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Our North Pacific states; speeches of William H. Seward in Alaska, Vancouver's [Island] and Oregon, August… Seward, William Henry, 1801-1872 1869

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Alaska, Vancouver's,and Oregon,
J ■ .*;.■ ALASKA
SITKA, AUGUST 12, 1869.
Facsimile Reproduction 1965
. First edition of facsimile
Ltd to 100 copies July 1965 SPEECH.
Citizens ofAlaska, fellow-citizens ofthe United States:
You have pressed me to meet you in public assembly
once before I leave Alaska. It would be sheer affectation to pretend to doubt your sincerity in making this
request, and capriciously ungrateful to refuse it, after
having received so many and varied hospitalities from
all sorts and conditions of men. It is not an easy task,
however, to speak in a manner worthy of your consideration, while I am living constantly on ship-board, as
you all know, and am occupied intently in searching out
whatever is sublime, or beautiful, or peculiar, or useful. On the other hand, it is altogether natural on your
part to say, " You have looked upbn Alaska, what do
you think of it?" Unhappily I have seen too little of
Alaska to answer tile question satisfactorily. The entire coast line of the United States, exclusive of Alaska,
is 10,000 miles, while the coast line of Alaska alone,
including the islands, is 26,000 miles. The portion of
the Territory which lies east of the peninsula, including islands, is 120 miles wide; the western portion,
including Aleutian islands, expands to a breadth of
2,200 miles. The entire land area, including islands,
is 677,390 statute square miles. We should think a foreigner very presumptuous who should presume to give
the world an opinion of the whole of the United States
of America, after he had merely looked in from his
steamer at Plymouth and Boston harbor, or had ran up
the Hudson river to the Highlands, or had ascended the Delaware to Trenton, or the James river to Richmond,
or the Mississippi no farther than Memphis. My observation thus far has hardly been more comprehenr
sive. I entered the Territory of Alaska at''the Portland canal, made my way through the narrow passages
of the Prince of Wales archipelago, thence through
Peril and Chatham straits and Lynn channel, and up
the Chilcat river to the base of Fairweather; from
which latter place I have returned through Clarence
straits, to sojourn a few days in your beautiful bay,
under the shadows of the Baranoff hills and Mount
Edgecombe. Limited, however, as my opportunities
have been, I will, without further apology, give you
the impressions I have received.
Of course I speak first of the skies of Alaska. It
seems to be assumed in the case of Alaska that a country which extends through 58 degrees of longitude,
and embraces portions as well of the arctic as of the
temperate zone, unlike all other regions so situated,
has not several climates, but only one. The weather
of this one broad climate of Alaska is severely criticised in outside circles for being too wet and too cold.
Neverthelesss it must be a fastidious person who complains of climates in which, while the eagle delights to
soar, the humming-bird does not disdain to flutter. I
shall speak only of the particular climate here which I
My visit here happens to fall within the month
of August. Not only have the skies been sufficiently
bright and serene to give me a perfect view, under the
60th parallel, of the total eclipse of the sun, and of the
evening star at the time of the sun's obscuration, bat
I have also enjoyed more clear than there, have been
cloudy days, and in the early mornings and in the late evenings peculiar to the season I have lost myself in
admiration of skies adorned with sapphire and gold as
richly as those which are reflected by the Mediterranean.    Of all the moonlights in the world commend
me to those which light up the archipelago of the'
North Pacific ocean.    Fogs have sometimes detained
me longer on the Hudson and on Long Island sound
than now on the waters of the North Pacific.   In saying this, I do not mean to say that rain and fog are
unfrequent here.   The Russian pilot, George, whom
you all know, expressed my conviction on this matter
exactly when he said to me, " Oh, yes, Mr. Seward,
we do have changeable weather here sometimes, as they
do in the other States."   I might amend the expression by adding, the weather here is only a little more
changeable.    It must be confessed at least that it is an
honest climate, for it makes no pretensions to constancy.    If) however, you have fewer bright sunrises
and glowing sunsets than southern latitudes enjoy, yon
are favored on the other hand with more frequent and
more magnificent displays of the aurora and the rainr
bow.    The thermometer tells the whole case when it
reports that the summer is colder and the winter is
warmer in Alaska than in New York and Washington.
It results from the nature of such a climate that the
earth prefers to support the fir, the spruce, the pine,
the hemlock, and other evergreens, rather than decid- .
uous trees, and to furnish grasses and esculent roots,
rather than the cereals of drier and hotter climates.   I
have mingled freely with the multifarious population—
the' Tongass, the Stickeens, the Cakes, the Hydahs, the
Sitkas, the Kootznoos, and the Chilcats, as well as with
the traders, the soldiers, the seamen, and the. settlers
of various nationalities, English, Swedish, Russian, and 6
American—and I have seen all around me only persons
enjoying robust and exuberant health. Manhood of
every race and condition everywhere exhibits activity
and energy, while infancy seems exempt from disease
and age relieved from pain.
It is next in order to speak of the rivers and seas of
Alaska. The rivers are broad, shallow, and rapid,
while the seas are deep but tranquil. Mr. Sumner, in
his elaborate and magnificent oration, although he
spake only from historical accounts, has not exaggerated—no man can exaggerate—the marine treasures
of the Territory. Beside the whale, which everywhere
and at all times is seen enjoying his robust exercise,
and the sea-otter, the fur-seal, the hair-seal, and the
walrus, found in the waters which embosom the;
western islands, those waters as well as the seas of.
the eastern archipelago are found teeming with the
salmon, cod, and other fishes adapted to the support
of human and animal life. Indeed, what I have seen
here has almost made me a convert to the theory of
some naturalists, that the waters of the globe are filled
with stores for the sustenance of animal life surpassing
the available productions of the land.   .
