth century: fragmentary condition of our historic knowledge, rigorous colds, epidemics, want of game, famine, infanticide, may be [maybe] wars among themselves or with strangers. Some of these potent factors may have cooperated in extinguishing the Beothucks of the mainland from whom the island Beothucks must have once descended -- while the tribes settled upon Newfoundland may have increased and prospered, owing to a more genial climate and other physical agencies.

Lloyd's papers.

Mr. T.G.B. Lloyd, C.E., F.G.S., M.A.I., read a couple of papers on the subject of the Red Indians of Newfoundland, in 1873-4, before the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain.

The first of these papers gives merely a cursory review of the historical references, already fully dealt with. He quotes Cartwright's journal in full and makes that narrative the basis of his observations. Only a few remarks of his are worth recording.

Lloyd says, "Peyton confirms the statement of the Indians not having dogs, and also states they did not use narcotics."

During a short stay at Labrador last fall (1873) he was informed that about half a century ago a tribe of Red Indians was living near Battle Harbour, opposite Belle Isle, which committed depredations on the fishermen. A story is told of the Indians having on one occasion cut off the heads of two white children which they stuck on poles, but he adds Cartwright makes no mention of them in his journal of a residence of nearly sixteen years on the coast of Labrador, published in 1792, in which he speaks of Battle Harbour.(195) Peyton says the two small images found in Mary March's coffin by Cormack, were so placed along with several other articles she took a fancy to while in St. John's, by Buchan's people. Peyton also said the dress of the Indians consisted of two dressed deer skins, which were thrown over their shoulders. Sometimes they wore sleeves of the same material, but never anything else as a covering. On their feet they wore rough moccasins of deer skins (probably made from the shanks as do the Micmacs).

Their eyes were black and piercing. Men and women wore their black hair long. Their complexion was lighter than the Micmacs, and resembled that of Spaniards etc.

Stone pipes are said to have been found at their camping places, but Peyton is very positive they did not use narcotics of any kind.

Two half breed hunters who are supposed to be the last who saw the Red Indians, believe the remnant left the country and crossed the Straits of Belle Isle to Labrador.

/323/ John Lewis, a Mohawk Metis, who could speak several Indian dialects, informed Mr. Curtis that the Beothuck language was unknown amongst the Canadian tribes.

Lloyd's second paper treats mainly of their stone, bone and other implements found by himself in the course of a cruise around the island. He says, "These implements belong to the class known as surface implements." Numerous discoveries of chisels, gouge-shaped implements, stone pots, spear heads, etc., have been made in various parts of the island. The localities at present known, are comprised in the following list. Starting from St. John's and passing round the island north and west, they will be met with in the following order; -- at Fox Harbour Random Sound Trinity Bay, in Bonavista Bay, Funk Island, Twillingate Island, Bay of Exploits, Notre Dame Bay; Fogo Island; Granby Island and Sop Island White Bay; Conche, Howe Harbour, Hare Bay Bonne Bay, Mouth of Flat Bay Brook Bay St. George; Codroy River, Burgeo Islands; Long Island and Ragged Islands, Placentia Bay. To which may now be added, The River Head of St. John's itself, Collinet River in Peninsula of Avalon, the Beaches and Gambo Bonavista Bay, at Comfort Head, Swan Island, Yellow Fox Id. and other places in the Bay of Exploits. At Sunday Cove Island, Hall's Bay, Long Island, Pilley's Island, Middle and Western Arms, Rouge Har. South West Arm, Indian Burying place in Notre Dame Bay, Fleur de Lis,(196) La Scie, etc. At Cony and Cat Arms White Bay. At Pistolet Bay on the Northern extremity of Newfoundland, and on the west side of the Island, at Port au Choix, Cow Head, and other places. In the interior, at Grand Lake, Sandy Lake, Red Indian Lake etc.

It is worthy of remark that most of the above localities are situated on the sea coast. Mr. Lloyd then describes two localities where he discovered these implements, viz., at Sop Island and at Conche; in both cases they were covered by vegetable mould for a depth of a few inches. He found numerous small arrow heads and gouge shaped tools, broken fragments of pots and an immense number of chips and flakes. The ground had the appearance of having been burnt. Fragments of small bones of birds, also burnt, were mixed up with these implements, or arranged in small groups. They were the "Kitchen middens" of the Beothucks. At Conche, the implements were found at a depth of about 18 inches below the surface, and mixed up with them were some fragments of human skeletons, and seal bones all so much decayed as to crumble to pieces when handled. Drinking cups of soapstone, broken and entire, together with a stone knife about 18 inches long had been found here previous to Lloyd's visit.

Lloyd's description of the implements he found.

"These may be conveniently divided into nine classes, 1st. axe and chisel shaped tools, 2nd. gouge shaped tools, 3rd. broken stone pots, 4th. sinkers, 5th. spear and arrow heads, 6th. scrapers or planes, 7th. fish /324/ hooks, 8th. objects in the course of manufacture, 9th. whetstones, rubbing stones, and other miscellaneous articles.

"No. 1. These implements are made of rough pieces of stone by the simple process of rubbing down one end to a chisel shaped edge. Here he figures two of these, one of which was said to have been taken from a Red Indian wigwam in the year 1810. The man who got possession of it, said it fell from the hands of an Indian, who was apparently occupied in skinning or cutting up some animal, as it was covered with blood. None of these tools show any indication of having been mounted in handles.

"No. 2. These also appear to have been manufactured from any suitable shaped pieces of stone which came to hand. Some of these are made of chert, and are highly finished. All the articles belonging to class 1 & 2 shew marks of fracture on their bevelled edges.

"No. 3. A comparison of the fragments of stone vessels indicates that the larger ones, when whole, were from eight to nine inches in length and breadth, and about 4 or 5 inches in height, with a depth inside of some three inches or thereabouts. The material of which these vessels are composed, is impure steatite (serpentine or potstone). Mr. Lloyd thinks some of these vessels may have been used as lamps, from the fact of their having small holes bored through the sides for suspending them.

"No. 4. These sinkers were egg shaped pieces of soapstone. Mr. Lloyd describes one from the Indian burying place, which he thinks must have been used as a hook. It is a small oval shaped piece of soapstone 1 1/4 inches long, pointed at the lower end. It has two shallow grooves, one horizontal the other vertical, for the attachment of a line. On one side of the object there is a barbed-shaped projection which suggests the idea of a combination of sinker and hook for catching small fish.

"No. 5. Mr. John Evans, in his standard work on Stone Implements, places the javelins and arrow heads under the same heading, and remarks on the difficulty of distinguishing the one class from the other. Taking Mr. Evans for my guide, I have divided the specimens into the following classes: (a) Stemmed arrow heads; (b) double barbed triangular Do.; (c) abnormal forms.

"Class (a) must have been from 5 to 6 inches long, and must have been a spear head.

"Class (b). In point of number and excellence of workmanship these form the most important group. The specimens belonging to it show a gradual diminution in length, from about 3 inches down to 5 sixteenths of an inch, they also differ in the relation of the length of the two sides to the base, thus giving to the more elongated forms a straighter contour than the shorter ones, the bases are all hollowed out, some more than others. The larger ones have a notch cut in them on either side, near their bases. The arrow heads were made of hornstone and quartzite, which appear to be excellent material for the purpose.

"Class (c). These specimens represent a broad flat implement of chert of a somewhat leaf shaped form. The base, above which are two notches, is slightly notched. They are finely serrated all around the edges. Another /325/ is of a triangular shape in outline, slightly hollowed out at base above which are two notches.

"Mr. Evans says of North American forms, p. 362, `The arrow heads with a notch at the base on either side, is a prevailing type in North America. The triangular form usually but little excavated at the base, is also common there. For the most part the chipping is but rough, as the material which is usually chert, hornstone, or even quartz does not readily lend itself to fine work. They were made of various sizes, the smaller for boys, and those for men varying in accordance with the purpose to which they were to be applied.'

"(6) is a group of the class of implements generally termed `scrapers' for which various uses have been suggested -- such as for scraping skins and planing wood, as also for the manufacture of articles of horn and bone, for fabricating arrow heads, knives of flint, and as strike-a-lights. Those from Newfoundland are more or less triangular. They vary in size from 2 inches to 1/2 an inch in length, usually made of hornstone or opaque quartz.

"(7) These peculiar shaped objects appeared to me to have been used as scrapers for rounding the shafts of arrows, but Mr. Franks suggested that they were points of fish hooks fastened into shafts of bone, which latter were bound round the end of a strip of wood. Such articles were used by the Eskimos.

"(8) These consist of cores of hornstone a number of flakes & chips with a quantity of raw materials of quartz hornstone etc.

"(9) Various articles, one of which, a thin piece of micaceous slate about 4 inches long and 3/8 of an inch broad near the middle, tapering towards both ends, thus showing four groups of small notches arranged on one side of the stone. At pretty nearly equal distances apart, the notches are all about the same length. Besides this, several awl shaped tools of hornstone, one of them showing marks of wear at the point, another partially serrated on one side. Similar boring implements of flint have been found in Denmark in company with scrapers and other tools, numerous rubbing stones and flat pieces of slate, apparently whetstones etc.

"Though possessing many characteristics belonging to many tribes of North American Indians, the Beothucks appear to differ from the others in certain peculiarities as follows.

"1 Lightness of complexion.

"2 The peculiar form of their canoes.

"3 The use of trenches in their wigwams for sleeping places.

"4 The custom of living in a state of isolation far from the White inhabitants of the island, and the persistent refusal to submit to any attempt to civilize them.

"5 Non domestication of the dog amongst them.

"6 The art of making pottery was unknown amongst them."

Mr. L thinks the chisel shaped tools were used for skinning seals and other animals, and the gouge shaped for removing the vellum off the skins, and that both kinds were of service in hollowing out the soft stone vessels.

/326/ The scrapers. These form a series of implements of the hardest kind of stone, and are characterised by a similarity of form and style of workmanship. They vary in size down to such as can be conveniently grasped between the thumb and fore finger. The planes of their working forces meet at angles which make them more suitable for abrasion, by a backward than a forward movement of the hand. He thinks these were used for the fashioning of arrow and spear shafts and heads amongst other purposes.

The branches of the great Algonkin nation, recent and modern, include the Aborigines of Montreal, the Chippeways, and Crees of the NW. of Canada, the Montagnards and the Nascuapees of Labrador, besides the Ottawas and the Abanakis. In short they embrace the whole of the Indian tribes extending from beyond the head of Lake Superior to the Atlantic coast, with the exception of the Eskimos.

Beothuck Implements found on Long Island,

Placentia Bay.

About the year 1875 (?) a Mr. Samuel Coffin cleared a small piece of ground at a place called Spencer's Cove at the northern end of Long Island, Placentia Bay. This place was uninhabited at that time, but had been frequently visited by the fishermen to procure firewood. Mr. Coffin in clearing the soil came across a number of Indian implements and other relics of the Beothucks. The late Alex. Murray, C.M.G., F.G.S., the then Director of the Geological Survey of this island, who evinced a great interest in the subject of the Red Indians, despatched Mr. Albert Bradshaw of Placentia to examine and report upon the find. The following is Mr. Bradshaw's report.

ST. JOHN'S, July 15th, 1876.

Alexander Murray Esqr. F.G.S.


In accordance with your request, and the instructions contained in a letter bearing date -- ? to visit and examine Spencer's Cove on the North east end of Long Island, I beg to state that I have complied with the request, and submit to you the following report, as the result of my investigation.

1st. The specimens obtained by me, were found at the height of five feet above high water mark, in a deposit of black clay formed of the debris of the camps of the Indians. There are from eight to twelve inches of this deposit resting upon a bed of brown clay and pebbles.

2nd. Above the deposit in which the specimens were found, there are from twelve to fifteen inches of peat, formed from decomposed wood, and other vegetable matter. Immediately under this, and resting on the aforementioned deposit there is a layer of red slate. Although there were found a few of the arrow heads etc. above the slate, the principal quantity was discovered beneath it.

