So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do. — Benjamin Franklin

Trails of the Pathfinders - G. B. Grinnell




Alexander Henry—I

The fur trade, which occupied many worthy men during the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth century, forms a romantic and interesting part of the early history of our country.

The traders, usually of English and American parentage, associated themselves with the French voyageurs, or coureurs des bois, whom Masson describes as "those heroes of the prairie and forest, regular mixtures of good and evil, extravagant by nature, at the same time grave and gay, cruel and compassionate; as credulous as superstitious, and always irreligious." Traders and voyageurs alike suffered every privation, the cold of winter, the heat of summer, and finally, by incredible persistence, beat out the path of discovery during all seasons, until it became a well-worn trail; all to penetrate the great unknown, which might contain everything that the trader desired. The man who lived in those times and under those conditions was brave and enduring without trying to be; he was alert and quick to act, and unwearying in overcoming obstacles. Viewing him from the present day, we might call him cruel and without feeling; but in those times men were taught not to show their feelings. Their lives were given in great part to surmounting enormous difficulties of travel in unknown regions, and to establishing trade relations with unknown tribes of Indians, who often times were not disposed to be friendly. The fur trader was in constant danger, not only from hostile Indians, but often from starvation.

Alexander Henry was one of these fur traders. He came upon the scene just at the close of the French regime. At twenty-one he had joined Amherst's army, not as a soldier, but in "a premature attempt to share in the fur trade of Canada, directly on the conquest of the country." Wolfe's victory at Quebec in the previous year had aroused the English traders to the opportunity presented of taking over the fur trade which the French had opened up, and Amherst's large army was watched with great interest as it swept away the last remnant of French control. Henry was well fitted for the life that he intended to pursue, for he seems to have had knowledge of the trading posts of Albany and New York.

On the 3rd day of August, 1761, Henry despatched his canoes from Montreal to Lachine on an expedition to the regions west of the Great Lakes. Little did he realize then that he should be gone from civilization for sixteen years; that he should suffer and want but survive; should see new and strange peoples, discover rivers and lakes, build forts, to be used by others who were to follow him, trade with the natives, and finally return to hear of the capture of Quebec by the Americans, and then go to France to tell of his adventures.

The route of the expedition was the usual one. Almost immediately after leaving Lachine they came to the broad stretch of Lake Saint Louis. At St. Anne's the men used to go to confession, as the voyageurs were almost all Catholics, and at the same time offered up their vows; "for the saint from which this parish derives its name, and to whom its church is dedicated, is the patroness of the Canadians in all their travels by water." "There is still a further custom to be observed on arriving at Saint-Anne's," Henry relates, "which is that of distributing eight gallons of rum to each canoe for consumption during the voyage; nor is it less according to custom to drink the whole of this liquor upon the spot. The saint, therefore, and the priest were no sooner dismissed than a scene of intoxication began in which my men surpassed, if possible, the drunken Indian in singing, fighting, and the display of savage gesture and conceit."

Continuing up the river, and carrying over many portages, they at last reached the Ottawa, and soon ascended the Mattawa. Hitherto the French were the only white men that had been known in this region. Their relations with the Indians were friendly, and the Indians were well aware of the enmity existing between the French and the English. In the Lac des Chats Henry met several canoes of Indians returning from their winter hunt. They recognized him as an Englishman, and cautioned him, declaring that the upper Indians would kill him when they saw him, and said that the Englishmen were crazy to go so far after beaver. The expedition came at last to Lake Huron, which "lay stretched across our horizon like an ocean." It was, perhaps, the largest water Henry had yet seen, and the prospect was alarming, but the canoes rode with the ease of a sea-bird, and his fears subsided. Coming to the island called La Cloche, because "there is here a rock standing on a plain, which, being struck, rings like a bell," he found Indians, with whom he traded, and to whom he gave some rum, and who, recognizing him as an Englishman, told his men that the Indians at Michilimackinac would certainly kill him. On the advice of his friend Campion, Henry changed his garb, assuming the dress usually worn by the Canadians, and, smearing his face with dirt and grease, believed himself thoroughly disguised.

Passing the mouth of the river Missisaki, he found the Indians inhabiting the north side of Lake Superior cultivating corn in small quantities.

As he went on, the lake before him to the westward seemed to become less and less broad, and at last he could see the high back of the island of Michilimackinac, commonly interpreted to mean the great turtle. He found here a large village of Chippewas, and leaving as soon as possible, pushed on about two leagues farther to the fort, where there was a stockade of thirty houses and a church.

