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Fort Victoria Post Journal September 1848

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1848 September

      Friday 1st Septr  Beautiful weather with light variable airs.  Had the Cadboro's cargo discharged in course of the day, which turned out correct as bill of lading.  Several loads of oats were carted in to day.  Captain Courtenay landed this afternoon & informed us that as he has now given up all hopes of seeing Mr. Douglas he intends to leave this place Monday morning & feels rather disappointed at not receiving the information he wanted from the Board of Managt

      Saturday 2nd  Weather beautifully clear with light variable airs.  The results of this week's operations are as follows: the pease field (20 acres) cut down & part of the pease housed, all the oats bound into sheaves & nearly carted in, six spaces of potatoe cellar under No. 5 filled up & sundry other operations performed about the Estabt. Some potatoes were purchased to day from the Natives.  A lot of potatoes with some few barrels of salmon were sold to day to the purser of the Cormorant Constance.  That ship is to leave this Monday morning.  We therefore received payment to day in dollars for all the different articles we supplied her. 

      Sunday 3rd  Fine pleasant weather with light variable winds. Having been invited to dine with the gunroom officers of the Constance I attended on board @ 3oclock.  Had an interview with Captain Courtenay who delivered me a letter to Mr. Douglas address on "H. Majesty's Service". 

      Monday 4th  Fine pleasant weather with a fresh breeze from the South West.  Early this morning H. Majesty's Ship Constance left Esquimalt.  The people employed making potatoe cellar under No. 5, carting oats, squaring pieces & making hay. 

      Tuesday 5th  Had some rain this morning, afterwards cleared up into a fine day.  Early this morning the Cadboro left for Ft. Langley & was soon out of sight before a fresh South Westerly breeze.  We were this afternoon carting in our pease which is at length dry.  Traded a few gns oil from Kawitchins. 

      Wednesday 6th  Fine & warm with light changeable airs.  H.M.S. Pandora which had been lying in Cormorant Bay for the last week came round to day.  Dined in the evening on board with Lieut. Wood & brought a canoe with Indns & provisions for three days along with me as I intend to morrow morning to make an excursion up the country in order to see th whether it is anyways possible to increase the Mill Stream by a tributary which now gives but little water.  The last part of our pease were housed this evening. 

      Thursday 7th  Fine pleasant weather as yesterday with little wind.  Early this morning started on my excursion up the country above Esquoimalt; found a lake which I had some hopes previously of connecting with the Mill Stream but now find it impossible, the lake being much lower than the stream & the distance too great, followed up the course of the stream to its source & found that it drains the country beyond the first two ranges of hills, beyond the Mill, passes through the most rugged & forbidding country imaginable, takes its rise in a lake about 6 miles N.W. of the bottom of Fisgd harbour.  I ascended one of the most remarkable & highest hills in that vicinity along with Mr. Fenton who accompanied me & had a splendid view of the surrounding country.  Took the bearings of the most prominent points.  Immediately below this hill, which lies about 3 of 4 miles N.W. of the Mill or Esquoimalt, we found an arm of the sea which extends to a distance of about 10 miles from the sea @ the Sanetch Village. Encamped in the evening, much rather fatigued with our days travels in the bottom of the valley near the source of the Mill Stream.  Operations going on at the Ft. were: carting hay, ploughg, planing & groving plank Granary flooring.  Bates, Beauchamp & Deroche, Cole & Lecuyers on the sick list.  The Pandora left this {place} at 11 AM.  Beat & dried the Ft. furs to day. 

      Friday 8th  Fine pleasant weather with a light shower of rain in the afternoon, wind light & variable.  Operations going on as yesterday. Traded some furs from Skatchets & some fresh salmon from the Songes.  Early this morning we started from our encampt near the source of the Mill Stream & followed it down for some distance.  Finding no probability of increasing it by means of joining another stream to it, we struck across the valley behind the mill mountains until we came to the boarders of a large lake from which we concluded the streams of  waters that empty themselves within the Esquoimalt lagoon had their source.  It is therefore our intention to stop one of the outlets from the lake & collect the whole body of waters that runs from it into one channel viz that which empties itself nearer the entrance of the lagoon.  A mill erected there may therefore be made to work every day throughout the year.  My object in joining at present having gone this week to explore the country behind the Mill was as follows viz: the Saw Mill being completed & no water to work it at present, the stream having dwindled down to a very small rivulet N & no prospect of a sufficient supply of waters until the rainy season sets in. Seeing the impropriety of commencing to build another mill (Grist Mill) on it (as orders from the Board of Managt who cannot be aware of the present scanty supply of waters that was in the Saw Mill stream) Mr. Fenton & the men working with him having been out of employment & supposing that I stood liable to censure by ordering them to commence the Grist Mill on the same stream as proved which I came to the determination of trying to ascertain what the resources of the neighbouring country were capable of & the result is shown in the entry of yesterday & to day.  I left orders with Fenton before I left him last night to proceed early next morning with three men to ascertain correctly the easiest & most expeditious way of stopping up one of the outlets.  The result of his observations shall be entered in to morrow's entry. 