I have not met with any trace of iron or iron rust, in any part of the ground. The iron axe found by Mr. Coffin on the clearing is of more recent date and has evidently been lost by some person engaged in cutting timber.

I have not met with any shells or organic remains in or below the superficial deposit; nor have I in any case met with charcoal except the burnt wood about the site of their fireplaces.

I do not think it probable that iron in any of its uses had been known to the tribe of Indians who inhabited the Island at that period, for had it been used by /327/ them, it would be impossible from the quantity of land now under cultivation there, not to have met with some trace of it. I found the remains of a pot formed of stone, which goes far to prove that they employed stone for all the uses, for which more recently, iron has been substituted.

Some fifty or sixty years ago this place was covered with a heavy growth of timber, and judging from traces not yet totally destroyed, I was enabled to ascertain that the growth was of a large size, as many of the stumps measured from fifteen to eighteen inches through.

I found very few traces of bones, and even those were very much decomposed, and I am led to conjecture from the position of them, that they were the bones of inferior animals, being above the deposit of black clay and immediately beneath the peat formation.

I am not of opinion that the place was at all used as a burying ground, as if such were the case, I should have met with traces of bones beneath the surface.

The place has evidently been only used as a summer resort and a sort of factory for making and repairing tools and implements of warfare, as the traces amply testify, there being a large quantity of shavings and chips of stone which plainly shows that the manufacturing of tools has been extensively carried on here.

Mr. Coffin, in turning up the soil previous to cultivation has met with numerous spear and arrow heads, gouges and stone axes, grinding or rubbing stones, all of which appear to have some defect, none being entirely perfect. Showing that when they left the place they took everything that might be of any service to them, and leaving only those that were of little or no importance. This in my opinion is proof positive that they left the island for some reason, with the intention of not returning to it again.

It is worthy of mention that the remains of the pot above referred to was found to be composed of steatite and is an importation, as there is no serpentine to be met within the neighborhood of Placentia Bay.(197)


Similar stone implement factories to that described by Mr. Bradshaw, occur at several other points on the coast as well as in the interior. Of this character are several of those mentioned in Lloyd's paper, notably those at the Beaches Bonavista Bay, at Conche, N.E. coast, at Cow Head west coast, and at Grand and Sandy lakes in the interior. At each of the above localities numerous flakes and fragments of chert and other material are scattered around, together with incomplete or spoiled tools, and pieces of the rock from which they were made. This latter consists usually of black chert, pale bluish hornstone (a variety of flint), smoky and other varieties of quartz or quartzite. It is from such material most of the arrow and spear heads, also the scrapers are made. Many of the larger tools, such as the gouges, chisels, or "celts," fleshers, etc., are made of a hard altered slate, called feldsite slate, characteristic of some of the older geologic periods in this island. Most of these materials were found in the near vicinity of those workshops, which was no doubt the reason of their being so situated. In the same way, the soapstone or steatite pot factories were located in localities where cliffs of that material exist. At a place on the N.E. coast called Fleur de Lis, where a cliff of this material occurs, numerous fragments of half finished or spoiled pots and other vessels have been met with, and in the cliff itself, are plainly /328/ to be seen the outlines of similar vessels in process of being manufactured (see Plate XXXII).

Of an entirely different character to these are the burying-places, where in connection with the human remains, are always found the finished implements of stone, and sometimes of iron, stolen from the fishermen and a great variety of bone ornaments, fragments of shells, broken glass bottles, bones of small mammals and birds, packages of red ochre, fire stones, of pyrites, and a host of other things, but scarcely ever any chips or flakes of stone as in the former.

One of these sepulchres at Swan Island, Bay of Exploits has already been described, another which was found at a place called Port au Choix on the West coast, yielded a great number of articles, of a somewhat different type from those usually found in their burial places. They consisted of, (1) Two lower jaw bones of human beings, both broken. One was evidently that of a very old individual, three of the molar teeth on the right side and one on the left side are absent, and in each case the cavities are filled up with porous bone. None of the teeth remained in this jaw, but the cavities of twelve are seen. The chin looks very massive. The second jaw appeared to have had all its teeth but only four jaw teeth remain, the rest having fallen out. There were also twelve loose teeth including one molar. Most of these appear to be in a good state of preservation, yet a few show signs of decay on the crowns. A peculiarity of all these teeth, and for that matter all the Red Indian teeth I have ever seen is the fact that in every instance they are worn down smooth and quite flat on the crown, like a ruminants. I can only account for this feature by supposing that the Beothucks, like the Eskimos, were in the habit of chewing their skin garments along the edges to soften them in the process of dressing and manufacturing them. To effect this end the Eskimos work their jaws sideways, and no doubt the friction tends to wear down the teeth. There were also amongst these relics, part of an upper jaw showing nasal cavities; the teeth were gone but seven spaces where they had been are visible, and one space is filled up with bone, as in the lower jaw referred to above.

There were three long narrow pointed teeth, slightly curved, apparently those of a dog or seal, and five broken pieces of beaver's teeth, three lower and two upper.

(2) Two bone spear sockets, small and slightly made, a good deal decayed. Two fragments of a deer's leg bone, apparently cut or scraped, and used for some purpose or another. A third fragment had a hole bored through, near the edge. Two other slightly curved pieces have grooves cut along the inner side lengthways, and one of them has a hole bored through, at about 1/3 of the length. The hole is oblique, and cut with square angles; it has a slight notch also cut in the outer edge about 1/3 from the other end. The second piece has no hole in it, but in the middle of the outer edge a slight notch is seen. A third smaller piece of bone has a chisel edge at one end. Still another piece is shaped like the small blade of a penknife with a slit like the barb of a fishhook near one end. A much larger piece of bone, evidently of a Whale, is nearly square and /329/ about four inches long, bevelled away at one end to a chisel edge, and apparently the same at the other end which is now decayed. These chisels were at right angles to each other. Two other pieces of bone somewhat similar to the last, have blunt chisel edges at one end, but taper away to points at the other; also a round piece about the same length slightly tapering at both ends, and another piece of the same shape but much slighter and only 1 1/8 inches long. A bone needle nine inches long, very slightly curved, one end pointed, the other a little flattened with an oblong eye hole drilled through it. The inner and outer sides of this needle are bevelled away to fairly sharp edges. A slight groove extends along either side on the central or higher part, reaching from the eye to the point. I imagine this needle may have been used for sewing together the birch bark or skins used for covering their canoes and mammateeks, as it is too large for the ordinary purposes of making garments, moccasins, etc.

One large and one small piece of bone, much decayed, look as though they had been used as sockets for spear heads.

There are three peculiarly shaped and much decomposed pieces of ivory, with small holes drilled through either end, and a deep groove cut along one side extending from one hole to the other, as if intended for a string to pass through the holes and rest in this groove. While the hole at the thinner end passes right through from side to side, that at the other and thicker end does not reach from side to side, but comes out on the thick base of the object. Two of those pieces are about the same size 1 3/4 inches long by about 1 1/2 wide. They are thin and leaf like in shape. The third is about the same length as the other two but is only 1/2 an inch wide. Two other small pieces of ivory have the holes drilled at the sides instead of the ends, and only one of them has the connecting groove. All the holes in those articles are square or oblong, none of them appear to have been bored round as would be the case had a drill-bow been used. Two other small thin pieces of bone about 1 1/2 inches long each, but of different shapes, comprise this lot. One is quite thin, has jogs cut on the edges, and a hole bored through one end; the other has a deep groove on one edge extending about half its length, and a slight notch on the other edge near the smaller end.

There are seven flat oblong pieces of bone or ivory of peculiar shape. One is 2 1/3 inches long, one 3 1/2 and one 4 inches by about an inch wide. Each has notches or projections on the thin edges. One has a single small hole another two holes close together, bored through at one end, and each has thin delicate straight lines marked on the sides near the ends, with slight grooves cut in line with the holes. They are slightly rounded on one side, which may be the natural shape of the bone. Two others of somewhat similar shape, one being considerably larger than the rest. Neither of these has any hole in it; the smaller one only has a slight straight line down the middle of one side, the larger no markings at all; both are notched on the outer edges.

There are three other somewhat similarly shaped pieces but of much smaller size, being from 1 1/4 to 2 inches long, and about 1/2 an inch wide. One of these has two holes drilled, in line, at one end; one being quite /330/ small, the other and inner one large. Two shorter pieces of almost the same form, have each a hole at one end, and all are scored with two, three and four light straight lines near the ends. Three small pieces of ivory having holes bored at both ends and a deep groove connecting them are notched or barbed on the outer edges, and have a slight slit cut into the narrower ends. This end is tapered away like the spear sockets. The holes at the base or thicker end are oblong. These are all too small to hold a spear or arrow head of any size, but may have been used as sockets for children's or toy arrows.

Four long narrow barbed pieces of bone evidently used for fish or bird spears. Two of them have but one shoulder on either side while the others have two shoulders or barbs. Three of them are grooved out at the base, and have narrow slits cut in them, but the fourth tapers away to a fine point. Each of these has a fairly large hole bored through near the centre. They were evidently attached by a string to a handle in the same manner as the larger seal spear.

There is but one other small piece of ivory about 1 3/4 inches long by 1/2 an inch in width, with a notch cut on one edge, and a deep groove on the other running about two-thirds of its length.

The stone implements found here consisted of 27 flakes chiefly of black or drab coloured chert, two being of a yellowish jasper. Several small thin pieces of dark coloured slate or serpentine greenish in colour, some veined with lighter shades of serpentine. All these latter are highly polished on both sides, and some have the edges bevelled away. There are two pieces of broken spear heads made of black and greenish chert. Seven well made chert arrow heads of the stemless hollowed base pattern. These are black and bluish green in colour, also three oblong pieces of thin slate, ground smooth on both sides, and round on the edges. There were a few small bones of animals or birds, much decomposed.

I have a strong suspicion that all these implements, etc., from this locality, may possibly be of Eskimo and not of Beothuck manufacture. The situation of Port au Choix near the lower entrance of the Strait of Belle Isle, and close to the most projecting headland (Point Riche) on that part of the Newfoundland coast, would be just such as to attract those coasting and fishing people. But the character of the implements themselves are very Eskimo like. The bird or fish spears are unlike any found elsewhere in Beothuck sepulchres; the long bone needle would be just such an article as might be used in sewing their skin "Kayacks." Many of the smaller bone and ivory articles, might be used as buttons or fasteners for skin dresses, others for stops such as are still to be seen attached to their lines, or fastened on to the edges of their Kayacks, etc. The complete absence of red ochre amongst these remains is also very noticeable.

Finding of Beothuck Skeletons.

The same Mr. Samuel Coffin, who discovered the implements on Long Island, Placentia Bay, afterwards removed to Rabbit's Arm, Notre Dame Bay. While residing here he was made aware of an Indian burying cave /331/ having been discovered on a small island in Pilley's Tickle not far distant. He proceeded there to investigate and succeeded in obtaining a most valuable and interesting lot of remains and relics which are now in our local museum.

From Mr. Coffin I obtained the following particulars of this find. These remains were removed from their resting place by myself in September 1886. They were buried in a sort of cave formed by a shelf of rock with a projecting cliff above, on an island called Burnt Island in Pilley's Tickle, under the following circumstances. Some berry pickers it appears were on the island, when one of the boys in searching about, stood upon the grave and his foot broke through the slight covering placed over the bodies. Tearing up the stones and dirt he found the body of a child or young person beneath with several articles laying around it. They carried away the head and a number of the trinkets, which Mr. Coffin purchased from them. He then paid a visit to the place himself, and carefully removing all the loose covering so as to get a full view of the remains he thus describes them.

