On August 29, 1812, Miles Macdonnell, the governor of Assiniboia, now Manitoba, writes the following excerpt in his journal:
Saturday, August 29 - Wind abated and came round to N.W. Set off at 9. Mr. Hillier remained, judging the sea too high for his small boats. We made straight for the mouth of Red River. My hunter kept along shore with his canoe. I did not join. At 12 entered the mouth of Red River. Passed Dead River where there is a plain, from here up-wards the banks rise and the land appears to be of a good quality and fit for tillage. At 4 p.m. reached the House built this spring by order of Mr. Heney on the E. side, where 9 kegs of potatoes were planted but not in the most judicious manner. The banks are of a convenient height and the soil excellent. Two men were here who complained of not catching many fish. From them I got two kegs of fat left by Mr. Heney, a couple of catfish and 4 ducks. Received here a letter from Mr. McKay who passed the 24th Inst, he and Mr. Heney wait for me at the Forks, on opposite side was an old Establishment abandoned. We came off stopt to boil our kettle at the head of Poplar Island on W side at burnt poplar woods. I do not know why this Island was so called as it appears to be chiefly timbered with Elm and Oak. The batteau come up with us here. It being a still and starry night, I set off again much against the inclination of some of my people, but I was anxious to shorten the distance so as to be able to reach the Forks next day - by 12 at night got to the foot of the strong current where we stopt till day light. Weather clear and fine all day.