For years now Fort Michilimackinac had been a scene of great activity. Established by Father Marquette, and kept up by succeeding missionaries, the first men to brave the unknown terrors of the interior, it was from here in 1731 that the brave and adventurous Verendryes set out on their long journey to the Forks of the Saskatchewan, and to the Missouri River.

This was the half-way house for all the westward pushing and eastward coming traders, and a meeting place for all the tribes living on the Great Lakes. Here were fur traders, trappers, voyageurs, and Indians, hurrying to and fro, dressed in motley and picturesque attire. Some were bringing in furs from long and perilous journeys from the west, while others were on the eve of departure westward, and others still were leaving for Montreal. The scene must have been gay and active almost beyond our powers to imagine. Henry was in the midst of all this when the word came to him that a band of Chippewas wished to speak with him; and, however unwillingly, he was obliged to meet them, sixty in number, headed by Minavavana, their chief. "They walked in single file, each with a tomahawk in one hand and scalping-knife in the other. Their bodies were naked from the waist upward, except in a few examples, where blankets were thrown loosely over the shoulders." Their faces were painted with charcoal, their bodies with white clay, and feathers were tied in the heads of some, and thrust through the noses of others. Before the opening of the council, the chief held a conference with Campion, asking how long it was since Henry had left Montreal, and observing that the Eng fish must be brave men and not afraid of death, since they thus ventured to come fearlessly among their enemies. After the pipe had been smoked, while Henry "inwardly endured the tortures of suspense," the chief addressed him, saying:

"Englishman, our father, the King of France, employed our young men to make war upon your nation. In this warfare many of them have been killed; and it is our custom to retaliate, until such time as the spirits of the slain are satisfied. But the spirits of the slain are to be satisfied in either of two ways: the first is by the spilling of the blood of the nation by which they fell; the other, by covering the bodies of the dead, and thus allaying the resentment of their relations. This is done by making presents.

"Englishman, your King has never sent us any presents, nor entered into any treaty with us, wherefore he and we are still at war; and, until he does these things, we must consider that we have no other father nor friend among the white men than the King of France; but, for you, we have taken into consideration that you have ventured your life among us, in the expectation that we should not molest you. You do not come armed, with an intention to make war; you come in peace, to trade with us, and supply us with necessaries, of which we are in much want. We shall regard you, therefore, as a brother, and you may sleep tranquilly, without fear of the Chippewas. As a token of our friendship, we present you with this pipe to smoke."

In reply, Henry told them that their late father, the King of France, had surrendered Canada to the King of England, whom they should now regard as their father, and that he, Henry, had come to furnish them with what they needed. Things were thus very satisfactory, and when the Chippewas went away they were given a small quantity of rum.

Henry was now busily at work assorting his goods, preparatory to starting on his expedition, when two hundred Ottawas entered the fort and demanded speech with him. They insisted that he should give credit to every one of their young men to the amount of fifty beaver skins, but as this demand would have stripped him of all his merchandise, he refused to comply with the request. What the Ottawas might have done is uncertain. They did nothing, because that very day word was brought that a detachment of English soldiers, sent to garrison the fort, was distant only five miles, and would be there the next day. At daybreak the Ottawas were seen preparing to depart, and by sunrise not one of them was left in the fort.

Although it was now the middle of September, the traders sent off their canoes on the different trading expeditions. These canoes were victualled largely with Indian corn at the neighboring village of L'Arbre Croche, occupied by the Ottawas. This corn was prepared for use by boiling it in a strong lye which removed the husk, after which it was pounded and dried, making a meal. "The allowance for each man on the voyage is a quart a day, and a bushel, with two pounds of prepared fat, is reckoned to be a month's subsistence. No other allowance is made of any kind, not even of salt, and bread is never thought of. The men, nevertheless, are healthy, and capable of performing their heavy labor. This mode of victualling is essential to the trade, which, being pursued at great distances, and in vessels so small as canoes, will not admit of the use of other food. If the men were to be supplied with bread and pork, the canoes could not carry a sufficiency for six months; and the ordinary duration of the voyage is not less than fourteen."

The food of the garrison consisted largely of small game, partridges and hares, and of fish, especially trout, whitefish, and sturgeon. Trout were caught with set lines and bait, and whitefish with nets under the ice. Should this fishery fail, it was necessary to purchase grain, which, however, was very expensive, costing forty livres, or forty shillings, Canadian currency; though there was no money in Michilimackinac, and the circulating medium consisted solely of furs. A pound of beaver was worth about sixty cents, an otter skin six shillings Canadian, and marten skins about thirty cents each.