The body was lying on its left side, enshrouded in a skin covering, (probably beaver skin but now destitute of fur) the flesh side turned out and smeared with red ochre. This shroud was arranged loosely covering all the body except the head. Inside it was clothed with a sort of skin pants covering the lower limbs, which was neatly sewn together, and fringed at sides with strips of skin cut into fine shreds. On the feet were moccasins also fringed round the top. The toes of these moccasins were not gathered in, in the usual way, but slightly turned up and sewn straight across so as to form a square front. Besides those covering the feet, there were a couple of extra pairs of the same pattern, with the other articles laying about. All these were very neatly sewn with fine stitches apparently of deer sinew. The outer robe was also fringed with finely cut skin down one side of the front and along the lower end of the garment. On the other side of the front were fastened several carved bone ornaments and a couple of birds feet (ducks or gulls), this appeared to be the outer side. All had been smeared with red ochre, traces of which were clearly visible. The body itself was enshrouded in its natural skin, now dried and shrunken and resembling Chamois leather, and was almost perfect. Only one hand and a couple of the cervical vertebrae were missing. The other hand, as well as the feet, was perfect, even the nails were well preserved. The legs were bent up so that the knees formed a right angle to the body with the feet bent back against the seat. The head was well shaped and contained twenty fully developed teeth, with four more at the inner side of the jaws which had apparently not yet broken through the gums. This would indicate a youth of some ten or twelve years of age. Accompanying the body and arranged around it were a number of articles consisting [of] a small wooden image of a male child, two small birch bark canoes, miniature bows and arrows, paddles, a couple of small packages of red ochre tied up neatly in birch bark, and a package of dried or smoked fish, salmon and trout, made up in a neat parcel of bark and fastened with a net-work of rootlets like a rude basket. There were no stone /332/ implements found with the boy's body, but about 14 or 15 feet away, on the same shelf of rock, the skull and leg bones of an adult, with several loose bones of other parts of a skeleton were accompanied by several well made spear and arrow heads of stone, a stone dish, and an iron axe with wooden handle, of old English or French pattern, and an iron knife set into a rough wooden handle, with a few other articles of iron much corroded by rust. There were also a number of drinking cups and other small vessels made of birch bark. Most of these were very neatly made and well sewn together with fine roots, presumably to keep them from splitting. All these articles withoout exception were reddened with ochre.

Over the remains was formed a canopy of arched sticks supporting a covering of birch bark, of large heavy sheets, some of them sewn together with roots. These latter were evidently taken from a broken or disused canoe, judging from the thickness of the bark, and the manner in which it was sewn. Over this covering of bark was laid a pile of loose fragments of stone and gravel to conceal the remains.

It has been conjectured that this child may have been the son of a chief or otherwise a person of some particular distinction amongst the tribe, if we may judge from the evident care bestowed upon his interment, and the careful if not loving manner in which the little fellow was supplied with everything requisite for his journey to the "Happy Hunting Grounds."

These relics afford an insight into many subjects hitherto open to some doubt. First they clearly attest a belief in a future state of existence. Then again, presuming that the small models of the canoes, paddles and other articles are correct in every particular, seeing these are the work of their own hands, they confirm beyond all question the peculiar shape of those vessels and implements.

I have an idea that the sharp "V" shaped bottom of the canoe was intended the better to navigate our rough boulder choked rivers, as the fact of their narrow form would enable them to slip between boulders where a wider bottomed boat could not pass. It has also been suggested that this shaped boat, when ballasted, would sail better in open water, the sharp bottom acting as a keel. In like manner the long narrow bladed paddle, with sharp point, so unlike any of the paddles of other Indian tribes, which are generally short and wide, and more or less round at the end, appears to me to have been intended to answer the double purpose of pole and paddle.

About the year 1888, a Mr. George Hodder of Twillingate, came across some Indian remains in a cave on Comfort Island, Bay of Exploits, which he secured, and which were purchased for the museum where they now are, one being an almost complete skeleton of an adult. Mr. Hodder gave me the following particulars of this find. He says, "there were three or four caves on the island where Indians had been buried, but most of the bones had become so decayed that he could only find one perfect skull. Some of the fragments of others were very much larger, than the one we sent you. We had one under jaw that measured an inch wider, and leg bones that measured 2 or 3 inches longer. I believe he says that some /333/ of these men must have been 7 or 8 feet in height. The skeleton you have was in a cave from fifteen to twenty feet in length. The Indian was buried in a sitting posture, with a grass rope under his seat going up over his head, which was covered with a deer skin. He was then covered with Birch rind, and the cave filled in with rocks. He had buried with him quite a lot of arrows, broken in two pieces, also quite a lot of beads and bone ornaments, a lot of birds heads, a piece of iron pyrites, etc."

This skeleton which stands about five feet eight inches, and probably when in the flesh was fully six feet tall, presents several characteristics worthy of note.

Had it not been for the absence of both feet, which are only represented by one or two of the small bones, metatarsus, and phalanges, the right hand, one of the patellae, or knee caps, and the lower portion of the breast bone, it would be complete. All the other parts are in a good state of preservation. The left arm and hand are intact, the hand being still attached to the wrist and forearm by the dried, shrivelled up sinews which connected them. The leg bones are long and strong looking, especially the femurs, which are over a foot and a half in length. The skull is large, particularly in the occipital region, cheek bones prominent, frontal angle rather low, with a deep depression in the forehead just above the base of the nasal organ. This latter is very peculiar, and if we can judge from what remains of the bridge, must have been considerably turned up at the end, or otherwise of this shape:

[Insert here drawing of shape of the skull in question]

The lower jaw is thick and massive, the teeth, what are left of them, are sound and all exhibit the worn down crown already referred to. Taken as a whole this skeleton does not impress one favourably as to the intelligence of the individual, the skull in particular seems to indicate the characteristics of a rather savage, if not brutal nature. In this respect it differs much from all the other skulls I have seen of the Beothucks, which, as a rule, are well formed, with good facial angles, indicative of a fair degree of intelligence and mild disposition. Yet the careful manner in which the individual was buried seems to point to a person of some consequence, probably a chief. This is further borne out by the fact that the bones are smeared with red ochre, which could only have been done long after all the flesh had decomposed and fallen away. Whatever significance this red colour had for them, it apparently was not confined to the living only, for here we have an instance of its being applied to the remains of the dead, long after all the flesh had disappeared.

Still another skeleton was obtained on an island near Rencontre, South coast of Newfoundland, as far back as 1847, by the Rev. Mr. Blackmore, rural dean of Conception Bay, who presented it together with an account of the finding, to the Museum of McGill University, Montreal. The particulars are contained in a paper read before the Royal Society of Canada, by the Rev. George Patterson, 1891, and are published in the Transactions of that Society for the same year.

/334/ As it is of considerable interest, I give it here in full. "They were (says Mr. Blackmore) found in the year 1847 on an island forming one of the lower Burgeo group, called `Rencontre.' This island is uninhabited and considerably elevated; difficult also of access in rough weather. It is in a great measure covered with broken fragments of rocks which have fallen from the heights. About half way up the mountain (if I may so term it), and in a hollow formed by a large piece of fallen rock, with every opening carefully closed by small pieces of broken rock, we found the bones of a human being wrapped closely round with birch rinds. On removing these rinds a quantity of gravel mixed with red ochre became visible, and on removing this we found oblong pieces of carved bone, together with flat circular stones, some glass beads, two iron hatchet heads, so rusty that we could pick them to pieces, a bone spear head (socket?) the handle of a knife with part of the blade still in it, also some flints designed for arrow heads. All these articles were together, and had been placed apparently under or just before the head of the individual buried -- all carefully enclosed in the rinds. The skull was that of a full grown male adult, with a very flat crown and large projection behind. The place of interment was singularly wild, high up in a cliff overlooking a little cove facing the open sea, and only accessible on this side in very smooth water. It was discovered by a boy while gathering brushwood. This boy seeing a piece of wood projecting from the rock, pulled at it to add to his store, and so loosened the smaller rocks and found the cavity with its contents. The head of this stick, which was about four inches in diameter, was ornamented. There were four fragments of sticks, and they must, I imagine, have formed a canopy over the body.

"From the implements here found, it is evident the burial took place after they had intercourse with the whites, but so early that they still dwelt upon the coast hunting the seal and other inhabitants of the deep, still using their old implements, and there also depositing their dead."

There is in our local museum a skull and right femur of another Indian, the finding of which antedates all the above, and which event has a rather romantic history attached to it. It was procured in 1834 by the late Hon. Dr. Winter, M.L.C., under the following circumstances, as related to him by Alex. Murray, C.M.G., F.G.S., Director of the Geological Survey, in 1875. Dr. Winter stated that at the time, 1834, he was practising his profession at Green's Pond, on the north side of Bonavista Bay. "He was called upon one day by a person who wanted a troublesome tooth extracted. The patient stated that he was convinced that his sufferings were attributable to the fact of his having been in possession of the tooth of a Red Indian who had been killed on the `Straight Shore,' and whose body lay buried in a spot which he described. The Doctor extracted the aching tooth, and undertook to restore the Indian's grinder to its original owner. He hoped in this way to obtain the skeleton of one of the extinct race; while at the same time, he quieted the superstitious fears of the patient. Accordingly he hired a boat and proceeded to the locality described. After considerable labour the grave was discovered, and in it he found the skull, a thigh bone, a shoulder blade and a few other /335/ smaller bones; but the remainder had been carried off by wolves or foxes. The skull was in a good state of preservation, except that the cheek bone and the lower part of the socket of one eye had been broken, evidently, in the Doctor's opinion, by shot. Mr. Murray states that his specimen is exactly in this condition, thus proving its identity. Underneath where the body had lain the doctor found a concave circular hole, lined with birch bark, about twenty inches in diameter, at the bottom of which were two pieces of iron pyrites.' He also found the shaft of a spear stained with red ochre. The skull was presented by the doctor to the St. John's Mechanics' Institute, in 1850, where it was kept till the contents of the Museum were dispersed, when it found its way to the Geological Museum, where it still remains.

"Dr. Winter mentions that the boatman who accompanied him to the Indian's grave, finding that he meant to bring away the remains refused to trust himself in the boat, declaring `that neither luck nor grace would follow such doings, as robbing the grave.' He had to row the boat back himself, and the fisherman walked twenty miles through marshes and bogs rather than undertake the perilous voyage in company with a skull. The doctor deserves much credit for his efforts to preserve these interesting relics. It is also satisfactory to know that his patient had no return of the tooth ache, the Indian's tooth having been restored to the rightful owner, and the troublesome grinder extracted."

This skull and femur are in an excellent state of preservation, and are not nearly so weathered or decayed as most of the others, from which circumstance I would infer that the individual to whom they belonged had not been long buried.

In many respects these relics differ considerably from the others in the museum. The skull, while undoubtedly that of an adult, as it possesses or did possess its full complement of teeth, is not nearly so massive. The frontal angle is good showing a fairly high but narrow forehead, much slighter maxilla, less heavy brow, without any pronounced depression such as that described in the larger skeleton. The nasal organ also would appear to have been well shaped. In fact a delicate almost elegantly shaped cranium, if such a term can be applied to that object. The femur also is much slighter and fully two inches shorter than any of the others. All these peculiarities lead me to the conclusion that this was the skeleton of a female. There is no vestige of red ochre about the bones, possibly, only those of the male sex were so treated. The teeth, as usual, are worn down on the crowns but not to such an extent, and they are very white and perfect, exhibiting no signs of decay. One would almost be inclined to think that these were not the remains of an Indian at all, yet the manner of burial, as described by Doctor Winter leaves no room for doubt on this point.

Numerous fragments of skulls and disconnected vertebrae or other portions of human skeletons have been found from time to time especially in and around the Great Bay of Notre Dame, but it is rare to find a perfect cranium much less a complete skeleton.


Implements and Ornaments of the Beothucks.

In the foregoing pages various references will be found to these by the different authorities quoted, but so far no attempt has been made to classify them properly. They comprise the usual stone tools, such as spear and arrow heads, axes, chisels, gouges, lances, knives, fleshers, scrapers, and a great variety of nondescript articles for which it is difficult to assign a use. There are a few steatite, (soapstone) pots, some egg shaped sinkers and a pipe of the same material. Nowhere has there been found any utensils or fragments of baked clay, and it appears quite certain that the Beothucks were not acquainted with the Ceramic Art. There is an abundance of material in the island suitable for such purpose, and had they a knowledge of pottery they would scarcely have gone to so much labour in cutting out, and shaping into bowls, dishes, etc., those clumsy steatite utensils found in their burial places.


