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this expedition, to confirm the correctness of his memory, and the fidelity of
his narrative. In August, 1824, an Indian woman from Penobscot presented
herself at my house with baskets to sell, and soliciting charity. She exhib-
ited a certificate, signed by Major General Ulmer, now living at Penobscot,
stating that she was the daughter of .S'a Bata, a Penobscot Indian, who
piloted Arnold's army to Quebec in 1775. I asked her to pronounce the
name of her father, and she gave the sound — ^alt-BaJt-tis.

2 This was doubtless tlie acid fruit of Viburnum oxycoccus, which I fouiid on
the river De Loup, a branch of the Chaudiere, in Sept. 182-1.


reserve. At the end o^ the fifth pond or lake they pow " tlio
height of hind." Covering their canoes with leaves, they liow
crossed over ;ibout five miles, by an Indian path, to the bank of
'the Chaudiere. Here Cunningham climbed a high tree and
descried, ten or fifteen miles distant, the great Chaudiere lake,
the intermediate country being llat.

Thus, about the 7th of October, the great object of this
exploring party was accomplished. The stream in Canada which
they reached was probably a stream which lies north of the last
pond, and which, rising in the seventh range of surveyecl town-
ships, runs westerly and empties into Nepess lake. — the lake
that was mistaken for the Great Cliaudiere, or Ammeguntick
lake, with which it communicates by a river five or sis miles in
length. »

As the sun was setting they set out to return to their canoes,
proceeding in Indian file, one after the other, all treading in the
steps of their leader, and Getchel bringing up the rear and
covering the track with leaves with his feet. This was to
prevent discovery by the Indians. After being thoroughh*wet
in a heavy shower, they arrived in the dark at their place of
encampment; and here during the night they were protected
from a heavy rain onl3' by the branches of fir, forming a kind of
wigwam. It wqs extremely laborious to cross this ridge of land.
Mr. Henry had fallen down a precipice, and did not arrive until
an hour after his friends. ' The next morning they crossed the
pond, the water of which, and of the streams, was found to be
raised about four feet, so that the return was easy and rapid.

During the day a small duck, called a diver, was shot. At
night, after deliberation, it was concluded to boil the duck in the
camp kettle, together with each man's inch of pork, which was
designated by a skewer of wood having a distinctive mark on it.
The broth thus made was to be the supper; and the duck in the
morning was to be the breakfast, divided into nine or ten ]>.nlH
by the method— "^^^lOse shall be this ?" in addition to each mans

> If this stream should not prove to be the principal branch of the Cliau-
diere, the name of Steele's river might with propriety be given to it, cspo-
cially as the name of Arnold river lias been given to a morev.-esterly branclj,
emptying into Amraegunlick, in the erroneous belief; I presume, that it wai
the river which was passed by the detachment under his command.

Arnold's expedition. 509

bit of pork. Mr. Henry received one of the thigli.*i ; Cunning-
ham tlie head and feet. After tliis breakfast they pursued their
way with speed till night, when they devoured their last pork
and biscuit. About the 10th of October, they saw at Mie east a
great smoke, which inspired them with joy, as they thought it
marked the encampment of the army, though it proved to bo a
fire at one of their camps. They were delayed several hours ia
consequence of injuries to one of their canoes by running upon
the limb of a tree in the river. Birch bark was procured, and
the roots of cedar for twine, and the canoe was covered with
pitch made from the turpentine of the pine and scrapings of the
pork bag. Just at niglit, these hungry and starving men beheld
an object which gave them more pleasure than they could have
experienced had they seen a mountain of gold; it was a moose,
which was shot by Steele on the north bank, and the fall of which
was proclaimed by a huzza. In a moment the second guide cut
off the nose and upper lip and put it on the fire. Xow indeed
was the time of feasting; the night was spent in selecting the
titbits and in boiling, roasting, and broiling, though but littio
was eaten at a time. The next day another moose was killed,
and they arrived at their encampment at Dead River. Steele
and two others were sent immediately forward to meet the army,
and to their great joy they met it the same day. Major Meigs
says that he discovered " Steele and partjn" at the third pond,
Oct. 11th; but it appears from Henry that only three of the
party could have been' met at this time. The others remained
in order to ''jerk'' their venison to provide against emergencies,
lest the army should have abandoned the expedition.^