It must be remembered that the coast range of mountains, which begins in Mexico, is continued into the
Territory, and invades the seas of Alaska. Hence it
is that in the islands and on the mainland, so far as I
have explored it, we find ourselves everywhere in the
immediate presence of black hills, or foot-hills, as they
are variously called, and that these foot-hills are overtopped by ridges of snow-capped mountains. These
snow-capped mountains are manifestly of volcanic
origin, and they have been subjected, through an indefinite period, to atmospheric abrasion and disintegration. Hence they have assumed all conceivable shapes and
forms. In some places they are serrated into sharp,
angular peaks, and in other places they appear architecturally arranged, so as to present cloud-capped castles, towers, domes, and minarets. The mountain sides
are furrowed with deep and straight ravines, down
which the thawing fields of ice and snow are precipitated, generally in the month of May, with such a
vehemence as to have produced in every valley immense level plains of intervale land. These plains, as
well as the sides of the mountains, almost to the summits, are covered with forests so dense and dark as to
be impenetrable, except to wild beasts and savage
huntsmen. On the lowest intervale land the cotton-
wood grows. It seems to be the species of poplar
which is known in the Atlantic States as the Balm of
Gilead, and which is dwarfed on the Rocky Mountains.'
Here it takes on such large dimensions, that the Indian
shapes out of a single trunk even his great war canoe
which safely bears over the deepest waters a phalanx
of sixty warriors. These imposing trees always appear
to rise out of a jungle of elder, alder, crab-apple, and
other fruit-bearing shrubs and bushes. The short and
slender birch, which, sparsely scattered, marks the
verge of vegetation in Labrador, has not yet been
reached by the explorers of Alaska. The birch tree
sometimes appears here upon the river side, upon the
level next above the home of the cottonwood, and is
generally found a comely and stately tree. The forests
of Alaska, however, consist mainly neither of shrubs,
nor of the birch, nor of the .cottonwood, but, as I have
already intimated, of the pine, the cedar, the cypress,
the spruce, the fir, the larch, and the hemlock. These
forests begin almost at the water's edge, and they rise 8
with regular gradation to a height of two thousand feet.
The trees, nowhere dwarfed or diminutive, attain the
highest dimensions in sunny exposures in the deeper
cafions or gorges of the mountains. The cedar, sometimes called the yellow cedar, and sometimes the fragrant cedar, was long ago imported into China as an
ornamental wood; and it now furnishes the majestic
beams and pillars with which the richer and more ambitious native chief delights to construct his rude but
spacious hall or palatial residence, and upon which he
carves in rude symbolical imagery the heraldry of his
tribe and achievements of his nation. No beam, or pillar, or spar, or mast, or plank is ever required in either
the land or the naval architecture of any civilized State
greater in length and width than the trees which can
be hewn down on the coasts of the islands and rivers
here, and conveyed directly thence by navigation. A
few gardens, fields, and meadows, have been attempted
by natives in some of the settlements, and by soldiers
at the military posts, with most encouraging results;
Nor must we forget that the native grasses, ripening
late in a humid climate, preserve their nutritive prop*
erties, though exposed, while the climate is so mild
that cattle and horses require but slight provision of
shelter during the winter. •
Such is the island and coast portion of Eastern
Alaska. Kla-kautch, the Chilcat, who is known and
feared by the Indians throughout the whole Territory,
and who is a very intelligent chief, informs me, that
beyond the mountain range, which intervenes between
the Chilcat and the Youkon rivers, you descend into a
plain unbroken by hills or mountains, very fertile, in
a genial climate, and, as far as he could learn, of
boundless extent.   We have similar information from 9
those who have traversed the interior from the shore
of the Portland canal to the upper branches of the
Youkon. We have reason, therefore, to believe that
beyond the coast range of mountains in Alaska we
shall find an extension of the rich and habitable valley
lands of Oregon* Washington Territory, and British
After what I have already said, I may excuse myself
from expatiating on the animal productions of the forest. The elk and the deer are so plenty as to be undervalued for food or skins, by natives as well as strangers.
The bear of many families—black, grizzly, and cinnamon ; the mountain sheep, inestimable for his fleece;
the wolf, the fox, the beaver, the otter, the mink, the
raccoon, the marten, the ermine; the squirrel—gray,
black, brown, and flying, are among the land fur-bearing animals. The furs thus found here have been.the
chief element, for more than a hundred years, of the
profitable commerce ~ of the Hudson's Bay Company,
whose mere possessory privileges seem, even at this
late day, too costly to find a ready purchaser. This
fur-trade, together with the sea fur-trade within the
Territory, were the sole basis alike of Russian commerce and empire on this continent. This commerce
was so large and important as to induce the Governments of Russia and China to build and maintain a
town for carrying on its exchanges in Tartary on the
border of the two empires. It is well understood that
the supply of furs in Alaska has not diminished, while
the demand for them in China and elsewhere has im*-
mensely increased.
I fear that we must confess to a failure of ice as an
element of territorial wealth, at least as far as this
immediate region is concerned.   I find that the Rus-, 10
sian American Company, whose monopoly was abolished by the treaty of acquisition, depended for ice
exclusively upon the small lake or natural pond which
furnishes the power for your saw-mill in this town,
and that this dependence has now failed by reason of
the increasing mildness of the winter. The California
Ice Company are now trying the small lakes of Kodiac,
and certainly I wish them success. I think it is not
yet ascertained whether glacier ice is pure and practical for commerce. If it is, the world may be supplied
from the glaciers, which, suspended from the region of
the clouds, stand forth in the majesty of ever-wasting
and ever-renewed translucent mountains upon the
banks of the Stickeen and Chilcat rivers and the shores
of Cross sound.
Alaska has been as yet but imperfectly explored.
But enough is known to assure us that it possesses
treasures of what are called the baser ores equal to
those of any other region of the continent. We have
Copper island and Copper river, so named as the places
where the natives, before the period of the Russian
discovery, had procured the pure metal from which
they fabricated instruments of war and legendery
shields. In regard to iron, the question seems to be
not where it can be found, but whether there is any
place where it does not exist. Mr. Davidson, of the
Coast Survey, invited me to go up to him at the station he had taken up the Chilcat river to make his
observations of the eclipse, by writing me that he had
discovered an iron mountain there. When I came
there I found that, very properly, he had been studying the heavens so busily, that he had but cursorily
examined the earth under his feet; that it was not a
. single iron mountain he had discovered, but a range of 11
hills, the very dust of which adheres to the magnet,
while the range itself, two thousand feet high, extends
along the east bank of the river thirty miles. Limestone and marble crop out on the banks of the same
river and in many other places. Coal-beds, accessible
to navigation, are found at Kootznoo. It is said, however, that the concentrated resin which the mineral
contains renders it too inflammable to be safely used
by steamers. In any case, it would seem calculated to
supply the fuel requisite for the manufacture of iron.
