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EXPI,OR RS AND P'UR-TRADERS.   I51

longitude of the unknown places he intended to visit. Late in the autumn of 1792 he reached a small fort near the sources of the Peace River, and there he and his men spent the winter. In the spring the little company of eight white men and two Indians set out up-stream in one huge canoe. It was light enough at starting, but it received so many injuries during the voyage that its weight was soon doubled by patches, and this was a serious matter when so many difficult portages had to be made. Soon the travellers crossed " the height of land," and embarked on the river now called the Fraser. Then followed an exciting and dangerous voyage down-stream, and another weary march on foot ; but they reached the Pacific at last, and their leader wrote on a rock, in letters of vermilion and grease, the words, " Alexander Mackenzie, from Montreal by land, July 22nd, 1793

The explorers narrowly escaped being murdered by the savages, but safely accomplished their return journey. Afterwards, Mackenzie wrote an account of his travels, and was knighted for his services.


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