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Historical sketches of the Catholic Church in Oregon and the northwest Blanchet, Francis Norbert, 1795-1883 1910

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Most Rev. F. N. Blanchet. 
1910.  V
r    I fw"l    ! ILI
fill \m. r©>,
These sketches originally appeared in thu: Portland, Oregon, "Catholic
Sentinel" in 1878.   They were subsequently published in book form.
This second edition has been corrected by the author, the most
Rev. Francis Norbert Blanchkt, 1).  J).,  first  Archbishop of
Oregon, before his death, which occurred june 18th 1883.-'
fHE history of the Catholic Church—even
in the most remote regions where its benign influence is felt—possesses great interest
not only for those who belong to "the house-
hold of the Faith" but, moreover, to everyone
interested in the history of civilization and
Christianity. Nations have their religious
historical aspect as well as those bot'er known
and more studied chapters pertaining to secular advancement, yet, whilst historians love to
record the triumphs which mark the pathway
of the pioneers of the forest, they are very
reticent regarding the labor, the trials and the
heroism displayed by the pioneers of the Cross.
Yet these heroes of heaven-born Faith—armed
with no weapon save the sign of man's redemption, and bearing aloft the standard of
Christianity—penetrated into the remotest recesses of the earth, guided bv the unerring
voice of God who calls them to take up their
cross and follow Him, until His precepts become known throughout the world even "from
the rising of the sun until the going down of
the same."
It is our pleasant duty, then, to place before
our readers a few glimpses of the toils and
trials which the'pioneers of the Cross endured
in their early struggles to plant the seeds of
Christianity in the great Northwest, and in
doing so we feel that every Catholic who peruses these sketches will treasure in his heart a
<rateful remembrance for those whose names
will be inscribed in the niche of immortality
so deservedly accorded by faithful Catholics
to the apostles of the Cross.
The world has its heroes, but to the missionaries Of the everlasting Gospel must be'assigned a far higher glory, because they are the
heralds of a King whose footstool is the uni-
11 r.-e ! It is in His service that deeds of .heroism are performed which make all worldly
actions pale into utter insignificance. The
reason is obvious : the hero of the world displays 1ih valor for earthly glory alone, whilst
the missionary of the Cross is animated by the
highest, and holiest aspirations that can illumine the soul—the hope of enjoying with God
the eternal reward promised to those who scatter the seeds of Faith among the tribes and
peoples who are without the knowledge of thp
true God.
This, theD, was the high and ennobling mission in which the pioneers of the Cross in
Oregon engaged when they uudertook to cross
the almost trackless plains which then separated the Atlantic from the Pacific, and, as we
follow them through their long and arduous
journey, let us not forget to chant a requiem
over the graves of those wbo have passed to
their reward, whilst we accord to those who
are still en|aged in God's service that homage
so justly accorded to venerable age, holiness
of office, and sanctity of life. I&&.OII
The First Catholics of Oregon.
When the renowned Jesuit missionary and
subsequent martyr to the Faith—Father Isaac
Jogues—first planted the seeds of Faith amou<r
(he Iroquois Indians on the banks of the Mohawk, in 1642, he little thought the grain of
"mustard-seed thus sown would eventually
grow up into a great tree whose branches
would reach from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
But, when we reflect that <kthe blood of the
martyrs is the seed of the Church," we need
not wonder at such a miraculous manifestation
of God's will, and the mutilated hands and tortured limbs of that suffering missionary were
accepted by Heaven as so many holocausts
offered up for the propagation of ihe Faith
throughout every portion of the ""American
Another element of population through
whose presence in Oregon the Catholic creed
was propagated, was the Canadian voyageurs^
large numbers, of whom were engaged to accompany the several expeditions of Lewis and
Clark in 1805, John Jacob Astor in 1810, and
that of Capt. Hunt in 1811. In Astor's expedition ihere were thirteen Canadians nearly*
all of whom were Catholics, and many of these
pioneers afterwards settled in the Willamette
(ori anally called Wallamette) valley where in
1838 still resided Michael La Framboise, Stephen Lucier, Louis Labonte* and Joseph Ger-
vais. Capt. Hunt's expedition having encountered great hardships ou the route across the
plains, many of the members deserted from its
ranks and remjained among the Indians; this
fact will serve to account for the presence of a
number of Iroquois Indians who were found
among the Flatheads in 1816. Large nu n-
bers of Canadians and Iroquois were also engaged in the service of both the North West
Company and the Hudson Bay Company as
traders and trappers at their different stations
west of the Rocky Mountains. These hardy
pioneers led a roaming life, but, true to their
early education; amidst all the scenes of savage
life through which they passed, they never forgot their faith, but ou every occasion, when
d mger threatened them, they sought the God
cf salvation in pr&yer.    En this manner the
Iiidians, by whom they were surrounded, received the first knowledge of uthe white man's
God," and through the Catholics they also
learned of the Black-gown long years before
they were visited by a priest. To the Canadians and Iroquois, therefore, is due the honor
of opeuing the way for the Catholic missionary
in Oregon.
The First Colonists in Oregon.
Iu 1824, Dr. John McLaughlin, chief Factor
of the Hudson Bay Co., was appointed Governor of the Hudson Bay Go's, posts, with
head-quarters at Vancouver, Washington Territory, where a Fort was erected that year.
He was one of ''nature's noblemen" in every
sphere of life. Of commanding presence, strict
integrity, sound judgment, and correct principles of justice, no man was better qualified
for the position he occupied as the father and
friend of both the Indians and the whites who
then jointly occupied the Pacific Northwest.
Dr. McLaughlin was the arbiter to whom both
whites and Indians looked for the settlement
of their differences, and the friend from whom
they sought relief in all their difficulties. His
ashes rest beneath the shadow of the cathedral
cross of Oregon City, where he died in 185*7.
He was originally a member of the Anglicau
church, but was.converted by archbishop Blan-
chct in 18-12, and was ever afterwards a most
exemplary Cat holic. May his soul rest in peace.
Under the impartial supervision of this good
and great man the business of the Hudson Ba\'
Co. prospered amazingly; he preserved peace
between the Indians and the employees of the
company, and established twenty-eight trading
posts during the fourteen years he presided
over the affairs of the corporation he so ably
represented. Under Dr. McLaughlin's direction a number of the employees of the company, whose term of service had expired, were
supplied with provisions and farming utensils
to enable them to settle in that portion of the
Willamette valley, which has since been known
as French Prairie, and which afterwards be^
came the nucleus of a large and prosperous
Catholic settlement. He also extended assistance to every immigrant whose necessities re-
m/:. Catholic Church in Oregon.
quired it, and his good deeds have enshrined
his name amidst the most honored of the pioneers of the Pacific coast.
In 1834 the first wave of immigration reached the shores of Oregon. These comprised a
number of Methodist ministers sent out by the
Board of Foreign Missions. In 1836 a number of Presbyterian ministers arrived, and the
following year a second instalment of Methodist preachers were sent thither in order to help
the first under the ostensible purpose of securing souls for the Lord's vineyard, but in reality to secure large tracts of land, large bauds
of cattle, and to enlarge their numerous commercial speculations. Again in 1838 the
Presbyterian missionaries were re-inforced. so
that, prior to the arrival of a Catholic missionary in Oregon, the sects were represented by
twenty-nine regular preachers besides a numerous retinue of agents, colporters, and other
members—male and female. These forces
were pretty well scattered over the country,
the Methodists having establishments south of
the French Prairie, in Marion county, and also
at the Dalles, in Wasco county. The Presbyterians were located at Wailatpu, on the
W*alla Walla river, among a portion of the
Cayuse Indians, and also at Lapwai, ou the
Clearwater. Besides these, Mr. Beaver represented the Anglican church at Vancouver,
as chaplain of the Hudson Bay Co., so that
the missionary field was well occupied prior to
the advent of a Catholic priest, and it is well
to understand the situation so that the reader
may better realize the amount of opposition
which the pioneer missionaries of the Catholic
Church had to encounter in their efforts to
plant the Cross in Oregon.
Let us now pause for a while in our career
after the cross-bearers of the west, whilst we
learn from contemporary evidence the manner
i'i which the sectarian missionaries preached
tli3 Gospel to the Indians whom they came to
convert. The first Protestant missionaries left
t he eastern states amidst great eclat, under the
impression that they were going to the Flathead Indians for the purpose of having them
and all adjaceut tribes take up the Bible as
their rule of faith. But, after a very brief trial, these gentlemen found the situation not so
congenial as they anticipated, and they abandoned the Flatheads to their perfidious fate,
Mr. Towusheud, whose work on the Rocky
Mountains is our authority on this point, says
that when he traveled a few days in the company of these ''missionaries/' he soon discovered that their object in going west was not so
much for the purpose of spreading Christianity
among the Indians as it was '"for the gratifi-
cation of seeing a new country and participating in strange adventures." • They candidly
admitted to Mr. Townshend that the means of
subsistence in a region so remote and so difficult of access were, to say the least, very
doubtful. Heuce, as these propagandists of
Protestant error could not be assured of a well-
stocked larder, they quietly ''folded their tents"
and left the Flatheads in the mist of that pagan darkness in which they found them enshrouded. Little did these tourists think when
they forsook the poor Flathead Indians that
there were those coming after them who would
never forsake the mission given them from on
high, but who could say with St. Paul: "Even
unto this hour we both hunger and thirst, and
are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed
abode." (1 Cor. iv. 11.) These are the Catholic missionaries whose labors once begun were
never abandoned, and whose efforts we shall
find crowned with success, so that the whole
Fla*head tribe of Indians embraced the Cath-
ol'c fai<h,andare to-day among the most happy
an 1 prosperous people in the entire republic.
No '-missionaries" were ever despatched to
represent the various sects in any land under
more favorable auspices than were those ladies
and gentlemen belonging to the Methodist
Episcopal church who proffered their services
to leave their eastern homes for the purpose
of evangelizing the savage Indians amidst the
"wilds" of Oregon. The history of that memorable band has been written by two of these
missionaries in language more truthful thau
complimentary to their companions.
Daniel Lee and J. H. Frost were two of the
evaugelical elect who were sent out to "bring
the Indians to grace," and in their work entitled -'Ten years in Oregon," they give us an
unbiassed insight into the manner in which
the Masters service was abandoned by these HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF THE
"missionaries," in order that they might enter into the slavery of Mammon, These gentlemen tell us that the Oregon mission involved an expenditure of forty-two thousand dollars in a single year, and no wonder, when there
were sixty-eight persons connected with the
"mission" each of them represented by a respectable array of figures on the yearly pay-roll.
(published february 14th 1878.)
Protestant Missionary Labors in Oregon.
IMS HE Methodists, Presbyterians, and other
J[ sects, as we have already seen, were represented in Oregon as early as 1834 by a corps
of missionaries sufficient in number—if they
only had a divine mission to sustain them
throughout their labors—to convert all the Indians from Arizona to Alaska, but Dr. Stephen
Olin, LL. D., a Methodist bishop, tells us that
"very few of the Indians came under the influence of their labor," and adds this rather
damaging declaration :—"The missionaries
were, in fact, mostly engaged in secular affairs
—concerned in claims to large tracts oi land,
claims to city lots, farming, merchandizing,
blacksmithiug, grazing, horse-keeping, lumbering and flouring. We do not believe," continues Dr. Olin, "that the history of Christian
missions exhibits another such spectacle," The
good Doctor was evidently amazed at the transformation from missionaries of the Gospel into
land-sharks and horse-jockeys. It is no wonder, then, that he tells us "the mission became
odious to the growing population," and he concludes his evidence by asserting that "of all
the Indians who ha(J ever held relations of any
kind with these men, none now remain" This
is not very flattering testimony for the success
of Protestant propagandists coming from a
Protestant source; but "let the truth be told
though the heavens fall" was evidently a practical maxim in the mind of the Methodist Episcopal bishop we have quoted. Nor need we
wonder that missionaries who traded in horse
flesh anjd town lots, and who had "cattle on a
thousand hills" should become "odious" to the
settlers around them, whilst the Indians instead of seeking the light of the Gospel as enunciated by these holy horse-traders, sought ratlr-
er to retire to their primitive wigwams amidst
the solitude of the woods
"where rolls«the Oregon
And hears no sound save its own dashing,"
than to encounter a civilization the very preachers of which sought first the kingdom of this
world, and took the chances of "all things
7 o
else" being added thereto. Rev. G. C. Nicolay,
a minister of the church of England, visited
this country in 1843 and has left his impressions of what he saw among the missionaries
of the Willamette valley, in a work entitled
"The Oregon Territory," which we have before us. He was evidently unbiassed in his
judgment and speaks his mind only because
his experience had received a serious shock in
the manner in which he found the so-called
missionaries comporting themselves. Under
the chapter devoted to "settlers in Oregon"
this authority says with truth:—
"It seems but, the right and proper order of
things that the missionary in uncivilized lands
should be ihe harbinger not only of the blessings of the Christian religion, but of civilization also, and therefore that he should be followed in his ti'a*ek by the settler and farmer,
the |p ch nic and artisan, who obtain as the
reward of their superior intelligence and
knowledge the wealth and independence
which in their own country their simpleequal-
ity with others could not expect; and this is
just, the benefit they confer is incalculable: it
does not decrease its value that others in distant lands possess the same, but rather increases it as the means whereby they may be
raised to the s;ime eminence. Now, though
this is to be expected and desired, it has ever
been thought a just ground of complaint :i-
gainst men whose lives are devoted to the service of God and the spread of His Gospel, if
they let other occupations interfere with that
which ought to be their primary one, or seek
to make a 'gain of godliness;' and still more if
the i nfluence accorded to them, in consequence
of their important duty and sacred gffice, be
converted into an engine for political purposes,
or they teach other doctrine with respect to
our neighbors than the words of the apostle—
'Follow peace with all men.' (Heb. xii. 14.)
mm S*i
Catholic Church in Oregon.
"In reviewing the history of the settlers of
Oregon, all this will appear by their own showing to lie at the door of the American missionaries who have established themselves there;
and the necessity for drawing attention to it is
this, that no satisfactory account of Oregon
could be given without some notice of the Willamette settlement, and certainly no true statement of affairs there can be given without
these facts being referred to. In their settlements at Okanagan, Walla Walla, Cowlitz,
and Nesqually this charge is so far true, that
their principal attention, as Lieut. Wilkes testifies, is devoted to agriculture, but on the Willamette they sink into political agents and
would-be legislators. This the history of that
settlement will sufficiently evidence."  * * *
"From this beginning the colony increased,
till when Lieutenant Wilkes visited it in 1841,
it counted sixty families, wrho, he says, consisted of American missionaries, trappers, and
Canadians, who were formerly servants of the
Hudson's Bay Co.; and that the origin m the
settlement has been fairly stated, may be gathered from the conclusion he arrived at concerning it. All of them appeared to be doing
well; but he wTas, he says, 'on the whole disappointed, from the reports which had been
made to me, not to Hud the settlement in a
greater state of forwardness, considering the
advantages the missionaries have had;'—thus
making the prosperity and advancement of
the settlement depend in a great measure, if
not entirely, upon them: but that their missionary intentions have merged, in a great
measure, in others more closely connected with
ease and comfort, is still more plainly evidenced by the following account given by him
of the Wesleyan Mission there: 'Tae lauds of
the Methodist Mission are situated on the
banks of the Willamette river, on a rich plain
adjacent to fine forests ofoak and pine. They
are about eight miles beyond the Catholic Mission, in a southern direction. Their fields are
well enclosed, and we passed a large one of
wheat which we understood was half sown by
the last year's crop which had been lost thro'
neglect. The crop so lost amounted to nearly
a thousand bushels, and it is supposed that
this year's crop will yield twenty-five bushels
to the acre. About all the premises of this mission there was an evident want of the attention required to keep things in repair, and an
absence of neatness that I regretted much to
witness. We had the expectation of getting a
sight of the Indians, on whom they were inculcating good habits and teaching the word
of God, but, with the exception of four Indian
servants, we saw none since leaving the Cath
olic Mission.
inquiring 1 was informed
that they had a school of twenty pupils some
ten miles distant at the mill, that there were
but few adult Indians in the neighborhood,
and that their intention and principal hope
was to establish a colony, and by theii example
to induce white settlers to locate near them,
over whom they trusted to exercise a moral
and. religious influence.' |
"At the mills", wyhich werebadlysituated and
managed, he saw twenty lay members of the
Mission under the charge of a principal, and
about twenty-five Indian boys, who, he was
told, were not in a condition to be visited or
inspected. They were nearly growm up, ragged
and half clothed, and lounging about under the
trees. He might well add, "Their appearance
was anythi t\g but satisfactory, and I must own
I was greatly disappointed, for I had been led
to expect that order and neatness at least (he
could scarcely have expected less) would have
been found among them, considering tlie strong
force- of missionaries engaged here. From the n umber of persons about the premises this little
spot wore the air and stir of a new secular settlement. It was intended to be the home and
location of the mission, and the missionaries
had made individual selections of lands to the a-
mount of one thousand acres each, in prospect
of the whole country falling under the American dominion.
Holding these views and with such interests
to incite them, it is not surprising to find these
missionaries among the first to excite political
changes, and to introduce the consequent discussions and dissensions."
Such is the character of the work inaugu-
rated by missionaries who left the Atlantic
slope under the hallucination that they were
called to preach salvation to- those that sat
in darkness aud in the shadow7 of death, but
whose trading propensities overcame their religious zeal, until finally the cause of Christianity was wrecked on the shoals of self-ao--
p °
The foregoing extracts, taken entirely from
impartial Protestant sources, will give the general reader a very lucid view of the "severe
trials" which the early Protestant missionaries
underwent in their so-called "missionary labor" in Oregon, but we have, by no means,
exhausted the evidence extant on that score,
as Hon. Alexander Simpson, in his work entitled "The Oregon Territory" tells us, in allusion to the Methodist and Catholic missions
in the Willamette valley, that "the latter con-
! h.:_.^.:
sisted of about one hundred families, a very
regular congregation, ministered to by Mgr.
Blanchet, a most estimable and indefatigable
priest of the Roman Catholic faith," wdiilstthe
Methodist Mission, he adds, consisted of four
families: a clergyman, a surgeon, a schoolmaster and an agricultural overseer." Evidently the temporal welfare of the well-fed
Protestant missionaries was far more important in their own estimation than auy spiritual
comforts which they pretended to extend to
the Indians.
yNss^sJii) f*te
(published february 21st l#?-8.)
Origin of the Canadian Mission in Oregon,
beb'ore that of the flatheads.
^N the mean time the Canadians who had set-
j| tied in the Willamette valley began to piue
for the presence of a priest in their midst. The
nearest bishop to whom they could apply was
the venerable prelate of Red River; they sent
him two petitions, one dated July 3rd 1834,
and the other February 23rd 1835, earnestly
praying for some priests. In answering them,
July 8th 1835, the bishop, addressing the governor, requests him to deliver them his letter.
Those documents are too precious and too interesting to be omitted, therefore we insert them.
The Bishop of Juliopolis to Dr. John
Red River, June 6th 1835.
To Dr. J. McLaughlin.
Sir: I have received last winter and this
spring a petition from certain free families settled on the Willamette river, requesting that
missionaries be sent to instruct their children
and themselves. My intention is to do all I
can to grant them their request as soon as possible. I have no priest disposable at Red River,
but I am going this year to Europe, and I will
endeavor to procure those free people and the
Indians afterwards, the means of knowing
God. I send together with this letter an answer to the petition which I have received; I
request you to deliver it to them; I add some
catechisms which might be useful to those peo
ple, if there is any one among them th-it can
read.   Those people say they are protected by
you.    Please induce them to do their best, and
to deserve by good behavior, to derive benefit
from the favor they implore.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most humble servant,
^ J. N. Provencher,
Bishop of Juliopolis.
The Bishop of Juliopolis to all the
families settled in the willamette
valley and other catholics beyo * d
the Rocky Mountains, Greeting:—
I have received, most beloved brethren, your
two petitions, one dated July 3d 1834, and the
other February 28d 1835. Both call for missionaries to instruct your children and yourselves. Such a request from persons deprived
of all religious attendance, could not fail to
touch my heart, and if it was in my power, I
would send you some this very year. But I
have no priest disposable at Red'River; they
must be obtained from Canada or elsewhere,
which requires time. I will make it my business in a journey which I am going to make
this year in Canada and in Europe. If I succeed in my efforts, I will soon send you some
My intention is not to procure the knowledge
of God to you and vour children only, but also
to the numerous Indian tribes among winch
you live. I exhort you meanwhile to deserve,
by a good behavior, that God may bless my u n-
dertaking. Raise your children the best way
you can. Teach them what j7ou know of religion. But remember, my dear brethren, that
the proper means of procuring to your children
and your wives some notion of God and the religion you profess, is to give them good example, by a life moderate and exempt from the
great disorders which exist among the Christians beyond the mountains. What idea do
you give of God and of the religion you profess,
to the Indians especially, who see in you, who
are calling yourselves the servan ts of that great
God, disorders which equal, and perhaps surpass their own? You thereby prejudice them
against our holy religion which you violate.
When this same religion, which condemns all
crime, shall be preached to them, the Indians
will object the wicked conduct of those who
profess it as a protest not to embrace it. On
receiving this letter which apprizes you that
probably you will soon receive the priest whom
you seem to pray for earnestly, renounce then
at once sin; begin to lead a life more conformable to your belief, in order that, when the
missionaries will arrive among you, they will Catholic Church in Oregon.
find you disposed to avail yourselves of the instructions and other religious assistance which
they shall bring you. 1 wish God may touch
your hearts and change them. My greatest
consolation would be to learn hereafter that
as soon as this letter was read to you, you began to pay a little more attention to the great
affair of your salvation.
Given at St. Boniface of Red River, on the
8th day of June 1835.
pfr J. N. Provencher,
Bishop of Juliopolis.
Demand of a Passage for two Priests.
The only means of communication from Canada to Oregon being in the hands of the Hud-
son Bay Co., by sending every year a number
of canoes laden with goods and conducted by a
number of Canadian voyageurs, the bishop of
Juliopolis made an application for the passage
of two priests in one of the canoes to Oregon,
with the design of forming an establishment in
the Willamette valley. To this last point the
Governor and Committee in London objected,
but would grant a passage on the conditiou
that the priests would form their establishment
on the Cowlitz river. The bishop of Juliopolis
having complied with the suggestion, Sir Geo.
Simpson wrote to the archbishop of Quebec,
that if the two priests would be ready at La-
chine to embark for the interior about the 25th
of April, a passage would be afforded them.
The following is the correspondence on the
Letter of Sir George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson Bay Co. in the
Interior, to his Lordship the Archbishop of Quebec.
Hudson's Bay House, London,
Feb. 17th 1838.
"My Lord: I j'esterday had the honor of
receiving a letter from the bishop of Juliopolis,
dated Red River, October 13th, 1837, wherein
I am requested to communicate with your
Lordship, on the subject of seirding two priests
to the Columbia river for the purpose of establishing a Catholic Mission in that part of the
"When the bishop first mentioned this subject, his view was to form the Mission on the
banks of the Willamette, a river falling in the
Columbia from the south.    To the establish
ing of a Mission there, the Governor and Committee in London, and the Council in Hudson's Bay, had a decided objection, as the sovereignty of that country is still undecided;
but I, last summer, intimated to the bishop
that if he would establish the Mission on the
banks of the Cowlitz river, or on the Cowlitz
Portage, falling into the Columbia from the
northward, and give his assurance that the
missionaries would not locate themselves on
the south sideof the Columbia river, but would
form their establishment where the Co's representatives might point out as the most eligible situation on the north side, I should recommend the Governor and Committee to afford a passage to the priests,-and such faculties
towards the successful accomplishment of the
object in view as would not involve any great
inconvenience or expense to the Co's service.
"By the letter received yesterday, already
alluded  to, the bishop enters  fully into my
views, and expresses his willingness to fall in
with my suggestions.    That letter I have laid
before the Governor and Committee, and am
now instructed to intimate to yuiir Lordship
that if the priests will be ready at Laehine"to
embark for the interior about the 25th of April,
a passage will be afforded them, and on arrival
at Fort Vancouver measures will be taken by
the Co's representative there to facilitate the
establishing of the Mission, and the carrying
into effect the objects thereof generally.
I have the honor to be, my Lord,
Your Lordship's most obedient servant,
Geo. Simpson.
Appointment of Missionaries.
The archbishop of Quebec had no sooner
received the foregoing letter than he immediately gave the charge of the Mission of Oregon to Rev. Francis Norbert Blanchet, then
cure des Cedres, district of Montreal, by sending him letters of Vicar General under the
date of April 17th 1838, and instructions bearing the same date. His companion, Rev. Mo-
deste Demers, who was already at Red River,
was to be named by the bishop of Juliopolis.
These instructions were as follows:—
Instructions given to Very Rev. F.
N. Blanchet and Rev. M. Demers, appointed Missionaries for that part
of the Diocepk of Quebec which is
situated between the Pacific Ocean
and the Rocky Mountains. teafe,-.;-
historical sketches of the
April 17th 1838.
My Rev. Fathers.
You must consider as the first object of your
Mission to withdraw from barbarity and the
disorders which it produces, the Indians scattered in that country.
Your second object is, to tender your services
to the wicked Christians who havie adopted
there the vices of Indians, and live in licentiousness and the forgetfulness of their duties.
Persuaded that the preaching of the Gospel
is the surest means of obtaining these happy
results, you will lose no opportunity of inculcating its principles and maxims, either in
your private conversations or public instructions.
In order to make yourselves sooner useful to
the natives of the country where you-'are sent,
you will apply yourselves, as soon as you ai-
rive, to the study of the Indian languages, and
will endeavor to reduce them to regular principles, so as to be able to publish a grammar
after some years of residence there.
You will prepare for baptism, with all possible expedition, the infidel women who live
in concubinage with Christians, in order to
substitute lawful marriages for these irregular
You will take a particular care of the Christian education of children, establishing for that
purpose, schools and catechism classes in all
the villages which you will have the occasion
to visit.
Iu all the places remarkable either for their
position or the passage of the voyagers, or the
gathering of Indians, you will plant crosses,
so as to tafere possession of those various places
in the name of the Catholic religion.   *   *   * '
Given at Quebec on the 17th of April, 1838.
iji Joseph Sign ay,
Bishop of Quebec.
(published February 28th 1878.)
Journey of the Missionaries from
Lachine to Fort Vancouver.
% CCOMPANIED by chief trader Hargrave,
«ib* Vicar General F. N*. Blanchet embarked
iu one of the light bark cauoes carrying the
express of the Hudson Bay Company, leaving
Montreal on Thursday, May 3rd 1838, reach
ing Fort Vancouver on the 24th of the follow-
ing November. The journey from Lachine to
Red River (2,100 miles) was made in canoes,
with occasional portages, in thirty-three days.
The journey from Red River to the Rocky
Mountains (2,025 miles) occupied eighty-four
days, including detentions. The river route
was made in eleven light barges and the land
trip—occupying five days—wras made on horseback. Horses were also used in making the
tedious trip across the Rocky Mountains, from
Jasper's House to Boat Encampment or Big
Bend on the Columbia river. This trip occupied nine days, a band of seventy-two horses
being provided for the use of the company. It
took six days to make the ascent on the Eastern slope, and three days to descend to the
plains on the Pacific side, but the missionaries
were well repaid for the toils they underwent
in the grandeur of the scenery that surrounded
them at every step. The remainder of the
journey, from Big Bend to Fort Vancouver
(about 1,200 miles) was made in light boats
down the Columbia river.
Vicar General Blanchet, having passed 35
days at Red River, took his departure in company with Rev. Modeste Demers on July 10th,
stopping en route at Norway House and Forts
Constant, Cumberland, Carleton, Pitt and Edna nudton on the Saskatchewan, and Fort As-
siniboine and Jasper's House ou the A thabaska
river. During this journey the missionaries
baptized one hundred and twenty-two on the
Eastern slope and fifty-three on the Western.
After passing the summit of the Rocky Mountains the missionaries stopped at the House of
the Lakes, and Forts Colville, O'Kanagan, and
Walla Walla, at each of which immense
crowds of Iudians assembled in order to behold
the Black-gowns whose presence they so long
waited for. During this long and tedious trip
the missionaries had the happiness of celebrating Mass and delivering an instruction
every Sunday, and ou every day at which they
Sojourned at the Forts on their route. By this
meaus the consolations of our holy religion
were bestowed on many Catholics who for
years had been strangers to the presence of a
*&m &zm
Catholic Church in Oregon.
Consecration of the Rocky Mountains
to God.    First Mass in Oregon.
As the summit of the Rocky Mountains was
to be reached and crossed on Wednesday the
10th of October, the missionaries thought it
incumbent upon them to celebrate Mass, and
pronounce the glorious words which make the
God-man descend upon earth, iu thanksgiving
for God's protection and favors, and to consecrate, in a special manner, to their Author
these sublime Rocky Mountains which by their
grandeur and sublimity seem anxious to correspond to the invitation of Holy Scripture :
"O ye mountains and hills, bless the Lord ;
praise and exalt Him above all forever. "(Dan.
iii. 15.) The country or region of the Rocky
Mountains appeared as a vast sea of numberless isolated high mountains, and abrupt peaks
of all shapes, where the eye of the traveler fancies seeing here and there perfect towers, beautiful turrets, strong castles, walls and fortifications of all kinds ; as well as barren heights
which forms the base of higher hills and mountains raising majestically their lofty heads to
heaven. Magnificent indeed is the spectacle
displayed before the eyes of the voyagers in
the greatness of the gigantic nature where the
hand of the Eternal was pleased to retrace the
image of His creative power. Early on that
day therefore, at 3 a. m. the vicar general celebrated the holy sacrifice of the Mass, to consecrate to their Creator these mountains and
abrupt peaks whose prodigious heights ascend
towards heaven to celebrate in such beautiful
language the praise of the Almighty.
It was ou Saturday, the 13 of October, a day
dedicated to the Immaculate Mother of God,
that, being at the western foot of the most lofty
mountains, the two missionaries began to tread
beneath their feet the long-desired land of Or-
eo-on: that portion of the vineyard alloted them
for cultivation. Filled with joy tluy retired a
short distance from the place where the car-
avau was resting on the bosom of a beautiful
prairie, and there fell ou their knees, embraced
tbe soil, took possession of it, dedicated and
consecrated their persons, soul and body, to
whatever God would be pleased to require of
them for the glory of His holy Name, the prop
agation of His kingdom and the fulfillment of
„His will. The caravan joyfully reached Big
Bend towards the evening. The fact of finding there but two boats instead, of four required,
greatly checked the joy of all. The captain
of the expedition decided that one third of the
party should remain until the rest having
reached the House of the Lakes one of the
boats would return to their relief.
The following day (Oct. 14th 1838) being
Sunday, it was on that day that the holy sacrifice of the Mass was offered for the first time
in Oregon at Big Bend,  ou the banks of the
<_j CD '
dangerous and perilous Columbia. At this
great act of religion, performed by Rev. M.
Demers, the two missionaries being much
moved, consecrated themselves to the Queen of
angels, imploring her special protection for the
rest of the voyage. The boats being laden and
ready, and the last prayer made on the shore,
the two missionaries shook hands with their
dear companions whom, alas ! they were to see
no more, and started at 1 p. m. on the turbulent waters of the upper Columbia. The range
of mountains lowering, as it were, amphithe-
atrically, continues from BigBend to the lakes.
The days are. shoit in so deeply embanked a
river which runs fifteen miles an hour, in*a
succession of rapids or rather cascades. The
distance from Big Bend to. the House of the
Lakes is 165 miles, which were run in ten
hours : two hours on the 14th, six on the loth,
and two on the lbth of October.
The rapid of the Dalles of the Dead is a narrow channel turning nearly at right angles on
the left rocky high bank. The boats must
keep close to the point of the left bank in order
to avoid being rushed into the infuriate waves.
That dangerous rapid was run down safely on
the 15th, the boats being light with baggage
and passengers, and well managed by eight
men, six at the oars, one at the stern, and the
other at the prow with long and large paddles
used as rudders.
eighteen days at the house of the lakes.
First Missionary Labors in Oregon.
Loss of Twelve Lives.
The boats were no sooner arrived at the 10
historical sketches of the
House of the Lakes that one of them was unloaded, and sent back to the relief of the party
left behind.    The House of the Lakes being
still in construction, the missionaries encamped
as usual under their tents. The first week
was spent iu prayer, celebration of the Mass,
teaching the Indians, singing canticles and
evening exercises. The Indians of the Lakes
soon came to visit the priests, anxious as they
were to see and hear the black-gowns so often
spoken of by the Canadians. They were found
to be of a mild, peaceable character and well
disposed to receive the words of salvation.
They beiug the first sheep of the vast fold entrusted to their care, the missionaries took
pleasure in instructing them, speaking of God,
of the creation, of the fall of angelsjmd man,
and of the Redemption by the Son-of God.
The Indians listened with attention, assisting
at Mass with awe; and before the return of
the boat, they brought their children (17) to
be baptized, regretting not to have the same
happiness to make their hearts good. It was
painful to the missionaries to leave them un-
When the day on which the boat was expected had passed without its arrival, a gloomy
presentiment began to seize the, hearts of all.
It increased in intensity the following day. At
last, on the 24th at the conclusion of Mass, a
boat appeared afar off, half brokeu, coming in
mourniug, without the usual joyful chant at
arriving. The men were hardly able to move
their oars. As the boat approached all rau to
the shore. At the sight of so few m -n, women and children, a heart-rending spectacle
took place; au indescribable scene of d isola-
lion and shedding of tears began ; cries and
piercing lamentations were long heard and
echoed bv the neighboring mountains. For,
alas ! the boat had capsized, and out of twenty-
six souls, twelve had perished.
At Big Beud the boat was found too much
embarrassed with baggage ; room was hardly
left for passeugers. At the daugerous Dalles,
all weut ashore with only a portion of the bag-
o-ao-e. The boat started, struck a rock, filled,
but was brought on shore. Having been emptied and reloaded, the fur packages left in the
buttom   having got wet,   rendered the boat
heavier. The passengers embarked with the
greatest repugnance. On .the next rapid the
boat filled up again. Then commenced a scene
of desolation and dread with cries and screaking of women and children. The pilot commanded all to remain still, as they were approaching the shore. But Mr. Wallace, an
English botanist, pulled off his coat, stood up,
put one foot on the side of the boat and leaped
into the water with his young wife ; the boat
lost its balance and upset, and of twenty-six
persons struggling in the wrater, twelve lost
their lives, Wallace and his wife in the number. Some reached the shore, others were
saved on the keel of the boat which fortunately
fastened itself on a rock three or four feet deep
at the head of a rapid. This calamity happened in the dusk of the evening. The body
of a child Mas found caught under the boat.
Sad, long and excruciating was the night. The
next day, the boat having been repaired, the
survivers continued their sorrowful journey.
piitat. -
(published march 7th 1878.)
Missionary Labors at Colville, O'Kanagan
and Walla Walla.