Several daj's were thus employed, during which there was
much suffering in the midst of plenty ; for the meat was eaten
without bread, or salt, or oil ; the appetite was not satisfied, and
a diarrhea reduced them to still greater weakness. On the IGth
of October, taking their knapsacks of food they crossed the
river, and abandoning their canoes from inability to carry them,

1 The jerking was performed by cuttirig the meat into thin strips, and
laying it on a square rack of poles laid across each other to the height of
four feet from the ground. A smoke-fire was made beneath in order to dry
tho meat, thus jirciorving it for future use, and rendering it lighter to carry.


proceeded along: the Carrying-jilace. At the bog near the thii-d
pond they met some pioneers of the army, making a causeway,
and soon made a feast on boiled pork and dumplings. Tiiey
were kindly received by ]\Iajor Febiger, and by Morgan,
whose person was large and commanding, and who wore leirL'^ins
and cloth in the Indian style. His thighs uncovered seemed to
have been roughly handled by the bushes. Thus the whole
exploring party rejoined the army after an absence of more tlum
three weeks in the wilderness. Steele had not returned to his
party, having dislocated his slioulder ; and Clifton and ]\L'Kon-
key had deserted their post soou after they were left at the tirst


The army was left by the exploring party at Fort TVestcrn.
Morgan with three companies of ritlemen embarked in batteaux,
Sept. 25th, with orders to proceed rapidly to the Great Carry-
ing'-place and clear the road. Sept. l!6th. Colonel Green,, with
Major Bigclow, and three companies of musket-men also em-
barked with the second division. Sept. 27th, Major Meigs
embarked with the third division, consisting of four companies
and forty-five days' provision. Ilis progress was slovr. At
Fort Halifax, where be arrived the 29th, was a carrying-place of
ninety-seven rods arotmd Toconock falls. He encamped five
miles above them. The next day he proceeded seven uiiles, and
at night was joined by Arnold. Sabattis, a Penobscot Indian,
and a St. Francois Indian, well recommended, accompanied the
army from Fort "Western. A guide of the name of Jakins v,-as
obtained, living above Toconock Falls. Oct. 1. The. army
ascended the river nine miles. Among the trees observed were
butternuts and red cedars. Oct. 2. At Scohegln Falls there
was a carrj'ing-place of two hundred and fifty paces across a
small island. Oct. 3. Major Meigs proceeded to Xorridgewock.
On his way he called at a house and saw a child fourteen months
old, the first white -child born in Norridgewock. This was Abel
Farrington, son of Capt. Thomas F., formerly of Groton. X'lr
the site of the Indian village, in going up the falls, his batte:iiix
filled with water, and he lost his kettle, batter, and sugar.

Arnold's expedition. 511

Father Rale's grave was still to be seen. There appeared to
have been an intrenclunent, and a covered way through the
bank of the river for the convenience of getting water. Oct. 4.
He proeeeded one mile to a carrying-place of a mile and a
quarter; and here he was detained two days. In the afternoon
of the Gth he proceeded live miles. Oct. 7th. at noon, arrived
at the Carratuncas carrying-]»laee of four hundred and thirty-
three paces, where the river is confined between two rocks, not
more than forty rods apart. Here he remained one day. Oct.
9th, in the afternoon, he proceeded four miles and encamped;
the river very rapid, and in some places very shoal, being divided
by a nuniber of i:-lands. Oct. 10, he reached the Great Carry-
ing place of twelve miles. Oct. 11, he went as far as the third
pond where he discovered Lieut. Steele and party. Oct. 12, he
returned, to give orders to build a block-house, to the Kennebec,
where Col. Enos arrived with the fourth division of the army,
consisting of three companies of musket-raen.

Oct.' 18. This day Arnold wrote a letter to Gen. Schuyler
and enclosed it to a friend in Quebec, and sent it by the St,
Francois Indian. The wind was so high, that the boats could
not cross the third pond, One man was severely injured by the
fall of a tree in the night. Four moose had been killed. Oct.
15. Major Meigs crossed the third pond, which was much
hirger than the other two, and appeared to be nine miles in
circumference. He encamped in a cedar swamp. Orders were
given that the allowance should be three-quarters of a pound of
pork and the same of flour to each man a day. Oct. 18. Two
oxen were killed and divided. Major M. proceeded up the river
about twenty miles, "the water being smooth, and encamped on
the south side. The land this day appeared fine and mostly
covered with grass as high as a man's waist. The rifle corps
always preceded the other troops; the boats loaded usually iiad
three men in them ; the remainder of the army marched by
land. Oct. 19. On account of rain Major M. remained in camp
till two o'clock, then proceeded five miles and encamped on the
north side of the river; passing three small falls, but finding the
current otherwise gentle. He was ordered to proceed WMth his


