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of the ^ into the Arransoak. It is square; its defence

a bad palisade by two block houses, in which there are

some guns mounted, but as the fort is entirely commanded by a
rising ground behind it, they have been obliged to erect two other
block bourses and to clear the woods for some distance around.
They are capable of making a better defence, and it must be
coilfessed that either of them are more than sufficient against
an enemy who has no other ojaensive weapons than small arms-
The fort is garrisoned by a company of New-Englanders and
supplied from the settlement below. The tide brings sloops as
far as Fort Western, six leagues below Fort Halifax. From this
fort to where the Kennebec empties itself into the sea, a liitle
eastward of Casco Bay, is about forty-one miles. We continued
here at Fort Halifax two days to refresh ourselves and renew
our provisions. That done, on the evening of the 9th, we
remounted the river about two leagues. 10th, 11th, l-2th, con-
tinued to go up the nver. Through the excessive heat and
dryness of tlie season, the waters are visibly decreased.

13th. We had now remounted the river about twenty-three
leagues and drew very nigh the great Fourche. We came this
day to where we were to begin our portage across the country
westerly to the western branch of Kennebec river, called the
Dead river, which western branch

• The before it joins the

eastern branch of the Kennebec, has a great many windings, is
' At Watcrviile.

moxtresor's journal. ■ 461

full of islands, shallow, aud rapid. To avoid these inconveniences
it is usual to cany the canoes through the woods till you
meet the river, where it is of great depth and its current
hardl}'- perceivable. This portage is divided by three different
lakes, each of which is to be passed before you can arrive at the
Dead river, so called, being the western branch of the Kennebec.
It has been formerly mentioned that, although the French made
use of the eastern road to go into New England, yet this was
alwaj's looked upon, both by them and the English, as the most
eligible road to enter Canada. In order, therefore, to make
these portages more remarkable, we took care to blais all the
portages from the Kennebec to Lake Megantic in such a
manner as to make the \vay much less difficult for whoever may
follow us. A little above the portage a remarkable brook falls
into the river, which forms the first or nearest lake. '

July 1-ith. We took leave of the Arransoak or Kennebec
river, and early in the morning entered the woods, advancing
but slowly, the way being difficult to find, the ascent very great,
and the weather sultry. Our course was

. After walking about eight miles, we came to the first
lake it is the least considerable of the three, not

being above six hundred yards in length and four hundred in
breadth. Our course over it was . We entered on

the second portage, steering and in an hour came

to another lake . This extends itself about

three-fourths of a mile from but of no great

breadth. Our course over it was . When wo

came to the other side we paddled through the rushes to the
mouth of a large creek, into which we went. After carrying us
about five hundred yards it took a second sweep to the right,
inclining backward toward the lake. Here we landed and after
a long search found the portage. No nation having been more
jealous of their country than the Abenaquis, they have made it a
constant rule to leave the fewest vestiges of their route. The
course over this portage is . As it is not long,

we soon came to the Third Lake. We had made a long aud
fatiguing march; the night came on, the weather threatening, i^o
that we made no attempt to pass over, but encamped.


15th. Next morning set out early. The lake seemed to l>ein
breadth and in length extending from the

opposite bank. The land rose to a ridge of hills, over whicli
appeared the mountain rising to a great height. As

we passed the lake we were overtaken by a heavy shower; what
was more disagreeable, we could find on shore no marks of
a portage. In vain we coasted along the lake and examim-d
eveiy opening; we were obliged to send Indians into the woods,
and it was not till after a long search that they found any way.
Our course over the lake was . . Our course now over

the portage was . AVe ascended the hill,

the portage conducting through the gap or breach.. Its whole
length cannot be less than . After descending we

winded a long time along the foot of the hill, till we came at last
to a low savanna, where we baited. The brooks were all dry
from the excessive heat of the season. After crossing this
savanna, we continued our course through the woods till we
arrived at a second, more swampy than the first. This gave rise
to a large brook into which we put our canoes. ^Ye followed
the stream, which in a few minutes brought us to the river.
This noble river^ more than answered our expectation. ^Ve
found it about sixty yards in breadth, uniformly deep and gentle
in its current. The land on both shores is rich and beautiful,
and by the prints on the sand, must be full of game. We were
now very near the mountains from which this river takes its
name, but wo had not gone far, when a violent shower obliged
lis to encamp.

