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Title: [Lord Alexander?], Quebec, to Countess of Caledon, Lyttenhangor.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
Filelord caledon/95
SenderLord Caledon (James Du Pre Alexander)
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationarmy officer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginQuebec, Canada
RecipientCountess of Caledon
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceDeposited by the Trustees of the Caledon Estates.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9511117
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 29:11:95.
Word Count2237
TranscriptCape Barracks
Quebec 28 July 1838
My Dear Brother
I shall expect a scolding from you for not having
written lately but it is not my fault as I wrote to
you from Quebec some time ago and sent the letter on
board the Inconstant as she was then to sail to England
with dispatches immediatley; I then went on leave, and as
the country I went to at first, did not admit my sending
a letter and on my return to Quebec, my time was so short, I
did not write as I took for granted that the Inconstant
had sailed; I now find that she has not sailed; and
is not likely to do so yet, as I have recalled my
letter and written you another, with the account of my
adventures. On the 30th of June having got in the
necessary provisions, four of us took a small cutter,
and with a man for pilot sailed for the river Saguiney
[Saguenay?] of which very little is known on the 3rd
of July we reached Tadousac [Tadoussec?], the Hudson
Bay station, at the mouth of the river Saguiney [Saguenay?]
the river St. Lawrence is here about 20 miles broad and
salt, here we gave a letter of introduction to Mr.
Conolly the Hudsons Bay agent, but as he had no
Indians there at the time, we gave up the idea of
going far up the river, however we set out again and a
fine breaze [breeze?] continuing up the river; we
went on and toward evening came to a noble bay called
the bay of Eternity seeing a light there we anchored
and after some difficulty found a fire [and?] a log
[screen?] with two voyageurs [voyagers?], we got them to
come with us on board and brought our boat close to
their fire and cooked a salmon which had been given us
at Tadousac [Tadoussec?] we passed the night close to the fire as
one must sleep in the smoke or the sandflies, [bruleans?]
[mustique?] and muskitoes [mosquitoes?] will not attack
you then, otherwise one could not exist, these men
have to work the blood from their eyes frequently or
they would not be able to see when they are at work in
the woods, their occupation was curing salmon. In the
morning having finished the salmon, we made our friends
a present of some tobacco and coffee and departed
finding the wind favorable to our going up the river
we went on and the same evening arrived at Chicoutami;
[Chicoutimi?] here we found the Hudsons Bay schooner
with presents and provisions for the Indians who were coming in for
the summer These were Canadian voyageurs and
about 10 families, their little birch black wigwams,
and black canoes, made them seem appear very strange
to us; about 8 o clock they all came in and although
they were all a little under the influence of wine they
were excessively civil to us, they got two drums and a
fiddle and began dancing; as the night advanced they
danced their war dances and told long stories all
shouting and screaming at once, they pride themselves
upon their being able to kill beaver and the old chief
was pointed out to [me?] who had brought in the year
previous 220 beaver skins a good beaver skin is worth
50 [?] of our money, the next day we were shown the
stores bear skins, deer, lynx, beaver and toward
evening we departed and they all assembled on the beach
and fired volleys in honor of us, this was the only
place that money was of no use to us, as they do not
make use of it, we gave them some flies and hooks and
they gave us some birch bark basins I wanted much to
get one of their beautiful canoes but they would not
part with them and we had nothing to give them in
return as money is prohibited by the Company and they
are all well clothed and fed and have as much [rum?]
and powder as they please, only one of them could speak
English at all; and none of them knew French, we were
nearly three days and nights getting out of the river
as the wind was against us, I regretted that I could
not fish there but the flies prevent one from having
any comfort on those. Captain Bayfield of the surveying
schooner [----rindham?] that the mountains are 3000
feet high in many places and the river he has tried for
soundings and could not get them at 350 for 2 or 3
miles from the mouth although close to these gigantic
rocks. Nothing in the world can equal the scenery of
this; and no description can give any idea of it the
manitou mountain is
magnificent. No one can account for this immense body
of water which is said to be greater than the Ottawa
river the entrance being only about 1 mile and a half
broad the bed is 600 feet below the St Lawrence higher
up it raises from 1« miles to 3m after much delay from
being becalmed and contrary winds we were 6 days going
to Quebec. I do not think you would have known me when
I returned; we had none of us shaved, and I had a very
respectable beard, a blanket coat and red sash with
cooked beads and a red night cap, with a rifle and gun
on my shoulder, we came in about 5 in the morning, I
had been so many nights without going to bed that it
felt quite strange to me undressing and getting to bed;
and I did not sleep near so sound as when on the ground
or on the deck of the boat. After having washed, and
cleaned; shaved and put on decent things, we packed up
our truss again and made the best of our time and
went off for another fortnights leave to Niagara First
we went to Montreal which is a finer looking town than
Quebec with regard to houses the Cathedral there is
very handsome built in 1819 and begun in 1814. Its
length is upwards of 200ft we remained here one day
(Windham and I) on the next we went by steamer
and coaches to Prescott then Toronto, where I saw Mr.
