You need to ask yourself: "What counts as a beast of burden?" Is a man with an equity interest in the expedition a beast of burden?
Inspired by courier du bois such as the La Verendrye family, the Company of Adventurers trading into Hudson's Bay, colloquially known as The Hudson's Bay Company, used canoes paddled by native Americans to collect furs from most of Canada and part of the Louisiana Purchase, and disburse the trade goods used for payment. This company was founded in 1670 and continues to flourish in Canada today as The Bay; though with less reliance on canoes.
Sailing upstream on rivers is particularly difficult because of the inability of sailboats to point close to the wind, and the consequent leverage effect of the sailing angle magnifying the effective strength of the current. If any of unreliable favourable winds, narrow or twisty passages, shallow passages, or significant current exists on a river then sailing upstream is simply impossible.
Although the fastest modern racing yachts can point to within about 40 degrees of the wind, traditional sailing vessels sailed upwind much less efficiently. Lateen-rigged dhows of the Gulf of Arabia and Indian Ocean sailed to within about 45 or 50 degrees of the wind, but this rigging was unknown in Europe until the early Middle Ages (whence it inspired the hybrid-rigged boats such as the caravel). Pure square-rigged boats such as Viking Longboats could not sail closer to the wind than a beam reach
Further note that any point of sail as close, or closer, to the wind requires a substantial keel. Such a keel significantly increases the draft of the vessel, making navigation only possible in deep passages and harbours. One of the reasons why the canoe has become so popular world wide in the past 4oo years is its combination of shallow draft and light weight, while still retaining good control and capacity. This is the perfect combination for those travelling rivers with rapids that must be portaged.