Having wintered at Michilimackinac, Henry set out in May for the Sault de Sainte-Marie. Here there was a stockaded fort, with four houses, one of which was occupied by Monsieur Cadotte, the interpreter, and his Chippewa wife. The Indians had an important white-fish fishery at the rapids, taking the fish in dip nets. In the autumn Henry and the other whites did much fishing; and in the winter they hunted, and took large trout with the spear through the ice in this way: "In order to spear trout under the ice, holes being first cut of two yards in circumference, cabins of about two feet in height are built over them of small branches of trees; and these are further covered with skins so as to wholly exclude the light. The design and result of this contrivance is to render it practicable to discern objects in the water at a very considerable depth; for the reflection of light from the water gives that element an opaque appearance, and hides all objects from the eye at a small distance beneath its surface. A spear head of iron is fastened on a pole of about ten feet in length. This instrument is lowered into the water, and the fisherman, lying upon his belly, with his head under the cabin or cover, and therefore over the hole, lets down the figure of a fish in wood and filled with lead. Round the middle of the fish is tied a small pack thread, and, when at the depth of ten fathoms, where it is intended to be employed, it is made, by drawing the string and by the simultaneous pressure of the water, to move forward, after the manner of a real fish. Trout and other large fish, deceived by its resemblance, spring toward it to seize it, but, by a dexterous jerk of the string, it is instantly taken out of their reach. The decoy is now drawn nearer to the surface, and the fish takes some time to renew the attack, during which the spear is raised and held conveniently for striking. On the return of the fish, the spear is plunged into its back, and, the spear being barbed, it is easily drawn out of the water. So completely do the rays of the light pervade the element that in three-fathom water I have often seen the shadows of the fish on the bottom, following them as they moved; and this when the ice itself was two feet in thickness."

The burning of the post at the Sault forced all hands to return next winter to Michilimackinac, where the early spring was devoted to the manufacture of maple sugar, an important article of diet in the northern country.

That spring Indians gathered about the fort in such large numbers as to make Henry fearful that something unusual lay behind the concourse. He spoke about it to the commanding officer, who laughed at him for his timidity. The Indians seemed to be passing to and fro in the most friendly manner, selling their fur and attending to their business altogether in a natural way.

About a year before an Indian named Wawatam had come into Henry's house, expressed a strong liking for him, and, having explained that years before, after a fast, he had dreamed of adopting an Englishman as his son, brother, and friend, told Henry that in him he recognized the person whom the Great Spirit had pointed out to him for a brother, and that he hoped Henry would become one of his family, and at the same time he made him a large present. Henry accepted these friendly overtures, and made a handsome present in return, and the two parted for the time.

Henry had almost forgotten his brother, when, on the second day of June, twelve months later, Wawatam again came to his house and expressed great regret that Henry had returned from the Sault. Wawatam stated that he intended to go there at once, and begged Henry to accompany him. He asked, also, whether the commandant had heard bad news, saying that during the winter he himself had been much disturbed by the noises of evil birds, and that there were many Indians around the fort who had never shown themselves within it. Both the chief and his wife strove earnestly to persuade Henry to accompany them at once, but he paid little attention to their requests, and they finally took their departure, very much depressed—in fact, even weeping. The next day Henry received from a Chippewa an invitation to come out and see the great game of baggatiway, or lacrosse, which his people were going to play that day with the Sacs. But as a canoe was about to start for Montreal, Henry was busy writing letters, and although urged by a friend to go out and meet another canoe just arrived from Detroit, he nevertheless remained in his room, writing. Suddenly he heard the Indian war-cry, and, looking out of the window, saw a crowd of Indians within the fort furiously cutting down and scalping every Englishman they found. He noticed, too, many of the Canadian inhabitants of the fort quietly looking on, neither trying to stop the Indians nor suffering injury from them; and from the fact that these people were not being attacked, he conceived the hope of finding security in one of their houses. This is as he tells it:

"Between the yard-door of my own house and that of M. Langlade, my next neighbor, there was only a low fence, over which I easily climbed. At my entrance I found the whole family at the windows, gazing at the scene of blood before them. I addressed myself immediately to M. Langlade, begging that he would put me into some place of safety until the heat of the affair should be over, an act of charity by which he might perhaps preserve me from the general massacre; but, while I uttered my petition, M. Langlade, who had looked for a moment at me, turned again to the window, shrugging his shoulders and intimating that he could do nothing for me—'Que voudriez-vous que j'en ferais?'

