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Title David Thompson letter to Anthony Barclay; Fort William, Lake Superior
Date August 23, 1823
Description 1 letter; 4 pages
People Thompson, David, 1770-1857
Search Terms International Boundary Commission
Treaty of Ghent
Scope & Content 1823 June 26 Thompson

Fort William. Lake Superior
26 June 1823
Dear Sir
The last letter I had the honor of address-
ing to you was from the Falls of St Maries. On the 26th
we arriver here, in a passage of the days remarkable
for dense fogs, high winds, and very cold rainy weather.
The cold scarcely ever permitting us to take off our heavy
great coats, and the thermometer showed the surface of
the Lake to be at 32.
We are now arranging our five Canoes, and
weather permitting, expect to be off the morrow, for the
Grand Portage and the interior. Mr Ferguson has left
a letter for me, in which he says, that last Autumn
he was able to penetrate no further than Lake Ka-
Seig a na gah, and arrived here on the 19th September.
- After which he crossed to Isle Royale, when bad wea-
-ther prevented him surveying as he wished; but
thinks his survey sufficient for our purpose. In the
winter he attempted to connect the Arrow River with
the Pigeon River and this Lake, but found it imprac-
ticable. He left this 6th May; but the very bad
weather he has suffered by the account here; has I
am afraid much obstructed his progress: he writes to
me he shall survey to the middle of July; after which
he
end p1
begin p2
he proceeds direct for the North West Corner of the Lake of
the Woods, and requests me to join him there, which
please God we expect to do; as he does not place con-
-fidence in himself with regard to Observations for
Longitude; and by our joint exertions, hope to clear
ourselves from any future survey of the Route by the
Grand Portage. Mr Ferguson expects to be met on the
Route by two Guides sent by the NW Company from
Lake le Pluie. We have seen nothing of Mr Sayes
but understand he is on the Road; and shall em-
-bark an Indian Guide here to be sure of the Busi-
-ness we have on hand.
The Provisions Stores &c left here last
Autumn now enables us to proceed, without the sup-
-plies of this year, which had not arrived at the
Falls of St Maries when the vessel left that Place,
nine days after me and there is no means by which
they can be brought here: and as the Hudson's Bay
Company have nothing to share, we must practice a
rigid oeconomy to enable us to return to the Falls
of St Maries, which we hope, please God, to do by
the beginning of October.
Your most Obedient
and humble Servant
David Thompson
Anthony Barclay Esqr.



Admin/Biographical History This compiled collection includes papers from Thomas Barclay (1753-1830), his son, Anthony Barclay (1792-1877), John Ogilvy (d. 1819), Ward Chipman (1754-1824), Ward Chipman, [Jr.] (1787-1851), David Thompson (1770-1857), Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow (1814-1901) and others related to the determination of the boundary between Canada and the United States. Materials include government documents, correspondence, maps, surveys, diaries and Indian deeds related to the determination of the boundary between Canada and the United States, particularly of the years of the St. Croix Commission, 1796-1812, the Commissions appointed after the Treaty of Ghent, 1814-1838, and the Commissions under the Treaty of Washington, 1842. Papers of diplomats appointed by the British and American governments include the correspondence of explorers who surveyed the boundary zones and of several other diplomats, political officers and aids who became involved in the arbitration of the border. The explorations around the Island of St. Croix by Robert Pagan and Native American Francis Joseph Neptune, and a map by Chief Wasp of the Ojibway tribe in the vicinity of Ontario and Minnesota are noteworthy.