What seems to be excellent cannel coal is also found
in the Prince of Wales archipelago. There are also
mines at Cook's inlet. Placer and quartz gold mining
is pursued under many social disadvantages upon the
Stickeen and elsewhere, with a degree of success which,
while it does not warrant us in assigning a superiority
in that respect to the Territory, does nevertheless warrant us in regarding gold mining as an established and
reliable resource.
It would argue inexcusable insensibility if I should
fail to speak of the scenery which, in the course of my
voyage, has seemed to pass like a varied and magnificent panorama before me. The exhibition did not,
indeed, open within the Territory. It broke upon me
first when I had passed Cape Flattery and entered the
Straits of Fuca, which separate British Columbia from
Washington Territory. It widened as I passed along
the shore of Puget Sound, expanded in the waters
Which divide Vancouver from the continent, and finally
spread itself out into a magnificent archipelago, stretching through the entire Gulf of Alaska, and closing under the shade of Mounts Fairweather and St. Elias.
Nature has furnished to this majestic picture the only
suitable border which could be conceived, by lifting the 12
coast range mountains to an exalted height, and clothing them with eternal snows and crystalline .glaciers.
It remains only to speak of man and of society in
Alaska. Until the present moment the country has
been exclusively inhabited and occupied by some thirty
or more Indian tribes. I incline to doubt the popular
classification of these tribes, upon the assumption that
they have descended from diverse races. Climate and
other circumstances have indeed produced some differences of manners and customs between the Aleuts,
the Koloschians, and the interior continental tribes.
But all of them are manifestly of Mongol origin. Although they have preserved no common traditions, all
alike indulge in tastes, wear a physiognomy, and are
imbued with sentiments peculiarly noticed in Japan
and China. Savage communities, no less than c;vilized
nations, require space for subsistence, whether they
depend for it upon the land or upon the sea—in savage
communities especially; and increase of population dis-
proportioned to the supplies of the country occupied
necessitates subdivision and remote colonization. Oppression and cruelty occur even more frequently among
barbarians than among civilized men. Nor are ambition and faction less inherent in the one condition than
in the other. From these causes it has happened that
the 25,000 Indians in Alaska are found permanently
divided into so many insignificant nations. These nations are jealous, ambitious, and violent; could in no
case exist long in the same region without mutually affording what, in every case, to each party, seems just
cause of war. War between savages becomes the private
cause of the several families which are afflicted with the
loss of their members. Such a war can never be composed
until each family which has suffered receives an indem? 13
nity in blankets, adjusted according to an imaginary,
tariff, or, in the failure of such compensation, secures
the death of one or more enemies as an atonement for
the injury it has sustained. The . enemy captured,
whether by superior force or stategy, either receives
no quarter, or submits for himself and his progeny to
perpetual slavery. It has thus happened that the In-,
dian tribes of Alaska have never either confederated
or formed permanent alliances, and that even at this
late day, in the presence of superior power exercised
by the United States Government, they live in regard
to each other in a state of enforced and doubtful truce.
It is manifest that, nnder these circumstances, they
must steadily decline in numbers, and unhappily this
decline is accelerated by their borrowing ruinous vices
from the white man. Such as the natives of Alaska
are, they are, nevertheless, in a practical sense, the
only laborers at present in the Territory. The white
man comes amongst them from London, from St. Petersburg, from Boston, from New York, from San
Francisco, and from Victoria, not to fish (if we except
alone the whale fishery) or to hunt, but simply to buy
what fish and what peltries, ice, wood, lumber, and
coal, the Indians have secured under the superintendence of temporary agents or factors. When we consider how greatly most of the tribes are reduced in
numbers, and how precarious their vocations are, we
shall cease to regard them as indolent or incapable}
and, on the contrary, we shall more deeply regret than
ever before, that a people so gifted by nature, so vigorous and energetic, and withal so docile and gentle
in their intercourse with the white man, can neither be
preserved as a distinct social community, nor incorporated into our society.   The Indian tribes will do here 14
as they seem to have done in Washington Territory
and British Columbia: they will merely serve the turn
until civilized white men come.
. You, the citizens of Sitka, are the pioneers, the
advanced guard, of the future population of Alaska;
and you naturally ask when, from whence, and how
soon, reinforcements shall come, and what are the signs
and guaranties of their coming? This question, with
all its minute and searching interrogations, has been
asked by the pioneers of every State and Territory of
which the American Union is now composed; and the
history of those States and Territories furnishes the
complete, conclusive, and satisfactory answer. Emigrants go to every infant State and Territory in obedience to the great natural law that obliges needy men
to seek subsistence, and invites adventurous men to
seek fortune where it is most easily obtained, an i this
is always in the new and uncultivated regions. They
go from every State and Territory, and from every
foreign nation in America, Europe, and Asia; because
no established and populous State or nation can guaranty subsistence and fortune to all who demand them,
among its inhabitants.