This represents four very crude stone implements, so much so, as almost to make it a matter of doubt as to whether some of them were ever used by the Red men. Yet the fact that they were found in that part of the country most frequented by them, and the evident chipping, or rather spawling of the two first, though this may have been accidental, seems to imply that they were made use of, while the third shows no indication of having been prepared in any way, but is just a heart shaped fragment of a slate boulder with a fairly sharp cutting edge and blunt point. Nos. 1 and 3 are large and stout towards the wider end, and supposing them to have been held in the hand would thus afford a good grasp. These may have been merely rude fleshers picked up at random, and cast aside after being used. No. 1 however, seems just such an implement as might be applied to the chipping of the smaller tools, as it is made from a hard dark bluish slate, of a tough nature. No. 2 was undoubtedly chipped or spawled around the sides and shows marks of blows on the upper end, its lower, or cutting edge, is just the natural cleavage. No. 4 is a piece of flattish hard red slate, chipped or spawled, but its cutting end has been ground down to a blunt edge. It also exhibits the mark of blows at the upper end, where it is considerably bruised. Such a tool may have been used for cleaving wood or splitting marrow bones.


Some of the implements figured here are still of a rather rude character. Nos. 1, 5 and 6 are ground down at the lower end, but 2, 3 and 4 are only chipped. These latter are all thin pieces of a hard white-weathering slate showing lines of stratification. They are scarcely sharp enough to be used for any purpose other than as fleshers. No. 3 is the largest of those leaf shaped implements I have met with. It may have been used as a knife for cutting up meat, as well as for skinning an animal. No. 7 is also a thin piece of hard slate of about 1/2 an inch in thickness. It is of a uniform width throughout, the two edges being partially ground, while the lower end has a good, well ground cutting edge.

Nos. 8 and 9 may have been axes, but are so short and thick at the upper end, as to afford no chance of attaching a handle to them, there being no groove by which to fasten it, yet their shape certainly suggests the axe or tomahawk.

10, 11, and 12 are well made knives, ground down on both sides to fine cutting edges. 11 and 12 show both sides of the same implement, and the base is cut away to receive a handle which must have been attached by strong sinews or strips of deer skin and held in place by the grooved base, which was clearly made to receive the binding so as to keep the knife in place. As No. 10 is but a broken piece of a broad flat knife we can only conjecture that the base was grooved in a somewhat similar manner. Both are thickest along the central line and No. 11 shows a distinct ridge in the middle. Nos. 13 and 14 show the back and side view of a peculiar curved implement, made of a hard white-weathering chert. It is well chipped, but not ground in any way, and has a pretty good cutting edge on either side. The point is round, as shown in figure. It has evidently been broken off from a handle into which the lower and smaller end was inserted. I believe this implement had been used as a crooked knife, as it bears a resemblance to that in use amongst the Micmacs, only the latter is made of steel.



These are specimens of the well-known Celts, which appear to have been common to savage people all the world over. They are nearly always of the same pattern, and consist of long flattish pieces of hard slate rock or other material found suitable for the purpose. They are usually about 6 or 7 inches in length, narrow at one end, and ground away to a good cutting or chopping edge at the other and wider end. All these figured here were well made implements of a hard feldsitic slate well ground down and polished over most of the surface. Nos. 1 and 2 are very perfect specimens and do not appear to have been much used. I have seen a similar implement in the Smithsonian Museum at Washington, with a wooden handle attached by thongs of hide, in the form of an adze. It looked as though it had been used for dressing down sticks for spear handles, etc., and possibly for hollowing out wooden troughs. With the exception of 1, 2 and 3, the remainder are all broken fragments. Complete specimens of this form are not often met with. No. 3 is of softer material than the rest and is much weathered, especially along the cutting edge. 7 and 8 are reduced specimens, after Lloyd. No. 9 stone adze with wooden handle attached.


These are all gouge shaped implements. No. 1 is a beautifully made tool of hard slate perfectly grooved out, with a very sharp cutting edge, part of which has been broken away. The front or upper side is flat, but it is round on the back and is about 1 1/4 inches in thickness. Nos. 2 and 3 show the front and back view of another similar gouge. This is also beautifully made, especially the grooved end, which is highly polished and has a keen cutting edge. The front of this tool is also flat and the back is rounded. It is somewhat thicker than No. 1 or about 1 1/2 inches. Nos. 4, 5 and 8 are smaller types of the gouge, the groove only being well ground. Nos. 6 and 7 are but slightly hollowed at lower end and the edge is not so keen. They are both partly ground on the sides, but otherwise rather rough. They do not display anything like the workmanship of the first lot.

It has been variously conjectured by some that these implements were used in dressing skins, shaping spear handles, paddles, etc., while others maintain they were used to gouge out wooden or log boats, but I know of no instance where it is recorded that the Beothucks made dugouts. I imagine they were applied to one or both of the first mentioned uses. I have seen the Micmacs use a somewhat similarly shaped tool made of a deer's leg bone (femur), one end of which was cut away and bevelled to a sharp curved cutting edge, the hollow inside part of the bone taking the place of the groove in these stone implements. It was used for removing the vellum from the fleshy side of the deerskins in the following manner: A smooth round stick of perhaps three inches in diameter was driven into the ground, or jammed between boulders to keep it firm. It stood at an angle sufficient to bring its upper or free end about 3 feet above the ground. Over this the green skin was thrown, which hung down on either side. The operator then rubbed off the vellum by fitting the grooved bone over that part of the hide which rested along the stick, pressing his chest against the elevated end and forcing the tool downwards with both hands. They also use another tool, made of a deer's shin bone cut open lengthwise and sharpened along its whole length, except at the thick ends, which latter are held in both hands. This tool resembles a drawing knife or spokeshave, and is drawn towards the operator while the other is worked from him. The former is called "Seskadedagan," the latter "Gigegan."

Those with the small narrow grooves could scarcely have been applied to this purpose of dressing skins, and I think must have been used for fashioning poles or shafts for spear handles etc.


Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are or were all well made hunting spears or lance heads. No. 1 was a beautiful implement of hard red slate, perfectly shaped and ground down with great care. Along the centre of both sides where it is thickest is a distinct well-marked straight gable, as is also the case with No. 4. The outer edges are quite sharp, Nos. 2, 3, and 5 are more rounded in outline, with less pronounced central ridge or none at all. No. 24 is a reduced specimen after Lloyd, of a similar spear to No. 1. No. 4 is much smaller than the others. All have the tangs broken off, and with the exception of No. 5, the points also. No. 6 shows the front and side view of a very well made and polished tool which would appear to have been long and narrow throughout. If the outline of the absent parts be correct, it was evidently used as a drilling implement.

No. 7 is a long thin lance or possibly an arrow head. Nos. 8 and 9 are long spear-like implements of red slate well made and highly finished throughout. They seem to suggest a dagger or dirk, and were probably set in a handle. 10 is a lance or spear head. 11, a chipped arrow of hard feldsite slate, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 23 are not easily defined. They are rather large for arrow heads, yet small for spears. Some American authorities call similar tools, fishing spears.

16 is a rude flat chipped lance or spear head with notched base for fastening a handle by. 17, is a reduced leaf-shaped spear, after Lloyd. 18 and 19 are somewhat similar to 16 only much smaller, 19 shows two grooves on either side near the base. 22 is probably an arrow head, made of smoky quartz.



Some of the implements figured here are what is termed by American authorities, "turtle-backs." Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 15, 18, and 19 are all of this type, No. 4 being the most perfect specimen, showing the comparatively flat under, and peaked upper surface; what particular use they were put to is not easy to determine. That none of them could have been affixed to handles of any kind seems pretty evident. Possibly, they were used for skinning or fleshing animals, but they do not appear very suitable for such purpose and most of them are too small. All, with the exception of Nos. 7, 8, and 10 are made of black or dark coloured chert. 7 is greenish chert, while 8 and 10 are banded quartz.

Nos. 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, may have been used as spears as their shapes seem to imply.


This plate exhibits specimens of the different types of stone arrow heads used by the Beothucks. They are made from a variety of different materials, such as greenish slate, or horn-stone, black chert, red jasper, quartz, etc.

Some few are rather crudely made, but the majority are very perfect and show much fine and careful workmanship. Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are of the former class. From No. 7 to 24 represent those triangular shaped arrow points with slightly curved bases. These appear from their abundance to have been the most commonly used form. Some of them are very small, and it is a matter of doubt as to how they were fastened to the shaft. It is supposed by some authorities that they were set into a slit and merely kept in place by gum from the spruce trees, but if this were so they could not have had a very firm hold.

Nos. 32, 33, 34, are beautiful and delicately made specimens, ground down on all sides perfectly smooth with keen edges and sharp points. The base is also ground to a fine edge. The two last have the central line or peak perfectly straight on both sides. No. 44 is another, similar in every respect, except that the base is square across instead of being curved. 43 is rather clumsy for an arrow head and may have been a lance or fishing spear. Nos. 45 and 46 show an extra deep indentation at the base, a form not at all plentiful.

Nos. 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, and 55 all represent various types of triangular arrow heads with short tangs and deep notches on either side of the base for the purpose of fastening them securely to the shaft by means of sinew or fine strips of hide. These are what are termed stemmed arrows.

Both these latter and the two former (45 and 46) are exactly like some arrow heads I have seen figured in the Transactions of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Journal of Ireland, for Jan. and April 1888. Nos. 56 and 57, 64 and 66 being all broken at the base, we do not know whether they were notched or otherwise. Nos. 58, 59, 60, 61, and 62, are all of a larger size and somewhat different pattern, especially the two last, which are much wider at the base, and slightly curved, but both exhibiting the notches for fastening, etc. No. 65 being broken across the middle leaves it difficult to decide whether it was an arrow or spear head. It is made of dark coloured, translucent quartz (smoky quartz), and is beautifully and evenly chipped all over, with sharp slightly serrated edges. If a spear head, it must have been a very elegant one.

67 is also a quartz or quartzite tool, but is not nearly so well finished as the preceding.


Here we have a variety of nondescript articles with a few others that can be easily defined. Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12 are all either scrapers or graving implements. 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 are thin spawls of dark greenish chert, which have evidently either been fashioned as we see them or else selected on account of their exceedingly sharp edges. I imagine these may have been used in carving the bone ornaments, described in Plates XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII.

No. 8, the side view of which is like this

[Picture of item in question inserted here]

was probably used for boring the small holes in the bone, the point, now broken off, was evidently very fine and sharp. 12 is a piece of milky white quartz chipped and frayed at the edge. The smallness of these fragments suggests that they must have been held between the thumb and fore-finger when in use.

Nos. 13, 14, and 15, are thin pieces of slate quite smooth on both sides and ground on the edges. They were probably whetstones used for sharpening the smaller tools. No. 16 is a peculiar shaped piece of black chert, well chipped and having sharp edges. It looks like a sort of double pointed implement, but the extreme points are broken off. Possibly it was intended to be divided in two, and made into arrow heads. No. 17 shows two sides of a thin piece of whitish slate cut with some sharp implement, but not fashioned into any recognised [recognized] form. No. 18, also of dull whitish slate may have been intended for a lance head which was not completed. Nos. 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23 are flat pieces of serpentine; some of them are bevelled at the edges, and all are highly polished. As this kind of stone is too soft to be used other than for ornamentation, it is not easy to determine what they were. 22, with the notch at one side, does look as if it were intended for an arrow head.

/339/ Nos. 24, 25, 26, 27, and 28, are either plummets or sinkers and are all made of soapstone. The grooves at the top clearly indicate that they were attached to lines. No. 28 is reduced after Lloyd, and differs from the rest by having a sharp projecting point or barb at one side. Lloyd thinks this was used for fishing, as a hook.

No. 29 is a flat piece of whitish or drab slate with a broad bevelled edge at the base, where it is ground away from one side like a chisel. It has a cuneiform hole drilled through near this wide base. I have seen no other tool exactly resembling this figured anywhere. It may have been used as a knife, but the object of the hole is not apparent.