division with the greatest expedition to the Chaudierc, and furnish
pioneers under Capt. Ayres, to clear the carrying-place. Oct. 20.
He passed several small falls and one portage of thirteen rods.
It was a rainy day. Oct. 21. Proceeding three miles there was
a portage of thirty-tive rods, and two miles further a portage of
thirty rods. The whole distance was only five miles. Oct. 22.
Major M. proceeded only three miles, passing two portages, each
of seventy-four rods. Last night the water of the river roso
eight feet, overflowing the country, so that the men on ehore
proceeded with difhculty. Oct. 23. The progress v.-as very slow,
as the stream was rapid. A number of the men marched up
the river which comes iu from the west, mistaking it for Dead
•Eiver. Some boats w^ere dispatched after them. At the encamp-
ment was a portage of fifteen rods, the river being extremely rapid.
Here five orsixbatteaux filled, by which were lost several barrels
of provisions, and some cash, clothes, and guns. By the upsetting
of a boat, Mr. Henry was thrown into the river and narrowly
escaped drowning, A council was held and it was resolved that
the sick should return to Cambridge, and that fifty men should
proceed with dispatch to the Chaudiere pond. The next day
a progress of only four miles was made. Oct. 25. A progress
of six miles, passing three portages, two of them of four rods,
.and one of ninety rods. Oct. 26. The ponds at the head of the
river were crossed; first a pond two miles across; then was
passed its outlet, two and one-half rods wide and four rods long,
communicating with the second small pond a mile in length ; the
next strait was a mile and a half long leading to a pond three miles
wide; after a narrow strait the fourth pond was found a quarter
of a mile wide ; then there was a narrow, crooked river of three
miles. A carrying-place of fifteen rods led to the fifth pond of
one hundred rods. The encampment was on a high hill, which
was a carrying-place at the north-west; the ponds were sur-
rounded with high mountains. Oct. 27. After a portage of one
mile a pond of fifty rods was crossed ; a second portage of
forty-four rods led to a pond two miles wide. From this pond
was the portage of four miles and sixty rods, to the right,
across the height of land to the Chaudiei'e. From the pond to
the height of land is about two miles. Oct. 28. The army pf'-'-

Arnold's ExrEDinox. 513

ceeded to the Chaudiere. Some of the captains, on account
of the difBcult navigation of that river, carried over but one boat
for each of their companies ; but ISlorgan, Avith excessive hibor,
transported all his boats. Near this point are the heads not
only of the Kennebec, but of the Connecticut, Androscoggin,
Penobscot, and Chaudiere rivers.

The array had now entered Canada, but its situation was
perilous and discouraging. From Dead Kiver Col. Enos had
returned to Cambridge with the sick, and with his whole rear
division, consisting of "William's, McCobb's, and Scott's compa-
nies. This measure was the result of a council of war of his own
officers in order to avoid the horrors of famine; but without
order or permission from Arnold. He was tried by a court-
martial in December, and acquitted with honor. He had but
three days' provisions, when we set out to return, and was
distant one hundred miles from the nearest settlement. The
army now consisted of not more than six or seven hundred men ;
the provisions and ammunition were divided; Mr. Henry says,
that in his corps there was no meat of any kind; of the flour
five pints constituted the portion of each rifleman. This was
baked into five cakes under the ashes. The distance was now
eighty or ninety miles to the settlements in Canada, and the way
most difficult and dreary.

Oct. 29. The army arrived at one o'clock, at Xepess lake,
which lies south of Arameguntic, and encamped at night on its
bank, where there had been an Indian camp. Oct. 30. They
marched through the woods about fifteen miles along the eastern
side of lake Ammeguntic, and encamped near its north end, or
where the Chaudiere issues from it. The travelling this day and
the day following was extremely bad. over mountains, and
through morasses, in which the men would sink deep in the mud.
Attached to the Pennsylvania troops were two heroic women,
one the wife of Sergeant Grier, the other the wife of a private
named Warner. Mr. Jleury says that he passed two streams,
wide and deep, flowing into the lake from the east, the nortiiern
one being the largest. They were crossed in batteaux nr rafts
stationed for the purpose by Arnold; the batteaux at tlie larger
river b^^ing under the superintendence of Capt. Dearborn.