The guaranties and signs of their coming to Alaska
are found in the resources of the Territory, which I
have attempted to describe, and in the condition of
society in other parts of the world. Some men seek
other climes for health and some for pleasure. Alaska
invites the former class by a climate singularly salubrious, and the latter class by scenery which surpasses
in sublimity that of either the Alps, the Apennines,
the Alleghanies, or the Rocky Mountains. Emigrants
from our own States, from Europe, and from Asia, will
not be slow in finding out that fortunes are to be 16
gained by pursuing here the occupations which have
so successfully sustained races of untutored men. Civilization and refinement are making more rapid advances in our day than at any former period. The
rising States and nations on this continent, the European nations, and even those of Eastern Asia, have
exhausted, or are exhausting, their own forests and
mines, and are soon to become largely dependent upon
those of the Pacific; The entire region of Oregon,
Washington Territory, British Columbia, and Alaska,
seem thus destined to become a ship-yard for the supply of all. nations. I do not forget on this occasion
that British Columbia belongs within a foreign jurisdiction. That circumstance does not materially affect
my calculations. British Columbia, by whomsoever
possessed, must be governed in Conformity with the
interests of her people and of society upon the American continent. If that Territory shall be so governed,
there will be no ground of complaint anywhere. If it
shall be governed so as to conflict with the interests of
the inhabitants of that Territory and of the United
States, we all can easily forsee what will happen in
that case. You will ask me, however, for guaranties
that the hopes I encourage will not be postponed. I
give them.
Within the period of my own recollection, I have
seen twenty new States added to the eighteen which
before that time constituted the American Union, and
I now see, besides Alaska, ten Territories in a forward
condition of preparation for entering into the same
great political family. I have seen in. my own time
not only the first electric telegraph, but even the first
railroad and the first steamboat invented by man. And
even on this present voyage of mine, I have fallen in 16
with the first steamboat, still afloat, that thirty-five
years ago lighted her fires on the Pacific ocean. These,
citizens of Sitka, are the guaranties, not only that
Alaska has a future, but that that future has already
begun. I know that you want two things just now,
when European monopoly is broken down and United
States free trade is being introduced within the Territory : These are, military protection while your number is so inferior to that of the Indians around you,
and you need also a territorial civil government.
Congress has already supplied the first of these wants
adequately and effectually. I doubt not that it will
supply the other want during the coming winter. It
must do this, because our political system rejects alike
anarchy and executive absolutism. Nor do I dou*>t
that the political society to be constituted here, first as
a Territory, and ultimately as a State or many States,
will prove a worthy constituency of the Republic. To
doubt that it will be intelligent, virtuous, prosperous,
and enterprising, is to doubt the experience of Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, and Belgium, and
of New England and New York. Nor do I doubt that
it will be forever true in its republican instincts and
loyal to the American Union, for the inhabitants will
be both mountaineers and sea-faring men. I am not
among those who apprehend infidelity to liberty and
the Union in any quarter hereafter, but I am sure that
if constancy and loyalty are to fail anywhere, the failure will not be in the States which approach nearest
to the north pole.
Fellow-citizens, accept once more my thanks, from
the heart of my heart, for kindnesses which can never
be forgotten, and suffer me to leave you with a sincere
and earnest farewell. MR. SEWARD'S SPEECH AT VICTORIA.
At a banquet given to Mr. Seward at Victoria, he
spoke as follows:
Gentlemen : You are aware that if my preference
could have been consulted, this would have been a
private, instead of a public, entertainment. The asseverations of loyalty which I hear on both sides, from
British subjects and resident Americans, admonish us
that we are liable to be misunderstood, as assuming
to speak for our respective nations in a diplomatic
character. Give me your assent, therefore, to a few
preliminaries. First, that the loyalty of British subjects here is fully acknowledged and respected on my
part. Having derived my existence through a long
line of British ancestors, including my father and mother, I am not likely, here or elsewhere, to disparage
my litaeage'of their race. On the other hand, I freely
confess that it is my political ambition to see the
United States of America, of which I am a native citizen, transcend even the British nation in civil and
religious liberty, and usefulness to the human race.
Neither Governments nor peoples are particularly
pleased when they find private citizens attempting to
withdraw their national differences from the control of
constitutional agents and adjust them with indecorous
haste at provincial dinner tables. We will, therefore,
leave the Puget Found Agricultural question, the San
Juan boundary, the Canadian Reciprocity, and the Alabama claims to our respective and respected Governments. I have never heard any person, on either side of
the United States border, assert that British Columbia
is not a part of the American continent, or that its people have or can have any interest, material, moral, or
social, different from the common interests of all Amer- can mitions.   Discoverers, indeed, must limit their
pretensions by rivers or mountains which they reach,
and adjacent States must fix their boundaries as they
can agree.   Nevertheless, all contiguous States have
mutual and intimate relations, which require harmony,
if not concert, between them.   Upon these their citizens can consult with each other without giving just
cause of offense.    I have heard in Victoria regrets of
au abatement in industrial enterprise in the province,
resulting from a disappointment of high-wrought expectations of gold mining on the Frazer river.    These
regrets have seemed to. indicate something of despondency.   It is not a special object of my present journey
to study British Columbia.    The real object is to study
the Pacific coast region of the American continent,
with more particular reference to the United Statej.
With this purpose 1 left the sea at Cape Flattery,
passed through the Straits of Juan de Fuca, traversed
Puget Sound aud Washington Territory, and thence
made my way by the interior passages through the
waters of British Columbia to the sixtieth parallel in
Alaska.   At no time was I hardly beyond hailing distance from the mainland ,and yet my excursion was a
continuous voyage of one thousand two hundred miles,
through one constant and beautiful archipelago.   1 occasionally looked up the continental rivers far enough
to see that mainland and islands uniformly presented
the same features—features which indicate the presence of the precious as well as the baser metals in the
mountains, fishes abounding in the seas,-furs abounding
in the lands and waters, and evergreen forests, useful
for all the purposes of land and naval architecture,
still more abounding.     This whole region I found
to be unique and inseparable in regard to the de- 19
velopment of its rich resources. I venture to call
it by one common name, the North Pacific American
coast; and I venture to predict that in its entire length
and breadth, extending from the banks of the Columbia river, in Oregon, to Mount St. Elias, in Alaska, it
will become immediately a common ship-yard for the
American continent, and speedily for the whole world.
Europe, Asia, South America, and even the Atlantic
American States, have either exhausted or are exhausting their native supplies of timber and lumber.
