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A history of the Pacific Northwest. With maps and illustrations Schafer, Joseph, 1867-1941 1905

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105° Longitudel
'\7 ~^m JJLANDS
East      190°   ^'^Lo'nf.tnrl..   W1
Lest from   1
(The different Scales used shouj 3 noted with particular care.)  A HISTORY
Neirr god*
All rights reserved
— COPYRIGHT, 1905,
Set up and electrotyped.   Published May, 1905.
'/So |f§
cj Ets
Professor of Economics and Sociology, University of Oregon
This little book is an attempt to relate, in
simple, readable style, the impressive story of
civilization building in the region once called
Oregon, but now known as the Pacific Northwest. The boundaries of this territory embrace
the three states of Oregon, Washington, and
Idaho, the first of which, as the oldest member
of the sisterhood, retains the original name of
the whole.
The division into states should not disguise
to us the fact that northwestern history is
more remarkable for its unity than its diversity. And only by treating it as one rather
than three distinct movements can a correct
view of the whole be obtained. This principle
will unquestionably hold good for all matters
save the purely political; in order to treat
these fully, it would of course be necessary to
consider each of the three states by itself.
It has seemed to me, however, that after
passing the intensely interesting period of the
vii Vlll
Oregon provisional government, politics should
occupy only a very few pages in so small a
volume. The organization and operation of
new state governments in this region differs
little from similar activities in other territory
belonging to the United States. But the processes by which the wilderness was subdued,
homes multiplied, cities built, commerce extended to all parts of the world, and a great
civilization developed in this remote and once
inaccessible portion of our continent, — these
are not mere replications of what had previously taken place elsewhere. The unfolding
of these processes, under the special physical
conditions prevailing here, gives to the history
of the region a charm belonging to itself alone.
I have, therefore, adopted the plan of treating
the early period with considerable fullness, devoting to it fourteen chapters, and making the
remaining five chapters practically a sketch of
progress in the Pacific Northwest from 1849
to the present time.
In preparing the book, I have naturally
gained much assistance from the works of
earlier writers in the same field, especially
from those volumes  of the   H.  H.  Bancroft
series which relate especially to this region.
But it has been my rule not to rely upon secondary authorities, unless compelled to, except
in matters of secondary importance. For the
most part it has been possible, with a large
expenditure of time and effort and through the
generosity of many kind friends, to procure
the actual sources. Moreover, a mass of documents, fortunately discovered in the course of
these researches, will now be used for the first
time in this volume, and more fully in my
forthcoming | History of the Pacific Slope and
Much as I would like to mention here the
names of all who gave any assistance during
the performance of this task, the limits of space
make it impracticable to do so. In some cases
the service was necessarily slight, but uniformly
rendered with heartiness and good will; in
others it was of considerable moment, and in
a few instances absolutely essential to the success of the work.
For the use of indispensable sources I am
under special obligations to Professor F. G.
Young, secretary of the Oregon Historical
Society, and  to   Mr.  George   H.  Himes, the X
assistant secretary; to Reuben Gold Thwaites,
LL.D., superintendent of the Wisconsin Historical Library, and Mr. Isaac S. Bradley, the
librarian; also to Hon. C. B. Bagley of Seattle,
and Hon. F. V. Holman of Portland. Some
things of considerable importance were secured
through the courtesy of those in charge of the
Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis; the
State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia ; the Mercantile Library, St. Louis; the
Kansas Historical Society, Topeka; and the
California State Library, Sacramento.
To the Hon. H. W. Scott, editor of the Portland Oregonian, I am indebted for suggestions
which proved very helpful in determining the
general plan and scope of the work; and to
Dr. J. R. Wilson, principal of the Portland
Academy, for a critical examination of the
matter and form of the book. Several of my
colleagues at the University, Miss Camilla
Leach, Professor F. S. Dunn, and Professor
H. D. Sheldon, read portions of the manuscript and offered valuable suggestions. Mrs.
Florence Baker Hays of Boise, Idaho, collected for me a portion of the matter appearing
in the Appendix.    Nearly all of the proofs have PREFACE
passed through the hands of Rev. E. Clarence
Oakley, of Eugene. My wife, Lily Abbott
Schafer, has given me assistance and encouragement at every stage of the work.
It is pleasing to reflect that by a fortunate
chance this little volume makes its appearance
very near the time (June i, 1905) set for the
opening of the World's Fair at Portland, Oregon. Since the exposition was planned to
commemorate the achievement of Lewis and
Clark, its intimate relation to the subject of
this history is apparent. If the book serves
to contribute, even slightly, to that powerful
historical impulse which the Lewis and Clark
Exposition illustrates, and especially if it shall
promote a more intelligent interest in northwestern history among the youth of this region,
for whom it is primarily intended, I shall feel
amply repaid for the labor bestowed upon it.
University of Oregon,
Eugene, March 20, 1905.  CONTENTS
I. Early Explorers of the Pacific Coast   .
II. The Northwest Coast and Alaska
III. Nootka Sound and the Columbia
IV. Early Explorations Westward
V. Origin of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
VI. Opening a Highway to the Pacific
VII. A Race for the Columbia River Fur Trade
VIII. The Hudson's Bay Company
IX. The Oregon Question .
X. Pioneers of the Pioneers
XI. The Colonizing Movement .
XII. The Great Migration  .
XIII. The First American Government
XIV, The Opening of a New Era
XV. The Northwest and California
XVI. Progress and Politics, 1849-1859
XVII. The Inland Empire
XVIII. The Age of Railways .
XIX. The Pacific Northwest of To-day
on the Pacific  ILLUSTRATIONS
/Map of United States        .
The Mission of San Carlos, near Monterey
Tereoboo, King of Owyhee, bringing Presents
Cook ....
Nootka Harbor, 1788
I The Sea-otter    .
The Mouth of the Columbia
Map of North America, 1788
Thomas Jefferson
Meriwether Lewis
William Clark   .
Great Falls of the Missour
Multonomah Falls
The Rocky Mountains
The Dalles
The Gorge of the Columbia
Clark's Map of the Transcontinental Route
"" Astoria      ....
Fort Okanogan .
Fort Walla Walla      .
Dr. John McLoughlin, 1824
Map of the Columbia
Fort Vancouver
Old Mission House, Oregon
Tsimakane Mission   .
Sweetwater Gap, on the Oregon Trail
•                •                •
to Captain
24 ^
.    103
in #
.    117
.    118   .