Nov. 1. The army continued its march through the \v<)od3
along the Chandiere. This French word means a boiler <ir
cauldron; and the name is well given, fur the river is ra[)id and
furious in its course for sixty or seventy miles. Every boat put
into the river was split upon the rocks or abandoned. There
was a fall of ten or lifteen feet. It was with ditlieulty that
Morgan escaped destruction. One of liis soldiers was drowned.
Major Meigs this day passed a number of men that had no
provisions, and it was not in his power to supply them. Several
were sick, and they must have perished in the wilderness. Wliile
the flour lasted, what was called a hlcorij was made by boiling it
with water without salt.' -Nov. 2. The marching along the
east bank of the Chaudiere was to-day less ditiicult than yester-
day. The river grew wider and became rapid and in some
places shallow.

The weather was fine, clear, and warm, as in Connecticut at
this season. In passing a low sandy shore or beach, some of
the men darted frt)m the ranks and with fingers dug up the roots
of plants and ate them raw. Mr. Henry obtained to-day a little
broth, given him by some of his friends; it was greenish; they
called it bear's broth, but it was made from a dog. Some of the
men washed their moccasin.s of moose skin, and boiled them in
a kettle in order to obtain a little nutriment.

Friday, Nov. .^, was a memorable day to this little army ; for
weary, disconsolate, and starving, as they were proceeding down
the river, their eyes were gladdened with the sight of cattle,

1 " My dog,'- says Gen. I)?arborn in a letter to me, "was very larire and a
great favorite. I gave liUn up to several men of Capt. Goodrich's com;»any
on tlieir earnest solicitation. They carried him to their company and killed
and divided him among those who were sufleriug most severely with hunger.
Tiiey ate every part of hira, not excepting his- entrails ; and after finishing
their meal, they collected the bones and carried them to be pounded uj), and
to make broth for another meal. There was but one other dog with the
detachtuent. It was small, and had been privately killed ami eaten. Old
moose-hide breeches were boiled and then broiled on the coals and eaten.
A barber's powder bag made a soup in the course of the last three or f<'ur
days before we reached the first settlements in Canada. Many men d:eJ
With hunger and f,rJ_nie, freiiueutly four or five minutes after making tht-ir
last ctTorl aud sitting down."

Arnold's expedition. 515

which an advance party with Arnold procured for their
relief, and which they were now driving- up the shore. A f^'el'le
huzza proclaimed tlie joy of these wretched adventurers ; and it
is hoped, that many a grateful acknowledgment went up to tliat
beneficent Being, who '' heareth the ravens when they cry."' At
this moment Capt. Smitii gave Henry, who was the youngest in
the army, a paper containing a slice of bacon fat. It v/as
instantly devoured. Here it was that Henry tirst met Aaron
Burr, an amiable youth of twenty years. The cattle were
devoured even to the very entrailrs, and some received only a
little coarse oaten meal. Xov. 4th was another remarkable day
in the history of this expedition, ft)r about noon, after fording a
^vide stream coming in from the east, (the river Be Loup.) and
within a few hundred yards of the mouth of this branch of the
Chaudiere, they reached '■ the first house"' in Canada. They ap-
proached it with the rapture of men now assured that they should
not perish with famine.'

' Here the army was supplied with beef, fowls, pheasants, butter,
and vegetables. Several'men lost their lives by the imprudent
indulgence of their appetites. Here were found Naf.anis, Sa-
batis, and seventeen other Indians of their family. They were
Abonnekce, or Abenaqui Indians; they marched with the army,

' It was at this point that, in a journey across the wilderness to Quebec, in
■ Sept. 1S24, I first struck the river Chaudiere, having traveled dov>n the
north-eastern bank of this same river Ue Loup. There were then two
houses at this fork of the river, one of them inhabited by Mr. Annah or
Hanna, who is called the S'ipuur, bavins: a venerable appearance, and the
other, which is nearer tlie De Loup, by Mr. Owen. It was probably Mr.
Hanna's which was " Ihe fii-ft house,'" and inhabited by a Frenchman, as its
situation accords with a description of it given me by Gen. Dearborn. The
settlement was called Sertignn ; the distance was twenty-five leagues from