Baldwin ( Mrs. B. was in New York ) and Compton [Donville?]
from Toronto we went on to Niagara river
and landed at Queenstown 7 miles below the falls and
arrived at night at the Clifton hotel close to the falls
which it was too dark to see in the morning we went and
saw as much of them as we could, I passed under the
great sheet of water but when there could see nothing
owing to the spray. We hung over the Sable rock and
looked down on the fall and admired the beautiful
rainbows then we went over to the American falls, which
was against orders so that is a secret we then went on
to Buffalo a Mr. Daly of the Cornwallis was with us it
is about 20 miles off and which contains no matter of
interest except that it will be one of the largest
towns in America from its situation, it now contains
20,000 inhabitants, the Yankees looked very sulky at us
but were not the least uncivil; at 6 o clock a black
man rung a bell with amazing violence in the
passages of the inn, and at this signal about 100
people took their places at a long table; the capacity
with which they eat was wonderful, ham, eggs, beefsteaks
[----?] were soon demolished and they rushed out in as
great a hurry as they came in; when it was dusk we went
into the town and looked about us and when we seen all
we could see we returned to our inn the landlord gave
us a key for our room, and seemed surprised when he
found we wanted three, but he guessed it would do very
well for us, and we submitted; we slept very well till
about 7 and then had to get up as we knew we should
have a bad chance of breakfast if we did not obey the
black gentlemans summons. Having despatched breakfast
as quick as we did the tea before; we went on board a
steamer for Chippewa [Chippowa?], we passed Grand Island
and navy Island, and the place where the Caroline was cut out,
the Americans ridiculed and abused the Britishers very
much and calculated they could whip them pretty handy.
Having landed and been examined by the officers there;
we proceeded again to the falls, paying a visit to a
burning [---ing?]. The second sight of the falls
struck me far more than the first, in short the longer
one stays the finer it appeals; as the fall is too grand
to take in the whole view at first. The next thing of
importance was our dinner, and on arriving at the hotel
we found we were too late for the English steamer, as
having dined we went off to Lewis town to catch the
Americans one we had no time to see the whirlpool and
just arrived in time to get on board in the morning we
got to Carthage on the [------?] river and then to
Oswego here Davy left us as he had leave and a pass to
go to New York from the [terminal?] we soon made
aquintances with part of a company of actors who were
going to Montreal and very pleasant people we found
them. From Oswego we went to Kingston and then to
French Creek amongst the thousand islands which are in
Bill Johnstons possession. We have a [man of war?]
schooner and several boats stationed here. The islands
are very beautiful and said to be upwards of 2000 in
number from thence we went as far as the Long Fault
and Lachine Rapids and then back to Quebec through
Montreal we arrived here on Friday and I found the
letters by which I was much concerned to find that my
father had another attack at same time I was glad to
hear that he had rallied so well I hope it was only
occasioned by the heat of the house which I know by
experience to be as trying as any [that?] can be.
Should you wish me to come over at any time I could
obtain leave from Sir Jas [Jason?] Macdonaill [McDonell?]
or should my father wish me to do so, but if there is no
immediate want for me I should be anxious to see a
little more of the country and some thing of the States
I do not think the regiment will remain after the
Winter if all is quiet, since I began this letter we
have had news of the battle but have been
disappointed as it was such a small one and gave us no
promotion. I have missed all the fine goings on in
London but do not much regret them, I am going almost
directly to a solitary detachment at the Quarantine
called Grosse Isle or Goose Island and it is translated
I hope after that to be able to get a little for leave
to go to New York and to see the States, any letter
that is to be sent to me will be forwarded should I not
be in the way. The weather here is delightful and we
are all in good health. I have made a friend who dived
with me the other day a General Huston of the Texas [Rangers?]
Regular Yankee from Kentucky, he had been
'whipping the Mexicans' but some of the Indians the
other day whipped 260 of his friends which means that
they cut their throats and burnt them every one of
them. He pulled out a long Bowie knife from under his
waistcoat to show us, he was a very odd character
before leaving Quebec he went to one of our officers
and said I do not know what I can do for you or repay
you for your attention except I give you my knife and
out came the old Bowie knife which he gave him it was
a very handsome one he then said well I calculate when
ever we go to war that I shall have the pleasure of
meeting the Coldstream; which he meant as a
compliment he is gone back. The Americans who are
removed from the borders do not seem to dislike us but
the hatred of those on the borders to the Britishers is
extraordinary, and it is most fully repaid. I should
think you most be getting rather tired of reading my
letter I will come to a conclusion and I also
understand that there is a [bag?] going out for England
directly. We have another regiment just arrived by the
[Malabar?] but I believe it will go to the upper
country. I dined with Lord Durham yesterday 1st August
being on guard at the gate where the House of [Assembly?]
was where he now [lives?]. I was glad to hear another
good account of my father today from Nicholson which is
later than any I have received. Best love to my father,
Both my grandmothers &c. I Remain your Affect [Affectionate?] [Son?]
[----?] 2nd 1838.