.    120
.    150
•    157
.    181 ja4}U«MMtUtsiCtEttS3t£KMt£»ti4iHMl
A Buffalo Hunt ....
The Old Trail along the Sweetwater .
Mt. Hood ......
Governor George Abernethy
Mount Rainier from the South .
General Joseph Lane
Sutter's Fort in 1849 ...
General Isaac Ingalls Stevens   .
Cceur d'Alene, 1853   .
Pack Train on Mountain Trail  .
Fort Benton, 1853     ....
View of Portland       ....
Physiographic Map of the United States
Henry Villard   .....
James Willis Nesmith
Falls of the Spokane .        .        .
View of Seattle ....
It is a far cry from the Isthmus of Panama Scope of the
to the icy capes above Bering's Strait; and the chaPter
explorations which unveiled that long coast line
form a thrilling chapter in the history of our
continent. The story opens on the 25 th of
September, 1513, when Balboa, surrounded by
sixty Spanish companions, stood on a peak of
the Darien Mountains and gazed, with the rapture . of a discoverer, upon the waters of the
South Sea. It closes two hundred and sixty-
five years later, when Captain Cook rounded
I the Northwestern point of all America," and
named it Cape Prince of Wales. The earlier
portion of these explorations, covering nearly
one hundred years, will be treated in the present chapter.
Balboa, on first beholding the Pacific, made importance
a formal declaration that all its coasts belonged, discovery S
by right of discovery, to  the  king of Spain.
Four days later he reached  the shore at the
Gulf of San  Miguel, and   repeated  the cere-
. unuumuuistette.
The search
or a strait
mony of taking possession, this time marching
into the surf at the head of his party. While
such formalities usually have little effect upon
the course of history, the discovery itself was
a great triumph for the Spanish government.
Since the time of Columbus, their navigators
had been searching among the West Indies,
and along the Atlantic coast of South and
Central America, in the blind hope of finding
an open passage to the Orient. They failed
because, as it was supposed, nature had sown
islands so thickly in this part of the ocean
that it was very difficult for ships to pick their
way among them. The numerous failures had
discouraged many; but when Balboa reached
the open sea by marching overland a few miles
from the Darien coast, no one any longer
doubted that a convenient westward route
existed. It was generally supposed that this
would be found to the north of the Isthmus.
Magellan soon afterward proved that there
was a way around South America, but it was
very difficult, and far out of the direct course
from Europe to eastern Asia. The necessity
still remained, therefore, to find a " strait," and
the discovery of the Pacific stimulated the
search in an extraordinary manner.
During the entire history of navigation no
mere idea or hope has been followed out with
greater  persistence.     The  belief  in  a  strait EARLY  EXPLORERS  OF  THE  PACIFIC  COAST
became almost universal among commercial
peoples, and to find it was the ambition of
seafarers throughout the world. It was this, in
part, which brought out so quickly the geography of the Atlantic coast of North America,
and induced so many explorers to enter the
water courses leading to the interior of the
continent. Each newly discovered estuary,
every deep indentation of the coast, was confidently expected to afford the coveted highway ; until, as we shall see, after a long series
of failures by Spaniards and others in the south,
the British mariners turned to seek a Northwest
Passage in the region of Hudson Bay.
The people most interested in the search for Reasons for
a strait during the sixteenth century were the ffp£nnf
o J the Pacific
Spaniards. Portugal had been the great rival coast
of Spain in the effort to find a water route to
the Indies, and her famous navigator, Vasco da
Gama, had opened the way around Africa while
Columbus and his followers were vainly trying
to reach Asia by sailing wrest. The Portuguese
had a monopoly of this route, and were growing
rich from the profits of the spice trade with the
Moluccas. In order to share in this commerce
it was necessary for the Spaniards to complete
the western highway to the Orient by the discovery of the indispensable strait. As a foot-
ing had been obtained on the Pacific coast of
Central America it was determined to follow *frt»n*fflig1ngHi3B6t5IS!IPlWff*iti4t|ifcttit:
and his
up the search from that as well as from the
Atlantic side.
The first ships to sail upon the South Sea
were launched by Balboa himself in the year
1517. They were built on the Panama coast,
some of the timbers for their construction having been carried across the mountains on the
backs of Indian slaves. The hundreds of natives who perished under the lash during this
terrible march constituted the first bloody sacrifice to the Spirit of the Western Sea. Aside
from building the vessels very little was achieved
by Balboa. He coasted along the shore for some
distance, gathered gold and pearls from the
tribes in those regions, and returned to the
colony on the opposite, side of the mountains
where he was put to death by political enemies.
About six years later, however, two other Spaniards explored northwestward from Panama as
far as the Gulf of Fonseca, discovering Lake
Nicaragua. This, it was hoped, with the
stream flowing from it to the Atlantic, and a
very short canal through the level ground on
the west, might give them-a passage from ocean
to ocean. Thus early (1523) was suggested the
idea of an interoceanic canal.
By this time the Spaniards were in possession
of the rich valley of Mexico, where Cortez had
recently overthrown the power of the Aztec
confederacy.    It was the most important terri- EARLY EXPLORERS OF THE PACIFIC COAST
tory of the New World yet brought under subjection by Europeans. The land was rich, its
resources were varied, and the position it occupied between the two seas was a commanding
one. The colony planted in Mexico- became
a center for new explorations, carried on both
north and south, by land and by sea.
Cortez, ever on the lookout for opportunities Cortez
r    r      ,i i_ ,    i  • *Tj_ t     becomes an
or further conquest, sent his military expedi- expl(
tions toward the west, and soon learned of a
great ocean which he judged to be the same as
Balboa's South Sea. The news made a deep
impression upon his imagination. Military successes had already brought him riches, and a
fame which reached to all countriqs of the civilized world; but Cortez saw that here was the
gateway to greater wealth and a more enduring
renown. By exploring the Pacific he expected
to find many islands abounding in gold and
other riches. He hoped, also, to reach the
Moluccas, and above all, he was anxious to find
the strait so ardently desired by the king of
Spain. He therefore established a naval station on the west coast of Mexico and soon
began sending expeditions toward the north.
Some of his ships were lost, and large sums
of money spent, but no very important results
were obtained until 1539.1    In that year Cortez
1 The southern end of the California Peninsula was discovered in 1534. It was supposed to be an island. The attempt to
plant a colony there failed. ^SJPJ55Sj2ji
sent out Ulloa, with three ships, to trace the
Mexican coast northward. One vessel was
soon lost. With the two remaining the mariner held his course till he approached the head
of the Gulf of California. Tacking about he
now passed along the shore of the peninsula
to the cape which forms its southern extremity.