% S soon as the ill-fated boat had arrived, an
J~^ Indian canoe was dispatched to Colville
for a boat and provisions, which had become
so scarce as to threaten starvation and oblige
each to receive a daily allowance. The repaired
boat was sent the following day to the scene
of desolation, to look for, and bring down the
dead bodies of the lost friends. It brought
down only the bodies of three children to whom
were given a solemn Christian burial. Wooden crosses were blessed and placed over their
The express boat which had left for Colville
ou the lbth had returned ; the one sent for by
an Indian express had also arrived with provisions ; there were then two good boats. All
being ready and the missionaries bidding adieu
to the good Indians of the lakes, the caravan
left on November 3rd the House of the Lakes, Catholic Church in Oregon.
where the last ten days of sojourning had been
so sorrowful, and reached Colville on the 6th;
The express boat had announced the coming
of the Blachgowns; the news had spread like
lightning, hence the gathering there of the
chiefs of five nations. As soon as they saw
the boats coming they rushed to the shore and
placing themselves in file, meu, womeu and
children, they begged to touch the hands of the
priests, which ceremony took a long time. A
large house having been placed at their disposal, they used it to assemble the Iudians in,
and gave them all the instruction they could,
during the short time of four days they spent
at this post.
Having baptized nineteen persons and celebrated Mass before the chiefs and their people,
who assisted at the sacred mysteries as if already fervent Christians, the missionaries left
Colville on November the 10th and reached
Fort O'Kanagan on the 13th, after having
passed through many dangerous rapids, dalles
and portages. During the twenty-four hours
they remained at this post, they had occasion
to be convinced that the Indians who frequented it needed only what is required in order to become good Christians. Fourteen baptisms were made, and one Mass celebrated at
this Fort. Leaving Fort O'Kanagan on November 14th, they reached Fort Walla Walla
(now Wallula) on Sunday morning, the 18ih.
During the twenty-four hours they remained
at this post they had three baptisms, celebrated
one Mass, and were visited by the Walla Walla
and Cayuse Indians, who, having heard by the
express of the coming of the priests, had come
to see and hear them on their passage, notwithstanding the contrary orders of the Head
of the Wailatpu mission. Holy Mass was celebrated before the Iudians, who assisted at it
struck with amazement. In so short, a time
the priests could give them but a short explanation of the most necessary truihs of salvation.
As this is the closing chapter descriptive of
the trip of the missionaries across the plains,
and as our recital hereafter will be mainly
devoted to events and incidents which transpired duriug the residence of the missionaries
in the Northwest, we think it desirable to insert  the  following interesting  letter of his
Grace Most Rev. Francis Norbert Blanchet,
then vicar general, to the archbishop of Quebec,
describing in detail the daily incidents of the
journey across the plains and the arrival of
the missionaries at Vancouver.
Letter of vicar general Blanchet
to his Lordship Joseph Sign ay, archbishop of Quebec, giving an account
of the journey of the missionaries
to Oregon.
Fort Vancouver, March 17th, 1839.
My Lord: It is for me a very sweet and
agreeable task, to send to your Lordship news
from the twTo missionaries whom, in your zeal
for the salvation of the souls entrusted to your
pastoral solicitude, you have sent to Oregon,
to < ultivate the vineyard of tl e Lord. After
numerous haidships and fatigues, dangers by
land and w ater, in our journey across the continent, we have the.pleasure, Rev. Demers and
I, to announce, with love and gratitude towards God and the blessed Virgin Mary, that
we have reached happily the end of our voyage,
yet not without losing twelve of our companions, dn wi:ed in the Columbia river. Please
join in cur tl aiksgivinps to Gcd for the protection and care of His Providence over us.
As soon r.s we airivid, we went to work.
The field is vast,our occupations are numerous,
1 have sanely time to write. But I know
with what anxiety and interest your Lordship
is expecting s< me i;ot<s regarding our journey,
the country, the lal>ors begun and the hopes
given by the Oregon mission. May the information I am going to give satisfy your expectation and fill tiie ardent desires which you incessantly feel for your flock.
I will begin with an account of my trip from
Lachine to Red River (St Boniface), where I
had to stop to receive the orders of Mgr. Pro-
vencher, bislmp of Juliopolis, and to take along
Rev. M. Demers, my traveling companion, already there for a year. I left Montreal, Thursday May 3rd 1838. The 700 leagues from that
city to Red River were traveled in 33 days,
having arrived there on the 6th day of June,
on one of the Hudson Bay Co's canoes, commanded by Mr. Hargrave, chief trader. The
loaded canoes which started some days after
the light ones, with a number of families, arrived three weeks after.
Everyone knows how dangerous this mode
of traveling is. To spend days and often nights
iu an uncomfortable position; to undergo the
inclemency of seasons, the gusts of wind and
the torrential rains; to run down numberless
rapids at the peril of one's life; or to travel ou
1 12
Historical Sketches of the
foot long portages through forests, rocks and
ponds; to camp out in cold and damp places; to
devour in haste a scanty meal, badly prepared;
to stop at the different posts, inhabited by
white people and visited by Indians, for the
administiation of the sacraments, the visitation of the sick aud the exhortation of poor
sinners; such was, my Lord, the life of the missionaries on their way to the far West.
For eight days we went up, Mr. Hargrave
and I, the Ottawa river. We left it and went
up another river to its source. That took us a
whole dav. After that came a portage, three
miles in length, where is the summit of the
lands dividing the waters of the Ottawa from
those flawing into lake Nipissing. At the end
of the portage, we came down a little river in
one day. We were then on lake Nipissing,
which we crossed in twenty-four hours. After
a short portage, we began to go down French
river, through which the lake discharges its
waters into lake Huron; that also took us a
whole day. The crossing.of lake Huron to
Sault Ste. Marie, took us three days. From
thence to Fort William on lake Superior, six
days aud a half. Leaving lake Superior, we
ascended, for three days, the Tiministigouia
river, up to a portage nine miles long, which
is the height of lands, and divides the waters
running into lake Superior from those flowing,
into lake Winnipeg, aud thence into the Hudson Bay. After that long mareh we embarked,
near its source, on the river Des Embarras,
which flows into the Milk Lacs. We crossed
the latter and also lake La Pluie before reaching the Fort of the same name. Our journey
from the height of lands to this post had lasted
five days. It took us three days to go down
the river La Pluie, two days to cross lake Des
Bois, three days to go down the Winnipeg, one
dav to cross lake Winnipeg, and another day
.to"ascend Red river, up to St. Boniface, the
residence of the bishop of Juliopolis.
Our Canadian and Iroquois tfaveling companions were exhausted. It was thesame with
Mr. Hargrave and myself, and that for good
reasons; for, very often, we would leave our
camp at one in the morning, and encamp only
at about 7 or 8 in the evening. Many time*
we were exposed to great dangers, in the middle of lakes, or in coming down or going up
rapids. The current used to set adrift our canoe on hidden rocks, and once our small bark
canoe was uearly dashed to pieces on one of
these hidden rocks. The mournful crosses to
be seen nb ve and below the rapids area sign
of the dangers these phices afford.
According to my calculation of the hours of
traveling, I counted from Lachine to Matawan
115 leagues on the Ottawa; hence to Sault Ste.
Marie, 134; on lake Superior, 140; from Fort
William to the height of lands, 56; hence to
lake La Pluie Fort, 98; thence to Fort Alexander, down the Winnipeg river, 120; aud at last,
from that place to St. Boniface, between 35 and
37; total 700 leagues, traveled in 488 hours, or
33 day3 of •forced marches.
At the extremity of lake La Pluie, I met the
worthy missionary of the Sauteux, Rev. M.
Belcourt, who was then visiting the camps of
that nation. I crossed lake Winnipeg on the
5th of June, and on the 6th I arrived at St.
Bon iface where I met bishop Provencher, Rev.
Thibeault and Rev. Demers, appointed to the
mission of Oregon. Rev. Poire, missionary in
the White Horse Prairie, came two days after.
Rev. Belcourt returned from his mission on
the 14th. On the 18th Rev. Poire left to accompany a caravan of 800 or 900 wagons on a
buffalo hunt. It was after his return that this
gentleman went to Canada with Mr. Belcourt.
Rev. May rand arrived on the 22nd.
It is easier to feel than to express the joys
and emotions, the souvenirs and hopes caused
by t he meeting of those zealous laborers in the
vineyard of the Lord. This was the most numerous gathering of priests ever witnessed by
the inhabitants of these remote regions. The
mustard-seed was beginning to appear as a vigorous tree, already shadowing a multitude of
souls draw n from the darkness of idolatry and
transplanted in the kingdom of God; precious
fruits of ft e evangelical zeal animating these
missionaries. Happy the prognostics of a still
richer harvest to be gathered.
Having spent five weeks in visiting all the
missions of Red river, we started, Rev. Demers
and I, on the 10th of July for our destination,
■ after having sang a high Mass in honor of St.
Annto ask from God the benediction of heaven
on our journey; for we had to penetrate intoa
country never yet visited by a Catholic priest.
The rivers, lakes, mountains, prairies, forests
and hills of Oregon would soon resound with
the praises of the holy name of Jesus; the cross
would be planted from place to place, from
shore to shore, over the thousand leagues we
had yet to travel, and the word of Him who
said that that sign would "attract all to Him"
in the person of these poor wandering sheep
to which we were sent. What a joy! What
a sweet consolation for missionaries!
From St. Boniface we went, in seven days
of dangerous navigation, to Norway House, a
small fortress, 130 leagues distant from our
starting point, and 10 leagues from lake Winnipeg. The commanding chief Factor had the
kindness to give us for lodging and chapel the
apartments destined for the Governor of thS
company.   We spent there eight days, saying I
Catholic Church in Oregon.
holy Mass, distributiug catechisms, baptizing
children and some adults, instructing aud exhorting the whites and Indians at the Fort.
We also performed two marriages there. On
Sunday, the 22nd, there was a high Mass, vespers and two sermons, to which some of the
gentlemen aud clerks of the company assisted.
Duringthis brief stay of eightdays, many small
bands of travelers came from York Factory,
on Hudson's Bay, to Norway House, from
whence t hey were all to start together to cross
the mountains.
On the 26th of July everything was ready.
The brigade assembled and began to march
under the command of John Rowand, Esq.,
Chief Factor of the Company, a Catholic,
whose attention, kindness and constant efforts
to alleviate the fatigues and privations of the
route, we will never forget. The brigade consisted of eleven boats laden with merchandize,
a great number of hired men, women and children. Among the travelers were Messrs. Wallace and Banks, botanists, sent from England
by a scientific society.
Having passed the head of lake Winnipeg,
the river Saskatchewan, or St. Peter, which
we had to ascend for 37 days, appeared with
the Grand rapid that requires a portage of
everything. We crossed the lake de Travers,
Bourbon, des Cedres aud des Vases. O n S u n day,
\ugust 15th, we reached the litcle Fort Constant, built on the right shore. We ha 1 traveled 93 leagues with oar, perch, sail and line,
having been often obliged, at the principal
rapids, to unload our boats. We had bip:ized
on the way a child who died an hour later.
Having, that day, sang high Mass in the presence of the Oris Indians of the neighborhood,
who ap eared to be well disposed to receive
the seed of the Word of God, we started tii>ht
away, and arrived on the 7th at Fort Cumberland on the lake of the same name, 33 leagues
from Fort Constant, and on the 18th at Fort
Carleton, 88 leagues from the last. There We
performed 36 baptisms and 7 marriages. A-
mong those baptized were the comm mder of
the post, Mr. Patrick Small's family, composed of 8 persons, of whom three were adults.
At Foi t Pitt, 87 leagues farther, we had 11 baptisms, and at Fort Kdmuntou, also called
Fort d3s Prairies, in charge of chief Factor John
Rowand, we had 39 baptisms, <>f which 5 were
adults, and 3 marriages.
This last'fort, whither we arrived on the6th
of September, is 101 leagues distant from Fort
Pitt, amidst the Oris. It would be quite fit to
become a station for a missionary who would
understand these Indians' language. Meanwhile, a priest could, in good weather, go on
horseback across the prairies, from Red River
to Fort Carleton in 15 days, hence to FortEd-
munton in. 12 days, allowing time to stop at,
every fort along the road. His visit would do a
great deal of good to the employees and to the
poor Iudians, with whom they trade in furs.
On the 29th of September, we had at Fort Ed-
munton, a solemn Mass and vespers, and two
sermons. On the 10th, before leaving, we
blessed and planted a cross. This we did all
along the road, wherever w-e had said Mass,
either near the forts, or on the shore, or in the
interior along the road.
For six weeks we had followed the crooked
course of the Saskatchewan. We had then to
quit it and to change our small fleet for a caravan of 66 horses, in order to reach, by land,
across forests, ponds, prairies, rivers, ditches
and beaver dams, Fort Assiniboineon the Athabasca, a distance of 34 leagues, which required
five days of fatiguing and dangerous walking.
On September 16th, we left Fort Assiniboine
and began to struggle against the rapids and
dangers of the Athabaska. which we ascended
for 17 days. On the 28th, we saw for the first
time the imposing forms of the Rocky Mountains, the highest summits of which are perpetually covered with snow. On the 2nd of
October, we had come as far as Jasper's house,
4 leagues inside the Rocky Mountains, and
wrere then 92 leagues from Fort Assiniboine.
There we^re there 35 baptisms, for the greatest
part chilrlren of half breeds, or free people,
living in the woods as Indians and hunting
the beaver. Holy Mass was celebrated ou the
opposite side of the river, far from the noise of
The Athabasca being no longer navigable,
we changed, on the 5th, our boats for a caravan of 72 horses, a great deal worse and more
imperfect than those of Edmunton. These
animals wrere easily frightened, and throwing
off horseman and baggage they would either
start for the woods or run into ponds or mud
holes. The organization was difficult and the
departure slow. We went along the right shore
of the river which, running in zigzags in a valley well timbered and bordered with high
mountains, produced high and long points
that we had to cross straight over, in order to
shorten the distance. We had to cross channels, and sand bars; we traveled alongside of a
lake at the head of which is the Prairie Camp-
ment, where we halted. We were 3 leagues
from Jasper's house and had come there in 4
On the 6th we had to cross forests of thick
woods and climb up hills and rocks dipping
into the water. We had to pass on the side of
these hills whence the eye sees with awe the
yawning abyss.    Woe to the rider whose horse 14
Historical Sketches of the
would miss a single step! After havingclimb-
ed very high rocks and travelled 4 leagues in
32'hours, we camped opposite the rock called
the Old Man.
On the 7th, after two hours of march over a
nice little prairie lightly covered with woods,
on a level ground, we took breakfast in a fine
prairie. We then went up and down 12 or
13 hills and rocks covered with woods. Wc
crossed four little rivers, the Camp of the Cow,
pretty groves of light woods and beautiful willows. H iving walked 7 leagues in 7| hours,
wecampe I near thj south fork or branch of the
Athabas ^a in a place covered with burnt trees.
„. '@K TX. '
(published march 14th 1878J
Vicar general's letter concluded.
/\n the 8th, the luggage and people were
\J/ carried over, in a canoe which had been
brought so far with infinite pains and labor
from Jasper's. The horses swam across. This
branch of the river was a real torrent, 45 steps
or yards wide. The southwestern branch is
but 30 feet wide, wre had to cross it on horseback from its right shore at a place called The
Hole, where the horses lost footing rbr 18 feet.
The baggage and horsemen did not get wet;
as to those who were on foot they had to swim,
holding the luggage or the horse's tail. Proceeding now'aloug the shore, then on the top
of high rocks, we met with many obs acles
offered by high rocks, thick timber and fallen
trees. A hill appeared; in order to facilitate
its steep ascension, we climbed up in zigzags.
We had to dismount our horses in places where
the horses had to jump or climb. Fr m the
top of this hill appeared the most enchanting
scenery. Our sight rested with pleasure on a
large valley bordered with forests raising their
heads up to one fourth of the mountainous
height. In the middle of this valley wecould
see the river, with its thousand turns aud as
many points or hills produced by its course.
It was a magnificent and enchanting spectacle
which caused our hearts to rise to God, and
which we were sorry to leave. We quitted the
river,c ossedseveralhitlsandgrovesand again
reached the river. We came to Moose Prairie,
where a nice waterfall, several hundred feet in
height, falls from (he top of the mountains into the river. The road had been bad ;md dangerous that day. The rive leagues which the
light cavalry had run in 61 hours, were traveled in two hours more by the loaded animals.
On the 9th, we crossed new points and high
hills before reaching the first grand beach two
miles wide, covered with fine gravel, bordered
with mountains, and in the midst of which
the river seemed to play, making a thousand
turns from one slope of the mountains to the
other. We crossed a second beach through
which the river flowed in like manner, 'that
day we had to cross it 2d times in order to
shorteu the distance. We saw many glaciers
in the mountain passes, went through many
a snow bank, and also saw a waterfall as con-;
siderable as the first. It was the Barrel Fall.
We halted at the Gun Camp, surrounded with
high peaks white with snow. We had traveled that day 8 leagues in 7 hours.
On the 10th, being at 12 leagues from the top
of the Rocky Mountains, at 3 o'clock in the
morning, I celebrated under a tent the august
sacrifice of ihe Immaculate Lamb in thanksgiving for all the benefits the Lord had bestowed upon us, and to consecrate by the sacrifice of the Ci\ ss these sublime mountains, to
the glory of their Creator, the all-powerful
God, of whom 1 hey sing the praise and power.
Having walked with much fatigue 2\ hours,
across ponds, rocks, fallen trees and other obstacles, on the slope of mountains, alongside of
tl.e narrow but swift torrent, we came, by a
steep way to the gorge or pass half a league
in width between the two mountain ranges,
Brown and Hooker, whose grand summit, perpetually covered with snow, rises some 17 or
18,0C0 feet above the level of the sea. This
pass, pretty steep in its central slope, is covered on both sides with masses of rocks fallen
from the abru lit mon n tai ns, whilst other rocks,
suspended above, seem to threaten the frightened traveler.
Half way in the gorge is a round lake called
Punch Bowl. It is 3l) yards in diameter. Its
waters communicate, underground, with two
other lateral lakes, wherein originate two rivulets. One is the source of the east branch of
the Athabasca, the other is the source of the
Portage river of the West. These two rivers
are supplied by a great many streams from the
mountains; so little at first they soon become
impracticable torrents rolling their waters
with an extraordinary noise. There, at Punch
Bowl) we were but one league and a half from
our morning camp, and it had taken us 2£
hours to travel that short distance. We were
27£ leagues from Jasper's, 700 leagues from St.
Boniface, and 1,400 from Montreal. One may
judge, thereby, of the obstacles encountered in
that day, without speaking of the obstacles
and dangers met with for 6 days on the Eastern slope, in the ascent and descent of hills,
rocks and heights, from Jasper's.   We still Catholic Church in Oregon.
walked one mile and a half in 2 hours, going
down the Western slope, much steeper than
the Eastern; and going over rocks, fragments
of rocks, and trees along the Portage river.
We halted a short distance from La Grande
Cote, a great steep hill we had to descend, and
whither our loaded horses arrived but 2 hours
after those of the light cavalry. They were
tired and unable to go any further.
On the 11th, the Great Hill appeared with its
long circuits in zigzags, to facilitate the steepness of its descent. We descended it in 3 hours;
the first part on horseback, the second on foot,
and the third on horseback again; after which
the caravan rested for some hours on a beautiful bush-prairie, the first portion of the large
field we were sent to cultivate. We took possession of it, and consecrated ourselves to its
cultivation. We crossed the Portage river 8
times, and made 4 leagues in 5| hours.
On the next day, our riding horses wralked 2
leagues in 4^ hours through the mud holes of
the great timber Point. It took the laden animals 8 hours to make that distance, because
they had to be unloaded and loaded again,
every now and then.
On the 13th, the traveling wTas easier and
more agreeable. Having walked for 6 hours
and crossed several points of woods and hills,
we reached Boat encampment on the right shore
of the Portage river, some distance below its
junction with the Canoe river flowing from the
North. We had come down the West slope of
the mountains in 3 days. We were 13£ leagues
from Punch Bowl, 41 from Jasper's, 45 from ihe
entrance of the Rocky Mountains of which the
range seems to continue up to the head of the
lakes, 55 leagues further below.
The Columbia river has its source 51 leagues
on the South. From Boat encampment, it abruptly turns to the West, hence the name of
"Big Bend" is given to this curve. It then
flows Southwest down to the Spokane river,
below Colville; then Northwest to Okanagan;
then Southwest to Wallula; thence West to
Vancouver; thence Northwest to Cowlitz;
thence West to the Pacific Ocean. This rapid
river, about 60 yards wide at Bij Bend, which
rolls its swollen waters amidst numberless dangers and was to offer us in its rapids, its whirlpools, its dalles, its falls, its abysses, a thousand more dangers than all the rivers we had
yet navigated, was now before us. We had
now to encounter its dangers; and we were
ready to meet them.
On the 14th, it being Sunday, the holy sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated to consecrate
us to the Queen of angels and beg her to take
us under her protection. It was the first Mass
celebrated in the territory of our mission.   At
1:30 p. m., the boats were loaded, the prayers
having been said on the shore, we shook bands
with our traveling companions whom we quitted, alas! never to meet again, and we began to
sail. Having traveled 10 leagues in Sh hours,
we camped in the middle of the rocks, and towards dusk we went down from this bad place
to choose a better site.
On the 15th, the grand -and famous Dalles of
the Dead appeared; it seems to be but 20 yards
wide. What, makes it dangerous is the curved
form or elbow of high and perpendicular rocks
against which the whole body of water rushes.
Hence the fury of the waves and the necessity
to pass close by the opposite shore. Here we
had to leave the boats to carry off everything.
The barge is then conducted by 8 men, 6 at the
oars and one at each extremity as pilots with
long and wide paddles. In that way the Dalles
of the Lead was passed without much danger.
The little Dalle? below, 30 yards wide, was also
fortunately run dowrn with loaded boats. We
also went through 3 big rapids and 30 smaller
ones, besides a strong continuous current aud
abysses which threaten the unskillful traveler.
My barge broke open in the morning, during
a fog, on a hidden rock, which put us in great
danger. My companion wasin the other barge.
The river, which from the Barges encampment,
looks as a canal cut through the mountains,
began to flow, towards evening, in a less mountainous country. In this canal the horizon
always appears on a level with the top of the
trees of t he following rapids and the high walls
of rock, now crowned with forests, and then
with beautiful rows of willows, terminate at
every rapid by a fall, or kind of step making a
real amphitheatre. It is a grand, magnificent
and delightful sight, but the dangers offered
by the canal prevented our enjoying it. On
that day wTe bad traveled 40 leagues in 6 hours;
On Tuesday the 16th, having made 5 leagues
in IU hours, we reached the House of the Lakes.
Two hours after, one of our boats went back to
the Barges encampment to fetch down the third
of our companions we had left there for want
of room. The other boat started for Vancouver
with the express.'. It took 6 days to the first
to go up the 55 leagues which separated them
from us; it arrived here on the 21st. Next day
it started down, got filled with water at the
Dalles of the Dead, was emptied, but again filled
in the following Dalles; it was going ashore
when some one jumping in the water upset it.
Hence the loss of 12 persons out of the 26 who
mounted it. It was about dusk when this calamity occurred. The broken barge went on its
way the following day and arrived on the 24th
iu the morning at our camp. Great was the
consternation at this sad news; an express was 16
Historical Sketches of the
sent to Colville for a boat and some provisions.
The other one was repaired and went, back to
the unfortunate spot to bring the drowned bo-
diesdown. That accident detained us 18 days
at the House of the Lakes. This time was spent
in instructing the Indians who appeared quite
docile and well disposed; they wTere sorry not
to have the happiness of being baptized like
their children.
At last on the 3rd of November, having per-,
formed 17 baptisms, one marriage, and buried
3 drowned children, (the only bodies found,)
at the foot of a cross erected a few steps from
our camp, where we celebrated holv Massevery
day, we embarked in 2 boats, upon the waters
still keeping in their bosom nine of our companions. We crossed the first lake, 13 leagues
long, and one wide. Then came the second
lake, 18 leagues by 2 miles. Below the lakes
on the left is the Kootenay river, wmdeh appeared to be 300 feet wide; and four hours' distance below, the Flathead river falling into the
Columbia, through a beautiful fall some sixty
yards wide. The ninth rapid below the 1 ikes
forms the Little Dalles where the water passes
through a canal 100 feet wide, between high
rocks or basaltic columns. We can say that
the Rocky Mountains extend as far as the
lakes. The day before we arrived sit Fort Colville, the want of timber—which abounded up
to the Grety Dalles—began to be noticeable.
After having traveled 72 leagues in 3 days,
we reached in the forenoon of the 6th, Fort Colville where we remained 3J days occupied in
celebrating holy Mass and in instructing the
Indians of five nations who asjfifcted with^as
much respect as if they had been fervent Christians. Having performed 19 baptisms, we left
that fort on the 10th, and went to camp two
miles below in order to avoid the Chaudieres
fall, which stops navigation at that place.
On the 11th in the morning, we were tr iv-
eling upon the Columbia which appeared full
of dangers. The grand rapid appeared, 21)
others followed. On the 12th, we passed the
fork of t he Spokane on the left shore, and that
of the Simpoils on the right. On the 13th, we
reached Fort Okanagan, si'uated on the right
shore, 64 leagues from Colville. We had traveled that distance in 3 days, passing through
innumerable rapids, at the most dangerous of
which the people had tc> land in order to lighten the boats.
We sailed again on the 14th, after having
baptized 14 persons, celebrated M**ss and instructed the neighboring Indians during the
24 hours of our stay at the fort. The little river
Okanagan appeared right away. We jumped
12 rapids on that day. On the next day, the
15jh, a^tiipid was formed by the Rock Islands.
The passengers went ashore, and yet it did not
prevent the beat, carrying our church goods,
from striking a rock and breaking, in coming
down a cascade. It was filling with water as
it approached the shore. On the 16th. we saw,
at a height of 100 feet in the fissure of a rock,
a petrified tree. While jumping the 4 Priest's
Rapids, ( ur boat struck on the bottom but did
not break. Below these rapids, the high and
mountainous shores of the river give place to
low and level prairies, over which the sight
can extend with ease. On that very day, we
enjoyed a spectacle of which we had been deprived since we left Winnipeg, that wTas the
sunset. The remainder of this day and also
the next, we sailed on quiet waters. The low7
shores gave us a chance to see the Blue Mountains, South of Wallula, and those of Puget
S< und or Mount Rainier. We left behind us,
on the right, the Yakima river, and below, on
the left, the Snake river, also called Lewis and
Clarke, which appeared to be 500 feet wide.
On Sunday, the 18th, we arrived early in the
morning at Fort Walla Walla, built on the left
bank of the Columbia, a short distance from
the river of that name. Peter C. Pambrun,
Esq., in charge of that important fort, a Catholic, received the two missionaries with the
greatest cordiality. He was born in the parish
of Vaudreuil, districtof Montreal, Canada,aud
w as fornx riv Lieutenant in the Voltigeurs Ca-
nadien?. His excellent wife was, at the time,
at Fort Vancouver with her little girls, Maria,
aged 12, Eda 3, and Harriet 16 months; and
the boys Andrew D . 17 years, and Peter C., 15.
The girls were baptized with their mother on
December 18, and the father had his marriage
blessed on the same day. It was a beautiful
and happy day for me.
The holy sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated,
after which the chiefs of I he Cay uses and Walla Wallas came with their people to see the
priests. The Cay uses were divided into two
tribes; one o£ wlirlch on the Walla Walla river,
known as Wailatpu, formed the Presbyterian
mission, established by Dr. Whitman in 1836.
The other camp lying on the Umatilla river,
80 miles hence, was under the command of the
young chief Tanatoe. The day was passed in
speaking to them of God and religion. They
were so glad to see the Blackgowns so long expected. There were three baptisms made at
this place, and on a subsequent visit by Rev.
M. Dimers, the j'oung chief brought his child
to b^ baptized by the priest, Mr. Pambrun
having consented to be- its godfather, which
gained for him great blame and displeasure
from the Doctor. Since that time the young
chief and his band always preferred the priest's
religion to that of the minister. Catholic Church in Oregon.
a      m <mm®
(published march 2 1st 1878.)
Vicar general's letter concluded.
\N monday, the 19th, we left Fort Walla
y/ Walla wiih its excellent commander. The
little river Walla Walla, on the left, was followed by the Umatilla on the same side. Seven
leagues *belowr the fort, we leaped the Grand
Rapid without accident. From thence, we began to see the w7hite summit of Mount Hood,
whose base is the Cascades range. Ou this day,
the 20th, our provisions becoming short, two
horses were purchased for food, for which the
Indians were paid $10 a piece. The Columbia
being pretty low at this season of the year, our
two boats touched the ground in descending
the 7th rapid on that day. We left the little
river John Day on the left.
On Wednesday, the 21st, we saw on the same
side La riviere des Chutes, (the river of the Falls)
so called by the Canadian voyageurs, not for
having falls, but because of its proximity to
the falls to be found on the Columbia. We approached them on the right shore, with great
precaution, on account of the stream. "These
falls," (Chutesm French) says Father Demers,
in the report of his first trip to Colville in 1839,
"are a series of rocks, a mile or two long, which
extend across the Columbia aud leave but a
snail channel on the left shore. These rocks
rise ever so little in an amphitheatre and are
divided by a great number of channels which
the mass of w7ater has cut for a passage, in the
course <>f time. The first chute is pret ty regular
and" from 2) to 30 feet wide. I went as tar as
possible to examine them more closely. Their
number and variety are surprising. They are
not equally deep. Some are dry, whereas in
others, passes a large volume of water. The
falls are from 3 to 12 and 15 feet high. One
may be astonished to learn that these, chutes,
so terrible at low7 water, are smooth and still at
very high water, which does not happen every
year. Then it is that, instead of fearing them,
the voyageurs hasten to approach them, to
light their pipes and rest.''
Here we had a long portage of boats and baggage for a mile. The task was made still more
difficult by sleet. The lndiausof this place,
who appeared very poor and destitute, came
to the assistance of the men, but not without
having been earnestly and incessantly begged
a while. That portage took us 4 hours. The
Petites Dalles, (Small Dalles), so called by the
first French Canadian voyageurs, are about
half an hour's march from Chutes.    We passed
them without accident; they are a mile long
and about 250 feet wide, wailed on both sides
with basaltic columns, with projecting points
and recesses, which form a canal, or dalle,
through which the stream moved with the
swiftness of a dart. The danger had been null
so far, but it came on after crossing the Dalles;
for our boat being caught, by the cnrient of a
wmirlpool was carried close to a rock, where,
had it struck and been broken, it would soon
have sunk.
One league further down we found the Gran-
des Dalles, so called by the French Canadian
voyageurs and Wascopam by the Indians. Here
the Columbia is intercepted by a chain of solid
rocks, through which—wonderful to say and
see—the strong mass of wraters have opened a
channel to themselves. The Grandes Dalles are
4 miles long, impassable in the high water of
May and June, but passable in the low waters
of the Fall; and even then, not without a discharge of pi rsons and baggage for the two first
miles. The first part is a canal of about 150
feet wide, Mailed with basaltic columns about
50 feet high, ending in a platform about 30 feet
broad, and terminating with other basaltic columns 60 feet high. During the high water the
swollen Columbia passes over the platform.
In low water it only runs through the lower
channel; projecting points and recesses in the
walls form waves and whirlpools very dangerous, even for light boats managed by 8 men,
6 at the oais, one at the stern and the other at
the prow, with long and wide paddles used as
rudders; nevertheless, they are never passed
without dread. The two first miles were run
in 10 minutes. During the middle stage of the
water the whirlpools are very dangerous; I was
told that several years ago a boat was caught
by one of them, and soon disappeared in its
large and deep funnel. After crossing the
Grandes Dalles we saw on the left the buildings
of the Methodist mission for the Indians, establish* d in 1837.
On thursday, the 22nd, we passed the Great
Rock of the Dead. From the Dalles to the Cascades our navigation was quiet and pleasant,
on the smooth water of the Columbia, bordered
on both sides with picturesque mountains. On
friday the23rd, we reached the Cascades wThich
stop the navigation for4 miles, and require the
portage of the baggage. But they are far from
being what their name indicates, a series of
cascades; for the two first miles, they are simply a big rapid passing between the contracted
banks of the river, followed by a swift current,
a wavering water, along the shore of the river,
on the left, while the unloaded boats can be
brought down with a line along the shore of
the right bank for the first two miles; theu, -Il^jgjgy	
Historical Sketches of the
partly laden they ran the last two'miles with
oars. We reached the Upper Cascades with
great care, and early enough before noon to
make the long portage on the same day, and
encamp at the Lower Cascades. On Saturday,
the 24th, we went on with sail and oars; we
left on our right the high rock called Cape Horn
by travelers on accou nt of wind and storm often
prevailing there. We passed many islands,
and when approaching Fort Vancouver the
boats went ashore to allow the travelers to
make their toilets, and soon after we^kere at
the end of our long journey, at 5 p. m.
We experienced cold from Colville to the
Grandes Dalles. It was so severe, some days,
as to form ice on the oars of the men. Some
evenings we found the ground covered with 3
or 4 inches of snow, which we had to remove
to pitch our tents. Some nights the cold was
9 degrees of Reaumur. Such niglvts as we
passed under a tent at some distance from a
scanty fire, on account of the scarcity of drift
wood to be found on the shore, were far from
being pleasant. At Des chutes portage, the
ground was covered with a hard glazed frost.
The ecclesiastical soutane or cassock of priests,
which is the type of the "seamless garment" of
Christ and of His Church, aud the glorious
habit of the clergy of Canada, was worn by us
all the time during our long journey from Canada to Oregon, and since our arrival. It was,
then, easy for the Canadians to recognize their
priests, and the Indians the Blackgowns announced to them. This practice we will continue to observe, at home and abroad.
At Fort Vane >uver, we were 40 leagues from
the ocean; 20 from the Cascades; 40 from the
Dalles; 80 from Walla Walla; 145 from Okanagan; 209 from Colville; 287 from the House of
the Lakes; H42 from Big Bend, and 3-3-5 from
Punch Bowl.
In closing this long letter, I beg to be dl >wed
to refer your Lordship to a general report of
our reception at Fort Vancouver and our missionary labors. Please bless your two niission-
ries in the great far West, their flock and their
labors, and accept the homage of the sentiments of veneration with which
I have the honor to be, my Lord,
of your Lordship,
the most humble and obdient servant,
F. N.
Blanchet, V. G.
Arrival and Reception of the Missionaries at Fort Vancouver.
The two missionaries being anxious to reach
the destination of their long and arduous jour
ney, the brigade started from Fort Walla Walla (now Wallula) on Monday inorniug, Nov.
19th, reaching Fort Vancouver on the following Saturday, after a week's slow aud tedious
descent of the Columbia river. The same distance is now traveled in steamers in two days.
When the flotilla appeared in sight, as it
made its way down the Columbia, all was excitement at the fort, where news had already
been received of the calamity which had occurred to the party and the consequent loss of
life. All the populace rushed to the river bank
in order to feast their eyes on the first Catholic missionaries whose presence they had long
expected. Prominent among the assembly
stood James Douglas, who was acting Chief
Factor and Governor of the establishments of
the Hudson Bay Co. west of the Rocky Mountains, in the absence of Dr. John McLoughlin
who was then absent on a visit to Canada and
Englaud. He was the first to welcome the
missionaries to the scene of their future labors..