Their last and oidy resort must be to the North Pacific'
region I have described. I noticed with pleasure and
without surprise the beginning of a whale fishery in
Puget Sound, and I discoursed in the Spanish language
with lumber traders from Chili. The scenes of industry I witnessed along the sound astonished me when
I reflected that the eijtire population of Washington
Territory is only eight thousand souls. The European
emigrant has hardly reached that coast, and the Chinese
are scarcely known there. In their absence the Indians seemed to be assuming the habits of civilization,
in obedience to an extraordinary demand for labor.
Sagacious persons in the Atlantic States and in Europe
were before me in apprehending this interesting condition of things, and I think in foreseeing the destiny
of the North Pacific shores. They had already projected railroads calculated to concentrate the necessary
labor upon the shores of Puget Sound, where the
steamboats are.ready to distribute it throughout the
whole arcbipe]ago. This distribution is inevitable.
The lumber and metals of Puget Sound are indeed
vast and magnificent. They, might for a time supply
the. local demand of the Pacific American shore, but
they are altogether inadequate to the wider commei - 20
cial demand which is already beginning to press upon
us. Alaska has stores far surpassing in extent and
variety those of Puget Sound, Washington, and Oregon.
Nor is British Columbia either destitute or inferior in
the same natural resources. British Columbia, therefore, wants nothing that is not wanted also in Oregon,'
Washington, and Alaska—population and capital. Of
these two, population always goes first, and capital
speedily follows. Into this broad field of activity and
enterprise I take the liberty to invite the people of
British Columbia to enter, as copartners if they will,
as rivals if they must. I pray you, gentlemen, to consider that the long ages, when communities pervaded
by common interests could be separated in their commerce, have come to an end. Steam on land and sea
and the electric telegraph have leveled the mountains
and bridged the ocean. Japan, China, and Australia,
are already adjacent, and commercially bound to the
American Pacific coast. Only two works remain to
connect Europe and the Atlantic coast completely and
indissolubly with the same great Pacific coast, the extinguishment of the colonial system of continental
Europe in the West Indies, and the construction of a
ship canal, adequate to modern navigation, 'across the
Isthmus of Darien. I find myself, gentlemen, tempted
to transgress the bounds of your courteous patience..
My entrance into Victoria a month ago was a bewilderment, resulting from the encountering only of
strangers. My parting from it is not unattended with
regret, because I seem to be leaving only assured and
tried friends. Accept my thanks for your generous
hospitalities, together with the assurance of my earnest
desire for the welfare of British Columbia aud for your
individual prosperity and happiness. MR. SEWARD'S SPEECH IN SALEM, OREGON.
The older States, situated eastward of the Missouri
and below the base of the Rocky Mountains, 'have
complete industrial, social, and political systems, and
fixed habits. The traveller there is intrusive if, under
any persuasion, he attempts to speak of their peculiar
resources, policies, or duties. Deference to this principle determined me, when I left Auburn, to make no
wayside speeches during my present journey. The
magnet, when brought into the presence of iron, finds
it no harder to maintain its own polarity than I have
found it to adhere to my prudent resolution ever since
I passed the banks of the Mississippi. I am travelling
in regions grand and vast, but comparatively new, and
among communities incompletely organized, needful of
immigration and capital, and therefore ambitious that
their resources, advantages, and attractions may be
made known. Art has seldom produced a more striking
picture than the abandoned infant Hercules defending
himself against serpents in his cradle. How poor that
admired conception appears when contrasted with the
precarious but energetic and successful vigor and
energy of emigrants from the Atlantic shores settling
and establishing new States—members of the American
Republic-^-in the native forests, wildernesses, and'des-
erts which extend across the American continent I
Relying upon their own energies, as all the States of
this Union at every stage of their existence must rely,
they disdain the sympathy of b11 foreign nations. Do
they require too much in asking that their capacities
and loyalty to the Union shall be known and appreciated? 1 early accepted and continually held fast to
these several political convictions: 1st, That if a nation 22
desires to be independent and prosperous, and enjoy
peace at home and abroad, it must expand itself
commensurately with its resources and advantages.
2d, That human bondage is incompatible with a successful republic. 3d, .That the permanent continuance
of European or monarchical government in the A meri-
can hemisphere would be injurious and dangerous to
the United States. 4th, That in the expansion of the
Republic, the establishment and acceptance of new
States, on the same footing as the original States, is
essential for the security of civil and religious liberty.
I seem, indeed, to myself, to have lived chiefly for the
purpose of laboring to defend an inchoate republic
against external and internal dangers, and to expand
it upon the principles I have mentioned. Let the
world judge, then, of the satisfaction I enjoy in witnessing the success of this policy, and of the gratitude
I feel in being so kindly received here, at the capital
of the new State of Oregon, as I have been received
before at the capitals of the other new States and Territories which 1 have visited. You will excuse me, if
the habit of nationality of thought and reasoning
which I have contracted has rendered me incapable of
considering Oregon as an isolated State, or of separating my ideas of her condition and products from the
general ideas which I have formed of all the States and
Territories, mutually connected with each other, and
subordinate in their proper relations as parts of tire
whole United States. In California there is no longer
need for external encouragement. The highest expectations of its settlers have not unjustly ripened into
absolute assurance. San Francisco is firmly established
as the Constantinople of American empire, and California exercises fully .and wisely an important political 28
influence in the United States and throughout the
world. The other new States and Territories have not
yet secured an equal position. The dwellers in these
States are continually asking of every visitor, "What
do you think we shall be, and when?" I must answer
with the same confidence which, among men of little
faith, has sometimes procured for me the character of
an optimist. Kansas, in her infancy the Cinderella,
has already become a leading and effective member
of the political family by which she was despised.
Nebraska, standing upon the west side of the Missouri,
has seized the railroads of the Atlantic States, and
welded and riveted them with the, system of railroads
which has successfully begun to traverse and ramify
the States and Territories of the Pacific shore. Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, surmounting Indian
troubles and reckless speculations, have reached a point
of civil and social establishment from which it need not
be feared they will recede. I have not yet been able
to visit Arizona, but I have learned enough of Montana, Idaho, and Utah, to know that they are reasonably assured of a successful and prosperous career.