Rounding this dangerous headland he beat up
the outer coast as far as Cedros Island (latitude
28°). From this expedition Ulloa and his flagship never returned, although the surviving
vessel reached Mexico in the following year.
Cortez meantime returned to Spain (1540) and
died there a few years later (1547).
Readers of. early American history are familiar with the romantic story of Coronado: how
he was dispatched from Mexico, in 1540, in
search of the mythical golden cities, or Cities
of Cibola, of which rumors had recently been
brought from the north. At this time the
viceroy of Mexico was Cortez's rival, Mendoza;
and he, in order to increase the chances of
Coronado's success, sent a fleet under Alarcjon
to support the land expedition. Alarc^on reached
the head of the Gulf, as Ulloa had done before
him, and, leaving his ships at the entrance to
the Colorado River, ascended the stream in
small boats as far as its junction with the Gila.
This proved that the land stretching toward
the  southwest  was  a peninsula  and  not  an EARLY EXPLORERS OF THE PACIFIC COAST J
island. The name California, now known to
have been derived from a sixteenth-century
Spanish novel, was first applied to the country
about this time. In its original use it signifies
a fabulous island, situated not far "from the
terrestrial paradise," and inhabited by a gigantic
race of women.
While the outlines of the California Gulf and Voyage of
r» -   • i     i      i   i ii a.i i Cabrillo and
Peninsula had been made known, the explora- Ferei0
tions thus far had revealed no part of the present western coast of the United States. The
time was come for another forward movement
destined to carry the Spaniards many leagues
further toward the Arctic Sea.' Viceroy Men-
doza had recently become much interested in
exploration, and was not to be outdone by
Cortez, the patron of Ulloa. In 1542 he commissioned Cabrillo to explore the coast northward along the peninsula. This navigator
passed Cedros Island, and on the 28th of September anchored in a good harbor which received from him the name of San Miguel, but
was later called San Diego. So far as we know
this was the first visit of white men to the
coast of Upper California. Cabrillo had two
ships and supplies for a long cruise. After
surveying the new-found harbor, he proceeded
leisurely northward, anchoring at a number of
points. He showed much interest in the landscapes presented by these strange coasts, and 8      A  HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
noted the ever changing forms of the mountains, plains, and valleys. The natives, too,
received a share of Cabrillo's attention, and he
describes the habitations, dress, food, and canoes
of those that came most directly under his eye.
After examining the coast as far as Monterey,
The Mission of San Carlos, near Monterey.
and perhaps somewhat farther, Cabrillo was
driven southward to San Miguel Island, where
he died, January 3, 1543. The chief command
now fell to the pilot, Ferelo, who, like Cabrillo,
was an able navigator, ambitious to win fame
for himself and glory for his sovereign. Carrying out the dying command of his superior,
Ferelo sailed northward. On this cruise the
vessels passed up the coast beyond Monterey, EARLY EXPLORERS OF THE PACIFIC COAST
nates the
acific coast
possibly to the parallel of 42°, though probably
not quite so far. Thus the first thirty years of
Spanish exploration along the Pacific gave to
the world a map of that coast from Panama to
near the northern boundary of California.
Spain was now by far the most powerful state Spain domi
of Europe, and her sovereign, Charles the Fifth, I
the greatest king in Christendom. It was not
strange, therefore, that she should attempt to
monopolize the New World, or that other
nations, like France and England, should be
slow to lay claim to those regions. Spaniards
were exploring the Atlantic coast, as well as the
interior of North America; under Magellan
they had already rounded the southern continent, and discovered a passage — although a
dangerous one — to the Pacific; they were
reaping a golden harvest from the mines of
Peru and Mexico.1 The Pacific Ocean, west
of the two Americas, was practically a Spanish
sea. No other power seemed likely to disturb
these waters, unless some easier passage from
the Atlantic should be found than the treacherous Straits of Magellan. Men felt as secure on
that long coast line, stretching through more
1 Soon after this the Spaniards also began a regular trade with
the Orient by way of Mexico and the Philippine Islands. Magellan had discovered the Philippines on his famous voyage around
the world, and lost his life there. About 1564 Spain began to
colonize the islands, and then a trade sprang up which became
Origin of
than a hundred degrees of latitude, as they did
in the interior of Spain itself.
In this agreeable delusion Spanish colonists
and merchants along the Pacific whiled away
the peaceful years till a new generation came
upon- the stage of history. Then suddenly an
event occurred which startled them from their
repose. This was the buccaneering voyage of
Sir Francis Drake, which took place in the
years 1577 to 1580. Drake was one of those
daring English seamen who made the reign of
Queen Elizabeth as famous for its maritime enterprise as it became for its literature through
such men as Shakespeare and Spenser. He
sailed from Plymouth with five ships December 13, 1577, having first secured Elizabeth's
consent to carry on private war against the
hated Spaniards in the New World. The voyage is described in a quaint, interesting manner, by the chaplain of the expedition, Francis
Fletcher, whose book has been published under
the title, u The World Encompassed by Sir
Francis Drake." Fletcher naturally makes a
hero of the Captain, describing him as a brilliant
leader in battle, a stern but righteous judge, and
a commander whose will few dared to disobey.
At times he could be the jovial companion of
sailors and officers, drinking and carousing
with as little conscience as the rest. But
when   danger   threatened,  or   death   seemed EARLY EXPLORERS OF THE PACIFIC COAST      II
imminent, he could also lead them in their
prayers, and preach the hopeful doctrines of
the Christian church.
Nearly a year passed, after leaving England, His voyage
before the ships emerged from the  Straits of %ori-V e
± o racifac coa
Magellan; and as they did so a furious storm
drove them hundreds of leagues into unknown
southern waters, and made it impossible for them
to keep together. The remainder of the long
cruise was made by Drake in the single ship
Golden Hind, the other vessels all forsaking
him. For many months he plowed the waters
along the coasts of South and Central America,
committing depredations which would be incredible except for the defenseless condition of
the Spaniards. Not satisfied with attacking
ships on the high seas, and forcing them to
surrender, he ran into the harbors, where vessels of all descriptions were collected, and where
they were supposed to be perfectly safe from
harm. Sometimes he set fire to ships and fled;
again he would capture rich cargoes, and get
safely away before the Spaniards could offer
the least interference. But the larger part of
his booty was obtained by the capture of Spanish "treasure ships." One of these yielded
him enormous wealth in bar gold, silver, gems,
and plate. The vessel was called the Caca-
fuego or Spit-fire: after her capture a Spanish
wag suggested that she be rechristened   and
given the more appropriate name Caca-plata,
Spit-silver. In these exploits the English captain and his men showed all the bravery and
daring for which the corsairs of the time were
noted; they also showed some of the less amiable qualities belonging to men of their class
the world over.