No. 30 is a beautifully made pipe of greenish serpentine. The bowl is octagonal shaped outside but perfectly circular inside. There is some doubt as to whether this can be really attributed to the Beothucks, especially as they are said not to have smoked. Again, it is so very fresh and unweathered, it looks as though it was quite recently made. The party who gave it to me, received it from a Micmac Indian, who picked it up near Pipestone Pond in the interior, and pronounced it to be of Red Indian manufacture. No. 31 may have been used as a hook, though a very clumsy one. It is a piece of fine grained reddish sandstone and looks as though it owed its peculiar shape to weathering or from being water worn.

No. 32 is a large sized scraper or perhaps knife with a fairly good cutting edge along the lower side. 33 is clearly a fragment of the basal part of a spear or lance head, made of black chert. No. 34 is a rather rudely made spear head of dull reddish porphyry. No. 35 are fragments of clay pipes of European manufacture, apparently French, for one section of a stem shows the Fleur de Lis with a Lion(?) Rampant, surmounted by a crown, Arms of Francis I of France(?). Whether the Boethucks [Beothucks] used these pipes, or only picked up the broken fragments near the French fishing establishments and looked upon them as curios cannot now be determined; at all events these fragments were found by myself in one of the Beothuck cemeteries. My own impression is, notwithstanding so many assertions to the contrary, that they really did smoke something, as most other Indians do. If not tobacco, which of course does not grow in Newfoundland, they, like the Micmacs, when short of that weed may have used Kinnikanick, i.e. the inner bark of the Red Willow (Redrod), or the root of the Michaelmas daisy dried. I have myself had occasion to resort to the former more than once, in order to eke out my scanty supply of tobacco. They may have at times, when on friendly terms with the French fishermen received both pipes and tobacco from them in barter.

The Beothucks certainly had a term for tobacco, "Nechwa," which is evidence that they must have been acquainted with the weed.(198) No. 36 is a tool of the gouge pattern, but having a very small groove. It was probably used for shaping and paring down arrow shafts. It is of a rather soft slate.

Nos. 37 and 38. Two spherical balls of limestone, probably used for gaming.


These are all rubbing stones. Nos. 1 and 2 are of fine grained sandstone. 1 being a reddish sandstone, 2, greenish gray. No. 3 is a hard close grained pinkish porphyry, and is worn quite smooth and polished on top and bottom. Nos. 4 and 5 are made of grayish grindstone, fairly hard and somewhat coarse grained. 6 and 7 are soft fine gray and greenish rock like a chlorite state. All exhibit well worn or rubbed down surfaces indicating that they were much used for sharping tools, etc.


These are all implements and other articles of bone. No. 1 is a long well made needle with an eye hole drilled through one end. It is from Port au Choix. Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are undefinable objects. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22 are mostly made of Ivory, evidently of Walrus tusk. What they were really intended for does not seem apparent; they may have been used in lieu of buttons for fastening their garments, etc.

Nos. 23 and 24 are barbed bone fishing or bird spears. I have seen one with the Micmacs of exactly the same pattern as 24, but made of iron.

Nos. 25, 26, 27, 28, and 28a are smaller types of the same. 25, 26, and 28a have deep notches cut in the base as if intended for inserting a handle or shaft. They also have holes drilled through them. It appears as though they must have been attached by a string to the handle or shaft, which in this case would probably be an arrow shaft, and when shot into a bird or fish would separate from the wood but still remain attached by the string, in a similar manner to the seal spear.

Nos. 29 and 29a were undoubtedly the bone sockets of small spears.

Nos. 30 and 31 were bone spears, also attached to the handles by a thong of hide.

No. 32 is a well-defined bone spear socket, such as was used for killing seals. The stone or iron point was set into a slot at the small end and then securely bound around the narrow neck by sinew /340/ or thong. The two holes were not drilled through, only about half way and are connected one with the other. This was where the string for attachment to the handle was tied. In the swallow tailed base is a fine groove for the point of the handle to be inserted. This implement was so constructed, that upon entering the body of a seal it became detached from the handle, but still held by the long cord which was carried up to, and over the end of the handle and thence back to where it was grasped in the hand. Another feature of its ingenious construction was, that owing to the cord being attached to the middle of the socket, as soon as it pierced the flesh of the animal, and a strain was put upon it by the effort to escape, the spear turned sideways across the aperture made in the skin and this prevented its withdrawing.

Nos. 33 to 43 are all pieces of bone of various shapes, 37, 38, and 39 have chisel-shaped points at one end. It is difficult to say what they were used for. 44 and 45 are two pieces of whalebone, partly cut but apparently not intended for use in their present form. 46 is a seal's tooth with a hole bored through one end. 47 and 48 probably buttons. All the remainder are only fragments of bone or ivory, except 50 which are two small and well formed disks of ivory.


No. 1 is a piece of bone cut round and smooth. It looks like European manufacture, and was probably a handle of some sort. Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5 are tusks of animals, the first three being those of a pig. 2 and 4 have small holes bored in them to receive a string. 5 looks like the tooth of a large seal.

Nos. 6 and 7 are pieces of a deer's horn partly cut or shaped for some unknown purpose. No. 8 gives two sides of a bone spear, one of which shows the slit cut into the base to receive the shaft or handle. All the remaining articles on this and Plate XXVI are carved bone ornaments, such as are usually found deposited in the graves with the dead. There is a great variety of these carved bones, but in no two instances have I come across exactly similar designs. They are all made of sections of a deer's leg bones, and the carvings indicate that they were cut with some very sharp and fine edged tool, no doubt either broken fragments of glass bottles, which have been also found in the burial places, or else those sharp spawls of chert and quartz crystals figured in Plate XXII.

All the interstices of these carvings are filled with red ochre, and in the case of 47, 48, 49, and 50 the whole piece is smeared over with it. Probably the others were also, at one time, but it has become rubbed or worn off.

I have arranged these ornaments according to the shape of the base. From 9 to 50 are or have been cut straight across at the wider end. 51 is a spike of a caribou antler, perhaps used as an awl. Nos. 52 and 53, and in Plate XXVI, Nos. 1 to 8 show the base cut away obliquely, while 54 has the base slightly grooved and notched, and is also somewhat hollowed on either side.


All the ornaments figured here are of the swallow tailed type and have various designs carved upon them, differing in some respect, no two being exactly alike. Some of the smaller pieces are more ornate than the larger, most of them having the outside edges scolloped [scalloped] in different ways.


These represent a variety of nondescript forms, beginning with the three pronged or trident shaped ornaments, and passing on to other peculiar forms. The square and diamond shaped articles were undoubtedly used in gaming. The combs need no description.


Exhibit a selection of the various forms, drawn by Lady Edith Blake, wife of Sir Henry Blake, late Governor of Newfoundland. Her Ladyship took a deep interest in the subject of the Aborigines while here. She copied all these ornaments and also wrote a paper on the Beothucks which was published in the Century Magazine for December 1888. What the exact use or purpose of those ornaments was we do not know. The fact of so many of them being always found deposited with the dead seems to suggest some symbolic or talismanic idea. So far as I know they have not been found anywhere else except in the cemeteries. As almost every one of those ornaments had a small hole drilled through, near the smaller end, it is pretty clear they were attached by strings to something. A few of them still retain portions of the string. In the case of the little Beothuck boy's interment, some of these ornaments, together with bird's legs and feet were found attached to the fringe of his outer garment. Again, in the figure of the dancing woman drawn by Shanawdithit, the dress appears to be fringed in like manner, around the lower end by similar ornaments. If this were really the case, I imagine their purpose was to produce a rattling noise by striking against each other, in the manner of castanets, during the evolutions of dancing. It may be that such a dress was only worn on ceremonial occasions, of this however, we are left to conjecture only.

Nos. 20 to 36 are small discs of bone or shell, probably used on strings as neck ornaments.



Represents a few articles of iron found either at their encampments or in their cemeteries. Nos. 1, 2, and 3 are portions of the springs of steel traps, no doubt stolen from the furriers. The two latter being roughly beaten into the form of spear heads. No. 4 is a knife evidently of European manufacture, set into a rude handle, by the Indians, and I think from the shape of the latter and a slight bend in the knife blade, it must have been used as a crooked knife, as it closely resembles the Micmac implement so named.

No. 5 is the much decomposed remains of a very small, polled tomahawk, with handle attached. This was evidently made by the Indians themselves and shows much ingenuity in the form of the eye, etc. The handles of both these latter implements are as usual, coloured by ochre.

No. 6 is one of the spear heads stamped with the broad arrow, which Capt. Buchan had made aboard his ship, by his armourer in 1820, to be distributed amongst the Indians should he come up with them; but as he did not meet with them on this occasion, the spear points were tied in small bundles, and fastened to the branches of trees along the river side where the Indians most frequented, such as the portages over the falls. Some also were left at the deserted Mamateeks on Red Indian Lake.

Whether the Beothucks ever made use of any of these is not known for certain. That figured here was picked up on the side of the Exploits River in recent years.


Exhibits some articles made of Birch bark.

No. 1 is a package of dried or smoked fish.

Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. These are five drinking cups of different patterns, all neatly sewn together.

No. 7 is a small model of a canoe, and 8 is the bow or stem part of another.

No. 9 is a small paddle. All these articles are smeared with red ochre, and were deposited in the grave with the little Beothuck boy's body.


Upper. Stone pots and lamps made of Soapstone hollowed out.

Lower. Cliff of Soapstone at Fleur de Lis, from which such pots were obtained. The figure shows several spots, half formed in the cliff but not broken off, also indentations from whence others were so derived.


Roasting sticks, fragments of bows and arrow shafts, tomahawk, etc.


Upper. Pieces of birch bark showing marks of stitching; fire stones, stone fragments etc.

Lower. Models of canoes, small drinking cups etc. all made of birch bark, found in grave of little boy.


Various bone and other articles, including a necklace, wampum as specified on plate.


These also are a recent find of carved bone ornaments, from a cave near the Southern Head of Long Island, Notre Dame Bay. While bearing a general resemblance in outward form to others already figured, yet the designs carved on them differ much from any that I have seen. They all exhibit the remains of the red ochre with which they were once smeared.


Recent find of stone implements. Nos. 1, 2, 3 are finely made lance heads or spears. Nos. 4 and 5 arrow heads. No. 6 is a long and perfectly formed spear, except that it is broken off at the base. From the length and shape of this implement I imagine it was used as a dagger or poignard set in a wooden handle. No. 7 is a perfectly made lance head and is interesting from the fact that it was obtained at the mouth of the small river, flowing into the Harbour of St. John's. It was frequently stated that the Indians did not frequent this neighbourhood. No. 8 is a smooth worn stone of peculiar shape, also found near the above river. Its shape may be purely accidental yet it was possibly used by the Indians for some purpose.


Concluding remarks on the Red Indians.

It only remains for me to offer some comments on the foregoing notices and attempt some solution of apparently conflicting and doubtful statements, etc.

First did the Beothucks or did they not possess dogs? Most authorities positively assert they did not. Cartwright speaks as though he was very certain on this point, when he remarks, "To complete their wretched condition, Providence has even denied them the pleasing services and companionship of the faithful Dog."

Old Mr. Peyton also assured me the Indians had no dogs and were very greatly afraid of them, nor do any of the settlers in their numerous traditions about them ever mention the presence of the dog.

Yet against this we have old Capt. Richard Whitbourne's statement about their wolves (Eskimo dogs?), and the story of his mastiff going off in the woods with the latter and coming back unharmed. The correspondent of the Liverpool Mercury also mentions seeing in one of their wigwams at Red Indian Lake in 1819, a slut with a litter of puppies. My own impression is, that originally they undoubtedly possessed dogs of the Eskimo breed, perhaps obtained from that people, and may have been driven in times of scarcity to eat them; more probably they destroyed them, lest their footprints in the snow or their howlings by night, might be the means of betraying their presence to their white enemies. I conjecture that the animal seen by the party above referred to was one of the ordinary short-haired common species of Newfoundland, stolen from some fisherman's establishment. Had it been one of the Eskimo breed, he would have stated the fact, as he was, no doubt well acquainted with that wolf-like animal.