July 16th, Continued our voyage; course for two leagues
nearly . We had now passed the mountain, but the

river, by its extraordinary windings, seemed unwilling to leave it.
Two hours passed away and we had gained nothing in our course,
but at last by slow degrees it became more regular and returned
to its proper course. When we had gone about four leagues
we found the river parted into two branches, the chief of which
we left on the left hand.'^ It comes from . Tiie

other which we followed has a few rifts a httle above the Fork,

iDead river.
^South Branch.

moxtresor's journal. -1G3

but the river soon became deep and gentle as before, thougli its
breadth is greatly diminished.

July 17th. YTe gained this day four leagues further up the
river. "We had more dit^culty than before, as we met with two
fulls and some rapids, though not considerable.

18th. The river being extremely diminished, 'we divided;
some striking into the woods, the others leading the canoes up
the shallow rapids. After having gone about two leagues with
much fatigue, we launched the canoes into a large beaver dam,
which leads into the first lake of . These lakes^

are of a great depth and entirely surrounded with mountains.
The first is about half a mile in length, but of a very
breadth. In one place, where it contracts itself, the current is
easily pereivable. The further end is marsh3^ Here we again
found the brook, and after having gone on it about a quarter of
a mile, we came to the second lake. This is larger than the first,
though little difi'erent in appearance from it. We had a view of
the mountains of the height of land. After passing these lakes
the is no more than a small brook. AYe continued to lead

our canoes in it, till at length we arrived at the long looked for
portage. Here the river turns off to the although

a rivulet which falls into it here, springs from lakes I have yet to
mention. The appearance of the country here, though inferior
to what it was below, is still very beautiful. We were now
four leagues from lake Megantic, and divided from it by the
height of land; but though we could have no further assistance
from rivers, we had still a chain of lakes to conduct us the great
part of the way.

July 19th. Set out very early. Just by us we found a small
lake bearing from the portage . Having parsed

it, we again entered on tlie carrying place. Our course was

. After walking about we came to a very

beautiful lake about seven hundred yards in length and two
hundred and seventy in breadth. The brook which falls into

passes through it. Leaving the brook, whicli has a
cascade, on our right hand, a portage of five hundred yard.s
brought us to another lake. This is much smaller, its form very

'Chain Lakes.


regular, the shore rocky. VTe passed over and landed at ti, -
mouth of the same brook, to the source of which we now dro-.v
nigh. A short portage brought us to the last and most consid-
erable lake. ^ AYe entered on it nigh the source of the broiV;; ;
it is about three-fourths of a mile in length and almost livo
hundred yards wide. Our course over it carried us its full
length. Bidding adieu to the southern waters, we entered on
the portage to the height of land. Our course was nearly
the ascent very considerable. After walking two miles wo
gained the greatest height and begun to descend. Three m\k->
further brought us to a low, swarapy ground, where the river
Megantic^ takes its rise. "We were here a long time at a loss for
the path but at last happily found it. Having crossed a large
brook we came into a most beautiful meadow, much excelling
any we had yet seen, and still more beautiful from the disagree-
able tract we had just left. Keeping a course we soon
arrived on the banks of the river Megantic. It is only a large
brook, but the descent being very gentle, the canoes made good
progress. The Xew Englanders who measured this carrying
place, call it a little more than four and a half nules. This must
be understood only from the last lake to the river Megantic;
though even that did not seem less to us tlian six miles. The
Megantic, about two miles from where we entered on it, receives
a large brook coming from the . It soon becomes
a considerable river, and though not so large, yet in depth
resembling the . The meadow still continues,
and it and the river are mutual ornaments to each other, but
cannot surpass the beauties which nature has here been lavish of.
The Megantic, deep, gentle, full of beautiful meadows, though
without the wildness of those of the river;
the soil, fertile to the greatest degree, no trees to be seen but
oak, the ash, but most frequently knots of beautiful elms. Tiiis
beautiful prospect continued with little variation for some miles,
but we lost it by degrees as we approached the lake. A\ e
had gone down the river about four miles, when night overtook
us; butln.'ing resolved to reach the lake, we still pu-^hi-d on.

• 'Moose Horn Lake.
^Arnold's river.

moxtresob's journal. 405

Two miles more and we entered the lake Me^-antie. Our guides
kept still rowing and parsed over to the opposite shore, where
we encamped .