New Albion One of the objects of Drake's expedition was
to find the passage leading from the Pacific to
the Atlantic. Accordingly, after his ship was
gorged with plunder, he made sail to the north,
running up to the parallel of 42°, or perhaps
430. By this time, we are informed, the men
began to suffer severely from the cold, although
it was midsummer, and therefore, on the 17th
of June (1579), Drake ran into a very good
harbor in latitude 38°3o'. It is supposed that
this was the opening just above San Francisco
which modern geographers call Drake's Bay.1
In the California harbor, Drake repaired his
vessel as well as he could and prepared for the
later cruise. He made some explorations toward the interior, and gained great influence
over the natives about the bay, who begged
him to remain in the country. They agreed,
as the narrator declares, to accept the English
1 There is no probability that the Englishman saw the great
harbor of northern California, although some writers have
strangely sought to derive its saintly name from this terrible
queen as their sovereign. Drake went through
the formality of taking possession of the land in
her name, and called the region " New Albion,"
partly on account of the white banks and cliffs
along the shore, partly to fix upon it a name
sometimes applied to the Island Kingdom
across the seas. We know very well that almost, if not quite, the entire coast line seen by
Drake had been skirted by Spanish navigators
from Mexico a generation earlier; yet he pretended to believe that the Spaniards had never
"had any dealing, or so much as set foot in
this country, the utmost of their discoveries
reaching only to many degrees southward of
this place."
Instead of continuing the search for a pas- The return
sage into the Atlantic, the Englishman decided t0 Ensland
it would be wiser to carry his cargo into safe
seas by the least dangerous route. He knew
the Spaniards in the south would be guarding
the coast, as well as the Straits of Magellan.
Drake therefore struck boldly across the Pacific,
rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and accomplished the second circumnavigation of the
globe. His ship reentered Plymouth harbor on
the 26th of September, "in the just and ordinary reckoning of those that stayed at home."
The seafarers had of course gained a day.
Queen Elizabeth was so well pleased with the
exploits of her valiant captain that she visited 14     A  HISTORY  OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Drake's ship, examined the treasures on board,
and before leaving the deck conferred upon
him the honor of knighthood.
Drake's voyage produced great consternation
among the Spanish colonists, and many plans
were made to prevent others from committing
similar outrages. One scheme was to explore
the coast of Upper California, and establish
forts at one or two good harbors. This was important for commercial reasons, also, as the ships
trading to the Philippines, on their return to
Mexico along the California coast, needed some
place to refit. Sebastian Vizcaino, a Spanish
navigator, made the necessary explorations in
1602-1603. He advised the government to
fortify both Monterey and San Diego harbors,
but nothing was done for many years. The
expedition of Vizcaino marks the end of the
early period of exploring activity on the Pacific
coast. The seventeenth century, and the first
half of the eighteenth, saw no discoveries.
The " Manila ships," as the vessels trading to
the Philippines were called, wrere almost the
only Spanish craft to approach the coast of
Upper California during that long interval.
The tribes and peoples seen by Cabrillo, Drake,
and Vizcaino, continued to war among themselves, in their barbarous way, unchecked by
the presence of a superior race. California
remained a wilderness.
L\      \ CHAPTER   II
The one hundred and sixty years following The decline
the voyage of Vizcaino witnessed great changes bpaln
in the relative power of Spain. Her decline
began toward the close of the sixteenth century,
and in 1588 the English fleet, officered by superb seamen like Howard and Drake, destroyed
the Spanish Armada, which had threatened the
ruin of England. From this time the other nations of Europe no longer feared Spain, and three
of them,— England, France, and Holland,—■
began to colonize the New World. The found-
ing of Jamestown in 1607, Quebec one year
later, and the trading post at Manhattan Island
in 1613, gave each of these states a foothold
on the Atlantic coast, all of which had been
claimed by Spain under the name of Florida.
In the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries England was enabled, largely through
the growth of her navy, to outstrip all of the
other colonizing powers, and to gain at last
the entire eastern half of North America. Holland was forced to give up her colony in 1664;
and France gave up Canada, together with the
15 Her unsafe
condition on
the Pacific
The remedy;
country between the Alleghanies and the Mississippi, in 1763. Spain was pushed down into
the peninsula of Florida, remaining there till
1763, when she was compelled, for a time, to
retire beyond the Mississippi.1
These changes seriously affected the position
of Spain on the Pacific coast. Her people
feared that Great Britain would attack them
on that side as they had already successfully
done on the Atlantic. British navigators were
at this time earnestly trying to discover the
Northwest Passage from Hudson Bay to the
Pacific. Should they be so fortunate as to
find it, and gain aToothold on the west coast,
the days of Spanish supremacy would be numbered. This was one of the alarming conditions which roused the Spaniards from their
sleep of a hundred and sixty years. Another
danger threatened from the north, where the
Russians had already made various discoveries,
including Bering's Strait and some points on
the coast of Alaska. There was nothing to
prevent these hardy northerners from pushing
down the coast line at their own good pleasure.
But the people of Mexico, supported by the
Spanish government, now showed themselves
capable of making extraordinary exertions for
the safety of the state. They proposed a great
plan  of   northern   expansion,   wrhich   included
1 During a brief period, 1763-1783, England controlled Florida.
three points. First, they were to plant colonies and build forts at the harbors of San
Diego and Monterey, as Vizcaino had recommended in 1603. Next, the entire region of
Upper California was to be brought under
Spanish rule. Lastly, they were to undertake
further explorations by sea from Monterey to
the vicinity of the Russian settlements on the
North Pacific. In connection with the plan
of conquest it was decided to establish a
number of missions, such as already existed
throughout the California Peninsula, for the
purpose of Christianizing the northern Indians.