As regards the whitewoman seen at Red Indian Lake amongst the Indians, by Lieut. Buchan, and to all appearance an Indian in dress, etc., I have in vain tried to obtain confirmation of this statement and have sought to ascertain whether any tradition existed amongst the fisher folk of a white girl having been kidnapped by the Indians, but to no purpose. Cormack also evidently sought for some information on this point, for I find in some notes of his the question was put to Shanawdithit as to the existence of a white woman. She answered, "No,"(199) and Cormack adds, "Buchan not correct." Nevertheless, I cannot see how Buchan could have made such a mistake. He was a man of superior education, most observant, and had an opportunity such as no other person (so far as we know) ever possessed, of a close intercourse with them, for several hours at their village, Red Indian Lake. His description of this particular woman is too exact to admit of doubt. He says of her: "Conceive my astonishment at beholding a female bearing all the appearances of an European, with light sandy hair, and features strongly similar to the French, apparently about twenty-two years of age, with an infant which she carried in her cossack, her demeanour differing materially from the others. Instead /343/ of that sudden change from surprise and dismay to acts of familiarity, she never uttered a word, nor did she recover from the terror, our sudden and unexpected visit had thrown them into." It was a pity Buchan did not think of interrogating this woman both in French and English, for even though she may have been kidnapped when quite a child, she would probably have recognized her own tongue, which ever it may have been, did she hear it once again. I also think he should have made an effort to bring the poor creature back to civilisation [civilization]. Probably he might have done so were the Indians there on his return to the Lake.

I conceive Buchan made a great mistake in taking with him so many of the furriers as guides, and moreover, allowing them to go armed. It is only natural to suppose that the Indians seeing these blood-thirsty enemies of their tribe amongst the party, would naturally conclude all the rest were of the same stamp, and actuated with the same desire for their destruction, hence their caution and the fatal termination of the expedition.

It was subsequently learnt from Shanawdithit that the killing of Buchan's two marines was occasioned by a misunderstanding on the part of the Indians, aided by their fears. All went well with the two hostages, who conducted themselves in a becoming manner, till the return of the Indian who fled from Buchan down the river. This individual reported that a large party were in hiding ready to march up and destroy them all. On receiving this report, the poor Red men were thrown into a state of alarm, but before deciding on the death of the hostages a council was held as to the best mode of procedure. Some were for immediate flight and taking the marines with them, but others argued that Buchan would be sure to follow them up in order to recover his men and that their only safety was in destroying them, so that they could not give any information as to the direction the Indians had taken. It would appear that the majority were loathe to murder the men who came to them in such a friendly way, and showed such confidence as to remain alone with them. The matter was decided by the chief and a few others surprising the unfortunate marines and shooting them in the backs with arrows, and then beating a hasty retreat.

Buchan certainly made another mistake in allowing that first individual to go free, had he held on to him till his return to the Lake, no doubt all might have been well. It was a great pity so favourable an opportunity at an amicable understanding should have been frustrated.



From Gatschet's 1st Paper

Articles and books on Newfoundland, in which express mention is made of the Boethuck [Beothuck] Indians are as follows; though this list makes no pretence of being exhaustive.

JACQUES CARTIER. Voyages of Discovery in 1534-35. Published by Canadian Government. Describes the Beothucks he met with at Quirpon on the Northern extreme of Newfoundland.

WHITBOURNE, RICHARD. "Discourse and Discovery of the New- Foundland," London 1622.

DE LAET, JOAN. "Novus Orbis" speaks of the Beothucks. 1633. pp. 34.

SIR WM. DAWSON. "Fossil Men."

CARTWRIGHT, JOHN. Remarks on the situation of the Red Indians, etc. 1768. Published by his Neice [Niece].

CARTWRIGHT, MAJOR GEORGE. "Journal of Transactions and Events on Labrador," London 1793.

HAKLUYT. Voyages, ed. London 1810. pp. 168-169 and 245.

CHAPPELL, LIEUT. EDW. "Voyages of the Rosamond," London, 1818.

CHAPPELL, LIEUT. EDW. "Voyage to Newfoundland," London, 1818(?). Illustrated. In chapter treating of the "Red Indians" pp. 169-187 he quotes Whitbourne's "Discourse and Discovery of New-Foundland."

ANSPACH, REV. LEWIS A. "History of Newfoundland." 1818.

"Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal" for Oct. 1828, Mar. 1829, contains an account of W.E. Cormack's second expedition in search of the Red Indians.

BONNYCASTLE, SIR R.H. Newfoundland, 1842, London, 1842. His chapter on Red Indians embraces pp. 251-278, vol. II.

JUKES, J.B., of the Geological Survey. "Excursions in and about

Newfoundland." London, 1842. On the Beothucks cf. ii, 126,

132, 133, 170-175.

MURRAY, CHAS. AUG. (Author of the "Prairie Bird," etc.). "The Red Indians of Newfoundland," Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson, 98 Chestnut Street (no date, about 1850?). Illustrated. The book is pure fiction the first chapter only contains some

ethnologic points.

"The Last of the Aborigines. A Poem founded on facts, in four Cantos." Dedicated to Master John Gaspard Le Marchant,

by George Webber, St. John's, N.F. Printed at Office of

"The Morning Post," 1851.

TOQUE, REV. PH. "Wandering Thoughts." London, 1856.

MULLOCK, RIGHT. REV. DR., R.C. Bishop of St. John's. Lectures on

Newfoundland, 1860.

HARVEY, REV. M. "Memoirs of an Extinct Race" in "Maritime Monthly."

GOBINEAU, COMTE A. DE. "Voyage a Terre Neuve." Paris, 1861.

LATHAM, ROB. GORDON. Comparative Philology. London, 1862. pp.


PEDLEY, REV. CHAS. "The History of Newfoundland from the earliest

times to the year 1860." London, 1863. cf. 338 sqq. The

appendix VII, pp. 506-522, contains extracts from W.E.

Cormack's "Itinerary through the central parts of the Island," 1822.

In the Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, the following treatises appear:

LLOYD, T.G.B., M.A.I. "On the Beothucks, a tribe of Red Indians, supposed to be extinct, which formerly inhabited Newfoundland." 1874. pp. 21-39.

LLOYD, T.G.B. "A further account of the Beothucks of Newfoundland." Ibid. pp. 223-248, with 3 plates.

LLOYD, T.G.B. "On stone implements of Newfoundland." Ibid. pp.

230-232, one plate.

BUSK, GEO., F.R.S. Description of two Beothuck skulls. Ibid.

pp. 230-232, one plate.

TOQUE, REV. PH. "Newfoundland as it was, etc." Illustrated. London, 1878. pp. 511.


HATTON, J. and HARVEY, M. "Newfoundland, its history, etc." Boston, 1883. On pp. 184-186 vocab. of Mary March.

STEARNS, WINIFRED ALDEN. "Labrador, a sketch of its people, its

industries, etc." Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1884. The

description, pp. 254-272, suggests interesting comparisons

of Labrador Indians with the Beothucks.

"New York Herald," correspondence of date Oct. 23rd, 1886.

STORM, PROF. GUSTAV. "Studies on the Vinland voyages." Copenhagen, 1888. The Beothucks are spoken of pp. 361,

362, etc.

"The Harbour Grace Standard," and "Conception Bay Advertiser."

Linguistic and Biographic Article, date May 2nd 1888.

HOWLEY, RIGHT REV. M.F. Ecclesiastical History, 1888.

MRS. EDITH BLAKE. "The Beothuck Indians," in the "Nineteenth Century" (Kegan and Co., Publishers, London). Dec. 1888.


"Ottawah," the Last Chief of the Red Indians of Newfoundland.

A Romance with Illustrations. London, pub. by E.

Appleyard, 86 Farringdon St. (No date, Author's name

not given.) Fiction only.

PROWSE, D.W. "History of Newfoundland from the records." London,


1. By J.B. Jukes, F.G.S., F.C.P.S; London, 1842. Vol. 11, page 129.

2. Noel Paul's Brook.

3. Life of Major Cartwright, by his niece, F.D. Cartwright, in two volumes, published by Henry Cobbin, New Burlington Street, London, 1826. The Weymouth must have been his last ship. That on whch he served at the date of the expedition was certainly the Guernsey as appears from his original MS.

4. Furrier's term for rapid.

5. "Hos non immissos canibus, non cassibus ullis:

Puniciae agitant pavidos formidine pennae."

Virgil has neglected the peculiar beauty of this passage by using only the general word tolis, which gives no idea of a sewel formed with coloured feathers.

6. This word is probably compoundd from see and well; another example is Semore (Mt See-more) near Birchy Lake, Upper Humber River.

7. Maple (Fraxinus Americana), called sycamore by the Newfoundland fishermen. Cartwright is not correct in stating that this was the only wood used for that purpose, they also used Mountain Ash and a hard tough species of fir.

8. This was the Indian (John August) mentioned by Capt. George Cartwright in his Journal of Transactions and Events, seen at Catalina, June 15th, 1785.

9. Micmacs and other tribes from the Continent.

10. Local term for rapid.

11. Badger Brook (?).

12. Red Indian Lake.

13. Twin Ponds (?).

14. Rev. Neville Stow, Chaplain of the Guernsey.

15. A construction of bushes or loose stones behind which a hunter conceals himself when watching for game.

16. Junction of Rushy Pond Brook(?).

17. Badger Brook.

18. Small Brook near Badger (?). Either Aspen or Leach Brook.

19. Bloody Pt., Red Indian Lake.

20. American name for the Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera) site of R. I. Village.

21. The balsam or balm of Gilead, is quite common on the west coast along the rivers in Bay St. George.

22. N.E. Arm of lake, where Millertown now stands.

23. Micmac and other continental tribes.

24. Halfway Mountain.

25. Hodges Hill.

26. This was His Excellency, Capt. The Hon. John Byron, who succeeded Capt. H. Palliser in 1769.

27. Cartwright says, "I saw no difference between the wigwam of the Mountaineer and Red Indians of Newfoundland."

28. It looks as though Capt. Geo. Cartwright not only assumed to himself the planning of the expidition up the Exploits river, but the carrying out of the same, thereby robbing his brother John of all the kudos, whereas it will be remembered by the latter's narrative, he merely formed one of the party and abandoned the enterprise when about halfway up the river.--J.P.H.

29. This was the first mentioned by his brother John Cartwright, who was captured in August 1768, and called John August. He died in 1788, and was interred in the Churchyard at Trinity. The following notice of his interment is taken from the Parish Register of the Church of England at that place.

October 29th, 1788.

"Interred John August, a native of this island, a servant of Jeffery G. Street."

30. I am indebted to Mr. W. G. Gosling for this and much other valuable information which he had copied for me from the records.

31. This term in Newfoundland parlance has not exactly the same significance as elsewhere. It is applied to the trapper or hunter who procures the skins of fur bearing animals, rather than to the person who cures and dresses the furs.

32. North Head is at the Western side of Exploits Bay. Dog Creek now Dog Bay.

33. I think Mr. Ougier is mistaken in this, and that he really refers to the Beothuck men Tom June and John August, who acted in that capacity. Mr. Ougier being evidently unaquainted with the northern parts of the island, easily made the mistake.

34. This is evidently the girl referred to by Mr. J. Bland in his first letters to the Governor as having been taken when the father and mother were killed, and afterwards sent to Trinity where she was reared up. She was subsequently taken to England by a Mr. and Mrs. Stone and died there about 1795. She was probably the person named Ou-bee from whom Rev. Clinch obtained his vocabulary?

35. I could not succeed in tracing the letter referred to, which I much regret as I have no doubt it must have been very interesting.

36. It has been said that June lost his life by upsetting of his skiff while entering the narrow dangerous gut leading into Fogo Harbour.

37. Presumably Capt. Le Breton made a report to the Governor, but I have failed to find it amongst the records of Government House, or elsewhere.