"This was a moment for despair; but the next a Pani woman, a slave of M. Langlade's, beckoned to me to follow her. She brought me to a door, which she opened, desiring me to enter, and telling me that it led to the garret, where I must go and conceal myself. I joyfully obeyed her directions and she, having followed me up to the garret door, locked it after me, and with great presence of mind took away the key.

"This shelter obtained, if shelter I could hope to find it, I was naturally anxious to know what might still be passing without. Through an aperture which afforded me a view of the area of the fort, I beheld, in shapes the foulest and most terrible, the ferocious triumphs of barbarian conquerors. The dead were scalped and mangled; the dying were writhing and shrieking under the unsatiated knife and tomahawk, and, from the bodies of some ripped open, their butchers were drinking the blood, scooped up in the hollow of joined hands and quaffed amid shouts of rage and victory. I was shaken, not only with horror, but with fear. The sufferings which I witnessed, I seemed on the point of experiencing. No long time elapsed before every one being destroyed who could be found, there was a general cry of 'All is finished!' At the same instant I heard some of the Indians enter the house in which I was.

"The garret was separated from the room below only by a layer of single boards, at once the flooring of the one and the ceiling of the other. I could therefore hear everything that passed; and, the Indians no sooner in than they inquired whether or not any Englishmen were in the house? M. Langlade replied that 'He could not say—he did not know of any'—answers in which he did not exceed the truth, for the Pani woman had not only hidden me by stealth, but had kept my secret and her own; M. Langlade was therefore, as I presume, as far from a wish to destroy me as he was careless about saving me, when he added to these answers that 'They might examine for themselves, and would soon be satisfied as to the object of their question.' Saying this, he brought them to the garret door.

"The state of my mind will be imagined. Arrived at the door, some delay was occasioned by the absence of the key, and a few moments were thus allowed me in which to look around for a hiding place. In one corner of the garret was a heap of vessels of birch-bark, used in maple-sugar making.

"The door was unlocked, and opening, and the Indians ascending the stairs, before I had completely crept into a small opening which presented itself at one end of the heap. An instant after four Indians entered the room, all armed with tomahawks, and all besmeared with blood upon every part, of their bodies.

"The die appeared to be cast. I could scarcely breathe: but I thought that the throbbing of my heart occasioned a noise loud enough to betray me. The Indians walked in every direction about the garret, and one of them approached me so closely that at a particular moment, had he put forth his hand, he must have touched me. Still, I remained undiscovered, a circumstance to which the dark color of my clothes and the want of light, in a room which had no window, and in the corner in which I was, must have contributed. In a word, after taking several turns in the room, during which they told M. Langlade how many they had killed and how many scalps they had taken, they returned downstairs, and I with sensations not to be expressed heard the door, which was the barrier between me and fate, locked for the second time.

"There was a feather bed on the floor, and on this, exhausted as I was by the agitation of my mind, I threw myself down and fell asleep. In this state I remained till the dusk of the evening, when I was awakened by a second opening of the door. The person that now entered was M. Langlade's wife, who was much surprised at finding me, but advised me not to be uneasy, observing that the Indians had killed most of the English, but that she hoped I might myself escape. A shower of rain having begun to fall, she had come to stop a hole in the roof. On her going away, I begged her to send me a little water to drink, which she did.

"As night was now advancing, I continued to lie on the bed, ruminating on my condition but unable to discover a resource from which I could hope for life. A flight to Detroit had no probable chance of success. The distance from Michilimackinac was four hundred miles; I was without provisions, and the whole length of the road lay through Indian countries, countries of an enemy in arms, where the first man whom I should meet would kill me. To stay where I was threatened nearly the same issue. As before, fatigue of mind and not tranquillity, suspended my cares and procured me further sleep.

"The respite which sleep afforded me during the night was put an end to by the return of morning. I was again on the rack of apprehension. At sunrise I heard the family stirring, and, presently after, Indian voices, informing M. Langlade that they had not found my hapless self among the dead, and that they supposed me to be somewhere concealed. M. Langlade appeared, from what followed, to be by this time acquainted with the place of my retreat, of which, no doubt, he had been informed by his wife. The poor woman, as soon as the Indians mentioned me, declared to her husband, in the French tongue, that he should no longer keep me in his house, but deliver me up to my pursuers; giving as a reason for this measure that should the Indians discover his instrumentality in my concealment they might revenge it on her children, and that it was better that I should die than they. M. Langlade resisted at first this sentence of his wife's; but soon suffered her to prevail, informing the Indians that he had been told I was in his house; that I had come there without his knowledge, and that he would put me into their hands. This was no sooner expressed than he began to ascend the stairs, the Indians following upon his heels.