Father Junipero Serra, a devout Franciscan
friar, was placed in charge of the missionary
Early in  1769, two ships were  sent north- planting the
ward to the harbor of San Diego, and at the Callforma
0 missions and
same time two companies of colonists, each presidios
with a herd of cattle, marched overland from
the northern missions of the peninsula. The
total number of persons setting out by land and
sea was two hundred and nineteen; but when
the expeditions reached their destination it was
found that only one hundred and twenty-six
remained. This heroic little band hoped to
conquer the vast stretches of wilderness comprised within the present boundaries of California. On the 16th of July (1769) they founded
the first of the series of missions at San Diego,
Juan Perez
and the
discovery of
the Northwest Coast
where a fort, or presidio, was also established.
Monterey was occupied in the following year,
the harbor fortified, and the mission of San
Carlos begun. This place became the capital
of Upper California, Year by year other missions were established, that of San Francisco,
the sixth in number, dating from October, 1776.
As soon as the work of colonization was well
under way the leaders turned their attention to
the explorations, which were a part of the great
plan for extending the influence of Spain toward the north. The first expedition was intrusted to Juan Perez, a naval officer of first
rank, who had been in charge of the California
fleet. His ship was the Santiago, one of the
few vessels whose names deserve to be recorded in a history of the Pacific Northwest.
When all was in readiness for the departure,
the officers and men gathered on the shore
where some of the priests celebrated mass, and
next morning (June 11, 1774) the Santiago was
towed out of the harbor.1 For a number of
days she drifted southward under adverse winds,
and it was not till the 5th of July that the 42d
parallel was passed. Thereafter Perez sailed
steadily northward far from  shore, intending
1 Two priests accompanied the expedition, and fortunately
each of them left us a diary giving a detailed history of the
voyage. This brief account of the voyage is prepared from these
to reach the latitude of 6o° before making
land. But running short of water, on the 15th
of July he put about to the east, and five days
later reached the coast near the southern limits
of Alaska. He named the place Santa Margarita. Many Indians came off from shore
in their canoes, but they were very timid and
only gradually gained courage to approach the
ship. This shows that the sight of white men
was new to them. After a time they brought
otter skins, mats, and nicely woven hats made
of rushes, to exchange for cast-off clothing,
knives, beads, and ribbons. These Indians had
among them a few iron rings and other metal
trinkets, which some suppose to have come
from the far-off British trading post at Hudson Bay. In that case they must have been
passed on from one tribe to another across the
Although his instructions required Perez to Theexpiora-
reach the parallel of 6o°, he decided that the northern6
condition   of  his  vessel  and  crew would not coast
permit him to go farther.    He therefore turned
to explore the  land  southward  to  California.
After running along  the coast about  six degrees, he  entered a " C "-shaped  harbor just
above   the   present   American   boundary  line
(490) which  he named  San Lorenzo.    Here,
too, the natives were afraid of the Spaniards;
but  wThen  their  timidity was overcome, they 20     A  HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
were glad to exchange, the most beautiful otter
skins for bits of ribbon or a few worthless shells.
From San Lorenzo the course of the Santiago
was almost continuously southward. At frequent intervals she was so close inshore that
the land stood clearly revealed to those on board.
On the 27th of August, after an absence of two
months and a half, the good ship anchored safely
in the harbor of Monterey: " Thanks be to
God," the pious chronicler exclaims, " who has
permitted us to arrive most happily at this port,
although we suffer the disappointment of not
having gained our chief end, which was to go
as far north as sixty degrees of latitude, there
to go ashore and raise the standard of the holy
Perez had made a general exploration of the
entire Northwest Coast, from the parallel of 42 °
to 540 40', but he had failed to reach the region
visited by the Russians.1 In the following year,
therefore, a new expedition was fitted out, this
time under the command of Captain Bruno
Heceta. One of his vessels was the already
famous Santiago, the other was a small ship
named the Sonora. Heceta sailed under instructions to reach the latitude of 65 °. At a
point near Fuca's Straits (Point Grenville) he
1 The term " Northwest Coast" is usually applied to the region
between these parallels, and includes what now is comprised in the
coasts of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. THE NORTHWEST COAST  AND  ALASKA     21
landed and went through the ceremony of
taking possession of the country. Soon after
this he decided for no. very good reason, so far
as we can see, to return to California. On the
17th of August, while running southward along
the coast, he discovered "a bay with strong
eddies and currents, indicating the mouth of a
large river or strait."1 Heceta did not enter this
stream. Had he done so the River of the
West might to-day be known under a different
name from that with which we are all familiar;
for there is no doubt that the Spanish navigator
describes the bay at the mouth of the Columbia.
The Sonora, commanded by Cuadra, had been cuadra
separated from the flagship, and when Heceta reaches
r . r . . latitude 580
turned southward her intrepid captain was left
to follow his own inclinations. He first ran
many leagues to the west, and then veering
about northward, finally saw (in latitude 570)
the snowy peak of a great mountain, to which
he gave the name of § San Jacinto." Opposite
this he landed, and for the second time the
coast of the North Pacific was formally claimed
as a part of the dominions of Spain. Before
turning southward he reached the latitude of
580. Since the Russians had already seen
points in Alaska from the 65th to the 60th
parallels, this voyage nearly completes the
first general exploration of the Pacific Coast.
1 The quotation is from Bancroft, " Northwest Coast," I, p. 163. 22      A HISTORY  OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Origin of
We have now reached an important turning
point in the history of the Northwest Coast.
The fears of the Spanish were about to be
realized; for in 1776 the British government
resolved to send to the Pacific the first explorer
to enter those waters from England since the
voyage of Sir Francis Drake. The object of
the new expedition was to find a passage eastward, around the northern end of North
America, from Bering's Strait. During the
early part of the seventeenth century Great
Britain had sacrificed valuable lives in the
effort to find a Northwest Passage from the
Atlantic into the Pacific. Henry Hudson, for
example, perished in the great bay wThich bears
his name; but all to no effect. Then, for
more than one hundred years, very little was
done. About 1750 the subject of the Northwest Passage came up prominently once more
and could never afterward be dismissed. By
this time it was known that North America
was separated from Asia by a strait which
extended north and south; for the Danish
navigator, Vitus Bering, while exploring for
the Russian government in 1728, had passed
around the northeastern point of Asia, and a
few years later (1741) had crossed over to
the coast of Alaska. It was also known that
there was open sea far to the northwest of
Hudson   Bay;   for   in   the   years   1769-1772 THE  NORTHWEST  COAST AND ALASKA
Samuel Hearne, who was sent out by the
Hudson's Bay Company, had traversed a thousand miles of wilderness from the Hudson's
Bay post on Churchill River, and traced the
Coppermine River to its outlet in a northern
ocean. This encouraged the British govern-
ment to begin the search once more, starting
from two opposite points, Baffin's Bay on the
east and Bering's Strait on the west. For the
second part of this enterprise they selected
their greatest explorer, Captain James Cook.