Conducting them to the fort, where the flag
was flying in honor of their arrival, the Governor ushered them in apartments prepared
for them, appointed a servant to wait on them,
and in every way manifested his hospitality,
and his delight at their arrival.
No sooner had the missionaries reached the
fort than they were waited upon by Joseph.
Gervais, Stephen Lucier and Peter Beleque, a
delegation representing the Canadians of the
Willamette valley, who, having heard that the
missionaries were coining, had left their homes
in a body in order to greet the long-looked for
Catholic missionaries on their arrival at Van-,
couver; but nearly all had been obliged to return home in consequence of the delayed arrival of the missionaries through the disaster
of the Dalles of the Dead.
Leaving the missionaries located at Vancouver, there to return thanks to God for having preserved them through their long and. arduous journey, let us glean from contempora-
niou8 history a sketch of Fort Vancouver as it
then existed. We copy from "The Oregon
Territory" by Rev. C. G. Ni< olay, and issued
in London in 1846. Describing the forts of
the Hudson Bay Company, that writer says:
mss Mgaftifw   it™
Catholic Ciidrch in Oregon.
Of all the Forts, Vancouver is now the principal; here Dr. McLoughlin, the governor of
the territory, resides, and here is the principal
depot of the Company, in which all the goods
brought from England and furs collected in the
interior are warehoused; it is indeed the emporium of trade from Kamchatka to California.
The fort is in shape a parallelogram, about
250 yards long by 150 broad, enclosed by a sort
of woodeu wall, made of pickets or large beams
firmly fixed in the ground, and closely fitted
together, 25 feet high, and strongly secured on
the inside by buttresses; the area is cultivated
and surrounded by houses and offices, the governor's residence being in the centre; there is
a chapel and school. The officers of the Company dine together in the common hall, the
governor presiding; but it has been remarked
that the absence ot their wives and the females
of the establishment from the table does not
contribute to the refinement of manners.
There is also a public "bachelor's hall," where
after diuner the time is passed in conversation
and smoking, but the latter is said to be declining as a habit. The hospitality of Fort
Vancouver and its governor has been highly
praised, especially by American writers, it
should seem not without good reasons; and the
general feeling of regret at leaving the society
it affords speaks much iu praise of the officers
of the Company, not less than the good cheer
of the governor.
Beyond the fort are large granaries and
storehouses; and before it, on the bank of the
river, is the village in which the servants of the
Company reside; in all, the residents may be
seven hundred.    In the Village is an hospital.
Attached to Fort Vancouver is a magnificent farm of more than 3,000 acres; saw-mills
cutting many hundred thousand feet per annum; grist mills, and every other requisite for
commerce and agriculture. Vessels of 14 feet
draught can come abreast of the wharf at low
water (says Lieutenant Wilkes), and at the
store of the Company every necessary can be
supplied as cheap as in the United States; this
however must be taken with considerable limitation, and refers probably to the English
goods in particular. From hence the Company
carrleson a lucrative trade with California, the
Sandwich Islands, and the Russian settlements, besides its exports to England.
The Company's servants are principally
Scotch and Canadians but there is also a great
number of half-breeds, children of the Company's servants and Indian women. These are
generally a well featured race, ingenious, athletic, and remarkable good horsemen; the men
make excellent trappers, and the women, who
frequently  marry  officers of the Company,'
make clever, faithful, and attentive wives-;
they are ingenious needlewomen, and good
managers. They frequently attend their husbands on their trading excursions, in which
they are most useful; they retain some peculiarities of their Indian ancestors, among which
is the not unfrequent use of the mocassin,
though usually it is made of ornamented cloth,
instead of deer skin.
The approach to this the principal establishment of the Hudson's Bay Company in the
West gives the stranger a high idea of its pros-
perit\ and importance; the thickly peopled village, the highly cultivated fields, the absence
of all guards and defences, the guns of the fort
having long since been dismounted, the civilized appeaiance of its interior, and the activity
and energy which prevails,—the noble river,
here 1,700 yards wide, on which perhaps some
of the Company's vessels, brigs, or steamers,
well appoints d, manned, and armed, are at anchor, and tluse are heightened in the effect
by the magnificent scenery by which it is surrounded; the noble woods flanking the mighty
stream, and backed by lofty mountains, the
snow-covered peaks of Mounts Hood and St.
Helens towering over all; while the wild flowers and fruits in their season carpet the ground
in wild luxuriance.
This fort was established by Governor Simpson in 1824, and its present importance justified his selection of its site. Here is, and doubtless will continue, the chief trade of Western
America, until the increasing demands of commerce and national industry transport it to the
shores of Juan de Fuca straits and Admiralty
Inlet; yet even then, as the only naval and
mercantile station in South Oregon, and as receiving the trade of all branches of the Columbia, and having inimediateand rapid connection with Puget's Sound by the Cowlitz and
Nisqually and with Gray's Harbor by the
Chehalis—thus connecting the great freshwater with the great salt-water navigation;
the Columbia with the Strait of Fuca—it will
occupy only the second place. Sir H. Pelly,
in his" letter to Lord Glenelg, in 1837, gives
this account of the state of the Company:—
"The Company now occupy the country between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific
by six permanent establishments on the coast,
sixteen in the interior country, besides several
migratory and hunting parties, and they maintain a marine of six armed vessels and a steam
vessel on the coast. Their principal establishment and depot for the trade of the coast, and
interior is situated ninety miles from the Pacific, on the northern bank of the Columbia, and
called Vancouver, in honor of that celebrated
navigator; in  the  neighborhood they have
II Historical
? ketches op the
large pasture and grain farms, affording most
abundantly every species of agricultural produce, and maintaining large herds of stock of
every description. These have been gradually
established, and it is the intention of the Company still further not only to augment and increase them, and to establish an export trade
in wool, tallow, hides and other things, but to
encourage the settlement of their retired servants and the immigrants under their protection; and he asserts further, that the soil, climate and other circumstances of the country,
are as much, if not more adapted to agricultural purposes than any other spot in America."
(published march 28th 1878.)
Interesting Letter from Rev. Modeste
Demers to Rev. C. F. Oazea u,
Secretary, Quebec.
Vancouver, Oregon, March 1st, 1839.
Rev. dear Sir:—
When J was appointed to the-
mission of Oregon in 1837, together with the
Very Rev. Father Blanchet, the passage of the
missionaries from Montreal to Fort Vancouver, across the American continent and in the
canoes of the Hon. Hudson Bay Company,
met obstacles which prevented their immediate departure.
Bishop Provencher, who stood in need of a
missionary, secured a passage for me to Red
River. This was twenty one hundred mites
saved in my journey to Oregon. \ was afraid,
however, that when I should have acquired a
knowledge of the language of the Santeaux, I
would not be allowed to proceed on my j aurney
if an opportunity presented itself; but Divine
Providence took all difficulties out of the way,
for as soon as the missionaries for Oregon had
obtained a passage, bishop Provencher alio wed
me to proceed, and 1 had the happiness of
meeting with the Very Rev. Father Blanchet on Red River iu 1838, on his passage to
Oregon. Leaving to the vicar general the recital of the tales of his trip from St. B mifaceto
Fort Vancouver, I will give you an account of
my ministry: For the last three months thin
fort has, with the Canadians and Indians here,
occupied all my time. I have found here some.
consolation, God has given me the grace to
learn the Chinook language in a short time. It
is in this jargon that I instruct the women and
children of the white settlers, and the savages
who come to see me from far : nd near. I am
so busy from morning till night that I can
scarcely find time to write the following concerning the savages settled on the west of the
Rocky Mountains. I would ask, therefore,
your indulgence; as I merely passed through
the different Indian tribes scattered along the
Columbia from the Rocky Mountains to the
Pacific Ocean, the following sketch must of
necessity be very imperfect. I hope, however,
it will besuttcieut to make known to you those
divers tribes, under the most interesting aspect—that of religion. My recent arrival in
this country and the multiplicity of my occu-
path ns do not permit me to give more than a
faint sket eli. Unwilling as I am to expose myself to the danger of giving false impressions
and wrong information, I will wait until I
may have acquired a more thorough knowledge of those unknown tribes;
Lake House.
The first savages we saw are called Lake Indians. These first of the large fold committed
to our care correspond well to the description
given us of them by the Canadians, who had
been for some time telling them of their own
ehitjfe—the black-robes—and had given them
the hope that some of them would arrive and
give them a knowledge of the Master of life,
He who made them, "Kaekovtm tshouten.'11
Wc can easily imagine with what joy they received tho^e chiefs for whom they had been so
long waiting. For 17 days we remained at the
House of the Lakes and labored in this new
vineyard, which promised from the very begin-
ningof our visit to bear abundant fruit. After
the first instruction on God and His attributes,
on the creation, the fall of Adam and the necessity of Baptism, those who had little children hastened to bring them for Baptism, ato
have their hearts madegood." They regretted
that they, themselves, could not receive the
same happiness. These Indians desire nothing more than to know God and the religion
that leads to Him; they anxiously long for the
moment when a priest may come among them
to teach them the holy truths and maxims of
our divine religion. It was not
that these poor people saw the missionaries
leave them; and on our part we were not indifferent to the expression of their warm affection.   Qiwmodo audient sine prcecticcmte?
In this fort we saw Indians belonging to 5
different tribes, who bad come from the neighborhood to meet us. A barge which had pie-
ceded us down the river, had brought them
the news that the long expected chiefs were
coming. Hardly could they perceive the-barge
in which we were, than they all, men, women Catholic Church in Oregon,
and children, hastened to the shore with joy
depicted on their countenances, to bid us welcome. It was not without emotion we saw
this demonstration of their gratification. We
had to tear ourselves away from them, to accompany the commandant to the fort. The
chiefs of the Chaudieres, Sinpoils, Spokans, Pis-
koos and of the Okanagans with some of their
people, received such instruction as our time
would al low us to give them. All gathered together in a large house given to them for the
occasion, and waited in silence for the moment
when we should speak to them. With what
attentive eagerness they listened to the Word
of God, which being translated to them by the
chiefs, acquired a new force and an additional
weight. We forgot nothing that was calculated
to fortify them in the principles of the Catholic religion; thus, in a short time, we have
scattered some of the seed of the divine Word,
and we have the sweet hope that, according
to God's merciful designs, it will bear fruit in
this portion of the human family so long neglected. We easily can see what progress
Christianity would make among tribes so well
disposed, but fides ex auditu.
The five tribes mentioned above, the Lake
Indians and the Flat Heads, of whom we shall
speak later, speak languages so similar that
they readily understand each other; it would
be enough to know one of these languages to
speak them all. The Lake Indians and the
Cliauiieres are the most numerous of all.
During the 24 hours that we remained at this
post, we became acquainted with the Indians
who frequented it; they are tolerably numerous. We may say of them what we h ive said
of those mentioned above; to make fervent
Christians of them it would suffice to teach
them the Christian doctrine. Nothing more is
needed. Between Okanagan and Wali.i Wall i
we have seen only a few Indian huts. For
want of interpreters we could hardly make
ourselves understood.
Walla Walla.
Some of the chiefs of the Ciyuss tribe ha I
come together at this post to see the chiefs or the
French (Canadians). All over, the same zeal
and the same eagerness to know G >d, the same
joy and satisfaction in seeing the back robes
of whom they had heard so much. Although
not yet Christians, they firmly believed the
truths of the religion we explained to them on
the way. They speak the language of the Nez
Perces which is altogether different from that
of the Ciaudierds and of the Flat Heads; they
can converse with those of Walla Walla whose
language is spoken as far as Dis Chutes. Somewhat below ar'e the Dalles Indians, who can
speak with those of Des Chutes and of the Cascades, 20 miles distant from Vancouver. A
great many of the Indians speak the Chinook
jargon of which there will be mention later.
The Chinook Indians are scattered along the
Columbia river from this fort down to the Pacific Ocean. Before the year 1830, they were
the most numerous tribe inhabiting the banks
of this river. This rendered them proud and
haughty. Beside this, they were rich; but
about this time came the disastrous malady
known by the name of fever-and-ague which
carried a great many to their graves. In the
heat of the fever they would leap into the river
in the hopeol relieving themselves of their suffering, but they found death as quick as it was
certain. It was found necessary to burn a
whole village where the dead bodies were piled
one upon another; for the survivors were not
capable of burying their dead. This calamity
which God sent these Indians on account of
their abominable lives, came to visit them
every year, and always made some of them its
victims. We are told t hey reformed their lives,
except those who lived near the fort, who are
wicked and demoralized on account of their
communication v ith the whites. They make
a shameful traffic in crime; thev have female
/ a/
slaves whom they hire at a price to the first
who asks the m. They have seen us and see us
yet with an indifference that makes us regret
the good Indians of the upper river; but the
part of the tribe situated not far from Fort
George, (n<.w Astoria) down the river, is not
as depraved, which gives us the hope of being
able to Christianize them, with the assistance
of Him who wills that no one should perish,
but that all should come to the truth. At the
very moment I write this, I learn that their
chief, with a great many of his men, has just
arrived to see the French priests. A few days
ago he had sent deputies to know whether they
would instruct his Indians.
The real language of the Chinook is almost
unlearnable;it differs entirely from that of all
the neighboring tribes; but they speak the jargon also, wrhich is used as the medium between
the Canadians and the whites in general, and
the Indians who are settled near the fort. The
jargon is composed of words taken from different languages, disfigured in their orthography and pronunciation. It is all borrowed
from different languages which makes it easy
to acquire. It possesses only from four to five
hundred we>rds. It nas no participle; one and
the same word has several meanings. For instance: Wawa, means to speak, to learn, to tell,
to answer, to ask; Komtux, means to know, to
learn, to comprehend, to hear, to think and to
! 2R&.
Historical Sketches of the
believe;thus, by adding Nuicitka, certainly; we
have, Nawitka naika komtux Sahalee Tayee, I believe in God; hence it follows that it is not easy
to translate French expressions into it, we ha ve
to use paraphrases. For the last month I know
thisjargon sufficiently well to give instructions
and to teach the catechism without being obliged to write them down. I have translated
the iSign of the Cross, and the way to give
one's heart to God. I cannot send the translation of t he other prayers, as they are not quite
finished. A good many of the Cascade Indians who understand this j irgon, and some of
the Klickatats, attend the catechism and evening prayers. In order to impress deeper-upon
their memory the truths contained in the apos-'
ties' Creed. I have tried to arrange it to a (pertain air. The Indians love music very much;
they kno.v nearly by heart the canticles that,
were sung at Mass last. Sunday. I eJtpect to
learn the Klickatat language, which will be of
great use in instructing this trine, an 1 those of
Des Chutes and of the Cascades, who understand it well .The greatest difficulty in learning
the language spoken on this side of the mountains consists in the pronunciatiem which is
such, that we are many times at a loss to finel
characters to represent it, as in Sahalee Tayee,
Gf>d, (Chief above) hihkt, one. Time does not
all »w me Jo expatiate on this matter.
The Indians of Cowlitz. *
The Cowlitz Indians love with revereime the
missionaries who are established amang them.
Tney have a language of their own, different
from that of the Chine>ok In li ms. Tney are
tolerably numerous but p >or. They give us
hopes of their conversion. After the visit of
the vicar general, they said to the settlers of
Cowlitz: "The priests are going to stay with us;
we are poor, and have nothing to g've them:
Tlahowiam nesajka, wake ikta nesaika: we want
to do something for them, we will work, make
fences, and whatever else they wish us to do."
Several of them came to see the m ssioaarns
at Vancouver, and expressed the most ardent
desire to have them come and reman with
The Willamette Indians.
The vicar general who pass 'la mo nth among
the Canadians established on this river, could
ne>t speak highly of the Indians he had seen—
the Kalapooias. They were very numerous
before the fevt rs, but are now reduced to a
small number, winch keeps decreasing every
day.   They aie poor and lazy; thieving may be
* Cowlitz is a corruption of the original Indian word Co-uilritz used by the early settlers,
considered their predominant passion. They
wi-h to keep away from the missionaries as
much as the Cowlitz Indians wish to be near
them. Hardly any of them were seen by the
vicar general at tne chapel assisting at the instructions. But it seems we might simeeed het-
ter among the different tribes of this nation
who are settled on t he tributaries of the Upper
Willamette. From these they take their different names. I learn there are fourteen or fifteen different dialects spoken by these tribes;
they are not so essentially different but that
they can understand each other. Moreover,.
the Chinook jargon is spoken among the Kalapooias.
The Northern Indians.
In F<-rt Okanagan we had information of a
j>r< at many Indians v\ ho are settled at a great
distance Ir'om the Rocky Mountains, towards
the North. Some Canadians in the service of
the Hon. Hudson Bay Co., in those quarters,
to!d us that priests would do w ell among them,
although ihey are not civilized as those of the
Columbia. We will let them know the object
of our arrival in th:s country, but we cannot
send word to them before next summer.
The Nez Perces tribe is very numerous. They
are mostly settled on large prairies not far from
the mountains towards the North. The Can-
i dians who live among i hem tor the purpose
of obtaining the beaver fur, have for a long
time spoken to them of the black robes—the
chiifs of the Fiench. Naturally good, mild,
and full of respect for the prayer to the Master
of life, they anxiously desire that priests may
come to insiiuct them, and make known to
them the religion of the French. They have
even imagined that they could buy one, and
have inquired of the Canadians how many
horse's ami heavers it would take to have one
stay with them, saying, that "he would want
for*nothing, and that the best of the spoils of
the chase would he given to him." Good discipline and morals reign among them. May
we not here exclaim with the Savior of the
world: Messis qwidem muUa, operarU autempauci.
"What can two missionaries do among so many
'tribes but desire that the Lord may send mis-
sionary priests te> show them the way to heaven, for which they have been created, anei to
tell them that their souls are the price of the
I Blood of the Savior. Rogate ergo dominum mes-
[sis vt mittat operarios in messem suam.
Receive, Rev. Dear Sir,
The assurance of my esteem,
Missionary priest of Oregon. Catholic Church in Oregon.
s««a»     <s«
(PUBLISHED APRIL 11th 1878.)
First Mass at Fort Vancouver.
Condition of the Country.
NOVEMBER 25th, 1838, was as beautiful as
j[\ a summer day. It being Sunday, preparations were made in the school house for the
first Mass ever said in lower Oregon. The
building was too small to contain the crowd
composed of the gentlemen, ladies and Catholics of the outside camp. A solemn high Mass
of thanksgiving was sung by the vicar general
who gave an instruction suitable for the occasion. Vespers were also chanted iu the afternoon. The divine service was moving, even
to tears, as many of the Canadians had not
heard Mass for ten, fifteen and even twenty
years. For them that day was one that would
never be forgotten. They saw at last that they
had priests among them, to instruct themselves,
their wives and their children, to administer
to them the sacraments, and give them at the
last and awful hour the consolations of holy
Church. In all this they felt happy, and giving thanks to God, they were willing and ready
to obey their pastors faithfully.
It may be well to take a view of the country
in relation to the Indian tribes, the servants
of the Hudson Bay Co., and Catholic and Protestant settlers, in order to have a correct idea
of the couditiou of things in the mission entrusted to their care. Their mission extended
from California (42nd parallel) to the Northern glacial sea, between the Pacific Oeean and
the Rocky Mountains. The Indian tribes were
numerous, scattered all over the country, speaking a multitude of divers and difficult tongues,
and addicted to poligamy and all the .vices of
paganism. The servants of the H. B. Co. in
active service in its 28 forts for the fur trade,
were in great majority Catholics; so also were
the four families settled in Cowlitz, and the 26
established in the Willamette valley, with their
wives and children. Many of the servants and
settlers had forgotten their prayers and the religious principles they had received in their
youth.    The women they had taken for their
wives were pagans, or baptized without sufficient knowledge. Their children were raised
in ignorance. One may well imagine that iu
many places disorders, rudeness of morals and
hidecene^y of practices, answered to that state
of ignorance.
There were also found in the valley of the
Willamette some Protestant settlers, and iu
different, parts of the country about 30 Protestant ministers, with their numerous attendants, their wives and children. The Methodists had two missions, one in the Willamette
valley, and the other at the Dalles. The Presbyterians were established at Wailatpu among
the Walla Wallas, at Lapwai among the Nez
• Perces, and on the Spokane river. Besides
these, the H. B. Co. had its own chaplain at
Vancouver for two years These ministers
were zealous, making efforts and using all
means possible to gain converts to their sects.
As to the Catholic settlers and their families,
although considerably numerous, they were not
only without any clergyman of their faith to
teach them and their families the Catholic doctrine, but were moreover exposed to the most
seducing temptations of perversion ; for, if on
the one hand, they were deprived of all the
means necessary to practice the worship commanded by their faith and claimed by conscience, on the other hand, the practice of their
separated brethren and the exhortations of the
ministers, were immediately at hand, as no
pains were spared and nothing neglected to
induce them to join the sects.
Rev. Mr. Beaver, who arrived from England
at Fort Vancouver as chaplain in 1836, was
anxious to bring the Catholics of the fort to his
Sunday services ; but he was checked by the
good Dr. McLaughlin ; nevertheless, he renewed his efforts after the.Dr. left for England.
And strange to say, a report came later that a
list containing the names of Catholics begging
Mr. Beaver to attend to them, had appeared in
one of the newspapers in London. No doubt
this was a forged trick; but it is certain that he
joined with the Methodist* in saying: "No need
of priests ; I suffice here, and the Methodists
in the Willamette valley." As for the Methodist ministers, we have seen before, they were
visiting the French settlers, and succeeded in -:
Historical Sketches of the
bringing some of them to their Sunday meet-
ings, baptized some women and performed
marriages. This being so, one may understand why the grant of passage by the H. B.
Co. met with so much opposition. The first
request of the bishop of Juliopolis was refused.
On a second application it was granted for two
priests in the canoes of 1837, but was afterwards withdrawn, for the reason, no doubt,
of not favoring an establishment on a foreign
ground, but also in order to give the Protestant
ministers more time to strengthen their position
and to make proselytes. Hence, of the twro
missionaries appointed to start in 1837, only
one was allowed to reach Red River that same
year. Such was the situation of the-country
in 1838. Nevertheless, in spite of all combinations and obstacles, the two Catholic missionaries, Deo juvante, arrived safe, and were
lodged in the room which Mr. Beaver and lady
had left three weeks before for England.
From the foregoing, it is easy to understand
what the missionaries had to do. They were
to warn their flock against the dangers of seduction, to destroy the false impression already received, to enlighten and confirm ihe
faith of the wavering and deceived consciences,
io bring back to the practice of religion and
virtue all who had forsaken them for longyears,
or who, raised in infidelity, had never known
nor practiced any of them. They were to
teach the men their duties, the women and
children their prayers and catechism, to baptize them, bless their unions, and establish
good order aud holiness of life every where.
In a word, they were to run after the sheep
when they were in danger. Hence their passing so often from oue post to another—for
neither the whites nou the Indians claimed
their assistance iu vain. And it was enough
for them to hear that some false prophet had
penetrated into a place, or intended visiting
some locality, to induce the missionaries to go
there immediately, to defend the faith and prevent error from propagating itself.
In the mean time let no one imagine that
all this was effected by enchantment; no, on
the coutrary, they had to make many journeys, aud had to undergo much pain and patience in order to caution the flock against the
dangers of seduction and error, to enlighten the
ignorant, to recall the wavering consciences,
and bring back to the true fold the lost sheep.
One may well understand what time and pains
were required to come so far, aud that after
having succeeded, it would not have been prudent to abandon them too soon to themselves.
This sa:d, let us now follow the two missionaries in their undertaking.
Missions to various places and among
the Indians in 1837 and 1838.
Mission at Vancouver.
The mission at this post lasted four months
and twenty days, (from Nov. 24,1838 to April
lo, 1839) without interruption, attended by the
two missionaries, save nine days spent by the
vicar general on a visit to Cowlitz, and 34 for
his going to and giving the mission at Willam-
ette. The Catholics of the place did not remain indifferent to the favor afforded them to
have the premises of the apostolic labors of the
two priests; they faithfully corresponded to the
grace. The missionaries took but two days to
rest from their long and tedious journey, for
the fourth and fifth day after their arrival saw
them at work ; the first, in favor of the servants
aud their families, the second, in favor of the
ladies and t heir children at the fort. On Monday the 26th, they were invited by the Governor
to make a visit to the stores and depots of the
Company, of the clerk's office, the houses of the
bourgeois, clerks and their families. On Tuesday, he accompanied them on their visit to the
village, which lies next to the fort and contains
the houses of the servants and their families.
The census made, gave 76 Catholics, Canadians
and Iroquois. They especially took the names
of the men and women who were to be separated before being married. The Indian population on the shore of the Columbia and neigh-
borhood was supposed to be 300 souls.
The holy ministry began for the men and
their families on Tuesday evening, by gathering them in the fort, on that day and hence-
forth, in regular meetings in which, after the
evening prayer made in common, a pious reading was made and some sacred songs were sung
© o cD
in French; a practice which continued and was
'■tfUitajfe Catholic Church in Oregon.
kept with the greatest satisfaction ; in consequence of which the whole assembly was soon
instructed to sing the first verse of 50 hymns,
the men forming one choir, and the women,
the girls aud the children, the other; each choir
singing alternately after the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, &c,
cD       ** *f
verse sung by the sohts. These meetings became so attractive as to draw7, on many occasions, the bourgeois, the clercs and their families to enjoy the pleasant and harmonious concerts. The Iudians themselves did not remain
insensible to the charms of these chants, nor
were they the last to come and hear them in
large numbers, sometimes. 70 and 100.    On
© 7
Feb. 20th, 1839, there were 140 assisting at
the evening prayers.
The holy work began for the ladies and Hi tie
girls of the fort on Wednesday, the 28th, by
teaching them their prayers and catechism in
French. By persevering in this holy work,
many of them soon became able to say the Rosary, a holy practice of devotion in honor of
the immaculate Mother of God, which the two
missionaries established in Oregou from the
beginning. Rev. M. Demers, who made the
beads, distributed fifty of them in a short time.
The catechism was held in the forenoon. The
afternoon was reserved for teaching the prayers and holy truths to the Indian women aud
children of the village, iu order to prepare them
for baptism. The difficulty here was great, as
they had to learn these prayers iu French, aud
the task could not be completed but by a long
and tedious repetition of them for■ weeks and
months. This catechism was frequented by
60 women and girls, and 18 little boys.
The Indians were not neglected ; they were
gathered twice a day, in the forenoon and in
the evening. Rev. M. Demers, who had learned the Chinoe)k jargon iu three or four weeks,
was their teacher. Later, iu January, haviug
translated the Sign of the Cross, the Our Father
auel the Hail Mary, into that dialect, he taught
them to these poor Indians, who were much
pleaseel to learn them. In February, he succeeded in composing some beautiful hymns in
the same dialect which the Inelians, as well as
the men, women and children, chanteel in the
church with the greatest delight. Thus by patience and constancy in teaching, the mission
aries were pleased to see that their hard labors
were beginning to bear some fruits.
© ©
The forenoon catechism lasted generally
from 8 to 11:30 o'clock ; the afternoon session
from 1 to 5, and sometimes 6 o'clock. The
interval was interspersed with singing Chinook
hymns, teaching catechism, and some relaxation. While Fr. Demers was instructing the
Indians, the vicar general taught the Canadians, and gave instructions in French to the
boys who wrere able to read English, so that
by such.means, some of them were soon able
to assist in teaching the prayers and catechism
toothers. The Gregorian chaut, and serving
at Mass were not forgotten ; and it was after
these exercises that the missionaries heard the
confessions of those who hael no time to come
during the day. By all this it may be seen
that the two priests were far from being idle.
*mm «s
(published APRIL 18th 1878.)
Remarkable Conversion
of Doctor John McLaughlin.
IT is but just to make special mention of the
I  important services which Dr. McLaughlin
—though not a Catholic—has rendered to the
French Canadians and their families, during
/ ©
the fourteen years he was governor of Fort
Vancouver. He it was who read to them the
prayers on Sundays. Besides the English
school kept for the children of the bourgeois,
he had. a separate one maintained at his own
expense, in which prayers and the catechism
were taught in French to the Catholic women
and children on Sundays and week days, by
his orders. He also encouraged the chant of
the hymns in which he was assisted by his
wife aud daughter, who took much pleasure in
this exercise. He visited aud examined his
school once a week, which already numbered
several good scholars, who soou learned to read
French and became a great help to the priests.
He it was who saved the Catholics of the fort
and their children from the dangers of perversion, and who, finding the log church the i
Historical Sketches of the
Canadians had built, a few miles below Fairfield in 1836, not properly located, ordered it
to be removed, and rebuilt on a large prairie,
its present beautiful site.
To that excellent man was our holy religion
indebted for whatever morality the missionaries found in Vancouver, as well as for the
welfare and temporal advantages the settlers
of Cowlitz and the Willamette valley enjoyed
at that time. At the time the two missionaries
arrived Dr. McLaughlin was absent on a visit
to Canada aud England, but wras expected to
return in the following September.
The good work of that upright man deserved
a reward ; he received it by being brought to
the true Church in the following mariner:—
When he was once on a visit to Fort Nls-
qually, a book entitled "The End of Controversy," written by Dr. Miluer, fell into his
hands. He read it with avidity, and was overcome and converted at once. On his return to
Fort Vancouver, he made his abjuratiou and
profession of faith at the hands of the vicar
general on Nov. 18th, 1842. He made his
confession and had his marriage blessed on the
same day, and prepared himself for his first
communion by fasting during the four weeks
of Advent, which he passed on his claim at the
"Willamette Falls," now called Oregon City,
iu having the place surveyed into blocks and
lots. Being thus prepared, he made his first
communion at Fort Vancouver, at midnight
Mass on Christmas, with a large number of
the faithful women and servants of the Hudson Bay Co. The little chapel was then full
of white people and Indians ; it was beautifully decorated aud brilliantly illuminated; the
plain chant was grave, the Christmas hymns,
in French and in Chinook jargon, alternately
by the two choirs of men and women, was impressive ; as well as the holy functions around
the altar; in a word, it was captivating and
elevatiug to the minds of the faithful, commemorating the great day of the birth of our Savior. It was ou such an occasion that Hon.
Peter H. Burnett, being at Vancouver in 1843,
and attending high Mass as a mere spectator,
at midnight on Christmas,.received the first
impressions leading to his conversion, as mentioned in the preface of his book entitled "The
Path wdiich led a Prolestant Lawyer to the
Catholic Church."
From the time of his conversion Dr. John
McLaughlin showed himself a true, practical
Christian, and a worthy member of the Church,
never missing Mass nor vespers on Sundays or
holy days, going to communion nearly every
month, and prefiching by word and example.
On going to church each Sunday he was often
accompanied by some Protestant friends ; one
of them inviting him to go and assist at the service of his church, he answered : "No sir, I go
to the Church that teaches truth, but not to one
that teaches error." He was kind to his children anel granel children ; his son-in-law fol-
lowing his example.
Dr. McLaughlin was born in the district of
Quebec, Can., and died at his residence in Oregon City on Sept. 3rd. 1857, aged 73 years ;
fortified with all the consolations of the Church,
after a lingering illness of two years, which he
bore with Christian patience aud resignation,
about three months before the return of archbishop Blanchet from South America in 1857.
Dr. McLaughlin was the father of the orphans and servants of the II. B. Co.; the father
of the French-Canadian colonies of Cowlitz
and the Willamette valley; of all the American
immigrants, and a great benefactor of the Catholic Church. Ou hearing of this great man,
our holy Father, Pope Gregory XVI. sent him
the insignia of the kuightsof the distinguished
order of St. Gregory the great, which archbishop Blanchet delivered to him on his return from Europe in August, 1847.
Missionary Labors at Fort Vancouver.
After the arrival of the priests, the Lord's
day had been sanctified by regular public services, consisting of a high Mass with an instruction in the fe>renoon, and vespers and Sunday school in the afternoon. The chant at
Mass and vespers was the Gregorian, for some
of the men were already able to sing the Kyrie,
Gloria, Sanctus aud Agnus Dei, or were soon
able to do so. The singing of French hymns
by the choirs of men and women, as aforesaid,
added not a little to the solemnity of the service.
The large building granted for the purpose was Catholic Church in Oregon.
generally full of Catholics, among whom were
often seen a number of non-Catholics.
As to the Protestant service ou Sunday,
• which was the Kpiscopal, it was held in the
large hall of the governor's house aud read by
him. The American ministers who traveled
pretty often and were always lodged and politely treated by the governor and other bourgeois, were seldom or never invited to hold the
Episcopal service on Sunday.- Their singiug
with their wives in their rooms late in the evenings, on many oce*asions, was the means of
drawing some of the ladies aud children to
hear them.
Christmas Day, which in 1838 came on
Tuesday, and being observed as a general holiday by the Company, the men hael a, e'hauee
to celebrate it. There were two low Masses
at midnight in the room of the priests at which
some assisted. The high Mass, vespers aud
instruction took place as usual on Sundays.
The music which accompanied the Gregorian
ediant at Mass, and that of the hymns at vespers in place of the anthems after the psalms,
rendered the office of Christmas more solemn
than usual; so that all returned home well
pleased and contented.
As the Company used to send over the
Rocky Mountains in the beginning of March
every year an express to carry its papers to
Canada, the missionaries availed themselves
of the opportunity to send to Quebec the history of their journey from Lachine to Vancouver, with an account of their labors during
the journey and since their arrival, an item of
which, extending to March 1st 1839, was:
baptisms, 309; marriages, 61; burials, 9. Out
of the 309 baptisms, 175 were maele on the
journey and 134 since their arrival. Out of
the 174, 122 were made on the east and 53 on
the west of the Rocky Mountains. Out of 134,
74 were from the Willamette, 53 from Vancouver, anel 7 from Cowlitz. Of the 61 marriages, 25 were from the Willamette, 24 from
Vancouver, anel 12 from the east of the Rocky
First Visit to Cowlitz Mission.
According to au agreement made betwreen
the bishop of Juliopolis and Sir George Simp
son, governor of the Hudson Bay Co , the principal station of the Catholic missionaries was
to be at the settlement on the Cowlitz river,
because it was not, like the Willamette settlement, on grounds whose ownership was disputed by Great Britain and the United States.
To the end, therefore, to >how his willingness
to carry out that agreement, and order the
building necessary for a residence, the vicar
general accompanied by Aunustine Rochon,
a servant brought from Canada, left Vancou-
ver on Wednesday afternoon, December 12th,
1838, in a canoe paddled by four Indians, and
reached the Cowlitz settlement on Sunday, the
16lh, at 10 a. m. The first Mass ever celebrated at that place was said on that day, and
another one on Monday in the house of Mr.
Simon Plamondon, before the settlers and their
families, who were much pleased to learn that
the priests were to reside among them. Having
visited the place and chosen for the mission a
piece of land of clear prairie of 640 acres,
strewed only with rare borders of timber, he
left his servant there to square the timber for
a house and barn, and to make rails for fences.