July 20th. We now found ourselves on the lake, second in
greatness to the Orignal. Before we embarked we examined, as
well as we could, what appeared most remarkable. The Megantic
extends from to . We were now

near the extremity of it, over which a

small mountain, round at the top, is very easy to be distinguished.
Tiie muuth of the river ^Megantic bore from us
The land near it is very low. The breach of land where we
passed the night bore . The chain of

mountains which compose the height of land appeared irregular,
none of them of great height. The land rises by a very gentle
ascent from the shore on all sides of the lake; no steep, rocky
mountains to be seen as on the Orignal. We embarked on the
lake, keeping nigh the left hand shore. It is here upwards of a
mile in breadth. After we had gone five miles we found the
lake increased much in breadth. Soon after it takes a sweep to
the left, and we lost sight of the height of land. Finding the
lake run out on the left into a large bay, we passed over to the
opposite shore. As we approached this shore we observed this
lake from another bay to the over

which appeared a mountain, remarkable because it is sintrle.
We were now near the discharge of the lake,

and kept close to the right hand shore. After a little time we
arrived at the source of tlie Chaudiere. As near as we could
judge we had sailed on the lake about thirteen miles. We
halted some time at the source of the Chaudiere and caught a
Dumber of fish, which tliis river is famous for. Over the

bay we had a view of a chain of high and ru^-ired
mountains running from . Behind

these are the lakes from whence the Sagadahoc, the St. Francis,
and other remarkable rivers take their rise. From the source of
the Chaudiere they bore .*

*Tlie Rpv. Mr. Ballard, liavin? carefully traced tlio route of Col. Moi-
tresor in Maine, has furnLslied the "following exj.laiiation of the terms a:;d
places iiienlioned in the Journal:

'• I have r:arefii!ly traced (Jol. Moirtre.sor's route, and think that he


entered Maine frotn tlie Chautliere and its brancli Des Loups or Du Lnup,
bj- Portage Lake' ia Cunada, and across the dividing ridge into Lak<>
Penobscot, and the connected lakes, by portages into the S. W. Branch or
the Penobscot, to the falls (29t]i day) in the new township of Pittstun,
and soon after to the junction of the S. W. and N. W. branches of tiie
Penobscot. The next day they came to the Seboomook. in the township of
the same name, a short stream rising in a lake, and by means of botli, across
to what is now called the " N. AV. Carry," and so to the " N. W. arm of the
lake" (Moosehead).

Thus far it is quite jdain, and I could delineate it more accurately on the
Large map of Somerset Co.

July 1. Opposite Sjjencer Mt., pointed, rocky, and barren, and saw the
Moose Mountain, Kineo. For tV/Aa see further on.

The •■' very narrow point of land running out about four hundred yards.
and making a peninsula," must be " Land Bar I," -which is now a peninsula
at a low stage of water, and teas so before the dams were built. The west
outlet is easily recognized. The three large points of land (p. 457.) were
the northern parts of Deer and Sugar Islands, and the western point of
township A. He could not distinguish whether they were islands or main
land. Thence to the S. W. outlet, — the iipper Kennebec,— and the rajjids,
where now is a dam.

The mountains: — Onegrila v;&5 seen when he was going southerly from the
head lakes of the Penobscot — probably before him. (p. 452 ) Again it
was seen in a westerly direction, after he had descended the river several
miles, and these views indicate that he saw "Bald Mountain."

The Panavansot Hill is Katahdio, "at the foot of which runs the Penob-
scot." Panaransot should be Panait-auscot, as the Abenaki did not use v,
and this is the present name given by the Oldtown Indians to their place, in
this form, " Panawamskik," and Rale* much the same. This " hill" there-
fore is the hill on the river that runs by Oldtown. It can be seen in the
upper part of the lake.

The Usjha is on the easterly side of the lake, because after leaving it and
the bay on the north and west part of Day's Academy Grant, he proceeded
" westerly" toward Moose R. I therefore take the Usgha to be one of the
same group as the Rocky Mt. (p. 455.) which must be Spencer Mt., to which
the description will well apply.

Ongucnchonla denotes the mountains on the east side of the upper Kenne-
bec, near the dams, of which Squaw Mt. appears to be a part, as seen from
the lake. Perhaps he took the name Usgha from the name of this Mt.
J'Jsquatc, a girl, or the settlers may have changed the application in an o;)i)0-
site way.

* F'ahnapHnti^ki'k.


