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Fort Victoria Post Journal August 1849

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1849 August

      Wednesday 1st Aug.  Beautiful weather & warm with light variable airs. People employed much the same as usual.  No trade worth mentioning.  Thomas arrived from the Mill this morning & reported having {illegible} all the hay in Mechausen. 

      Thursday 2nd  Very warm weather with a cooling breeze from the Southd & Westward.  Operations in hand going on as usual.  The miners have dug a well in the vicinity of McPhail's Dairy to the depth of 13ft & sunk an iron rod to the a further depth of 21 feet & found nothing but a soft clayey bottom.  Consequently we discontinued digging it further, they are now trying to sink another at some distance from the [former].  Nothing done to day in the way of trade. 

      Friday 3rd Heat very oppressive for some time during the day.  People employed at their usual occupations, thrashing grain, building, &c. as labor book.  Some fresh salmon & a few furs were traded in course of the day.  Three men still on the sick list, but some are daily getting better. 

      Saturday 4th  Fine and warm with light variable airs.  The principal results of the week's work as follows: about 15 acres of land ploughed, several sashes windows made, three carts repaired, a quantity of wheat thrashed and winnowed, a quantity of hay made for the Mill & sundry other operations performed about the Establishment. A considerable quantity of dried fresh salmon was traded to day from Tlalums. No trade in furs. 

      Sunday 5th  Very warm weather with little or no wind.  Late in the evening a party of Skatchets arrived from Belle Vue Island, with three canoe loads of salmon. 

      Monday 6th  Weather warm as yesterday, but is now becoming somewhat hazy.  People employed chiefly as last week except the miners at Mechausen who were sent to mow hay in the swamps in the vicinity this morning.  The salmon were traded from the Skatchets to day, which amounted to 1500 in th number & were salted for winter stock. 

      Tuesday 7th  Warm weather as yesterday with light variable wind.  People employed much the same as usual per labor book.  Late in the evening the Skatchets arrived with 10 canoes full of salmon from Belle Vue Island.  Nothing now coming in in the way of trade in furs.  Mr. Nevin paid a visit to the mill party to day & found affairs going on there as usual.  Our people are employed after hours making a house for Father Lampfrit. {Lempfrit} 

      Wednesday 8th  Fine warm weather with light variable winds.  People employed as usual.  About 2000 salmon were traded to day from the Skatchets, principally for woolens.  No trade in furs.  Late in the evening Captain Grant arrived from Nisqually in a canoe mand by Indians & brought letters from Vancouver. 

      Thursday 9th  Weather still continues & warm & clear with light variable winds.  People employed as labor book at their usual occupations.  About noon the Cadboro arrived from Ft. Langley with a cargo consisting of the furs from the interior and some barrels of salmon from Ft. Langley. A quantity of fresh salmon was traded to day from the Songes which was salted down for winter stock. 

      Friday 10th  Weather same as yesterday, but more smoky & hazy.  Operations in hand going on as yesterday.  About 3000 fresh salmon were traded to day from the Songes & salted down.  Very little done in the fur trade.  Some oil was traded from the Cape Flattery Indians. 

      Saturday 11th  Had thick fog this morning which cleared up with the sun.  Operations in hand the same.  The principal operations of the week as follows: the office flooring planed,  some {blank} cart loads of hay housed & a quantity made, about 8 acres of new land ploughed & several barrels of salmon salted, the Cadboro unloaded & cargo shipped on board of her for Nisqually.  Some oil & fresh salmon traded to day from Cape Flatteries and Songes. 

      Sunday 12th  Weather beautifully clear with light variable airs.  The day passed away as usual. 

      Monday 13th  Fine weather still continues with light variable winds.  The laborers who came out w for Captain Grant having since their arrival been employed for the Company, discontinued work to day here & are in future to be employed for that gentleman.  Our own people were employed making hay, building &c as labor book.  Salmon are now being brought in considerable numbers but we cannot trade more of them for want of casks. 

      Tuesday 14th  Very warm weather during the day but cool as usual during the night.  People employed as usual as labor book.  Early this morning the Cadboro left the entrance of the harbour bound for Nisqually.  In the afternoon Mr. Douglas & Mr. McKay left for Soke harbour in a canoe manned by Indians & two of our men.  Captain Grant with all his men accompanied them in another canoe, who thinks of settling at that place.  McPhail has been on the sick list all this day with a headache. 

      Wednesday 15th  The weather has been smoky during the day with a strong breeze from the South West.  People employed as usual as labor book.  About 1000 fresh salmon were traded to day and salted.  Cole arrived in course of last night with a skow load of lumber from the Mill. 

      Thursday 16th  Weather cooler than it has been for some time back, with a fresh breeze from the South West. Weather generally clear.  Began this morning reaping our pease, at which we had a large party of Indians employed.  Some fresh salmon were traded to day and salted.  The people employed at their usual occupations, carting in hay, mowing hay, &c.  

      Friday 17th  Weather still continues fine but rather smoky and hazy, little airs, {sic} no wind.  People employed as usual as labor book.  Some fresh salmon were traded this evening which are intended for tomorrow's rations. 