38. Voyage of H.M.S. Rosamond by Lieut. Edward Chappell, R.N., London, 1818.

39. History of Newfoundland, by Lewis Amadaus, Anspatch 1818.

40. She was first placed under the care of Mr. Andrew Pearce, a gentleman at Fogo, who hired men to take her back to the tribe.

41. Records, vide Vol. 19, p. 171.

42. Referred to on preceding pages.

43. I have used every effort to trace this picture, but without success. The accompanying sketch is a reproduction from a description by a local artist, Mr. John Haywood.

44. History of Newfoundland by Rev. Chas Pedley, 1863.

45. This proclamation was evidently addressed to the Mountaineer or Nascoppi of Labrador or Northern extremity of Newfoundland.

46. Governor's Poclamation respecting the Native Indians.

47. The Seewells, described by Cartwright.

48. This description seems to correspond with the sixth figure of Shawnawdithit's Sketch No. IX, "Mythological emblems." Ash-u-meet.

49. This is the Grand Falls of the Exploits River where is now situated the gigantic Pulp and Paper Mills of the Anglo-Newfoundland Company. (Harmsworth's)

50. Red Indian Fall.

51. This is a mistake, they certainly did boil some of their food, as attested by Whitbourne and other authorities.

52. This is not correct, there is plenty of birch in the interior.

53. Note from Peyton's diary of date March 1st, 1819. "On the night of the 18th of September, 1818, between the hours of 12 and 1/2 past 1, the wild Indians cut adrift from the wharf at Lower Sandy Point, Exploits, a boat loaded with salmon. The boat was found the next day, stranded on an island near Grego, or gray gull Island, -- sails gone and considerable other property stolen or destroyed. Guns, pistols, watch, money and many articles of personal apparel too numerous to mention. Cargo but little damaged."

54. I have one of those iron spear heads now in my possession. Although modelled after the Indians' own spears, Peyton averred they were not nearly so well made.

55. This is New-World Island.

56. This is a mistake in the date, it should have been 1810, 1811.

57. As may be seen from Capt. Buchan's own narrative, the author is not quite correct here, only one of the Indians remained with Buchan's party.

58. What I saw I should estimate at from three to four hundred, including women and children: of this however hereafter. This does not at all tally with Mr. Peyton's estimate.

59. Muskets

60. The possession of a beard is very unusual amongst full blooded Indians.

61. This was probably some member of the Slade family, whose firm carried on an extensive mercantile trade all over Notre Dame Bay, their principal establishment being located in Twillingate, with branch houses in all the settled harbours.

62. Red Indian Lake.

63. This information was derived from Shanawdithit.

64. Apparently Bonnycastle was misinformed, all other accounts represent her as a young woman some 23 or 24 years of age.

65. More probably Micmacs?.

66. It is a pity Peyton's offer was not accepted, as he knew more about them and their ways than any other living person. With the aid of the woman it is probable he might have succeeded in opening communication with her tribe, of which he expresses himself so confidant.

67. Mr. Forbes was the Chief Justice of the Colony at that time.

68. This appears to be still another name for Mary March.

69. Bishop's Fall.

70. What a pity this man Trivick acted so injudiciously. It would appear from his letter that he had about the best opportunity ever presented, at all events of later years to intercept and capture the Indians.

71. Beothuck term for woman.

72. At Placentia there lived at this time Josiah Blackburne, Esq., an interesting old gentleman, a magistrate and patriarch of the place, a Scot by birth, who related with the greatest delight the event of the visit of His Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence (His present Majesty William the IV) at this place in the year 17.. in His Majesty's ship. * * * *

In remembrance of His Royal Highness's visit, Her late Majesty Queen Caroline sent to Placentia the sum of four hundred pounds to build a chapel -- accompanied with a model, and church service of plate, in trust, to Mr. Blackburne. The chapel was erected, and is now an extremely chaste building. The model was probably of one of the Royal Chapels in England.

73. Captain Buchan's interesting narrative of his journey by way of the river Exploits to the encampments of the Red Indians, and of his interview with these people on the banks of the Red Indian Lake in the interior, during the winter season, when the face of the country was covered with snow and ice, could not throw much light upon the natural condition of the country upon the banks of that river and lake.

74. The late Hon. Chas. Fox Bennett, in 1882, informed me that he was the person referred to who was to have accompanied Cormack but that business interfered and prevented his doing so. He said he was well acquainted with W. E. Cormack, who was a particular friend of his.

75. Judging from the above, Cormack does not appear to have been well posted in Newfoundland history. It was not Sir George Calvert who founded the first Colony in Conception Bay, but John Guy, of Bristol, one of the Company of Merchant Adventurers of London and Bristol. It took place not in 1620, but in 1610. Sir Geo. Calvert (Lord Baltimore's) settlement was at a place called Ferryland, on the eastern seaboard 40 miles south of St. John's, in 1621. It was not he, but Sir Humphrey Gilbert who was lost at sea.

76. Equipment. -- My dress chiefly consisted of a grey moleskin shooting jacket, small clothes of worsted cord, three entire inside woollen body dresses, (no linen or cotton whatever,) worsted stockings and socks, Canadian long moccasin boots; the Indian wore leggings or gaiters made of swanskin blanketing, together with moccasins instead of boots. I was armed with a double-barrelled fowling piece and a brace of bayoneted-pistols, two pounds and a-half of gunpowder, and ten pounds of bullet and shot. The Indian had a single-barrelled fowling piece and a pistol, and the like quantity of powder and shot. Our stock consisted of a hatchet, two small tin kettles, for cooking; about twenty pounds of biscuit, eight pounds of pork, some portable soup, tea and sugar, pepper, salt, &c.; a blanket each, and one for the camp roof, a telescope, a pocket compass each: I took a small fishing rod and tackle, and various minor articles for our casual necessities and for mineralogical and other purposes of observation and notes. On another journey of the kind, I should very little vary this equipment.

77. This is not correct.

78. Or, Through Hill.

79. By Dr. McCullock in his valuable paper "On Peat" in the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, No. 3 and 4, 1820.

80. Phonolite.

81. Ground hemlock.

82. Yellow birch.

83. Known locally as plaster holes.

84. Lynx (Lynx Canadensis).

85. Called Chicken Halibut.

86. History of Newfoundland, 1863.

87. Not so, he was her uncle.

88. In a list of disbursements for the district of St. John's from the 20th of October, 1822, to the 20th October, 1823, I find the following entries:

"Elizabeth Bryan, for attendance upon three Indian women, per order of Sessions" 1 pound, 10 shillings, 0d.

"Paid Hunters & Co. for sundries for the use of the Indian women" 3 pounds, 7 s. 6 d.

These were Shanawdithit, her sister and mother.

89. Peyton frequently expressed the same belief to myself.

90. Presumably Mr. W. E. Cormack.

91. Some accounts state that a second man accompanied the three women who was drowned also by falling through the ice in an attempt to escape.

92. This does not accord with Rev. Mr. Wilson's description of her appearance, but she may have fallen into flesh as she grew older.

93. Presumably the red hair of the individual was the attraction, red colour being held in great esteem amongst the natives.

94. In 1826 in the spring, recent traces of the Red Indians were seen by some Micmacs at Badger Bay Great Lake. Cormack.

95. I find the name of Capt. David Buchan, J.P., together with the names of R. Parry, Surrogate, and Josiah Blackburne, J.P., signed to a decree of the Surrogate Court at Placentia, Sept. 12th, 1808, in a suit of Maurice Power versus Thos. Baily, agent for Saunders, Sweetman & Saunders.

96. The Adonis only mounted 10 guns in all.

97. From the records we learn that Buchan had the distribution of 10,000 pounds sent by the British Government for the relief of the distressed.

98. A custom which is carried out to this day by the Colonial Government, who every year appoints the commander on the station a Justice of the Peace.

99. In 1824(?) Buchan was examined before a Committee of the British Parliament, presumably about the Butler-Lundrigan case.

100. Not Grand Pond (Lake) but Red Indian Lake.

101. Apparently old man Curtis makes a mistake about the mother's death, it was the eldest daughter who died first.

102. Does not agree with Mrs. Jure's statement.

103. The Beothucks did not scalp their victims, they cut off the heads.

104. I have seen a Micmac Indian perform this same feat.

105. Cormack always spelt her name thus, and he should be considered the best authority.

106. According to Mr. Thos. Peyton this gentleman was married to a sister of Wm. E. Cormack.

107. Since my return, I learn from the captive Red Indian woman Shanawdithit, that the vapour bath is chiefly used by old people, and for rheumatic affections.

Shanawdithit is the survivor of three Red Indian females who were taken by, or rather who gave themselves up, exhausted with hunger, to some English furriers, about five years ago, in Notre Dame Bay. She is the only one of that tribe in the hands of the English, and the only one that has ever lived so long amongst them. It appears extraordinary, and it is to be regretted, that this woman has not been taken care of, nor noticed before, in a manner which the peculiar and interesting circumstances connected with her tribe and herself would have led us to expect.

108. Not so -- Cormack appears to have been unaware of Lieut. Cartwright's expedition in 1768.

109. It should be remarked here, that Mary March, so called from the name of the month in which she was taken, was the Red Indian female who was captured and carried away by force from this place by an armed party of English people, nine or ten in number, who came up here in the month of March 1819. The local government authorities at that time did not foresee the result of offering a reward to bring a Red Indian to them. Her husband was cruelly shot, after nobly making several attempts, single handed, to rescue her from the captors, in defiance of their fire arms and fixed bayonets. Her tribe built this cemetery for him, on the foundation of his own wigwam, and his body is one of those now in it. The following winter, Captain Buchan was sent to the River Exploits, by order of the local government of Newfoundland to take back this woman to the lake, where she was captured, and if possible, at the same time, to open a friendly intercourse with her tribe. But she died on board Capt. B.'s vessel, at the mouth of the river. Captain B., however, took up her body to the lake; and not meeting with any of her people, left it where they were afterwards likely to meet with it. It appears the Indians were this winter encamped on the banks of the River Exploits, and observed Capt. B.'s party passing up the river on the ice. They retired from their encampments in consequence; and some weeks afterwards, went by a circuitous route to the lake, to ascertain what the party had been doing there. They found Mary March's body, and removed it from where Capt. B. had left it to where it now lies, by the side of her husband.

With the exception of Captain Buchan's first expedition by order of the local government of Newfoundland in the winter of 1810, to endeavour to open a friendly intercourse with the Red Indians, the two parties just mentioned are the only two we know of that had ever before been up to the Red Indian Lake. Captain B. at that time succeeded in forcing an interview with the principal encampment of these people. All the tribe that remained at that period were then at the Great Lake, divided into parties, and in their winter encampments, at different places in the woods on the margin of the lake. Hostages were exchanged; but Capt. B. had not been absent from the Indians two hours, on his return to a depot left by him at a short distance down the river, to take up additional presents for them, when the want of confidence of these people in the whites evinced itself. A suspicion spread amongst them that he had gone down to bring up a reinforcement of men, to take them all prisoners to the sea-coast; and they resolved immediately to break up their encampment and retire further into the country, and alarm and join the rest of their tribe, who were all at the western parts of the lake. To prevent their proceedings being known, they killed and then cut off the heads of the two English hostages; and on the same afternoon on which Capt. B. left them, they were all in full retreat across the lake, with baggage, children, &c. The whole of them afterwards spent the remainder of the winter together at a place twenty to thirty miles to the south-west, on the south-east side of the lake. On Capt. B.'s return to the lake next day or the day after, the cause of the scene there was inexplicable; and it remained a mystery until now, when we can gather some facts relating to these people from the Red Indian woman Shanawdithit.

110. Mr. Peyton informed me, that he saw Cormack before he entered upon this journey, that he was a lithe, active, robust man. When he returned from the expedition and revisited Mr. Peyton's house, the latter did not recognise him at first, he had changed so much. He presented such a gaunt, haggard and worn out appearance from the excessive toil and privation he had undergone, accompanied by hunger and anxiety, that he did not look much like the stalwart individual he saw depart for the interior a month previously.