The Cowlitz settlement has been five years
in existence. It is on the west side of the river,
in a prairie six miles long aud two miles wide,
bounded on the east by the river, on the west
by a large quantity of timber. It is a very fine
location for a colony. Its soil is rich aud fertile; grass, fishing and game are in abundance.
The situation is beautiful: in the north west
appears Mount Rainier, and Mount St. Helen
on the east, whose high peak is always covered
with snow. The Hudson Bay Co. has a farm
there ou which a large number of men are employed in farming on a large scale. The young
colony was then composed of only four Canadian farmers, whom Dr. McLaughlin had discharged from further long services. The Cowlitz river runs from north to south aud empties
into the Columbia ; it is very tortuous and full
of snags, which renders its navigation difficult
and dangerous, especially for small crafts, and
by reason of its numerous rapids of dangerous
Having made seven baptisms, given to the
men the necessary advices, and recommended
Mr. Fagnant, one of he farmers, who was able
m 28
Historical Sketches of the
to read, to teach the prayers and catechism to
the women and children, the vicar general left
on Tuesday morning the 18th, and reached
Vancouver on Thursday the 20th, at -i :30 p. m.
Governor Douglas had the politeness to go and
meet him ou the shore with Father Demers, on
his arrival. On his way up and down he visited some Indian lodges to announce to them
the arrival of the Blackgowns who comes to
speak of the Great Spirit and make them good.
First Mission to the Willamette Valley.
This mission lasted about 30 days ; from
January 5th 1839 to February 4th. This valley takes its name from the river-which flows
through it from south to north, lljs a .con-
tinuauce of large and level prairies* strewed
with timber which is found specially along the
banks of the streams. The east shore of it
may well be called the granary of Oregon, the
western shore being generally mountainous.
The settlement of this valley began as follows:
There remained in the country three French
Canadians, renmauts of the old expedition of
Hunt and Astor, viz : Stephen Lucier, one of
the forinep, and Joseph Gervais and Louis La-
boute of the latter.    S. Lucier being tired of
leading a wandering life began iu 1829 to cul-
?— © ©
tivate the land near Fort Vancouver, and getting dissatisfied with his first choice, he left it
in 1830, and, removing to the Willamette valley, settleel a few miles above Champoeg, then,
called by the Canadians Campenient de Sable.
Following his example the two others, J. Gervais aud L. Lahonte followed him in 1831 and
settled some distance south, one on the right
and the other on the left side of the river. Some
old servants of the Hudson Bay Co., being discharged from further services, went over to
them and increased their number. The gex>d
and generous Dr. McLaughliu encouraged the
colony and helped it with all his power. It
continued to grow up every year, auel its settlers begat: to feel the necessity of having some
priests to reconcile them to God, and also to
instruct their wives and children. The nearest
bishop they could apply to was at Red River.
They sent him a petition iu 1834, asking for
priests. Their request was without success,
so they renewed their petition in 1835, and
this time it seemed they were to be heard, for
the bishop of Juliopolis obtained, in 1836, a
passage for two priests in the canoes of 1837
to Oregon. But in the interval of the appointment of the missionaries, other reflections superseded the first ; and on remarks being made
that, as there were in that country Anglican,
Methodist and Presbyterian ministers, the difference of teachings might create dissentions
©        ©
among the Indians ; for this reason, and perhaps to give them time to proselyte, the grant
of passage was withdrawn. But having made
new efforts the bishop obtained the claimed
passage in the canoes of 1838, hence their arrival and their labors at Vancouver.
(published april 25th 1878.)
IfpHE Catholics of the Willamette valley"
cE were very anxious to see among them at
least one of the priests they had so earnestly
asked for. On the day appointed for going,
two large canoes from the valley, conducted by
two of the n o.<t respected citizens of the colony,
Mr. Stej hen Lucier and Mr. Peter Bel^que,
were ready at Vancouver for departure. The
\icar general, leaving to Father Demers the
charge of continuing the mission of Vancouver,
started on Thursday, Jan. 3rd, at three p. m.
The Willamette Fall,
a beautiful fall of 30 feet, across the river,
which requires a portage of canoes and baggage for a quarter of a mile, was passed early
on Friday ; and on Saturday at 10 a. m. the
campement de Sable, (Champoeg) was reached.
The four miles from thence to the log church
(for there was a church already) w:ere made
ou horseback. Aud as Mr. Lucier and Mr.
Beleque were neighbors, and on his way, the
vicar general stopped and -visited their families, who were so glad to be the first to s0e
the priest and see him in his true ecclesiastical
Robe or Soutane, which the two missionaries
continued to wear in traveling, at home, and
iu the town of Oregon City untill 1849. Catholic Church in Oregon.
That log church was built in 1836, as scon
as they had any hopes of having priests. It
was a building 70 feet by 30, built on a prairie
on the eastern side of the river, on the road to
Champoeg. The vicar general took possession of a part of the church, at the back of the
altar, measuring 12 by 30, which being afterwards divided by an alley of 6 feet, gave sufficient accommodation for two bed rooms on
one side and a kitchen and diniug room on the
other. Later on, in order to make room for
some orphans, the alley became the kitchen.
The afternoon of that day was spent in receiving visits, as all, especially the women and
the half-breed children were very anxious to
see the priest so loug announced and expected.
That day was indeed a day of joy and tender
emotions to all.
The following day, January 6th, being Sunday aud the Epiphany of our Lord the church
was blessed under the patronage of the great
apostle St. Paul, after which was celebrated
the first Mass ever said in the valley, in the
presence of all the Canadians, their wives and
children. It was surely a great day for them
all; for the Canadians who had not seen a priest
nor heard a Mass for 10, 20, 30, aud some for
nearly 40 years ; and for their wives who were
at last beholding one of those priests their husbands had so long ago spoken to them about.
Sweet and touching indeed were the sentimeuts
these Canadians experienced on seeing themselves at the foot of an altar, of the cross, and
before the face of a priest. These poeir people
were overjoyed, and the women were amazed
in beholdiug the priest at the altar in sacerdotal vestments and prayer. The holy Sacrifice of the immaculate Lamb of God was offered ; the pastoral letter of the bishop who
had heard their voice aud sent them priests was
read ; the commandments of God and of the
Church were published, as wrell as the rules to
be observed during the mission; and all terminated with reflections and advices which were
very touching on both sides. x\ll went home
happy and willing to obey the Church, even
in regard to separation from their wives until
their unions would be blessed. And so great
was their desire to have their wives and children instructed, and to lose nothing of the in
structions given, that they brought them from
home to live in tents around the church. The
men would not do less ; those living the nearest
came every day to hear Mass and passed the
whole day at the church, returning home in
time to attend to their business and prevent the
wasting of their crops by their hired aud slave
Iudians. Those who lived farthest away remained several days before returning home,
sleeping in the large hall not yet divided by an
alley. And let no one suppose that in that
season the people had to suffer from the inclemency of the weather; not at all; for the
weather was so extraordinary fine and mild,
and so similar to the month of May in Canada,
as to make the good Canadians say : uThe good
God has pity on us; it is for us that He has
sent this fine Weather."
The exercises commenced every day by
the celebration of Mass with an instruction,
after which followed the recitation of prayers
in French, the explanation of the Apostles'
creeel and the most important truths of religion,
intermixed with siuging of hymns, from Mass
till 12 a. in., and from 1 to 4 p. m. And as
the women did not all understand French, and
there were among them a variety of tongues,
some being of the Chinook, others of the Colville and Flathead tribes, the difficulty was o-
vercome by using different interpreters to convey to them the words of the priest. At dusk
took place the evening prayers, the reading of
pious books and singing of French hymns;
after which some boys were taught to read in
French and serve at Mass. There was at that
time in the valley a young man, 25 years of
age, born in Havre de Grace, France, called
Peter Stanislaus Jacquet. He left the sea
which he entered at the age of 11. That young
man became useful by knowing how to read
^,nd teaching the prayers, while the priest was
hearing the confessions of the men, who had
to come more than once, and those of the little
boys and girls, to accustom them to the holy
practice. The men had also to be examined
and re-affirmed in their prayers, but they generally were found to have retained them in a
surprising manner.
The instructions and teaching of prayers
lasted three weeks.    The fruits of the mission 30
Historical Sketches of the
were consoling; for many of thelndian women
and a number of grown up boys and girls, and
young children had learned to make the sign
of the e'ross, the offering of the heart to God,
the Lord's prayer, the Hail Mary, the Apostles'
Creed and some of the x\cts ; 25 Indian women
were baptized in excellent dispositions, and
their unions with their husbands blessed by
the Church; 47 other baptisms of children were
made, to which, if we add those two of an old
Indian man and of a young Indian girl, both
sick, who soon died, and were the first to be
buried in the new cemetery, we will have 74
baptisms and 25 marriages ; the 26th couple,
beiug a Canadian, married in the valley by
Rev. D. Leslie, without the certificate of the
death of his wife he had left in Canada, the
vicar general could not bless their union, but
ordered and obtained a separation, until such
time as her death would be ascertained.
Besides the altar fixed in due time, the vicar general had a commuuion rail made to
separate the sanctuary from the nave ; a cross
fixed on the gable of the church; an acre of
ground chosen, fenced and blessed for a graveyard, with a high cross in the ceutre; small
wooden crosses were also blessed for each
house. The six first verses of hymns which
had been learned, and were daily sting at. Mass
with some taste and delight by the men, women
and children, were earnestly recommended to
be sung at home. The two missionaries saw
whh great pleasure their advice put in practice.
In fine, taking the fourth and last week of his
mission to rest a little, the vicar general went
land took possession of a tract of ground of 640
acres for the mission, and went arouud the
whole establishment to visit the settlers, who
received him with the greatest demonstrations
of joy and thanks to Cod for the con sedations
of religiou they had received. Their joy, nevertheless, was greatly lessened iu not being allowed to keep among themselves, at least, one
of those they had called for. But they expected that this would not last long, and that
their gooel father, Dr. McLaughlin, would obtain a-change. Having given them five Sundays, the vicar general started on Monday,
Feb. 5th aud reached Vancouver'on Tuesday,
where he remained at work till March 14th.
The True Name of our River.
It is fit  to explain here why the name of
our river is called   Wallamette,  rather than
Walla met or Willamette, as many call it now.
The reason is obvious: it is because Wallamette is the true Indian name, whereas Wal-
lamet and Willamette are but corrupted and
fabricated ones of modern date. Proofs are
not wanting to show that from 1812 to 1842,
the principal persons in the country, either
American of Astor and Hunt's expedition, or
British, or Scotchmen, or French Canadians of
the North West and Hudson Bay Companies,
always spelled the name with an ua" in the
first syllable, and a "tte" in the last one, thus:
Wallamette. The syllable "mette" not to be
pronounced "met" as in the French word bouquet] but as "mette" in the word gazette. It was
thus spelled by the gentlemen of the H. B. Co.,
Dr. John McLaughlin, James Douglas and
Peter Ggden, when the Methodist, Presbyterian ministers, Catholic missionaries and many
other American citizens arrived here in 1834,
'^6, '38 and '^0. Hence the numerous disciples, who adopting the name of our river as
spelled by them, made a faithful use of it before 1840, and long after 1842, and even as
far down as 1848 ; aud one even to 1859, be-
.cause convinced of its being the genuine name;
and all that, notwithstanding the strong prevailing use of the spurious one of Willamette.
Witness the following instances :—
Rev. Jasou Lee, who arrived in the country
in 1834, signs, in 1844, with Dr. McLaughlin
«nd others, a document in which the word is
spelled Wallamette. David Leslie, W. H.
Wilson and George Gay, who came here in
1837, Sidney Smith in 1839, and A. F. Waller and L. H. Judson in 1840, say they are
living in the valley called Wallamette. Young
and Carmichael, addressing the Oregon temperance society, date their letter from Wallamette, Jan. 3, 1837. Rev. G. Hines who
came here in 1840, in his history of Oregon,
in 1859, on all occasions calls our river by the
name of Wallamette. Dr. E. White, who arrived here in 1836, when writing as sub-agent
of Indian affairs to the secretary of war in
1843, always dates his letters from the Wall- Catholic Church in Oregon.
amette valley. Josiah L. Parrish and A. F.
Waller, who arrived here iu 1840, as Methodist ministers, affirm that the name is an
Indiau one, to be spelled with an "a" in the
first syllable.
The Catholic missionaries ou their arrival
at Vancouver in 1838, received also the name
with its orthography from the same gentlemen,
and always used it in their corresponelences
at home and abroad, from 1839 to 1848, dat-
iug their letters from, or addressing them to
4 'St. Paul of Wallamette." So did the Sisters
of Notre Dame, Belgium, from 1844 to 1853.
The gentlemen of the Hudson Bay Co. did
likewise in all their transactions and writings;
thus, their bills of supplies to the Catholic mission, from 1839 to 1847 were always headed :
"Catholic Mission of Wallamette, or Wallamette falls." Rev. Mr. Beaver, who was chaplain at Vancouver, from 1836 to 1838, having
returned to England, in a certain deposition
made in London in 1849, calls our river by
the name he had learned during his stay at
Vancouver, Wallamette.
(published may 2nd 1878.)
First Mission to Cowlitz in 1839.
THE first mission to Cowlitz was beguu by
the vicar general on March 17th, 1839,
and continued until the 1st of May following.
Arriving at the settlement on the evening of
March 16th, the vicar general wras accommodated by Mr. Simon Plamondon with a room
for his own use, and also an appartment 18 by
25 feet to be used as a chapel. Besides the
four farmers and their families forming the colony, there was a large number of servauts employed on the farms of the II. B. Co., some of
them having wives. The mission commenced
on Passion Sunday with the holy sacrifice of
the Mass, the publication of the law of God
and the precepts of the Church—ou which an
instruction was given. Mass was celebrated
every day at 6 a. m., during which an instruction was given.    The rest of the day was de
voted to teaching the catechism and hymns to
the women and children in French. In the
evening all assembled in the chapel where evening prayers, an instruction, and singing of
hymns preceded the hearing of confessions,
which continued long into the night. The In-
dians were instructed at slated intervals every
day. The ceremony of holy week made a deep
impression on all who attended, and the mission was fruitful in good results.
The news of the arrival of the missionary
at Cowlitz caused numerous delegations of Indians to come from remote distances in order
to hear and see the blackge>wn.    Among these
© ©
delegations was one led by chief Tsla-lahum,
whose tribe inhabited Whidby Island, Puget
Souud, 150 miles from the Cowlitz mission.
After a journey of two days in canoes to Fort
Nisqually, and ftn arduous march of three days
on foot, across streams and rivers, and by an
exceedingly rough trail, they reached Cowlitz
with bleeding feet, famished and broken down.
Their object was to see the blackgown and
hear him speak of the Great Spirit. As soon
as they were refreshed the missionary began
to speak to them of God, of the Incarnation
and Redemptiou. S But the great difficulty was i
to give them an idea of religion so plain and |
simple as to command their attention, and I
which they could retain in their minds and carry back with them to their tribe. In looking
for a plan the vicar general imagiued that by
representing on a square stick, the forty centuries before Christ by 40 marks; the thirty-
three years of our Lord by 33 points, followed
by a cross ; and the eighteen centuries and
thirty-nine years since, by 18 marks and 39
points, would pretty well answer his purpose,
in giving him a chance to show the beginning
©      © © ©
of the world, the creation, the fall of angels,
of Adam; the promise of a Savior, the time of
His birth, and His death upon the cross, as well
as the mission of the apostles. The plan was
a great success. After eight days explanation,
the chief and his companions became masters
of the subject; and, having learned to make
the sign of the cross and to siug one or two
hymns in the Chinook jargon, they started for
home well satisfied, with a square rule thus
marked, which they called Sahale stick, (Stick 32
Historical Sketches of the
from above.) That plan was afterwards changed from a rule to a large chart containing the
great epochs of the world, such as the Deluge,
the Tower of Babel, the ten commandments of
God, the twelve apostles, the seven sacraments
and precepts of the Church ; these being very
useful to enable the missionary to teach the
Indians and wmites. It was called "The Catholic Ladder."
The fruits of this long mission were very
consoling. The womeu, grown up boys and
girls had learned their prayers in part, and
some of the catechism ; and the younger children, some part of their prayers. The first
verse of several hymns, in French aneiChinook,
had been learned and were sung alternately by
the two choirs of men, womeu and children,
after the chant of the other verses by a solo.
By that means the offices on Sunday, at Mass
and Vespers, were rendered pretty solemn and
attractive. The number of baptisms were 27,
of which 20 were Indian children, and 7 were
adult women ; thus in adding the 7 made on
December^ast, we have 34 baptisms made in
Cowlitz, 7 marriages blessed, and a large number of Easter communions.
The winter season of 1838-9 had been so
exceptionally beautiful as to allow the farmers
to plow and sow without interruption. On
the 5th day of April the prairies were blooming with wild flowers and strawberries. On
the 7th the grass was six inches high. Au-
gustioe Rochon, the servant of the mission,
brought from Canada, had in no way remained
idle ; he had made 6,000 fence rails, squared
the timbers for a house and barn, which were
to be hauled on the mission land as soon as he
could get a yoke of oxen. The settlers of Cowlitz and their families were extremely pleased
to have the visit of Rev. M. Demers during
the mission of the vicar general there. This
visit was due to the following circumstances :
First Mission at Fort Nisqually.
About the 8th of April 1839, Rev. D. Leslie,
a Methodist minister, arrived at Cowlitz on his
way to Nisqually, where he inteuded to establish a missioQ among the Indians. This information at once prompted the vicar geueral
to despatch an Indian express to Fr. Demers
at Vancouver, asking him to proceed at once
to Nisqually in order to plant the true seed in
the hearts of the Indians there. Fr. Demers
left immediately and reached his destination
in six days, during which he was drenched
with a cold and continuous rain. He arrived
on April 21st, and was welcomed with great
politeness by Mr. Kitson, the commander of
the fort; a house was appropriated for the purpose of a chapel, and he at once entered upon
the object of his arduous journey. The Indians flocked from all sides to see the great
chief of the French and receive his instructions. An unforeseen incident, however, came
near preventing the mission begun under such
favorable auspices. The commandant was unwilling to allow a vast crowd of Indians to enter the fort, and ordered them to stay outside
of the palisades. One of the Indians, bolder
than the rest, dared to force an entry and was
pushed back rather roughly by Mr. Kitson,
hence the beginning of a riot, which might have
become fatal, if the appearance of the missionary had not appeased that untamed multitude.
Who shall not here admire the holy influence
of religion in the person of an humble priest
over an enraged multitude of Indians, on his
simple appearance among them? Such is the
iufluence of religion !
Father Demers was then obliged to go out of
the fort to teach the Indians, who, during the
whole time of the mission, gave him evidence
of their most perfect docility to his advice.
The first Mass was celebrated April 22nd, in
the presence of the commander and other persons of the fort. Among the throng there were
counted Indians of 22 different nations. All
the days of the man of God were devoted to his
dear neophytes. To celebrate the divine offices, teach the Christian prayers, administer
baptism to children, explain to the Indians the
dogmatic and moral truths.of religion, to hear
the confessions of the Canadians; such were
the occupations which absorbed the days and
part of the nights of the priest during the ten
days the mission lasted.
Monday, the 29th of April, was to the servant of God a day well calculated to indemnify
him plentifully for his long and painful journeys and missionary labors; for on that day,
mm       - Catholic Church in Oregon.
Mrs. Kitson the wife of the commander, after
having followed the instructions with much attention, aud practiced with fervor the exercises
of piety prescribeel to her, had the happiness to
open her eyes to the light, and receive the gift
of faith and the grace of baptism. The following day, the 30th, being the day fixed for
his departure, was a day of mourning for the
poor Indians of Nisquaily. Meu and women
flocked around him to entreat him to remain
among them and to show him the deep sorrow
which his too untimely parting caused them.
They went so far as to promise him perfect docility to his advice, and that, if poligamy was
an evil in the eyes of the Great Spirit, they
would forthwith conform themselves to his will.
Deeply touched by these admirable effects of
the grace of God, Father Demers encouraged
them to perseverance, and consoled them the
best he could for having to leave them, giving
them to understand that he parted with them
to obey God who was calling him elsewhere,
where sheep were to be brought to the fold ;
and that he would soon return to them aud prepare them for baptism. After having given
orders to build a chapel, aud said Mass outside of the fort, he parted with them, April
30th, blessing the Lord for the success of his
mission among the whites and Indians, aud
reached Cowlitz on Wednesday, May 1st, with
the conviction that his mission at Nisqually
had left a very feeble chance for a Methodist
mission there. Bro. Wilson, whom minister
Leslie had left orders with to build a house, on
a certain piece of laud, must have been despondent at beiug witness to all he had seen.
The fruits of this unexpected mission were
13 baptisms, 2 of which were adult women,
the rest being children, and 2 marriages. This
mission was made so short because Father Demers was bound to be at Vancouver to meet,
there the brigades of North and South, and
prepare himself for his mission to the upper
Columbia. The vicar general having com-
pleted his mission at Cowlitz anel given his
orders for the building of the priest's house,
prepareel to start for Vancouver.
(published may 9th 1878.)
Second Mission in the Willamette Valley.
T|HE two missionaries left Cowditz, Thursday, May 2ud, 1839, for Fort Vancouver,
Father Demers desiring to visit the Catholic
settlement at St. Paul's, which latter place the
two missionaries reached in safety by means of
a canoe propelled by the stalwart arms of four
Indians. Father Demers at once started on
horseback to visit all the settlers, but was
obliged to relinquish his journey and return a-
gain to Vancouver, in consequence of a violent
cold which he*caught on his former journey to
Nisqually. Whilst there he had the pleasure
of receiving two large cases filled with goods
or? o
intended for the mission, which had been forwarded from Canada, aud which were greatly
needed.    Among the gift's was a beautiful folio
o o
edition of the Bible, presented by Rev. Anthony
Parent, of the Quebec Seminary, and which
was greatly admired by all who saw it.
On arriving at St. Paul the vicar general
© ©
learned with much surprise that his first mission at St. Paul had caused quite a commotion
among the Methodist preachers, who had a
missionary station about 12 miles south of the
Catholic settlement. The cause of this excitement arose from the fact that the vicar general
had re-baptized and re-married a number of
persous who were officiated over by the Methodist ministers ; a number of Catholics withdrew also from the temperance society anel
prayer meetings of the Methodist brethren.
These acts aroused all the ire of the ministers
who deemiug themselves and their office ig-
© o
nored, determined to be revenged; but before
doing so they endeavored to make proselytes
among the Catholics through means of Rev.
Daniel Lee's preachiug and praying in some of
their houses. Rev. David Leslie next got up a
revival, but it was barren in auy fruits. As a
dernier resort a complaint was made to governor Douglas relative to the influence which
the Catholic missionaries were using in order to
keep the lambs of the flock out of the clutches
of the Wesleyan wolves.    The governor, how-
11 Historical Sketches of the
ever told his informant very curtly that "it was
none of his business." Thus, finding themselves foiled at every point, the preachers had
recourse to their usual weapon of slander and
falsehood. A copy of an infamous publication entitled Maria Monk, was circulated a-
mong the community ; this work pretended to
give "awful disclosures" concerning confess-
ion and convent life, and was filled with stale
slanders and exploded inventions. The circulation of this obcene book caused considerable
feeling among the Catholics, and the vicar gen-
eral found on his return an excited community
where all was peace at his former visit.
The vicar general's attention was at once
directed towards allaying the excitement by a
simple explanation of the vicious causes which
led the Methodist ministers to cast such a firebrand among a peaceable and happy community. He proved the work to be a tissue of
falsehoods and calumnies which had been refuted over the signatures of some of the most
respectable Protestants of Montreal where the
scene of its shameless relations was laid. The
Canadiau settlers naturally became indignant
at the vile artifice, hypocrisy and ingratitude
of the Methodist ministers whose lives they had
been the means of saving but a short month
before. It appears that an Indian had stolen
some wheat, and being discovered he was severely beaten at the Methodist mission ; his
tribe threatened to massacre the people at the
mission, which so alarmed Rev. David Leslie
that he hastened at once to the Canadians beg-
ging them to use their influence with the In-
dians to save them, which the Canadians did
most effectually. Finally, the Methodists discovering that their efforts to malign their Catholic neighbors were recoiling upon their own
heads, they quietly withdrew the vile book
which had caused so much trouble aud learned
afterwards to live iu amity with their neighbors.
The secoud mission given at St. Paul's, by
the vicar general lasted thirty days, and was
attended with great zeal by the surrounding
settlers, their wives aud children. The Catholic Ladder was found very useful in imparting instruction, as many of the neophytes did
not understand French sufficiently to be in-
strtic. ed in that language.   It was also exposed
in the church on Sundays and fully explaineel
to the congregation who listened with the most
respectful attention.
During the mission the vicar general had
© ©
the consolation of receiving into the fold of
Christ Mr. Montour, a former clerk of the
Hudson Bay Co., together with his wife and
children. This gentleman proved a most zealous convert, assisting with Hie greatest devotion at all the offices of the church on Sundays
and week days. On the Sunday within the
octave of Corpus Christi all the congregation
united in a grand procession iu honor of the
Blessed Sacrament; repositories were erected,
aud au avenue of trees planted through which
the large multitude passed in regular order.
Thus, this mission produced great spiritual results, and the vicar general left for Vancouver
on the 7th of June, well pleased with the earnest
piety of St. Paul's congragatiou.
(published may 16th 1878.)
Brigade of the North.    Mission of
Father Demers to Fort Colville in 1839.
fHE Hudson Bay Co's brigade of the Noi f.i
which was syled "c?es porteurs,T in consequence of the men being obliged to pack the
baggage on their backs for want of horses, arrived at Vancouver June 6th, 1839, and staried
June 22nd on its return. It consisted of a flotilla of nine barges mauned by fifty-seven meu
under the command of ediief factors Ogden and
Black. A passage was offered to one of the
missionaries with this brigade as far as Walla
Walla, and as the Indians at Fort Colville had
been told by the missionaries that one of them
would return agaiu for the purpose of instructing them in the faith. Father Demers was se-
lected for that duty, leaving to the vicar general the vast missionary field already open
along the waters of the Columbia, the Will-
amette, and Puget Sound.
Arriving at Walla Walla Father Demers
procured a guide expecting to make the trip to
Colville in six days ; in this, however, he was -
- . -'-
—I -*^r
Catholic Church in Oregon.
doomed to disappointment as his guide proved
treacherous and left him alone before half the
journey was accomplished, which necessitated
him to send back for another guiele, and thus
fourteen days were consumed on the journey.
After this delay and having surmounted many
difficulties, Father Demers arrived at Fort Colville, where he entered at once on a mission
which lasted for 33 days aud resulted very
beneficially to the employees of the H. B. Co.,
as well as to the numerous Indians gathered
around the fort. On his return trip he also
gave an 8 day mission at Okanagan and spent
two weeks at Walla Walla, to the great joy of
the assembled Indians and the few whites employed around the fort.
The Brigade of the South.
The brigade was composed of a large number of servants, trappers of the II. B. Co., returning from California with horses laden with
furs. It arrived at Vancouver, June 15th, and
was to return in 3 weeks, with horses packed
with provisions and goods for the trade of the
following year; Several of the servants had
wives and children to be baptized, iustructed
and married. The task became onerous on
the vicar general, as this was in addition to
the ordinary duty of teaching the ladies aud
children of the fort and others. He undertook
it heartily, saying Mass early and dividing his
time between them all. There were made 44
baptism-*, of which 13 were adults, and the
same number of marriages, amongst which
were those of Mr. Michael La framboise, the
conductor of the brigade, anel Mr. Joseph Mc-
Loughlin, son of Dr. McLoughlin. The brigade left July 13th, having to camp between 50
and 60 times, making 4 leagues a day, before
reaching their trapping places. In Southern
Oregou it haei to pass through a very warlike,
wicked aud treacherous race of Indians, waiting in ambuscade for the purpose of robbing
aud killing animals and men, on all occasions.
Hence the name of Les Coquins (the Rogues)
given to them, and La Rividre aux Coquins
(the Rogue river) given to the country by the
men of the brigade.
Second Mission to Cowlitz.
After attending to the spiritual wants of the
brigade of the North and South, the place to be
visited next was the Cowlitz, settlement The
vicar general reached that place on July 20 ;
and as he hael learned that a building had been
erected on the mission laud, he directed his
steps there, and took possession of a little 30
by 20 log house in which he celebrated Mass
the following day. It was roofed, and had an
addition for a kitchen at one end, but was
without floor, doors or windows. It took some
time before this could be done, or the joints of
the logs could be filled with mud, as the farmers
were busy at their harvest. He found there
also a barn 60 by 30 raised, roofed and ceiled,
ready to ree*ei ve the crop of 6 bushels of wheat
and 9 bushels of peas, sown last spring. A.
Rochon, the mission's servant had fenced in 24
acres of land and ploughed 15 others, to be
sown n.ext fall; so that the missionary of that
place was assured of his daily bread.
The log house was used as a chapel, under
the patronage of St. Francis Xavier, and a
lodging for the priest till 1842. The priest,
having his modest bed on the Gospel side of
the sanctuary, was more fortunate than the
young Samuel, w ho had his own in the vestibule, away from the sanctuary. The daily
teaching of the women and children began as
soou as the harvest was e>ver. The Catholic
Ladder was used here, for the first time, with
great profit toall,ou the week-days and on Sundays. A. Rochon, the mission's servant, had
run a great danger, some time after the departure e>f the vicar geueral, in the beginning
of May. He had bought a horse from an Indian and paid the price agreed upon ; the Indian, displeased with his bargain,came back to
have the horse again, which Rochon refused;
hence a strife, in which he was stabbed by the
Indian. Fortunately, there was present a half-
breed who, seizing the stick which Rochon had
thrown to the ground in order to have free use
of his hands, soon made the Indian run away.
This mission lasted 40 days.
m 36
Historical Sketches of the
(published may 23rd 1878.)
Second Mission to Nisqually.
THE first mission to Nisqually was made by
Father Demers, who celebrated the first
Mass in the fort on April 22, the day after he
arrived. His visit at such a time was forced
upon him by the establishment of a Methodist
mission there for the Indians. His mission
was a success; and, it now beiug the time to
go and consolidate the good already done there,
the vicar general left Cowlitz, reached Fort
Nisqually on August 30, 1839, aud began his
mission < f 12 days. The fort contained five
families, including that of Mr. Kitson, the commander and his servants, numbering in all 36
souls. The meu attended Mass at 5 a. m., and
had other exercises in the evening ; iheir commander giving them the example though not
a Catholic.
The forenoon was devoted to the womeu and
children of the fort, teaching them their prayers and explaining the catechism with the aid
of the Catholic Ladder. Some of the women
being able to speak only Nisqually, Chinook
jargon, aud Flathead, Mr. Kitson, who under-.-
stoe>d those languages, besieles French and English, was very useful as an interpreter. Some
of the women on the outside were allowed to
assist at the exercises, and at the end of the
.mission the womeu and children were able to
answer many questions on God, the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation and Redemption ; all had
learned te> sing the first verses of five French
hymns, and two in Chinook.
The afternoou was devoted to the teaching
of the Iudians, who were few in the beginning,
but continued to arrive in canoes every day,
uutil they numbered at least 300. Twice was
the vicar general obliged to all >w a number of
men and women to come and have the satisfaction of shaking hands, the mothers brought
their children on their backs for the same purpose. Atuoug other chiefs was Tsialakum, one
of the 12 who traveled from Whidby Island to
Cowlitz, in April last, in order to see the Black-
gown.    Instructions out of the fort were given,
first in a large tent and afterwards iu the open
air, under the shade of a tree. All were looking at a large Catholic Ladder, hung up ou a
pole, the points being shown with a long stick.
Among the remarks made by some of the chiefs
was that of Tsialakum : "That man Noah had
more children than the first man Adam." It
was a beautiful sight in the evening to look
from the inside gallery of the fort ou the Indian camp with its numerous bright fires, and
to listen to the harangues of the chiefs ou the:
subject which had been explained to them, and
the duty of their listening to the great chief of
the French. Some of them sbou learned to
make the sign of the cross in Chinook jargon,
anel to sing the first verses of two hymns in the
same dialee*t. Two Indian children only received baptism, because the parents were a-
fraiel of that medicine. There were 6 bapt-
tisms, aud two marriages were made. Mass
was celebrated ou the last Sunday outside of
the fort, in a repository made of matting, to
give the Indians an opportunity of witnessing
the great e'erenrony ; the men sitting on their
mats iu a semi-circle iu front of the altar, and
the women behind them. At Mass as well as
at vespers, the two choirs of men aud women
made the air resound with the chant of their
hymns. And so amazed were the Indians,
that after the service was over, they remained
a long time before leaving their places. Poor
Bro. Wilson Who, from a sailor boy had become a preacher, was looking at this Catholic
demonstration of the Iudians, with no small
Short Reunion of the two Missionaries.
Objection Raised to the Residence at thk
willamette,    parting of the missionaries
for Winter Quarters.
The vicar general left Nisqually on Thursday aud reached Cowlitz on Saturday, Sept.
14, blessed and planted a high cross and leaving this place four days later, arrived at Vancouver on the 20th, where he was joined, on
Oct. 1st, by Father Demers, returning from
his mission of 3 months and 10 days to the
upper Columbia.    The result of his missiou, Catholic Church in Oregon.
as to baptisms, was as follows : at Colville 37 ;
of whites 12, of Indians 25 : at Okanagan 19 ;
of whites 4, of Indians 15 : at Walla Walla 5 ;
of whites 2, of Indians 3 : ou the way 12 Indians were baptized, making the number of
baptisms 73—18 whites, and 55 Indians. The
joy of their reunion was increased by the good
news that governor Douglas had communi-
cated to the vicar general on his arrival there,
and which, on request, he later gave in writ
ing, viz
■Fort Vancouver, Oct. 9!h, 1839.
My dear Sir: I am directed to inform you
that the governor and committee have no further objection to t he establishment of a Roman
Catholic mission in the Willamette; and you
are therefore at liberty to take any means you
may consider necessary towards ttiepremotion
of that object. I remain, my dear Sir, Yours
very truly, James Douglas.
Very Rev. F. N. Blanchet, V. G.
It was on the representations the good Dr.
McLoughlin had made, on his late journey to
Loudon, that the objections to a residence were
raised. On hearing this fact, the two missionaries began to prepare themselves for departure. And being ready to start on Thursday
Oct. 10th, they bade adieu to their eudeared
congregation, to the ladies and gentlemen of
the fort, anel to governor Douglas, tendering
/ CD cD ' <D
him their warmest thanks for the generous hospitality they had received ; and, starting in different canoes, they went down the river and
landed at the mouth of the Willamette, where
they had supper together, after which they parted for their winter quarters ; Father Demers
for the Cowlitz, and the vicar general for the
Willamitte mission, which he reached early
on Saturday, while his dear confrere reached
his mission but on Sunday, owing to the heavy
load in his canoe, and the many dangerous
rapids on the river. On the day after his arrival he blessed the bell he had brought with
him, which weighed 50 fbs, had it set up 40
feet from the ground, and began to ring the
Angelas three times a day. The vicar general
who hael also brought one which weighed 80
lbs, had it blessed two days before Christmas,
and began to ring the Angelus three times a day,
in honor of the Incarnation, and glory of Mary
The hall of 30 by 12 feet, separated from
the altar by a par ition, needed the loose floor
to be fixed, the ceiling and some partitions had
to be made; a man undertook the job, which
he performed in three wreeks. Dr. John McLaughlin had arrived at Vancouver from Europe, by the express boat, on Oct. 18. His
visit to the Willamette settlement was warmly greeted by all as a father. Great was the
joy of the people of the two missions, in having a priest to remain with each of them.