"I now resigned myself to the fate with which I was menaced; and regarding every attempt at concealment as vain, I arose from the bed and presented myself full in view to the Indians who were entering the room. They were all in a state of intoxication, and entirely naked, except about the middle. One of them, named Wenniway, whom I had previously known and who was upward of six feet in height, had his entire face and body covered with charcoal and grease, only that a white spot of two inches in diameter encircled either eye. This man, walking up to me, seized me with one hand by the collar of the coat, while in the other he held a large carving knife, as if to plunge it into my breast; his eyes, meanwhile, were fixed steadfastly on mine. At length, after some seconds of the most anxious suspense he dropped his arm, saying, 'I won't kill you!' To this he added that he had been frequently engaged in wars against the English, and had brought away many scalps; that, on a certain occasion, he had lost a brother, whose name was Musingon, and that I should be called after him."

Several times within the next two or three days Henry had narrow escapes from death at the hands of drunken Indians; but finally his captors, having stripped him of all his clothing save an old shirt, took him, with other prisoners, and set out for the Isles du Castor, in Lake Michigan.

Alexander Henry and Indians
'I NOW RESIGNED MYSELF TO THE FATE WITH WHICH I WAS MENACED.'


At the village of L'Arbre Croche, the Ottawas forcibly took away their prisoners from the Chippewas, but the Chippewas made violent complaint, while the Ottawas explained to the prisoners that they had taken them from the Chippewas to save their lives, it being the practice of the Chippewas to eat their enemies, in order to give them courage in battle. A council was held between the Chippewas and Ottawas, the result of which was that the prisoners were handed over to their original captors. But before they had left this place, while Henry was sitting in the lodge with his captor, his friend and brother, Wawatam, suddenly entered. As he passed Henry he shook hands with him, but went toward the great chief, by whom he sat down, and after smoking, rose again and left the lodge, saying to Henry as he passed him, "Take courage."

A little later, Wawatam and his wife entered the lodge, bringing large presents, which they threw down before the chiefs. Wawatam explained that Henry was his brother, and therefore a relative to the whole tribe, and asked that he be turned over to him, which was done.

Henry now went with Wawatam to his lodge, and thereafter lived with him. The Indians were very much afraid that the English would send to revenge the killing of their troops, and they shortly moved to the Island of Michilimackinac. A little later a brigade of canoes, containing goods and abundant liquor, was captured: and Wawatam, fearing the results of the drink on the Indians, took Henry away and concealed him in a cave, where he remained for two days.

The head chief of the village of Michilimackinac now recommended to Wawatam and Henry that, on account of the frequent arrival of Indians from Montreal, some of whom had lost relatives or friends in the war, Henry should be dressed like an Indian, and the wisdom of this advice was recognized. His hair was cut off, his head shaved, except for a scalp-lock, his face painted, and Indian clothing given him. Wawatam helped him to visit Michilimackinac, where Henry found one of his clerks, but none of his property. Soon after this they moved away to Wawatam's wintering ground, which Henry was very willing to visit, because in the main camp he was constantly subjected to insults from the Indians who knew of his race.

Henry writes fully of the customs of the Indians, of the habits of many of the animals which they pursued, and of the life he led. He says that during this winter "Raccoon hunting was my more particular and daily employ. I usually went out at the first dawn of day, and seldom returned till sunset, or till I had laden myself with as many animals as I could carry. By degrees I became familiarized with this kind of life; and had it not been for the idea, of which I could not divest my mind, that I was living among savages, and for the whispers of a lingering hope that I should one day be released from it, or if I could have forgotten that I had ever been otherwise than as I then was, I could have enjoyed as much happiness in this as in any other situation."

Among the interesting hunting occurrences narrated is one of the killing of a bear, and of the ceremonies subsequent to this killing performed by the Indians. He says:

"In the course of the month of January I happened to observe that the trunk of a very large pine tree was much torn by the claws of a bear, made both in going up and down. On further examination, I saw that there was a large opening in the upper part, near which the smaller branches were broken. From these marks, and from the additional circumstance that there were no tracks in the snow, there was reason to believe that a bear lay concealed in the tree.