I can lorm some little conception of the joy of this little army ; for after
being myself five days in the wilderness. I know not that I ever beheld any
natural scenery v.ith greater delight, than I gazed u;)on this very spot. It
is very remarkable that, after the lapse of half a century, this may still be
considered as the first house in Canada, for there were in \H'1\, only two or
three small houses to the east, on the Da Lo\i;j. and they were within half a
mile or a mile of its mouth. From this place to Quebec, every object is
interesting and aladdeuiny to thy eve.


and fouglit against the Eritish, being cinployed, us Mr. Tlcnry
says, by Arnold. From this place two Tiidiaiis were sent ha.-k
to the fall of the Chaudiere in order to bring down Lieut .M'l.'le-
land, of Ilendrick's company, wlio ha*! been left there sick. In
three day.s they returned with liim, but he died the day after liis
arrival at the tlrst house and was decently buried by the inhabi-
tants. He was much beloved, and his fate was deeply lamented.

Nov. 5. The army, in part, marched about tliirty miles to the
parish of St. Mary, going dowMi the right bank of the river.
Mr Henry gives a correct account of the' country as it appears
at the present time :

•'We marched in straggling parties through a flat and rich
country, sprinkled, it might be said decorated, by many low
houses, all wliite-washed, which appeared to be the warm abodes
of a contented people. Every now and then a chapel came in
sight; but more frequently the rutle but pious imitations of t!ic
sufferings of our Savior and the image of the Virgin. These
things created surprise, at least in my mind, for where I t}iouLz;ht
there could be little other than barbarity, we found civilized
men, in a comfortable state, enjoying all the benefits arising
from the institutions of society." ]\[r. Henry also describes a
breakfast in one of these white-washed houses, as consisting of
"a bowl of miik with excellent bread," for himself, while the
family had "-bread, garlic, and salt." In one of these cottages
a similar breakfast was presented to me, with the addition of
boiled potatoes. The milk was in a small tin pan with a noso
or spout for the convenience of turning out the milk. Of the
bread, however, I can only say, that it was coarse and sour, like
most of the bread used in Lower Canada. ^Mr. Henry's Ix'St
refused to receive any compensation. I found the like cheerful
and courteous hospitalit3^

It has been represented by several American historians, that
the appearance of Arnold's army at Point Levi, was the first
notice to the British of the approach of an enemy, and tli:it
could he have crossed the river without delay, the city of Que-
bec would have fallen without opposition. But this is a very
erroneous representation. Arnold's own imprudence had com-


municated the intelligonce to the British in Quebec, nearly
twenty days before his arrival at Point I>evi, and it is not im-
probable, that his own folly defeated the enterprise, as may
appear from a letter, which he wrote to Gen. Montgomery. It
is dated, " St. Z\[aria, two leagues and a half from Point Levi,
Nov. 8, 1775." '

Arnold had been extremely imprudent in forwarding a letter
to Mr. Mereier a month before by an Indian, who had betrayed
him, and delivered the letter to the Lieut. Governor; but still,
it is very probable he would have taken Quebec, had he pushed
on from St. Mary's, thirty miles from Quebec, where he arrived
on the 5th. Allowing five days to bring up the rear of the
army, to march thirty miles, and to procm-e canoes (and en the
8th he had twenty canoes) he might have crossed the river, one
would think without diificulty by the 10th ; and had this been
done, the gates of the city would have been opened to him.
But the arrival of Col. !\[aclean on the r2th with one hundred
and seventy men of his regiment produced a new state of things.
On the arrival of the vessel from Newfoundland, Sunday, Nov.
5th, bringing one hundred men, chiefly carpenters, there was not
a single soldier in Quebec. These men. by the delay, had time
to repair the defenses, and to make platforms for the cannon ;
and being joined by Col. Maclean, the crisis of danger had pass-
ed. Had Quebec fallen, it would have seemed a most important
and glorious event; yet it might have been the ruin of America ;
for in order to defend it, a considerable force would have been
requisite, thus dividing our strength, while the British, in despair
of recovering so strong a place, might have concentrated their
forces at New York, and the capture of Burgoyne would not
have electrified the friends of liberty through America.

Nov. 9. Midshipman iiLKenzie of the Hunter .sloop of war,
on landing from a boat near a mill above Point Levi, was taken
prisoner in the v>-ater. Mr. Henry relates, that Sabattis rushed
forward, after he had indicated his intention to surrender, in order

» I suppose he should have dated it at St. Henry, which is at that distance
from Point Levi ; and St. Mary is more than twice that distance. The let-
ter above referred to, may be found amons Arnold's correspondence, in
preceding pages of this volume.

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