Great also was the joy of all in having a high
midnight Mass, at Christmas, in both churches,
which were full to completion. This closes
the labors of the missionaries in 1839.
(published may 30th  1878.)
Sketch of the Cowlitz Mission,
by Rev. M. Demers.
Cowlitz, Feb. 5, 1840.
To Rev. F. C. Cazeault, Secretary, Quebec.
My dear Sir: Having returned on the 1st of
October from a mission I had given during the
summer, in the upper part of the Columbia,
I could not have the pleasure of staying very
long with the vicar general. I had to leave
him on the 10th of the same month to take
charge of the mission on the Cowlitz river,
which Rev. Blanchet had left in order to be at
Vancouver during the memth of September.
This separation did not take place without sorrow as we were leaving each other not to meet
again for four months; but was imposed upon
us by need and duty. Iu effect, the permission
of settling permanently in the Willamette had
been granted to the great advantage of its daily
increasing Catholic population. The Cowlitz
mission had not to be neglected either, and it
was assigned to me. Having left Vancouver
both on Thursday, October 10th, we took supper together at the mouth of the Willamette,
after which each one went his way in order to
be in his respective place e>n the following Sunday, which I coulel imt'do, notwithstanding
all the efforts of the men and the active part I
took in the labor. I had with me a half-breed
named J. B. Boucher and three Indians; my
canoe was large and cemtaiued a large quantity of luggage, among which was a bell weighing 50 pounds.    I wras therefore deprived of the
t 38
Historical Sketches of the
happiness of celebrating Mass, and my people
of hearing it. As soon as they heard I was coming, all flocked to meet me. They welcomed
me and curried my baggage to my residence.
After my installation I went with my pee>ple
to pay tribute to a cross erected near by.
The following day, Oct. 14th, a frame was
erected, the bell was blessed and placed in pev
sition, 40 feet above the ground. I considered
it an honor te> ring the first Angelus myself.
A consecrated bell Was heard for the first time
in the valley of the Cowlitz as well as in the
whole extent of this vast country. Imagine
a log house 30 by 20 feet, having a roof like a
wolf's head, no ceiling, and a floor levelled
with an axe, and you will have an idea of the
place where I spent the winter. It was also
my chapel. They have decided on building
aimther house and had even dressed the lumber during the preceding winter,.but instead
of that they determined to erect, with the
same kind of lumber, a chapel 60 feet long, and
to leave the same house to the priest until he
could get a better one. The Cowlitz mission
has still but eight families, including those of
the H. B. Co., altogether 46 persons, exclusive
of a few Indians who lived with the French,
and a greater or smaller number of employees
according to the need. Three days in the week
were set apart for the instruction of the Canadians' wives and children; the three others
were given to the Indians and to the study of
the Cowlitz language which is very difficult
for a beginner.
The young men and the Indians who live
with the French, being unable, on account of
their work, to attend during the day, I was
obliged to give them part of the nights. For
1£ or 2 hours I was kept busy teaching them
their prayers, reading the answers at Mass and
the way to serve it, also the Plain Chant.
At midnight Mass, on the festival of Christmas, they were able, by the means of repeated
exercises, to honor the birth of our Savior, by
uniting their voices to those e>f the augels in
the Gloria in exceUis. Soou after this they could
also help the priest in singing the Credo. The
young men of this mission, as well as all the
half-breeds in general, who were instructed at
Fort Vancouver, owe to the kind dispositions
and devoted cares of Dr. John MeLaughlin the
k i lowledge they have of the letter of their catechism befe>re the comiug of the missionaries; a
benefit which is surely not the least amongst
those the Canadians received at his hands, and
for which they owe him an eternal gratitude.
Experience has taught us not to rely too
much on the first demonstrations of the Indians nor on the first dispositions they manifest.
Those of the Cowlitz promised better success.
Everywhere we meet the same obstacles which
always retard the conversiem of the Indians,
namely: polygamy, their adherence to the customs of their.ancestors and, still more, to tam-
anwas, the name given to the medicines they
prepare for the sick. This tamanwas is generally transmitted in families, and even women
can pretend to the honor of making it. If any
one is sick they call in the medicine-man. No
danger of their asking him what he wants for
his trouble; they would be afraid of insulting
him. Whatever he asks is given him without
the least objection; otherwise they may fear
everything from that doctor, who will not fail
to take his revenge for a refusal by sending
some misfe)i*tune, or semie sickness, or even
death through his medicines to the one who
refused him, be he 50 leagues off. If any one
is dead, such a one killed him; then let him
ioe>k out on whom the least suspicion falls; his
life is in the greatest danger; the least they will
do to him will be to kill his horses, if they do
not kill himself; and to force him to give all
that he has, through fear of death. A serious
quarrel took place lately on that account.
Hand play is also very common among them,
they get excited and often end it with a quarrel. They add idolatry to infidelity. They
paint on a piece of wood a rough likeness ofa
human being and keep it very preciously.
They believe these charms have a superior power and strength, and they pray to them. When
they have exhausted all the resources of the
tamanwas, which often makes the evil worse,
and the sick man dies, they scarcely allow his
eyes to close before they are covered with a
pearl bandage; his nostrils are then filled up
wit h aikwa, a kind of shell they use for money;
he is clad in his best clothes and wrapped up
in a blanket; four | osts are driven into the
ground: in these posts hedes are bored, through
which sticks are passed, upon which is placed
the canoe destined to receive the corpse placed
in file with his ancestors. They place him face
downward with his head pointing toward the
mouth of the river. Not a handful of dust is
laid upon him; the canoe is covered with a
great number of mats and all is over. Then
they present their offerings to the dead. If he
was a chief or great warrior amongst his men,
they lay by his side his gun, his powder horn
and his bag: valuable objects, such as wooden
plates, axes, kettles, bows, arrows, skins &c,
are placed upon sticks around his canoe. Then
comes the tribute of tears which the spouses
pay to each other and to their children. Day
and night for a month or more, continuous
weeping, shouting and wailing may be heard
from a great distance. When the canoe gets
rotten and falls to the ground, the remains are Catholic Church in Oregon.
taken out, wrapped up in new blankets and
laid in a new canoe. They cling so much to
this kind e>f burials that during the winter, a
baptized child having died without my knejwl-
edge, I ewulei not induce them to take it out e>f
.the canoe in order to give it Christian burial.
This adhesion to burial ritesand tamanwas will
esause the missionaries to be more prudent in
baptizing. We have learned not to trust the
repeated promises they make te> us not to have
recourse to the tamanwas if the baptized child
gets sick. You may see that pre>gress has be?en
very sle>\v among them so far; their custe>nis
anel habits are so inveterate that it wTill take a
long time for religion and the fear and knowledge of God to unrex>t and destre>y them entirely. Polygamy is not as widely spread ne>w as
it used to be, but there is in both sexes a fearful imiooraiity. It is kept up and e>ften taught
by the whites who, by their scandalous ce>n-
diict and boundless debaucheries, destre>y the
impressions made by the truths e>f religion.
This year the mission will lend te> the Indians seed to sow in garden patches, especially
peas and potate>es. Perhaps they will then try
to come out e>f the miserable state in which
they are languishing, when they will see that,
with a little trouble and labor, they can ameliorate it. The peas and potate>es may make
them forget the berries anel the camas. Time
prevents me from giving a greater extent to
this sketch.   I am &e.,   M. Demers, priest.
(published june 6th 1878.)
Missionary Labors in 1840.    Missions to
Vancouver, Nisqually, Whidby Island,
Chinook Point, Bridges and Colville.
First Communion at St. Paul
EARIED with a separation of four long
mouths, Rev. M. Demers left Cowlitz
on Feb. 7th for St. Paul, which he reached on
the 17th, having had to brave wind aud rain,
cold aud snow, and spent three days in his
journey to Vancouver, where he stopped four
elays, and three other days on his way to St.
Paul. He remained but 8 days there, his presence being much needed in Vancouver, where
he arrived on the 25th, in order to oppose the
efforts minister Daniel Lee wras making anion
the Indians of the fort siuce Jauuary.
To deny the necessity of baptism is to deny
the existence of original sin ; and to deny the
existence of original sin is to deny the necessity e>f Redemption, and declare that religion
is a fable ; for such are the consequences following from the denial of origiual sin : and,
alas, such was nevertheless the horrible anel
damnable doctrine which the Methodist ministers of Willamette preached formerly to the
Canadians, saying : "A child is saved and is a
king in the kingdom of heaven without baptism ; adults are also saved if their hearts are
good," and strange to say, that minister who
had failed with his co-ministers to convert his
countrymen and the Canadians, did not leave
t he fort before giving, by aspersion, such a sham
baptism to Indians ignoring God, the Holy
Trinity, the Incarnation and Redemption, and
any prayers ; and who, in reaching the mission
at the Dalles, did the same with ignorant anel
polygamist Indians, giving to them bread and
Rev. M. Demers dividing his time between
the servants, women and children of the whites,
and the Indians, taught them all, and had but
little trouble to undeceive the latter, with the
help of the Catholic Ladder; and to bring them
bae*k from the erroneous road of Protestantism.
His mission lasted 36 days, after which he returned to Cowlitz on April 5th, having been
57 days absent.
The vicar general having prepared his letter
for the express leaving for Canada, left St.
Paul on March 16th, and reached Vancouver
on the same day, because of the strong current
of the high water; that was the quickest trip
ever made. One item of his report to Canada
was: from March 1839 to March 1840, were
made 204 baptisms, 35 marriages, 14 burials
and one abjuration at St. Paul. Of the baptisms, 73 at the Colville mission, 71 at Vancouver, 30 at Cowlitz, 19 at Nisqually and 11
at* St. Paul. The vicar general left St. Paul
on May 4th on a journey to Cowlitz, in order
to deliberate with Rev. M. Demers on the plan
of the summer campaign. At Vancouver he
had the pleasure to open two cases of books,
church ornaments and other effects, comin^
from France ; and on the 9th, the two missionaries were embracing each other ; but the con- Historical Sketches of the
solatiou of meeting together did not last long,
©     © ©"
by reason of the vicar general, being called a-
way by letter to visit some person that was sick,
nael to leave on the 14th for Nisqually, where
he found Mr. Kitson, the commander of the
fort, sick iu his bed. The exercises of the mission at this fe>rt commenced without delay, and
lasted from the 16th to the 27th of May : the
forenoon being devoted to the instruction of the
women and children of the Canadians, and the
rest of the day to the Indians outside of the fort.
Mrs. Kitson being kind enough, as usual, to act
as iutepreter. Mrs. Kitson having taught the
Indian womeu how to make for themselves,
robes of dressed deer skins, they appeared this
time, elressed like white women. All were regular at the instructions.    In visiting the lodges
© ©..
in the evening, the vicar general was pleased
to see the improvements made, in making the
sign of the etross, singing Chinook hymns aud
repeating what they had learned.
On May 18th, chief Sahiwamish arrived
with a band of his people. Oue of them being
sick with consumption, was prepared for baptism, when one day, his companious moved by
a superstitious fear, cai*ried him away; it took
two elays to overtake him and bring him back.
He was baptized at the age of 40, with a woman and 8 children, aud afterwards showed
much faith and resignation to the will of God.
The missionary expected to see, at the mission,
three other chiefs, called Tsialakum, Netham,
and Witshilatche; but the murder of a man by
a Soekwamish, having rendered traveling ou
that bay dangerous, they did not come. The
priest was much consoled on seeing the eagerness of the Iudians to come at the first bell, to
listen to the explanation of the Catholic Ladder
anel words of eternal life, uueler the shade of
a large tree.
The vicar general was preparing to close his
mission and return to Cowlitz, when on the
26th of May, a cauoe arrived containing six
Indians and one woman. They were chief
Tsialakum s men and his wife, sent by him, and
directed to bring the priest to see him and his
tribe, as he was sick and unable to come himself; and in proof thereof, his wife presented
"the vicar general with a skin sheath, which
was fouud to contaiu the square rule (Shale
stick) he had received on his visit to Cowlitz,
in April 1839. Thanking God for the door
opened to him, the vicar general started May
27th, in a cauoe of his own, lauded at different places on the bay, to address the words of
salvation to the Indians, and arrived the following, day, the Asceusion day, at Tsialakum
village,on the western shore of Whidby Island.
A battle had taken place on that very same day
between his tribe, the Skekwamish and the
Klalams of Port Townsend, in which the latter, who were the aggressors, lost two men, because, as Tsialakum said: "these men do not
know God, uor pray to Him." He had tried
to stop th'^ fight, but in vain. He had been
protected by'the cross he wore on his neck.
All this explained the strauge movement of the
Inelians, running on the shore and calling "Who
are you;" (qui vive) on seeing the two canoes
coasting along the islaud.
© ©
The priest, in his black gown, was received
with the greatest demonstration of joy by Tsialakum and his tribe, and bis baggage seized and
carried to the village on the high land, 50 feet
above the level of the bay. On Friday, May
29th, an altar was prepared in a repository
made with mats ; a rough board was the altar
table; the xestmeffts for Mass and the sacred
vessels were exposed ; a Oatheli® Ladder, six
feet by 15 inches, was attached to a mat and
hoisted high ou a pole, before the eyes of all.
fcT then began the instruction by making the
sign of the cross in Chinook jargon," says the
vicar general in his relation to the bishop of
Quebec, "and to my great astonishment, all
the assembly, men, women and children made
the same, pronouncing the words exactly as
practical and fervent Christians. I began to
sing the first verse of a hymn in Chinook jargon, to the air of * Tu vas remplir le vceii de ta
tendressel and, behejld, to my great wonder,
all continued to sing it to the end, with exact
precisiou. I began to sing another one to the
tune 4«7e mets ma confiance,' and to my increasing great astonishment, they all continued aud
sang it as well as the first erne. I admired the
success Tsialakum had had in teaching his people ; 1 blessed the Lord for the good dispositions of the poor Indian, and my joy was so
great that I shed tears of gratitude.
*i Catholic Church in Oregon.
"I was then dressed in surplice, with a stole,
and beginning the explanation of the Catholic
Ladder, when chief Witskalatche arrived with
a band of his tribe from another part of the
island, and came to shake hands; chief Netlam
soon came also with his bands. All the chiefs
sat in front, the rest behind and on the sides.
That was indeeet quite a large meeting. I then
began to dress for Mass, anel to explain the
Mass, the Great Prayer of Catholics. On the
whole assembly making the sign of the cross
and singing the aforesaid verses of the hymns,
cD        <D J
I became convinced that Netlam and Witska-
latche had not done less than Tsialakum with
their tribes. The Catholic Ladders distributed
at Nisqually, the preceding year, had been used
and explained, and the singing of hymns practiced. The two hymns were repeat eel alternately during the whole Mass. In admiration
of what I heard and saw, I thought I was in
heaven, rather than in an Indian couutry.
Tears of joy fell again from my eyes. An infinite satisfaction had been offered to God for
the sins of these poor people. There was hope.
Other bands of Iudians arrived after Mass,
and among them a Klalam who speike in favor
of peace. I continued my instruction till night,
and the day ended by prayer, rosary, and the
singing of hymns.    The body of the Klalam
cD       cD */ J
killed in the battle was found and buried by the
old men, for the young men would not touch a
corpse, fearing that it would shorten their life."
&  ®$
m   *?»«
(published june 13th 1878.)
N Saturday, May 30th, a large number of
Indians arrived from various parts of the
island, who showed themselves as attentive to
the instructions and as recollected at Mass, as
the day before. Desiring to visit the island,
I directeel my steps towards the north, passed
through   beautiful   prairies, forests of large
© r ©
trees, fields of potatoes, cultivated with no
other instrumeut than a carved stick, and arrived at the house of Netlam, situated ou the
eastern point of the island. It was a house
made of logs, 30 by 20 feet, ceiled, and furn
ished inside with a tapestry of mats, with an
opening iu the center to let the smoke out.
Netlam received me with great attention and
showed me the place to sit down on a pile of
folded mats. There was no polygamy in this
house, as generally practiced by other chiefs.
I regretted very much to have no time to baptize and bless this interesting couple. After
prayer and singing of hymns, I went to the
shore and found 15 lodges of Indians, who had
never seen the black,-gown. On seeing me they
cried out, and placing themselves in a line,
men, women and children, to the number of
over 150, they came to touch my hand, a ceremony of etiquette ; after which they made the
sign of the e*ross, and sang the Chinook jargon
hymns, which they had learned, as well as the
other tribes. I advised them to come to Mass
and to bring their children for baptism on the
following day. I left them full of joy in order
to return to my tent, where I found a large reunion of Indians, who listened attentively to
my instruction, which was protracted late in
the evening, notwithstanding a high wind, the
noise of the waves aud foliage.
On Sunday, May 31st, Netlam arrived early
with his baud e>f Skagits, their women and
children. Next appeared at the head of his
band, the Snohomish, accompanied by iuferior
chiefs, Witskalatche, surnamed Le Frangais,
(The Frenchman) clad in full French costume,
trow.-ers, shirt, vest, overcoat garnished with
porcupine quills, hat and e*ravat. Tsialakum
came also with his band of Sokwamish; all
placed themselves according to rank, to the
number of 400. The exercises of the preceding day were repeated with the same spirit
and zeal as on the previous day, before and
during holy Mass. My emotion was great at
the sight of such a multitude of Indians, so eager for the kingdom of heaven; and at the sing-
CD CD * o
iug, so pure aud so expressive by the many
voices, whose accent so natural, seemed to me
to surpass in beauty the harmony of the most
learned compositions of music masters ; it was
so great that I could not master it.
The holy Mass being over, the dinner of
salmon anel smoked deer I had ordered, wTas
served on mats before the chiefs; all were filled
with joy : then followed the great smoking of ,   .
Historical Sketches of the
the calumet of peace,and union between the
tribes. In the midst of the joyous and uoisy
chatting, was heard a great crying out; all
rose up and saw a heavy wooden cross 24 feet
long in the arms of numerous Indians who wei e
advancing towards the spot prepared for it ;
it being solemnly blessed and erected, and all
following the example of the blackgown, went
and prostrated themselves and venerated it.
Then followed the singing of hymns by this
joyous multitude of Indians rendering homage
to God and Jesus Christ for the first time. To
this moving spectacle succeeded another one,
the baptism of the children. The mothers of
the children were placed in two lines, leaving
an alley in the center for me to move, anel also
for the fathers and the children. 1 again explained the fall of man, the mystery of redemption, the medicine of baptism. I required
of all a profession of faith and an abjuration ;
and all were loudly answering: "Yes, we believe in God who created all things. Yes, we
believe iu Jesus Christ, who came to redeem us.
Yes, we believe He has made seven medicines
to make us good. Yes, we believe He has
maele but one road to go to heaveu. Yes, we
promise to keep aud follow the road of the
blackgown, which is the one Jesus Christ made.'
Yes, we reject all other roads lately made by
men. Yes, we renounce the devil, his thoughts,
words and deeds. Yes, we desire to know,
love-and serve the great Master of all things."
Then began the ceremony of solemn baptism, which lasted four hours, during which I
baptized 122 children.* The heat was very oppressive; the children were scared and crying,
and soon all retired.
Monday. June 1st, was spent iu the ordinary instructions and exercises. Tuesday, June
2nd, was fixed for my departure, to the great
sorrow of the poor luelians; I recommended
the chiefs to encourage their people to follow
the road oi the blackgown, aud urge the conclusion of peace before the leaving of the priest.
For that purpose \\ritsktdatjhe was deputeel to
the Skekwamish; and, in changing mv route for
Nisqually, 1 hail the happiness to contribute
to the reconciliation of two tribes. Having
given my great Catholic Ladder to Nrlhim, 1 e
offered to carry me to Nisqually iu his large
wooden canoe, which with 23 men, was still
light. My canoe was carried over to Netlam's
place, and I started on that day. In coasting-
along the island I saw forts 18 to 20 feet high,
raised bv the Indians to protect themselves a-
gainst the Yngoltah of Fraser River. I visited
several tribes, and in one village 125 came tei
touch my hand, aid were found able to make
the sign of the cross, and to sing the Chinook
hymns. I stopj ed all night at the village of
the Skekwamish, the Indians who had been
fighting. At this place about 140 came to touch
my hand, anel made the sign of the cross, and
sang the hymns equally as well as the other
tribes. Sehalapahan, their chief, who had visited . Father Demers at Cowlitz, had taught
them what he had learned himself. On Wednesday, June 3rd, I solemnly baptized 96 children ; after which took place the meeting for
the conclusion of peace, which lasted near y
four hours. My address was transmitted bv
.my interpreter to a third one, who delivered
it to the chiefs with an astonishing eloquence.
After many and long harangues, it was cou-
cludeel that the Skekwamish should pay two
guns io the Klalams for the two men killed.
Witskalatche toe>k the guns and carried them
to the Klalams, who, according to custom,
would give something in return.    Thus was
~ CD
peace concluded. I then started at 3 p. m.,
traveled all Thursday, anel reached Nisqually
on Friday, and femnd Mr. Kitson better, and
started at 2 p. m, for Cowditz, which T reached
on Saturday, June, 6th, at 10 p. rri The fruits
of the mission were : 9 baptisms at Nisqually,
218 at Whitby, 6 on the way, total 233.
fjt*fx '^^P'lf^.^P  (S^P Tfi®
(published june 20tm 1878.)
% Y'ANY of the Chinook tribe had already
Jjj'l seen the blackgown at Fort Vancouver,
and had their children baptized ; but they had
not yet been visited in their own lanel. The
time having arrived to visit them at home,
Rev. M. Demers left Cowlitz on May 19th,
and arrived at Astoria on the 21st. The lorn -
expected ship bringing from the East, Jasea
smr   wmsm Catholic Church in Oregon.
Lee, with a number of Methodist ministers,
their wives and several young ladies had just
crossed the bar; they were to be distributed all
over the couutry, in opposition to the Catholic
missionaries. On the following day, Rev. M.
Demers went on his mission, anel fixed his tent
among the Chinooks. He met there Daniel
Lee, the preacher, who, after a few days left
him a clear stage, being in a hurry, no doubt,
to visit the ship in order to have the first choice
for a wife among the young misses.    As to
cD J   • o
the Rev. M. Demers, with a little bell in one
hand, and a Catholic Ladder in the other, he
continued his mission for three weeks, instructing the adults, baptizing the children, and doing much good. He returned home muedi satisfied, after an absence of 26 days. He remained but two days with the vicar general,
having to leave on June loth for Vancouver,
in order to administer to the Brigades going
'  cD ™ cD
North and South, before leaving for the Colville mission.
After Rev. M. Demers hael left Cowlitz, the
vicar general remained in order to be present
at the erection of the new chapel, measuring
25 by 50 feet, which took place on June 17th;
and leaving on the 19th, he reached Vancouver on Sunday morning, remained four days
with his dear confrere, anel arrived at St. Paul
June 21st, after an absence of 54 days.
Rev. M. Demers, having giveu a mission of
ten days at Vancouver, started on June 29th,
with the Brigade of the Porteurs, commanded
by chief Factor Ogden ; he was at the Grandes
Dalles portage on July 5th. at Walla Walla on
the 10th, reached the Palouse river safely,
half way between Walla Walla aud Colville,
and arrived at last at the end of his far distaut
mission, having suffered much from the heat
of the sun and the want of water for himself
and his horses. Having completed his mission
at Colville he returned by way of Okanagan
and Walla Walla, reaching Vancouver on Oct.
2nd, just three months and six days after he
had left it. After a few days of rest, he started
for St. Paul, which he reached on Oct. 11th.
They both started together for Vancouver on
the 17th in order to give that place a mission
of fourteen days before going to their winter
quarte s ; after which the vicar general reached
the Willamette Oct. 31st, and Rev. M. Demers
reached Cowlitz on the same day, after an absence of four months and eighteen days from
home. At St. Paul 7 persons were found sufficiently prepareel to make their first communion in December. It was during his mission
at Colville that, hearing there was a priest
somewhere among the Indians of the Rocky
Mountains, he announced the fact to the vicar
general by a letter wdiich reached him on the
30th of August 1840.
Letter of Rt. Rev. Joseph Rosati,
Bishop of St. Louis, to the Rt. Rev.
Father Generale f i heSocietyof Jesus.
St, Louis, October 20th, 1839.
My Rt. Rev. Father.
Twenty-three years ago, two Indians of the
Iroquois mission, left their native country,
Canada, with twenty-two other warriors, and
went to settle in a country situated between
the Rocky Mountains and the Paeufic ocean.
That country is inhabited by infidel nations,
and especially by those the French call Tetes
Plates. They married there and were incorpe)-
rated into the Indian nation. As they were
well instructed in the Catholic religion, professed by the Iroquois—converted by the ancient Fathe%rs of your Society—they have continued to practice it as much as it was in their
power, and have taught it to their wives and
children. Their zeal went even further; becoming apostles, they have sown the first seeds
of Catholicity in the midst of the infidel nations among w horn they live. These precious
gems begin already to bring fe>rth fruit, for
they have caused to spring in the hearts of the
Indians the desire of having missionaries who
would teach them the divine law.
Eight eir nine years ago (about 1830), some
of the Flathead nation came to St. Louis. The
object of their journey was to ascertain if the
religion spoken of with so much praise by the
Iroquois warriors was iu reality such as represented, and above all, if the nations that have
white skin, (name they give to Europeans) had
adopted and practiceel it. Soon after their arrival in St. Louis, they fell sick, called for a
priest and earnestly asked by signs to be baptized. Their request was eagerly granted and
they received the holy baptism with great devotion; then holding the crucifix, they covered
it with affectionate kisses and expired.
Some years after (about 1832), the Flathead
nation sent again one of the Iroquois to Saint
Louis.   There he came with two of his chil- 44
Historical Sketches of the
dren, who were instructed and baptized by the
Fathers of the college. He asked missionaries
for his countrymen, and started with the hope
that one day the desire of the nation would be
accomplished; but ou his journey he was killed
by the infidel Indians of the Sioux nation.
At last, a third deputation of Indians arrived at St. Louis (1839) after a long voyage of
three months. It was cemiposed of two Christian Iroquois. These Indians who talk French
have edified us by their truly exemplary conduct, and interested us by their eiiseemrses.
The Fathers of the college have heard their
confessions, and to-day they approached the
holy table at my Mass in the cathedral chnreh.
Afterwards I administered them the sacrament
of Confirmation; and in an allocution delivered
after the ceremony, I rejoiced wi.h the in at
their happiness, and gave them the hope to
have soon a priest.
They will leave to-morrow for their home; a
priestwill follow them next Spring. Out e>f
the twenty-four Iroquois who formerly immigrated from Canada, four euily are still living.
Not content with planting the Faith in these
savage ceuintries, they also defended it against
the prejudices of the Protestant ministers.
When tuese pretended missionaries presented
themselves, our good Catholics refused to receive them. "These are not the piitsts we
have spoken of to you," they said to the Flat-
heads, "they are not the priests with long black
gowns, who have no wives, who say Mass, and
carry a crucifix with them," &c. For God's
sake, my Right Rev. Father, forsake not their
souis.    Accept, &e\, &c.
►p Joseph, Bishop of St. Louis.
The letter which we publish above from the
bishop of St. Louis, Mo., to the General of the
Jesuit Fathers, produced at once the result
anticipated. No sooner had these courageous
soldiers of the cross learned that there were
thousands of semis pining for the presence of
the true disciples of God, than they set to work
at once perfecting their plans so that the bread
of life might be broked to the Indiaus iu the
far west. Father Peter John De Smet was selected as the apostle to carry the cross to the
Flathead nation, and, after making a few necessary preparations, he set out in the spring of
1840 ou his long and arduous journey. Of the
trials which beset him on his irip he has left a
full account in his Sketches of the Western
M:ssious, w
hich are read, at. this distant
1th thy same iuterest that surrounded them
nearly forty years ago. His mission lasted
two months and resulted in the conversion of
600 Flatheads, and finding the Indians so well
disposed to receive the We>rd of Life, he returned to St. Louis for the purpose of securing
additional Fathers, as he saw the work before
them was one of great magnitude.
© ©
Father De Smet accompanied by two other
Jesuit Fathers, accordingly returned to the
Flathead Indians in 1841, bringing with them
many articles necessary for the establishment
of a permanent mission, and in a short time he
had tie holy satisfaetion e>f beheddiug the em-
«/ <
blem of Christianity arising over the little
church which marked the foundation of the
Mission of St. Mary's of the Rocky'Mountains*
The causes which led to the preseue*e of
Jesuit missionaries among the Indians of the-
Rocky Mountains are of such historie*al interest that we give them :—A large number < f
Canadians and Iroquois were employed by the
Companies trading among the Indians of the
Pacific Coast, as well as by the various expeditions by sea and by land. That of Capt. Hunt
which started in 1811, had great hardships to
endure, and loss of men to suffer by desertion,
in 1812. Of the number were 24 Iroquois
who joined the Flathead nation. They soon
married and had families. And as the Canadians were ihe first apostles among the Indians of the Pacific Coast, se> also were the 24
Iroquois among the Flatheads; speaking to
them of'their religion, chure*hes, priests, and
festivals. The Flatheads who were naturally
ge>od, were pleased. They sent a deputation
to St. Louis about 1830, in order to ascertain
about what the Iroquois related. Soon after
arriving they took sick, called for the priest,
were baptized, and expired kissing the e*rucifix.
The naliou sent another deputation of one Iroquois, in 1832 ; he arrived safely at St. Louis,
had his children baptized, and was returning
home with some hope of soon having priests
for his countrymen and adopted nation : but
he was killed bv the Sioux Indians. A third
deputation was sent iu 1839.calling for priests.
This time the deputation, consisting of two
Iroquois, returning in the fall, starred with the
fill hope that some priests would be sent on
the following year; for the Rt. Rev. Bishop Catholic Church in Oregon.
Rosati, having written to the Superior General
of the Jesuits at Rome, begging him earnestly
to take charge of that mission, had received a
favorable reply. Hence the appointment of
Father De Smet, who came in the Spring of
1840, passed two months among the Flatheads,'
baptized 350, and went   home, to return in
1841. Such is the e>rigin of the Flathead mission, and the apostleship of the Iroquois, who,
when the pretended missionaries, Jason Lee,'
and others, presented.themselves 10 the Flat-
heads in 1834, told them : ''These are not the
priests we have spoken to you about. They
are not the priests with long black gowns, who
have no wives, say Mass and carry a crucifix
with them." Rev. M. Demers had at last a
correspondence   with Father De Smet,   and
brought the following letter with him :
© ©
Letter of Rev. Father De Smet, S. J.,
to Very Rev. F. N. Blanchet, V. G.
Fork of Jefferson River, Aug. 10th 1840.*
Very Rev. Sir:—The present which I have the
honor to write will surprise your Reverence, as
coming from one unknown, but in quality of a
co-operator in the Vineyard of the Lord, and
in a so far remote country, it cannot be disagreeable te>vou. I wish I eemld have leisure1
to give your Reverence seime details of my mission to the Rocky Mountains, butMr. Bruette
who is so kind as te> carry my letter to Fort
Colville, just ready to start, gives me but a ft w
minutes to write. Your Reverence will their
learn that Mgr. Rosati, Bishop of jst. Louis, in
concept with my provincial, superior of,the
company in Missouri, anel in compliance with
the desires often manifested by the Teles Plates
and Pend d'Oreittes, and a great number of Nez
Perces, has sent me to the Rocky Mountains,
to visit these nations. I have found the twe>
first in the best desirable dispositions, well resolved to stand by the true children e»f Jesus
Christ. The few weeks I had the happiness
to pass among them, have been the happiest
of my life, and give me the firm heme, with
the grace of God, te> see se>on renewed in these
countries, so long forsaken, the fervor of the
first Christians. Since I am among them, I
give three, four or five instructions a day; they
cannot be tired; all come to my lodge at the
first ringing of the bell; they are anxious to lose
none of my we>rds relating to these instructions
on heavenly subjects; and, haei I the strength
to spe^ak to them, they would willingly listen
to me whole days and nights. I baptized about
200 of their little children, and expect to baptize, in a short time, 150 adults.
The object of my- mission was to visit a great
part.of the Territory of Oregon, and make reports to my Bishop and Superior, on the favorable places to open missions. But I have found
so many good dispositions among the Indians
of the plains, that I Inn e changed the plan of
my journey. I will return to St. Louis before
the winter, and will be back next spring with
a caravan of missionaries, who are all eady pre-
paring themselves. The Shoshones and ISerpents
(Snakes) desire to have an establishment; the
Tetes Plates and Pend dVOreilles have nothing
more at heart. The Nez Perces seemed to be
tired with these self-dubbed ministers afemmes,
and show a very great predilection for Catholic
priests. We will therefore have enough to occupy ourselves in these mountains without
extending any further into the land. I heipe,
nevertheless, that before the winter of 1841, I
will have the honor to pay a visit to your Reverence, in order to have the aid of your counsels, and work in concert to gain these poor
nations to Jesus Christ. Please present my
respects to Rev. M. Demers.
I have the honor to be, &c.
P. F. De Smet, S. J., Missioner.
(published june 27th 1878.)
Missionary Labors in 1841
at Vancouver, Falls of the Willamette,
Clackamas and Cascades.
fHE two missionaries had been separated
nearly four months and a half, since last
fall. The place of their reunion was Fort
Vancouver. Rev. M. Demers leaving Cowlitz
on March 3rd, reached Vancouver on the 6th,
anel began at that place a mission of 26 days,
with the usual daily exercises, in the morning,
afternoon and evening; and returned home on
April 3rd, the eve of Palm Sunday, after an
absence of 31 days.
There were three Indian tribes which hael
been gained to Methodism for over a year, viz:
those of the Clackamas, Willamette Falls and
Cascaeles. The two missionaries had been too
busy to visit them before. A door was opened
to them this year in the following manner: A
chief Of the Clackamas tribe, called Pohpoh,
went to St. Paul in February; he saw there
the orphan boys in charge of the Catholic mis- ;
Historical Sketches of the
sion, some Indian families and other persons,
numbering over 15. He assisted at the daily
exercises and explanation of the Catholic Ladder. He was a Methodist, and the Corypheus
of the sect, but on looking at the Ladder and
seeiug the crooked road of Protestautism made
by men in the 16th century, he at once abjured
Methodism, to embrace the straight road made
by Jesus Christ; and returning home he invited
the missionary to visit his tribe.