      Saturday 18th  Weather very foggy this morning but cleared up about noon, little or no wind. The people were principally employed this week carting & making hay, salting salmon & building, &c. as labor book.  About noon the Beaver Steamer with the Mary Dare in tow arrived here from Beaver harbour having the part of the Coast returns on board.  Mr. Work & family came down as passengers. About the same time Mr. Douglas returned from Soke harbour where he left Capt Grant and party about commencing operations in the Bay of Say ausung. 

      Sunday 19th  Fine pleasant weather but rather hazy.  Some Cape Flattery Indians arrived with some sea otters and oil.  Nothing transpired out of the usual course of things. 

      Monday 20th  Weather generally overcast with a heavy shower of rain in the forenoon.  People employed much the same as last week.  Began cutting down our wheat to day but discontinued the operation, it not being as yet sufficiently ripe.  The pease have been collected in heaps ready for carting in.   

      Tuesday 21st  Fine weather with light variable winds.  People employed as usual.  No trade worth noticing.  The greater portion of our pease has been carted in. 

      Wednesday 22nd  The weather still continues warm but rather smoky.  People employed carting, salting salmon, discharging coals from Mary Dare &c.  The Steam Vessel is now lying along side the Boiler Shed having been taken there yesterday morning for the purpose of taking in the boilers.  No trade worth noticing. 

      Thursday 23rd {handwriting change} Fine dry weather, for hay and harvest work, and no less favourable to the spreading of the fires which are burning fiercely in all the forests around this place destroying in the short space of a few hours more timber than half a century will replace.  Discharged the remainder of the coals from the 'Mary Dare' and began to send cargo on board for the New Establishment whither she is next bound.  Taking down the chimney and opening the decks of the Steam Vessel to remove the old boilers.  A few fresh potatoes are daily brought in by the natives who place an exorbitant price upon them.  Carpenter employed about the new office putting in the window frames preparing the wood for oiling the upper joists &c.  Two hands at the new kitchen.  Blacksmiths at various jobs, other men employed variously. 

      Friday 24th We were this morning roused from bed by the reported desertion of nine men from the crews of the Steam Vessel and Mary Dare.  Having ascertained the fact beyond dispute, and that they had decamped with a fine canoe belonging to old Rabasca and had no doubt gone towards Nisqually a party was immediately appointed to go off in pursuit.  Mr. Roderick Finlayson having handsomely volunteered his services left this {place} about 8 'o'clock A.M. accompanied by Mr. Joseph McKay, Mr. Mowatt- and the following men Lagacé, Lazard, Coté, Grand Thomas, with a number of Indians to complete the crews of two canoes.  They will take the route by Smith's Island and endeavour to intercept the deserters, before they get clear of Admiralty Inlet, otherwise Mr. Finlayson will proceed onwards to Nisqually and endeavour to secure them there with the aid of the United States Authorities.  The work of the place going on as usual, the Mary Dare taking in cargo for the New Establishment, preparing to take out the Steamer boilers. Very little doing in the way of trade. 

      Saturday 25th  Fine clear weather.  Mary Dare commenced taking in cargo.  The people were principally employed this week carting, salting salmon, and building &c &c. 

      Sunday 26th  Fine pleasant weather.  Nothing occurred out of the usual course of things. 

      Monday 27th  Clear warm weather.  The people employed nearly the same as last week.  Commenced taking the Steamer's boilers out.  Traded a few salmon.  Mary Dare is ready to make sail tomorrow morning for Beaver Harbour. 

      Tuesday 28th  Fine warm weather.  The Brig Mary Dare weighed anchor early this morning for Beaver Harbour, Mr. Chief Factor Work, and eight miners as passengers.  About 11 o clock A.M. fire broke out in the woods to the north of the Fort which became very alarming. About one o clock, all hands were sent out to cut away the bushes and dry grass on the banks of the little river which having finished they attacked the fire with buckets of water and beating it with green branches, hoeing the ground about the edges we were fortunate enough in succeeding to extinguish it. All hands were set to watch it during the night.  Got a few pieces of the boilers taken out of the Steamer. 

      Wednesday 29th  Fine warm weather.  The fire broke out in two or three places last night but was soon extinguished.  The carpenters employed making ladders &c.  Some Indians clearing away the rubbish & dry sticks &c. about the Fort.  The remainder of the people watching the fire. 

      Thursday 30th  {handwriting change} Weather fine and warm as usual but very smoky,  wind light from the South West.  The Indians are now bringing potatoes for trade. People employed reaping wheat & performing other sundry duties about the Establishment.  Late in the evening Mr. Finlayson & party returned from the pursuit of the deserters without having fallen in with any of them, they had evidently travelled during the night & remained quiet in the day time to escape observation. 

      Friday 31st  Weather thick & foggy as yesterday with light airs from the Southward and Westward.  People employed principally as yesterday harvesting.  Upwards of 100 bus. potatoes were traded to day from Kawitchins.  Mr. Simpson was dispatched this afternoon to Ft. Langley in a canoe to join Mr. Yale with whom he is to remain as assistant. 

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