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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 72, August 16, 1853

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Identifier: DX04096056

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 72, August 16, 1853

Description: Describes a talk with Godefroy on board the Sam. Ward about his life spent trading with Native Americans in Michigan around the Great Lakes.


Yorker, yclept Frisell, who occupied part of my cabin on the Pacific. Has travelled much, and is about to go on an expedition exploring the Amazon. Expects to be gone two years. To the boat. Talk with Fond du Lac Godefroi. How he now away from home to the wild western life. / With the Genessee born man, humbugging him. He’s a mine to be worked. This morn at breakfast Lewis started the assertion that the boat had struck during the night. “Jackass” credits it, swears he felt it, and saw the men pumping. Read over his notes to me, I giving him wild suggestions. Dinner. We pass Porcupine Mountains, dimly seen, though 1000 feet high, and on, westwards. / Fond du Lac’ Godefroi’s narrations. How he lived some years at St Paul, some hundreds of miles west of his present abode. Of his traffic in furs and peltries with the Indians, whom he justly estimates as a thieving, rascally, dirty, starving improvident race. How a man sleeps in winter travel, digs away enow and earth, lying down unwrapped in buffalo-skin and blanket, sleeping soundly till the morrow, when he’ll find a foot of snow on him, a spiral hole above made by his breath. How they live, taking as provant meal and swine’s flesh. He assents that for part of the year Indians feed on berries. They haunt such settlements as may exist, and at meal times expect promiscuous hospitality, even as they are ready, possessing aught to share it. Never fight save when drunk, and then do, the women yelling like devils. He don’t carry arms, says a knock-down fist blow answers better. Has a claim against government for Indian depredations, after this fashion. One red skinned varlet

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-08-16

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Ojibwa Indians
Great Lakes (North America)
Indians of North America
Superior, Lake
Fur trade


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