UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Fort Hall on the Oregon trail Grant, Louis Seymour 1938

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1938_A8 G6 F6.pdf [ 5.91MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0098656.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0098656-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0098656-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0098656-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0098656-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0098656-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0098656-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0098656-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0098656.ris

Full Text

&L  F O R T  H A L L 0 IT  THE  O R E G O N  T R A I L  ,• "by  L o u i s Seymour Grant  A T h e s i s submitted i n p a r t i a l  fulfilment  of the requirements f o r the degree of MASTER OF ARTS . i n the Department of HISTORY  The U n i v e r s i t y  of B r i t i s h  October,  1958.  Columbia  FL  ACKNOWLEDGME NT  The author i s deeply g r a t e f u l t o the S e c r e t a r y and A r c h i v e s Department of the Hudson's Bay Company of London, England, who forwarded much v a l u a b l e m a t e r i a l h i t h e r t o hidden away i n the t r e a s u r e house of the Company's a r c h i v e s . T h e i r k i n d coo p e r a t i o n was i n d i c a t e d by a l e t t e r g i v i n g p e r m i s s i o n to use a l l the m a t e r i a l from t h e i r a r c h i v e s which i s h e r e i n contained. Sincere appreciation i s a l s o extended to Dr. R.L.Reid, K.C., LL.D., and Dr. Eaye Lamb, Ph.D., prov i n c i a l a r c h i v i s t , who made a v a i l a b l e c e r t a i n volumes v/hich c o u l d not otherwise be obtained. L.S.G.  FORT HALL ON THE OREGON TRAIL  -Outline-  Chapter I.  AMERICAN PUR TRADE a. L i s a and the M i s s o u r i Pur Company ID.. The Rocky Mountain Pur Company c. A s t o r ' s venture d. A r r i v a l of Hudson's Bay Company on the P a c i f i c Coast e. Men and methods f . Causes of d e c l i n e  Chapter I I * NATHANIEL J . WYETH a. E a r l y c a r e e r b. H a l l J. K e l l e y c. F i r s t e x p e d i t i o n d. A r r i v a l a t F o r t Vancouver e. Agreement w i t h S u b l e t t e f . Return to Cambridge  1.  ....12.  Chapter III.COLUMBIA RIVER FISHING AND TRADING COMPANY.22. a. O r g a n i z a t i o n b. Westward journey c. F a i l u r e of c o n t r a c t d. C o n s t r u c t i o n of F o r t H a l l e. A r r i v a l at Columbia R i v e r f . C o l l a p s e of trade g. Sale to the Hudson's Bay Company Chapter IV. LIFE  Chapter V.  IN a. b. c. d.  FORT HALL The b u i l d i n g Food and s u p p l i e s Indian r e l a t i o n s Trade  REASONS FOR WYETH'S FAILURE a. Hudson's Bay Company b. n a t u r a l handicaps  .37.  ....43. competition  Chapter V I . LIFE IN FORT HALL UNDER THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY a. Improved communication b. Organized t r a d i n g c. Indian r e l a t i o n s * d. V i s i t o r s i.  50.  Chapter V I I , OREGON IMMIGRATION a. F a c t o r s i n movement b. The "Whitman legend" c. R e l a t i o n s between the company and the immigrants Chapter VIII.LATER  DAYS OF FORT HALL a. Indian.wars b. Abandonment by the Company c. M i l i t a r y p o s i t i o n d. The company s c l a i m e. The s i t e today  .59  76  T  Chapter IX.  CONCLUSION a. P o s i t i o n on the Oregon T r a i l b. Lnportance i n Anglo-American relations APPENDICES  83  .87  BIBLIOGRAPHY  .93  ii.  1 Chapter I . THE  A F R I C A N FUR TRADE <  In the p e r i o d preceding  the f i n a l  settlement  of the ownership of the Oregon T e r r i t o r y , the " S t a r Spangled Banner" made i t s appearance very  seldom u n t i l  the wave of  immigration  of the e a r l y 1840*3 immediately "before the f i n a l  disposition  of the r e g i o n  i n 1846.  of an American to the northwest Gray when he entered  The f i r s t  i n the year 1792, and  Other mariners f o l l o w e d , a t t r a c t e d  by the r i c h p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the f u r trade with By  visit  coast was that of Captain  the Columbia R i v e r  named i t a f t e r h i s v e s s e l .  recorded  China.  l a n d , t o o , i t was the l u r e of the S u r r y  wealth of the seashore, the wooded streams, and the s i l e n t f o r e s t s that a t t r a c t e d the e n e r g e t i c and d a r i n g American traders.  With the exception  o f the government-inspired (1)  e x p e d i t i o n of Lewis and C l a r k i n 1804, a l l the "Boston men" who v i s i t e d the a r e a , 1830*3, came to garner Lewis and C l a r k p a r t y the present  u n t i l the m i s s i o n a r i e s came i n the i t s f u r r y wealth. comprised  the f i r s t  I n c i d e n t a l l y , the white men to v i s i t  s t a t e of Idaho. One  reason f o r the apathy of American  was the r e g u l a t i o n which, f o r many y e a r s ,  restricted  traders f u r trade  1 - The name a p p l i e d to e a r l y American t r a d e r s on the P a c i f i c coast by the Indians of that r e g i o n . I t was a f a m i l i a r terra i n the Chinook jargon as was "King George man" r e f e r r i n g to Englishmen.  2 v/ith the Indians to government c o n t r o l l e d p o s t s .  Such  r e s t r i c t i o n s were g r a d u a l l y withdrawn so that a f t e r t h e Lewis and C l a r k e x p e d i t i o n , many t r a d e r s planned  to ascend  the M i s s o u r i R i v e r and e s t a b l i s h a trade i n the area to  i t s headwaters. Among the f i r s t (2)  o f these t r a d i n g e x p e d i t i o n s  was that of Manuel L i s a , a Spaniard, who c a r r i e d fur  t r a d e from h i s headquarters  i n St. Louis.  t r a d e r , an e x c e l l e n t l e a d e r , organized the M i s s o u r i River untouched a r e a . stone,  a party  on an a c t i v e  In 1807, t h i s to proceed  to e s t a b l i s h t r a d e with the Indians  up  i n the  He ascended the r i v e r as f a r as the Yellow-  then t r a v e l l e d  the Bighorn. to  adjacent  up that stream to i t s j u n c t i o n w i t h  At t h i s p o i n t , he b u i l t  a post which has come  be known as Port L i s a or P o r t Manuel.  Though the trade  was e x c e l l e n t , the choice of t h i s s i t e was unfortunate, f o r it  brought L i s a  into trade with the Crow Indians who were  b i t t e r enemies of the B l a c k f e e t .  T h i s inaugurated  an enmity  which was to endure f o r many years ana cause a heavy t o l l of l i v e s among t h e white t r a d e r s . he had l i t t l e  difficulty  trade i n the new f i e l d ; winter of 1808-09.  On L i s a ' s r e t u r n to S t . L o u i s ,  i n o r g a n i z i n g a company to e l a b o r a t e t h i s f i r m came into being during the  I t was f i r s t  called the S t . Louis Missouri  Pur Company, and l a t e r the M i s s o u r i Pur Company. penetrated  I t s traders  as f a r as the "three f o r k s " of the M i s s o u r i R i v e r  2 - Manuel L i s a was born of Spanish parents i n Hew Orleans, in 1772. D e t a i l s of h i s . e a r l y l i f e a r e obscure but i t i s probable he came to S t . L o u i s about 1790. By 1800 he had a monopoly of trade with the Osage Indians, granted to him by the Spanish government. The f i r s t d e f i n i t e i n formation of h i s l i f e appears with h i s ascension of the M i s s o u r i i n 1807.  near tyie present post.  c i t y of B u t t e , Montana, where tkey b u i l t a  This f i r m , reorganized  f r e q u e n t l y d u r i n g the next decade,  was prominent i n the trade west ©f S t . L o u i s u n t i l 1822, f i r s t under L i s a ' s l e a d e r s h i p u n t i l h i s death i n 1820, and then under Joshua P i l c h e r , h i s s u c c e s s o r .  I t was d u r i n g the l a t t e r s regime f  t h a t the company was d e a l t a t e l l i n g blew by the B l a c k f e e t i n an a t t a c k whieh k i l l e d seven t r a d e r s and caused the l e s s e f some $15,000 i n p e l t s .  T h i s same l e a d e r was i n charge, however, when  F o r t Benton was b u i l t a t the mouth of the B i g h o r n H i r e r i n 1821. The  f a i l u r e ©f t h i s company was caused l a r g e l y by the f a c t  t h e r e were t o e many p a r t n e r s , a l l of whom had to secure i n the p r o f i t s . co-operation  that  a share  A f u r t h e r d e f e c t was i t s f a i l u r e t© secure the  o f a new and powerful f i g u r e ' o f the American f u r  t r a d e , John Jacob A s t o r . In 1822, the M i s s o u r i F u r Company was succeeded by the Rocky Mountain Fur Company under the l e a d e r s h i p o f W i l l i a m Ashley  and Andrew Henry*  The former was the business  partner  i n S t . L o u i s , w h i l e Henry c a r r i e d on the work i n the  field.  The f i r s t e x p e d i t i o n of t h i s company was l e d by  J e d e d i a h Smith and J i m B r i d g e r , two of the best known "mountain men".  T h i s p a r t y b u i l t a f o r t a t the j u n c t i o n o f the M i s s o u r i  and Yellowstone r i v e r s and t r a d e d e x t e n s i v e l y i n the upper M i s s o u r i v a l l e y and southern Idaho. his  In 1826, Ashley  s o l d out  i n t e r e s t s to Smith, S u b l e t t e , and Jackson, who turned the  company ©rer t o F i t a g e r a l d and B r i d g e r f o u r years  later.  The Rocky Mountain Fur Company  remained  in e x i s t e n c e unti^l.834 when, by mutual agreement, the p a r t n e r ship was d i s s o l v e d . of  In the 12 years f o l l o w i n g  i t s succession  the M i s s o u r i F u r Company, the hardy t r a d e r s i n the f i e l d f o r  t h i s f i r m succeeded  i n opening one of the w e a l t h i e s t f u r  s e c t i o n s of the West.  They made notable c o n t r i b u t i o n s to the  g e o g r a p h i c a l knowledge of the mysterious western r e g i o n s , among t h e i r d i s c o v e r i e s being Great S a l t Lake, South Pass, and the country around the sources of the P l a t t e , Green, Yellowstone, and Snake R i v e r s . "They were i n d e f a t i g a b l e e x p l o r e r s and c o n s i d e r i n g the f a c t that most of • them made no r e c o r d s of what they d i d , the impress which they have l e f t upon the geography of the west i s s u r p r i s i n g l y g r e a t . " (3) The most powerful f i g u r e  i n the American  U) fur  t r a d e , however, at t h i s time v/as John Jacob A s t o r , a  German immigrant, who, through f o r t u n a t e ventures, v/as a major 3 - C h i t t e n d e n , H.M.:"The American F u r Trade of the Par West" Harper. New York. 1902. I.. 307. 4 - John Jacob A s t o r , founder of the great A s t o r f o r t u n e , was born the son of a butcher i n Waldorf, Germany i n 1763. At the age of'18 he went to London and, two years l a t e r , e m i g r a t e d to America. Soon a f t e r h i s a r r i v a l he secured a p o s i t i o n as a s s i s t a n t i n a f u r s t o r e i n New York, at two d o l l a r s a week and board. By 1786,he launched into the f u r b u s i n e s s f o r h i m s e l f and w i t h i n t e n y e a r s , had e s t a b l i s h e d a c o n s i d e r a b l e t r a d e . By 1800, h i s wealth was estimated at approximately a q u a r t e r of a m i l l i o n d o l l a r s . At h i s death inu.848, he l e f t an e s t a t e of $20,000,000..  5 factor 1808,  in f i n a n c i a l c i r c l e s he  Montreal  of the United States'by  1800.  In  c o n f e r r e d w i t h o f f i c e r s of the Northwest Company i n i n an  u n s u c c e s s f u l attempt^o secure t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n  in a fur-trading  venture  i n Oregon.  d e f i n i t e support  from the Canadian company, many of i t s shrewd  members r i s k e d t h e i r p r i v a t e wealth A s t o r organized  Though he f a i l e d  i n A s t o r s ambitious p r o j e c t . 1  the American Fur Company i n 1808,  trading organization.  He had  to o b t a i n  as a g e n e r a l  envisioned the establishment  of  a chain of p o s t s on the Columbia. R i v e r from i t s mouth to i t s headwaters; these posts would, i n t u r n , be l i n k e d w i t h other t r a d i n g p o s t s on the M i s s o u r i R i v e r and  thus a d i r e c t l i n e of  overland communication would be provided from the mouth of the Columbia to New  York C i t y v i a S t . L o u i s and  T h i s commercial genius planned and  the Great  Lakes.  c a r r y i n g f u r s by ship to China  there s e c u r i n g O r i e n t a l goods f o r the American market; he  a l s o secured  the permission of the Russian government to trade  w i t h t h e i r posts i n A l a s k a . ton gave f u l l e s t  approval to h i s p l a n s .  o p e r a t i o n from o f f i c i a l Company i n  A s t o r ' s own  government at WashingWith such hearty  co-  sources, A s t o r founded the P a c i f i c  Pur  1810. In the same year two  e x p e d i t i o n s sponsored  by  t h i s company set out from New  York f o r the mouth of the Columbia,  where i t was  the f i r s t  planned  parties sailed to proceed  to b u i l d  from. New  post.  One  York i n September i n the  v i a Cape Horn.  The  of these  "Tonquin",  other, under the l e a d e r s h i p of  Wilson P r i c e Hunt, went o v e r l a n d .  The  "Tonquin" a r r i v e d o f f  6  the mouth of the Columbia in March of the f o l l o w i n g year. Within  two  months, a t r a d i n g establishment  been b u i l t  on the south  shore of the river..  s u p p l i e s , the "Tonquin" s a i l e d Indians along the c o a s t . Sound the ship was  completely  her  l a s t voyage.  destroyed  descended  In J u l y , 1811,  At Nootka after  the A s t o r i a n s v/ere  I t was  thence he had  of  Thompson,  the r i v e r from, i t s mouth.  westward by l a n d .  York to Montreal  a party  under the l e a d e r s h i p of David  Meanwhile Hunt and h i s men t h e i r way  the  by an e x p l o s i o n  down the Columbia.  Northwest Company men, had  unloading  to see a l a r g e canoe, bearing the B r i t i s h f l a g at  i t s prow, proceeding  who  After  northward to trade with  I t was  a c l a s h with the Indians. surprised  named A s t o r i a , had  were slowly making  T h i s leader had  gone from  to confer with Northwest Company  travelled  R i v e r to S t . L o u i s .  v i a the Great  Having gathered  Lakes and  New  officials;  the  Mississippi  h i s f o r c e s at t h i s  latter  p o i n t , Hunt proceeded to S t . Joseph, M i s s o u r i , where the wintered.  In the s p r i n g and  summer of 1811,  they  party  travelled  v i a the usual M i s s o u r i R i v e r route to F o r t Henry on the Snake R i v e r , reaching unfortunate and  that point  i n September.  e r r o r of judgment when he abandoned h i s  embarked h i s party  in canoes f o r the r e s t  to the mouth of the Columbia.  The  proceed on f o o t .  three groups, each one hardships,  i t s own  the l e a d e r ' s band f i n a l l y  journey  of the voyage  them to leave  P r e s e n t l y the party  to f i n d  horses  of the  worst h a r d s h i p s  began when r a p i d s on the Snake compelled boats and  Here Hunt made an  route.  split  their into  A f t e r untold  a r r i v e d at the mouth of  7  the Golumhia on February 15,  1812.  In October, 1813, A s t o r i a was s o l d to the Northwest Company, c h i e f l y because of the d i f f i c u l t y  of the  P a c i f i c Pur Company keeping i t s l i n e s of communication on sea and land during the War  of 1812.  open  Thus ended t h e  attempt of American t r a d e r s to e s t a b l i s h a large s c a l e  first trading  o p e r a t i o n on the P a c i f i c Coast. A f t e r purchase of A s t o r i a by the Northwest Company, i t was  renamed F o r t George.  As such i t remained the  western headquarters of the Canadian f i r m , even a f t e r with the Hudson's Bay Company i n 1821. new base was  tirement  In 1825, however, a  e s t a b l i s h e d at F o r t Vancouver, and  the post at the mouth of the r i v e r .  the merger  Prom 1824  i t superseded until h i s re-  in 1845, a l l of the trade which centred at t h i s head-  quarters was  under  the d i r e c t i o n of Dr. John McLoughlin, c h i e f  f a c t o r of the Hudson's Bay Company. f o r t s had been b u i l t  In the i n t e r i o r , a few  in the upper Columbia b a s i n ,  F o r t Walla W a l l a and Spokane House.  including  In the mountainous  area  of the headwaters of the Snake and other t r i b u t a r i e s of the Columbia, where t r i b e s of h o s t i l e B l a c k f e e t c o n s t a n t l y roamed, the p o l i c y of the Hudson's Bay Company was to send out t r a p p i n g e x p e d i t i o n s of white men,  h a l f - b r e e d s , or f r i e n d l y  These nomadic groups had no permanent Frequently  Indians.  base in'the r e g i o n .  these t r a p p i n g p a r t i e s of the B r i t i s h company met  American t r a d e r s and t r a p p e r s who came west from the M i s s o u r i R i v e r as f a r as the R o c k i e s .  8 It  i s necessary at t h i s p o i n t , to t u r n to a b r i e f  examination of the men in the west during  and the methods of the American f u r trade  this period.  Unlike  the system i n Canada,  which placed .control in the hands of two mighty companies, which e v e n t u a l l y merged, the American trade was c a r r i e d on by i n d i v i d u a l t r a d e r s and by v a r i o u s f i r m s which were c h a r a c t e r i z e d by  frequent  reorgani zat ion s. The i n d i v i d u a l t r a d e r s were c a l l e d who  l i v e d l i v e s t y p i c a l l y nomadic and rough.  pioneer  s p i r i t s who  e a r l i e r period. trapping  were worthy  successors  among t h e i r red-skinned  of D a n i e l Boone of an  impossible,  wherever  Sometimes they chose mates  customers, f o r no white woman could  the h a r d s h i p s of such a l i f e .  Frequently,  they r e t i r e d  married p r e t t y Mexican s e n o r i t a s who  endure  as age made t h e i r  to Taos or Santa Fe and . could a s s i s t  e s t a b l i s h i n g a home f o r t h e i r d e c l i n i n g y e a r s . however, t h e i r e s s e n t i a l equipment  men",  They were hardy  T h e i r homes were temporary camps pitched  or t r a d i n g might lead them.  nomadic l i f e  "mountain  them i n  On the march,  c o n s i s t e d merely of a r i f l e ,  a p i s t o l , a long-bladed k n i f e , h a l f a dozen t r a p s , a b u f f a l o robe to l i e upon, and a blanket at  to cover t h e i r weary  night. The companies had v a r i o u s  but in  bodies  systems of o r g a n i z a t i o n ,  u s u a l l y there were s e v e r a l c l a s s e s of employees* the l e a d e r s the posts  and at S t . L o u i s were known as "bourgeois", these  h i r e d the men and s u p e r v i s e d the t a r i f f s and the o r d e r i n g . The l e a d e r s i n the f i e l d were u s u a l l y c a l l e d " p a r t i s a n s " . second i n command a t the p o s t s had the t i t l e  of " c l e r i c " .  The Among  those who worked from the bases there were two c l a s s e s of white t r a p p e r s , one c l a s s b e i n g r e g u l a r l y employed by the company a t an annual s a l a r y , u s u a l l y about $400, the o t h e r s , b e i n g f r e e t r a p p e r s , earned whatever catch.  they c o u l d from the s a l e . o f  their  Other c l a s s e s o f workers were the "camp-keepers", who  had a l l the camp d u t i e s to tend, the royageurs, a r t i s a n s , such as b l a c k s m i t h s and c a r p e n t e r s a t the p o s t s , and u n s k i l l e d labourers.  Incidentally, practically a l l  of these employees  at the p o s t s were almost permanently i n debt to t h e i r because  employers  of purchases a t the commissaries* The success of the American f u r t r a d i n g companies  was r e t a r d e d by many handicaps.  One of these was the f a c t  t h a t the B l a c k f e e t c o n t r o l l e d , f o r many y e a r s , two of t h e b e s t known passes through the R o c k i e s . of the mountains,  A g a i n , on t h e western s l o p e s  the e x p e r i e n c e d t r a d e r s of t h e Hudson's Bay  Company thwarted any attempt a t o p p o s i t i o n .  Another v e r y  s e r i o u s handicap was t h a t of c r e d i t . "The f u r - t r a d e was a l s o c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the l a r g e amount of c r e d i t t h a t was i n v o l v e d i n most t r a n s a c t i o n s and by t h e c o n s i d e r a b l e amount of hazard which produced e i t h e r l a r g e g a i n s ©r l a r g e l o s s e s * A p e r i o d of approximately f o u r years e l a p s e d from the time t h a t the manufactured goods were s h i p p e d from Europe u n t i l the f u r s were r e t u r n e d and s o l d and almost every o p e r a t i o n o c c u r r i n g i n the i n t e r i o r was based on c r e d i t . . . .  10 Tne s a l e ©f the manufactured goods, the t r a n s a c t i o n s of tne middlemen, the t r a d i n g w i t h the t r a p p e r s , and Indians* the t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , manufacture, ana s a l e of the f u r s were a l l normally c r e d i t o p e r a t i o n s * T h i s emphasis on c r e d i t , added to the d i f f i c u l t i e s and dangers, inherent i n the b u s i n e s s , produced a h i g h l y s p e c u l a t i v e i n d u s t r y . An annual p r o f i t of 50% was not unusual and f r e q u e n t l y the f i g u r e was much h i g h e r . On the other hand, the o p e r a t i o n s of any s i n g l e y e a r might r e s u l t i n a t o t a l l o s s , o f t e n i n c l u d i n g the s a c r i f i c e of many human l i v e s . " (5) Then, toe, w i t h the extensive  hunting t n a t was  c a r r i e d on,  the  source of the companies* revenues d e c l i n e d r a p i d l y : "The f u r - t r a d e reached the peak of i t s importsn ce i n the United S t a t e s d u r i n g the '30's. In the next decade i t d e c l i n e d i n r e l a t i v e importance. The cream of the f u r supply had been skimmed, and advancing settlement was d r i v i n g the t r a p p e r to newer and more v i r g i n f i e l d s . " (6) Even tne Hudson's l a y Company n o t i c e d tne d e c l i n e i n the h e a v i l y e x p l o i t e d mountain a r e a by the e a r l y 1830*s. John Work, one  of t h e i r t r a d e r s , r e p o r t e d  in  1831:  "My l a s t campaign i n the Snake country was not as s u c c e s s f u l as X had a n t i c i p a t e d : the r e t u r n s and p r o f i t s were p r e t t y f a i r c o n s i d e r i n g tne exhausted s t a t e of the c o u n t r y . " (7) The  d e c l i n e i n s u c c e s s f u l hunting and  trapping  5 - R i e g e l , R.E. "America Moves West." Holt.' Hew York. 1930. 