He had distinguished himself during the preceding half-dozen years by the discovery of New
Zealand and other islands in the South Pacific,
and by exploring the coasts of Australia. He
was fitted out in the most complete fashion
with two excellent ships, the Discovery and the
Resolution. The latter, his flagship, was the
vessel in which Cook had made his long cruise
in the Pacific during the years 1772—1774.
Cook's instructions were issued on the 6th
of July (1776), and he sailed on the 12th of the
same month. He was ordered to enter the
South Pacific, and after making some further
explorations in those waters, to run to the
coast of " New Albion." He was then to explore northward to 65°, and endeavor to find
a way from Bering's Strait into the Atlantic.
Aside from their main features, thfe instructions
are interesting in two other particulars.    The
first is the allusion to Drake's pretended discoveries of two centuries earlier; the second
is the date, which Americans will recognize
as strangely near the time when the English
colonies on the Atlantic declared their independence of the mother country. It would
almost seem  as if   Great Britain was making
Tereoboo, King of Owyhee, bringing Presents to
Captain Cook.
He discovers
the Sandwich Islands
haste to gain an empire on the Pacific which
might partly recompense her for losses on the
opposite coast.
After spending about eighteen months in
southern waters, Cook sailed northward, and
early in January, 1778, discovered a group of
islands to which he gave the name of his
patron, the Earl of Sandwich. Two months
later he came in sight of the Oregon coast in THE  NORTHWEST COAST AND ALASKA      2$
about latitude 44°. He then ran up the coast
to the 47th parallel, where he commenced a
careful search for a strait. An old tradition,
published in England as early as 1625, declared that an Italian pilot, Juan de Fuca, had %<*m*c
once entered an inlet on this part of the coast,
and sailed without interruption through to the
Atlantic. This was exactly the sort of passage for which the British were seeking.
Cook examined the supposed locality of the
inlet with great attention but no success. He
was convinced that the story of Juan de Fuca
was a myth, like so many other mariner's tales.1
In about latitude 49° Cook probably entered From
the identical harbor which Perez had named San Nootka
Lorenzo. To this he gave the now well-known northward
name of Nootka Sound. Hundreds of Indians
crowded around the vessel in their canoes,
bringing skins and furs for barter with the
sailors. Hoisting his anchors and steering
northwest, Cook saw San Jacinto Mountain, so
named by Cuadra three years before. To this
the Englishman gave the new name " Mt.
Edgecumbe," by which it is still known. In
latitude 6o° he saw another towering peak,
and learning that the Russians had given the
name " St. Elias " to some point in this vicinity,
1 A few years later (1787) an inlet was found in this latitude
by Barclay, another Englishman, and named after the Italian
pilot of the sixteenth century, the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
A-vi~a -^^j
J #*\*^~*
Death of
The map of
the Pacific
coast completed
he applied it to the imposing mountain whose
glistening summit is such a conspicuous landmark to all mariners sailing along the coast of
Alaska. In a way it separated the explorations
which had been carried on by the Russians at
intervals since 1728 from those recently made
by the Spaniards. Cook held his course northwestward, searching the coast for an eastward
passage, and finally sailed through Bering's
Strait. It was the 9th of August, 1778, when
he reached " the northwestern extremity of all
America," in latitude 65 ° 48'. Directly opposite he found the northeasternmost point of the
Asiatic continent. The former he called " Cape
Prince of Wales," the latter " East Cape." It
was already too late in the season to attempt a
passage through the northern sea, and therefore Cook turned southward to spend the winter
in the new tropical islands discovered at the
opening of the year. Unfortunately, through
some misunderstanding with the inhabitants
of Hawaii, the great captain was attacked and
killed by these barbarians, February 16, 1779.
Cook was not the discoverer of the Northwest Coast. That honor belongs to the Spaniards, while the Russians were first on the
coast of Alaska. But in 1778 there were no
carefully drawn charts to show what had already been achieved. Many rumors, and a few
written statements, containing a mixture of fact THE NORTHWEST  COAST AND ALASKA     27
and fable, were all that the English navigator
had to rely upon. His exploration was, therefore, independent of all the preceding, and his
surveys were more accurate than any which had
yet been made. While much still remained to
be done in the way of filling in details, it is no
mere fancy to say that Cook had completed the
work which Balboa began. The map of the
western coast line of our continent had been
traced, amid mighty perils by sea and shore,
testing the valor of seven generations. \c
First sale of
skins in
The voyage of Captain Cook had one result
which neither he nor the British government
foresaw. At various points along the Northwest Coast, as Nootka Sound and Cook Inlet,
the natives crowded about the ships to exchange sea-otter and other skins for any attractive baubles the white man cared to sell.
No one suspected the true value of these furs,
and those who made the purchases intended
them merely for clothing. But when the ships
of the exploring squadron touched at Canton,
China, on the return voyage to England, officers and men sold the remains of their otter-
skin garments, and a few unused furs, at prices
which seemed almost fabulous. " Skins which
did not cost the purchaser sixpence sterling,"
writes one of the men, " sold for one hundred
dollars." The excitement on shipboard was
intense. The crew wished to return at once,
secure a cargo of furs in the Northwest, and
make their fortunes. When the officers refused, they begged, blustered, and even threatened mutiny, in order to gain their object, but
of course in vain.
in the Northwest Coast
The discovery of the value of sea-otter skins The world
in the Canton market instantly changed the
thought of the world with respect to the Northwest Coast. The region abounded in furs, but
thus far had not been visited for commercial
purposes. Great Britain and Spain had sent
their navigators into these waters for other
reasons. The one desired to explore the coast
in order to confirm her ancient claim of sovereignty over it; the other hoped to find, half
hidden by some jagged cape, the long-sought
highway to the eastern sea. When the news
of this commercial discovery reached Europe
it created widespread interest, and erelong
ships flying the colors of England, of France,
and of Portugal, began regularly to visit the
Northwest Coast. Those of Spain and of the
United States soon followed. In a few years
men of every nation could be found among
the crews that searched the coves and inlets,
wherever the presence of Indian tribes gave
promise of a profitable trade.
The first of these trading craft arrived from Early fur
the coast of China in 1785. It was a small
ship, apparently flying the Portuguese flag, but
commanded by an Englishman, James Hanna.
