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August 30 1812: Macdonnell at the Forks



On August 30, 1812, Miles Macdonnell, the governor of Assiniboia, arrives with a group of Lord Selkirk's settlers at the Forks, where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meets. He writes the following excerpt in his journal:

Sunday, August 30 - Set off at 1/2 past 4, saw many pigeons. Mr. Edwards and I went ashore with our guns on E. side, found the walking so very bad that we were glad to reembark with indifferent success. Mr. Frobisher with two N.W. Canoes passed - by 7 got to near the head of the strong current where we stopt to breakfast. While here, two men sent by Mr. Heney for horses for me to ride to the Forks came to us. I embrace this occasion of getting there before the boats and to see something of the country. The saddles were not equal to good pack saddles (I took Mr. Edwards with me). After leaving the river bank entered a fine plain as level as a bowling green covered with a fine sward of grass knee high - here and there a clump of wood as if planted for ornament by the hand of man, partridges rising before us in coveys on each side of the path. Ducks and Geese fly about us. This plain extended close to the Forks which we reached at 2 o'clock p.m. Messrs. Wills and McDonell received us at the gate of the N.W.Co. Fort and asked us in.


Received from Mr. Wills a letter from my brother and some of my friends in Canada. After chatting a while with these gentlemen (Mr. Frobisher arrived in the meantime) we crossed to the other side where Mr. Heney was, at my setting off from the shore a few Indians on the Bank fired a salute and afterwards followed me across to get a treat.

Our people are out of provisions. Mr. Heney employed and sent off Hunters on his arrival here from Pembina, there has not yet been any account of them and the fishing here cannot supply so many people. My boats arrived before sunset. Weather warm all day.

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