185. (no a u t h o r i t y c i t e d ) . T y p i c a l p r o f i t s are i n d i c a t e d • byr-the f o l l o w i n g e x c e r p t : "Ashley s o l d out to Smith, S u b l e t t e & Jackson f o r about $30000 and l e f t the b u s i n e s s , a f t e r paying up h i s o l d debts, worth about $50000"* Wyeth te H a l l , Tucker, and W i l l i a m s . Cambridge. Nov. 8. 1833. Sources ef H i s t o r y o f Oregon. Ed. by J'.i*. Young. Oregon H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . Eugene, Ore* 1899. 6 - Riegel.  189*  7 - Xewis, W.S. and P h i l l i p s , P * C : " J o u r n a l of John Work"• C l a r k * C l e v e l a n d * 1923* 177.  was' followed  by a f a l l i n g  T h i s d e c l i n e was caused hat  to r e p l a c e  o f f i n the demand f o r beaver f u r .  l a r g e l y by the adoption of the s i l k  the t r a d i t i o n a l beaver h a t .  " P r i o r to 1832, as a l r e a d y noted, a l l the f i n e s t hats were made of beaver. In that year the s i l k hat was invented, and slowly y e t s u r e l y caught and held the fancy of smart d r e s s e r s on both s i d e s of the sea. As a r e s u l t the p r i c e of beaver f e l l s t e a d i l y from year to year; i n 1838 the s k i n that i n an e a r l i e r time had s o l d f o r $6 commanded only a f r a c t i o n of that sum.......' (8) 1  With t h i s b r i e f survey of the e a r l y American fur  trade  i n the west, we turn now to the  establishment  whose s h o r t , but i n t e n s e l y i n t e r e s t i n g h i s t o r y forms the theme of t h i s t h e s i s .  8 - W i l s o n , R.R.j "Out of the West". P r e s s of the P i o n e e r s . Hew York, 19 33. 25.  12  Chapter  II»  WYETH'S fflKST JiLXJliUITIOM  Having surveyed  the s t o r y of events i n  t h e i r c e n t r e , the P a c i f i c Sorthwest, i t i s necessary to t u r n t o the e a s t e r n U n i t e d S t a t e s , where other ef importance were t a k i n g p l a c e * f o r j o i n t occupation years was  In 1318,  movement was  events  an agreement  ©f the d i s p u t e d t e r r i t o r y f o r t e n  s i g n e d hy Great B r i t a i n and  T h i s convention was  now  renewed i n 1826,  the U n i t e d S t a t e s . hut the  expansionist  a l r e a d y making i t s i n f l u e n c e f e l t  i n Washington*  V i s i o n a r y p o l i t i c i a n s were r e g a l i n g t h e i r eonstituents/w i t h the p o s s i b i l i t y of extending  the f r o n t i e r to the P a c i f i c .  Thus the nucleus  l a t e r to become the "On  of what was  Oregon" movement sprang One  to  up.  of the most e n e r g e t i c propagandists  American s o v e r e i g n t y over the northwest was  for  a Boston s c h o o l -  master and Harvard graduate, named H a l l J . K e l l e y .  A  p r o g r e s s i v e e d u c a t i o n i s t , founder of U n i t e d S t a t e s ' f i r s t Sunday s c h o o l movement, he r e t i r e d from h i s chosen p r o f e s s i o n to promote the cause of Oregon s e t t l e m e n t .  Speeches  newspaper a r t i c l e s showing the p o t e n t i a l i t i e s poured e n d l e s s l y from h i s  Massachusetts, who  was  of Oregon  pen.  Among tnose who e n e r g e t i c propaganda was  and  became i n t r i g u e d by E e l l e y ' s  a young man  of Cambridge,  engaged i n the i c e b u s i n e s s .  His  15 name was 1802,  hatnaniel  ne had  J a r v i s w^etn.  entered the  and,  s i n c e ne was  well situated for l i f e .  i n the f a r west and  £9,  i c e business of F r e d Tudor i n h i s  n a t i v e town, m a r r i e d i n 1824, a p p a r e n t l y was  Born i n January  successful,  However, he was  read a l l tne a v a i l a b l e l i t e r a t u r e on  interested the  subject. "A man of g r e a t energy, sound judgment, and unquestioned i n t e g r i t y , a good o r g a n i s e r , i e a r l e s s of o b s t a c l e s , s i n g u l a r l y ^ r e e from v i s i o n a r y p r o j e c t s , and, on the whole, one ox tne a b l e s t men whom the f u r trade brought to p u b l i c n o t i c e . " (1) he expressed h i s own  adventurous f e e l i n g s thus:  "I cannot d i v e s t myself of the o p i n i o n that I s h a l l compete b e t t e r w i t h my f e l l o w men i n new and u n t r i e a paths than i n those to* pursue which r e q u i r e s only patience and a t t e n t i o n . " In 1829,  (2)  Wyeth approached H a l l K e l l e y ,  probably w i t h the i n t e n t i o n of j o i n i n g a p a r t y to west,  I t occasions l i t t l e  s u r p r i s e then t h a t  meeting of t h i s adventurous s p i r i t w i t h the apostle  go  the  energetic  of the west r e s u l t e d i n the young iceman's  d e t e r m i n a t i o n to v i s i t Oregon.  His c o u s i n , J . i i . Wyeth,  wrote w i t h obvious t r u t h :  1 - C h i t t e n d e n , H.M.:  "American Fur Trade of the F a r West", Harper, Hew Y o r k . 1902. 1. 436.  2 - ir.jr. Wyeth to Leonard J a r v i s , Cambridge, February 6, 1832. "Sources of the H i s t o r y of Oregon". E d i t e d by F.G. Young, Oregon H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . Eugene, Ore. 1899.  "Mr. H.J. K e l l e y s w r i t i n g s operated l i k e a match a p p l i e d to the combustible matter accumulated i n the mind of the e n e r g e t i c H a t h a n i e l J . Wyeth, which r e f l e c t e d and m u l t i p l i e d the f l a t t e r i n g g l a s s h e l d up by the ingenious and w e l l - d i s p o s e d schoolmaster." (3) f  There i s no doubt that Wyeth d i d r e c e i v e from H a l l J . K e l l e y the impulse t h a t sent him whatever doubts may  be  to Oregon.  Therefore  c a s t on the other work of K e l l e y ,  t h i s achievement c e r t a i n l y stands to h i s c r e d i t . The organize 1831,  Boston schoolmaster proceeded to  the Oregon C o l o n i z a t i o n S o c i e t y i n 1830  and  and Wyeth determined to j o i n them: " I f the Colenia.l S o e i e t y ( K e l l e y * s ) go through w i t h t h e i r project;, I s h a l l go out i n t h e i r s e r v i c e , i f not I s n a i l get up a J o i n t Stock Trading Concern ( i f I can) and go on w i t h a s i m i l a r p l a n but on a s m a l l e r s c a l e . " (4)  Impatient a t the repeated delays which prevented  the  S o c i e t y ' s e x p e d i t i o n from g e t t i n g under wayaand als© disgusted  at K e l l e y * s scheme of t a k i n g women and  a l o n g , Wyeth organized  h i s own  t r a d i n g company.  h i s knowledge of the Oregon d i p l o m a t i c  children With  r i d d l e , Wyeth  expected t h a t the r e g i o n would become American when the j o i n t occupancy agreement came up f o r renewal i n He had  little  1838.  trouble, therefore, i n interesting  Cambridge f i n a n c i e r s i n r a i s i n g money to organize  a company  3 - Overmeyer, l o c . c i t . 28. 4 - "Sources of Oregon H i s t o r y " , XVII. N a t h a n i e l Wyeth to Leonard f ^ e t h ^ . Bpv. 14. 1831. 6. ^ ^ . r  for  t r a d i n g f o r f u r s i n the Columbia b a s i n .  was  sponsored by the f i r m of Henry H a l l and Tucker  Williams;  the agreement was  The  companyand  to l a s t f o r f i v e y e a r s ;  and  the p r o f i t s were to be d i v i d e d i n such a manner t h a t : " i f the number concerned i s f i f t y and the whole net p r o f i t s were d i v i d e d i n t o t h a t number of p a r t s , I s h o u l d et 8, the surgeon 2, and the remaining o r t y p a r t s w o u l d be d i v i d e d among the remaining 48." (5)  f  The  company was  L o u i s and  to s h i p t r a d i n g goods westward v i a S t .  to r e t u r n the f u r s to Boston by boat around  Cape Horn.  The  c o s t s of the v e s s e l s were to be borne  by the s a l e of smoked salmon, t r e a t e d at a base on  the  Columbia R i v e r . The c h a r t e r and  f i r s t a c t i v i t y of the company was  l o a d a s m a l l v e s s e l , the  "Sultana",  to  to sail  to the mouth of the Columbia v i a Cape Horn, i n order have s u p p l i e s ready f o r the l a n d p a r t y .  Mext, Wyeth  gathered a p a r t y of 20 men  were  w i t h crude uniforms and  a t Boston who  and  Wyeth and h i s p a r t y s a i l e d  the e x p e d i t i o n was  provided  encamped on an i s l a n d i n Boston  harbour f o r ten days as a t r a i n i n g p e r i o d . 1832,  to  under way.  On March  from Boston f o r From Baltimore  12,  Baltimore the  p a r t y proceeded to S t . L o u i s , at which p o i n t t h e i r number grew to 24 men.  A t S t . L o u i s , they boarded the steamer  " O t t e r " f o r passage up the M i s s o u r i to 5 - c i t . Chittenden,  437.  Independence.  At t h i s p o i n t , Wyeth abandoned h i s amphibious combination boats and wagons, which the Harvard wags had "Natwyethiums"•  The  leader's discussions with  western t r a v e l l e r s had of u s i n g h i s w e i r d wheels  dubbed  convinced  contrivances  him  of the  experienced  impractibility  designed as boats  with  attached. Wyeth spent two  where he  weeks at Independence  combined f o r c e s w i t h W i l l i a m S u b l e t t e ,  experienced  t r a d e r , who  Mountains.  The  was  proceeding  combined p a r t y l e f t  an  to the Rocky  Independence on  May  12 and reached P i e r r e ' s Hole i n the Grand Teton r e g i o n J u l y 8.  T h i s was (6)  the p o i n t s e l e c t e d f o r the  rendezvous f o r t h a t y e a r .  P i e r r e ' s Hole was  on  traders' located  on the P i e r r e R i v e r which flowed northwest i n t o Henry Pork of the Snake R i v e r .  The  v a l l e y l a y along  the  n o r t h e r l y course of the r i v e r f o r about 25 m i l e s , i t s w i d t h v a r i e d from f i v e to f i f t e e n m i l e s . on the east s i d e was  while  Rising  the mighty Teton range, w h i l e  the  Snake R i v e r mountains, much lower, rose on the west. " S t i r r i n g memories a l s o a t t a c h to P i e r r e ' s Hole, where, when the beaver trade had not y e t f a l l e n on e v i l d a y s , hundreds of t r a p p e r s and t r a d e r s and whole t r i b e s of mountain Indians f r e q u e n t l y assembled to b a r t e r t h e i r wares............ 6 - "The rendezvous was a s p e c i f i e d g a t h e r i n g p l a c e f o r t r a d i n g and had i t s p r i n c i p a l advantage i n o b v i a t i n g the n e c e s s i t y f o r a permanent post w i t h a l a r g e personnel." - R i e g e l , R.E. "America Moves West" -_ . . Holt.New York C i t y . 1930. 188.  . . . . P i e r r e ' s Hole i n l a s t days of a rendezvous was no p l a c e f o r a man who l o v e d peace and honest ways." (7) Here the men of Cambridge saw the f u r - t r a d e a t i t s b e s t , or r a t h e r , a t i t s worst.  Indians,  halfbreeds,  and rough white t r a d e r s met a t the rendezvous  annually  to trade f u r s , to buy s u p p l i e s , and to c e l e b r a t e u s u a l l y w i t h overdoses of rum - t h e i r reunion and s u c c e s s . T h i s was the f u r t h e s t west that W.G.  S u b l e t t e was  and Wyeth j o i n e d the p a r t y o f h i s b r o t h e r , Sublette.  Milton  On J u l y 17, i n company w i t h t h i s  mountain t r a p p e r  going  experienced  and h i s p a r t y , Wyeth l e d h i s p a r t y  westward from P i e r r e ' s Hole.  On the f o l l o w i n g day, however,  they were a t t a c k e d by a h o s t i l e a f i e r c e b a t t l e ensued.  t r i b e of Gros Ventres and  The white t r a d e r s were j o i n e d  by f r i e n d l y Hez Perces Indians  and a number of f e l l o w -  whites from P i e r r e ' s Hole, who came to t h e i r a s s i s t a n c e . Judging from contemporary r e p o r t s the b a t t l e was a f i e r c e one: 20 o f the h o s t i l e Indians were k i l l e d , while  three of the whites and t e n of the f r i e n d l y  met a s i m i l a r f a t e .  T h i s a f f a i r delayed  redskins  the t r a d e r s f o r  s e v e r a l days, but by J u l y 24, the p a r t y reached the Snake River.  T h i s r i v e r was the w e s t e r l y  limit  of M i l t o n  Sublette's  e x p e d i t i o n , and here the two groups p a r t e d company. Wyeth and h i s t e n men - d e s e r t i o n s having  cut i n t o h i s company -  7 - Wilson,R.R.: "Out of The West". \ . . ... Press o f P i o n e e r s . Hew York. 1933. 6 & 7.  went on alone down the Portneuf R i v e r and thence to the Snake, which they reached near what i s now c a l l e d "American F a l l s " .  They f o l l o w e d  t h i s stream to the  Columbia and thence to F o r t Vancouver, which they reached on October 29, 1832, i n a d e s t i t u t e c o n d i t i o n . In the l i g h t of l a t e r events, i t i s w e l l to note t h e i r r e c e p t i o n by the c h i e f f a c t o r , Dr. John McLoughlin.  John B a l l , one of the p a r t y ,  wrote:  "October 29 - We a r r i v e d a t F o r t Vancouver We were h o s p i t a b l y r e c e i v e d . " (8) T h e i r treatment by the "White E a g l e " was such t h a t a l i f e l o n g f r i e n d s h i p sprang up between him and the l e a d e r of the t i n y e x p e d i t i o n .  The mutual nature of  t h i s c o r d i a l i t y i s evidenced by b o t h l e a d e r s : "Wyeth, open, manly, f r a n k , and f a i r - p e r f e c t gentleman and honest man - supported m o r a l i t y and encouraged i n d u s t r y . " (9) On h i s p a r t , the Yankee t r a d e r gave evidence of h i s f r i e n d s h i p some 1.8 y e a r s l a t e r when he wrote: "Should you w i s h such s e r v i c e as I can render i n t h i s p a r t of U n i t e d S t a t e s , I s h a l l be p l e a s e d to g i v e them i n r e t u r n f o r the many good t h i n g s you d i d years s i n c e , and i f my testimony as regards your e f f i c i e n t and f r i e n d l y a c t i o n s toward 8 - B a l l , John. '-'Reminiscences". Oregon H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , I I I . 98 9 - Holman, F.V.: "Dr. John McL.ough.lin" .• .. C l a r k . C l e v e l a n d , 0. 1907.48.  me who in in it  and the other e a r l i e s t Americans, s e t t l e d i n Oregon w i l l be of use p l a c i n g you b e f o r e the Oregon people the d i g n i f i e d p o s i t i o n of a b e n e f a c t o r , w i l l be c h e e r f u l l y rendered." (10)  F u r t h e r evidence  of t h i s f r i e n d l y s p i r i t was shown by  McLoughlin's. request of John B a l l t h a t he organize the first  s c h o o l a t F o r t Vancouver. On h i s a r r i v a l a t F o r t Vancouver, Wyeth  l e a r n e d t h a t h i s company had s u f f e r e d a m o r t a l blow i i n the s i n k i n g of the " S u l t a n a " , which had broken up on a r e e f i n the S o c i e t y I s l a n d s . couraged,  Disappointed andidis  y e t c o n f i d e n t of" the p o s s i b i l i t i e s  t r a d e , Wyeth w i n t e r e d a t F o r t Vancouver. r u a r y 1833,  of the  E a r l y i n Feb-  he s t a r t e d h i s i r e t u r n journey to Cambridge,  w h i l e the men who had accompanied him the p r e v i o u s year remained a t the f o r t .  These people l a t e r took up l a n d  and became the f i r s t American s e t t l e r s i n the r e g i o n . Wyeth h i m s e l f accompanied Frances Ermatinger's  p a r t y of  Hudson's Bay Company men as f a r as the Snake R i v e r country.  Of h i s departure, he l a t e r wrote: " I p a r t e d w i t h f e e l i n g s o f sorrow from the gentlemen of F o r t Vancouver, t h e i r unremitted kindness t o me w h i l e there much endeared them t o me; more so than i t would seem p o s s i b l e d u r i n g so s h o r t time. Dr. McLoughlin, the Governor (11) o f the p l a c e , i s a man d i s t i n g u i s h e d as much f o r h i s k i n d ness and humanity as h i s good sense and inflormation and to whom I am so  10 - Wyeth t o McLoughlin, 11 - McLoughlin was,  1850 ( c i r c u m ) . c i t . O.H.Q,. I , 108  o f course, c h i e f f a c t o r a t F o r t Vancouver.  20 much indebted as t h a t he w i l l never he f o r g o t t e n hy me." (12) W i t h only two Rockies and made h i s way hostile tribes. Indians  Indian youths, Wyeth crossed through r e g i o n s dotted  Owing to the depredations  with  of the A r i c a r a  on the p l a i n s , he determined to r e t u r n by  more n o r t h e r l y route than t h a t which he had on h i s westward journey.  the B i g Horn R i v e r by August 12, where he met  and a Nez  f  S u b l e t t e , three  Perce' Indian. S e c u r i n g  hunt among a nearby herd, (13)  a  followed  A c c o r d i n g l y , he had  former companion, M i l t o n G  the  reached his  half-breeds,  b u f f a l o hides from a  the p a r t y c o n s t r u c t e d  a  b u l l - b o a t or r a f t on which they f l o a t e d down to the Yellowstone and M i s s o u r i R i v e r s .  While p r e p a r i n g f o r  t h i s voyage, S u b l e t t e and Wyeth made an agreement by which the l a t t e r was  to supply  Company (of which S u b l e t t e was i n g goods. was  the Rocky Mountain Pur a partner) with trad-  Under the terms of t h i s c o n t r a c t , Wyeth  to have $3000 wofcth of goods at the rendezvous  on J u l y 1, 1834.  He was  to be p a i d $3521 above the  12 - Overmeyer, l o c . c i t . , 34. 13 -  " t h e b u l l - b o a t was made of b u f f a l o s k i n s sewn t o gether and s t r e t c h e d over a frame of w i l l o w and c o t t o n wood p o l e s . The s i z e was commonly about 12' by 30' and 20 inches deep. It- had the l e a s t draught of any r i v e r c r a f t and was t h e r e f o r e best adapted to such shallow streams as the P l a t t e . The cargo g e n e r a l l y c o n s i s t e d Of robes, and amounted to two and a h a l f tons weight, which caused a draught of only about f o u r i n c h e s . These b o a t s , i n one form or another, saw extensive s e r v i c e on Western r i v e r s . " C h i t t e n d e n , I. 35  14 - In 1834, the rendezvous was to be on the Green R i v e r , a l i t t l e way above the mouth of the B i g Sandy. T h i s l o c a t i o n was approximately 350 m i l e s west of P o r t Laramie.  o r i g i n a l p r i c e f o r t h i s merchandise - payment to be made i n beaver s k i n s at f o u r d a l l a r s per p e l t . e i t h e r c o n t r a c t i n g p a r t y was  Default  to i n v o l v e a p e n a l t y  by of  $500. The  two  men  p a r t e d company on August  17  (15) at F o r t Cass, which was  s i t u a t e d on the Yellowstone  R i v e r , a- few m i l e s northwest of i t s j u n c t i o n w i t h B i g Horn, near the present The  departure  the  town of Myers, Montana.  must have occasioned  the u s u a l western  f e s t i v i t i e s , f o r on the next day, Wyeth wrote i n h i s j o u r n a l : "too much l i q u o r to proceed, t h e r e f o r e ped".  stop-  However, Wyeth made e x c e l l e n t time down the  M i s s o u r i R i v e r , p a s s i n g F o r t Mandan (approximately  450  m i l e s from F o r t Cass) on September 2, and reached S t . L o u i s on October 9.  One  month l a t e r , on November  the young Yankee reached h i s n a t i v e town.  15 - An American Fur Company post, b u i l t  in  1852.  7,  Chapter I I I . THE  COLUMBIA RIVER FISHING AMD  TRADING COMPANY  W i t h t;he agreement of the Rocky Mountain Pur Company as support  f o r h i s arguments, Wyeth had  t r o u b l e f i n a n c i n g a second e x p e d i t i o n . "by M i l t o n S u b l e t t e during the w i n t e r plans.  He  A visit  little  to Boston  a i d e d the promoter's  came i n order to h e l p Wyeth choose the  proper  t r a d i n g goods. The  o r g a n i z a t i o n was  R i v e r P i s h i n g and Trading Company.  known as the  Columbia  A g a i n Henry H a l l  was  f i n a n c i a l l y i n t e r e s t e d , t h i s time h o l d i n g the l a r g e s t b l o c k of s t o c k - t h r e e - s i x t e e n t h s of the shares. hold one-sixteenth  of the stock and was  q u a r t e r of the p r o f i t s . f i v e year  The  company was  Wyeth was  to r e c e i v e  to  one-  drawn up on a  c o n t r a c t f o r the purpose of s e c u r i n g s k i n s , (1)  e s p e c i a l l y beaver.  Other sources  of income were to be  found i n s u p p l y i n g goods a t e x o r b i t a n t r a t e s to American t r a d e r s i n the Rockies,  v i a St. Louis, p i c k l i n g  salmon  on the Columbia R i v e r , s e c u r i n g b u f f a l o meat on the p l a i n s and canning  i t f o r the West Indies t r a d e . "The prominent advantages of s u p p l y i n g my own or the t r a p p i n g p a r t i e s of other concerns from the P a c i f i c i n s t e a d of S t . L o u i s are  1 - Beaver s k i n s c o u l d be purchased f o r a s t r i n g of beads, an ax, or h a l f a y a r d of s c a r l e t c l o t h from the Indians and s o l d i n Boston f o r e i g h t or t e n d o l l a r s .  23 s a f e t y of the country t r a v e r s e d , and consequent saving of men, shortness of d i s t a n c e , and low p r i c e and abundance of horses on the Columbia. The l a t t e r circumstances alone would enable any company doing t h e i r b u s i n e s s by t h a t route to make a p r o f i t equal to a l l expenses of t r a n s p o r t i n g . " (2) Wyeth a l s o proposed t o open the a r e a between California  and  the Columbia R i v e r f o r the f u r - t r a d e -  thus a v o i d i n g Hudson's Bay  Company t e r r i t o r y  - and  sell  beaver s k i n s to the B r i t i s h company at f i v e d o l l a r s each. It was  the l e a d e r *s p l a n to e s t a b l i s h a base on  the  P a c i f i c coast and use s h i p s to b r i n g i n s u p p l i e s , f i l l i n g them on the r e t u r n journey w i t h f u r s and  p i c k l e d salmon.  During the w i n t e r , Wyeth purchased some 13,000 pounds of goods f o r t r a d i n g , and c h a r t e r e d  the schooner "May  Dacre"  to c a r r y t r a d i n g goods v i a Cape Horn to the Columbia. s a i l e d January 7, One  1834. month l a t e r ,  the overland  expedition  Boston under the l e a d e r s h i p of E a t h a n i e l Wyeth, and St. Louis  i n the f i r s t week of March.  