"On returning to the lodge, I communicated my discovery, and it was agreed that all the family should go together in the morning to assist in cutting down the tree, the girth of which was not less than three fathom. Accordingly, in the morning we surrounded the tree, both men and women, as many at a time as could conveniently work at it, and here we toiled like beaver till the sun went down. This day's work carried us about half way through the trunk; and the next morning we renewed the attack, continuing it till about two o'clock in the afternoon, when the tree fell to the ground. For a few minutes everything remained quiet, and I feared that all our expectations were disappointed; but, as I advanced to the opening, there came out, to the great satisfaction of all our party, a bear of extraordinary size, which, before she had proceeded many yards, I shot.

"The bear being dead, all my assistants approached, and all, but more particularly my old mother (as I was wont to call her), took her head in their hands, stroking and kissing it several times, begging a thousand pardons for taking away her life; calling her their relation and grandmother, and requesting her not to lay the fault upon them, since it was truly an Englishman that had put her to death.

"This ceremony was not of long duration, and if it was I that killed their grandmother, they were not themselves behindhand in what remained to be performed. The skin being taken off, we found the fat in several places six inches deep. This, being divided into two parts, loaded two persons, and the flesh parts were as much as four persons could carry. In all, the carcass must have exceeded five hundredweight.

"As soon as we reached the lodge, the bear's head was adorned with all the trinkets in the possession of the family, such as silver arm-bands and wrist-bands, and belts of wampum, and then laid upon a scaffold set up for its reception within the lodge. Near the nose was placed a large quantity of tobacco.

"The next morning no sooner appeared than preparations were made for a feast to the manes. The lodge was cleaned and swept, and the head of the bear lifted up and a new stroud blanket, which had never been used before, spread under it. The pipes were now lit, and Wawatam blew tobacco smoke into the nostrils of the bear, telling me to do the same, and thus appease the anger of the bear on account of my having killed her. I endeavored to persuade my benefactor and friendly adviser that she no longer had any life, and assured him that I was under no apprehension from her displeasure; but the first proposition obtained no credit, and the second gave but little satisfaction.

"At length, the feast being ready, Wawatam commenced a speech, resembling, in many things, his address to the manes of his relations and departed companions, but having this peculiarity, that he here deplored the necessity under which men labored thus to destroy their friends. He represented, however, that the misfortune was unavoidable, since without doing so they could by no means subsist. The speech ended, we all ate heartily of the bear's flesh, and even the head itself, after remaining three days on the scaffold, was put into the kettle.

"It is only the female bear that makes her winter lodging in the upper parts of trees, a practice by which her young are secured from the attacks of wolves and other animals. She brings forth in the winter season, and remains in her lodge till the cubs have gained some strength.

"The male always lodges in the ground, under the roots of trees. He takes to this habitation as soon as the snow falls, and remains there till it has disappeared. The Indians remark that the bear comes out in the spring with the same fat which he carried in, in the autumn; but, after exercise of only a few days, becomes lean. Excepting for a short part of the season, the male lives constantly alone.

"The fat of our bear was melted down, and the oil filled six porcupine skins. A part of the meat was cut into strips and fire-dried, after which it was put into the vessels containing the oil, where it remained in perfect preservation until the middle of summer."

When spring came, and they returned to the more travelled routes and met other Indians, it was seen that these people were all anxious lest the English should this summer avenge the outbreak of the Indians of the previous year. Henry was exceedingly anxious to escape from his present life, and his brother was willing that he should go, but this appeared difficult. At last, however, a Canadian canoe, carrying Madame Cadotte, came along, and this good woman was willing to assist Henry so far as she could. He and his brother parted rather sadly, and Henry, now under the guise of a Canadian, took a paddle in Madame Cadotte's canoe. She took him safely to the Sault, where he was welcomed by Monsieur Cadotte, whose great influence among the Indians was easily sufficient to protect him. Soon after this there came an embassy from Sir William Johnson, calling the Indians to come to Niagara and make peace with the English; and after consulting the Great Turtle, who was the guardian spirit of the Chippewas, a number of young men volunteered to go to Niagara, and among them Henry.

After a long voyage they reached Niagara, where Henry was very kindly received by Sir William Johnson and subsequently was appointed by General Bradstreet, commander of an Indian battalion of ninety-six men, among whom were many of the Indians who, not long before, had been ready and eager to kill him. With this command he moved westward, and after peace had been made with Pontiac at Detroit, with a detachment of troops reached Michilimackinac, where he recovered a part of his property.