The vicar general was pleased with the invitation. He left St. Paul on March 11th, to
meet Father Demers at Vancouver, and he stopped on his way at the Wapato Lake, \vhich is
only a few miles below the# Clackamas river,
where the Indiaus of the Clae'kamas tribe were
assembled to dig the Wapato root, (a kind of
potatoe) on the right shore of the Willamette.
He was received by chief Poh poh. aud gave
the tribe a mission of 4 days, with the usual exercises and the explanation of the Catholic Ladder, &c. Mass was celebrated on S.mday 14th
a,nd following days.    That great celebration
was astonishing to them.    Although they had
© © j
been for two years under the teaching of Bro.
Perkins, till the fall of 1840, and under that
of Bro. Waller since then, they listened to the
missionary for four days with pleasure. The
fruits of the mission were the baptism of 11
children, and an adult in danger e>f death. It
was also the beginning of their abandonment
of Methodism. He reached Vancouver* on the
15th. On returning from thence, March 24th,
he gave them two other days, celebrated Mass
on the 25th, baptized an adult, the wife of chief
Wesamus in danger of death on the 26th, and
reached St. Paul on Saturday 27th, after an
absence of 17 days. Chief Poh poh returned
to St. Paul in April, in order to learn more,
and strengthen his faith. He returned after
8 days hence with a Ladder, a red flag, bearing a cross, to be hoisted on Sunday. He was
One of the items sent to Quebec, Canada,
was: "From March 1840 to March 1841, were
] erformed: baptisms 510 ; marriages 12 ; bur-
mis 11; communions 60 ; one abjuration at St.
Paul. Of the 510 baptisms 233 were made by
the vicar general at Nisqually and Whidbv Is-
laud; 164 by Father Demers at Chinook, Cow
litz and Colville missions: the rest, 113, at
Vancouver and St. Paul. Of the 510 baptisms,
about 410 were Indians, 100 whites, and 40
The Willamette Fall Indian village was ou
the west bank below the fall; its chief was Wesamus. The time to visit having arrived, the
vicar general left St. Paul, after the celebration of Easter, and arrived there on April 29th.
On his arrival, he made known to the chief
the object of his visit. The proud chief answered: "Begone! Away, away with you: we
don't want you." Such a rough reception did
not discourage the missionary. He soon learned that the chief had been very much eiffended
because the Clackamas tribe had been visited
before his own. On explanation he became
calmer, and, at last, seemed satisfied. Then
began a mission of 7 days of hard work ; the
missionary being obliged to run every day
after these lazy Indians, to bring them to his
tent, and assist at the several exercises. The
hedy Mass was celebrated" on the 3rd day, a
Sunday, and the following days. The sight, of
the altar, vestments, sacred vessels, and great
ceremonies were drawing their attention much
more than the cold, unavailable and lay service
of Bro. Waller. There seemed to be more attention given to the ringing of the bell, and the
mission exercises. The missionary had at last
the consolation to see the poor Indians make
the sign of the cross, say the offering of the
heart, name the 7 medicines (sacraments),
sing a short prayer before and after meals, and
also the Chinook hymns. 11 chilelren wrere
baptized, and 9 families out of 10 had been
rescued from Bro. Waller. On the 4th day of
the mission arrived Poh poh with some of his
people. He complained very much that when
his flag was hoisted em Sunday, Mr. Waller
pulled it down, to the great displeasure even of
those of his own sect. On another day there
came some Indians from Clatsop.    On seeing
| cD
the altar, ornaments and vestments, they said :
"Mr. Frost is far from showing us such things."
That same day an Indian reported that Keiin-
,w<>, chiei of the Indians below Vaneouver, said
to his people : "Follow the i.riest if- you like,
for myself. I am too tad, I an. unable to change.
1 will die the same. Catholic Church in Oregon.
(published july 4th 1878.)
Additional Incidents in 1840.
HHE following incidents showing the dispositions of the Indians are worthy of being
mentioned. A Snohomish chief came to Cowlitz in the fall, to see the priest aad tell him
that the timber for a house of prayer, recommended by the black-gown, had been prepared
and wras ready for erection. He came to have
a priest to direct the work. JiHe was much disappointed in being obliged to return home a-
lone. Harkely, a chief from Yakima, came
down to St. Paul in the fall, with his family
and some of his people. After three weeks of
instruction, he returned home with a pair of
beads, a cross, some pictures and a Catholic
Ladder, and used to explain it to his people on
Sundays. A chief from Okanagan sent word
to St. Paul, asking what to do ; that he was
ready to come down with his people next spring,
if so recommended. A Priest's Rapids emief,
on the Columbia, came down to St. Paul in the
fall, with his wife, three children and a brother-
in-law. He passed the winter there, got instructed, learned his prayers, anel was baptized
under the name of Joseph, with his family.
Father Demers gave a mission of nine, days to
the Okanagan Indians, ou returning from Colville. On November 20th, 1840, he blessed
and occupied a new house at Cowlitz. From
that date, the log chapel ceased to be his lodging place. It was made more decent by ceiling the sanctuary with mats and ornamenting
<D v ?")
the altar table with vases.
Various Missions in 1841.
From his mission at Willamette Falls, the
vicar general went, on May 6th, to the Clackamas tribe, which he had already visited in
March at the Wapato Lake. The usual exercises were continued at the ringing of the
bell for nine days. Bro. Waller came and
called him an intruder. His Evangelical Ladder was brought near the Catholic one; the Indians prouounCed themselves in favor of the
latter ; twelve lodges were gained. Being ob-
liged to return to St. Paul on the loth, Rev.
M. Demers, from Vancouver, came to replace
him. He continued the mission for two weeks,
giving some days to the Willamette tribe anel
the rest to that of the Clackamas. It was on
that occasion that Wesamus, the Corypheus
of Bro. Waller was gained over.
From the Clackamas, Rev. Father Demers
returned to Vancouver, to attend the Brigades
of the North and South, after which he went
home to teach catechism. And as the Colville
mission was being omitted this year, because
Father De Smet being expected to come down
that May, and it had been resolved that Rev.
M. Demers would go this year to the Souud,
he started on August 11th, went to Nisqually
and thence to the bay. He visited many tribes
besides those seen by the vicar general; he travelled from one nation to another, accompanied
by chief Tsialakum and many other great chiefs.
His traveling was a triumphal one, surrounded
sometimes by 600 and at other times by 3,000
Indians, who, hostile to each other, were now
peaceable in presence of the black-gown. He
often passed whole days in teaching, with a
Ladder 10 by 2\ feet, these poor Indians so
desirous of heavenly things, and continuing
late at night to sing, to pray and hear the harangues of the chiefs repeating what they had
learned. It was a beautiful and consoling spectacle to see tribes who had never seen the blackgown, able to bless themselves, sing and pray
around the Ladder, when the priest was giving
the hand to uew comers. From the bay he
passed to Fort Langley, ou the Fraser river.
There were new triumphs among the Cowit-
chans. There ended his mission, and ou September 24th, he was at home, having made
765 baptisms, and been 44 days absent.
In the beginning of June, (Commodore Wilkes
left Vancouver on a visit to the Willamette
valley, and took dinner with the vicar general
at his residence in St. Paul. He told him that
ou seeing a cross ou Whidby Island, he called
it the Cross Island. The vicar general having
promised Father Demers that he would visit
Cowditz during his absence, started Aug. 14th,
for that place. Ou returning, September 1st,
he gave a mission of 14 days at Vancouver. 48
Historical Sketches of the
It was on that occasion that commodore Wilkes
assisted, with several officers of his staff and
Dr. McLaughlin, at high Mass and vespers on
a Sunday. It was a solemn day. The following Sunday, though the commodore was absent,
the ceremony was not less solemn. A house
62 by 25 feet was raised in March, at St. Paul,
to serve as a hall for the people on Sunday and
a lodging for the priest.
The next mission to be made was that of the
Cascade tribe which had never been visited by
the black-gown. Tamakoon, its chief, had already been a convert since 1839, at the sight
and explanation of the Catholic Ladder. He
had met many times, the assaults and efforts
of the Methodist preachers, but all in vain; he
remained unmoved. He was glad to see leplete
arrive ou September 17th. His tribe numbered from 150 to 200 souls. The daily exercises of Mass, &c, began aud were continued for 10 days, and the poor Indiaus, in part,
began to sing, to bless themselves and to pray.
Tamakoon received a bell and a Ladder to be
used on Sunday. He was able to speak ou it
for several hours : 34 children were baptized.
From the Cascades the vicar general passed
to the Clackamas, on November 30th. That
was his third visit. It lasted 13 days with the
usual exercises. A high cross was blessed and
erected on October 2d.    Bro. Waller, hearing
' rD
that the Indians were willing to build a chapel,
came and made a noise ; all had left him save
a few. Eleven children were baptized ; in all
41, with 30 before. The vie*ar general left
them on OeUober 12th for St. Paul.
The vicar general left St. Paul for Cowlitz
on November 15tn. Meeting at Vancouver
Sir George Simpson, who desired to visit the
Canadian settlement, he returned home with
him. Sir George assisted at high Mass and
vespers on Suuday, aud seemed to have been
pleased with what he had seen there and at
Vancemver. I le became eonvinced at last of the
necessity of granting passage for new priests
and other assistants. Starting again the vicar
general reached Cowlitz on Dee*ember 1st: left-
it on the 7th; arrived at Vane'ouver on the 10th,
and at Clackamas village on the 18th ; went
to pray at the foot of the cross with the Indians
aud the chiefs ; left them well pleased.    As the
river was much swolleu by the heavy anel
unusual rains, he met great dangers at Rock
7 O CD
Island, above the falls. He being on shore to
lighten the canoe, the canoe capsized, and eight
persons were struggling in the water ; all were
i cDcD cD "
saved as by a miracle. The vicar general
reached home on December 23d ; but left for
Vancouver ou the 27th, to attend the fuueral
services of Mr. Kitson, who having come to
Vancouver in 1840, made his abjuration and
received holy communion and the other sacraments, had died happy. The vie*ar general
returned home on New Year's eve.
!> «•¥»'#»
(published july 11th  1878.)
Incidents in 1841.
EV. Father P. J. De Smet, S. J., returned
to the Rocky Mountains in the spring of
1H41, with the Rev. Fathers Mengarini and
Poiut, and founded St. Mary's mission among
the Flatheads. The Cowlitz settlement had
the happiness to possess the Blessed Sacrament in its little chapel from January 6th.
ffarkely, the Yakima chief, who visited St.
Paul last fall, arrived at Cowlitz on January
25th, wTith some Indians from Okanagan, and
a son of the Spokane chief, called La grosse
Tete, the Corypheus of Bro. Eells, ten in all.
They had come by the way of Nisqually, and
lieuce through the long portage. They had
been stripped of their blanketsand orderecl back
bytheChchalis, to which they refused to accede.
The son of La grosse Tete had left his home in
spite of his fai her to become a Catholic. They
came to get instructed. They went home via
Vaneouver aud the Columbia. The little chief
des Chaudidres (Colville) was an apostle a-
mong his people, with the Catholic Ladder in
his hands siwe the departure of the priest.
Missionary Labors in 1842.
The two missionaries met again this year,
at Vancouver, after a separation of 3| mouths.
Rev. M. Demers came first in three c'ays of
bael weather, and arrived on February 23rd. Catholic Church in Oregon.
He began a mission of 27 days, with the usual
forenoon, afternoon, anel evening exercises;
after which, leaving on Monday of Holy Week,
and experiencing three other days of very bad
weather, he reached home after an absence of
32 days.
The vicar general came later to meet his
dear companion, and arrived on Tuesday of
Passion Week, March 15th; and staring on
Thursday of the same week, and experiencing
bad weather also, he reached St. Paul on Saturday, the eve of Palm Sunday.
One of the items he sent to Quebec, Canada,
was: from March 1841 to March 1842, were
performed ; baptisms, 965 ; marriages, 12 ; burials, 21 ; communiems, 115. Of the 965 baptisms, 765 were made on Pnget Sound, all Indians, save 15 Whites at Fern Langley, 69 at
the Clackamas, Willamette Fall and Cascade
mission, 70 at Vancouver, 24 at the Cowlitz,
and 37 at St. Paul.
Having given the great festival of Easter and
three weeks of the Passover time to the faithful of St. Paul, the vicar general gave his first
outside missionary labors to his dear Iudians
of the Willamette Fall. Arriving there on A-
pril 20th, and notwithstanding the cold reception he received, he began his missionary labors
which he coutinued for 15 days. The poor Indians were very indolent; the riuging of the
bell drew a few of them in the beginning; they
had forgotten all they had learned before.
Havin<>- no time to go and visit the Clackamas
Indians, on the present occasion, they were invited to come to the Fall; several of them
came. By persevering in his efforts he began
to o-ain their confidence, and they became more
attentive. He made 6 baptisms, including 2
adults in danger of death. The reason of their
apathy was the distraction in which they were
involved by the immigration of the whiles ; 15
families of them had crossed the Clackamas
river during his mission at that place, in Nov.
1841. And, as the Willamette Fall was an
attractive place, many of them began to settle
there, lleuce the danger for the poor Indians.
The fruits of the mission were uot so consoling as formerly.
On May 4th, the vicar general went from
the Willamette Fall to Vancouver to receive 8
cases which had arrived from London ; and
from thence returned to St. Paul for the feasts
of Pentecost, and Corpus Christi, falling on
May 26th. Dr. McLaughlin paying a visit to
St. Paul at that time, assisted at high Mass
and procession, with much edification; having
visited the whole colony, he encouraged the settlers to continue and went home much satisfied.
Arrival of Father De Smet, S.J.
Rev. M. Demers returned to Vancouver in
the middle of May, to attend to the wants of
that mission and those of the Brigades of the
North and South. He had been there but a /
few weeks, when Father De Smet arrived at
Vaucouver from Colville, which he reached in
the early Spring. In crossing a' rapid below
Colville his boat was capsized, but he reached
the shore in safety, suffering only from the loss
of his baggage.    Rev. M. Demers brought him
cDcD     cD C?
to St. Paul; he spent 8 days with the vicar
general, sung high Mass on Sunday, addressed
words of exhortation to the congregation, and
expressed himself much pleased with the solemnity of the. Mass and vespers services, especially with the singing. Of the Catholic
Ladder he said: "That plan will be adopted by
the missions of the whole world." Here he
returned to Vancouver with Father Demers ;
the vicar general soon rejoined them to deliberate on the interests of the great mission of the
Pacific Coast.
The missions to be attended this year (1842)
were those of Chinook Point, Vancouver, Cascades, Clackamas, Willamette Fall, aud the
Souud, whose tribes were so famished for heavenly things: witness their running after the
black-gown iu 1840 and 1841, and their repeated calls for a priest ever since. The name
of another mission was presented to the eioun-
eil, that of New Caledonia, now British Columbia, which was threatened to be visited by i
the Presbyterians of Walla Walla.
All things being considered, the resolve was
that the New Caledonia mission should be attended before all, and that Father De Smet
should start for St. Louis and Belgium to bring
temporal and personal efficient means. Rev.
M. Demers accepting heartily the long and
hard mission of New Caledonia, prepared him-1 50
Historical Sketches of the
self for the journey and to winter there. The
two missionaries started with the Brigades of
the JPorteurs on June 29th, and separateelfrom
each other at Walla Walla. The vicar general left alone to administer to the wants of the
extensive mission, returned soon to St. Paul, to
teach catechism for the first commuuion, which
he put off after the harvest for new instruction.
The Cowlitz mission which had lost its beloved missionary, needed to be consoled. The
vicar general left St. Paul ou August  12th,
CZj C^ /
passed a few days at Vancouver and reached
Cowlitz on the 18th. He remained there 20
days, teaching the white women and ehildren
for the first communion. The Indiaiis had
also a share of his time. He baptized ten of
their children-, In the midst of his occupation
he heard that a woman was sick at Nisqually,
and had but a few days to live. Leaving at 4
p. m. on Friday with a guide, and (raveling a
distance of 25 leagues, he reached the house of
the poor sick woman ou the following day at
6 p. m.: gave her the consolations of religion,
baptized her child, passed the night there, and
went to the fort to hear the confessions of the
men, and starting on Sunday at 4 p. ra. he
reached Cowlitz on Monday at 6 p. m. The
church raised on June 17th 1840, was not yet
fiuished for want of lumber.
On leaving Cowlitz, Sept. 6th, and reaching
St. Paul ou the 10th, after an abseneie of 30
days, he was accompanied by the great Suoho-
mish chief Sehalapahen, who had fought the
Klalams in 1840, and came out victorious,
said he, by virtue of his beads and Catholic
Ladder. He had come to Cowlitz twice last
spring, and had accompanieel Father Demers to
Vancouver in May, expecting he would bring
him to the Bay, and when he saw him going
elsewhere, and was obliged to return home a-
lone, he weut away with a stricken heart. It
was the third time he had come to be instructed and baptized. He was much pleased to see
the churches and services on Sunday iu Vancouver and St. Paul. On arriving there, the
vicar general recommeuced the catechism for
the first commuuion.
The 17th of September was a day of great
rejoicing for the vicar general in receiving and
embracing his dear uew coufreres, Revs. A.
Langlois and J. B. Z. Bohluc, arriving from
cD ' ™
Canada. Thev had been over a year on their
journey : for having left Boston on Aug. 10th,
doubled Cape Horn ou Dec. 4th, and touched
at Valparaiso, Gambier Islands, Tahiti and
Honolulu, they crossed the Columbia river bar
on Sept. 12th. When the bishop of Quebec
was refused a passage in the canoes of the
Hudson Bay Company for other priests for
Oregon, he sent them by sea. Sir Geo. Simpson avowed to the vicar general iu 1841, that
Mr. Beaver, the ex-chaplain, was the cause of
the refusal.    The following Sunday,  a high
© j > ©
Mass was celebrated with deacon and sub-
deacon, for ihc first time in Oregon, and followed by the Te Deum. On Sunday Sept. 30th,
took place, with great solemnity, the first communion of those prepared.
The faithful at Vaucover were exmiplainiug
of not being well attended ; time was wanting
cD 7 PIP
to the missionaries. Now that their number
was increased, they would have a better share.
Therefore the vicar general leaving St Paul
in charge of Father Bolduc, started with Fr.
Langlois and reached the mission on Oct. *Ith.
The instruction of the ladies of the fort was
given to Fr. Langlois ; the vicar general kept
for himself that of the women and children of
the village. After three weeks'of daily teach-
ing, seven ladies of the fort and two women of
the village were found able to make their first
communion,which te>ok place on Sunday Oct.
30th. for the first time in Vancouver, wilh great
solemnity before a large congregation. This
being done, Father Langlois was sent to St.
Paul, and Father Bolduc to Cowlitz, to attend
those missions ; the vicar general remaining
at Fort Vancouver. Chief Sehalapahen wdio
attended the mission at Vancouver, followed
Father Bolduc, who completed his instruction
aud baptized him.
BSS @B§» '«*#
(published july 18th  1878.)
Jp HE Cascades a nd Clackamas tribes had not
%    been visited for over one year.    They had
been exposed all the while to the seduction of MM
Catholic Church in Oregon.
the preachers telling them: "The priests have
forsaken you." They did not need 12 months
to forget what they had learned in a few weeks.
Nevertheless, their visiting the black-gown
from time to time was a proof of their loving
him still. As to the Clackamas, it was impossible to pay them a visit. The Cascade Indians had a better chance, as their moving
yearly, in October, on the left shore of the Columbia', nearly opposite Vancouver, brought
them near to the priest. Therefore the vicar
geueral, dividing his time between the women
~ ' CD
of the village and those Indians,, gave the former the forenoon, and the latter,the afternoon
for several weeks. This met with many difficulties, such as the crossing of the river, the
division of the tribe into two camps, afar from
each other, and the ice of the upper Cedumbia
covering the river. Nevertheless he had the
consolation of making 15 baptisms. Another
great consolation he met on Nov. 18th, was
that of receiving the profession of faith of
governor McLaughlin to the Catholic faith, as
relateel elsewhere. He maele his first communion at midnight high Mass, at the head of 38
communicants. The office had never been so
solemn as to chant, music and decoration, as on
that night. The number of first communions
made in the Fall was : 13 at Vancouver, 7 at
St. Paul aud 4 at Cowlitz.    Thus ended 1842.
Missionary Labors in 1843.
After a residence of three months and a half,
the vicar general left Vancouver for St. Paul
on Jan. 18th, 1S43. When on his way he
stopped to get a paddle, he also baptized a dying child. Father Langlois, availing himself
of the presence of the vie;ar general, started on
Jan. 30th for Cowlitz, to see his traveling companion. He was three weeks on his journey.
On returning he met a heavy rain, and the
high flood of Feb. 13th, which exposed him to
threat -suffering anel dangers.
Chief Factor Douglas, being on his
found Victoria, on the south end of Vancouver
Island, started with an expedition of 22 men,
and invited Father Bolduc to accompany him.
Having the consent of the vicar general he left
Cowlitz on March 7th, with the expedition for
Niscjually, wdiere the steamer Beaver was wait
ing. Leaving on the 13th, she reached her
destination on the 14th, where Father Bolduc
met a large number of Indians. On Sunday
the 19th, he celebrated Mass in a repository,
before ihe men aud over 1200 Indians, and
baptized 102 children. And giving up his design of going farther north, he bought a large
© ©        © o o
canoe, crossed the bay in twro days, reached
Whidby on the 25th, and fixed his tent near
the cross erected in 1840. The Skagits and
other tribes received him with open arms.
They built him a house 28 by 25 feet. He
taught them during 8 days, baptized 173 children, and leaving on April 3rd, he got home
on the 6th, after an absence of 31 days. In
sending his report he begged to be allowed to
go and found that mission.
The vicar general left St. Paul for Vancouver ou March 13th, and bought a lot for #225,
at Willamette Fall to build a chapel for the
Indians. One of the items sent to Canada,
was: from March 1842 to March 1843, were
made 688 baptisms, 28 marriages, 26 burials.
Of 688 baptisms, 447 were made in New Caledonia, 98 at St. Paul, 86 at Vancouver, and
57 at Cowlitz. By a recapitulation from 1838,
were made. 2,666 baptisms, 148 marriages, 86
burials. The vicar general left Vancouver for
St. Paul during Passion week and returned on
April 18th, the eve of Palm Sunday.
Rev. Fr. Demers was not expected to have
any chance to come back before the return of
the Brigade of. the North. It was therefore
with the greatest surprise that on entering his
room, on Holy Thursday evening, April 13th,
the vicar geueral met him there.    Sweet and
moving was the embrace after a separation of
nearly nine months and a half.    Leaving Vancouver June 29th, 1842, he reached Ft. Thomp-.
son Aug. 10th* Fort Alexander, on the Fraser
River, Aug. 23rd, Fort Stuart, on Stuart Lake,
300 leagues from Vancouver, the residence of
Chief Factor Ogden, the commander of the;
Brigade, on Sept. 16th.    He celebrated a high
Mass there on the 18th.    Returning home, he
reached Fort Alexander, September 24th, had
a chapel built by the Indians, celebrated Mass
iu it Dec. 4th, and took his lodging in it on
Jan. 3rd, 1843.    He learned two languages,
translated   the   hymns and prayers   in their 52
Historical Sketches of the
idioms, and taught them to the Indians : and
left them able to pray, sing, and explain the
Catholic Ladder. Hard was their separation.
Availing himself of the invitation of Chief
Factor Ogden, he started with him on horse
back, iu three or four feet of snow, on Feb.
21st, from Fort Alexander; reached Fort
Thompson March 1st, passed 13 days at O-
kanagan, starving, and waiting for a boat;
came hence on horseback along the Columbia
to Snake River ; hence by boat to Walla Walla
and Vancouver, 44 days from Fort Thompson.
In going aud coming he had encountered many
trials, dangers and fatigues, sometimes extreme. The vicar general preached on Good
Friday, and Father Demers ou Easter Sunday,
April 16th.
Father Bolduc, arriving from Cowlitz on
7 cD
April 19th, left for St. Paul with Fr. Demers,
who preached there on Sunday, the 23rd, and
returning to Vancouver, they both started for
Cowlitz on April 27th, to prepare themselves
for the mission of Whidby. On May 10th,
they were on their way to Nisqually with 2 men
and 11 horses, 7 of them with packages ; they
reached Whidby on May 25th, 1843.
Father Langlois being put in charge of Cowlitz, Vancouver, Cascades, Willamette Fall,
and Clackamas Indians ; left St. Paul May
17th, for his post. He succeeded to finish his
church erected in Cowlitz in 1840 ; and began
to celebrate Mass in it on Pentecost Sutnlav,
June 4th, 1843. He visited several times the
Indians of the mountains, living on the route
to Nisqually. From Cowlitz he came to Vancouver in the beginning of June to attend the
Brigades of the North and South. He went to
theCase'ades in thebegiuniugof July, and gave
a mission of 8 days to the Indians of that place.
Passing hence to the Willamette Fall and the
Clackamas tribes, he spent several weeks a-
mong them. The plat surveyed in Dec. 1842,
at the Fall had been called Oregon City; it was
growing rapidly, to no benefit to the Clackamas
and Willamette Fall Indians. Hence the little
success of Father Langlois, who consoled himself by the hope of the conversion of Walter
Pomeroy, a pioneer carpenter, who built the
cathedral of Oregon City in LS45.
On reaching the Clackamas Indian village.
Father Langlois found that the cross erected in
1841 had disappeared.    It had been cut down
by order of the Methodist preacher Waller, to
the great sorrow of the  Indians.    Yes,  the
cross which shows the excess of the love of the.
Son of God for man—the cross by which Jesus
Christ, our Blessed Redeemer, redeemed the
world—the cross made known from those of
the two thieves by a miraede—the cross shown
to Constantine, in the sky, with the words: ^Jn
hoc signo vinces"—the cross which converted
the whole world from paganism, and which is
a terror to the devils—the cross, whose sign
shall appear ou the last day ; that cross is a
scandal to the Methodist minister Waller; he
has it in horror, as the devils, he cannot bear
the sight of it; he ordered it to be cut down,
and pretended to teach the poor Indians Christ
crucified, without showing them a cross ! ! !—
Great God ! What subversion of ideas and
judgment in the sect! What destruction of
saving doctrine! What turning upside down
of common good sense and true religion rather
unfortunately too well typified by the turning
upside down of a table adorning the short belfry, (short faith) of the Methodist emurehes !
The vicar general in going to St. Paul to
take the plae^e of Father Langlois, taught catechism from May 1st to July 21st, on which day
18 persons made their first communion. Extremely great was the surprise of the vicar
general when at the end of June, he saw Fr.
Demers arriving at St. Paul from Whidby,
which he had left with Father Bolduc after one
month of residence. That step had not been
taken rashly, but on the most weighty reasons,
which the viear general approved, anel which
it would be too long to explain here. Nevertheless Father Bolduc was ordered to go and
pass the summer with chief Tsialakum in order
to learn the idiom. But the rumors of war
induced him to return from Nisqually. The
plan of the. Whidby mission being postponed
till the arrival of Father De Smet, in its stead
was announced the opening of a school at St.
Paul in the fall. A second catechism class,
begun by the vicar general at St. Paul after
the harvest, was contiuued by Fr. Langlois,
who on October 19th, received 19 persons to
their first communions. Catholic Church in Oregon.
The news came in October that two other
Jesuit Fathers, De Vos and Hockens, sent from
St. Louis by Fr. De Smet, had arrived for the
Flathead and Coeur d'Alene missions; they
had come with a caravan of 700 souls. Dr.
McLaughlin, on a second visit to St. Paul, in
October, approached the holy table on a Sunday at the head of a number of the faithful.
On his return to Oregon City, the vicar general ae:companied him and chose a block for
the church. A few weeks after, Walter Pom-
roy, whose wife was Irish, came to St. Paul,
made his profession of faith, had his marriage
blessed, his children baptized, and returned
happy to the Twalatiu Plains.
The 17th of October was a day of great rejoicing at St. Paul, on account of the solemn
blessing of St. Joseph's college, after Mass
chanteel by the vicar general before a large
congregation. On that day, there entered as
boarders, 30 boys, sons of the farmers, save
one Indian boy, the son of a chief. Father
Langlois was the director ; Mr. King principal
and teacher of English, and Mr. Bilodeau, assistant, and teacher of French. Several rods
east of the college was seen, in way of erection,
abuilding 60 by 30 ft., for the Sisters expecteel
to arrive with Father De Smet. Faithful to
his promise of sending assistants, made in
1842, Sir George Simpson granted a passage
in the canoe of the Hudson Bay Company, to
five men and two women, who arrived with the
-Brigade on Nov. 28th. Father Demers, after
attendiug Cowlitz with Father Bolduc, left it
to come and remain in Vancouver, which he
left in the beginning of December to return to
Cowlitz, and the vicar general, leaving Father
Lan°dois in charge of St. Paul, reached Vancouver Dec. 21st, to give the f lithful of that
place the festivals of midnight Mass, Christmas and New Year. It was during this year
that Hon. Peter II. Burnett, (afterwards governor of California) while attending Mass on
Christmas eve, merely as a spectator, was so
moved by the solemnity of the service that he
became a most zealous convert to the Catholic
Church:    Thus ended 1813.
Erection of theOregon Mission into a
Vicariate Apostolic, December 1st, 1843.
-Whilst the missionaries of Oregon were do-
ing their best to promote the spiritual interest
of the mission confided to their care, the bishops of Quebec and Baltimore, looking further
and to a greater solid good, and acting in concert, earnestly recommended the Holy See to
erect their mission into a Vicariate Apostolic.
The Holy See acquiescing to their desires
erected said mission a Vicariate Apostolic by a
brief of Dec. 1st, 1843, and appointed the vicar general F. N. Blanchet its vicar apostolic
with the title of Philadelphia. The vicar general was far from expecting such a result so
soon, the notice of which reached him only on
November 4th, 1844, to his great surprise and
(published july 25th 1878.)
Missionary Labors in 1844.
3PN January 1844, at Vancouver, the vicar
[ general baptized 10 adults and blessed 8
marriages after one month of instruction. As
the te>wn called Oregon City in 1844 contained
60 houses and two Catholic families, and had
a good prospect of increasing, the vicar general
thought it was time to provide it with a missionary And as the right man was Father
Demers, who was at Cowlitz, the vicar general
left Vancouver on Feb. 19th, for that mission,
which he had not visited for a year and a half.
On his way he visited several Indian lodges
baptized two children, one of whom was very
sick, distributed biscuits to those who had been
baptized before, and thereby made them and
their parents happy. The vicar general and
Father Demers left Cowlitz on the 26th, and
arrived at Oregon City on the first of March,
after a painful journey of five days. Father
Demers on his arrival took possession of a
house, rented from Dr. Newell at $10 a month,
and the vicar general returned to Vancouver
on the following day. Father Demers had arrived at Oregon City, under strange circum-
<-J v   ' CD
I 54
Historical Sketches of the
: 1
stances ; Bro. Waller having lost all credit
among his countrymen had left for parts unknown. March 3rd, being Sunday, he held
services before and after noon, and celebrated
the first Mass ever said in the city; the chapel
was found too small for the occasion.
There was a fight at Oregon City on Monday, March 4th, between some Indians of the
Molalle river aud some Americans, iu which 1
Indian was killed and 2 Americans wounded.
They were both sent to Vancouver for treatment, and both died ; G. W. Le Breton, ou the
7th, aud the other on the 16th. Le Breton had
become a Catholic at St. Paul, in 1842, but
seeing he could not get the girl he expected,
he withdrew gradually from the Church and
apostatized. During his short sickness, the
vicar general visited him often, and used all his
zeal to bring him back to repentance, but. all
in vain ; he died a Protestant, and was buried
by chief Factor Douglas. The fight was an
unfortunate and disgraceful affair, brought on
by the iudiscretion of two white men.
The vicar general left Vancouver for Oregon
City and St. Paul ou March 28th. Having
settled some business for St.. Joseph's college,
and the mission claim, which was surveyed by
Jesse Applegate, and returning, reached Vancouver on April 3rd. April 5th being Good
Friday, chief Factor Douglas assisted at the
office and came down to the adoration of the
cross with governor McLaughlin. Ou returning to Cowlitz the vicar general baptized 7 Indian children on the Columbia and 3 on the
Cowlitz rivers ; and gathering those formerly
baptized, he gave them biscuits. He found
Father Bolduc in good health. Some business
having been attended to, he returned to Vancouver on the 24th. Leaving on the 27th for
St. Paul he sang high Mass at Oregon City on
Sunday the 28th, reaching St. Paul on the following Tuesday with Father Demers, who after
visiting together the mission saw and grist
mills and the Sisters' house in course of erection, returned home, while the vicar general remained till June 30th, on business. On May
13th.he blessed aud erected a high cross on the
spot chosen for the new church to be built iu
1846. On Sunday, June 9th, the procession Of
the Blessed Sacrament took place at St. Paul,
which was made very solemn by the college
pupils singing and performing figures before
the Blessed Sacrament, during the procession.
Father Demers went e>n June 10th to attend to
the ^Brigades in Vancouver, which the vicar
general reached on June 22ud after an absence
of 58 days.
On July 12th, the vicar general left Vancouver for Cowlifz and arrived on Sunday. 14th.
He said a low Mass. On his return he met,
in the Columbia river the English frigate La
Modeste, Capt. Baily. The captain being desirous of visiting the Willamette valley left
Vancouver with the vicar general, chief Factor
Douglas and several officers of his staff for St.
Paul. They all attended high Mass on Sunday, July 21st, and seemed to be very much
pleased to see such a service. They lodged at
the college, where there had been, on July 18th,
an examination of the pupils before a large assemblage, with great credit to the teachers and
scholars. Leaving on Monday on a tour to the
upper valley, Fr. Demers accompanied them.
Father Langlois left St. Paul to pay a visit to
the Jesuit Fathers of the Rocky Mountains on
July 28th. He returned on Sept. 6th, much
worn out by a journey of 42 days on horseback.
His feet were much swollen for a time. He
returned with Father Mengarini on hearing of
the arrival of b r. De Smet by sea. Fathers
Joset, Zerbinatti and Soelerini, three new Jesuits, were sent from St. Louis to the Rocky
Mountains this year.
Arrival of Father De Smet by Sea.
The long expected return of Rev. Father De
Smet came at Inst. Leaving Antwerp, Belgium, on January 9th, 1814, in a sailing vessel called L' Infatigable, he, met with great dangers at Cape Horn, touched at Valparaiso and
Callao, spent four days outside the Columbia
bar waiting for a pilot, passed the bar on July
31st, running straight east through the south
channel, something never attempted before
came to a pass of ip fathoms of water, and arrived at Astoria in the evening. All who saw
the course of the ship thought that she would
be wrecked, the captain and j asseugers fearing the same. Father De Smet arrived at Vancouver in a canoe on Sunday the 4th, at 6a. m.
fc&l Catholic Church in Oregon.
the ship arriving at 6. Father De Smet was
accompanieel by four new Fathers ; Rev. Fathers Ravalli, Ace'olti, Nobili and Vercruisse;
some lay brothers and six Sisters e>f Notre
Dame of Namur.