The  left  reached  Here enough men  r e c r u i t e d t o b r i n g the t o t a l s t r e n g t h of the p a r t y to men.  It  were 70  e x p e d i t i o n next moved on to Independence, M i s s o u r i ,  which was  an important t a k i n g o f f p o i n t f o r f u r - t r a d e r s heading  west.  Independence, Wyeth met  At  his f i r s t real  opposition,  when he found that the market of mules and horses had been (3) cornered by Santa Pe t r a d e r s . T h i s f o r c e d him to move across 2 - Overmeyer, l o c . c i t . 39. 3 - See Appendix I.  (footnote)  the r i v e r to L i b e r t y to purchase h i s necessary equipment. He was compelled a l s o to make s a l a r y advances to h i s men to prevent  desertions. At  Independence, Wyeth was j o i n e d by two  n a t u r a l i s t s , Thomas K u t h a l l , o f Harvard U n i v e r s i t y , and John K.Townsend, a p h y s i c i a n and o r n i t h o l o g i s t , of Philadelphia.  A p a r t y of f i v e Methodist  missionaries  under the l e a d e r s h i p o f Jason Lee a l s o met the e x p e d i t i o n here.  Wyeth's cavalcade  and t h a t of M i l t o n S u b l e t t e  Independence on A p r i l 28, 1834. v i v i d p i c t u r e of the  left  Mrs. J.B.Brown g i v e s a  departure:  "Wyeth and h i s o l d f r i e n d S u b l e t t e , rode a t the head of the p r o c e s s i o n , the two s c i e n t i s t s a t t h e i r s i d e , w h i l e the men f o l l o w e d i n double f i l e , every one l e a d i n g two horses l a d e n each w i t h two e i g h t y pound packages of goods. B r i n g i n g up. the r e a r was Wyeth's a s s i s t a n t , C a p t a i n Joseph Thing, an eminent n a v i g a t o r F i n a l l y at the s i d e of the cavalcade rode the m i s s i o n a r i e s w i t h t h e i r band of horned c a t t l e . " (4) The  route f o l l o w e d f r o m Independence was that which l a t e r  became the Oregon T r a i l . S h o r t l y a f t e r the p a r t y was on i t s way from Independence two i n c i d e n t s o c c u r r e d which affected i t s future.  profoundly  On May 8, M i l t o n S u b l e t t e , s u f f e r i n g  from a p a i n f u l l y d i s e a s e d  l e g , t u r n e d back.  William Sublette, elder brother  Two days l a t e r ,  o f Wyeth's companion and  r i v a l t r a n s p o r t e r of t r a d i n g goods, passed the New England p a r t y , h u r r y i n g on t o the rendezvous with a supply 4 - Brown, 124.  of goods  to  sell. Wyeth's p a r t y was w e l l organized, hut  owing to i t s s i z e was able t o make only about 20 m i l e s a day, somewhat l e s s than the average t r a p p e r s ' d a i l y r u n . The  l e a d e r chose the campsite every n i g h t and r a t i o n s were  d i s t r i b u t e d by a system of mess d i v i s i o n s . a c r o s s the p l a i n s was a p l e a s a n t one. gathered  around the camp-fires  while  (Richardson), h i r e d as a hunter,  The  journey  The evenings were  spent  one of the westerners,  r e g a l e d the " t e n d e r f e e t "  w i t h w i l d anecdotes of l i f e i n the mysterious west. On June 1, Wyeth's men c r o s s e d the Laramie R i v e r and n o t i c e d a group of W i l l i a m S u b l e t t e ' s p a r t y building a fort.  T h i s post, f i r s t  named P o r t W i l l i a m ,  became famous as P o r t Laramie, the f i r s t  later  s t a t i o n on the  Oregon T r a i l . On June 17, Wyeth reached the rendezvous on the Green R i v e r , and here a g r e a t disappointment awaited him.  I t may be best d e s c r i b e d i n h i s own words: "On the n i g h t of the 1 7 t h . I l e f t camp t o hunt F i t z - p a t r i c k and s l e p t i n the p r a i r i e s . In the morning s t r u c k Green R i v e r and went down to t h e f o r k s and f i n d i n g nothing went up a g a i n a n d found rendezvous about 12 m i l e s up, and much to my astonishment the goods which I had c o n t r a c t e d t o b r i n g up to the Rocky Mountain Fur Company were r e f u s e d by those honorable gentlemen. L a t i t u d e 41 degrees 30 minutes."(5)  5 - Chittenden,  450.  "So f a r t h i s business looks b l a c k . The company here-not complied, w i t h t h e i r c o n t r a c t s w i t h me and i n consequence I am o b l i g e d t o make a f o r t en L e w i s ' R i v e r " (Snake R i v e r ) "to dispose o f the goods I have w i t h me." (6) The  absence of M i l t o n G. S u b l e t t e , Wyeth'a  f r i e n d and the presence of h i s b r o t h e r who was  keenly  opposed to the New Englander because he had secured a c o n t r a c t from h i s b r o t h e r , were prime f a c t o r s i n the r e f u s a l . I t was an unfortunate p l i g h t  i n which t h i s keen hard-headed  Yankee, who had c r o s s e d h a l f a c o n t i n e n t w i t h many tens e f goods and 70 men, found h i m s e l f .  Though he r e c e i v e d the  f u l l amount o f the d e f a u l t p e n a l t y ($500), Wyeth noted  that  the Rocky Mountain Fur Company r e f u s e d even to pay the interest  on cash adven ced.  he suggested  W r i t i n g l a t e r to M i l t o n S u b l e t t e ,  t h a t W i l l i a m S u b l e t t e had b r i b e d  Fitzpatrick,  M i l t o n ' s p a r t n e r i n the company, to break the c o n t r a c t w i t h Wyeth.  Further i n d i c a t i o n  of t h i s i s shown by the r e -  o r g a n i z a t i o n of the company on June 20, i n which W i l l i a m S u b l e t t e became a p a r t n e r .  Wyeth warned the p a r t n e r s o f the  new company t h a t he would "yet r o l l a stone i n t o t h e i r garden, which they would never be able t© get out." (7) Mrs. o r i g i n a l l y planned  Jennie Brown c l a i m s t h a t Wyeth had t o b u i l d a f o r t i n the i n t e r i o r :  6 - B . J . Wyeth t o Leonard J a r v i s , Ham's Fork. June 21, 1834. Sources of Ore. H i s t . 135. 7 - C h i t t e n d e n . 450.  27"Hie l a t e s t i d e a was t e b u i l d two f o r t i f i c a t i o n s , one somewhere i n the lower Columbia and one i n t h e c e n t r a l i n t e r i o r . " (8) T h i s i s e n t i r e l y u n l i k e l y , however, f o r the l o s s of h i s c o n t r a c t seems t o have changed h i s p l a n s .  Brosnan  disagrees  Mrs brown's  w i t h late*©* view: "The c o n s t r u c t i o n of a f u r t r a d i n g f o r t was not a p a r t of Wyeth's p l a n but i t brought him the d i s t i n c t i o n of being the only American t o e s t a b l i s h a t r a d i n g post i n the j o i n t l y - o c c u p i e d a r e a . " (9) On June 18th, he moved on t o Ham's Pork, 23 m i l e s west of the rendezvous. letters.  Prom t h i s p o i n t he despatched s e v e r a l  One o f these was sent to h i e backers, Messrs.  Tucker and W i l l i a m s , and i n t h i s , w r i t t e n on J u l y 21, he r e v e a l s h i s plans: " I s h a l l proceed about 150 m i l e s west of t h i s and e s t a b l i s h a f o r t to make Bale of t h e goods w h i c h remain i n my hands. I have sent out messengers to t n e Bannocks, Shoshonees, Snakes, He*. Per c e s , ana Platheaas to make robes and come and trade them a t t h i s p o s t . . . I propose t o e s t a b l i s h i t on a r i v e r c a l l e d Portneuf o r Snake or l e w i s R i v e r . " (10) F o l l o w i n g words w i t h a c t i o n , Wyeth l e d the p a r t y westward a l o n g h i s o l d t r a i l , which l e d him out of the Great  Basin  i n t o the P a c i f i c s l o p e , whence he had been f o r c e d by W i l l i a m S u b l e t t e and F i t z p a t r i c k .  Es p e r m i t t e d t h e men t o  8 - Brown, 118. 9 - Brosnan, C o r n e l i u s J . : "Jason Lee, Prophet of t h e M a c M i l l a n . Hew York* 1932. 63. 10- M.J. Wyeth t o Messrs. Tucker & W i l l i a m s , J u l y 1, 1834. Ham's F o r k . Sources 138-139.  28 c e l e b r a t e J u l y 4 i n t y p i c a l w e s t e r n s t y l e and even in h i s j o u r n a l "took a p r e t t y hearty later,  they entered  9, t h e y j o i n e d  the present  combined p a r t y  met C a p t a i n  f  Bonneville  c e l e b r a t i o n was h e l d .  England party  reached  the it  and h i s t r a d e r s and  On J u l y 1 4 , t h e New  t h e Snake River..  A f t e r two d a y s o f s c o u t i n g  a l o c a t i o n , Y/yeth and h i s men s t a r t e d c o n s t r u c t i o n  fort.  The a c t u a l l o c a t i o n o f t h e p o s t  f o l l o w i n g being  i s a matter  some o f t h e o p i n i o n s .  t h e o r i g i n a l f o r t was b u i l t  o f t h e Snake R i v e r  of the  of d o u b t ,  Wyeth s t a t e d  was s i t u a t e d a t l a t i t u d e 43° 1 4 ' , l o n g i t u d e  p o i n t s out t h a t  days  o f H u d s o n s Bay Company men (11) o f Thomas McKay. A f e w d a y s a f t e r w a r d s , (12)  another great  for  Two  s t a t e o f I d a h o , and on J u l y  up w i t h a p a r t y  under t h e l e a d e r s h i p the  spree myself".  admits  113° 5 5 * .  on t h e s o u t h  i n the v a l l e y of t h e Portneuf.  that Ghent side  M a j o r Osborne  11 - Thomas M c K a y , was b o r n a b o u t 1798 i n t h e I n d i a n country. He was a. h a l f - b r e e d s o n o f A l e x a n d e r McKay, who was k i l l e d i n t h e "Tonquin" massacre. E n t e r i n g the s e r v i c e of t h e P a c i f i c P u r Company a t t h e age o f 1 2 , he a c c o m p a n i e d h i s f a t h e r t o A s t o r i a . On t h e s a l e o f t h i s p o s t t o t h e N o r t h w e s t Company i n 1 8 1 3 , he j o i n e d t h e C a n a d i a n f i r m and r e m a i n e d i n t h e i r employ a n d , a f t e r t h e m e r g e r o f 1 8 2 1 , i n t h a t o f t h e H u d s o n ' s Bay Company u n t i l sometime b e t w e e n 1836 and 1 8 3 9 . .He s e t t l e d on a f a r m i n O r e g o n a f t e r r e t i r i n g f r o m s e r v i c e and, a f t e r t a k i n g p a r t i n t h e Cayuse War o f 1 8 4 8 , i s b e l i e v e d t o h a v e d i e d i n t h e same y e a r . 12  - Captain Benjamin B o n n e v i l l e , Prench o f f i c e r o f United S t a t e s army, was. g r a n t e d l e a v e o f a b s e n c e i n 1832 t o c a r r y on a t r i p o f e x p l o r a t i o n i n t h e w e s t . He o r g a n i z e d an e l a b o r a t e f u r t r a d i n g e x p e d i t i o n and engaged i n i t f o r t h r e e y e a r s - two y e a r s l o n g e r t h a n h i s l e a v e . Though W a s h i n g t o n I r v i n g w r o t e an e x a g g e r a t e d s t o r y o f h i s w o r k , he a c c o m p l i s h e d l i t t l e i n o p e n i n g up t h e w e s t .  29 Cross, who  visited  the s i t e  i n 1849, (13)  above the mouth of the Portneuf. s i t e of the f o r t was  wrote that i t was  M i l e s Cannon claimed  15  miles  that  the  s i x m i l e s from the mouth of the Portneuf  and  defends h i s statement thus: "I g i v e i t as i t was given to me by,an Indian scout who p i l o t e d me to the p l a c e , who was born i n i t s v i c i n i t y at a time when the b u i l d i n g s t i l l stood and whose f a t h e r 'was acquainted with the Hudson's Bay Company t r a d e r s who were l o c a t e d t h e r e . . . . . . . . . About f o u r m i l e s below the p l a c e where,the t r a i l s t r i k e s the r i v e r on the l e f t bank and w i t h i n 20 f e e t of a s l i g h t l y lower l e v e l covered with cottonwood timber i s , so my guide informed me, the i d e n t i c a l spot. (14) 11  I n t e r e s t i n g l y ' enough, the o r i g i n a l  s i t e of the f o r t v/as l o s t (15)  u n t i l 1916,  by E z r a Meeker.  when i t was As  16,  1834.  I t was  discovered  s t a t e d above, the f o r t was originally  built  of cottonwood l o g s ; the  stockade c o n s i s t i n g of 12 f o o t p o l e s , being the ground with b a s t i o n s of the w a l l s and  s t a r t e d on J u l y  in the opposite  set two  corners.  feet into The  the l o c a t i o n of the w e l l i n s i d e were  d i s c e r n i b l e before the  s i t e was  submerged  in an  outlines clearly  artificial  lake created by a modern power p r o j e c t . 13 - Ghent,W.J.: "The  Road to Oregon", Longman s.London.1929.144. 1  14 - Cannon,Miles: "Snake R i v e r i n H i s t o r y " . G.H.Q. X X . l l 15 - E z r a Meeker f i r s t t r a v e r s e d the Oregon T r a i l in 1852 at the age of 21. At the age of 75, he determined to remark the trail. Thus i n 1906 he again drove an ox-team over the r o u t e . He subsequently made f o u r more t r i p s , one by wagon in 1910, others by auto i n 1915 and 1928, and one by a e r o p l a n e ' i n 1924. He died i n S e a t t l e i n 1928 at the age of 97.  Some idea of the energy put f o r t h hy i t s b u i l d e r s may  be gained  by r e f e r r i n g to an  eye-witness.  Townsend, the n a t u r a l i s t , wrote i n h i s j o u r n a l on J u l y "At the f O r t , a f f a i r s look proserous: the stockade i s f i n i s h e d : 2 b a s t i o n s have been created and the work i s s i n g u l a r l y good, c o n s i d e r i n g the s c a r c i t y of proper b u i l d i n g t o o l s . " On  the f o l l o w i n g day, which was  Lee,  the Methodist  missionary,  " o b l i g i n g l y complied". the f i r s t P r o t e s t a n t Rocky Mountains.  The  (16)  Sunday, Wyeth asked Jason to h o l d a meeting and  Thus i t was  he  at t h i s point that  sermon was  preached west of the  f o r t was  completed on August 5,  a d e s c r i p t i o n of the c e l e b r a t i o n s attendant exceedingly  25:  and  thereto i s  interesting:  "Aug. 5 - At s u n r i s e t h i s morning the 'star-spangled banner' was r a i s e d on the f l a g s t a f f at the f o r t , and a s a l u t e f i r e d by the men, who, a c c o r d i n g to orders,assembled around i t . A l l in camp were then allowed the f r e e and u n c o n t r o l led use of l i q u o r , and, as u s u a l , the consequence v/as a scene of r i o t i n g , n o i s e , and f i g h t i n g during the whole day. Night at l a s t came, and cast her mantle over the besotted'camp; .....the mien w i l l bear p a l p a b l e evidence of the debauch of the 5th of August." (17) This, was was  r a i s e d f o r the f i r s t  of v/hite men.  the occasion on v/hich "Old  Glory"  time i n Idaho over a r e a l home  Wyeth h i m s e l f  described the event i n a l e t t e r  16 - Townsend, J.K.: " N a r r a t i v e of a Journey A c r o s s the Rocky Mountains to the Columbia R i v e r . " Henry P e r k i n s . P h i l a d e l p h i a . 1839. 105. 17 - I b i d . 110  51 to Leonard J a r v i s , a p a r t n e r of the company, w r i t t e n on October 6, 1834,  from the Columbia R i v e r :  "Since mine of June 21st from Ham's Fork I have, as I then proposed, b u i l t a f o r t on Snake or Lewis R i v e r i n l a t i t u d e 43° 14 lain, to and l o n g i t u d e 113° 30 mm. w. ( s i c ) whien I namea F o r t H a i l i n honor of the o l d e s t gentleman i n the concern. We manufactured a m a g n i f i c e n t i l a g from some unbleached s h e e t i n g , a l i t t l e r e d f l a n n e l , and a few blue patcnes; s a l u t e a i t w i t h damaged powaer and wet i t i n v i l l a i n o u s a l c o h o l and a f t e r a l l i t makes, I assure you, a v e r y r e s p e c t a b l e appearance among the ary ana a e s o l a t e r e g i o n s of c e n t r a l America. I t s b a s t i o n s stand a t e r r o r to tne s k u l k i n g I n d i a n ana a beacon of s a f e t y to the f u g i t i v e hunter. It i s manned by twelve men and has c o n s t a n t l y loaded i n the b a s t i o n 100 guns ana r i f l e s . These b a s t i o n s ©©jamand both the i n s i d e and o u t s i d e of the f o r t * " (18) The l e f t Mr.  day a f t e r the completion  Evans i n charge w i t h 11 other men,  of the f o r t , Wyeth 14 horses  and  mules, and t h r e e cows, and proceeded down to F o r t Vancouver* The p a r t y now h i s own  men,  c o n s i s t e d of seme 30 men Wyeth was  Thomas McKay and the f i r s t day  and 116  horses*  Besides  accompanied f o r some d i s t a n c e by  h i s p a r t y of Hudson** Bay  Company mem*  out, the t r a p p e r s , weary a f t e r the  day's c o n v i v i a l i t i e s , made only about ten m i l e s . d i f f i c u l t y wa© e x p e r i e n c e d  f r o m the  c r o s s e d the shadeless barrens r e a c h i n g the Boise R i v e r .  On  previous Some  i n t e n s e heat as  they  of the b u t t e r e g i o n b e f o r e  Here the Hudson's Bay  18 - N.J* Wyeth to L e e n a r d J a r v i s , Columbia R i v e r , Oct. 6, Sources of Ore. H i s t . 146«  1834.  32 Company men Walla  l e f t the p a r t y and Wyeth continued  Walla. T h i s departure  for  on to P o r t  of McKay was  an ominous  one  the Columbia R i v e r P i s h i n g and T r a d i n g Company, f o r the  keen and experienced  t r a d e r determined to cut o f f h i s Yankee  r i v a l by e r e c t i n g another f o r t .  T h i s was  Snake P o r t ,  later  P o r t B o i s e , b u i l t t e n m i l e s from the mouth of the r i v e r from which i t took i t s permanent name. was  noted by Parnham, who  The  importance of t h i s  v i s i t e d the t e r r i t o r y i n 1839  post  and  1840: "Prom i t (Port B o i s e ) the Hudson's Bay Company sent t h e i r t r a d i n g partiesover the country south i n advance and near and around every movement of Wyeth."  (19)  Prom W a l l a W a l l a , Wyeth and h i s f r i e n d s , the m i s s i o n a r i e s and s c i e n t i s t s , moved down the Columbia R i v e r to P o r t Vancouver, which they reached on September 14. more the Yankee adventurer met Hudson's Bay The  the dynamic l e a d e r of  Once  the  Company i n t h a t r e g i o n , Dr. John McLoughlin.  day f o l l o w i n g h i s a r r i v a l at Vancouver, Wyeth h u r r i e d  down the r i v e r to meet h i s s h i p , the just arrived.  "May  D&cre", which  had  The v e s s e l had been delayed t h r e e months at  V a l p a r a i s o a f t e r being  s t r u c k by l i g h t n i n g .  course, meant t h a t the  s h i p had a r r i v e d too l a t e . t o c a r r y  on any salmon f i s h i n g during that  46  of  year.  Undaunted at t h i s second great  19 - c i t . Overmeyer, l o c . c i t .  T h i s delay,  disappointment,  Wyeth d e c i d e d t o b u i l d a second post on Wapatoo I s l a n d , near t h e mouth of the W i l l a m e t t e .  T h i s base, s i t u a t e d  about e i g h t m i l e s downstream from F o r t Vancouver, was: named Fort William.  Having thus e s t a b l i s h e d the company on the  lower Columbia, Wyeth d i s p a t c h e d C a p t a i n Thing w i t h seven other white men and 13 Sandwich I s l a n d e r s to F o r t H a l l to winter there.  The l e a d e r w i n t e r e d a t F o r t W i l l i a m and b u s i e d  h i m s e l f w i t h d e v e l o p i n g a permanent base.  B a r r e l s were made  f o r the a n t i c i p a t e d salmon c a t c h of the f o l l o w i n g season. V a r i o u s c r o p s were p l a n t e d w i t h the o b j e c t of making t h i s f o r t s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t and a m i n i a t u r e r e p l i c a o f the r i v a l company's post a t F o r t Vancouver. For a l l M s was doomed t o f a i l u r e .  energy, however, Wyeth's company  S e v e r a l of h i s Sandwich I s l a n d e r s  d e s e r t e d and others were drowned or f r o z e n b e f o r e reached F o r t H a l l . determined  they  The o f f i c i a l s of the o l d e r company were  not t o be u n d e r s o l d i n the f u r t r a d e and even  Wyeth»s own t r a p p i n g e x p e d i t i o n i n the w i n t e r of 1834-35 was more t r o u b l e than i t was worth.  I n the f o l l o w i n g season,  d i s e a s e and Indians s t r u c k a t h i s f o r c e i n the i n t e r i o r * The f u r trade c a r r i e d on from F o r t H a l l was not s u c c e s s f u l * The  c o m p e t i t i o n of F o r t Boise' and the h o s t i l i t y of t h e  B l a c k f e e t prevented  any l a r g e amount of t r a d i n g *  The men  of t h e o l d e r company were t r u s t e d by t h e I n d i a n s , some o f the B l a c k f e e t even t r a d i n g w i t h the Hudsen*s Bay Company, and t h e i r methods of t r a d i n g were f a m i l i a r t o t h e i r clientele.  red-skinned  By the s p r i n g of 1835,  Wyeth had d e c i d e d that  the o p p o r t u n i t y f o r p r o f i t f o r h i s company was fishery.  the salmon  Here too he soon l e a r n e d that h i e o l d e r r i v a l s  i n f l u e n c e d the Chinook I n d i a n f i s h e r m e n .  T r a i n e d to the  w i l y ways .of the salmon, the n a t i v e s working f o r the Hudson's Bay  Company were able to t r i p l e the c a t c h of t h e i r white  rivals.  "Then the nets of the New Englanders were not of the r i g h t kinds other of t h e i r a p p l i a n c e s w o u l d not work; some q u a r r e l l e d , some were murdered, e i g h t were drowned at one time."(20) F i n a l l y the i n t r e p i d l e a d e r became discouraged, and i n d i c a t e d h i s f e e l i n g s i n a l e t t e r to h i s b r o t h e r C h a r l e s , w r i t t e n on September 28, 1935s "Our salmon f i s h i n g has not succeeded. H a l f a cargo o n l y o b t a i n e d . Our people are s i c k and dying o f f l i k e r o t t e n sheep of b i l i o u s d i s o r d e r . I s h a l l be o f f by the f i r s t of next month to the mountains and w i n t e r at F o r t H a l l . " (21) What a dismal prospect f o r the e n e r g e t i c ambitious WyethJ  How  and  d i s c o u r a g i n g i t must have been f o r  him  to see h i s dreams of a g r e a t Oregon company c o l l a p s i n g , about him  I S i n c e many of the men  i n service at Fort H a l l  d i d not w i s h t o remain i n h i s s e r v i c e a f t e r the e x p i r a t i o n of t h e i r c o n t r a c t s i n the autumn of 1835,  Wyeth took w i t h  him to the post a number of Kanaka l a b o u r e r s who  had  arrived  20 - B a n c r o f t , H.H.* " H i s t o r y of the U o r t h West Coast". A.L. B a n c r o f t . San F r a n c i s c o . 1884.11, 596 21 - Cannon, I L : " N a t h a n i e l J.Wyeth"» Wash. H i s t . Quart. V I I . 228/  on the "May  Dacre".  