He secured a cargo of five hundred and sixty
sea-otter skins, which, on the return to China,
were sold for more than twenty thousand dollars.    No season passed thereafter in which the
trade and its
natives living on the best-known harbors of the
North Pacific were unable to dispose of their
furs. Gradually the traders explored new portions of the coast, and thus, year by year, other
tribes were brought under the influence of the
trade.      In  the course of  the first ten  years
Nootka Harbor, 1788.
Launching the Northwest America.
this commercial activity gave rise to two most
interesting historical episodes, to which we
must now give attention. They were the
Nootka Sound controversy and the discovery
of the Columbia.
Nootka Sound, lying just north of the 49th
parallel, contained several of the best harbors
thus far discovered in the  Northwest.    With NOOTKA SOUND  AND THE  COLUMBIA
deep, quiet water, and high rugged shores, it
afforded ideal anchoring places for ships arriving in distress after the long and often stormy
passage across the Pacific. Its favorable location on the line of coast made it convenient,
also, as a center for trading expeditions carried
on to the north and south. As a result, this
place became a kind of international resort for
ships engaged in the fur trade.
We have  not  forgotten, however, that  the Spanish
entire coast was claimed by Spain.    Her title rJP ts,    ,
J       r threatened
was as old as the discovery of Balboa, who took by Russia
possession of all the coasts of the Pacific as he
stood upon the mountain peak in Darien. It
had been strengthened at an early time by the explorations of Cortez, Ulloa, Cabrillo, and others;
and later by the conquest of California, the
northern voyages of Perez, Heceta, and Cuadra.
But in spite of all theories of sovereignty, the
Russians, who discovered Alaska and the adjacent islands, had already pushed down the coast
to the parallel of 6o°, and according to rumors
which had floated southward were threatening
to go farther. Something must be done to stop
these encroachments. In 1788 the Spanish
government sent out a squadron under Martinez and Haro to gather exact information con
cerning the doings of these Northerners.    The\
did not find a Russian settlement at Nootka, as u*yiaf',rV
w «,
they had feared, but met traders of that nation %^
/~" The Nootka
farther up the coast who spoke as if there was
a plan to take possession of this important harbor. The Spaniards learned, also, that Nootka
was the favorite rendezvous for the British and
other ships engaged in the northern trade.
On the return of the Spanish fleet to
Mexico it was at once decided to send the
same officers to the upper seas in the following
year, with instructions to fortify Nootka Sound.
This was done, but in carrying out his orders
Captain Martinez seized two British vessels belonging to a company represented by Lieutenant John Meares.1 This incident occurred in
the summer of 1789, and resulted in a diplomatic controversy and preparations for war by
both Spain and Great Britain. When the contest was ended by the so-called Nootka Convention (November 29, 1790), Spain was no longer,
even in theory, the sovereign of the Northwest
Coast. By this treaty she gave up her exclusive claims, and acknowledged that British subjects had equal rights with her own to trade or
make settlements " in places not already occupied"; that is, anywhere north of California.
The settlement of the Nootka Sound controversy bad special importance for  the   United
1 Two other vessels were temporarily detained, but as these
floated the Portuguese flag and were taken under different circumstances from the ships mentioned above, it is sufficient merely to
allude to them. The vessels over which the controversy arose
were the Princess Royal and Argonaut. NOOTKA SOUND AND THE  COLUMBIA
States. It not only secured rights of trade Effect upon
for British subjects, but practically opened the ^e Umted
North Pacific to the commerce of every nation.
Spain never took an active interest in the fur
trade, and after 1790 she withdrew down the
coast to California. England, too, on account
of the long European wars which began about
this time, found little chance, during the next
twenty years, to follow up the advantage she
had gained. In the meantime, the North Pacific may almost be said to have become an
American lake. The keen traders and dauntless whalers of New England, coming up around
Cape Horn, had taken possession, and were
reaping a rich reward. Let us trace the origin
and some of the most noteworthy results of this
new activity on the Pacific coast.
When Captain Cook sailed from Plymouth John
(England) in July, 1776, he had on board his Led^ard
flagship an American named John Ledyard.
This young sailor was a native of Connecticut,
who had spent his youth in " the land of steady
habits " without finding any steady or settled
business to suit his taste. An adventurer by
nature, he was always looking for new and
exciting enterprises. As a youth he attended
Dartmouth College, then a small school, located
beyond the bounds of settlement on the upper
Connecticut. Ledyard intended to prepare for
missionary work among the Indians; but after
His services
on Cook's
spending some time at college he gave up this
plan and decided to leave the institution. He
had been a peculiar boy in school, and he was
more peculiar in his manner of getting home.
Felling a great tree on the bank of the river,
he hollowed it out to make a canoe; then, with
a bearskin for a bed and a few books as his
sole companions, this enterprising navigator
actually accomplished the long river voyage
from Hanover, New Hampshire, to Hartford,
A little later he made up his mind to become a seaman, and secured a place on a ship
belonging to the British navy. Being in England when Cook's expedition was preparing, he
called to see the great captain and was given the
post of corporal of marines. His services on
the long voyage wrere of great value. He was
vigorous, alert, intelligent, and good-natured;
was always ready to take more than his share
of the hard duties; and went at them with
enthusiasm if they promised any novelties.
While the ships were in northern waters he
volunteered to explore the island of Onalaska,
and in Hawaii amused himself by climbing the
loftiest mountain peak of the island. From
each expedition he brought back important
After the fleet returned to Great Britain
Ledyard was transferred to a warship, bound
for Long Island Sound.    This was just at the His ret
close of the Revolutionary War.   The treaty of tradingpr°i-
. . ect ; goes to
peace had not been signed;   but the fighting Europe
was over, and the young corporal felt morally
justified in leaving the ship.     He escaped to
his old home, found the mother he had not
seen for eight years, and related to admiring
The Sea-otter.
friends his thrilling stories of adventure. But
he was not yet prepared to settle down. Indeed,
ever since the sale by Cook's men of the sea-
otter skins in Canton, which Ledyard witnessed, he had burned with enthusiasm to
engage in the fur trade of the Northwest Coast.
