The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 23, July 1919 - April, 1920 Page: 42
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The Southwestern. Historical Quarterly
water and the strong current at this season of the year. I knew
the fellow was lying, for I had seen the river the last summer,
and knew that if we had any trouble it would be from low water.
And I was obliged to give the man a severe whaling, tying his
hands and feet, and threatening the others with a similar dose,
before they would go to their duty.
The men worked steadily that night, parl of the time towing
and poling, and sometimes taking advantage of the eddies in the
lea of projecting points. The big half-breed begged to be re-
leased the next morning, and made no more trouble during the
trip. The boat soon entered Red River, where we found sufficient
water to float us, but had to make a number of portages before
reaching what is called La Grange, a small French settlement
(the French claimed all west of the Mississippi in those days),
but the men did not offer to leave at this point, for they paid
strict obedience to me since I punished their leader, and were
growing more respectful each day as we approached the end of
We started in June, and had been gone three months, and it
being September, I was anxious to get back, for the goods were
much needed at the trading post.
On the 23d of September (I kept a journal), we were met about
twenty miles below the trader's block-house by one of his half-
breed sons, who had come to take command of the keel-boat and
crew, so I might go ahead and give in my report of the trip,
before the boat-men had a chance to make any of their usual
complaints. This custom was undoubtedly a good one, though I
did not take advantage of it to the detriment of the men, but
gave a favorable report of everything. When the boat arrived,
Mons. Jones, as the old Scotchman was called, met them as they
landed, praised the men for their faithfulness, and paid them
what little might be due them, giving to each a trifling present.
Now, I had observed while acting as clerk the previous winter,
that a few beads, paints or cheap calicoes, would purchase many
valuable furs; and after going down with the bale of skins, I had
learned how, after receiving the cargo of goods, that a considerable
sum was placed to my employer's credit, which made the fur
trade appear very profitable in my eyes. So I readily agreed to
receive what wages were due me, in goods, hoping to make a large
profit on them. The old Scotchman did not seem overpleased
with the goods I had selected by his direction; however, he paid
me with some of them.
And thus ended my connection with the first and last expedi-
tion that I ever accompanied on Red River, or the lower Missis-
sippi, and also the detailed account of it, which is as correct as
memory will allow me to relate.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 23, July 1919 - April, 1920, periodical, 1919; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101075/m1/48/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.