Tracing the voyageurs’ highway: four memoirs

Tracing the voyageurs’ highway: four memoirs

Looking for summer reading? Here are four stories of adventure in the northern woods and waters. The voyage changed the lives of the young canoeists — and the others had been hoping for years to make this trek. I paddled only a few times in the Boundary Waters or on...
John Macdonell’s journal: part 5

John Macdonell’s journal: part 5

After five weeks traveling in 1793, John Macdonell and two others arrive at Michilimackinac, where they spend a companionable day or so. Then they hustle on to the rendezvous where important company decisions are being made. His journal continues, the fifth part in...
John Macdonell’s journal: part 4

John Macdonell’s journal: part 4

John Macdonell has been traveling for a month with his first-ever canoe brigade, in 1793. This is the fourth of 5 parts. June 24 ~ Left the Prairie des Vases and crossed a large bay of Lake Nipissing. I have been informed it is so shallow that they spear fish in...
John Macdonell’s journal: part 3

John Macdonell’s journal: part 3

John Macdonnell’s brigade is working their way upstream since May 25, 1793. It takes them about 3 weeks to reach the Mattawa River, a tributary off the Ottawa River, which they call the Grand River. Eventually they reach the height-of-land, and, with a big...
John Macdonell’s journal: part 2

John Macdonell’s journal: part 2

John Macdonell was born in Scotland in 1768. His family migrated to New York in 1773 and then to Canada. He was 25 years old when he began this first trading venture, in 1793. His diary describes his impressions of voyageur life. In this section, he has been traveling...

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