The Company Rules
Procure a trusty Savage,
See you safe to his country that
We have not as yet had any traffic with.
Be sure to converse with the guide
As much as possible so you may
Attain his language and his hides.
Tell them you love the Savages.
Make them presents. By your presence
Exhort them to come to you.
Persuade them not to war against another
But to be at peace so that they may hunt
And bring their skins to trade for goods.
Use them civilly. Give each some trinket
And lead them down the ensuing year
With many such glittering promises.
By no means use force. Use guile
Yet do not be afraid of a firm hand
And above all be upon your guard.
It is not likely but The Runners of the Woods
In hearing of you being amongst the Savages
May way lay you.
Take care to make the Savages your friend.
By this friendship, you may be able to head
Them against the said Runners of the Woods.
But otherwise do not offer or let them molest
The said Runners of the Woods,
Unless they are the first transgressors.
Upon the contrary side,
The French knowing of your coming,
May come to see you as a friend.
If so, use them kindly but upon no account
Go with them and keep at a fair distance
For you cannot be too careful.
Be wary of their fondling, artful
And knowing disposition toward deception.
Keep your own counsel.
Having a compass, pen and hand lined paper,
Be very exacting in keeping a journal
Of your travels and daily observations.
Mention the day, the month and year.
Observe the soil as you proceed: trees, herbs,
Also take particular notice of minerals.
Remark the place and situation where you find such.
When by water, observe the course:
Try the depths; know how many miles you go.
Mark down everything that occurs to your view
Mention when you come to any river or lake
Or prairie or mountain and the season.
Take all observations and remarks to you
Whether it be fair or foul and
Be it ever so trifling as you may imagine.
Enter the names of every creature tame and wild,
Of every White Canadian, Bois Brule and Savage
So that we may all take advantage of them.
And lastly, for your own preservation
Take particular notice of all these instructions
That you may not fail in the performance thereof.
And you may depend upon it. For any loyal service
You may do by such a journey across this country
The Company will sufficiently reward you.
From In the Worshipful Company of Skinners