These brown c o l o u r e d l a b o u r e r s  worked f o r much l e s s , r e c e i v i n g about £20 annum, while  the whites were p a i d about $250 f o r 15  months' s e r v i c e .  Wyeth p a i d o f f those r e t i r i n g from  h i s s e r v i c e when he reached and  ($100) per  immediately  r e n o v a t i n g the  the f o r t  i n December,  1835,  put the Kanakas at work, e n l a r g i n g and station. When the f u r trade f a i l e d a g a i n at F o r t  H a l l d u r i n g the w i n t e r of 1835-36 and was  the salmon c a t c h  v e r y s m a l l i n the f o l l o w i n g s p r i n g , Wyeth r e a l i z e d  t h a t h i s company h e l d no hope of s u c c e s s .  So,  on  "June 25, 1856, the now completely d i s i l l u s i o n e d Wyeth l e f t F o r t H a l l and s t a r t e d overland f o r Boston to c o n s u l t w i t h the members of h i s f i r m as to the u l t i m a t e d i s p o s i t i o n of t h e i r h o l d i n g s i n the west." (22) At t h i s c o n s u l t a t i o n i t was s e l l out to the Hudson's B y a  decided to  Company and t h i s t r a n s a c t i o n  i s b e s t d e s c r i b e d i n the words of the purchaser: • "In 1836, Mr. Wyeth broke up h i s establishment on Wapatoo I s l a n d . He r e t u r n e d to the S t a t e s and o f f e r e d the remains of h i s p r o p e r t y i n the count r y f o r s a l e to the D i r e c t o r s of the Hudson's Bay Cpmpany i n London, but they r e f e r r e d him to t h e i r o f f i c e r s i n the country at Vancouver, who bought  22 - Montgomery, R.G.:"The White Headed E a g l e " . Hew York. 1935. 219.  MacMillan  Mr. Wyeth's p r o p e r t y and h i s establishment at Port H a l l i n 1837 from Mr. Wyeth's agent." (23) The -Hudson's Bay Company p a i d the sum of #8179.94 to Wyeth's company f o r the f o r t ,  i n c l u d i n g the  f u r s and goods i n hand, the h o r s e s , t o o l s and f u r n i t u r e , and debts due the company from t r a p p e r s and employees.  23 - " N a r r a t i v e o f Dr. McLoughlin". O.H.Q,. I. 194. c f . H.J.Wyeth to Hudson's Bay Company, London, Dec. 5, 1836. H.B.C. A r c h i v e s A.10/3 c f . Appendix ~ r i , i n f r a  37 Chapter IV. LIFE IN FORT HALL UNDER WYETH  There are few contemporary d e s c r i p t i o n s o f the i n t e r i o r headquarters of Wyeth s, company s i n c e , during f  h i s regime, t r a v e l l e r s seldom t r a v e r s e d the t r a i l which was d e s t i n e d t o become important i n the h i s t o r y of the country. One  d e s c r i p t i o n which has remained, however, i s t h a t o f (1)  Osborne R u s s e l l , a f r e e - l a n c e t r a p p e r , who a i d e d i n the cons t r u c t i o n of the p o s t . I n h i s j o u r n a l , he w r i t e s : "On t h e 15th (of J u l y , 1834), we commenced the a c t u a l c o n s t r u c t i o n of the f o r t which has a stockade 8 0 square, b u i l t of CD ttonwood t r e e s s e t on end, sunk 2|- i n the ground and s t a n d i n g about 15' above w i t h 2 b a s t i o n s 8 square a t opposite a n g l e s . " (2) f  T  f  Those t r a v e l l e r s who d i d o c c a s i o n a l l y pass the post were usually missionaries. one  I t i s from the pen of the w i f e of  of t h e s e , H r s . Harcus Whitman, t h a t we have the best  d e s c r i p t i o n of the o l d f o r t .  She wrote i n h e r c a r e f u l l y -  kept d i a r y on August 3, 1836: "Came t o F o r t H a l l t h i s morning... . . . C a l l e d and were h o s p i t a b l y e n t e r t a i n e d by Captain Thing who keeps the f o r t . " (3) Having spent the night a t the post, on the f o l l o w i n g day,  1 - A western trapper and hunter who had j o i n e d Wyeth's p a r t y to a i d them i n s e c u r i n g a meat  supply.  2 - c i t . Brown. 141. 3 - E l l i o t t , T.C.: "The Coming of the White Women", O.H.Q,. XXXVII. 282.  38 she had an e x c e l l e n t o p p o r t u n i t y to observe the s t r u c t u r e , which must have seemed v e r y s u b s t a n t i a l to her a f t e r  the  temporary camps which had been her r e s t i n g p l a c e s d u r i n g the t e d i o u s journey  across the p l a i n s .  On August 4,  she  wrote: "The b u i l d i n g s of the f o r t are made of hewed l o g s , r o o f covered w i t h mud b r i c k s , chimney and f i r e p l a c e s a l s o the same. Ho windows except a square hole i n the r o o f and i n the b a s t i o n a few p o r t h o l e s l a r g e enough f o r guns o n l y . The b u i l d i n g s are a l l e n c l o s e d i n a s t r o n g l o g w a l l . " (4) Another member of the Whitman p a r t y of 1836 who  d e s c r i b e d the f o r t ,  was W.H.Gray,  thus:  " F o r t H a l l , i n 1836, was a stockade made of cottonwood l o g s , about 12' long set some 2* i n the ground;, w i t h a p i e c e of timber pinned near the top, running e n t i r e l y around the stockade, which was about 60* square. The s t o r e s and q u a r t e r s f o r the men were b u i l t i n s i d e w i t h p o l e s , brush, g r a s s , a n d - d i r t f o r c o v e r i n g stamped down so as t o p a r t i a l l y shed r a i n and permit the guards to be upon the tops of the q u a r t e r s and see over the top of the stockade. S i t u a t e d on an e x t e n s i v e l e v e l p l a i n or f l a t w i t h spurs of the Rocky Mountains on the east at a d i s t a n c e of t h i r t y m i l e s , h i g h ranges of barren sage h i l l s on the south, e i g h t m i l e s d i s t a n t . " (5) The l o c a t i o n of the post i s a l s o mentioned i n Mrs. j o u r n a l approximately  Whitman's  as "on a f l u e of the Snake R i v e r about  10 m i l e s above the j u n c t i o n of the P o r t n e u f " .  T h i s agrees (6) g e n e r a l l y w i t h the p o s i t i o n noted by contemporary w r i t e r s .  4 - op. c i t . 282. 5 - Gray, W.H.:"History of Oregon, 1792-1849". B a n c r o f t . San F r a n c i s c o . 1870. 131. 6 - c f . supra 28-29  The problem of s u p p l i e s f o r t h i s post was s e r i o u s one, because i t was  l o c a t e d so f a r i n l a n d and so f a r  from the base on the Columbia R i v e r . to  There was  grow v e g e t a b l e s at the f o r t , but t h i s was  success.  a  Mrs. Whitman wrote, a f t e r her v i s i t  some attempt  not crowned w i t h to the garden:  "The t u r n i p s i n the garden appear t h r i f t y , the tops v e r y - l a r g e and s m a l l but the r o o t s q u i t e round. The peas l o o k e d w e l l but most of them had been gathered by the mice. Saw a few onions t h a t were going to seed, these l o o k e d q u i t e n a t u r a l . T h i s i s a l l the garden c o n t a i n e d . MB t o l d us h i s corn d i d extremely w e l l u n t i l the 8th of June, when the f r o s t of one n i g h t completely p r o s t r a t e d it. T h i s i s t h e i r f i r s t attempt at c u l t i v a t i o n . " ( 7 ) Rev.  H.H.  S p a l d i n g , another member of the same p a r t y , r e p o r t e d (8)  t h a t " t u r n i p s have been r a i s e d but too f r o s t y f o r f a r m i n g " . V i s i t i n g the f o r t a few years l a t e r , Dr. White noted t h a t , "Wheat and potatoes grow w e l l , but are very g e n e r a l l y cut o f f by the f r o s t s " . t h a t there was  I t i s obvious, then, from these little  chance of the people  observations  of P o r t H a l l b e i n g  able to p r o v i d e themselves w i t h much home grown produce.  The  b u l k of the food supply c o n s i s t e d of f r i e d mountain bread, made of coarse f l o u r and r o a s t e d i n b u f f a l o grease, a n d b u f f a l o meat. The  trade of the f o r t was  Indian and white t r a p p e r s .  Owing to the I n d i a n s ' confidence  i n d e a l i n g w i t h Wyeth's competitor,  7 - Elliott, 8  c a r r i e d on wi t h both  the Hudson's Bay  Company,  op. c i t . 2 8 3 .  - S p a l d i n g , Rev.  H.H.  to Wm.  P o r t e r , Oct. 2 / 1 8 3 6 . O.H.Q. XIII.  373.  40 and the h o s t i l i t y of the B l a c k f e e t , n i n e - t e n t h s of the trade at Port H a l l was hunters.  w i t h nomadic white t r a p p e r s  and  Among the company's t r a d i n g r e g u l a t i o n s was  u s u a l one which forbade white employees c a r r y i n g on private trade. w i t h the only.  any  Another r e g u l a t i o n p r o v i d e d t h a t , i n d e a l i n g  Indians, l i q u o r should he s u p p l i e d to the  chiefs  T y p i c a l of the goods used i n the trade i s the f o l l o w -  ing l i s t in  the  of goods contained i n two  b a l e s cached a t the  fort  1836: (Red edged b l a n k e t s "Bale n o . l (30 l b s of v e r m i l l i o n (54 packs of p l a y i n g cards" "Bale no.14  (8 doz. r e d h a n d k e r c h i e f s (4 doz. pocket l o o k i n g g l a s s e s (30 l b . of l e a d ( y e l l o w edged b l a n k e t s "  (9)  Among the sundry packages i n the same shipment were f i v e kegs of a l c o h o l , f i v e l a r g e b a l e s of tobacco, The  comparative s c a l e of p r i c e s i s very  f i v e b a l e s of c o f f e e . interesting:  " tobacco p l a y i n g c a r d s - o r i g i n a l c o s t 10/2T 15^;l b ;s o l"d f o" r alcohol 8? p t ; " « coffee 12£ l b ; » " sugar 6? l b ; » 'J powder 15-18^Lb;» » Since the dominating  $2.50 $1.50 $3.00 $1.50 $1.50 $2.50  f a c t o r i n trade at the f o r t was  of l u x u r i e s , p r o f i t s appear to have been r a t h e r h i g h .  (up) pt. lb.' lb.' lb."(10)  the s a l e However,  t r a n s p o r t a t i o n c o s t s were v e r y h i g h :  9 - Eaton, W.C.:"Uathaniel J.Wyeth's Oregon E x p e d i t i o n s " . P a c i f i c H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y . IV. 112. 10-  Ibid.  12.  "The v e r y remoteness whieh assured b i g p r o f i t s assumed a f e a r f u l c o s t i n t r a n s p o r t i n g s u p p l i e s . " (11) The  t a r i f f f o r f u r s f o r the Indians was  heaver p e l t f o r any  one  l a r g e s t c u t beads, one  ef the f o l l o w i n g a r t i c l e s : one common b l a n k e t , one s h i r t , one  one-half y a r d blue er s c a r l e t c l o t h ; one or minks.  pound or t h r e e d o l l a r s f i f t y (12)  the Hudson's Bay  fathom axe,  r i f l e f o r 12 muskrats  For white t r a p p e r s , the s c a l e was  or mink 250 a pound.  one  five dollars  a  cents cash f o r beaver; muskcat  T h i s s c a l e was  c o n s i d e r a b l y lower  than  Company's r a t e s i n c e they r e q u i r e d f o u r beaver  p e l t s from the Indians i n t r a d e f o r one b l a n k e t . i n e x p e r i e n c e i n the trade was  Probably  r e s p o n s i b l e f o r Wyeth's paying  too h i g h a p r i c e f o r h i s f u r s ; c e r t a i n l y such a t a r i f f must have c o n t r i b u t e d to the c o l l a p s e of the company. T h i s trade would seem to have p r o v i d e d a l a r g e p r o f i t e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e employees' wages were low.  However,  the l o s s e s through bad debts were v e r y g r e a t ; then,  too,  t h e r e were the l o s s e s caused when debtors were s l a i n i n s k i r m i s h e s w i t h h o s t i l e  of the company  Indians*  T r a d i n g and l i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s a t F o r t H a l l werm p r o b a b l y no more d i f f i c u l t than a t the average f u r post o f the f a r west.  However, the r i s k s and  slowness of t r a n s p o r t a t i o n  l a c k of dependable l i n e s of communication, the  isolated  p o s i t i o n of the f o r t , i n e x p e r i e n c e d t r a d e r s unaccustomed to 11 - L a u t , Agnes C : "The 1929. 130. 12 - E a t o n ,  op c i t .  HI.  Overland T r a i l " . Stokes. Hew See a l s o Appendix JU*  York.  t h e - w i l y ways of the r e d s k i n s and the d i f f i c u l t i e s ©f o b t a i n i n g long-term c r e d i t f o r a comparatively c o n t r i b u t e d t o the d o w n f a l l ef the company*  small  firm  43  Chapter  V.  REASONS FOR WYttTH'S FAILURE  Why d i d the ambitious plans e f the Boston iceman f a i l in  ao completely?  Some reasons hare heen i n d i c a t e d  the p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r , but i t i s now necessary t o  summarize and e v a l u a t e a l l the c o n t r i b u t o r y f a c t o r s .  For  many o f the e a r l y pioneers whose o p i n i o n s were u n f o r t u n a t e l y b i a s s e d d u r i n g the c o n t e n t i o u s days o f the Oregon c o n t r o v e r s y , the Hudson's Bay Company was the s o l e cause of Wyeth's f a i l u r e .  W r i t i n g w i t h venomous pens, they  d e s c r i b e d the Hudson's Bay Company as a c r u e l o p p r e s s i n g monopolist  c r u s h i n g out the b u s i n e s s l i f e  competitor,  of an honest  thus)  "Wyeth had been crushed by the c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h the Hudson's Bay Company and was compelled t o s e l l a f t e r a few years of desperate struggle." ( l ) Recent evidence i n d i c a t e s , however, t h a t the commercial r i v a l r y was e n t i r e l y an honourable  one.  The o r d e r s  under which t h e Hudson's Bay Company men were working were as f o l l o w s :  1 - Lyman, H.S.: "Reminiscences of John M i n t o " . Oregon H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y . I I . 215.  44 " ( t o ) endeavour to put him down, hy steady w e l l r e g u l a t e d o p p o s i t i o n : We have however to impress upon your H i n d , that v i o l e n c e must on no c o n s i d e r a t i o n be r e s o r t e d t o , except i n defence of L i v e s and Property;, w h i l e i t i s a duty we owe to our own I n t e r e s t s to deny them any f a c i l i t i e s which are l i k e l y to annoy or d i s t u r b our Trade." C e r t a i n l y these orders are t y p i c a l of such i n s t r u c t i o i : s any  company under s i m i l a r circumstances..  >. (*)  by  Washington I r v i n g  r e f e r s to Wyeth*s s t r u g g l e w i t h the B r i t i s h company ". who (H.B.C.) have, a c c o r d i n g to h i s own (Wyeth s) account, t r e a t e d him throughout the whole of h i s e n t e r p r i s e w i t h g r e a t f i r m n e s s , f r i e n d s h i p , and l i b e r a l i t y . "  thus:  9  On was  comparison of the r i v a l  2 (»)  companies, the Hudson's Bay  so overwhelmingly s u p e r i o r t h a t harsh methods were not  n e c e s s a r y t o secure the e l i m i n a t i o n of t h e i r Yankee The  Hudson's Bay  Company had  a century  and  organized  communication system, and men  competitor.  the advantages of  a h a l f of experience i n the f u r t r a d e , a w e l l -  of c a r r y i n g on the t r a d e . out  Company  The  i n a r e p o r t to the U n i t e d  value States  and  equipment capable  of these was  pointed  Congress:  "McLoughlin was r e q u i r e d by the company to put down poor Wyeth, that i s i n a f a i r honorable, l e g i t i m a t e way. The b a r g a i n t h a t d i d h i s b u s i n e s s was something l i k e t h i s : He was not to oppose i n the lower country and we  3L - Governor & Committee to Dr. John McLoughlin, F e b . l , H.B5.CArchives A. 6/23, 109.  1834.  jjL - I r v i n g , Washington,: "Adventures of C a p t a i n B o n n e v i l l e " . University Library Association. Philadelphia. 521.  46 were not to oppose i n the i n t e r i o r . But where we had one p a r t y , he had two, and t h e n much h e t t e r goods. Thinic of tne Cascades, the D a l l e s , and the almost impassable d i f f i c u l t i e s , want of command over people, and who can he a s t o n i s h e d a t h i s f a i l u r e . " (4) The  n a t i v e s were accustomed t o the o l d e r company's t r a d i n g  methods and had confidence  i n them.  possessed many s h i p s which assured  The B r i t i s h f i r m a steady source of  s u p p l i e s shipped v i a Cape Hern f e r t h e i r p o s t s ; f o r t h e i r Oregon t r a d e , they a l s o had the advantage of a w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d t r a n s c o n t i n e n t a l canoe r o u t e . s t r o n g support  There was a l s o  o f the company by the B r i t i s n government,  w h i l e Wyeth r e c e i v e d a b s o l u t e l y no support  from Washington.  Probably the most important p o i n t of supremacy f o r the o l d e r company l a y i n the abundance of c a p i t a l w i t h which i t was s u p p l i e d .  T n i s very  f a c t o r was l a c k i n g i n Wyeth's e n t e r p r i s e .  necessary  He had r a i s e d  some $40,000 i n Cambridge and Boston, not a s u f f i c i e n t amount of c a p i t a l t o c a r r y on l o n g witnout some r e t u r n and was, t h e r e f o r e , s a d l y l i m i t e d i n f i n a n c i a l  support.  T h i s l i m i t a t i o n i n e v i t a b l y mace c r e d i t and communication difficult  to maintain.  Then the e a r l y f a i l u r e of the salmon  f i s h e r i e s was a d r a s t i c blow to p r o s p e c t s  of any immediate  profits. The  d i s a p p o i n t i n g r e s u l t s of the trade at  4 - Report t o Congress; Mr. Gushing, Committee on F o r e i g n A f f a i r s ; HJ.S. House Report. No. 101. «i5th Congress. 3rd S e s s i o n , 6-22. Roberts Rec. MS. 12. C i t . f o o t n o t e B a n c r o f t , H.H. " H i s t o r y of the Northwest Coast". I I . 599. 5 - Sources of Ore. H i s t . - K.J.Wyeth t o Chas. Wyeth, Cambridge, Jany 6 t h , 1834. 96.  the i n t e r i o r post were due  p r i n c i p a l l y , o f / c o u r s e , to  the r i v a l f o r t , Snake P o r t  (later called Fort Boise),  "built f o r the Hudson's Bay  Company by Thomas McKay.  company f r a n k l y admitted  The  t h a t the o n l y reason f o r  e s t a b l i s h i n g t h i s post was  to present F o r t H a l l from  damaging t h e i r t r a d e .  As mentioned above, many of the  Indians and whites who  owed money or f u r s to F o r t H a l l  were k i l l e d i n Indian s k i r m i s h e s w i t h l o s s to Wyeth's company. T h i s problem of I n d i a n wars was  another  great drawback to the success of Wyeth'w i n t e r i o r The  l o c a t i o n was  fort.  on the crossroads of many t r a i l s ;  " t h i s r e g i o n was not a good rendezvous f o r the mountain I n d i a n s . . . . . i t was too near the p l a i n s r a i d e r s , North and South Crows, Utes, Sioux, and B l a c k f e e t , r a i d i n g south f o r horses." (6) The  constant menace of the murderous B l a c k f e e t was  ever-present  t h r e a t to the white t r a d e r s i n the  and the red-skinned  customers who  brought t h e i r  an  fort silky  beaver-Tind muskrat p e l t s to the p o s t . The f o l l o w i n g s t o r y i s t y p i c a l of the t r e a c h e r y of the B l a c k f e e t t r i b e "At some time between September 1834 and September 1835, the exact date unknown, a p a r t y of B l a c k f e e t appeared on the opposite bank of the Snake from Fort H a l l . They were l e d by a desperado named B i r d , a former employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, who, having been made a p r i s o n e r by the B l a c k f e e t ,  6 - laut,  130.  i n a s k i r m i s h w i t h some of t h a t t r i b e had remained w i t h them and had become an i n f l u e n t i a l c h i e f t a i n . Prom the opposite s i d e o f the r i v e r , B i r d r e quested Godin t o come a c r o s s and buy their furs. Godin complied, not susp e c t i n g t r e a c h e r y . He s a t down t o smoke w i t h the company, when B i r d s i g n a l l e d to some Indians, who shot him i n the back. While he was y e t a l i v e , B i r d t o r e h i s s c a l p — o f f and cut the l e t t e r s "N.J.W.", Wyeth's i n i t i a l s , on h i s forehead." (#). In r e f e r r i n g t o the danger o f . I n d i a n a t t a c k a t F o r t H a l l , Mrs. Whitman wrote: "The b u i l d i n g s are a l i n a strong l o g w a l l . This them a place o f s a f e t y when by h o s t i l e Indians, as they are, the F o r t b e i n g i n the country." ( 8 ) .  l enclosed affords attacked! frequently B l a c k Feet  S p a l d i n g , another member o f the same p a r t y , wrote: "This i s a dangerous s i t u a t i o n i n the v i c i n i t y o f the Blaxk F e e t , a b l o o d t h i r s t y Indian t r i b e , f r e q u e n t l y at the gates of the f o r t , have destroyed many l i v e s and s t o l e n hundreds o f horses." (9). Besides a l l these handicaps,  Fort Hall  l a b o u r e d under the d i f f i c u l t y o f a manager who was o v e r l y fond of l i q u o r . to  F r e q u e n t l y , he was u n f i t f o r duty owing  the f a c t t h a t he had o v e r i n d u l g e d i n i n t o x i c a n t s . ~ One  f a c t on which a l l w r i t e r s agree, how-  ever, i s t h a t Wyeth's f a i l u r e was c e r t a i n l y not due t o his  own l a c k o f e n t e r p r i s e .  7 - Chittenden,  Thus Farnham, who v i s i t e d  I I , 663.  6 - E l l i o t t , O.H.Q,., XXXVII, 282. 9 - S p a l d i n g , Rev. H.H., to Wm. P o r t e r , Oct. 2, 1836. O.H.Q., X I I I , 373.  48 the f o r t i n 1837,  wrote:  "Prom what I saw and heard of Wyeth's management i n Oregon, I was impressed w i t h the b e l i e f that he was without comparison, the most t a l e n t e d b u s i n e s s man from the S t a t e s that ever e s t a b l i s h e d h i m s e l f i n the T e r r i t o r y . " ( 1 0 ) . Townsend, who  witnessed the e r e c t i o n of P o r t H a l l , wrote:  "Captain Wyeth has pursued the means which to him seemed best adapted f o r s e c u r i n g success w i t h g r e a t perseverance and i n d u s t r y and has endured h a r d s h i p s without murmuring, which would have p r o s t r a t e d many a more robust man."(11). Washington I r v i n g , who ing  p e r s o n a l l y i n t e r v i e w e d Wyeth r e g a r d -  h i s Oregon a c t i v i t y , wrote of him  thus:  "His e n t e r p r i s e was prosecuted w i t h a s p i r i t , i n t e l l i g e n c e , and perseverance t h a t m e r i t e d s u c c e s s . A l l the d e t a i l s t h a t we have met w i t h proves him to be no o r d i n a r y man. He appears to have the mind to conceive and the energy to execute e x t e n s i v e and s t r i k ing p l a n s . " (12) F u r t h e r evidence of Wyeth's energy and honesty i s shown by the f a c t that a f t e r h i s r e t u r n to Cambridge i n 1837,  he  was  a b l e to recoup h i s l o s s e s i n the Oregon e x p e d i t i o n , which had amounted to approximately $20,000. It was  an u p h i l l f i g h t and a l o s i n g one  Wyeth fought d u r i n g those hard years i n Oregon, but the  that diffic-  u l t i e s mentioned above would have proven too g r e a t f o r arryone.  