The news of his arrival reaching the vie*ar
general at St. Paul on the 10th, he was at Vancouver the next day, aud the religious caravan
reached St. Paul on the 17th, and took up their
quarters in the college. On Sunday the 18th,
the vicar general sang high Mass before an affluence of people anxious to see the Sisters anel
the new Fathers. On the following Thursday
was sung a Mass of thauksgiving.    Father De
eg CD CD
Smet took a land claim on Lake Ignatius, and
had in a few months a house built on the high
land near the lake, for the residene*eof his Fathers. Father De Smet started on Oct. 6th for
the Rocky Mountains ; from whence Father De
Vos arrived at St. Paul on the 13th, on horseback, bringing with him two lay brothers. The
Sisters entered iuto their convent on Oct. 19th,
and had a Mass celebrated in the interior chapel the next day; Fathers De Vos and Accolti
entered their new house called St. Ignatius.
On November 4th two Briefs arrived, dateel
Rome, Dec. 1st, 1843; one eree^ting the mission of Oregon into a Vicariate Apostolic, and
the other appointing the vicar general, F. N.
Blauchet, to the position, with the title of Philadelphia, which, on representation to Rome
from Quebec, was changed into that of Drasa,
on May 7th 1844. The addresses of his letters from Canada betraying his case, felicitations were tendered to the vicar general, but
he refused them for several days. H is consul-
tation being answered, it was useless to refuse,
so he gave his consent em the 8th, aud made a
resolution to go to Canada to receive his episcopal consecration from the archbishop of
Quebec, and hence to go anel visit Rome.
Father Demers was appointed vicar general
and administrator of the vicariate apostolic during the absence of the bishop elect, by letters
ofNov. 25th. A mandate was issued, and on
Dec. 5th 1814, the bishop elect crossed the bar
on board the bark Columbia, Capt. D mean, en
route for Cauada, via Euglaud. Thi Belgian
bark L'Infatigable, was detained by contrary
winds until the following day.
(published august 1st 1878.)
Fight at Oregon City, March 4th 1844.
Extract from the Missionary Report of the
Vicar General in 1844, on the Occasion.
HT0tXE arrived from Cowlitz to the Willa-
jyt mette fall on March 2nd, after a painful journey of 5 days. After having installed
the pastor of Oregon City into his house I returned to Vancouver. I soon learned what a
crowd assisted at the Mass and Vespers of the
first Sunday, March 3rd. The evil one did not
allow the missionary to enjoy long this fine
outset, for the following day human blood began to stroam in a fight in which an Indian iu-
stantly succumbed and two Americans were
wounded. Alas ! what a misfortune ! What
shall be the consequences ? And for what that
broil ? For false reports. One Klickatat Indian had been killed, he, his twTo wives and a
baptized child, on the upper Clackamas river.
Some one falsely accused the chief of the Mo-
lalle river Indians of the crime. A most certain report, even among the Indians, was that
the massae*re had been committed by 2 slaves
whom their master had maltreated too much,
and who had been seen returning to their land
with the booty of their master. Dr. White who
gave credit to the first report, had promised a
reward of $100 for the apprehension of said
ediief, living or dead. The chief of the Molalle
did not ignore what had happened. Conscious
of his innocence, but well armed, he had come
to the town accompanied by four men. He
crossed over to the Indian side.    During that
cD %
time there came the question to apprehend him.
Dr, McLaughlin's store clerk remarked: 'That
Indian is a good man, you should not molest
him : if you do, you will repent!'    No matter,
the Dr.'s secretary (Le Breton) and a mulatto
persisted and, on his return, asked him to surrender. He refuses; they insist; he defends!   n-
self; the mulatto is ordered to shoot, the shot.
starts, the Indian is wounded; he rushes on his
aggressors, who run away.     He  was ne
overtaking the secretary, who, turning, se
the muzzle of the pistol with his right        d. 56
HiSTORiejAL Sketches of the
the shot starts, enters and passes through his
arm ; the Indian staggers and falls, and the mulatto finishes him with the butt end of his gun.
The four other Indians begin to shoot with guns
and arrows; Americans come at the noise and
return fire, but without catching them, and
having two men wounded. The first, Le Bre-
ton, died in three days. There w7ere found
two balls in his elbow and the wad further.
The second died 12 days after from the shot of
an arrow in the left arm. The shaft had been
immediately drawn away, but the iron remained, which could not be extracted but aftei^death.
Both died in dreadful sufferings. It is probable that they were poisoned. The last wras
but a spectator; the greater part of the Americans did not know what was the matter.
Letter of Rev. M. Demers to the
Vicar General.
Oregon City, March 6th, 1844.
Very Rev. Sir:—I did not suffer myself to
be intimidated by the affray of the other day.
I heard the musket shots closely succeeding,
but I made light of them, till 1 saw men run-
ning backward aud forward in the streets, load-
ing their pistols and carbines. I asked what
it was? uAn Indian fight," was the auswer.
Le Breton has received two arrows, one in the
arm and the other in the thigh, I think. There
was such a confusion that 25 Indians, as brave
and determined as they were, could have killed
all the settlers. The Indians on the other side
say that the deceased had come to have a talk
with the whites, in order to disculpate himself
from the charge made against him. The mulatto, Winslow, on seeing him; said : "-'that is
the man who would kill him,'' and for whose
capture Dr. White had promised a reward e>f
$100, which Le Breton had gained. I saw
the poor Indian; he was still breathing. But,
0 barbarity ! the mulatto who said it was he
who pierced his hat with a bullet, did pierce
him after he was dead : and, in the morning,
his head was found split and entirely separated
above the forehead, aud the braius still clung to
the axe which had been the instrument of such
savage cruelty. Horrendum est! Iu another
letter of March 7th, to the same, Fr. Demers
adds: '"The settlers seem to acknowledge they
have been too quick in this unfortunate affair,
but the unlucky deed is over ; it is a real murder, based upon the extremely rash aud inconsiderate conduct, and the unjustifiable action
of poor Le Breton who will pay dearly for his
apostasy and crime."
The merit and glory of an historian is to be a
true and faithful narrator of facts. If he fails
in this, his veracity will be doubted in the most
important points. This being so, what shall
be thought of the History of Oregon by W. H.
Gray, when all will learn how shamefully he
has distorted and falsified the facts concerning
the fight of March 4th. For it is false that the
Indians of the vicinity of Oregon City made an
attack on the town. It was by no means an
attae-k ; not one of the Clackamas, nor of the
Willamette fall, but five of the Molalles only
took part in the fight It is false that the Indians commenced the fight. It is false that the
e'hief was placed under guard and was killed
when at! empling to escape. It is false that the
Indians made an attempt to destroy the people
and town at Willamette fall. It is false that
there was any neeel to stir up the w hole country, to organize for defense, as all the Indian
tribes were never so peaceable as they were
then, lowing no reason to molest any one, as
their fisheries, hunting places and camas prairies had not yet been taken away from them.
It is false that the Company had any thing to
fear from the Indians; if the fort was repaired,
bastions built, and all other protective and defensive measures were completed, it was to defend itself against another kind of savageuess.
(published august 8th 1878.)
Missionary Labors in 1845 and 1846.
:|||HEN the bislmp elect left for Canada in
jyf   December 1844. the missionary stations
were attended as follows: Cowlitz by Rev. A.
Langlois, Fort Vancouver by Father Nobili
Oregon City by Fr* Accolti. St. Paul by vicar
general Demers, St. Joseph's college by Father Bolduc, and the Sisters by Father De Vos. ^_
Catholic Church in Gke®on!
According to the best calculation,,the Indian
population at that time numbered 110,000, of
which 6,000 were Christians ; about half of
them being at the Rocky Mountains aud the
remainder in the lower part of Oregon. The
white Catholic population was about 1,000, of
which 600 were in the Willamette valley, 100
at Vancouver, 100 at Cowlitz, and the rest in
ihe various trading posts. The Jesuit Fathers
bad^ four missions at the Rocky Mountains in
1843, viz : St. Mary, St. Joseph, St. Peter and
St. Michael; the Coeur d'Aleiue was one of
By a letter from administrator Demers, dated Oct. 8th, 1845, aud other notes, the bishop
elect learned the>following : Father Nobili had
left in June with the Brigade of the North for
New Caledonia, Father De Smet visited lower
Oregon at the end of June, Father De Vos had
the care of Oregon City aud Fort Vancouver,
and Father Aecolti wasiekaplain of the Sisters
at St. Paul. The priest house was finisheel at
Oregon City, and the church much advane'.ed.
The church built by Father Vercruisse at La
Grande Prairie was sooVto be blessed and o-
pened for diffrie service. Father Ravalli had
left for the Rocky Mountains. Sixty thousand
bricks had been burnt for the new church at
St. Paul.    St. Joseph's college, containing 28
1 O     J CD
Ixfctrders, being too smaH, had been enlarged
with a second story by its principal, Father
Bolduc. The good religious of Notre Dame
de Namur were overburdened with occupations
in the care and teaching of 42 little girls, and a
chapel, measuring 80 by 30 feet, was in course
of construction for them.
The church at Oregdu City was blessed and
opened for divine ser\ ice onSeptuagesima Sunday, Feb. 8th, 1846, in presence of a large
coucourfee of Protestants. From that date the
church is full on Sundays, a number of people
attending service through being desirous of
seeing the impressive ceremonies of our church
and hear the ei^danation of its dogmas. The
corner—'tone of St. Paul's brick church was
.'blessed by vicar general Demers on May 24th,
1846, and the church was dedicated and opened
for divine service on Nov. 1st e>f the same year.
It wais the first brick building ever erected in
the country, measuring 10Q feet by 45, with
wings or chapels of 20 feet ; its belfry showing
the sign of our redemption 84 feet from the
ground. At Vancouver in 1845, chief factor
Douglas having.desireel the erection of a Cath-
< CD
olic church, one was } ut up and shingled.
Governor Me*Laughliu was preparing to leave
the Hudson Bay Co., and retire to Oregon City.
UI was forgetting to say a word or two about
the political state of the country," says vicar
general Demers; l'a provisory government hael
been established, Mr. Geeirge Abernethy is
governor, the Hudson Bay Co. ioins in with
the provisory government; Vancouver, Cowlitz
and Nisqually form a district of which chief
factor Douglas is the judge in chief.    This vin-
CD t/ CD
dicatesand proves te> be false the charges formerly made that said company was opposed
to a provisorv government. If the Hudson Bay
Co. oj posed the establishment of a provSsorv
government in 1841, no one could wonder or
blame it, as commodore Wilkes himself was
opposed to it, on the ground that it was premature.
On the occasion of the foregoing, wenvSsh to
correct a great mistake made in a lecture by an
eminent judge, saying of Very Rev. F. N. Blanchet and Rev. M. Demers; ''they were subjects
oi Great Brifcaln, aud their influence and teach
ing among the people was naturally in favor
of the authority and interest of the Hpdsou Bay
Co. They discouraged the early attempts at
the formation of a settlers' government in the
country. All this is entirely inaccurate; their
being British subjects had nothing to do with
their teaching, nor would naturally lead them
uto teach their people in favor of the authority
aud interest  of a fa* company."    A higher
I %f CD
sense of feelibg than this was "their rule ; they
had a conscience and a faith. Nor did they
ever discourage the early attempts of a settlers'
government, either within or outside of their
edmr^fies. oWhen, eiuriug the meeting in June
1841, vicar general Blanchet gave his opinion
that it was too soon, that, as commodore Wilkes
was expecteel here, the committee shoulek^vait
for his opiuion. That step was by no means
an act of opposition, but on the contrary an act
of prudence, whichthe commodore approved of
at St. Paul on June 7th, on the ground that the
country was too young.    And also on a later Historical Sketches of the
occasion, when he begged that his name be
erased from those of the committee, that was
done in no sense of opposition but for want of
time. In a word, let all comprehend that the
two Catholic missionaries understood too well
the delicacy of their position in this new and
unsettled country, to commit such imprudent
The Catholic Church was progressing at Oregon City under the teaching of Father De Vos,
whose sermons were touching. On July 31st
he received the profession of faith of Dr. Long
and wife, and Miss Cason. In 1846~the following became converts, viz : Hon.P. H. Burnett, June 7th ; Miss Walter Rogers, Aug. 3rd ;
Maria E. McLaughlin, (Mrs. widow Rae,) Oct.
4th ; and in 1847, Fendell Car Cason, Feb. 28;
and W. Wood, aged 77 years, March 7th.
St. Paul had also its converts in the persons
of Mr. Johnson, and a learned doctor and his
wife, who were very edifying. No one dared
to ask the doctor why he had returned to his
ancestors' religion. Three or four thousand
immigrants are expected this year. The good
Dr. Long had the misfortune to get drowned
while crossing the Clackamas river ou horseback, ten or eleven months after his conversion. His remains were buried in the enclosure
of the church of Oregon City, by Fr. De Vos,
iu the beginning of June or July 1846.
condition of the mission at the end of 184 1.
A deputation e)f Indians came down from
New Caledonia to Vancouver in 1844, to call
for a missionary. The number of priests not
permitting their petition to be granted, they
returnee! home sorrowful. Father De Smet
having brought some priests, Father Nobili
started in 1845 for New Caledonia. In 1846
another Father went to assist him; returning,
they came back in the spring of 1847. Mostly
all the Indian tribes of New Caledonia had
been iustructed anel baptized.
At the end of 1844, after six years of efforts,
disproportioneel with the needs of the country,
the vast mission of Oregon, on the eve of its
being erected into a vicariate apostolic, had
gained nearly all the Indian tribes of the Sound,
of New Caledonia, and several of the Rock%r
Mountains and lower Oregon.    It had brought
6,000 pagans into the faith. Nine missions
had been founded : five in lower Oregou, and
four at the Rocky Mountains. Eleven churches
and chapels had been eree*ted : five in lower
Oregon, two in New Caledonia, and four at the
Rocky Mountains. One thousand Canadians,
women and children, had been saved from the
imminent peril of losing their faith. The
schemes of the Protestant ministers had been
fought and nearly annihilated, especially at
Nisqually, Vancouver, Cascades, Clackamas,
and Willamette falls, so that a visitor came in
1844 anel disbanded the whole Methodist mission, and sold its property. The Catholic mission ] ossessed two educational establishments,
one for boys and the other for girls ; the number of its missionaries had been raised from
eijiht, (four secular and femr regular priests),
to fifteen, without speakiug of the treasure the
mission had in the persons of the good religious
of Notre Dame de Namur. Such were the results obtained in spite of the want of missionaries, which greatly impaired all their efforts.
(published august 1 5th 1878.)
The Bishop Elect's Journey to Canada,
Rome, and Return to Oregon.
fHE bark Columbia sailed from Astoria to
Honolulu iu 26 days. She stayed there 12
days which the bishop elect spent with the Pic-
pus Fathers, who had a splendid stone church
measuring 150 feet, a large congregation and a
beautiful Sunday service.    The bark leaving
Honolulu on Jan. 12th 1845, doubled Cape
Horn March 5th, and reached Deal, England,
May 22nd. being five months and eighteen days
from Astoria. The bishop elect passed to Dover and from thence to London, where he remained ten days, the guest of Mr. Pabbe Maillv,
pastor of the French chapel in London. Embarking at Liverpool on June 4th, he reached
Boston on the 19th. and Montreal, Canada, on
the 24ih. «&A few days after he arrived at Quebec, whose venerable church at that time was
draped in mourning on the occasion of the Catholic Church in Oregon.
burning of its suburb, St. Roch, a month before,
and that of St. John a few days previously.
Being unable to receive his episcopal consecration in Quebec, the bishop elect determined
te) receive it in Montreal, with bishop elect
Priuce, e^oadjutor of Montreal, the ceremony
having to take place ou July 25th. The con-
secrator was the Rt. Rev. Bishop e>f Montreal.
There were present on the occasion five bishops besides the two elects, 150 priests, 50 other
clerics, and au immense crowd of the faithful.
Canada had never witnessed a festival of such
splendor before. It was in Canada that the
bishop of Philadelphia, in partibus^ learned
that his title had been changed into that of Drasa. on May 7th, 1844. After passing a month
and a half in Canada, the bishop of Drasa left
for Boston, July 12th, reached Liverpool, passed some days in London, went thro' Brighton,
Dieppe, Rouen, and reached Paris on Sept.
ftth, taking his lodging at the Brothers of St.
Jean de Dieu.
The bishop of Drasa had a great task to perform before returning to his vie*ariate ; which
was to obtain from Rome some assistant bishops, to look for new missionaries and new sisters, and collect funds to enable him to buy the
requisites for his vicariate, and pay the freight
upon them and also the passage of the missionaries. All this required much time and iravel-
in«v, and going backward anel forward. Hence
it took twelve months, from Oct. 1845 to Oct.
1846, to look for help and funds, followed by
waiting nearly five mouths for a ship in which
to return home.
His 1st trip aud visit was to Belgium in order
to secure new Sisters of Notre DaniedeNanmr.
Ou his way he passed through Cambrai, Don-
ay, Lille, Gaud, Malines and Brussels. All
who heard of his mission became deeply interested in it. His second visit was to Rome.
Leaving Paris em Dec. 17th, he spent the festivals of Christmas at Marseilles, anel reached
the holy city on Jan. 5th, 1846. He soon ob-
laiued an audience and was received several
times by his holiness Pope Gregory XVI. The
four months he passed in the eternal city were
well empfoyed. He presented to the sacred
con "relation of the Propaganela a memorial on
the condition aud wants of his vicariate.    He
visited the four great basilicas and other great
© ©
churches and monuments. He descended into
the Catacombs several times, and obtained the
relics of Sts. Jovian, Severin, Flavia and Victoria. Leaving Rome on the 8th of May for
Paris, he visited em his way Leghorn, Genoa,
Marseilles, Lyons and Chalons. He stayed
some days at Avignon and a week at Lyons,
the guest of the grand seminary. He had been
allowed to address its 300 seminarists, three
of them soon presented themselves for the mission of Oregon ; they were B. Delorme, J. F.
Jayol and F. Veyret. He assisted ou that e>c-
casion, May 24th, to the episcopal consecration
of Mgr. Pavy, bishop of Algiers.
Having already visited the principal towns
of Belgium with much success in 1845, the
bishop of Drasa directed his steps this year towards Prussia, Bavaria anel Austria. Leaving Paris on June 17th, he went first to Liege
O * CD
and assisted,, on the 21st, at the grand procession of Corpus Christi, at which were present
17 bishops, a large number of priests anel an
immense religious e*rowd. It was the jubilee
of the VI century of the festival which took its
birth in the church of St. Martin. He then
visited Verviers, Aix-la-Chapelle, Cologne,and
next, descending the Rhine, Bonn, Cobleutz,
Mayence, Franefort and Aehaflfenbourg; after
which passing through Wurzburg and Dcna-
vert, he reached Munich where he spent 8 days,
the guest of the barefooted Fathers of St. Augustine. Descending the Danube, he next visited Passau, Lintz and Vienna, where he remained three weeks, the guest of the Redemp-
torist Fathers.    On returning he visited Augs-
™ CD
burg and Strasburg, where he remained a week,
the guest of its illustrious bishop. Ou August
21st, he was again in Paris, the guest of the
seminary of foreign missions.
It was on his return to Paris that he learued
his vicariate had been erected, by briefs dateet
Julv 24th, 1846, into an ecclesiastical prov-
ince, with the three sees of Oregon City, Walla Walla and Vancouver Island. The vicar
apostolic was called to the metropolis of Oregon City, Rev. A. M. A. Blanchet, canon of
the Montreal cathedral, to that of Walla Walla, aud vie*ar geueral Demers to that of Vancouver Island. f
Historical Sketches of the
In the course of his long rounds, the bishop
of Draca met everywhere with the warm sympathy of nuncios, archbishops, bishops, pastors
of churches, and the highest authority of each
state. He was received in audience by their
majesties the king and queen of Belgium ; by
his majesty the king of Bavaria; by their imperial majesties the emperor and empress
mother, and his highness the archduke Louis
of Austria; and three times by his majesty
Louis Philippe, king of France.
The sympathies of king Louis Philippe for
the great mission of Oregon prompted "him to
grant a free passage to the archbishop and his
missionary companions on the vessels of the
royal navy; but this favor becoming impossible
by unexpected circumstances, he ordered their
excellencies, Mr. Guizot, minister of the interior, and Mr. Makau, minister of the marine,
to pay each 7,200 francs, as an indemnity for
the expense the delay might put him to. This
added to the 3,000 francs the king had already
given him, on his return from the East, made
I the fiue round sum of 17,803 francs ree'.eived
from the government. God bless La Belle
France for such a gift!
The passage on the government vessel failing, the Oceanic Maritime Society cntne forward, offering a passage iu October; but that
also failiug, three Belgian vessels offered themselves, but were found too small to accommodate 22 passengers. The Oceanic Maritime
Society then bought a vessel which was expected to start at the end of December. On
learning that, the archbishop went to Namur,
returning with  the Sisters to Paris ou Dec.
22nd ; but that was a month too soon, as the
vessel was not ready at that trme. The missionaries had also the trouble of coming several times to Paris for departure, and were
obliged to return elsewhere to save town ex-
penses. At last, the vessel leaving Havre for
Brest on Jan. 9th 1847, the archbishop aud
missionaries left Paris on January 20th, and
reached Brest on the 23rd ; but the vessel had
not yet completed her cargo. It is but just to
mention here that the Leopoldine Society of
Vienna, the directors of the railroad in Belgium
and France, and the Royal Messageries gave a
distinguished mark of their sympathies ia favor
of the Oregon missions ; the first in tendering
4,000 florins ; the second by granting the archbishop and sisters, with their baggage, a free
pass on the railroad from Namur to Paris; and
the last in allowing persons and baggage to
pass at half fare from Paris to Brest.
The bark was blessed and called ^UEtoile
du Matin1'' (The Morning Star) by the archbishop, on Feb. 2nd, in presence,.of a religious
crowd. The wind being favorabe, all went on
board on the 10th ; but the following day being
a dead calm all returned on shore. At last,
after a month's delay at Brest "L'Etoile du
Matin," capt. Menes, put to sea on Feb. 22nd,
1817. The religious colony she carried was
composed of '22 persons, including the archbishop, viz : 7 sisters of Notre Damede Namur;
the 3 Jesuit Fathers, Goetz, Gazzoli and Men-
estrey, aud 3 lay brothers; 5 secular priests,
Le Bas, McCormick, Deleveau, Pretot ami
Veyret; 2 deacons, B. Delorme and J. F. Jayol.
and a cleric, T. Mesplie*. The apartment of
the sisters was very good : a long saloon and a
long table was common to all. An altar had
been fixed at the after part of the ship, whereon
holy masses were daily celebrated on the relics
of the four holy martyrs. Sunday and evening servie?es, ou deck, were very solemn and
impressive. Prayer, reading and study were
the daily occupations of lhe missionaries. The
beauties of the vast sea and e>f the spangled
vault, especially of the southern bright starry
firmament at night were subjects of profound
meditation on the powerful creating hands of
God: 4kThe heaveus show forth the glory of
God ; and the firmament deedareth the work of
His hand ; wonderful are the surges of the sea ;
wonderful is the Lord on high/'
Yes, a thousand times yes ; He who said to
Simon : uThon art Peter, (a rock) and upon
this rock I will build My Church, and the ^ates
of hell shall not pr* vail against it.'* is the same
God, the Son of God, ""who made all things,
and without whom was made nothing that was:
made." A nd vet. alas ! there have been found
pigmies, and worms of the earth, men so perverse as, while believing the power of God in
creating heaven and earth, proudly and insult-
iicilv deny Him the same efficient power in
buildiug an infallible Church for the salvation Catholic Church in Oregon
of souls created to His own image and likeness,
and who foolishly began a pretended reformation. Great God ! what nonsense ! what folly ! what horrible blasphemy !
The sailing of the bark was generally smooth
with the exception of two heavy storms ; the
first which came on a sudden from the West,
on the parallel of Rio Jaueiro, and lasted 24
hours, carried the bark some hundred miles out
of her course. It was a real tempest; the second lasted eight days, during which the wind
was very high and contrary, and the sea heavy,
when turning from south to north on the Pacific.
On both occasions the captain appeared very
The land of promise appeared at last on
Aug. 8th. and the bark arrived 12 miles from
Cape Disappointment. She remained outside
5 elays for want cf a p lot and wind. At last,
having been 5 months and 23 days from Brest,
and under the pilotage of Reeves, she crossed
the bar safely and entered the Columbia river
late in the afternoon of Aug. 13th, 1847, and
CD ' 7
cast auchor in Gray's Bay. Then it was that
the missionaries, in their exceeding great joy,
chanted a Te Deum, wdiieh the echoes e>f Cape
Disappointment and the neighboring hills repeated with emulation. On the 17th of Aug.
our bark got aground at the mouth of the Willamette, and on the 19th, the sisters and missionaries left her for St. Paul, which they
reached on Saturelay the 26th, late at night.
The archbishop left her on the 25th, celebrated
Mass iu the cathedral at Oregon City on the
26th, reached Champoeg the following day, and
from thence, accompanied by a large concourse
of Catholics and Protestants, he entered the
church at St. Paul vested with his episcopal
robes, mozetta, miter and crosier. After the
Te Deum and benediction e>f the Blessed Sacrament, and appropriate words from the archbishop, all retired happy. The bishop elect
had been two years and seven months abseut.
c4lM§&t ®Q ®P j^^P1     ®^P ^IP ^P 'W Sir HIP
(published august 22nd 1878.)
Rejoicings in the Archdiocese.
Arrival of the Bishop of Walla Walla.
Consecration of Bishop Demers.
Condition of the Dioceses.
j^ROM the arrival of the archbishop to the
sael event which put the Catholic missions
of Oregon upon the brink of their ruin, there
were but festivities and rejoicings in the archdiocese, especially at St. Paul. The presene:e
of the archbishop in the church, on his throne,
with episcopal insiguias, surrounded by a numerous clergy, the beauty of the chant, music
and solemnitv of the service, were drawing the
faithful who could not weary of contemplating
the beauties of God's house.
On Sundays, Aug. 29th, and Sept. 5th, the
archbishop mounted the pulpit and gave some
details of his journey. On the 3rd Sunday he
administered the sacrameut of Confirmation to
a large number of persons. On the 4th Sunday he made an ordination, raising deacon Ja-
yol to the priesthood. On the 5th Sunday he
gave Confirmation at Vancouver. On the 6th,
7th and 8th Sundays, he was at St. Francis
Xa vier's mission of Cowlitz where he remained
two weeks and which, then, contained 25 families, or 186 souls, of wdiom 180 were adults
and 56 children, and 74 communicants. He
confirmed there 50 persons, celebrated high
M"ass ou the 2nd and 3rd Sundays. The of-
fices in the morning and afternoon were made
solemn by the plain chant and the singing of
French impressive hymns by the two choirs of
men and women. He witnessed once more
the successful efforts of the two first missionaries in teaching, in the French missions, the
first verse of a large number of French hymns,
which were sung on Sundays and week days,
by the whites as well as by Iudians in paddling
their canoes. He was at St. Paul on the 9th
Sunday : made an ordination on October 31st,
that of deacon B. Delorme to the priesthood.
On the following day, All Saints' day, a pontifical high Mass was celebrated with a solemnity, as to chant, music and ceremonies, never 62
Historical Sketches of the
witnessed before. In fine, the 30th of November 1847, feast of the apostle St. Andrew7, falling on a Tuesday, put the crown to all the previous festivities and rejoicings of the faithful,
by the episcopal consecration, which the bishop-elect of Vancouver Island received in the
church of St. Paul on that day, at the hands
of the. archbishop, in presence of a numerous
clergy and a very large number of the faithful.
While the archbishop was on sea, sailing for
his archdiocese, the bishop of Walla Walla,
who was consecrated on September 27th 1846,
left Montreal for St. Louis March 23rjl 1847.
Commencing from there a journey of 5 months,
in wagon on the plains, he reached Fort Walla
Walla on Sept. 5th, seven days after the arrival of the archbishop at St. Paul. He was accompanied by nine persous, viz : four Fathers,
O. M. L, of Marseilles, and two lay brothers :
and two secular priests, Rev. Fathers Brouillet,
vicar geueral of Walla Walla and Rousseau,
and Wm. Leclaire, a deacon. He was heartily received by the commandant of the fort, Mr.
McBean and family, who were Catholics, and
treated, with his clergy, with great attention
and respect.
By the arrivals from France and Canada,
the ecclesiastical Province of Oregon City
possessed in the fall of 1847, 3 bishops, 14 Jesuit Fathers, 4 Oblate Fathers of M. I., 13
secular priests, including a deacon ordained in
1849, and a cleric, T. Mesplie\ ordained in May
1850 ; 13 sisters and % houses of education.
The archbishop started with ten priests, including T. Mesplie\ two Jesuit Fathers at St. j
Ignatius' residence, 13 sisters and two educational houses. The bishop of Walla Walla
was starting with 3 secular priests, includiug a
deacon, 4 Oblate Fathers of M. I.,and 12 Jesuit
Fathers at the Rocky Mountains. The bishop
of Vancouver Island had not even one priest
to accompany him to Victoria. Such was the
situation on the eve of a most eminent danger.
The whole mission of Oregon, comprising
the three sees, was divided in 8 districts. To
the see of Vancouver Island were attached the
districts of New Caledonia and Prince Charlotte Island ; to the see of Oregon City was attached the district of Nisqually; to the see of
Walla Walla were attached the di>tricts of
Colville and Fort Hall. On a 'ater occasion,
June 29th 1853, at the recommendation of the
I. Plenary Council of Baltimore, held in 1852,
the Columbia river and parallel 46 became the
line of division between the dioceses of Oregon
City and Nisqually, from the Pacific to the
Rocky Mountains.
The three sees and the districts attached to
them contained numerous tribes of Indians,
wdio had been visited several times by the Catholic missionaries and converted, in great part,
to the Catholic faith ; they were calling for
priests since 1838. The time had arrived to
see their earnest desires accomplished. This
was to be the case with the Cayuses living on
the Umatilla, their camp being 30 miles from
another Cayus'e camp situated on the Walla
Walla, a few miles from the fort. The first
camp was Catholic at heart, and their chief,
Tamatowe, offered a home to the bishop.
The diocese of Walla Walla had this specialty, that it had already three Presbyterian
missions; one at W^ailatpiu on the Walla Walla,
among the Cayuses mentioned above, established in 1836, by Dr. Whitman ; another at
Lapwai, on the Clearwater, six days' journey
from Port Walla Walla, established in 1836
among the Nez Perses by minister Spalding ;
and the last established by Mr. Eells among
the Spokanes. Hence the trouble, the bishop
beiug regarded as an intruder.
The object of the Fathers, 0. M. I., beiug
~the evangelization of the Indians, they left
Walla Walla with Father Ricard, their superior, early in October, to go and found a mission among the Indians of Yakima. The bishop of Walla Walla left the fort, with his clergy, for the Catholic camp of the Cayuses on
October 27th, aud reached the place the same
day, a Saturday.
The arrival of the bishop of Walla Walla
with his clergy to the fort was a thunderbolt
to the Presbyterian ministers, specially to Dr.
Whitman. He was woundeel to the heart by
it. He could not refrain from expressing his
great dissatisfaction, saying he would do all
in his power to thwart the bishop. Such was
the situation of affairs and the sad prospect of
the bishop on Sunday, Nov. 28th, the eve of
the terrible tragedy which brought the Catholic -i-a
Catholic Church in Oregon.
Mission and its establishments in Oregon upon
the brink of its ruin ; for at the sight of the
good already done and to be done bv the army
of the zealous missionaries just arrived, the
devil, shaking with anger and rage, resolved
to make his last efforts to utterly ruin the Catholic clergy on this Coast; hence the horrible
The Murder of Dr. Whitman and Wife.
The emigration of 1847 had brought dysen-
© ©       j
tery ami measles among the Protestant camp.
197 had succumbed to the epidemic. The Indians already much displeased with their teacher, Dr. Whitman, for his lack of good faith
and fidelity in his promises, suspected him of
poisoning them. They were confirmed in their
suspicion by the report of a certain half-breed
of the place, called Joseph Lewis, raised in the
Eastern States, who said : "He had heard, at
night, Dr. Whitman, his wife and minister
Spalding speakiug on the necessity of killing
them iu order to seize their lands;" and aelding,
'Tf you don't kill them, you will be all dead by
next Spring." Thereupon, the death of Dr.
Whitman was resolved.
On Sunday the 28th, six other Indians were
buried. On Monday, the 29th, 1847, after
having buried three other of their brethren, a
certain number of them went to Dr. Whitman's
establishment about 2 or 3 p. m., and entered
his yard, carrying weapons concealed under
their blankets, while the few men were busy,
they began their work of destruction by butchering the doctor, his wife and 8 other Americans that day.
Ou Tuesday, Nov. 30th, the vicar general
having to go and baptize some sick children at
the Protestant Cayuse camp according to promise, he started and arrived there at 7 p. m.
There it was that he heard of the atrocious drama. He passed the whole night awake. On
the morning of Dec. 1st, after baptizing the
children, he went to the dreadful place of the
massacre, consoled the women kept in the doctor's house, washed tlie bodies aud buried them
with the assistance of a Frenchman, called
Standfiehl, who had been spared ; and all that
in the presence of the murderers ; and goiug
once more to console tbe womeu, he started
in haste in order to meet and save minister
Spalding's life who was coming on that day
from the Cayuse camp to the doctor's house.
(published august 29th 1878.)
Narrow Escape of Mr. Spalding.
The Lives of Fr. Brouillet, the Bishop
and Clergy in Great Danger.
The Prisoners Redeemed and Carried to
Oregon City by Chief Factor Ogden.
ATHER Brouillet was much pained when,
in starting, he saw one of the murelerers
following him with his interpreter, who was
an Indian. He had barely made three miles
when he observed minister Spaldiugcomingin,
and who at.once called for news. The vicar
general hesitates, the minister urges him ; the
vicar general evades his questions and keeps
an animated conversation with the interpreter
and murderer. He begs for mercy and for the
life of the minister; the murderer hesitates,
and says at last he must go and consult his
•/ CD
friends, and forthwith starts at full gallup.
Then, Father Brouillet reveals to Mr. Spalding
the horrors of the slaughter, the subject of his
conversation with the murderer, the object of
his running back, and recommends him to take
a determination at once, if he wishes to save
his life, as the murderer will soon return. Mr.
Spalding is struck with terror; he utters sad
lamentations, asks many questions, and knows
not what to resolve upon. He asks for and
receives provisions, and Father Brouillet leaves
him still talking with the interpreter. At last
he rushes to the forest at dusk in the evening.
The vicar general had scarcely made a few
miles wdien he heard the racing trot of horses ;
they were three men, who gave vent to their
great displeasure when they did not see Mr.
Spalding. From thai day the life of Father
Brouillet was not safe from danger. He was
held responsible for the escape of the minister.
That night he also pAssed without sleep.