Nevada, although politically separated from California,
is a full sharer in her rising prosperity and greatness.
Considerations of convenience, not choice, carried me
northward before I was able to visit Oregon. The
Territories of Washington and Alaska, extending (with
the exception of British Columbia) from the forty-ninth
parallel of latitude along the islands and coasts of
America to the Arctic ocean, are, as might be expected,
feebler than the more southern States and Territories.
Nevertheless, I realized, if indeed I did not discover, in
those Territories a new, peculiar, and magnificent field
of commerce and empire.   I found one continuous and 24
expanding archipelago along the coast, from the base
of Puget Sound, in Washington, to Mount St. Elias, in
Alaska. I found land and sea teeming with provisions
for the subsistence of a population adequate to bring
the marine, mineral, animal, and vegetable resources
of that remote and secluded region into a productive
State. The neglected portion of the country furnishes
even now, to refined nations in northern climates, the
furs which, from considerations of need and of luxury,
they continually demand. No metal used in arts or
commerce is absent there. The forests are luxuriant,
universal, and inexhaustible. When I saw British,
Chinese, and Chilian, as well as American vessels,
bearing away the timber and lumber, with difficulty
wrested from the wasting fires of the summer by the
feeblest of all American populations, and corveying
them away to be used in civil and naval architecture
on both sides of the Pacific ocean, I needed no other
suggestion of the fact that I had reached that very
place where, within the period of an early future, the
navies, mercantile and armed, of America, and even
of the world, are to be built. Knowing the importance of ship-building and navigation in every stage of
civilization, my mind was expanded with wpnder and
admiration of the ultimate prosperity and greatness of
the north Pacific coast.
Although British Columbia remains, as Oregon not
long ago was, and as the region west of the Mississippi
so recently was, and as the whole of the United States
once were, subject to a European Power, I, nevertheless, found existing there commercial and political
forces which render a permanent political separation of
British Columbia from Alaska and Washington Territory impossible. 26
Of Washington Territory, so lately a.part of Oregon,
it is hardly necessary to say here, that the British traveller was not mistaken, who, in 1836, not foreseeing its
severance from the British crown, pronounced Puget
Sound a base of future empire.
In the State of Oregon I have only explored the
Columbia river to the Dalles, and the Willamette valley, in the vicinity of Portland, Milwaukee, Oswego,
Oregon City, Monmouth, Albany, Santiam, and this
capital. No one will accuse me of infidelity to New
York and the other Atlantic States, whether North or
South. Nevertheless, I shall not hesitate, hereafter,
to advise the student in natural science, who desires to
learn how islands, mountains, and countries are heaved
up from the deep ; how rivers are traced out, defined,
and run ; how minerals are secreted in the earth; and
how valleys are formed, spread out, and fertilized, to
ascend the Columbia river from tile sea, through its
cascades and cataracts, to its sources in the interior of
the- continent. Nor shall I fail to advise the tourist,
who delights in the grand and the beautiful, to leave
behind him the Rhine and the Hudson, after seeing the
one marvel of Niagara, and to come here and admire the
snow-clad mountains which dominate over the Pacific
coast. Wonderful, horizontal, and massive foundations
lie all along the river banks, in the shape of wharves,
docks, ports, and gateways. On these everlasting foundations are raised, not merely one column of basaltic
palisade, but terraces of basaltic palisades, which, rising one above another, and assuming the magnificent
outlines of towers, pinnacles, castles, coliseums, and
cathedrals, seem to pierce the very clouds.
The early emigrants saw, as they  descended  the
Rocky Mountains, boundless  and luxuriant prairies,
8 26
watered by the Willamette, and a spacious forest region
traversed by the Columbia—plains, forests, and rivers
unequalled on the Pacific coast. That coast, northward and southward, was occupied by inert races, from
whom the settlers of Oregon apprehended no rivalry..
They, therefore, expected that some sea-port in their
own Territory would become the principal seat of the
western commerce. This expectation is disappointed.
The opening of sea-ports, with inland connections, at
the base of the northwestern archipelago on Puget
sound, indicates the commercial development there to
which I have already alluded. San Francisco, with its
magnificent bay and fortified Golden Gate, has taken
the position which before was erroneously assigned to
Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia river. So it has
happened that Oregon proper has failed tc obtain the
capital prize in the commercial lottery of the Pacific
coast. It ought to be enough, however, to reconcile
the people of Oregon to that disappointment, to know
that the central position of the State, between and
contiguous to the two great commercial out-posts,of the
Pacific, affords her the advantage of being at once the
granary and manufactory for both. It is in Oregon, so
far as I am able to determine, and nowhere else, that
two climates—the Atlantic, with its heated summers and
inclement winters, and the Pacific, with its colder summers and milder winters—embrace and produce a
higher and more varied fertility than is elsewhere realized. The Atlantic States, with their grassy valleys,
are already becoming dependent upon the slopes of the
Rocky Mountains for the supply of animal provisions.
The fruits of Oregon are unsurpassed in quality and
unequalled in abundance. Wheat and other cereals
grow and ripen here, almost without care, as abundantly
V. 27
as they do with the use of irrigation in Utah, while the
native soil, everywhere covered with fern and annual
flowers, provokes the farmer to the cultivation of the
potato and other esculent roots. What acquaintance I
have made with the adventurous miners, descending
the Columbia river, satisfies me, that if it were possible
for the laborer to fail in other occupations, he would,
even in that case, find an abundant reward in the gold
deposits of the mountains. The useful metals and
minerals abound everywhere, while a vast hydraulic
power, invaluable under all circumstances and indispensable in new communities, is distributed throughout
all parts of the State. I know, indeed, that the present dwellers in California aud Washington think that
they possess forest, agricultural, and manufacturing advantages and resources commensurate with the future
which they anticipate. My own observation of the
ever-increasing exigencies of New York, Philadelphia,
Baltimore, and Boston—Paris, Liverpool, and London—-
is conclusive with me upon the subject. The te'rrito-'
rial lines which divide one political jurisdiction into
distinct States not unnaturally tend to circumscribe and
confuse our ideas of the future of each of the several
States. No one would be satisfied with the prospect of
Oregon if it were included within the political jurisdiction of California, and if it had continued to retain
the shores of Puget Sound. It is hardly necessary to
say, on the other hand, that the political subdivision of
the region tends not to diminish, but to magnify, the
prosperity of «very part.
