Fort Albany

Diary Excerpt

At Albany we met Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Patterson who had formerly lived at Nipigon House, Lake Nipigon, and who were known by one the members of the Commission who had visited the latter place. Mr. Patterson had been transferred to Albany to take the place of Mr. G. W. Cockram, who was about to leave for England by way of the H. B. Steamship with his wife and littlo daughter.

Both Mr and Mrs. Cochram the Pattersons did everything possible for our comfort, not only on our arrival but also during all the time we remained at Fort Albany.

We found a letter awaiting us from His Lordship the Anglican Bishop of Moosonee the Right Rev. Geo Holmes, addressed to His Majesty-s Treaty Commissioners, regretting that it was impossible for him to be at Albany to receive us on our arrival, and wishing us every success in our undertaking. During the afternoon of the 4th however, the Hudson’s Bay Co. Steamer “Inninew” arrived from Charlton Island with Bishop Holmes on board.

In the afternoon of the 3rd we were met by the Chief men. 10 in number selected to represent the Indians at Albany. The meeting was convened in a largo worn over the HBCo store, and was in every way satisfactory As at the other points. full explanations were given of the Treaty and its provisions and in reply two of the Indians, Arthur Wesley and Wm Goodwin spoke at length expressing on their own behalf and on the behalf of the members of the band the pleasure they felt at upon being brought into treaty, and the satisfaction they experienced on receiving such generous treatment from the Crown.

The signing of the Treaty passed off in the most satisfactory manner to all concerned.

Our next duty was the preparation of the Pay lists and the pay tickets. This was done with the assistance of Messrs Cockram and Patterson so that all was ready to begin the payments on Friday morning.

Mrs. Cockram had kindly asked us to spend the evening at her house. We were also offered rooms In which to put up in beds and this offer was at once accepted. so that we were comfortably situated while at this place.

4th We wore up bright and early Friday morning, and found the day gave promise of being warm and fine.

Soon after breakfast we began paying the Indians. We paid in all 345 men, women, and children, and received many expressions of thanks from the recipients of the gratuity.

5th August. The most important matters for Saturday were the question of the reserve to be set apart for the Indians. the feast, and the presentations of the flag The first was settled to the satisfaction of all, the second kept many of the Indians busy all day, baking getting the necessary dishes, making tea etc. etc.

The feast was held in the evening in front of the HB dwelling house. All the Indians, old and young, protestant and catholic were present, and there was a sufficient quantity of good things to satisfy all present.

Bishop Holmes, Father Fafard, and a number of lay brothers were present at the feast and helped to make everything pass off pleasantly. Mr. and Mrs. Cockram and Mr. and Mrs. Patterson also took an interesting in the proceedings, so that everyone present had a good time.

The election for Chief and Counsellors usually held at the feast did not take place as a number of the Indians were absent at their hunting grounds at Attawapiskat River, and it was considered advisable, to postpone the election until next year.

Speeches were made by several of the Indians, and were replied to by the Commissioners. Those by the Indians expressed their thanks for the good treatment they had received from the representatives of His Majesty the King. We spent the evening with our friends of the H. B. Co. where we were very kindly entertained.