111. It is to be regretted that these relics have all been lost to us.

112. Labradorite.

113. Deer Lake or Grand Lake(?).

114. The then Governor.

115. This is the first and only reference I have ever met with of the Beothucks using carved doorposts to their dwellings. It is to be regretted Cormack does not give us fuller particulars as to the character of those carvings. I presume they must have been somewhat similar to those grotesque figures used by the natives of the Queen Charlotte Islands off the west coast of British Columbia.

116. Also of a species of fir called boxy fir, a hard grown, tough, springy wood, so I have been informed by the Micmacs.

117. I believe the Beothucks derived the idea of this harpoon from the Eskimos, who are adepts in its use, are known to have possessed it a long time, and who moreover, depend more upon the seal and walrus for their livelihood than the former had any occasion to do. It is a most ingenious weapon, and while the general structure is the same, that of the Beothuck was slighter and more neatly constructed. It was called by them a-aduth.

118. This statement does not tally with that of any of the other authorities on the subject. Whitbourne, Cartwright, Buchan and even Cormack himself all affirm that the outside of the canoe was invariably covered with birch rind.

Possibly, they may have on some occasions, when pressed for time or when birch bark was difficult to obtain, resorted to deer skins for that purpose, as the Micmacs sometimes do, but it certainly was not the usual covering, and this is the only instance I have met with where such is mentioned.

119. Lloyd states that his Micmac guide, Souliann, told him they used the down of the Blue Jay for tinder.

120. This suggestion was apparently carried out. Bonnycastle affirms that he saw her miniature. It is probably a copy of this picture of Shanawdithit which appears as a frontispiece in the Annals of the Propagation of the Gospel, 1856, a photo of which is here reproduced.

121. Grand Lake.

122. Corruption of the French "Baie d'Espoir."

123. I cannot believe Buchan could have made any mistake about the white woman he saw at Red Indian Lake, and so particularly described in 1811. Shanawdithit's negation to this query may have been actuated from some special motive, perhaps fear for herself or her people for having kidnapped (?) a white child. More probably, however, Shanawdithit may not have remembered the white woman, seeing that she was only some 10 or 12 years of age at the time of Buchan's first expedition. Probably the white woman in question may have died soon after.

124. Here again there is evidently some mistake. The correspondent of the Liverpool Mercury clearly mentions a bitch with a litter of puppies in one wigwam at the time of Mary March's capture.

125. History says that Indians were brought from Newfoundland by Cabot, and presented to Henry VII. Capt. Richard Whitbourne describes them in 1620. See also Anderson on Commerce; Reves, Newfoundland, published in 1796; Barrow's Northern Voyages, etc.

126. We have no other record of this expedition. I think Cormack has mistaken the date and is really referring to the expedition of 1810-11.

127. This latter statement does not appear to be correct. All other accounts, including Peyton's own, only mention the death of one man, Mary March's husband.

128. Stated by one of the men who committed the deed.

129. The two Canadians informed the writer of this event.

130. A curious mistake for Cormack to make. It should have been 1811.

131. This was Red Indian Lake on the Exploits, and must not be confounded with Grand Lake on the Humber.

132. This man was Shanawdithit's uncle. The same person afterwards shot, at Badger Bay in 1823(?).

133. This statement does not seem to be correct. Only one man was shot (?).

134. Cormack was told this by one of the very barbarians who shot them.

135. This information bears evidence of being derived from Shanawdithit.

136. Drawings missing.

137. Wild Goose (Bernicla Canadensis).

138. A kind of tough springy hardgrown tree called "Boxey fir."

139. Occurs in many other localities.

140. This is the common Dolphin (Delphinus.)

141. There is nothing to show where these were written. Cormack had left the country for good long prior to this date. I think he was then residing at New Westminster, British Columbia.

142. This probably refers to his first expedition, which was evidently not published till a later date. It would appear from the foregoing notes that he still took a lively interest in the subject of the Aborigines. They appear to me to have been written at the suggestion of someone who knew him, probably Mr. Noad who was gathering material for his lecture, delivered in the following year, 1852.

143. Name wrongly spelt, the final syllable should read "thit."

144. See note at end of this bibliography.

145. New Glasgow is not in Prince Edward's Island, but in Nova Scotia.

146. On some of the old French charts of the northern extremity of Newfoundland (the Petit Nord), a track or path is shown, extending along the low flat shore forming the south side of the Strait of Belle Isle, and facing the Labrador coast, which is distinctly visible from here; being only about nine miles distant. This path is called "Chemin de Sauvage." There is also a place on this same shore still called "Savage Cove," which is probably the supposed place of their departure. This would seem to bear out the statement of the Micmacs. Again in the English Coast Pilot for 1755, there is a place near Hawkes' Bay, or Point Riche called "Passage de Savages."

147. John Day, one of Peyton's men confirmed this statement and said he was considerably over 6 feet in height.

148. Evidently from the fact of its being smeared with ochre, there can be little doubt the hair was black.

149. Possibly the object of thus colouring the person and clothing red may have been the better to conceal their movements from the enemy or to render themselves less conspicuous when pursuing the chase, especially in the autumn, at which season the bushes and shrubs covering the barrens where the caribou most resort, assume many tints of red and brown, corresponding closely with the red ochre of the Indians. Even the natural colour of an Indian's complexion seems designed by Nature to enable him the more easily to approach game of any kind, as I have frequently observed myself when in company with the Micmacs. A deer, goose, or black duck for instance will observe a white man's features much quicker than those of an Indian.

It was this assimilating the natural colour of the South African Veldt that caused our troops and volunteers during the Boer war to adopt the khaki coloured uniform, so as to render themselves less conspicuous to the enemy. Possibly, this fact may have suggested to the observant Red man the same idea of concealing his person by artificial means.

150. From Article on the Beothucks by Rev. Geo. Patterson, D.D. of the Royal Society of Canada, 1891. In referring to this practice, he quotes from Ezekiel (Chap. xxiii. 14, 15), referring to the idolatrous practices which the Jewish people borrowed from neighbouring nations, describes them as "doting upon the Assyrians, her neighbours, adding to her idolatries," "for when she saw men portrayed on the walls images of Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion." Jeremiah (Chap. xxii. 14) notices the King's vanity especially as manifest in having his house "painted with vermilion." And the Book of Wisdom (Chap. xiii. 14) represents them as colouring the idol itself in this manner, "laying on ochre (Greek Miltos) and with paint colouring it red, and covering every spot on it." With this accord the recently exhumed Assyrian monuments. M. Botta noticed several figures on the walls of Khorsabad yet retaining a portion of the vermilion with which it had been painted. There is in the British Museum among the marbles sent from Nimroud by Mr. Layard a large slab with the figure of the King standing holding in his right hand a staff and resting his left on the pommel of his sword, "still having the soles of his sandals coloured red."

"The Buddhist Monks in Central Asia all wear a red cloak."

151. The Australian Aboriginal painted his body with a mixture of red ochre and grease and also adorned the beard and hair of his head with same.

152. Mr. Watts died in 1908 at the advanced age of 98 years.

153. Since renamed Alexander Bay.

154. This occurred at New Bay. The Indians had constructed an ambush of bushes, from which they rushed out and seized Rousell before he had time to defend himself.

155. These rocks, the "Isle Ouseaux," of the old maps, were the principal habitat and last resting place of the Great Auk, Alca impennis, long extinct.

156. Place where the fishermen moored their boats.

157. What seems to bear out this story, is the fact that on the maps of to-day and in close proximity to Lance Cove is a headland called Salvage (i.e. Savage) Point.

158. This story is scarcely to be believed.

159. I think the old man must be mistaken about the bottom of the canoe being round, when such reliable authorities as Cartwright, Cormack, Peyton, &c., affirm so positively that it was V shaped.

160. This of course refers to a comparatively recent date when they learnt the use of iron, which they stole from the fishermen.

161. Mr. Thos. Peyton says "the man's name was Richards and was usually called Dick Richards. He was an old brute. He was one of my father's party at the capture of Mary March. He it was who shot her husband at that time, and caused all the trouble."

162. This is the fisherman's name for the whole of Notre Dame Bay.

163. A mistake, the names were Tom June and John August.

164. A mistake, it was his father John Louis.

165. Mathew (Mathy) Mitchel also confirmed Noel Mathews' story, but gave a somewhat different version of it. He says it occurred at Red Indian Lake, and that the woman did not go to the wigwam but when her husband failed to return in due time, she made her way out to Bay St. George where she informed her people of what had occurred. The Micmacs thereupon set out in a body for Red Indian Lake, found their dead comrade in the wigwam and then went after the Red men to wreak vengeance upon them.

166. This was evidently the same man John Gale who wrote the Governor, Sir Charles Hamilton, in Sept. 1819, about the depradations of the Red Indians (see page 118).

167. This was apparently the spoon mentioned by the man named Butler. Old Mr. John Peyton told me that several of the articles found by his party in 1819 at Red Indian Lake had been looted from a store in White Bay the fall before, thus confirming Gale's story.

168. This would bring the date of his birth back to 1767, so that he would be fully 33 years of age at the commencement of the nineteenth century.

169. Shells of the Mya truncata and Saxicava rugosa, locally called clams.

170. Probably a copy of the picture or portrait referred to by W.E. Cormack, and seen by Bonnycastle.

171. Mr. Gatschet says he obtained still another vocabulary from Rev. Silas Rand, which he calls the Montreal vocabulary, but he adds "it is only another copy or `recension' of the W.E. Cormack voc."

172. A table of the chief affinities between the Beothuck and the other Algonkin languages (or dialects) has been published by the present writer in the Proceedings of the Philological Society for 1850. Latham.

173. T.G.B. Lloyd, C.E., F.G.S., M.A.I., paper on the Beothucks Journal of the Anthropological Society, Vol. IV, p. 21, 1874(?).

174. Three women (?) also Oubee.

175. This so-called harp does not develop till the animal attains its third year.

176. Sea pigeon, Black guillemot, Uria grylle.

177. Two entirely different species of sea birds. The tern is, Sterna Wilsoni. The Turr is, Urea arra or lomvia.

178. Kittiwake Gull, Rissa tridactylus.

179. Fraturcula arctica.

180. More probably the eider duck, Somateria mollissima.

181. Perhaps, phoca foetida.

182. Thick billed Guillemot, Alca torda.

183. Mallotus villosus.

184. Sarracenia purpurea.

185. Robin thrush, Turdus migratorius, called Blackbird in Newfoundland.

186. The Willow grouse, always called partridge, locally.

187. Perhaps also in June, July, September.

188. The Algonkin na, -nu-, n- of the first person occurs in none of these examples.

189. Micmac: -- memaje I live, memajoo-okun life.

190. Linguistic stocks reduced like Beothuk to a small compass are of the highest importance for anthropologic science. Not only do they disclose by themselves a new side of ethnic life, but they also afford a glimpse at the former distribution of tribes, nations, races and their languages and ethnographic peculiarities.

191. I think it more probable Clinch's vocabulary was obtained from the young girl mentioned by Gov. Edwards.

192. That was from 1797 to 1800.

193. Harlequin Duck, Clangula histrionica.

194. Evidently the name of the person from whom the vocabulary was obtained.

195. Of course Cartwright does not mention the Indians at Battle Harbour, because if the date be correct, it occurred long after his time, or about 1825 to 1830.

196. Where the stone pots were manufactured.

197. In this Mr. Bradshaw is wrong, there is some soapstone on Sound Island, not far away.

198. I have only heard of one other steatite pipe having been found at Fleur de Lys, where the soapstone pots were manufactured. This was said to have some sort of an animal carved on the outside with its head projecting over the bowl. The scarcity of stone pipes may be accounted for by the fact that in all probability these people, like the Micmacs, used strips of Birch bark twisted into the form of a pipe, which after being used once was so burnt as to be useless and consequently cast aside.

The Eskimos living north of Hudson Strait make steatite pipes much like that figured here, though not so ornamental, in which they smoke some kind of moss.

199. Shanawdithit was probably too young at the time to remember.