"Such is the future which I. argue for the State of
Oregon. This destiny, of course, exacts, just as the
future of every part of the United States always does,
an increase of the population and capital.   I regard
: 28
this condition as already secured. Population will seek
and find every place, even those most remote and least
known, where industry, already; organized and established, assures to the laborer a certain reward. One
need only to look iuto Portland, Dalles City, Oregon
City, and other towns, to see that capital is profitably
employed. One need only to look over the fields and
orchards in the agricultural districts, and upon the vessels engaged in inland transportation on the Willamette,
to enable him to foresee a speedy subdivision of immense farms among multiplied emigrants. Nevertheless, population is not to be grown here or elsewhere
in one country in sufficient numbers and with sufficient
haste. It must everywhere be induced from abroad.
It will not go anywhere until its going can be made
cheap and easy by improved transportation. The Columbia river and the Willamette, although noble streams,
cannot, unaided, perform the work. They do not penetrate the sources of emigration, nor adequately distribute it through the State. They must be reinforced
with railroads—first, railroad to San Francisco and
Puget Sound, where the immediate consumers of your
agricultural products will dwell; next, railroads through
the mining regions, .intersecting the existing Pacific
railroad and such others as shall. be built. The receivers of your productions along and at the ends of
such railroads will forward, in return, the emigrants
and laborers whom you will require in increasing the
productions. Nor would you hasten the future of your
State, which I regard as the common interest of the
whole Republic, by suffering yourselves to be involved
as partisans in the local and personal passions, ambitions, and jealousies of other communities. No State
or nation has ever flourished that was unsocial, inhos- 29
pitable, or intolerant. Your statesmen in the national
councils, if they are wise, will foster and cultivate harmony and peace equally throughout the whole Republic, and harmony and peace equally with all fcreign
nations, insisting at the same time, as is their right,
upon a policy at home and abroad which shall be
adapted to the interest of the Pacific. Such a policy
will require that the United States shall own and possess self-producing islands on your coast, and sugar and
coffee-producing islands in both oceans, and will regard
the extension of American invention and enterprise
into Japan, China, Australia, and India, as worthy of
consideration equally with international commerce between the United States and the countries of Western
Europe. I found in your morning paper yesterday the
following dispatch: " The ship Norway arrived on the
4th of September, one hundred and fifty-seven days
from Cardiff. This ship brings iron for ten miles of
the East Side road, being the first installment of two
thousand tons, purchased by Ben Holladay & Co. The
rest is on another vessel which is due in thirty days,
if she makes an average voyage." This mere transaction suggests what Oregon and the whole Pacific coast
need: 1st, such manufacture of your own metals as
will relieve you from the necessity of importing iron
from any foreign country; and, 2d, the construction
of a ship canal across the Isthmus of Darien, which
will reduce the navigation between the Pacific shores
and those of the Atlantic, of both continents, a hundred and twenty days.
I know too well that political, religious, and social
objections are made against the policy of freedom and
immigration which I advocate. But such objections
are as old as the Republic.   They have assisted, and 80
at times threatened to strangle or arrest, this great
policy, which was wisely engrafted upon the Constitution of the United States.    What would have been our
condition now, and our prospects, if the country had
listened to objections of the same nature against the
abolition of African slavery—a measure to which we
are indebted for entire and complete national independence?    What if we had yielded to the fiery resistance made to that Irish immigration which has constructed so many of our canals and railroads, and built
; so many of our cities ?  What if we had been prevailed
upon to repel and reject that great German immigration which has given a new impulse to our arts, our
"literature, and our science?   We have no excuse for
admitting such objections or prejudices now.    The experiment of self-government which we : re making has
developed its Own necessary conditions and laws.    We
could not escape from them even if we would.    The
experiment we are making, fellow-citizens, is not a
local or isolated experiment, whether the people of
°ofee nation are capable of self-government.    It is tile
experiment whether men of all nations are capable of
self-gevernment.    Let us persevere in it, relying that
:matikind in every Country Only need freedom and know-
^edge:tO;enable'them to govern themselves more wisely
^ansd more happily than' they have hitherto been governed.   fr&Ct
Citizens of Oregon^ it is'long since we have known,
though it is only just now that we have met, each
Other. I have been made profoundly sensible of this
fact by your invitation, which found me at sea; by
the welcome given me on arrival in port; by the
reception and munificent hospitalities bestowed upon
me in your great commercial city of Portland; by the 81
hospitalities, State and municipal, of this interesting
capital; and by wayside entertainments in the village,
at the ferry, at the cross-roads, and in the farm-house.
If my presumption were equal to my gratitude, I
should not fail to invoke, forever, blessings fit for all
sorts and conditions of men, upon Oregon. X""
Shorey Publications in Print
2. Mooney, Jas.  Ghost Dance Religion:
3. Mooney, Jas. Ghost Dance Religion:
SHAKERS OF PUGET SOUND.  1896     $1.50
1900 91.50
GENERAL, Terr, of A., 194-9-51.    $1.50
9. Gruening, Ernest. MESSAGE OF THE
11. Kohlstedt, E.D. A GLIMPSE OF
ALASKA,  ca. 1930 $1.00
OF ALASKA, 194-5. $2.50
16. Hooper, Capt. C.L.  CRUISE OF THE
THE ARCTIC OCEAN, Nov. 1, -1880.   $7.50
OF ALASKA, 194-5. $2.00
OF ALASKA, 194-9. $2.50
19. Davis, George T.  METLAKAHTLA. 1904 $3.5C
FOR NATIVES OF ALASKA.  1918      $5.0G
21. MacDowell, L.W. ALASKA INDIAN
BASKETRY.  1904 $1.00
22. Eells, Rev. Myron.  THE TWANA,
OF WASH. TERRITORY.  1887        $4.0C 23. Grinnell, Joseph. GOLD HUNTING IN
ALASKA.  1901 $4.00
24. Swan, JamSs G.  INDIANS OF CAPE
FLATTERY.  1868 $7.50 '
