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A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudson's

THE PUBLICATIONS OF THE CHAMPLAIN SOCIETY VI

THE PUBLICATIONS OF THE CHAMPLAIN SOCIETY

HEARNE:

A JOURNEY FROM PRINCE OF WALES'S FORT IN HUDSON'S BAY TO THE NORTHERN OCEAN

[Illustration]

TORONTO THE CHAMPLAIN SOCIETY

_Five Hundred and Twenty Copies of this Volume have been printed. Twenty are reserved for Editorial purposes. The remaining Five Hundred are supplied only to Members of the Society and to Subscribing Libraries.

This copy is No. 229_

A JOURNEY FROM PRINCE OF WALES'S FORT IN HUDSON'S BAY TO THE NORTHERN OCEAN In the Years 1769, 1770, 1771, and 1772

BY SAMUEL HEARNE

NEW EDITION WITH INTRODUCTION, NOTES, AND ILLUSTRATIONS, BY J. B. TYRRELL, M.A.

TORONTO THE CHAMPLAIN SOCIETY 1911

_All rights reserved._

PREFACE

BY SIR EDMUND WALKER _President of the Champlain Society_

When the Champlain Society was first organised in 1905 one of the works on its list of proposed publications was the _Journal_ of Samuel Hearne. This book, written with great literary charm, is the first account preserved to us of an attempt to explore the interior of far-northern Canada from a base on Hudson Bay. The natives had brought to Fort Prince of Wales glowing reports of a vast store of copper at the mouth of a river which flowed into the Arctic Ocean. An attempt to find it was inevitable. Twice Hearne failed, but his third effort succeeded and, after a laborious journey, he reached the mouth of the Coppermine River. Soon after he was promoted to command at Fort Prince of Wales, now Churchill, on Hudson Bay. France had joined Britain's revolted colonies in their war on the mother land, and one day, in 1782, a French squadron, under the well-known seaman, La Perouse, dropped anchor before Fort Prince of Wales. Hearne, mightier with the pen than with the sword, surrendered meekly enough in spite of his massive walls from thirty to forty feet thick. Thus ingloriously he dies out of history.

Hearne's _Journal_, published after his early death, has become a rather rare book. Besides the narrative of what he did, it contains copious notes on the natural history of the region which he was the first white man to make known. A new edition has long been needed. Yet to secure competent editing was a difficult task, since few knew the remote country which Hearne explored. It may be regarded as fortunate that the new edition has been delayed, for only now are we able to present Hearne's story with the annotations necessary to give it the last possible elucidation. The needed knowledge is supplied by Mr. J. B. Tyrrell and Mr. E. A. Preble, two writers pre-eminently suited for their task by journeys in the regions described by Hearne, on parts of which so few white men have set eyes.


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