On Thursday, December 2nd, he reached
the young chief Tomatowe's camp early.    On 64
Historical Sketches of the
learning the atrocious deed, the bishop, and
clergy, and the whole camp were struck with
consternation. A few days after an express arrived from Walla Walla, informing the bishop
that his life and the lives of the priests were in
danger, on the part of a certain number of Indians who could not forgive Father Brouillet
for having deprived them of the chance of adding another victim to the ten first ones. On
the 3rd, the bishop assembled the chiefs, expressed the deep pain and sorrow he felt at the
enormous crime, and recommended them earnestly to use their influence iu order to save the
widows anel orphans. The chiefs answered
that they had uo hand in the massacre, aud
would use their influence to save the lives of
the captives. A few days later, a young man
who stayed in the doctor's mill, 20 miles distant, was also killed ; the rest had the chance
to escape. On the 10th, the two sick men who
were spared on the day of extermination, were
drawn from iheir beds and cruelly massacred.
On the 11th, one of the captives was carried
away to the tent of one of the chiefs.
On December 16th, the bishop received a
letter, dated 10th, from Mr. Spalding, relating
the hardships of his six days' traveliug ouly at
night, partly on foot, begging him to tell the
Iudians that the Americans would not make
war, nor come for revenge, and to send his
letter to the governor. On December 20th,
the great and subal ern chiefs repaired to the
bishop's house to hold a council before him aud
his clergy, in which after a long talk and deliberations, a manifesto was drawn and giveu
to .the bishop to be sent to the governor with a
letter from him. The bishop availed himself
of the occasion to recommend once more and
earnestly that they who had carried away some
of the captives, to return them without delay.
As soon as the sad tidings of the Wailatpu
massacre had reached Fort Vancouver, chief
factor Ogden, knowing the importance of a
prompt action, started without delay to come
to the help and rescue of the captives. On
reaching Fort Walla Walla on December 19th,
be sent an express to notify all the chiefs to
come aud assemble at the fort. Ou a first invitation, the bishop begged to be excused ; on a
second, he came down with his clergy.     The
assembly took place on Dec. 23d. Chief factor
Ogden strongly deprecated the horrible massacre, threw the blame on the chiefs for not restraining the young men, and said he did not
come on the part of the Americans, but only on
the part of the Hudson Bay Company; he would
not promise peace, but would employ his it-
fluence to obtain it ; that he had come to rescue the prisoners, and expected he had not
come in vain. The chiefs answered him that
in consideration of his age, white hairs, and
the assurance that he was unable to deceive
them, they would grant his request. The Nez
Perces chiefs consented also to release Mr.
Spalding, his family aud other A mericans held
as hostages.
On December 29th, the prisoners of Wailatpu, 51 iu all, arrived at the fort ; those of
Lapwai, 11 in all. arrived on Jan. 1st, 1848,
under an escort of 50 warriors. A high price
was j aid for the captives. The following day
was fixed for the departure, now most urgent
on account of the strange rumors which circulated among the Indians, that th3 Americans
were at the Dalles, coming to take a revenge ;
which rumors might in a moment make the
Indians change their minds and try to keep the
prisoners as hostages. 1 he bishop accepted a
passage ou the boats : he was accompanied by
Father Rousseau, and by Fr. Ricard, 0. M. 1.
In spite of all the diligence by chief factor O^-
den, the boats ventured into the stream at 2
p. m., just in time to escape the 50 Cayuse warriors who arrived scarcely an hour afterwards
to kill Mr. Spalding, and no doubt, to keep
the others as hostages.
At the Dalles minister Spalding showed the
true spirit which animated him towards the
Indians, quite different fr< m that expressed in
his letter to the bishop of Walla Walla, in
urging Major Lee to go in haste in order to
take them by surprise; and in designing to
Major Magone those who deserved death, with
the exce[ tion of five or six to be spared. The;
boats reached Fort Vancouver ou January 8th.
On the 10th, chief factor Ogden delivered the
prisoners to the governor at Oregon City, with
the letur of Mr. Spaldiug to the bishop, the
manifesto of the chiefs, accemipanied by the
bishop's letter to the gowrnor.    The editors Catholic Church in Oregon.
of the Oregon Spectator would publish but a
part of Mr. Spalding's letter; but Mr. Ogden
saying, ""must publish all or nothing," they
consented, but with much repugnance. On
Jan. 15th, the bishop of Walla Walla, after
hard trials and imminent danger arrived safe at
St. Paul, the residence of his brother, the archbishop of Oregon City.
After the bishop's departure, vicar general
Brouillet left Fort Walla Wei la and returned
to Umatilla with Fr. Leclaire. He remained
there till February 20th, in the midst of thousands of rumors of troops at the Dalles, of battles and of villages being burut. He had promised the Cayuses of his mission to remain
with them as long as peace would last; so he
did, in spite of many dangers on the part of
both the Indians and the Americans. The first
fight with the Americans having taken place
on Feb. 19th, he thought he was disengaged
from his word, and left the following day for
Fort Walla Walla. But the Indians were so
displeased with his departure, that they plundered his house aud set it on fire. And as the
commissioners called by the chiefs to treat on
peace were leaving ou March 13th, he availed
himself of the occasion to go down with his
companion. He was accompanied by Fathers
Chirouse. Pandosy, and others of the Yakima
mission : all going to St. Paid of Willamette.
Effects of the Murder and War upon the
Catholic and Protestant Missions.
The murder of Dr. Whitman and others had
the effect of bringing in immineut danger the
lives of the bishop and his clergy. The war
which followed brought the Cayuse mission to
an end only for a short time; for a few mouths
after, the Cayuses of Umatilla recalled their
I riests ; and the bishop started from Vancouver June 4th, 1848, to return to his diocese.
He reacdied the Dalles on June 10th, and being
forbidden to go further by Mr. Lee, the superintendent of Indian affairs, he fixed his residence there, and began a mission at the Dalles,
which was a part of his diocese. The Oblate
Fathers returned unmolested to their Yakima
mission, about the same time. Very differeut
were the effects of the murder aud war upon
the Presbyterian missions of VVailatpu, Lapwai
and Spokane. They had for effects their total
destruction for ever ; for not only no Indians recalled their ministers, but none of them would
have been safe there. Knowing this, ministers Eells and Walker hastenecl to leave their
Spokane mission at the beginning of the war
under a strong escort.
Black Ingratitude and Infamous Calumnies of Mr. Spalding.    The Catholic
Churches in Danger in Lower Oregon.
A Petition to the Legislature Against
B   the Priests.
The loss of the ministers and their friends
was too great not to be deeply felt. To their
grief succeeded fits of anger which they discharged upon the bishop and his clergy. Mr.
Spalding, closing his soul to all the noble sentiments of gratitude, and forgetting all its duties, accused the bishop and his clergy of having been the instigators of the horrible mas-
sacre. He published in the Oregon American
of 1848, an incorrect history of it, containing
16 calumnious charges. Father Brouillet, in
giving a true history of the massacre, refuted
the charges in a pamphlet of 107 pages, published by the Freeman s Journal in 1853, and
republished by the Catholic Sentinel in 1869.
But the orally malicious charges of the minister, from the beginning had already produced
the evil fruits of deep and fatal impressions;
and the exciteiueut became so great that the
volunteers in starting said that their first shots
would be for the bishop and his priests; and
that, for several months, the Catholic churches
aud establishments iu the Willamette valley
were in the greatest danger of being burned
down. But not satisfied with that, the ministers became jealous in seeing the Jesuit Fathers safe and quiet among the Iudians of the.
Rocky Mountains, the Oblate Fathers returning to their mission at Yakima, and the bishop
attending the prayers of the Umatilla Indians,
on his way for that mission, while they could
not return. This being too much, they conceived the plan of a petition to be drawn up
and largely signed, repeating the infamous
charges, and to be sent to the legislature. It
was presented, but by that time the good com- 6'6
Historical Sketches of the
mon sense of the people had made them right;
two-thirds of the legislature voted against it,
and the officers of the army, their soldiers aud
volunteers, becoming better acquainted with
the true facts on reaching the seat of war, did
hommage to the truth in acknowdedging the
honorable and loyal conduct of the bishop and
his clergy.
(published september 5th 1878r)
Father Brouillet's Pamphlet in 1848,
1857, 1869 and 1871.    Charges Renewed in
1869 and 1871, and Answered in 1872.
WfO those who never read Father Brouillet's
j|.   pamphlet, written iu 1848 and publfsned
in 1853, aud who desire to know its coutents,
we give the title of its five chapters,viz :—
1. The remote and immediate causes which
led to the Whitman massacre.
2. Documentary evidence proving the fore-
goiug assertion.
o ©
3. Review of the evidence adduced in the
foregoing chapter.
4. Journal of the principal events that occurred in the Walla Walla country from the arrival of the bishop and his clergy until the moment they left for the Willamette valley. Letter of Father Brouillet, from Fort Walla Walla,
March 2nd, 1848, to Col. Gilliam. Letter of
H. H. Spalding, from Clear Water, Dec. 10th,
1847, to the bishop of Walla Walla. Meeting of the chiefs at the bishop's house, and
their manifesto. Arrival of chief factor Ogden,
and redemption of the captives. The bishop
at the Dalles, on his way to Umatilla.
5. Summary of the chief accusations made
bv Mr. Spalding against the Catholic clergy of
Walla Walla, with an answer to each of them.
But this was not the end of the trouble : the
charges were renewed : this time not bv one
minister only, nor presented only to a territorial legislature for action, but by an army of
ministers, and presented by them for action to
the highest authority in the land, the Senate :
for, as the infamous charges made by H. H.
Spalding against the Catholic clergy of Walla
Walla had reached the various Protestant sects
of Oregon aud the Eastern States, and were
© p
believed by them as gospel truths ; and whereas, hostile to each other in principles, they are
always ready to join together in an assault on
the old mother Church, they availed themselves
of a chance of showing their hatred to her, 22
years after the massacre, as follows :—
In 1857, a special agent of the Treasury
Department, J. Ross Browne, was sent to the
far West, to make a report on the condition of
the aborigenes, and the potent causes of war
between them and the white settlers. On finding that Father Brouillet's pamphlet was an
important document on the subject, he embodied it in his report, which the U. S. Congress
published as Executive Document No. 38, of
]Si 9. The fact remained unnoticed for ten
years, till on a sudden, during the year 1869,
it drew the attention of seven Protestant associations, or sects in Oregon, and three in the
Eastern States ; and greatly aroused their ire,
because wTt severely reflected upon the devoted
missionaries of the American board." Hence,
the many resolutions of each sect, severely
blaming the action of the Senate, calling Fr.
Brouillet's pamphlet ua libel on Oregon's history, and a gross and malicious calumny," en-
<le>rsing the most infamous charges of H. H.
Spalding and ase*ertaining them, as if, after a
lapse of 22 years, and so far from the spot,
they had been eye witnesses, and had seen and
heard all; whereas, Col. Gilliam, his soldiers
and the volunteers, on the spot two mouths
after the massacre, becoming better acquainted
with the facts, had exonerated the InVIiop and
his clergy from ell blame; w hich the legislature
also dicl in Dec. 1848, by rejecting, by a two-
third vote, the petition, repeating the charges
and demanding ihe expulsion of the Catholic,
clergy from the Indian country. The action of
these ten Protestant sects having been embodied in a pamphlet of ©1 pages, tie same was
passed by Mr. Spalding to Mr. A. B. Meach-
ain, supt. of Indian Affairs in Oregon, and
passed by him to Mr. Delano, secretary of the
Interior, who presented it to the Senate on
Feb. 8th, 1871, and is known as Executive
Document No. 37, of 1871. Catholic Church in Oregon.
This executive document No. 37, 1871, was
ably answered and victoriously refuted in 1872,
by Father Brouillet and the Catholic World :
by the first in a pamphlet of 18 pages in double
column, which the Catholic Sentinel produced
in July anel August, 1872, aud wherein he declares unreliable and malicious the evidences
of the ten churches, and proves that point of
evidence under the following heads: 1. Falsification of official reports ; 2. falsification of
depositions ; 3. falsification of quotations ; 4.
falsity of statements; by the second in an article
of 18 pages in double column, to be found in
that magazine for February, 1872 ; wherein it
says of the executive document No. 37, 1871:
ikWe have had recently placed before us an
official document printed at the public expense
for the edification of the United States Senate,
and, nodembt, widely circulated throughout the
union under the convenient frank of many pious members of Congress, in which are reproduced calumnies so gross, and falsehoods so
glariug, that we consider it our duty not only
to call public atteution to it, but demand from
our rulers at Washington by what right and
authority they print and circulate, under official form, a tissue of falsifications, misrepresentations, and even forgeries, against the Be-,
ligion and the ministers of that religion which
© ©
is professed by five or six millions of free
American citizens."
We give here below as a curiosity the fanciful names of the ten denominations or associations mentioned above, wondering, if Christ
were to revisjt the earth, which of this Bar-
num's k,happy family" He would put up with:
"The Oregon presbytery of the United (?)
Presbyterian church; the Oregon presbytery of
Cumberland Presbyterian e*hurch ; the Oregon
presbytery of the United Presbyterian church;
the Congregational Association of Oregon;
i he annual eonfereuce of the Metlmdist Episcopal church ; the Christian brotherhood of the
State of Oregon ; the Pleasant Bute Baptist
eduirch of Oregon ; the Steuben presbytery of
the Presbyterian church, New York; the citizens of Steuben, Alleghany and Chemung
counties, N. Y.; the citizens of Oberlin, 0. !"
Of these associations and hundreds of other
men-built churches, which obstinately and con
stantly unite iu fighting against the old Mother
Church of Christ (and in nothing else), we may
say : if these would allow to God as much wisdom and common sense as to a man desirous to
build a high fabric, they would understand that
He who made heaven and earth so perfect and
lasting for the sole enjoyment of man, must
have made most perfect and lasting, that is, infallible, His Church made for a higher object,
the salvation of souls so dear to Him. Therefore, no need of the so-called Reformation;
therefore the touching of that Ark, the Church;
is the sin of Oza; it brings death"and damnation. An Indian understands that at once—
made tangible to him by the Catholic Ladder.
A Protestant Bishop on this
and Kindred Subjects.
Bishop J. W. Bashford, of the Methodist
Episcopal church, lately wrrote an interesting
series of articles to the Pacific Christian Advocate on the early Oregon missions. A prominent feature of the bishop's write-up is his
spirit of fairness to the early Catholic missionaries, a feature wdiich is absent from much of
the non-Catholic literature dealing with the
same subject. There is a touch of unconcious
humor in bishop Bashford's contrast of Catholic and Protestant methods of civilizing the
Indians. One gathers from his account of the
matter that the Protestants civilized the Indians so rapidly that the aborigines died under
the treatment. His discussiou on this point
is of interest.    He says :—
"It should be freely recognized also that the
Roman Catholic Fathers by their widely extended and long continued labors among the
Indians contributed directly to the peace and
safety of all Indians and white men as well as
to the eternal welfare of those committed to
their charge. Indeed, it was a Roman Catholic priest (Father Brouillet) and the officers
of the Hudson's Bay Company who saved the
lives of Messrs. Spalding, Walker, Eells and
their families after the Indians had massacred
Dr. and Mrs. Whitman in 1847. If the Roman Catholic Fathers enjoyed the favor of the
Hudson's Bay Company aud incurred the criticism of Protestants for contributing so little
to the advancement of the Indians in the arts 68
Historical Sketches of the
of the white man, the slower pace at which
they led their wards toward the white man's
civilization at least kept the Indians alive longer than did the Protestants with their more
rapid rate of progress. In this regard at least
they displayed a wisdom superior to the Methodists. Upon the whole, probably history will
recognized that the Hudson's Bay Company
and the Roman Catholic Fathers rendered a
greater service to the Indians of British Columbia than the Protestant missionaries and
the Americans rendered to the Indians of Oregon.. While they struggled for a slower and
more backward form of civilization, yet Canada by extendiug law over the land, the Hudson's Bay Company by preserving a considerable measure of order among Indians aud
whites, and the Roman Catholic Fathers by
ministering to the spiritual needs of their wards
—all contributed, if not to the speedy, al least
to the orderly settlement of Oregon."
(published september 12th  1878.)
Chronological Notes.
1847. Rev. P. McCormick takes charge of
Oregon City, Sept. 6th, and Rev. B. Delorme
of St. Louis, French Prairie, on Nov. 3rd.
The news of Dr. Whitman's murder reaches
Oregon City on Dec. 8th, and is communicated
to the legislature the following day.
1848. The bishop of Walla Walla arrives
at St. Paul on Jan. 15. Mission of Rev. V.
E. Deleveau to Fort Vancouver, Feb. 1st. The
archbishop confirms 23 persons at Oregon City,
Feb. 13th. The three bishops availing themselves of the chance of their reunion at St. Paul
with a large number of clergymen, hold the
first provincial council of Oregon City, in that
church, on Feb. 28th and 29th, and March 1st,
iu which regulations for discipline, and 16 decrees were made which received later on the
approbation of the Holy See. On March 12th,
bishop Demers leaves Fort Vancouver with
the Spring Express, for Walla Walla, Colville
and the Rocky Mountains, on his way to Canada aud Europe, in order to raise funds, aud
look for missionaries for his diocese. On May
4th 1852, he was at Oregon City, on his way
to Victoria, which he reached while the archbishop was assisting at the I Plenary Council
of Baltimore. Rev.**L F. Jayol is sent to Cowlitz, for the Nisqually missiem, March 19th.
The bishop of Walla Walla celebrates potific-
ally at St. Paul, on Easter Sunday, April 23d.
Mission of Rev. F. Veyret to the Sound, May
8th. The bishop of Walla Walla leaves Vancouver. June 4th, for his mission of Umatilla;
arrived at the Dalles, being forbidden by the
Supt. of Indian Affairs from going further, lie
establishes St. Peter's mission at the Dalles.
Aug. 23d, admission of the Fathers 0. M. L,
by the archbishop, in the district of Nisqually,
to attend the Indians of fhe Sound. They established their mother house a mile from Olym-
pia, and from thence-KHsited the Indians of the
whole Bay.
On Sept. 12th, four Sisters of Notre Dame
arrived at Oregon City for a residence. They
occupy the rectory, and open their school on
the 15th. «f Rev. J. Lionet, and Father Lamp-
frit, O. ML, arrive over the plains in October.
The archbishop leaves St. Paul for his residence at Oregon City, on Dec. 21st. He stays
a month at Mr. McKinley's, and rents a house
from Mr. Pomeroy for the rest of the winter.
Rev. J. Lionet is sent, Dec. 28th, to establish
a mission at Astoria ; instead of that he established it on the other side of the Columbia,
on a piece of land which he cultivates.
The admission of the Oblate Fathers in the
district of Nisqually, Aug. 23d 1848, having
for e)bject the care of the Indians on the Sound,
Father Veyret was recalled from the Bay and
put in charge of St. Paul's in the beginning
of September, same year.
1849. Rev. A. Langlois leaves Oregon for
California, in January. Gen. Lane, first governor of the Territory,- arrives at Oregon Citv
** C* J i
on March 2nd. Same day, Father Lampfrit
is sent to Victoria during the absence of bishop
Demers. A large brigade composed of families of St. Paul, St. Louis and Vancouver,
starts on May 19th, with Father Delorme. for
the California gold mines, discovered in 1848.
Arrived on the spot, a burning fever decimates
them ; 40 are carried awTay by the epidemic, Catholic Church in Oregon.
viz: 20 heads of families, 13 siugle men aud
boys, 4 womeu and some children. Father
Delorme exhausted with fatigue, is also seized
by the fever and barely escapes the danger.
^, St. Joseph college, St. Paul, is closed iu June,
in cousequence of the California mines. On
Saturday, June 9th, the Sisters of Notre Dame,
of Oregon City, enter their new large house,
built on a block given them by Dr. McLaughlin. On the following day, the archbishop
blesses it and celebrates the first Mass in its
chapel. Deacon G. Leclaire is raised to the
priesthood, Oct. 21 st. Rev B. Delorme returns from California by sea, aud arrives Dec.
26th. A picket of soldiers, under the command of Col- Backentos, passes the winter at
Oregon City. Mrs. Backentos becomes a convert to the faith and is baptized, with all her
childreu, by the archbishop.
1850.    The murder of Dr. Whitman and
others had brought wrar agaiust the Cayuse
CD C~ *'
tribe. It lasted two years, (1848 and 1849)
without catchiug oue of the murderers. And
while it caused the fall of the Presbyterian
missions, it had the effect of increasing those
of the Catholics by the establishment of St.
Peter's at the Dalles, and converting five supposed Cayuse murderers from Presbyterian-
ism to Catholicity. For the civil authorities
absolutely requiring the extradition of the murderers, the Cayuse chiefs found at last five men
who consented to go down, not as guilty, but
to have a talk with tlie whites and explain all
about the murderers, ten in number, who were
now no more, having been killed by the whites.
Scut by their chiefs on this message, they expected to return home. They were delivered
to Gov. Lane early in the spring, brought clown
to Oregou City and kept as prisoners. Their
trial took place, "Notwithstanding the prisoners were pre-doomed to death," says the "River
of the West ;'' therefore it was a sham trial
which deceived no eme ; aud they wrere sentenced. May 27th, to be hung. The execution
took place on June 3rd, at 2 p. ra., before an
immense crowd. On hearing their sentence,
their thoughts were to save their souls, and
call for a priest. The archbishop went to see
them without delay, and continued to go twice
I day to teach them, with the Catholic Ladder,
and prepare them for baptism and death. Mr.
Spalding went early to see them, but they rer
fused to hear him and pray with him. Such
were the fruits of the eleven years of the doctor's teaching. The Indians call the priest;
had the priests counseled them to murder Dr.
Whitman, it would rather have been to assail
them with reproaches, than to ask for their
spiritual ministrations.
On the eve of their death, the old chief Kilo
Kite and his four companions made a declaration in duplie'ate. before Henry H. Crawford,
sergeant of Co. D., R. M. R., and Robert D.
Mali on, corporal of Co. A., R. M. R., declaring: the first, that he was opposed; his two sons
took part and were killed ; the second, that he
was absent and came home the day after; the
third, that he saw the deed, but did not par*
ticipate and was sorry: the fourth and fifth,
that they are innocent and die for nothing; all
declaring the priests never counseled the crime
(see Catholic Sentinel, April 20th aud 27th,
1872, for full account.) In the forenoon of
June 3d. new questions were made, to the same
effect. On that day the prisoners heard a low
Mass, after which they received the sacraments
of baptism aud confirmation. At 2 p. m. the
archbishop, assisted by Rev. F. Veyret, now a
Jesuit, accompanied them to the scaffold, where
the prayers for the dying were recited. Touche"
ing words of encouragement were addressed to
them on the moment of being swung into the
air: "Onward, onward to heaven, children ; into Thy hands, O Lord Jesus ! I commend my
spirit."    They were then swung into eternity.
There is a shameful omission to be found in
the "River of the West," as to how they died,
whether Presbyterians, infidels, or Catholics?
A shameful and false charge is found there also
against the youngest of the five, of having been
cruel to Jos. Meek's little girl at the time of
the massacre, which is about as true as the
ridiculous story of the marshal himself, who
'said : "One of them on the scaffold begged me
to kill him with my knife." A calumnious
falsehood! The truth is that the old chief, Kilo
Kite, proudly refused to let his hands be tied.
But upon the archbishop showing him the cru-
fix, he became resigned and kept silent. That
is one of the mauy inaccuracies to be found in '
Historical Sketches of the
the "River of the West." The following fact, then sent to Richibucto. New Brunswick, as
so honorable to the citizens of Oregon City paster of the Micmac Indians and Acadian
and all who joined with them, should not be settlers. In 1827 he was recalled to Montreal,
omitted ; that on hearing of the innocence of    and appointed pastor of Seulanges.    Durirg
the cholera of 1832 he attended the stricken so
fearlessly that the Protestants of the p ace presented him  with a testimonial.    In   1837 1 e
the five Cayuse prisoners they began to circu
late a petition to get them a respite ; their sympathies increased much more on learning their
declaration ; but, the governor being absent,
there wns no one to sign it.
Rev. T, Mesplie* was Ordained a priest on
May 25th. $j$
In answer to the bishops assembled in council at St. Paul's in 1848, there arrived from
Rome, on Sept. 29th, briefs bearing the date
of May 31st 1850, to the effect of creating the
district of Nisqually into a diocese, and trans-
ferringnthe bishop of Walla Walla to that see;
and suppressing the diocese of Walla Walla,
and passing its administration ami those of
the districts of Colville and Fort Hall to the
archbishop, in consequence of which the bishop of Nisqually leaves the Dalles, visits St.
Francis Xavier's mission of Cowlitz, and on
@ct. 27th 1850, fixes his residence at Fort
Having rlius brought our history of the Catholic Church in Oregon down to the present establishment of the three sees of Oregon City,
Nisqually and Vancouver Island, we close our
Archbishop F. N. Blanchet.
Francois Norbert Blanchet, missionarv and
Ibst bishop and archbishop of Oregon Citv,
U. S. A., son of Pierre Blanchet, a Canadian
farmer, was boru Sept. 30th 1795. near St.
Pierre, Riviere du Sud, Province of Quebec*
After three years in the village school he went
in 1810, with his brother Augustin Magloire,
later to first bishop of Walla Walla and Nisqually, to the seminary of Quebec, where he
was ordained priest July 18th. 1819. lie #ff-|
stationed at the cathedral for a year and was
was arpointed vicar general by bishop Signav
for the Oregon mission, and he set out on Mav
3rd, 18138, accompanied by the Rev. Modeste
Demers with the annual express of the Hudson Bay Cent any, and they arrived at Fen
Vancouver on Nov. 24th.
For four years they labored alone.^.They
were then reinforced, from time to time, by
other priests, both secular and regular, and by
Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur, Belgium.
On Dec. 1st 1843, the Oregon mission became
a vicariate Apostolic and Father Blanchet was
named its first vicar. He was consecrated
bishop in Montreal on July 25th, 1845. He
visited Europe at different times in quest of
priests and financial help. On July 24th, 1846,
the vicariate was erected into a province and
bishop Blanchet was made archbishop of Oregon City, his brother Magloire became bishop
of Walla Walla, and Father Demers bishop
of Vancouver's Island.
The <«rchbishop was indefatigable. He held
his first provincial council in 1848, attended
the first plenary council of Baltimore in 1852,
went in 1855 to South America and collected
for two years in Chile, Peru and Bolivia; he
went to Canada in 1859 and returned with 31
priests and sisters. He attended the second
plenary council cf Baltimore in 1866 ; on July
19th, 1869. he 'celebrated his golden jubilee of
ordination, and in the following October set
out for Rome to assist at the Vaiican council
in 1870. When bishop Seghers was made his
coadjutor in 1879. he retired to t!ie hospital of
the sisters of Providence at Portland. He is
the author of the '"Historical Sketches of the
Catholic Church in Oregon.'1 In 1880 he resigned and died in Portland June 18th, 1883.
He found on the Pacific coast a wilderness,
both spiritual and material; he lef., after 46
years of heroic work, a well organized ecclesiastical province. He will be known in American history as the Apostle e>f Oregon. Bishop A. M. A. Blanchet.
Augustin Magloire Alexandre Blanchet,
brother of the preceding, first bishop of Walla
Walla and Nisqually, State of Washington,
U. S. A., was born August 22nd, 1797, on his
father's farm near the village of St. Pierre,
Riviere du Sud, Canada. After attending the
village school for three years, he was sent to
Quebec, with his brother Francois Norbert, to
study for the priesthoe)d. He was ordained
June 3rd, 1821. After a year as assistant pastor at St. Gervais, he was sent as missionary
to the Isles de la Madeleine and later to Cape
Breton Island. He gave four years of ministry to the Gulf provinces. Then he was recalled to the vicariate Apostolic of Montreal,
and was successively pastor of four parishes,
in one of which he was the successor of his elder brother. In 1846 while a canon of the
Montreal cathedral, he was appointed bishop
of the new diocese of Walla Walla in what is
lfbw the State of Washington. He was consecrated Sept. 27th, 1846. In the following
spring he set out overland for his d stant see
with one priest, Rev. J. B. A. Brouillet, and two
students. At Pittsburgh he declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States.
At St. Louis the party was increased by Father
Ricard, two deacons and brother Blanchet, all
members of the Order of Mary Immaculate.
Fort Walla Walla was reached on Sept. 5th,
1847. The bishop located at the. Dalles, and
thence multiplied his apostolic labors throughout the vast territory under his care. He was
f dl of zeaL^jdHe established missions; built
churches ; founded academies and colleges; he
started schools for the Indians ; he begged for
j riests in Canada and abroad, aud he obtained
sisters for hospitals and other institutions.
In 1850 the see of Walla Walla was suppressed aud that e>f Nisqually erected in its
stead, with headquarters at Fort Vancouver.
In 1852 he attended the first plenary council
of Baltimore, but, on account of infirmities, he
was unable to attend that of the Vatican. In
1879, after 32 years of arduous labor in Washington, he resigned his see and was named titu-
lar bishop of Ibora. He spent his last 8 years
in prayer and suffering. His peaceful death,
which occurred Feb. 25th, 1887, was a fittiug
close for his life of sacrifice. He is revered as
l\u> Apostle of Washington.
Bishop Modeste Demers. 71
Modeste Demers, the Apostle of British Columbia, was born at St. Nichedas, Quebec, on
Oct. 11th, 1809. His father, Michel Demers,
and his mother, Rosalie Foncher, were two
worthy representatives of the French Canadian
farmer class. Endowed with a delicate conscience and a distinctly religious disposition,
voung Demers resolved to enter the ecclesias-
tical state, and studied first privately and then
at the Quebec seminary. He was ordained on
Feb. 7th, 1836, by bishop Signay, and after 14
months passed as assistant priest at Trois-Pis-
toles, he volunteered for the far-off mission of
Oregon, where the white population, made up
mostly of French Canadians employees of the
Hudson Bay Company, was clamoring for the
v l J   ■ CD
ministrations of a priest. Having crossed the
American continent in company of vicar general F. N. B'anchet, he reached Walla Walla
Nov. 18th, 1838, and immediately applied himself to the care of the lowliest, that is, the Indian tribes, which were then very numerous.
He studied their languages and visited their
homes regularly, preaching, catechizing the
adults, and baptizing the children. His apostolic zeal even led him on along the coast of
British Columbia, and iu 1842 he proceeded
inland as far north as Stuart Lake, evangelizing as he went all the interior tribes of that
His companion, the vicar general, having
been elevated to the episcopate, Father Demers
had to submit to what he considered a burden
bevond his strength. He was consecrated bish-
op on Nov. 30th, 1847, and appointed to the
spiritual e*are of Vancouver Island, making
Victoria his headquarters. As a bishop he
continued his work among the Indians, though
he soon had to give his best attention to the
rough and cosmopolitan element which now
formed his white flock. For its benefit he procured in 1858 the services of the Sisters of St.
Anne, who established schools at Victoria and
elsewhere, and of the Oblate Fathers, who took
in hand the evangelization of the natives, and
also founded a college in his cathedral city. In
1866 he attended the second plenary council of
Baltimore, and shortly after that of the Vatican.
He died July 27th, 1871,beloved alike by Protestants and Catholics, and revered for his gentleness and his charity for the poor and lowly. 72
Sketch 1. Introduction. 1
The first Catholics in Oregon. 2
Sketch 2. Protestant missionary labors iu
Oregon. 4
Sketch 3. Origin of the Canadian missions
in Oregon. Letter of the bishop of Juliopolis to Dr. John McLaughlin. 6
Letter of Sir Ceo. Simpson, to the bishop
of Quebec. Appointment of missionaries. Instructions given to very Rev. F.
N. Blanchet and Rev. M. Demers. 7
Sketch 4. Journey of the missionaries jjrom
Lachine to Fort Vancouver. 8
Consecration of the Rocky Mountains to
God. First Mass in Oregon. Eighteen
days at the House of the Lakes. First
missionary labors in Oregon. Loss of
twelve lives. 9
Sketch 5. Missionary labors at Colville, O-
kanagan   and Walla Walla. 10
Letter of vicar general Blanchet to the
bishop of Quebec, giving an account of
his journey to Oregou. 11
Sketch 6. Vicar general's letter continued. 14
Sketch 7. Vicar general's letter concluded. 17
Arrival and reception of the missionaries
at Fort Vancouver. 18
Sketch 8.  Letter from Rev. M. Demers to
Rev. C F. Cazeau of Quebec. 20
Sketch 9. First Mass at Fort Vancouver.
Condition of the country. 23
Missions to various places ami among the
Indians.   Mission at Vaucouver. 24
Sketch 10. Conversion of Dr. McLanglilin. 25
Missionary labors at Fort Vancouver. 26
First visit to Cowlitz mission. 27
Sketch 11. First mission to the Willamette
valley.    The Willamette Fall. 28
The true name of our river. 30
Sketch 12. First mission to Cowlitz in 1839. 31
First mission at Fort Nisqually. 32
Sketch 13. Second mission to the Willam
ette valley.
Sketch 14. Brigade of the North.   Mission
of Father Demers to Colville iu 1839.    34
Brigade of the South.    Second mission
to Cowditz. 35
Sketch li>. Second mission to Nisqually.
Short reunion of the two missionaries.
Objections raised to the residence at the
Willamette.   Parting of the missionaries. 36
Sketch 16. Sketch of the Cowlitz mission,
by Rev. M. Demers. 37
Sketch 17. Missionary labors in 1840. Missions to Vancouver, Nisqually, Whidby
Island, Chinook Point,Brigaeles and Colville.    First communion at St. Paul,       39
Skeich 18. 41
Sketch 19. 42
Letter of bishop Rosati of St. Louis, to
the General of th^Society of Jesus.        43
Sketch 20. Missionary labors in 1841 at
Vancouver, Willamette Falls, Clae«k-
amas and Cascades. Letter e>f Father
De Smet to vicar general Blanchet.        45
Sketch 21. Additional incidents in 1840.
Various missions iu 1841. 47
Sketch 22. Incidents of 1841. Missionary
labors in 1842. 48
Arrival of Father De Smet. 49
Sketch 23. 50
Missionary labors in 1843. 51
Sketch 24    Missionary labors in 1844.        53
Arrival of Father De Smet by sea. 54
Sketch 25. Fight at Oregon City, March
4th 1844. Extract from the missionary
report on the occasion. 55
Sketch 26. Missionary labors in 1845 and
1846. Letter of Father Demers to the
vicar general. 56
Sketch 27- The bishop elect's journey to
Canada, Rome, and return to Oregon.
Condition of the missions in 1844. 58
Sketch 28 Rejoicing in the archdiocese at
the arrival of the bishop of Walla Walla.
Consecration of bishop Demers. Condition of the dioceses. 61
Sketch 29. Murder of Dr. Whitman and
wife. Narrow escape of Mr. Spalding.
The lives of Father Brouillet, the bishop
and clergy in great danger. 63
Effects of the murder and war upon the
Catholic and Protestant missions. Ingratitude and calumnies of Mr. Spalding.      65
Sketch 30. Father Brouillet's pa-mphlets.   6«6
A Protestant bishop on this subject. 67
Sketch 31. Chronological notes. 68
Biography of archbishop Blanchet. 70
Biographical sketches of Bishops Blanchet and Demers. 71  


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