25. CUSTER'S LAST BATTLE.  1892      $2.00
"26. Gruening, Sen.  INDEPENDENCE DAY
ADDRESS.  1959 $1.75
27. Cadell, H.M.  THE KLONDIKE AND
YUKON GOLDFTETiD IN 1913.  1914  $2.50
28. Shiels, Archie W. EARLY VOYAGES
OF THE PACIFIC.  1930 J $3.00
29. Pickett, F.W. METEOROLOGY. From
Explorations in Alaska. 1900   $1.50
30. Richardson, W.P. and others.
From Expl. in Alaska. 1900     $2.00
31. Ray, P.H., W.P. Richardson.
GOLD FIELDS.  1900      ,       $1.75
32. Shiels, Archie W.  LITTLE JOURNEYS
33. Shiels, Archie W.  STORY OF TWO
DREAMS.  1957 $4.00
35« Butler, Gen. B.F. and the Marquis
CONTROVERSY.  1892 $1.50
36. Crawford, Lewis F.  THE MEDORA-
DEADWOOD STAGE LINE.  1925      $1.50
37. Anderson, Eskil. ASBESTOS AND
REGION, ALASKA.  1945 $2.00
38. Stewart, B.D.  PROSPECTING IN
ALASKA.  1949 $1.50
39. Geoghegan, Richard H. THE ALEUT
LANGUAGE.  1944 $5.00
ECTORY.  1876 $7.50
EXPEDITION.  1871 $1.25
42. Subreports from EXPLORATIONS IN
ALASKA. Seven reports: the Tanana,
CMckaloon, Sushitna, etc. 1900 $2.00
43. Glenn, Capt. E.F. TANANA RIVER
EXPLORING EXPEDITION.  1900      $2.50
EXPEDITION.  1900 $1.75
No date.  (1870?) $2.50
ALEXANDER, 1818.  (1819?)        $6.00
BUNN, Governor of Idaho.  1884   $2.00
48. MACKENZIE'S ROCK. Explorations of
Sir Alexander Mackenzie. 1905   $2.50
(Washington). 1930 $5.00
Alaska Missions. No date.       $1.00
51. Evans, Elwood. PUGET SOUND: ITS
53. Bernhardi, Madam* Charlotte. MEMOIR
KRUSENSTERN.  1856 $5.00
55. Lupton, Ohas. T. OIL AND GAS IN
THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA,  ca 1913  $4.00
56. Seward, Wm. H. THE ADMISSION OF
KANSAS. A Speech.  1860        $1.50
57. Stevens, Isaac I. PROCLAMATION
OF MARTIAL LAW* 1856 $ .50
58. THE GLACIER - Tlinkit Training
Academy, Vol. II. 1887 *'.75
59. Hill, Rev. E.P. REV. AARON L.
LINDSIiEY.  1902 $ .50,
ICAN INDIANS, Pt. C: Indians of
Alaska and Canada. 1952        $5.00
1853. 1911 $3.50
62. MacDowell, Lloyd W. ALASKA TOTEM
POLES. "T906 $1.25
63. MacDowell, L.W. A TRIP TO
64. MacDowell, L.W.  ALASKA GLACIERS 65. Shaw, George C. THE CHINOOK JARGON
AND HOW TO USE IS. 1909. $4.00
. Extract. 1890's. §2.00
The Miners' Reward. 1904.       $1.50
68. Laarpman, Ben Hur. CENTRALIA
TRAGEDY AND TRIAL. 1920. $4.00
(corresp. with Russia) 1895.     $7*50
70. Coolican, J.C. (ed). PORT
ANGELES, ca 1898. $4.00
SHE PACIFIC COAST. 1906. $1.25
IS PORT ANGELES, WASH. 1893. $1.00
75. Hidden, Maria L.S. OREGON PIONEERS
Verse. 1910. $1.00
7*. Steven3, Hazard. FIRST ASCENT OF
SAKHOMA. Extract. 1876.        $1.50
75. BEMOCRAa^O and REPUBLICAN ticket
for Wash. State & King Co. 1889.    .50
fraaTwprjE HIGH SCHOOL.     1888. .35
Newspaper extra. (1 sheet) 1881(?)  .50
78. PUGET SOUND CATECHISM. 1889.      $1.00
Statist. & Descript. Rpt. 1884.   $1.50
1889. 1889. $2.50
81. USGS Bull. 442-©* MINING IN THE
CHITINA DISTRICT, etc. 1910.      $2.50
82. Swanton, John R. INDIAN TRIBES OF
SHI PACIFIC. NORTHWEST. Ext. 1952. $6.00
83. Sayre, Alex N. PUGET SOUND
A Poem. 1883* $1*50
84. Ball. V.8. 0X2) FORT BENTON. 1909. $2.50
85. Me any, Edmund S. INDIAN GEOGRAPHIC
HAKES OF WASHINGTON. 1906.        $1.00
86. Swanton, J.R. - INDIAN TBTBEfl OF
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST. Ext.. 1952.   $6.00
..Many scarce items turn up in an antiquarian
book store only once. And while such works
are in great demand the high prices usually
commanded by the older, scarcer items put
them beyond the reach of the average student
and the small collector. To meet this need
we are bringing back into print a diversity
of Pacific northwest and Alaskan historical
material which we are selling at moderate
prices. In their original form these bring
prices ranging from $3.00 to $100.00; some
even higher.
We limit most of our reproductions to from
25 to 100 copies and reprint as the c* 3mand
warrants. Books have paper covers; if over
50 pages, are ringbound or taped and stapled
with cardboard back and clear acetate front.
They show both original and reprinting dates.
Regular library and dealer discounts granted.
For detailed descriptions of these titles send
for Shorey's Catalog of Publications number
three. It also lists future Shorey publications
on which we are now taking advance orders.  


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