      Saturday 9th Heavy rain this forenoon, wind fresh from the South East.  Our week's operations as follows: the remainder of the pease & oats carted in & housed,  a qty of hay cut & partly carted in, some plank flooring of Granary straightedged & groved,  potatoe cellar under No. 5 completed & sundry other operations about the Estabt.  No trade except a few salmon.  We were enabled this afternoon to issue out potatoes as rations to the people being the first this season.  Mr. Fenton arrived from the Mill in the afternoon & brought rather an unfavourable report of the streams within the lagoon @ Esquoimalt.  He followed them up from the sea & found that they took their rise from the bank about two miles within the woods & not from the lake as we concluded.  Another excursion must be made there in order to ascertain correctly where the outlets from the lake terminate. 

      Sunday 10th  Raining very heavy over night, which continued during the forenoon.  Blowing strong from the Eastward.  Nothing remarkable. 

      Monday 11th  Overcast for a part of the day, cleared up in the evening.  People employed ploughing, harrowg land for fall wheat, planing and groving plank Granary floorings, carting & housing hay &c.  Started early this morning to examine the outlets from the lake @ Esquoimalt.  Followed one of them down until it expanded into a large swamp below, so that it does not continue all the way down to the lagoon.  Having now been unsuccessful in my attempts to find a more suitable site for the Grist Mill than that on the Saw Mill Stream, I gave orders this evening to Mr. Fenton to begin building it there.  Late in the evening I reached the Ft. & found on my arrival letters from Vancr & Nisqually brought by Sinahomish Indians announcg the safe arrival of Mr. Douglas @ Ft. Vancr from Ouaho.  Trade a few salmon & other trifles. 

      Tuesday 12th  Beautiful clear weather with light variable winds.  Wrote an answer to the letters received yesty & the Indians are now ready to leave to morrow morng.  Sent 4 hands to the assistance of Mr. Fenton to build the Grist Mill. People employed here as usual.  Some Kawitchins arrived in course of the day from whom was traded a few furs, oil & other trifles. 

      Wednesday 13th  Weather beautifully serene with light variable airs.  Operations going on as yesterday.  Early this morning the Sinahomish Indians left for Nisqually & brought back letters for that place & Vancr. About 9 1/2 PM (last night) the moon became totally eclipsed which continued so to about midnight. 15 gns. oil & some fresh salmon were traded from Kawitchins. 

      Thursday 14th  Beautiful weather as yesterday with light airs from the Northward & Westward.  People employed ploughing, carting in hay, groving plank Granary &c, Harvey with two hands making a skow.  Examined the stream at the head of Camosun arm to day & found the waters in it not sufficient to drive a Grist Mill.  We must therefore do what we can of the Saw Mill Stream in Fisgard harbour.  Traded a lot of salmon to day which we are salting for winter stock.  Had the Nisqually furs aired and dusted in course of the day.  McPhail shot an elk this evening which appeared amongst the cattle for the last two days. 

      Friday 15th  Fine weather still continues.  People employed the same.  Had the Langley and Nez Perce furs beat & aired to day, many of the latter are much damaged by vermin.  Some salmon were traded to day from Kawitchin which we salted. 

      Saturday 16th  Fine pleasant weather.  Had 10 acres of land ploughed this week,  6 loads of hay carted home & housed,  several plank Granary flooring groved,  several barrels of salmon salted,  Langley, Nez Perce, Nisqually & Victoria furs beat & aired, some plank prepared for the new skow &c.  As we are now building the Grist Mill, the force there will have to be increased to ten men which will leave us & others short of hands for the work we have to do here. 

      Sunday 17th  Fine weather as yesterday.  Nothing remarkable. 

