The fur trade influenced the historical development of Canada in a number of ways including: the development and expansion into western and northern Canada; the significance of Canadian place names; the origin and rise of the Métis Nation; the impact of interaction between the First Peoples and the Europeans-and these connections can be found in personal and commercial stories about the people and events of the fur trade.
Nicholas Garry (ca. 1782-1856) joined the HBC's board of directors in 1817. In 1821, he visited trading posts in Manitoba and northern Ontario as the Company's representative, explaining to traders and Native peoples the recently-agreed merger with the Northwest Company. He was later Deputy Governor of the HBC from 1822-1835.
This entry describes leaving Red River to travel to Norway House, Aug 6, 1821, found on pages 142-43 ["Monday the 6th August... the Chippeways."]
"Monday the 6th August. At 3 o'clock Mr. Bird, who still accompanies me, and myself embarked. At six overtook Mr. McGillivray who had started the Night before. The Food of our Men is now dried Buffaloe's Meat. It is very nice. It is simply cut into Strips and dried over the Fire.
At half-past nine arrived at the Encampment of Pegwacs, or Cut Nose, Chief. Mr. McGillivray's Canoe passed on. (There are Characters in the World who never forgive or forget fancied Injuries. Mr. McGillivray spoke to the Chief in going up the River and told him he was a bad Indian for having defended the Colony. The Recollection of many Circumstances which had happened might have introduced other Feelings in a Mind differently constituted.)
I landed and found him surrounded by Women and Children and old Men. The young Men were gone to attack the Sauteux. The Chief and the old Men were almost naked and the Ladies not quite decently clad.
A Daughter of the Chief was very handsome. She had attached herself to a Son of Mr. Bird who has been cruel. She had a very interesting melancholy Appearance. The Marriage would have been merely the Consent of the two Fathers.
The Chief had his Flag hoisted, an English Jack, with the Hudson Bay Arms, given to him by Lord Selkirk. He showed me a Testimony written on Moose Skin stating he had always been a faithful, sincere friend to the Colony and recommending him to the Attentions of the Officers in the Service of the Hudson's Bay Company. It was short, but written in that beautiful Style which marked Lord Selkirk's Writings.
I made him a short Speech thanking him for his Friendship and requesting its Continuance. He entreated me not to send the usual Supplies to the Sieux. He is of the Sauteux or rather the Chippeways."
Read more excerpts from Nicholas' diary - enter 'Garry' in the search box to your left.
The 'Cut-Nosed Chief' is found in other writings - enter 'Peguis' in the search box to your left.
Check the Beaver Index - Highlights of the First 200 Years of the Hudson's Bay Company, Glyndwr Williams, Autumn 1970; From Diary of Nicholas Garry, March 1931; John West, Peguis and P. Rindisbacher, by Harry Shave, Summer 1957.