Fort "Westekv, 27th September, 1775.

2"t> his Excelleticy General Washington,

May it please your Excellency :
I have ordered James ]McCormick, the criminal condemned
for the murder of Reuben Bishop, on board the schooner Broad
Bay, Capt. Chirkson, with directions for him to be deUvered to
Capt. Moses Nowell, at Newburyport, who has orders to send
him to your Excellency. The- criminal appears to be very simple
and ignorant; and in the company he belonged to, had the
character of being a peaceable fellow. His place of residence is
Korth Yarmouth, was drafted out of Col. Scamman's regiment,
Capt. Hill's company, where his character may be fully known.
I wish he may be found a proper object of mercy; and am
"With the greatest respect.
Your excellency's most obed"t humble servt.

B. Arnold.

Fort Western-, 27th Sept. 1775.
To Capt. Moses Noicell :

Sia — You are hereby ordered to receive from Capt. James
Clarkson, one James McCormick, a criminal condemned for the
murder of Reuben Bishop, and him safely convey under a proper
guard, to his excellency Gen. Washington at Head Quarters.
I am your huu)ble t-ervt.

B. Arnold.


FouT Western", 2Sth Sept., 1770.
Ollr. Natlianid Tracy :

Dear Sir — This will be handed you by Cnpt. Clarkson, \v;;o
will acquaint you with the particulars of our voyage, which h.iH
been very troublesome indeed. To Capt. Clarkson I am under
many obligations for his activity, vigilance, and care oi the
whole fleet,. both on our passage and since our arrival here; for
which he may very possibly be blamed by some of the oth-.-r
captains ; but he has really merited much, and it will alway.-s
give me sensible pleasure to hear of his welfare and success, a-?
I think him very deserving.

I must embrace this opportunity to acknowledge the many
favors received from you at Newbury — and am with my best
respects to Mrs. Tracy, your brother, and Mr. Jackson, &c.
Dear Sir, yours &c.

B. Arnold.

Fort AYesteun', 29th Sept. 1775.
Ll. Col. Enos :

Sir — You will forward on Capts. 'VriHiams and Scott's com-
panies, with the remainder of Capt. McCobb's and any others
left behind, as fast as possible. Order them to follow the route
of the army and join at Chaudiere pond. You will bring up
the rear and order on all stragglers, except those sick, which you
will send on board the Broad Bay, Capt. Clarkson. Leave two
or three men with the Commissary to assist him, and hurry on
as fast as possible without fatiguing the men too much. Bring
on with you all the carpenters of Capt. Colburn's company, and
as much provision as the batteaux will carry. ^Yhen the
Indians arrive, hurry them on as fast as possible.
I am Sir, your humble servt.
• B. Arnold.

Fort ^YES■rERN•, 29th Sept. 1775.
'Capt. Farjisworth :

Siu_Y"ou will forward on all tiie provisions here as fast as
possible to Fort Halifax, and such as the batteaux carry ou,
order stored there. Y'ou will have two or three peoi>ie left to


assist you. The sick you will order on board the Broad Bay,
Capt. Clarkson, to be returned to Xewbury. Tlie * at

Colburn's secure, and leave until the event of this expedition is
known. Forward on all the new batteaux, poles, oar?, pitch,
nails, &c., that are or shall be procured, and as soon as you can,
join the detachment. Leave particular directions with ]\Ir.
Howard to take care of the goods left. '

1 am Sir, your humble servt.

B. Arnold.

Dead Eiver, about IGO miles from Quebec, Oct. 13, 1775.

Dear Sm — I am now on my march for Quebec with about
2000 men, where I expect to have the pleasure of seeing you
soon. This detachment is designed to co-operate with General
Schuyler to frustrate the unjust and arbitrary measures of the
ministr}^, and restore liberty to our brethren of Canada, to whom
we make no doubt our exertions in their favor will be accepta-
ble; and that we shall have their assistance, or at least their
friendly wi.shes, as the expedition is undertaken at the request
of many of their principal inhabitants. I beg the favor of you on
receipt of this, which will be delivered you by one Eneas, a
faithful Indian, that you would immediately write me by him of
the disposition of the Canadians, the number of troops in Quebec,
by whom commanded, and every advice you have received from
Gen. Schuyler, and the situation of matters in general, what ship.s
are at Quebec, and, in short, what we have to expect from the
Canadians and merchants in the city. "Whether any advice has
been received of the march of this detachment. If any gentle-
man of my acquaintance will undertake to meet me on the road,
he will be received with pleasure and handsomely rewarded.