      Monday 18th  Weather same as yesterday.  Sent Keave & Garipy {Garipie} to the Mill this morning to assist in building the Grist Mill.  Commenced this morning taking up our potatoes & got 280 bushels of them housed.  Also began packing the furs for England.  Had a lot of them out to day before the sun.  4 ploughs were to day ploughing land for fall wheat and another ploughing up the potatoes.  8 oxen with their gear complete were sent to the Mill to haul out the heavy pieces. 

      Tuesday 19th  Beautiful weather with light variable airs. People employed as yesterday.  Had 25 bales of the New Caledonia furs packed to day for England & other furs dusted and aired.  We also took up & housed 482 bushels of potatoes. 

      Wednesday 20th  Fine weather till 4 PM when it became overcast with a strong South West Wind.  Had 19 bales of furs packed to day for England and 504 bushels of potatoes taken up & housed.  Some few furs & salmon were traded from Tlalums with 15 gns of oil.  Ploughing going on as yesterday. 

      Thursday 21st  Overcast with little or no wind.  People employed as yesterday.  It being overcast & the air rather damp we could not make any packs but had the bales already made pressed and cross lashed.  350 bushels of potatoes were taken up in course of the day.  Intelligence was received to day by the Songes, that one of their men with was shot and 6 women & children taken prisoners or captives by Tsoughelum, the celebrated Kawitchin freebooter. 

      Friday 22nd  Overcast with heavy rain in the evening.  Made little or no progress to day with the furs owing to the cloudy weather.  150 bushels of potatoes were taken up.  No trade worth noticing. 

      Saturday 23rd  Raining heavily over night with some thunder & lightning, overcast & foggy throughout the day.  The week's work as follows: 15 acres of land ploughed & harrowed, plank bottom of skow planed & fitted, 56 bales of furs packed & pressed for England, 1841 bushels of potatoes taken up & housed including to day's work.  Owing to the drought of last summer the potatoes we are now taking up which are in the driest part of the field yield but a poor crop.  460 brick made & both herths in the big house laid with them a sett of funnels stove made by the blacksmith with sundry other iron works repaired.  10 hands employed at the Grist Mill during the week. 

      Sunday 24th  Beautiful weather with light variable airs.  Nothing remarkable. 

      Monday 25th Cloudy till 10AM when it cleared up into a fine clear day.  Were busy at our last week's occupations, packing furs for Engd, lifting potatoes 216 bus. of which taken up to day,  ploughing & harrowg &c.  A canoe arrived in the evening from Langley & reported the Cadboro being a few days ago becalmed off Fraser's River on her way North. 

      Tuesday 26th  Beautiful clear weather with thick fog in the morning.  The people employed as yesterday.  300 bushels of potatoes taken up & housed.  Had several bales of furs made up for England & the New Caledonia & Colville martens & foxes taken out of the puncheons and aired which were found with a considerable quantity of mould in them. 3 canoes of Cape Flattery Indians arrived this afternoon & brought about 60 gns oil & a few sea otters.  The latter are not as yet traded. 

      Wednesday 27th  Fine weather still continues.  Had some puncheons containing foxes, martens & sea otters packed to day for England.  People employed about the furs, lifting potatoes, 204 bushels of which were taken up & housed to day, ploughing & making a new skow.  Early this morning 5 large canoes of the Songes well armed started for Kawitchin for the purpose of revenging what Tsoughelum had done to their party a few days ago.  1 large & 2 small sea otters were traded from the Cape Flattery party who left this afternoon. 

      Thursday 28th  Weather beautifully clear as yesterday and very favourable for our operation of packing & airing the furs for shipmt to England at which we were employed to day.  162 bus. potatoes were taken up & housed.  60 gns oil were traded from the Tlalums. 

      Friday 29th Alternately clear & cloudy with a little rain this afternoon.  People employed as yesty.  We have had all the furs on hand here now packed & pressed for England & we have finished taking up the potatoes this afternoon which amounts in all including to day's work to 2774 bus. 

      Saturday 30th  Weather cloudy with light variable winds.  The week's operations as follows: 700 bus. potatoes taken up & housed,  12 acres of land ploughed, all the furs on hand Ot '48 packed & pressed for England & sundry other operations about the place performed.  In the afternoon the Cadboro arrived from Langley with a cargo of salmon.  Mr. Peers came as passenger being on his way from the interior to see Mr. Douglas. 

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