10 - Parnham, Thos., c i t . Brown,  269.  11 - Townsend, J . K . : " N a r r a t i v e of a Journey Across the Rocky Mountains to the Columbia R i v e r " . 224 12 - I r v i n g , op. c i t . 520  The c o l l a p s e of h i s company was defeat was  i n e v i t a b l e , but h i s  one f o r which he c o u l d i n no way be blamed.  Chapter V I . FORT HALL UNDER THE  HUDSON'S BAY  COMPANY  A f t e r the purchase of F o r t H a l l hy Hudson's Bay of  Company, the experience  the B r i t i s h f i r m soon evidenced  changes at the p o s t .  post i n  and o r g a n i z a t i o n  itself  i n many  Some of the s t r u c t u r a l  are d e s c r i b e d hy Dr. F.A.  the  W i s l i z e n u s who  improvements  visited  the  1839; "The f o r t l i e s hard by the r i v e r > and i s b u i l t i n a square about 80' by 80' suggestive of b a r r a c k s . The s t y l e i s e s s e n t i a l l y t h a t of F o r t Laramie, except t h a t the outer w a l l s , 10' to 12' h i g h , are c o n s t r u c t e d i n t h i s case of wood. A s m a l l cannon i s i n the c o u r t yard. The f o r t owns many horses and s i x cows., The whole g a r r i s o n c o n s i s t s of 8 men; among them 2 Sandwich I s l a n d e r s and a German." (1) Sometime d u r i n g the next  w a l l s and the stockade whole f o r t was the use  three y e a r s ,  were covered w i t h adobe and  enlarged.  The  the  d w e l l i n g house p r o v i d e d f o r  of the c h i e f t r a d e r i n s i d e the w a l l s was  s t o r i e d b u i l d i n g of adobe measuring 42 f e e t by 15 Its  the  a  twofeet.  f l o o r s were of wood, while the doors and windows were  narrow, the l a t t e r covered w i t h a k i n d of parchment, s i n c e there was  no g l a s s a v a i l a b l e at the f o r t . Open h e a r t h s ,  course, p r o v i d e d haat and cooking  1 - Brown, c i t . 267.  facilities.  of  The were unimportant  improvements i n the b u i l d i n g , however,  i n comparison  w i t h the d r a s t i c changes .  f o l l o w i n g a p p l i c a t i o n of the company's p o l i c y of t r a d i n g at  the p o s t .  W i t h t y p i c a l thoroughness,  the s i t u a t i o n was  c a r e f u l l y s t u d i e d b e f o r e any new system was adopted.  James  Douglas, who v i s i t e d the f o r t i n 1838, made the f o l l o w i n g r e p o r t on the Indians of t h a t r e g i o n : .... .a numerous assemblage of Panaka, Shoshones, Shoshokos,cognate T r i b e s , l i v i n g w i t h each o t h e r , on terms of amity. They were f o r a l o n g p e r i o d a poor and g r e a t l y oppressed race but s i n c e becoming g e n e r a l l y possessed of f i r e arms, they have b r a v e l y maintained t h e i r independence, and now occupy a r e s p e c t a b l e p o s i t i o n among t h e i r former o p p r e s s o r s . Tho' an e q u e s t r i a n and e x c e e d i n g l y e r r a t i c k people we have hopes of i n t r o d u c i n g among them more s e t t l e d h a b i t s of l i f e and l e a d i n g them to devote more of t h e i r time to Pur h u n t i n g ; an o b j e c t worthy of our a t t e n t i o n , as we a r e l i k e l y to d e r i v e from t h e i r e x e r t i o n s , more c e r t a i n and e x t e n s i v e b e n e f i t , than we have reason t o a n t i c i p a t e from the l a w l e s s and t u r b u l e n t f r e e white Trappers, now employed a s Beaver Hunters....." (2) 11  G e n e r a l l y speaking, there were three types of white t r a d i n g and t r a p p i n g e x p e d i t i o n s which made t h e i r headquarters  a t P o r t H a l l , and worked i n the surrounding  mountain t e r r i t o r y .  The f i r s t  of these were "the l a w l e s s  and t u r b u l e n t f r e e white Trappers" mentioned h j Douglas. They were f r e e - l a n c e hunters who secured t h e i r horses, t r a p s , and p r o v i s i o n s a t F o r t H a l l axtd r e t u r n e d to t h a t  2 - C h i e f Trader James Douglas to Governor George Simpson, F o r t Vancouver, March 18, 1838. H.B.C. A r c h . B.223/b/20 f . 77-77d.  52 p o i n t w i t h the r e s u l t s of t h e i r hunts. mixed p a r t i e s of Hudson s Bay f  who  Secondly,  Company men  were equipped at the f o r t f o r hunting  Colorado  t h e r e were  and f r e e t r a p p e r s e x p e d i t i o n s to the  R i v e r , to Great S a l t Lake, to the F l a t h e a d  or along the streams which f e d the Snake R i v e r . p a r t y , c o n s i s t i n g of 26 men,  country,  One  such  l e d by N a r c i s s e Raymond,  was  sent by C h i e f Trader R i c h a r d Grant i n the summer of 1844 (3) "to  the Queaterra  e x p e d i t i o n was  country near the Great S a l t Lake".  This  a commercial f a i l u r e , - c h i e f l y as a r e s u l t  an encounter with h o s t i l e I n d i a n s .  of  Such p a r t i e s were o f t e n  composed of more American t r a d e r s t h a n B r i t i s h .  Farnhami  reported: "Even the American t r a p p e r s are f a s t l e a v i n g the s e r v i c e of t h e i r countrymen f o r the l a r g e r p r o f i t s and b e t t e r treatment of B r i t i s h employment." The  t h i r d group of white men  r i v a l American t r a p p e r s who,  (4)  t r a d i n g a t F o r t H a l l were the wandering f a r from t h e i r bases  on the lower M i s s o u r i R i v e r , o c c a s i o n a l l y purchased s u p p l i e s at F o r t Boise or F o r t H a l l and p a i d f o r them i n f u r s .  Besides  t h i s t r a d e w i t h the white t r a p p e r s and hunters, the Hudson's Bay  Company, f o r the reasons  share to  mentioned above, had a much l a r g e r  of Indian trade than t h e i r former r i v a l had been able  secure.  3 - C h i e f Trader R i c h a r d Grant to Gov. George Simpson, March 20, 1845. H.B.C. A r c h . D.5/13. . 4 - Farnham, Thos. J . : " T r a v e l s i n the Great Western P r a i r i e s , the Anahuac and Rocky Mountains, and i n the Oregon T e r r i t o r y " . Thwaites, R.G."Early Western T r a v e l s " . C l e v e l a n d , 0. 1906. XXVIII. 373.  53 Another extremely important  improvement t h a t  a i d e d P o r t H a l l during the B r i t i s h regime was system of communications.  Mo  longer was  post an i s o l a t e d self-dependent  the l i t t l e  t r a d i n g c e n t r e , hut  now  a unit i n a w e l l - k n i t , well-organized  was  p r o t e c t e d and  s u p p l i e d and  for profitable trading. and Port H a l l was  now  The  a stabilized outi t was  system, hy which i t  to which i t was  responsible  pack t r a i l between P o r t Vancouver  w e l l - t r o d twice a year by the  of ponies b r i n g i n g t r a d i n g goods and  stream  p r o v i s i o n s to the  i n t e r i o r post or by the r e t u r n i n g loads of f u r s secured In f a c t ,  there.  the company had these r o u t e s w e l l planned even  b e f o r e Wyeth*s e n t e r p r i s e , s i n c e i t was  w i t h a "mountain  o u t f i t " from P o r t Vancouver under Pranct§ Ermatinger that Wyeth t r a v e l l e d t h r o u g h the Columbia b a s i n on h i s r e t u r n journey  i n 1834.  The  power and p r e s t i g e of the g r e a t company  made i t s wagon and pack t r a i n s immune from the Indian r a i d s which had harassed  the t h i n l i n e of t r a n s p o r t which Wyeth had  s t r i v e n to m a i n t a i n .  McLoughlin h i m s e l f t e s t i f i e d to  this  s a f e t y when he wrote: "Prom P o r t H a l l to the S t a t e s , twenty men have r e p e a t e d l y passed and repassed and f r e q u e n t l y fewer, from P o r t H a l l to Vancouver, two men can t r a v e l i n p e r f e c t s a f e t y . " (5) The  success  i n the establishment  of pack t r a i l s between  P o r t H a l l l e d to an i n t e r e s t i n g experiment by Prances  5 - Leader, H.A.:  "McLoughlin s Answer to Warre Report". O.H.Q,. XXXIII. 219. s  54 —  (6) Ermatinger  i n 1840.  W i t h three o t h e r s , he attempted  a wagon through to the Columbia.  to take  Owing to the h e i g h t of the  sage and the narrowness of the t r a i l ,  they were o b l i g e d to  l i g h t e n t h e i r l o a d s to such an extent that they  finally  reached P o r t W a l l a Walla, w i t h o n l y the frames and running gears of t h e i r wagons.  T h i s journey i s an important  one i n  the h i s t o r y of the r e g i o n , however, f o r i t was the f i r s t to  attempt  take wagons through the d i f f i c u l t mountain road and d i d  much to shape the a d v i c e given by the men of the company to the immigrants  during the years t h a t f o l l o w e d . "The simple f a c t that these, the f i r s t wagons to go through to the Columbia, were not only o u t f i t t e d a t P o r t H a l l , but t h a t one of them was owned, o u t f i t t e d , and d r i v e n by P r e d e r i c ( s i c ) Ermatinger, the Hudson's Bay Company c h i e f t r a d e r i n charge of P t . H a l l i n 1858, 1839, 1840 and 1841, of i t s e l f reduces to s e n s e l e s s d r i v e l a l l the s c o r e s of pages i n Barrows, Uixon, Craighead, Howry and the other advocates of the Whitman Saved Oregon s t o r y , which accuse the Hudson's Bay Company of opposing the passage of wagons beyond P o r t H a l l The experience of these men f u l l y j u s t i f i e d t h e a d v i c e g i v e n a t P t . H a l l to the p a r t i e s of »39, *40, '41, and »42, to leave t h e i r wagons, and go from there w i t h pack a n i m a l s . . . . " ( 7 ) Even the improved  little  communication system d i d  to lower the cost of s u p p l i e s f o r t h i s i n t e r i o r  so d i f f i c u l t - o f a c c e s s .  fort,  I t was decided, however, to continue  6 - Dr. Newell, C o l . J . L . Meek, and Caleb W i l k i n s . 7 - M a r s h a l l , W.I.: " A c q u i s i t i o n of Oregon".Lowman and Hanford. S e a t t l e . 1911. I . 86.  experiments i n a g r i c u l t u r e . sent from P o r t Vancouver (8) other f o r P o r t B o i s e .  A c c o r d i n g l y , two ploughs were  i n 1839, one f o r P o r t H a l l and the  However, drought c o n d i t i o n s through-  out the r e g i o n i n that year r u i n e d any hope of s u c c e s s f u l l y growing t h e intended g r a i n . The f i r s t o f f i c e r (9)  i n cha rge of P o r t H a l l  after  i t s purchase was Thomas McKay, who had e a r l i e r "built Snake Port  (Port B o i s e ) , and who was f a m i l i a r w i t h t r a d i n g  ions i n t h a t a r e a .  condit-  The next o f f i c i a l to r u l e the d e s t i n i e s  of the post was Prances Ermatinger, who was i n charge from 1838 to 1842.  Owing to the i n c r e a s e d importance of the f o r t ,  the l a t t e r * s p o s i t i o n was r a i s e d from that of c l e r k to C h i e f Trader i n 1.841. He was succeeded i n the f o l l o w i n g year hy (10) R i c h a r d Gre,nt, who managed the post t i n t i l h i s r e t i r e m e n t i n 1851 - d u r i n g the h e c t i c days of the Oregon immigration. d e c l i n e i n importance of the f o r t  The  i s i n d i c a t e d by the f a c t  t h a t d u r i n g the remainder of i t s a c t i v e p e r i o d , i t was  under  the c o n t r o l of c l e r k s ; N e i l McArthur from 1851 to 1854 and W i l l i a m S i n c l a i r from 1854 to i t s f i n a l abandonment i n 1856. I t was t he duty of a l l these l e a d e r s , working under the i n s t r u c t i o n s of b o t h Dr. McLoughlin - i n whose department the f o r t was s i t u a t e d - and of Governor Simpson, h i s s u p e r i o r , 8 - C h i e f Trader James Douglas to H.B..C.London Oct. 14, 1839. H.B.C. A r c h . B.223/b/23. 26-27. 9 - s u p r a . 28. 10- G r e a t - g r e a t - g r a n d f a t h e r of the a u t h o r . F r e q u e n t l y known as " C a p t a i n Johnny" Grant among the immigrants.  56 to  secure a maximum of trade a t a minimum of expense.  were, however, t h r e e handicaps to commercial success area.  There i n this  These were, f i r s t , h i g h c o s t of t r a n s p o r t ; secondly,  the c o m p e t i t i o n of American t r a p p e r s and  traders; f i n a l l y ,  the f a c t t h a t the Snake R i v e r r e g i o n was  a producer,  e x c l u s i v e l y , of only one  f u r , heaver.  This l a t t e r  almost  fact  made p r o f i t a b l e o p e r a t i o n of F o r t H a l l dependent on  the  e x i s t e n c e of a steady demand and a h i g h p r i c e f o r beaver pelts. In 1842-43, the Snake d i s t r i c t , i n c l u d i n g F o r t B o i s e and  a t r a d i n g p a r t y as w e l l as Fort H a l l ,  traded  n e a r l y 2,500 beaver s k i n s from American t r a p p e r s and The  Indians.  importance of t h i s l a r g e p r o d u c t i o n i s proven i n a l e t t e r  of Dr. McLoughlin: "As to Mr. Grant's good r e t u r n s from the Snake R i v e r country, they h e l p to make up f o r l o s s e s elsewhere." (11) During 1600  the season 1845-46 the r e t u r n s amounted to n e a r l y  beaver besides other s m a l l f u r s , the whole trade (12)  being v a l u e d a t £3000. A few years l a t e r two simultaneously  f a c t o r s were moving  i n opposite s i d e s of the w o r l d , however,  to make the beaver trade i n the Snake R i v e r r e g i o n  extremely  11 - Dr. John McLoughlin to Governor Simpson, March 20, O.H.Q. XVII. 223. 12 - C h i e f Trader R i c h a r d Grant to Governor Simpson, Jan. 1846. H.B.C. A r c h . D.5/16.  1842. 2,  57 difficult  and, u l t i m a t e l y , i m p o s s i b l e .  These w i d e l y  handicaps were: the d e c l i n e i n the supply of beaver  separated i n the  a r e a and the d e c l i n e i n value of the p e l t s i n the London market.  T h i s l a t t e r f a c t was  a r e s u l t of the adoption of the  s i l k hat to r e p l a c e t h e beaver of  hat.  So r a p i d was  the t r a d e t hat Simpson a d v i s e d Grant  30, 1849  the c o l l a p s e  i n a l e t t e r of June  t h a t the p r i c e of one b l a n k e t f o r f o u r beavers  was  too h i g h and f u r t h e r s t a t e d : "......as you get n e i t h e r martens, f o x e s , o t t e r s , nor other s m a l l f u r s , the f u r trade of the Snake Country i s more than u n p r o f i t a b l e . " (13) The  tariff  i n c r e a s e thus ordered n a t u r a l l y d i d not  trade and the c h i e f t r a d e r was  compelled  improve  to r e p o r t i n the  following year: "The news of t h i s quarter r e g a r d i n g Trade i s anything but f l a t t e r i n g , I have done I may almost say n o t h i n g . The cause can only be a t t r i b u t e d to the Indians and few freemen s t i l l remaining i n our Neighbourhood and elsewhere, being now so amply s u p p l i e d w i t h a l l t h e i r wants by the p a s s i n g E m i g r a n t s / f o r horses and L e a t h e r s o l d and b a r t e r e d between b o t h p a r t i e s . The Indians have become C a r e l e s s , and s t i l l more i n d o l e n t than they ever were i n h u n t i n g f u r s - some of the Old Ones no doubt might yet be e n t i c e d to hunt Beaver, but t h a t once v a l u a b l e Animal having ( s i c ) now v a l u e l e s s , they are not encouraged, And our T a r i f f , from I n s t r u c t i o n s r e c e i v e d b e i n g made much h i g h e r than they f o r m e r l y had to pay, the Indians f i n d i t to t h e i r advantage, to hunt l a r g e Animals, which supply them and t h e i r f a m i l i e s more f o o d , and the s k i n s much more v a l u e a b l e i n p r o c u r i n g t h e i r Wants from the Emigrants." (14)  13 - Governor Simpson to C h i e f Trader R i c h a r d Grant, June 1849. H.B.C. A r c h . D.4/70, 473. 14 - C h i e f Trader R i c h a r d Grant P o r t H a l l , February  30,  to S i r George Simpson, 22, 1850. H.B.C. A r c h . D.5/27  58 The  t i d e of immigration on the Oregon. T r a i l  which had reached i t s f l o o d about 1849 a f t e r 1850,  owing to Indian wars and  r o u t e s to the glamorous g o l d f i e l d s  began to ebb  the opening of of C a l i f o r n i a .  rapidly new Therefore  the p r o f i t s of t r a d i n g w i t h the t r a v e l l e r s a l s o d i m i n i s h e d . The h o s t i l i t y of the Indians to the l a r g e numbers of white s e t t l e r s began a f t e r the Oregon T r e a t y of 1846 i n the Yakima wars ten years l a t e r .  and  climaxed  With such a d e c l i n e i n  t r a d e , w i t h Indian h o s t i l i t y , and w i t h the t r a n s f e r of the major a c t i v i t i e s of the company n o r t h of the 49th p a r a l l e l , the f a t e of P o r t H a l l v/as s e a l e d and i t was in  1856.  f i n a l l y abandoned  Chapter .YII THE OREGON IMMIGRATION  The "On to Oregon" movement i n e a s t e r n (1) U n i t e d S t a t e s , i n s p i r e d hy the work of H a l l J . K e l l e y , grew r a p i d l y i n the l a t e 1830's.  T h i s growth was l a r g e l y  a r e s u l t of i n t e r e s t aroused through Wyeth's e x p l o i t s and  the a g i t a t i o n s o f r e s t l e s s e x p a n s i o n i s t  i n the national c a p i t o l .  politicians  I t was one of those r e c u r r i n g  p e r i o d s of the westward movement which punctuated American political life  so f r e q u e n t l y d u r i n g the 19th century.  D i s s a t i s f a c t i o n over the Oregon j o i n t occupancy agreement was evident among the American delegates when the document was renewed i n 1828.  C e r t a i n l y b o t h p a r t i e s must have r e a l '  i z e d t h a t a permanent settlement postponed.  c o u l d not he much longer  Under the a e g i s of K e l l e y ' s Oregon C o l o n i z a t i o n  Society,, a s t r o n g movement grew i n New England, e s p e c i a l l y , to add the t e r r i t o r y to the Union.  The f a c t that i t would  o he a. non-slave r e g i o n v/as a major f a c t o r i n s e c u r i n g the support  of the northerners  The s t o r y of Wyeth's  f o r the annexation a g i t a t i o n .  e n t e r p r i s e , widely  the e a s t , aroused much popular  t o l d throughout  i n t e r e s t i n the l a n d of the  .far west. "His i n f l u e n c e i n Oregon 1 - :. ., supra, 12  occupation  60 and settlement was second to none He i t was who more d i r e c t l y than any other marked the way f o r the oxteams which were so s h o r t l y to b r i n g the Americanized c i v i l i z a t i o n of Europe across the r o a d l e s s c o n t i n e n t . " (2) By 1837,  a severe business  d e p r e s s i o n had  s t r u c k United  S t a t e s and the more adventurous s e t t l e r s were once more (3) seeking  the boon of f r e e l a n d , i n s p i t e of f r o n t i e r  hardships,  to recoup t h e i r The  first  fortunes.  of these hardy immigrants to  r e a c h F o r t H a l l on h i s way-to Oregon was who  a r r i v e d there i n 1837.  J o e l Walker,  R i d i n g i n h i s wagon were  h i s wife and f i v e c h i l d r e n , while Robert Newell accompanied him as guide.  T h i s was  stream of s e t t l e r s who famous Oregon T r a i l and to  of the  great  were to c r o s s the c o n t i n e n t oh  the  to e s t a b l i s h a colony l a r g e enough  s u b s t a n t i a t e the c l a i m of t h e i r n a t i o n to i t s annexation. Two  was  the beginning  years k a t e r , an i n t e r e s t i n g  organized by Thomas J . Farnham; w h i l e  expedition  i t v/as, o s t e n s i b l y ,  a p a r t y of immigrants, Farnham planned i t on a s e m i - m i l i t a r y b a s i s and a p p a r e n t l y had ambitions  of c a p t u r i n g the Oregon  T e r r i t o r y f o r U n i t e d S t a t e s w i t h h i s "Oregon Dragoons" as he namdd h i s p a r t y .  A c t u a l l y , he was an employee of the (4) F e d e r a l Government at Washington. The scheme was, of course, 2 - B a n c r o f t , H.H.. " H i s t o r y of the N o r t h w e s t Coast". B a n c r o f t Press. San F r a n c i s c o . 1884. I I . 598. 3 - Advocates of the Oregon annexation movement i n Washi n g t o n planned to throw the country open to f r e e homesteading. 4 - Congressional  Globe, 27th Cong., 3rd Sess., Appendix,  229  61 a miserable f a i l u r e .  Instead of s e i z i n g any of the  Hudson's Bay Company's f o r t s , Farnham was  g l a d of' the op-  p o r t u n i t y of s e c u r i n g s u p p l i e s and a s s i s t a n c e at them. A f t e r 1840,  the a r r i v a l of groups of immig-  r a n t s at F o r t H a l l became more f r e q u e n t and the groups themselves grew i n s i z e . reached the p o s t , l e f t westward to Oregon.  In 1842,  a p a r t y of 137  immigrants  t h e i r wagons there and proceeded  Of t h i s p a r t y , McLoughlin s t a t e d :  "The f i r s t Immigration of 1841 or 1842 a r r i v e d i n so m i s e r a b l e c o n d i t i o n t h a t had i t not been f o r the Hudson's Bay Company they must have s t a r v e d or been cut o f f by the I n d i a n s . " (5) Dr. E l i j a h White, a member of the 1842 p a r t y , confirmed McLoughlin*s statement when he wrote  in his journal:  "Four days l o n g e r march brought them to F o r t H a l l . . . . . . T h e i r r e c e p t i o n was of the k i n d e s t c h a r a c t e r and they spent a week v e r y p l e a s a n t l y w i t h Mr. Grant and h i s worthy a s s o c i a t e * McDonald, who made advantageous exchanges of commodities and a f f o r d e d them every f a c i l i t y i n t h e i r power f o r t h e i r f u r t h e r j o u r n e y . F l o u r cost them but h a l f what i t d i d at F o r t Laramie, a l t h o u g h conveyed on horseback 800 m i l e s . " (6) L a n s f o r d Hastings was  a l s o i n t h i s group of  immigrants  and i n h i s "Emigrants* Guide to Oregon and C a l i f o r n i a " , he  states: "Up'on a r r i v i n g a t t h i s f o r t we were r e c e i v e d i n the k i n d e s t manner by Mr. Grant, who was i n charge; and we r e c e i v e d every a i d and a t t e n t i o n from the gentlemen of that f o r t , d u r i n g our  5 - "McLoughlin's Reply to the Warre Report". O.H.Q. XXXIII. 6 - White, Dr. E l i j a h : "Ten Years i n Oregon". Andrus, Gauntlet Co. Ithaca, H.Y. 1850. 164.  