The enclosed letter to Gen. Schuyler, I beg the favor of you
to forward by express, which charge shall be reimbursed you
v/ith thankfulness.

I am, with much esteem, dear Sir,
Your friend and very humble servt.

B. AnNOLi).

John MANm, Esq., or in his absence to

Captain Wm. Gukoorv, or

Mr. JoiiK Mavnaud.


Dead Eiver, 160 miles from Quebec, Oct. 13, 1775.
Dear Sip. — I make no doubt his excellency Gen. Washtni^'ton
has advised you of Lis ordering mo, with a detachment of the ar-
my at Cambridge, to march against Quebec; iu consequence f-f
which I left Cambridge on the 13th of September, and after a vi-ry
fatiguing and hazardous march over a rough country up tlus
Kennebec river, against a very rapid stream, through an unin-
habited country, and meeting with many other difficulties wliich
we have happily surmounted, we have at last arrived at tho
Dead Biver, which we have examined to Chaudiere pond ; and
hope in a fortnight of having the pleasure of meeting you in
Quebec. Any intelligence or advice you can communicate will
be gratefully received, as this detachment was intended to co-
operate with your army.

I am, with much esteem, dear Sir,

Your most obed't humble servt.

B. Aknold.
To the H'hh Major General and

Commaiulcr in Chief of the Northern Army.

October IB, 1775.
Lieut. Steel:

Sir — I have sent the bearer and another Indian to Quebec
with letters, and must have John Hall, as he speaks French, to
go to Sartigan with them, and get all the intelligence he possibly
can in regard to the number of troops there, the disposition of
the Canadians, and advice from Gen. Schuyler. When he
arrives at Sartigan, he must employ some Frenchmen, that can
be depended on, to go to Quebec with the Indians, to deliver
their letter and to get an answer; for which purpose I have sent
twenty dollars for him to take. Desire him to caution tho
Indians not to let any one know of our march, but to sound tho
inhabitants and find out how they stand affected, and whether our
coming would be agreeable to them. If he docs not choose to
go alone, you must send a man with him, and both must return
to us at Chaudiere pond as soon as possible; taking particular
notice of the river, whether our batteaux can pass down.
I am Sir, your humble servant,

B. Arnold.

Arnold's letters. 471

Secoxd Poutage from Keiiuebcc to the Dead Tiiver, >

Oct. 13, 1775. ^ '

May it please your Excellency,

A person going down the river presents the first opportunity I
have had of writing your excellency since I left Fort Western;
since which we have had a very fatiguing time. The men in
general, not understanding batteaux, have been obliged to wado
and haul them for more than half way up the river. The last
division is just arrived except a few batteaux. Three divisions
are over the first carrying place, and as the men are in high
spirits, I make no doubt of reaching the Chaudiere river in eigiit
or ten days; the greatest difficulty being, I hope, already past.
We have now with us about twenty-five days' provisions for the
whole detachment, consisting of about nine hundred and fifty
effective men. I intended making an exact return, but must
defer it until I come to Chaudiere. I have ordered the coiniuis-
sary to hire people acquainted with the river, and forward on
the provisions left behind (about 100 barrels) to the Great Carry-
ing place to secure our retreat. The expense will be considerable,
but when set in competition with the lives or liberty of so many
brave men, I think it trifling, and if we succeed, the provisions
will not be lost.

I have had no intelligeuco from Gen. Schuyler or Canada, and
expect none until I reach Chaudiere pond, where I expect a
return of my express, and to determine my plan of operation ;
which, as it is to be governed by circumstances, I can say no
more than if we are obliged to return, I believe we shall have a
sufficiency of provisions to reach this place, where the supply
ordered the commissary to send forward, will enable us to
return on our way home so far that your excellency will be able
to relieve us. If we proceed on we shall have sufficient stock to
reach the French inhabitants, when wo can be supplied, if not

I am with the greatest respect.
Your excellency's most obed't h'ble serv't.

B. AuNor.D.

P. S. Your excellency may possibly think we have been
tardy in our march, as we have gained so little; but wiieii you


consider the badness and weight of tlie batteiaux, and the hir^,'.!
quantity of provisions, &e., we have been obhged to force i;j.

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