218  62 stay i n t h e i r v i c i n i t y . We were informed hy Mr. Grant and other gentlemen of the company, t h a t i t would hy impossible f o r us to take our wagons down to the P a c i f i c ; consequently a meeting of the p a r t y was c a l l e d f o r the purpose of determining whether we should take them f u r t h e r Mr. Grant purchased a few of our wagons f o r a mere t r i f l e , which he p a i d i n such p r o v i s i o n s as he c o u l d dispose of without i n j u r y to h i m s e l f . He c o u l d not, .of course , a f f o r d to give much f o r them, as he d i d not need them., but bought them merely as an accommodation." (7) Much c o n t r o v e r s i a l m a t e r i a l has been w r i t t e n and being w r i t t e n regarding Bay  Company and  the  still  the r e l a t i o n s between the Hudson's  immigrants.  The  r e p o r t s above seem to  give an i n d i c a t i o n of the t y p i c a l a t t i t u d e of the traders.  is  British  The most unusual and most p e r s i s t e n t s t o r y i n  t h i s respect  i s that of Dr. Marcus Whitman. This e n t e r p r i s i n g B a p t i s t missionary  a r r i v e d i n Oregon i n 1836.  He was  not popular at F o r t  Vancouver, and  soon moved away and  at  His c h i e f c l a i m to fame at t h a t time  Waiilatpu.  first  established a  mission was  that he had brought a two-wheeled c a r t , remnants of a wagon, past F o r t H a l l to F o r t W a l l a W a l l a .  With the  of American immigration i n 1840-41, Whitman conceived  advent the  i d e a of e s t a b l i s h i n g a wagon road through the mountains which would permit the t r a v e l l e r s to rumble on i n comparative ease to the Columbia R i v e r . dash across  the  continent  After a spectacular  i n 1842,  mid-winter  Whitman presented h i s  7 - c i t . E l l i o t t , T.C.,: "Richard ( C a p t a i n Johnny) Grant". O.H.Q. XXXVI. 9.  63 scheme t o P r e s i d e n t T y l e r . h i s t o r i c a l opinions d i f f e r . promised government support  Prom t h i s p o i n t i n the s t o r y , Some contend t h a t T y l e r p r i v a t e l y t o the m i s s i o n a r y  i f he c o u l d  e s t a b l i s h a wagon route from P o r t H a l l to the Columbia. In the f o l l o w i n g y e a r ,  the "Great  Immigration",  c o n s i s t i n g o f about 1000 people and 200 wagons, came c r a s h i n g through the sage t o Port H a l l , westward bound. ledthe  C a p t a i n Gantt  p a r t y t o that p o i n t , and Whitman served as t h e i r guide  from there t o the Grand Ronde R i v e r .  The problem of proceeding  w i t h t h e i r wagons was an extremely hazardous one and the Hudson's Bay  Company o f f i c i a l s , as they had done p r e v i o u s l y , a d v i s e d  a g a i n s t i t . At t h i s p o i n t i n Whitman's s t o r y , h i s admirers reach the climax of t h e i r a d u l a t i o n , f o r i t was he who "outw i t t e d the t r a d e r s " and l e d the wagons onward.  Rev. Myron  E e l l s , one of h i s a s s o c i a t e s , wrote; "There a t P o r t H a l l , the f i n a l v i c t o r y was won. when, i n 1846, the t r e a t y was s i g n e d . . . , i t was simply w r i t i n g i n an o f f i c i a l way what had been xvritten "de f a c t o " three years p r e v i o u s a t P o r t H a l l . " (8) The  p e r s i s t e n c e of t h i s s t o r y of Whitman  winning Oregon has been a remarkable f e a t u r e of northwest history.  Por i n s t a n c e , the P o r t H a l l C e n t e n n i a l Programme,  published  i n 1934,  states:  "When the Great E m i g r a t i o n of 1843 of over 1000 people reached P o r t H a l l , the r e a l b a t t l e was fought f o r the c o l o n i z a t i o n movement. Richard. Grant  8 - E e l l s , Rev. Myron,: "Marcus Whitman". Harriman. S e a t t l e . 1909. 229-230.  64 was g e n u i n e l y alarmed by the m u l t i t u d e a t the gates and t o l d them i t was an i m p o s s i b i l i t y to take wagons f a r t h e r . In the b a t t l e of w i t s between Whitman and Grant, the worthy doctor won, and the immigrants went on i n wagons to the Columbia." (9) Even the most r e c e n t book on P o r t H a l l s t a t e s : " I t was at t h a t p l a c e (Port H a l l ) that the r e a l b a t t l e was fought f o r the c o l o n i z a t i o n movement.." (10) C e r t a i n l y t h i s i s true to a c e r t a i n extent but Whitman's success  i n b r i n g i n g wagons t hrough was  not the t u r n i n g p o i n t .  M a r s h a l l , i n r e f u t i n g the Whitman legend,  writes:  "At P o r t H a l l , the Hudson's Bay Company men made no^ e f f o r t to stop the wagons nor i f i t s men had t r i e d would they have succeeded, since" the party was f u l l y equipped-to go through. Besides three wagons had gone through i n 1840. O u t f i t t e d at the B r i t i s h post and one of i t s wagons was ov/ned by Ermatinger, c h i e f t r a d e r at P o r t H a l l . " (11) Peter Burnett, of any  a member of the 1843  p a r t y , seemed unaware  attempt by Grant to d i v e r t the  he p u b l i s h e d h i s  immigration,  when  reminiscences:  " I c o n s u l t e d Mr. Grant as to h i s o p i n i o n of the p r a c t a b i l i t y of taking our wagons through. He r e p l i e d that w h i l e he would not say t h a t i t was impossible f o r us Americans t o make the t r i p i n our wagons, he c o u l d not  9 - "Idaho Yesterday  and Today", no author.  Graves  P o t t e r . P o c a t e l l o , Ida. 1934. 10 - Brown, 294. 11 - M a r s h a l l . I I .  381.  and 43-44.  65 h i m s e l f see how i t could he done. He had o n l y t r a v e l l e d the pack t r a i l and c e r t a i n l y no wagons c o u l d f o l l o w that r o u t e hut t h e r e might he a p r a c t i c a l road found hy l e a v i n g the t r a i l a t c e r t a i n p o i n t s . " (12) A s i m i l a r account was t o l d b y another t r a v e l l e r who reached P o r t H a l l i n the f o l l o w i n g years "Mr. Cave then asked whether we c o u l d get to the Columbia R i v e r i n wagons. Grant's r e p l y was i n substance: 'Mr. Cave, i t ' s no use my answering your q u e s t i o n . I t ' s j u s t about a y e a r ago s i n c e a l o t of people came here j u s t as you have done and asked me the same q u e s t i o n . I t o l d them, ' l o ' that wefound i t very d i f f i c u l t to pass the narrow t r a i l s , w i t h pack, p o n i e s . They went on, j u s t as you w i l l ; j u s t as i f I had not spoken a word and the next I heard they were a t W a l l a W a l l a . You damned. Yankees w i l l do anything y o u l i k e ' . " (13) Such then was the " b a t t l e of w i t s " as d e s c r i b e d by the c h i e f t r a d e r h i m s e l f , who, a c c o r d i n g to some w r i t e r s , was In  supposed t o be so p e r t u r b e d by Whitman and h i s p a r t y . c o n f i r m a t i o n of Grant's warning, the same  wrote  in his journal  immigrant  later:  "We took the mountain road which was as bad as Mr. Grant's d e s c r i p t i o n . " (14) Another charge f r e q u e n t l y made i s that the  12 - B u r n e t t , P.H.,: " R e c o l l e c t i o n s and Opinions of an Old P i o n e e r " . O.H.Q. V. 77 13 - Lyman, M.S.,: "Reminiscences I I . 217. 14 - I b i d . 224.  of J o h n M i n t o " . O.H.Q.  66 Hudson's Bay  Company wanted to prevent  American  settlement  i n order t h a t they c o u l d s e t t l e the l a n d w i t h B r i t i s h s u b j e c t s . "The s t o p p i n g of wagons a t P o r t H a l l was a Hudson's Bay Company scheme to prevent s e t t l i n g of the country by Americans u n t i l they c o u l d s e t t l e i t w i t h t h e i r own subjects."(15) The  f a c t t h a t only once d i d the company attempt such s e t t l e -  ment d u r i n g t h e i r p e r i o d of o c c u p a t i o n ,  and then i n only a  hearted manner, seems to d i s p r o v e t h i s argument. On o c c a s i o n a s m a l l p a r t y of s e t t l e r s was R i v e r V a l l e y to s e t t l e i n Oregon.  that  brought from the  There was  The  Red  never, a t any  a determined attempt by the company to s e t t l e the area B r i t i s h s u b j e c t s before  half-  time,  with  1846.  c r i t i c s of the  "Honourable Company" have  not been content  to r e s t t h e i r case on Whitman and h i s wagons, (16) though h i s p l a c e i n h i s t o r y i s now b e i n g more c l e a r l y d e f i n e d .  15 - S p a l d i n g , Rev. H.H. - c i t . Gray, W.H."History of Oregon 1792-1849". B a n c r o f t . San F r a n c i s c o . 1870. 289. 16 - "He d i d not o r i g i n a t e the g r e a t f l o w of s e t t l e r s t h a t s t a r t e d westward i n 1843.••....he d i d l e a d them and t h e i r wagons to the Grand Ronde R i v e r and they were then s u c c e s s f u l l y brought to W a i l a p t u . "The journey to Oregon made by such a l a r g e number not o n l y s t i m u l a t e d i n t e r e s t i n Oregon and i n s u r e d a m a j o r i t y of Americans i n the d i s p u t e d t e r r i t o r y ; but doubtless strengthened the d e t e r m i n a t i o n of the government to i n s i s t upon American r i g h t s , and i t i n f l u e n c e d the democrats to put the Oregon i s s u e i n t h e i r p l a t f o r m i n 1844." Carey, C H . s "General H i s t o r y of Oregon". M e t r o p o l i t a n P r e s s . 1935. I. 316.  The  other  charges brought a g a i n s t  are t h a t they impeded the for supplies  and by The  F o r t H a l l has  the  t r a v e l l e r s by charging  high  attempting to d i v e r t them to high  already  c o s t of t r a n s p o r t i n g  prices  California.  supplies  been noted as a l s o Dr. "White's  of the p r i c e s of s u p p l i e s at the post. Dr.  t r a d e r s at F o r t H a l l  In s p i t e of  to opinion  this  whitman wrote: "The present p a r t y i s supposed to have expended no l e s s than $2000 at F o r t H a l l and F o r t B o i s e .at the enormous r a t e of charge c a l l e d mountain p r i c e s : i . e . $50 the hundred f o r f l o u r and $50 the hundred f o r c o f f e e , the same f o r sugar." (17)  C e r t a i n l y the m i s s i o n a r y  shows some p r e j u d i c e  c r i t i c i s m , since, he must have r e a l i z e d the charges.  He  and  had  had  far  i n the  shown him  had  i n such  high f r e i g h t i n g  a r r i v e d i n Oregon some s i x years b e f o r e  to purchase s u p p l i e s f o r h i s m i s s i o n interior.  S u r e l y h i s experience there must have  the h i g h c o s t s  mountain country.  station  of t r a n s p o r t a t i o n i n the  A contemporary of Whitman a l s o  of the p r i c e s a t F o r t  rugged complained  Hall:  " A r r i v e d a t F o r t H a l l . Here the company had c o n s i d e r a b l e t r a d i n g w i t h Mr. Grant, manager f o r the Hudson's Bay Company. He s e l l s at an e x o r b i t a n t p r i c e : f l o u r - 25ef a p i n t , sugar-50^, coffee-50/Z", r i e e - 3 3 1/3/2" a p i n t . " (18)  17  - Eells,  op. c i t . Dr. Marcus Y/hitman to Hon. S e c r e t a r y of War. 337.  18  - Hesmith, J a s . W.:  Jas.  "Diary of Emigrant of 1843". V I I . 349-350.  Porter, O.H.Q  These p r i c e s do not seem e x o r b i t a n t , however, when compared (19) w i t h the p r i c e s a t F o r t Laramie, F u r t h e r , the m a j o r i t y of extant j o u r n a l s do not agree w i t h those quoted above.  Farnham  d e s c r i b e d h i s a r r i v a l a t the p o s t , t h u s : "A f r i e n d l y s a l u t a t i o n was f o l l o w e d by an i n v i t a t i o n to enter the Fort;: and a 'welcome to F o r t H a l l , was g i v e n i n a manner so k i n d and o b l i g i n g t h a t nothing seemed wanting to make us f e e l that we were at home. A generous f l a g o n of O l d Jamaica, wheaten bread, and b u t t e r newly churned, and b u f f a l o tongues f r e s h from the n e i g h b o r i n g mountain made t h e i r appearance as soon as we had r i d ours e l v e s of the equipage and dust of j o u r n e y i n g and a l l a y e d the d r e a d f u l sense of s t a r v a t i o n Goods are s o l d a t t h i s e s t a b l i s h ment 50% lower than at the American p o s t s . " (20) 1  Burnett r e p o r t e d t hat "Mir. Grant was hospitable".  e x c e d i n g l y k i n d and  In 1845, the r a t e s at the f o r t were: f l o u r ,  $20- per cwt., horses $15 to $25; s u r e l y not e x c e s s i v e p r i c e s i n view of the monopoly and the d i f f i c u l t i e s of transportation .  An immigrant  of 1845,  wrote:  "Fort H a l l was i n charge of J a s , ( s i c ) Grant of Hudson's Bay Company, Mr. R e c t o r found him 'a very c l e v e r and o b l i g i n g gent• who gave v a l u a b l e i n f o r m a t i o n i n r e g a r d to the r o u t e , " (21) Even John M i n t o , who  c l a i m e d the company had t r e a t e d Wyeth  s e v e r e l y , wrote:  1.9 - In 1843 - c o f f e e , $1.50 a p i n t ; brown sugar - $1.50 p i n t ; f l o u r - 25^ l b . ; powder - $1.50 a l b . ; c a l i c o - $1 a yd. 20 - Farnham., 302-303. 21 - B a r r y , J.H.: "Autobiography of Wm. O.H.Q. XXX. 63  Henry R e c t o r " .  a  "Mr. Grant......... gave me f a i r treatment i n t r a d e , however, f u r n i s h i n , a s t r o n g saddle horse f o r my gun." (22 J e s s e Applegate, one of the most famous of the Oregon T r a i l p i o n e e r s , s t a t e d that i n 1843, when he v i s i t e d F o r t  Hall,  "nothing hut k i n d n e s s " was r e c e i v e d from "Captain Grant". J o e l Palmer,  an immigrant  of 1845, d e s c r i b e d h i s treatment  at P o r t H a l l , thuss "August 8 (1845)....Port H a l l . C a p t a i n Grant i s now the o f f i c e r i n command; he has the b e a r i n g of a gentleman. The g a r r i s o n was s u p p l i e d w i t h f l o u r , which had been procured from the s e t t l e m e n t s i n Oregon, and brought here on pack h o r s e s . They s o l d i t to the emigrants f o r #20 p e r cwt., t a k i n g c a t t l e i n exchanges and. as many of the emigrants were n e a r l y out of f l o u r and had a few lame c a t t l e , a b r i s k t r a d e was c a r r i e d on between them and the i n h a b i t a n t s of the f o r t . In the exchange of c a t t l e f o r f l o u r an allowance was made of from $5 to $12 per head. They a l s o had horses which they r e a d i l y exchanged f o r c a t t l e or s o l d f o r cash. The p r i c e demanded f o r horses was from $15 to $25. They c o u l d not be p r e v a i l e d upon to r e c e i v e anyt h i n g i n exchange f o r t h e i r goods o r p r o v i s i o n s , excepting c a t t l e o r money." (23) A f t e r r e v i e w i n g s i m i l a r j o u r n a l s of many p i o n e e r s , Mrs. Brown, s t a t e d that the a i d r e c e i v e d by the emigrants a t Port H a l l made i t possible  f o r many to r e a c h the Columbia  R i v e r V a l l e y , who would not otherwise have been able to r e a c h  22 - Lyman, H.S.s "Reminiscences I I . 215. 23 - Palmer's  of John Minto". O.H.Q.  J o u r n a l , " E a r l y Western Travels".ed.R.G. Thwaites. C l a r k . C l e v e l a n d . 1906. I . 86.  70 their destination.  T . C . E l l i o t t , an eminent  a u t h o r i t y on the  h i s t o r y of the r e g i o n , w r i t e s : " I t i s t r u e o f course t h a t among so many t r a v e l e r s d u r i n g those years some o t h e r s imagined themselves i l l t r e a t e d and overcharged, and these have l e f t somewhat d i f f e r e n t r e c o r d s , hut i n most o f such i n s t a n c e s , reasons of weariness, poor h e a l t h , u n c e r t a i n memory or p r e j u d i c e were accountable." (24) The t h i r d charge made a g a i n s t the o f f i c i a l s of P o r t H a l l , as s e a t e d above, i s that they attempted t o persuade many of the immigrants t o t u r n t h e i r course f o r California.  T h i s a c c u s a t i o n , a g a i n a product of p r e j u d i c e ,  cannot be s u b s t a n t i a t e d .  I t i s l a r g e l y a s u r v i v a l of charges (25) such as those o f Samuel R. Thurston, who s t a t e d i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s Congress: "In 1845, he (McLoughlin) sent am express t o P o r t H a l l , 800 m i l e s , t o warn the American emigrants that i f they attempted to come to W i l l a m e t t e they would a l l be cut o f f . " (26) McLoughlin denied t h i s charge and even secured the support of Wyeth i n i t s c o n t r a d i c t i o n ;  24 - E l l i o t t , T.C. op. c i t . -12. 25 - "Thurston's l e t t e r s , speeches and a c t i o n s a g a i n s t Dr. McLoughlin are the one g r e a t b l o t on h i s c a r e e r . T h u r s t o n was a man of a b i l i t y , a f l u e n t speaker, a profuse w r i t e r o f l e t t e r s , o f u n t i r i n g , energy, but i n c l i n e d to be v i n d i c t i v e , and was not c a r e f u l about the t r u t h of h i s statements concerning a person he opposed or d i s l i k e d . " Holman, P.V.: "Dr. John McLoughlin". C l a r k . C l e v e l a n d . 1907. 144-145. 26 - I b i d . 123.  71 "Tlie s u f f e r i n g - and d i s t r e s s of the ea,rly American v i s i t o r s and s e t t l e r s i n the Columbia R i v e r were always t r e a t e d by Hudson's Bay Company agents and p a r t i c u l a r l y so by Dr. John McLoughlin w i t h c o n s i d e r a t i o n and k i n d n e s s . " (27) Had the Hudson's Bay Company been determined to keep the American s e t t l e r s out of Oregon, they would, no doubt, have evolved some d e f i n i t e scheme t o h o l d the area.  Actually,  however, they c a r r i e d on a b r i s k trade w i t h the immigrants and s o l d them the equipment One  necessary f o r t h e i r p r o g r e s s .  of the e a r l y immigrants wrote: "To be f r a n k , no more, i f as much, discouragement was o f f e r e d t o t h e i r p a r t y of emigrants at F o r t Ha.ll than had been r e c e i v e d a t F o r t Laramie, an American p o s t . " (28) Evidence has been brought forward w h i c h proves  that the major f a c t o r i n the attempted d i v e r s i o n of s e t t l e r s to C a l i f o r n i a was a scheme developed by Americans i n that region.  By t h i s means they hoped t o f i l l  up the t e r r i t o r y -  then Mexican - w i t h American s e t t l e r s who would a i d the severance of the Mexican c o n n e c t i o n and seek annexation w i t h United States.  A c t u a l l y two agents, Greenwood and McDougall,  were sent from C a l i f o r n i a to F o r t H a l l to i n f l u e n c e the  27 - Hath. J . Wyeth t o Hon. S.R.Thurston, November 21, 1850. O.H.Q,. I . 106. 28 - Lyman, H.S.: "Reminiscences of F.X M a t t h i e u " . O.H.Q. I . 90.  immigrants a t t h a t p o i n t . noted  J o e l Palmer» a westbound  traveller,  i n h i e j o u r n a l i n 1845: "While we remained a t t h i s p l a c e , g r e a t e f f o r t s were made to induce the emigrants to pursue the route t o C a l i f o r n i a . The most extravagant t a l e s were r e l a t e d r e s p e c t i n g the dangers t n a t awaited a t r i p to Oregon On the other hand, as an inducement to pursue the C a l i f o r n i a r o u t e , we were informed o f the shortness o f the route when compared w i t h t h a t te Oregon Mr-. Greenwood, an o l d mountaineer, w e l l stocked w i t h f a l s e h o o d s , had been d i s p a t c h e d from C a l i f o r n i a to p i l o t the emigrants through, and a s s i s t e d hy a young man hy the name of McDougall." (29) I t i s net d i f f i c u l t t o understand  immigrants-'w ere of u n d e s i r a b l e types.  t h a t many  C h i e f Trader Grant wrote  of ©ne who, hoastring t h a t he was a " f r e e - h o r n son of America", warned the t r a a e r t h a t ne would soon have t o leave the f o r t s i n c e i t was now an American t e r r i t o r y .  When Grant asked  him i f h i s l i b e r t y p e r m i t t e d him to p l a c e h i s muddy hoots upon h i s host's bed (upon whicn the American had sprawled),  the young  j i n g o i s t made a h u r r i e d d e p a r t u r e ,  i n a f l u r r y o.i t h r e a t s of  e x p u l s i o n f o r tne j B r i t i s n t r a a e r .  Such an a t t i t u d e was t y p i c a l  of some o f the more m i l i t a n t  immigrants.  Simpson was p o o r l y impressed w i t h many of the immigrants whom he saw and r e p o r t e d t e the Governor of tne Company: "jfiewie k n i i e , r e v o l v i n g p i s t o l and ~ r i f l e t a k i n g p l a c e of c o n s t a b l e * s baton i n b r i n g i n g d e l i n q u e n t s t o j u s t i c e . " (50) 29 - Palmer's J o u r n a l , " E a r l y Western T r a v e l s " , ed. R.G. Thwaites. C l a r k . C l e v e l a n d , 1906. I . 87. 50 - S i r George Simpson to Governor ef the Hudson's Bay Company, June/20, 1845. American H i s t o r i c a l Review. XXIX. 691.  Some time l a t e r , Simpson warned Grant to be on guard a g a i n s t p i l l a g i n g by the t r a v e l l e r s . There remains but one contentious  point  to be c l e a r e d i n the d i s c u s s i o n of r e l a t i o n s between the Hudson's Eay Company and the immigrants. the q u e s t i o n o f Grant's r e t i r e m e n t .  This i s  Many have  claimed  that h i s r e s i g n a t i o n from the f i r m was requested  because  he had f a i l e d to keep the s e t t l e r s out o f Oregon. T y p i c a l o f such opinions  i s the f o l l o w i n g e x t r a c t :  "Grant was r e t i r e d i n 1 8 5 2 from h i s p o s i t i o n a t P o r t H a l l by the company on the ground's of impaired h e a l t h , but i t i s now b e l i e v e d to have been the outcome of h i s f a i l u r e to stem the t i d e of immigration i n t o the Oregon •territory." ( 3 1 ) Such statements are f a r from t r u e .  In the f i r s t p l a c e , he  d i d not leave h i s post a t Port H a l l u n t i l 1 8 5 2 , by which time the number of immigrants p a s s i n g ed c o n s i d e r a b l y .  t h a t p o i n t had decreas-  T h i s d e c l i n e was due to i n c r e a s e d  inter-  est i n C a l i f o r n i a , which had been annexed by U n i t e d States  i n 1 8 5 0 and wa^s the centre of a great  "gold fever".  Indian h o s t i l i t y along the Oregon route v/as another f a c t o r which d i v e r t e d immigrants from P o r t H a l l .  Finally, a  new and b e t t e r route to C a l i f o r n i a had been opened f u r t h e r south.  In the second p l a c e , Grant's h e a l t h was hot good)  rheumatism had made i t i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t h i s arduous d u t i e s as head of the p o s t .  to c a r r y on  As e a r l y as 1 8 5 0 ,  31 - "Idaho Yesterday and Today", no author, 4 4 .  Simpson had him  recommended a f u r l o u g h f o r Grant to  an o p p o r t u n i t y  to recuperate  give  from h i s i l l n e s s  and  then suggested a t r a n s f e r to Dunvegan i n the Peace R i v e r "district. was  I t i s , t h e r e f o r e , obvious that h i s r e s i g n a t i o n  not requested, but  a h o l i d a y and  then be  r a t h e r that he be permitted  to take  t r a n s f e r r e d , f o r the sake of h i s  h e a l t h , w h e r e h i s work would be l e s s arduous. t  In summary, t h e r e f o r e , we Hudson's Bay was  Company's a t t i t u d e towards the  s t r i c t l y one  a s s i s t a n c e was  of f a i r n e s s and k i n d n e s s .  there was  Every p o s s i b l e  no  migrants to C a l i f o r n i a f o r a s e l f i s h reason.  has  on the weakness of any  been made by T.C.  was  deliberate  the o f f i c e r s of the company to d i v e r t the  observation  the  immigrants  rendered to the t r a v e l l e r s , t r a d i n g  c a r r i e d on at normal r a t e s , and attempt by  note that  An  im-  excellent  contradictory attitude  E l l i o t t , an i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y recog-  n i z e d a u t h o r i t y on Oregon's e a r l y h i s t o r y , whose f a i r n e s s i n such matters i s w i d e l y acknowledged: t h i s i s the r i d i c u l o u s theory advanced by some w r i t e r s that the Hudson's B y Company, up to the time of the t r e a t y between the U n i t e d S t a t e s and Great B r i t a i n i n June, 1846, maintained the p o l i c y of p r e v e n t i n g , or at l e a s t , of r e t a r d i n g settlement of the Oregon country by Americans and sent C h i e f Trader Grant to Port H a l l to enforce such p o l i c y . Ho s e r i o u s l y and i n t e l l i g e n t l y w r i t t e n h i s t o r y i n recent years has contained such a d i r e c t statement, but there i s a s"ort s  of inherent d e l i g h t i n the American mind i n ' t w i s t i n g the B r i t i s h l i o n ' s t a i l ' now and then, and w r i t e r s of h i s t o r i c f i c t i o n and even of some l o c a l a u t h o r i t i e s so a s s e r t . " (32)  32 - E l l i o t t , T.C. s"Richard (Captain O.H.Q. XXXVI. ©.  Johnny) Grant".  76  Chapter V I I I , PORT HALL AFTER THE TREATY  por many years a f t e r the s i g n i n g of the Oregon T r e a t y i n 1846, the Hudson's Bay Company maintained  Pert H a l l ,  i t s southeijjmost post.- Tne immigren t s continued to pause a t i t s white adohe w a l l s t o s e l l t h e i r c a t t l e s u p p l i e s i n r e t u r n f o r f l o u r , sugar, which they stood i n need.  or ether s u r p l u s  or other p r o v i s i o n s i n  In 1847, C h i e f T r a c e r Grant r e p o r t e d  t h a t some 900 wagons t r u n d l e a mp t e the g a t e s ef the post | (1) between J u l y 11 ana September 2 of that y e a r . During the same y e a r , the Mormons haa inaugurated Lake and the a g g r e s s i v e  t h e i r settlement a t S a l t  c h i e f t r a d e r had immediately  established  - trade w i t h them. In 1848, the number of wagons p a s s i n g P o r t H a l l was 300.  In the next y e a r , however, news o f S u t t e r ' s g o l d d i s c o v e r y  i n C a l i f o r n i a had spread t e the east and Grant estimated t h a t c l o s e t o 10,000 wagons "passed on t h e i r way to the C a l e f o r n i a (2) Mines &."  S m a l l wonder.that the O l d Oregon T r a i l ,  i n many p l a c e s ,  e s p e c i a l l y i n the s o f t v o l c a n i c s o i l of the Snake R i v e r v a l l e y , c o n s i s t e d o f a d e p r e s s i o n some f o u r or f i v e f e e t deep. 1 - H.B.C. A r c h . D. 5/20. 2 - C h i e f Trader R i c h a r d Grant to S i r George Simpson, February 22, 1850. H.B.C. A r c h . D. 5/27.  77 The an  end,  old  however,  trail. new  As  of  a  in  the  of  migration  as  further  most  of  the  lessness of  the  ancestral lasted  at  Dr.  the  homes.  of  the  previous and  Indian  settlers  of  had  and  of  of  the  started a  the  r e g i o n who  would  harassed  the  opening  Indian  attacks  the  tide  s t a r t e d i n 1847,  the  with  missionary period feared  deprive  Intermittent massacres  f o r many y e a r s  the  of  California.  This  who  nearing  greatness  menace  Whitman's m i s s i o n  of  were  factors in turning  attacks  there.  Hall  chapter,  the  slopes  Indians  of white  for Port  days  south  sunny  settlers  among  hordes  the  r e g i o n were m a j o r to  massacre  fame  i n the  These the  of  were  noted  trail  Oregon  days  and  them  of  and  rest-  the of  advent  their  skirmishes  white  settlers  and  traders. To  c o n t r o l the  Yakima  tribe,  a  to  region  i n 1849,  the  Colonel  W.W.  detachment  of  under  Indians, United the  particularly  States  command  of  troops  the was  sent  lieutenant  Loring.  "The o r i g i n a l o r d e r o f t h e s e c r e t a r y of war, d a t e d J u n e 1, 1 8 4 7 , directed establishment o f two o r m o r e o f a c h a i n of p o s t s a l o n g the r o u t e t o O r e g o n one a t o r - n e a r P o r t L a r a m i e the other at P o r t H a l l o r on t h e B e a r R i v e r n e a r e n o u g h t o b e s u p p l i e d f r o m t h e ICormon settlements." (3) Some writers  who  a  military  3  -  Hoop,  assumed  confusion  has  that  Hall  Port  g a r r i s o n , because  O.W.:  " H i s t o r y of XXX.  of  been was  these  c a u s e d by. actually orders.  Port Hoskins 347.  various occupied  However,  1856-65".  O.H.Q.  by  78 t h i s regiment r e a l l y occupied an encampment near the f o r t i n August, 1849: "A temporary post c a l l e d Cantonment L o r i n g , about s i x m i l e s from O l d P o r t H a l l on the branch of the Snake River,' was occupied by troops during a p a r t of the years 1849 and 1850." (4) T h i s s i t e was not found s u i t a b l e and the l o c a t i o n was moved i n May, 1850, owing to a s c a r c i t y of forage f o r the horses.  A new establishment (5) the Columbia R i v e r .  was l o c a t e d near the D a l l e s on  F o l l o w i n g t h i s m i l i t a r y e x p e d i t i o n through the Oregon T e r r i t o r y , there seems to have been a l u l l attacks.  i n Indian  The menace had done i r r e p a r a b l e damage to immigra-  t i o n i n t o the r e g i o n , however, and the flow of t r a f f i c Oregon was t h i n n i n g to a mere t r i c k l e .  In 1853,  Chief Factor  Peter Skene Ogden r e p o r t e d to S i r George Simpson that s u p p l i e s were being sent to F o r t s H a l l and Boise (6) the l a r g e number of immigrants expected.  towards  sufficient  to supply  The number of  t r a v e l l e r s , however, f e l l f a r s h o r t of the company's exp e c t a t i o n s and, hence, trade decreased  considerably.  It is  i n t e r e s t i n g to note a t t h i s p o i n t t h a t t h i s o u t f i t was l a r g e l y t r a n s p o r t e d by wagons from F o r t Vancouver to P o r t 4 - Major-General E.T.Conley, A d j u t a n t - G e n e r a l , U n i t e d S t a t e s Army, to L.S. Grant, Washington, D.C. January 31, 1938. 5 - c f . D o r r i s , J.T.: XXX. 324.  "Oregon T r a i l P o i n t s , 1850". O.H.Q.  6 - C h i e f F a c t o r s P.S.Ogden and James Douglas to H.B.C. London, October 1, 1848. H.B.C. A r c h . B.223/6/38. para.' 14.  Hall and arrangements- were completed to abandon tne old jaode of horse packing on this route auring 1854.  A further  loss to the two Snake River forts, Boise ana Mall, in 1853 was caused when tney were inundated by the flood waters of the river. In 1854, the fury of tne reaskins again burst forth with the massacre of 19 immigraa ts of a party of 21 near Fort Boise.  A military expedition, sent to punish the  Indians, succeeded in capturing some prisoners.  After the  troops departed, i t was considered unwise for tne company's officers and men to remain any longer at Fort Boise an<I i t was therefore abandoned in 1855. Two years later, there was another Indian massacre at the Cascades in which James Sinclair (of the Hudson's Bay Company) and 18 others were s l a i n .  Since this  attack was in the proximity of the Fort Hall-Fort Vanco uver route, great concern was f e l t at the latter point for the safety of the mountain post's inhabitants.  On May 3, 1856,  approximately six weeks after the attack, William Sinclair arrived at Fort Vancouver from Fort Hal 1,  His report was forwarded  through his superior, Chief Factor Dugald McTavish, to headquarters in London: "Mr. Sinclair was fortunate in meeting very few Indians on the journey, which was performed without any mishap, with the exception of the loss of four horses, stolen from him, between Walla Walla and the Unatilla River- i t is however distressing to mention, that Mr. Sinclair in ignorance of the disturbed state of affairs along the route despatched two men (Esdras Boisclair, a Canadian, and  Jean Bit? D e s j a r d i n s , a Red R i v e r h a l f b r e e d from P o r t H a l l on the 1?? of January, f o r t h i s p l a c e , w i t h the accounts of h i s p o s t , and as nothing has been heard of them s i n c e , I i n f e r t h a t they must have been murdered by the I n d i a n s . In consequence of the accounts not having come to hand, I am unable to say e x a c t l y how matters stand i n the Snake Country, but M? S i n c l a i r r e p o r t s v e r b a l l y , that there was but l i t t l e trade a t P o r t H a l l d u r i n g O u t f i t 1855, and when he l e f t t h a t p l a c e on the l§t A p r i l u l t , the stock on hand c o n s i s t e d o f t r a d i n g goods & p r o v i s i o n s to the value of probably s i x hundred pounds at Inventory p r i c e s t o g e t h e r w i t h some f o r t y head of horned C a t t l e and a few h o r s e s . The Indians have destroyed our establishment a t Boise and I t h e r e f o r e f e e l somewhat anxious f o r the s a f e t y of Port H a l l , a t which there are now only two men." (7) m 0  A p p a r e n t l y McTavish r e c e i v e d orders from London, a u t h o r i z i n g him to evacuate  the f o r t , f o r i n J u l y of  the same year, he wrote: "In consequence of the t r o u b l e d s t a t e of the Country and the d i f f i c u l t y of keeping up the communication between t h i s p o i n t and P o r t H a l l , I have d i r e c t e d MT Macdonald C h i e f Trader Angus Macdonald at C o l v i l l e , to send a p a r t y and remove the people and p r o p e r t y from. P o r t H a l l to the P l a t h e a d s , and I t r u s t he w i l l succeed i n doing so, without i n c u r r i n g much l o s s , and f u r t h e r t h a t you w i l l approve of t h i s arrangement. Owing to the h o s t i l e f e e l i n g evinced by the Indians, WC W i l l i a m C h a r l e s found i t nece'ssary to leave Boise l a s t autumn, and as we have now to abandon P o r t H a l l , f o r the same reason, I 1  7 - C h i e f F a c t o r Dugald McTavish to Wm. G. Smith, s e c r e t a r y of the Company, F o r t Vancouver, May 12, 1856.. H.B.C. A r c h . B.223/b/41. 217-8.  81 presume we s h a l l have a ch; im f o r damages on the U n i t e d S t a t e s Government." (8) The  evacuation  and l i t t l e  of the f o r t was  c a r r i e d out hy M i c h a e l Ogden,  or nothing of any value was  b u s i n e s s , however, was despatch may  be  l e f t behind.  not wound up without  The  a loss.  This  considered the requiem of the f o r t , f o r f l o o d s  swept over i t i n 1862  and 1864  havoc on the s t r u c t u r e .  and, weather, too, wreaked i t s  In 1865,  Walker r e p o r t e d :  "The o l d f o r t was found to be a heap of r u i n s , but out of the adobe and some abandoned b u i l d i n g s of the Overland Stage Company, a s h e l t e r was e r e c t e d . " (9) As noted above, a c l a i m on the U n i t e d  States  Government f o r the p r o p e r t y , grew out of i t s abandonment by the company.  In 1847,  one year a f t e r the s i g n i n g of the  Oregon T r e a t y , the company p l a c e d a value of £2114 H a l l . By 1865,  on P o r t  however, the c l a i m had r i s e n to the sum  $24,333.33 (approximately  £5000).  T h i s c l a i m was  of  finally  s e t t l e d w i t h a l l the other claims of the company a g a i n s t the U n i t e d S t a t e s Government by a j o i n t Anglo-American commission.  While the value of P o r t H a l l was i t e m i z e d (10) f o r the work of the committee, i n the f i n a l settlement  8 - C h i e f Pactor Dugald McTavish to S i r George Simpson, Vancouver, W.T., J u l y 22, 1856. H.B.C. A r c h . B. 223/b/41, 226-27. 9 - c i t . B a n c r o f t , H.H. " H i s t o r y of Idaho". H i s t o r y Co. P r e s s . San F r a n c i s c o . 1890. 10- See  appendix W„  a lump siim of $3,822,036.27 was decided upon as a payment to the company. Today, the whole s i t e once occupied hy t h i s i n t e r e s t i n g post has heen completely  inundated hy a man-  made lake c r e a t e d i n a h y d r o - e l e c t r i c scheme harnessing American P a l l s .  83  ?  Chapter  IX,  CONCLUSION  There i s l i t t l e more to he of t h i s mountain poBt, hut the  i t i s necessary t o b r i e f l y  story review  importance © f i t s s h o r t , but v i v i d h i s t o r y . In the  built  first  t r a d i n g post i n the  t e r r i t o r y , and and  s a i d of the  place,  i t was  i n t e r i o r of the  the  only American-  j-ointly-occupied  though i t d i d not remain long under the  S t r i p e s , y e t . i t had  a symbolic importai ce.  One  Stars  writer,  r e f e r r i n g t© Wyeth, i t s b u i l d e r , s t a t e s ; "His venture as a f u r t r a d e r s c a r c e l y caused a r i p p l e on the s u r f a c e ©f l i f e i n Oregon, but i n the E a s t i t k i n d l e d i n t e r e s t i n the . t e r r i t o r y beyond the mountains, an i n t e r e s t dormant s i n c e the days of Lewis and C l a r k . Was,Oregon a l a n d f o r settlement? Men began t o ask t h a t q u e s t i o n . " (1) The  l o c a t i o n of F o r t H a l l on the Oregon T r a i l  brought i t more pre-eminence as an equipping s t a t i o n f o r the t r a v e l l e r s than i t had managed to a t t a i n when beaver p e l t s were i t s p r i n c i p a l source of revenue. (2) 1836  to 1856,  During 20 y e a r s ,  some 200,000 t r a v e l - w e a r y p i o n e e r s paused at i t s  gates f o r r e s t , p r o v i s i o n s , or a s s i s t a n c e .  Since i t was  west than F o r t Laramie, i t s s u p p l i e s were of even value to the  from  further  greater  t r a v e l l e r s than were those of the American  1 - S k i n n e r , C.L.s  "Adventurers of Oregon". Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . New Haven. 1921. 241.  2 - "Idaho, Yesterday and  Today".  65.  84 post.  E z r a Meeker, one of the l a s t l i n k s w i t h the Oregon  T r a i l , once s t a t e d : "So when I drove w i t h my ox team i n t o P o c a t e l l o i n May, 1906, on my way over the Oregon T r a i l , s e a r c h i n g f o r s u i t a b l e spots upon which to e r e c t monuments, I n a t u r a l l y f i r s t q u e r i e d to a s c e r t a i n the s i t e of P o r t H a l l , which I then and do now, c o n s i d e r the most important h i s t o r i c p o i n t on the g r e a t trail. I t was here the e a r l y p i o n e e r s must needs abandon t h e i r wagon and proceed on t h e i r weary journey as best they c o u l d ; some on horseback, some a f o o t , and some w i t h oxen or cows packed, while the unf o r t u n a t e pioneer trudged along behind covered w i t h dust and i n many i n s t a n c e s enduring parched l i p s of t h i r s t . " ( J | The f a c i l i t i e s o f f e r e d by P o r t H a l l were a b s o l u t e l y e s s e n t i a l f o r the success of the Oregon T r a i l and the immigration which passed over i t . not been l o c a t e d where i t was,  I f the post had  i t would have been impossible  f o r the t r a v e l l e r s of the 1840 s to continue t h e i r f  journey out of the Great B a s i n , through the Rocky and down the P a c i f i c s l o p e . immigrants  hazardous Mountains,  The j o u r n a l s of many of the  bear witness to t h e i r hard-pressed c o n d i t i o n by the  time they had c r o s s e d the 1288 m i l e s from the u s u a l s t a r t i n g p o i n t a t Independence, M i s s o u r i .  I t has been p o i n t e d out  that s u p p l i e s were made a v a i l a b l e at P o r t H a l l to the weary t r a v e l l e r s , even though continuance  of t h e i r journey would  h e l p to e s t a b l i s h t h e i r n a t i o n ' s c l a i m to the r e g i o n , and be a detriment to the company which owned the f o r t and to  c i t . Brown,  365.  85 the  n a t i o n to whom, i t owed a l l e g i a n c e * I f F o r t H a l l had never heen b u i l t ,  have been impossible f o r such g r e a t numbers  i t would  of American  s e t t l e r s to c r o s s the c o n t i n e n t and the h i s t o r y of the American P a c i f i c  coast might w e l l have been d i f f e r e n t .  The northwest s e c t i o n would not have possessed, so many American c i t i z e n s when I t s ownership was decided; the sunny l a n d of C a l i f o r n i a might s t i l l be i n the hands of the Mexican government. Some of the t r a i l s which were l a t e r opened as  " c u t - o f f s " or " s h o r t - c u t s " merely served to enhance the  importance of F o r t H a l l , f o r i t became as prominent a j u n c t i o n f o r the white t r a v e l l e r s as i t had once been .for the  Indians. " . . . . a u t h o r i t i e s agree t h a t F o r t H a l l was f o r a g e n e r a t i o n the most noteworthy of a l l the h a l t i n g p l a c e s on the Oregon T r a i l . There the road f o r k e d , one branch running northwest to Oregon, another southwest a c r o s s what i s now hevada to the S i e r r a s and beyond to C a l i f o r n i a ; and so i t was that members of emigrant t r a i n s h a l t i n g at F o r t H a l l to r e f i t and r e o r g a n i z e , f r e q u e n t l y , at t h i s p a r t i n g of the ways, changed t h e i r minds as to t h e i r d e s t i n a t i o n , some who had o r i g i n a l l y planned t o go to Oregon, dec i d i n g i n f a v o r of C a l i f o r n i a , and others who had s e t out f o r C a l i f o r n i a making a t w e l f t h - h o u r choice of Oregon." (y-) The f a c t t h a t so many immigrants d i d change t h e i r  minds as to t h e i r u l t i m a t e d e s t i n a t i o n w h i l e at the f o r t gave  $ - W i l s o n , R.R.:"Out of the West". Press of the P i o n e e r s . Hew York. 1933. 100.  86 both Oregon and The  C a l i f o r n i a predominantly  presence of t h i s m a j o r i t y was  s o v e r e i g n t y of the two  American p o p u l a t i o n s .  a mighty f a c t o r  r e g i o n s was  finally  when the  settled.  In the f i e l d of Anglo-American r e l a t i o n s , H a l l occupied an important appeared i n any i t was  official  place.  Port  While i t s name s c a r c e l y  documents, y e t , as has been "noted,  a centre of c o n t r o v e r s i a l  d i s c u s s i o n f o r many y e a r s .  T h i s c o n t r o v e r s y brought American c r i t i c i s m upon the head of the o l d "King of Oregon", Dr. John McLoughlin. dictory  Contra-  s t o r i e s which proved t h a t the o l d t r a d e r had  the immigrants made him  the prey of B r i t i s h c r i t i c s .  of t h i s argument c e n t r e d about the orders which he to the servants of the company at P o r t H a l l . allegations evidence  hounded him  proves the  hoped t h a t the f a c t s similar  to h i s grave.  Yet,  The  Much  despatched defamatory  present-day  i n a c c u r a c y of the charges.  I t i s to be  presented herewith w i l l r e f u t e  any  charges that have been made a g a i n s t Hudson's  Company o f f i c e r s at Port H a l l . d u t i e s i n a manner which was  These men  carried  l o y a l to t h e i r  which v/as, at the same time, p r i m a r i l y fairness  aided  to the weary t r a v e l l e r s who  one  out  of kindness at t h e i r  those who  and gates.  were f i l l i n g  up the l a n d to such an extent that they were going to the land f o r t h e i r n a t i o n , and,  their  employer, but  stopped  These v e r y t r a v e l l e r s were, of course,  Bay  secure  a f t e r a lapse of some nine  y e a r s , to r e s t o r e the s i t e of P o r t H a l l to American  sovereignty.  87 APPENDIX  I. The Santa Pe t r a d e r s were the men who c a r r i e d on a l u c r a t i v e trade from Independence, M i s s o u r i to Santa Pe, Mexico. Owing t o the d i s t a n c e of Santa Fe from Vera Cruz, ... i t was a l o g i c a l market f o r o v e r l a n d American t r a d e r s . Goods from the e a s t , u s u a l l y f a b r i c s , were t r a n s p o r t e d by caravan to Santa Fe and s o l d there i n r e t u r n f o r s p e c i e , b u l l i o n or fur. The trade averaged about one hundred to one hundred f i f t y thousand d o l l a r s a year between 1822 and 1843. These t r a d e r s had s t r o n g support i n Washingtonand were o f t e n g i v e n m i l i t a r y e s c o r t s of f a r g r e a t e r expense than the value of the trade warranted. Probably the reason f o r t h i s was the presence of t h e i r e x c e l l e n t advocate, Senator Thomas Benton, i n Washington, who guarded the monopoly of h i s M i s s o u r i t r a d i n g c o n s t i t uents w i t h the utmost v i g i l a n c e .  II. " Mr McLeod l e f t t h i s on 18th A p r i l w i t h an O u t f i t , and proceeded t o the American Rendezvouse which he reached on 28th June, on Green R i v e r , a Branch of the Rio Colorado, about 200 M i l e s S.E. of S a l t Lake. On the 18th J u l y the Americans a r r i v e d from S t . L o u i s , when he was informed through C a p t a i n T h i n g , Mr. Wyeths C l e r k , t h a t Mr. Wyeth had g i v e n over the b u s i n e s s , and g i v e n him power to s e l l out, but s t a t e s n o t h i n g r e g a r d i n g the p r o p o s a l he made to Your Honors, and he w r i t e s C a p t a i n Thing he would f i n d f u r t h e r i n s t r u c t i o n s at Vancouver. C a p t a i n Thing o f f e r e d Mr. McLeod a t once t o s e l l the Hudsons Bay Company a l l Mr. Wyeth Goods & a t a 100 p Cent on Boston p r i c e s , Fort Hall Traps Horses  1000 D o l l a r s 12 " ea 40 " " his  and Trappers  advances a t t h e i r v a l u a t i o n i n the Books; Mr. McLeod v e r y p r o p e r l y would not accept these terms as too h i g h , and C a p t a i n Thing immediately s o l d h i s Traps and Horses to F o u n t e n e l l and D r i p s a t those p r i c e s , and brough(t) down h i s F u r s here, and a c c o r d i n g to the o f f e r you made him, I purchased h i s Goods & v a l u i n g them a t our Importation of '36, and t a k i n g the Boston prime c o s t f o r such a r t i c l e s as we had not, and a l l o w i n g him our Inventory advance as you o f f e r e d , and p u t t i n g no value on  88  u s e l e s s a r t i c l e s , (however t o g i v e us a c l a i m on these l a s t , when the accounts were made out, I gave him F i f t y D o l l a r s f o r them) Beaver 4£ D o l l a r s pr l b (The Rocky Mountain p r i c e ) on c o n d i t i o n that he would take F i v e Hundred D o l l a r s f o r F o r t H a l l and h i s Outstanding Debts, t o be p a i d by B i l l s on Oahu, and i f we have no funds t h e r e , t e be p a i d by B i l l s on England, the D o l l a r t o be v a l u e d a t 4/2, but i f these terms d i d not s u i t him I o f f e r e d him a passage f o r h i s e f f e c t s and F u r s t o Oahu, on h i s p a y i n g f r e i g h t ; he accepted the o f f e r s I made him, and s o l d us a l l Mr Wyeth F u r s , Goods & as you see by the accompanying account, and f o r which I w i l l draw on the terms s t a t e d when we have c l o s e d h i s accounts, and he l e a v e s t h i s f o r Oahu."  C h i e f F a c t o r Dr. John McLoughlin to B.B.C. London - F o r t Vancouver, 31st October, 1837. (H.B.C.Arch. B. 223/b/17. f . 43d-44)  III. "Tne d r y goods f o r an o v e r l a n d t r i p are b e s t found i n Hew York and the other a r t i c l e s i n S t . L o u i s . A s m a l l charge must be added f o r t r a n s p o r t t o S t . L o u i s f o r those bought i n New York, say on 4000 l b s . i n c l u d i n g Insurance & Sundrys f> 160.00 B a l i n g of the Above and Sundrys bought a t S t . L o u i s 100.00 50 pack saddles and 50 R i d i n g Do 250.00 Hobbies and H a l t e r s f o r 100 animals 150.00 Shoeing f o r 100 animals 50.00 Corn and sundry f o r h o r s e s 50.00 Saddle B l a n k e t s 100.00 50 men f o r 5 montns a t 15 per month3750.00 P r o v i s i o n s to B u f f a l o e 100.00 Pack covers 50.00 Am(m)unition 100.00 100 animals 3000.00 Guns 300,00 F i r s t c o s t of goods 3000.00 S i x months i n t e r e s t on a l l charges except wages 222.00 #11382.0.0 being the Cost o f t r a n s p o r t i n g gooas ( i n c l u d i n g the f i r s t c o s t ) o f the v a l u e of #3000 from S t . L o u i s to the T r o i s T i t o n s Long. 110 deg. west L a t t . about 43, A i r l i n e d i s t a n c e 900 miles.  In making an estimate ©i the c o s t o f t r a n s p o r t i n g the same amt. of go©as irom the head of n a v i g a t i o n on the Columbia I s h a l l make the d i f f e r e n c e i n time and f o r c e r e q u i r e d which from some knowledge l t h i n * j u s t and a l s o c o s t of Harness ana Horses, 50 pack Saddles and 15 r i d i n g do to be bougnt of the Inas f o r about 25 e t e . ea i n gooas H a l t e r s ana Hobbles f o r 65 animals Buffaloes f o r blkts 15 men f o r 4 months a t 15 per month Provisions Pack covers Amunition Guns 65 animals a t $5 ea. P i r s t c o s t o f gooas I n t e r e s t f o r 10 months en a l l charges except wages o i men  $  17.00 17.00 30.00 900.00 100.00 50.00 25.00 90.00 325.00 3000.00  $4554.uO 182.00 $4736.00  b e i n g a d i f f e r e n c e of $6646.00 i n f a r . of t r a n s p o r t i n g goods from the f i r s t r a p i d s on the Columbia to the T r o i s T i t o n s Long. 110 deg. west, l a t t . 43 deg N. (and 400 m i l e s a i r l i n e ) ever and above S t . L o u i e . "  Sources - N.J.Wyeth t o Henry H a l l and M e s s r s . Tucker and W i l l i a m s , Cambridge, Nov. 8/1833. 75-76  IV. Value as s e t on P©rt H a l l f o r the Angle-American J o i n t Claims Commissions 1 2-storey adobe d w e l l i n g 22* by 12* £132 1 2-storey s t o r e 22* by 14......£220 1 range adobe b u i l d i n g , 27* by 10* £235 (with 2 d w e l l i n g s and m a t e r i a l s t o r e ) 1 range ©f adobe b u i l d i n g 36* by 10* ..•••2 d w e l l i n g s and b l a c k s m i t h shop £144 1 range of adobe b u i l d i n g 57* by 10*, v i z . 2, d w e l l i n g houses and m i l l house and lumber room £228 2 2-storey b a s t i o n s , 8* by 8* by 10* by 10* £ 80  90  1 2-8t©rey b u i l d i n g , s t o r e house, 12* by 12' W a l l of tne f o r t , 13' h i g h by 19" thick 100' by 80' 1 d w e l l i n g house, 35'-by 10» 1 horse y a r d or park w a l l 6' h i g h by 19" t h i c k , 130* by 160' 1 horse y a r d or park 165' by 13» w a l l 5* h i g h by 19" t h i c k TOTAL:  £  60  £400 £175 £190 £250  £2,114  F u r t h e r e x c e r p t s from the notes s u p p l i e d by the A r c h i v e s Department of the Huds8n's Bay Company and p u b l i s h e d by the a u t h o r i t y of the Governor and Committee of the company* " and where I understand he intends to keep a s t o r e to supply the t r a p p e r s i n the Mountains. He traded there l a s t y e a r , about s i x hundred Beavers. Mr. (Thomas) McKay passed the "Winter i n the v i c i n i t y of Mr. Wyeths p o r t , and w i l l a l s o pass the winter thereabouts t h i s y e a r . He i s s u p p l i e d w i t h a s m a l l o u t f i t f o r t r a d e , and a few men to t r a p . " -H.B.C. A r c h . B . 2 2 3 b / l l , pp. 66 & 67.  "McLoughlin r e p o r t e d to the Governor and and Committee on the 16th November, 1836, that "Wyeth's f o r t was s t i l l heing kept up at t h a t time (H.B.C. A r c h . B. 2£3/b/i2, f . 70d), but i n December oi the same year wyeth was w r i t i n g to the Governor ana Committee proposing that they should buy a i l the p r o p e r t y of h i s company - the Columbia R i v e r F i s h i n g ana T r a a i n g Co. F o r t H a l l was a l s o to be i n c l u a e d i n tne t r a n s a c t i o n . (N. 0. Wyeth to H.B.C. Lonaon, #th December, 1836. -H.B.C. A r c n . A.10/3.)  91 "The Governor and Committee were s a t i s f i e d w i t h the r e s u l t s e f t h i s t r a n s a c t i o n and s t a t e d t h a t P o r t H a l l , t o gether w i t h P o r t Boise', which the Company had p r e v i o u s l y e r e c t e d i n the Snake Country i n o p p o s i t i o n to Wyeth, should he maintained* The t r a p p i n g e x p e d i t i o n was a l s o to be kept up i n order to compete w i t h any American t r a p p i n g p a r t i e s t h a t might come from S t . L o u i s . " -H.B.C. London to C h i e f Trauer James Douglas, 31st October, 1838. (H.B.C. A r c h . A. 6/24, f . 9 - 9d.)  "Attempts a t c u l t i v a t i o n a t P o r t H a l l do not appear to have met w i t h much s u c c e s s . Owing to tne d i f f i c u l t y of obt a i n i n g p r o v i s i o n s i n many p a r t s of the Snake Country, two ploughs were sent there irom P o r t Vancouver i n 1839, but the summer of that year was so e x c e s s i v e l y ary t h a t the attempt to r a i s e g r a i n l o r l o o a was a f a i l u r e . I t was intended to continue the experiment,(Chief T r a c e r James Douglas to H.B.C. Lonaon. I 4 t h October, 1639; H.B.C. Arch. B.223/b/23, pp. ii6-27) ana a l t h o u g h we have iouna n o t n i n g i u r t h e r i n our a r c h i v e s concerning a g r i c u l t u r e a t P e r t H a i l , i t appears from the evidence of v a r i o u s witnesses g i v e n before the B r i t i s h ana American j o i n t Commission r e f e r r e d to above that the f u r t h e r attempts were a l s o f a i l u r e s . "  " C h i e f Trader R i c h a r d Grant r e p o r t e d to Governor S i r George Simpson t h a t i n 1845 not l e s s than 456 waggons, besides s e v e r a l packing p a r t i e s , passea P o r t H a l l on t h e i r way to the west w i t h thousanas of c a t t l e , ana that he had traaed w i t h them to the e x t e n t of a few hunarea d o l l a r s . He had heara rumours to the e f f e c t t h a t 'several Thousanas of Mormons' were p r e p a r i n g to mice t h e i r way to C a l i f o r n i a . - C n i e i Traaer Richard.Grant to S i r George Simpson, 2nd January, 1846. (H.B.C. A r c h . D.5/16). "We have not found any r e c o r d of the number of waggons p a s s i n g P o r t H a i l i n 1846, out oy 18*7 the f i g u r e s hau r i s e n c o n s i a e r a o l y . C h i e f Trauer R i c n a r d Grant r e p o r t e d to s i r George Simpson on 3l8tu©cember, 1847,' t h a t tne i i r s t immigrants appeared that year on i i t h J u i y , ana from that time u n t i l tne 2na September, 901 waggons, uesiaes s e v e r a l packing p a r t i e s , passed P o r t H a i l on t h e i r way to Oregon and California. The Mormons w i t h 600 waggons hau a r r i v e d a t the Great S a l t l a k e i n the same year ana Grant hau v i s i t e a tnem t h e r e , l a t e r l u r n i s h i n g them w i t h necessary s u p p l i e s . ' ' The number of waggons p a s s i n g P o r t H a i l i n 1848 was estimated a t about 300 • *' - H.B.C. A r c h . D.5/20. " - Ibid. ' " - C h i e f F a c t o r s P.S.Ogaen ana James Douglas to H.B.C. London, 1 s t Oct., 18*8. (H.B.C. A r c h . B.223/0/38, p a r a . 12).  92 "In 1842-43 tne snake country, then comprising p o r t s H a l l ana Boise' ana a t r a p p i n g p a r t y , t r a d e d n e a r l y 2500 beaver s k i n s irom American t r a p p e r s and Inuians. A t tmt time s i x t e e n men ana three o f f i c e r s were employed i n tne d i s t r i c t . ' During season 1845-46 the r e t u r n s amounted to n e a r l y 1600 beaver besides other s m a l l f u r s , tne wnoie being v a i u e a a t £30u0. " - s i r George Simpson to H.B.C. lonaon, 2 i s t June, 1843. (H.B.O. A r c h . x».4/62, 1.21,). 1  "TJiee traae whicn o h i e f Traaer K i c h a r d Grant haa c a r r i e a out w i t n the Mormons came to an end by 1850, because cy t h a t time they had become w e l l s u p p l i e d w i t h n e c e s s a r i e s ana they c o u l a o b t a i n s u p p l i e s irom other sources a t cheape r r a t e s than irom P o r t H a l l " . - C h i e f Traaer K i c h a r u Grant to S i r George Simpson, 22nd February, 1850. (H.B.C. A r c h . D.5/27). "Trade w i t n the immigrants s t i l l continuea a t p o r t H a i l ana on kiOtn A p r i l , 1853, C h i e f jsactor P.S. Ogaen r e p o r t e d to S i r George Simpson t h a t an ample o u t f i t was being sent i n t o the snake c o u n t r y as fche number oi immigr a n t s expectea a u r i n g the course of the summer was l i k e l y to oe v e r y h i g h . P a r t oi the o u t f i t was to be taken i n irom P o r t Vancouver by waggons, ana arrangements were being maae to abanaon e n t i r e l y tne o l a moae of norse packi n g a u r i n g tne ensuing s e a s o n . Tne numbers, nowever, f e l l s n o r t or what was expectea ana business d e c u n e a acc o r d i n g l y . '' In tne same summer both i o r t s h a i l ana Boise s u f i e r e a anotner misfortune by being inunuatea by the r i s e o i tne snake K i v e r . ' ' - * - C h i e f F a c t o r s P.S. Oguen ana oames Douglas to B.B.u. jjonuon, i s t October, 18<±8. ^H.B.C. A r c h . B.£23/0/38, p a r a . 14. - " - Chief F a c t o r jjugala M a c t a v i s n to A r c h i b a l d i s a r c i a y , s e c r e t a r y , H.B.O. lonaon, i 9 t h October, 1853. (H.B.C. A r c h . £.223/b/41, p.40). -' • I b i a . p.99. 1  1  "Michael Ogaen c a r r i e a out the removal of tne company's p r o p e r t y irom F o r t n a i l to the p l a t n e a a Post and l i t t l e or nothing of any value was l e i t bemnu. Trie b u s i n e s s , however, was not wouna up without a l o s s . " - C h i e r F a c t o r Dugaia Mc».ctavish to S i r ueorge Simpson, 23rd October, 1856, ana 19th August, 1857. (H.B.C. A r c h . B . 2 2 3 / b / 4 i , pp. 243 ftnd 276)..  93 BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Sources, M a n u s c r i p t : 1. Botes irom tne Huason's Bay Company's a r c h i v e s . T h i s m a t e r i a l was lorwaraea to tne author through the k i n u c o - o p e r a t i o n 01 tne S e c r e t a r y ox tne .*. Company i n Lonuon. S i n c e there are no documents belonging to p o r t n a i l i n the r e c o r u s o i tne Company, most o i the m a t e r i a l c o n t a i n e d i n these notes i s taken irom the correspondence o i v a r i o u s officials. The autnor i s s i n c e r e l y g r a t e f u l to tne Company l o r making a v a i l a b l e to him such a w e a i t n oi - n i t n e r t o u n p u b i i s n e a m a t e r i a l * which has aone mucn t o c i e a r up c o n t r o v e r s i a l problems r e l a t i n g to the h i s t o r y o i tne p o s t . T n i s m a t e r i a l i s p u b i i s n e a , ox course, oy pexmi&sion o i tne Governor ana Committee o i tne BUUson's xsay Company. 1  2. L e t t e r : Major-Generai E.T. c o n i e y , A d j u t a n t - u e n e r a i , ^ U.S. Army, Washington, D.G. to l . s . G r a n t , uanuaxy \ 31, 1938. T h i s l e t t e r i s an o u t l i n e of the m i l i t a r y h i s t o r y of the f o r t . 3. E s s a y : Shaw, P.J. : "Port H a l l " , copy as p u b l i s h e d i n "Idaho, Yesterday and Today", Graves and P o t t e r , P o c a t e l l o , Idaho. 1934.  B. Primary Sources, P r i n t e d : 1. Young, P.G.:"SOURCES OP THE HISTORY OP OREGON: THE CORRESPONDENCE AND JOURNALS OP CAPTAIN NATHANIEL J . WYETH, 1831-6". Oregon H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . Eugene. 1899. T h i s volume i s a b s o l u t e l y e s s e n t i a l f o r a proper survey of the e a r l y days of the post d u r i n g the days of i t s American regime. No b e t t e r source can be used to t r a c e the r i s e and f a l l of a dream of empire than the l e t t e r s of the dreamer h i m s e l f , Wyeth, which are c o n t a i n e d i n t h i s volume. 2. Thwaites, R.G.:"EARLY WESTERN TRAVELS". C l a r k . Clevel a n d . 1906. E x c e l l e n t m a t e r i a l from the j o u r n a l s of e a r l y t r a v e l l e r s , who not o n l y watched h i s t o r y b e i n g made, but c o n t r i b u t e d to i t s making. 3. Townsend, J.K.: "NARRATIVE OP A JOURNEY ACROSS THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS TO THE COLUMBIA RIVER". P e r k i n s .  ii P h i l a d e l p h i a . 1859. T h i s hook was w r i t t e n hy the n a t u r a l i s t who accompanied Wyeth on h i s second western journey. It i s extremely v a l u a b l e as an account of the e x p e d i t i o n and i t s adventures as viewed hy an eyewitness and participant.  C. Secondary works: 1. Brosnan, C.J. I "JASON LEE? PROPHET OP THE HEW OREGON". M a c M i l l a n . New York. 1932. Brosnan does much to break down the Whitman legend. The s t o r y of Lee i s an e s s e n t i a l adjunct to t h a t of Wyeth. E x c e l l e n t r e s e a r c h has made t h i s volume very u s e f u l f o r t h i s study. 2. Brown, Mrs. J.B.s "PORT HALL ON THE OREGON TRAIL". Caxton P r e s s . C a l d w e l l , Ida. 1932. T h i s volume, the only complete one so f a r p u b l i s h e d on the post, deals e x c e l l e n t l y w i t h the p e r i o d of American f u r trade i n the west and w i t h Wyeth's ownership of the f o r t . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , the s e b t i o n c o v e r i n g the Hudson's Bay Company's regime at the post i s passed over very b r i e f l y and i s c o l o u r e d w i t h pro-American p r e j u d i c e . Most of the l a t t e r s e c t i o n of the book i s devoted to a d i s c u s s i o n of the Oregon T r a i l . 3. Chittenden, H.M.; "THE AMERICAN PUR TRADE OP THE PAR WEST". Harper. New York. 1902. 2 v o l . T h i s work covers the e a r l y h i s t o r y of P o r t H a l l very completely: i t has proven of inestimable v a l u e . I t was recommended f o r the study by the Hudson's Bay Company's o f f i c i a l s . 4. Ghent, W.J.: "THE ROAD TO OREGON". Longman's Green. London. 1929. S e v e r a l important d e t a i l s were obtained from t h i s volume. 5. I r v i n g , Washington,: "ADVENTURES OP CAPTAIN BONNE,VILTiE". University Libcary Association. Philadelphia, (no d a t e ) . Irv-i-ng^Jaw i n c l u d e d Wyeth's s t o r y i n an appendix to t h i s book, having secured the d e t a i l s from the t r a d e r h i m s e l f i n a personal i n t e r v i e w . In h i s u s u a l f l a t t e r i n g s t v l e , he pays h i g h t r i b u t e to h i s f e l l o w New Englarider.  95 6. E e l l s , Rev. M.: "MARCUS WHITMAN". Harriman. S e a t t l e . 1909. X. White, Dr. E.t "TEN YEARS IN OREGON". Andrus, G a u n t l e t . I t h a c a . 1850. 8. Gray, W.H.t "HISTORY OP OREGON 1792-1849". B a n c r o f t . San P r a n c i s c o . 1870. These three volumes are a l l v e r y b i a s s e d i n favour of Dr. Marcus Whitman. They g i v e an i n t e r e s t i n g viewpoint, but one which must be leavened by the work of l a t e r men, such as M a r s h a l l . 9. M a r s h a l l , W.I.: "ACQUISITION OP OREGON". Lowman and Hanford. S e a t t l e . 1911. 2 v o l . T h i s work disposes v e r y e f f e c t i v e l y of the Whitman legend but does so i n a very b i t t e r tone. Unfort u n a t e l y , M a r s h a l l c o u l d not f o r g i v e h i s opponents i n the c o n t r o v e r s y and h i s work i s w r i t t e n i n a vindictive spirit. 10. W i l s o n , R.R* s "OUT OP THE WEST". Press of the P i o n e e r s . New York. 1933. T h i s book proved to be a s u r p r i s i n g l y good source of much u s e f u l m a t e r i a l . 11. Holman, F.V. t "DR. "JOHN McLOUGHLIN". C l a r k . C l e v e l a n d . 1907. 12. Montgomery, R.G.: "THE WHITE HEADED EAGLE". MacMillan. New York. 1935. These two volumes on the l i f e of Wyeth's great busi n e s s competitor provide many v a l u a b l e s i d e l i g h t s on the r e l a t i o n s of the f r i e n d l y r i v a l s . They a l s o show the s t o r y of the c o l l a p s e of Wyeth's trade and the t r a n s a c t i o n by which h i s business was taken over by the o l d e r company. 13. Laut, Agnes; "THE OVERLAND TRAIL". Stokes. New York.1929. 14. Skinner, C.L.: "ADVENTURERS OP OREGON". Yale U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . New Haven. 1921. Both of these volumes have u s e f u l r e f e r e n c e s to S o r t Hall. The former has an i n t e r e s t i n g page devoted to the p o s t . 15.  "IDAHO YESTERDAY AND TODAY", ( s o u v e n i r handbook). Graves and P o t t e r . P o c a t e l l o . 1934. T h i s volume i s a programme s o u v e n i r i s s u e d i n connecti o n w i t h the c e n t e n n i a l c e l e b r a t i o n of the b u i l d i n g of P o r t H a l l . Its value l i e s i n i n t e r e s t , rather than i n h i s t o r i c a l v a l u e , s i n c e i t s many a r t i c l e s are c o l oured w i t h pro-American b i a s and l o c a l p r i d e .  96 D» GcucrstX works • *1. B a n c r o f t , H.H. : "HISTORY OF THE NORTHWEST COAST". B a n c r o f t P r e s s . San F r a n c i s c o . 1884. 2. C l a r k e , S.A. s"PIONEER DAYS OF OREGON HISTORY". G i l l . P o r t l a n d . 1905. 3. Carey, C.Hi: ."GENERAL HISTORY OF OREGON". M e t r o p o l i t a n P r e s s . P o r t l a n d . 1935. 2 v o l . E x c e l l e n t . 4. Johnson, S.V. : "SHORT HISTORY OF OREGON". McLurg. Chicago. 1904. 5. Meany, E.S. s "HISTORY OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON". M a c M i l l a n . New York. 1924. 6. R i e g e l , R.E. : "AMERICA MOVES WEST". H o i t i New.York. 1930.  E. P e r i o d i c a l s :  Key t o a h b r e v i a t i o n s : ' O.H.Q,. - Oregon H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y . Oregon H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . P o r t l a n d , Ore. W.H.Q. - Washington H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y . U n i v e r s i t y of Washington. S e a t t l e , Wash. P.H.Q. - P a c i f i c H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y . C l a r k . Glendale, Calif. Amer. H i s t . Rev. - American H i s t o r i c a l Reviww. M a c M i l l an. New York C i t y .  1. B a l l , John, "REMINISCENCES". O.H.Q. I I I . 98. 2. Barlow, Wm., "REMINISCENCES OF SEVENTY*YEARS". O.H.Q. X I I I . 259. 3. B a r r y , J.N., "AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF W.H. RECTOR". O.H.Q. XXX. 65. 4. « "FORTS READ AND BOISE". O.H.Q. XXXIV. 62. 5. B u r n e t t , P.H., "REMINISCENCES AND OPINIONS OF AN OLD PIONEER". 0. H.Q. V. 71. 6. Cannon, M i l e s , "SNAKE RIVER IN HISTORY". O.H.Q. XX. 11. 7. " " "FORT HALL". W.H.Q. V I I . 223. . E s s e n t i a l . 8. D o r r i s , J.T., "OREGON TRAIL POINTS 1850". 0.H.Q.XXX.324. « E a t o n , W.C., "NATHANIEL J . WYETH'S OREGON EXPEDITIONS". IV. 101 . T h i s i s the f i r s t a r t i c l e p u b l i s h e d on the o r i g i n a l F o r t H a l l l e d g e r s r e c e n t l y secured by the Oregon H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . 9  97 10. E l l i o t t , T.C., "RICHARD (CAPTAIN JOHNNY) GRANT". O.H.Q. XXXVI. 2. 11. " "THE COMQENG OP THE WHITE WOMEN, 1836". O.H.Q. XXXVII. 282. 12. Leader, H.A., "McLOUGHLIN'S ANSWER TO THE WARRE REPORT". O.H.Q. XXXIII. 219. 13. Lyman, H.S., "REMINISCENCES OP JOHN MINTO". O.H.Q. I I . 215. 14. McLoughlin, J n . , "NARRATIVE OP JOHN McLOUGHLIN". O.H.Q. I . 108. Very v a l u a b l e i n t h i s work. 15. Merk, P., "SIMPSON TO GOVERNOR OP HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY',' JUNE 20, 1845" and "SIMPSON TO RICHARD GRANT, JUNE 27, 1846". Amer. H i s t . Rev. XXIX. 691. 16. Nesmith, J.W., "DIARY OP EMIGRATION OP 1843". O.H.Q. VTT7 349. 17. Overmeyer, P.H., "NATHANIEL J . WYETH". W.H.Q. XXIV.28. 18. Rockwood, E.R.jed.) "LETTERS OP CHAS. STEVENS". O.H.Q. XXXVII. 143. 19. Simon, J.E., "WILHELM KEIL AND COMMUNIST COLONIES". O.H.Q. XXXVI. 133. 20. Walgamott, C.S., "SIX DECADES BACK". O.H.Q. XXXVII.  IZT.  21. Documents: L e t t e r - Grimsley t o B a l l , Secy, o f War, June 16, 1841. O.H.Q. XXIV. 437. L e t t e r - Rev. H.H.Spalding to Wm. P o r t e r , Oct. 2, 1836. O.H.Q. X I I . 373.  

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0098656/manifest

Comment

Related Items