Here was the opportunity to gain both fame
and fortune. If he could only get some American merchant  to  furnish a vessel, with  the m
necessary equipment, he might be first in the
field and secure the cream of the trade. In
trying to carry out his project, Ledyard interviewed the merchants of Boston, New York, and
Philadelphia. It was hard to persuade these
cautious men of business to undertake so dangerous a venture. Finally Robert Morris, then
the greatest merchant of the United States,
agreed to adopt the plan and enter into a partnership with Ledyard for carrying it out. We
can imagine the enthusiasm with which our
adventurer set about his preparations. These,
however, did not proceed far. Either because
no suitable vessel could be secured, or for some
other reason, the arrangement with Morris
came to naught.1 Ledyard now determined to
go to Europe in the hope of finding, in Spain
or France, the mercantile support wrhich he,
could not obtain in his native country. Before
going he published (Hartford, 1783) a little
book which gave to the world the first general
account of Cook's voyage. By this means and
by his personal activity among American merchants he no doubt aroused considerable interest in the Pacific Northwest; and therefore, in
spite of his ill success, it was not long before
1A ship called the Empress of China was, it seems, engaged ; but for some reason her destination was changed and she
was sent to China direct in 1785. This vessel opened the Chinese trade with our eastern cities.
bia and the
others were making similar plans for conducting a trade from Boston to the Northwest Coast
and to China.
In 1787 several Boston merchants fitted out The Coium
two small vessels, the Columbia and the Lady
Washington, with cargoes of trinkets, bright-
colored cloth, and blankets for the Indian trade.
They left Boston on the 1st of October, under
the command of John Kendrick and Robert
Gray. The ships were separated on the voyage
up the Pacific coast. The Washington traded
with the natives, visiting Tillamook and other
ports, and entered Nootka Sound on the 16th
of September. There Captain Gray found two
British ships and witnessed on September 20
the launching of the Northwest America, con-
structed by Lieutenant Meares, the first seagoing vessel built on the Northwest Coast.1
Three days later Kendrick arrived in the
Columbia, and the Americans prepared to
spend the winter at Nootka Sound.
When spring  came both vessels sailed out Trading
to trade along the coast and had a successful T?*..
0 Co turn ota
cruise.    Mr. Haswell, one of the officers, tells saiistoci
rus in his diary that they purchased two hun- *n *°
J J   tr Boston
dred sea-otter skins of one tribe in exchange
for a chisel.     We  do not wonder when  he
1 These British ships were the Felice and iphigenia. The
latter, with the Northwest America, was detained by the Spaniards.   All these vessels carried the flag of Portugal. 38      A  HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
Later voyage to the
adds, " I was grieved to leave them so soon, as
it appeared to be the best place for skins that
wre had seen." Aside from securing a good
cargo, the Americans explored along Queen
Charlotte's Island, and gained a large amount
of information about the coast both north
and south of Nootka. Toward the end of this
summer all the furs thus far collected were
taken on board the Columbia, Captain Gray
then sailed in her to China. He sold his cargo,
loaded with tea, and turning his prow westward,
finally reached Boston (August, 1790) by way
of the Cape of Good Hope. This was the
first time that the flag of the young American
Republic had been borne around the world.
After unloading his tea, Grav was sent back
to the Pacific, where he traded up and down
the coast during the summer of 1791, much as
he had done two years before. The following
winter was spent in the harbor of Clayoquot.
There he built a small vessel, the Adventure,
and in spring resumed his trading excursions
with the most important and unexpected result.
As Gray ran southward along the coast he
discovered (May 7) Gray's Harbor, where he
was attacked by the natives; and on the nth of
May (1792) entered the mouth of a great river
in latitude 46 ° 10'. This he named " Columbia's River," in honor of the good ship which 3
first stemmed its mighty current.    The Colum- Discovery of
bia remained in the river ten days, shifting her *er?    '
J ° bia River,
anchorage several times, and ascending the May 11,
stream to a point " about thirty miles' above I792
the bar. Gray " doubted not it was navigable
upwards of 100" miles. Many Indians in their
bark canoes were constantly about the vessel,
eager for trade. Some of the ship's men filled
the casks with water; others tarred and painted
the ship; still others were engaged in making
and repairing irons. It was a busy time, those
May days of 1792, when the estuary of the
Columbia first became the scene of commerce
conducted by civilized man.
We can but marvel that this great discovery Failure of
should have been left for the American trader, A,ece a'
'   Meares,
when the government expeditions of Great Cook, and
Britain and Spain had been cruising along
those shores for many years. In 1775 the
Spaniards had actually discovered the bay at
the mouth of the Columbia; but while Heceta
suspected the existence of a river, he failed to
enter the stream itself. Thirteen years later
Lieutenant Meares, the English trader, who
figures so prominently in the Nootka Sound
affair, sailed along the line of breakers just outside the bar. He named the indentation which
he saw " Deception Bay "; and so far from discovering that it was in fact the estuary of a
"Teat  river, Meares went  out  of his way to
Vancouver r
declare " that no such river as St. Roc exists,
as laid down on Spanish charts."
Captain Cook passed up the coast in 1778
without suspecting the presence of the river,
and just two weeks before Gray made his
famous discovery, Captain George Vancouver
examined carefully the very opening through
which the river pours its continental flood into
the ocean. Vancouver noted simply " the appearance of an inlet, or small river, the land
behind it not indicating it to be of any great
extent; nor did it seem to be accessible for
vessels of our burden." With this reflection,
and the statement that he did not consider " this
opening worthy of more attention," he continued his northward voyage.    A few weeks later
J     o
he received, at Puget Sound, the news of Gray's
wonderful discovery.
Vancouver sent Lieutenant Broughton to the
Columbia in October, and through him explored
it to Point Vancouver, about one hundred miles
from the bar. He made light of Gray's exploit,
trying to show that the trader had not entered
the river proper, but only the inlet at its mouth.
The world has been more generous than this
distinguished British navigator. It honors the
captain of the Boston trading ship as the real
discoverer of the Columbia, and ranks his
achievement as one of the noteworthy events
in the history of the Pacific Northwest. CHAPTER  IV
Since the first planting of colonies along the The west-
Atlantic coast, the search for a strait had often flowillgriver
taken the form of a search for a west-flowing
river. At first it was supposed that North
America was very narrow, and that the larger
streams falling into the Atlantic must have
their sources near others, flowing westward.
The problem of a water way to the Pacific
could be settled, therefore, by connecting the
headwaters of an east and a west flowing
stream. It was with this thought that King
James required the first English colonists to
explore the rivers of Virginia for their western
But  nature appeared to favor the French, Frenchmen
rather than the English colonists, with an open "^JV
highway across the continent.    Within a few Mississippi
years after the founding of Quebec, Champlain
had explored the  Ottawa  River and reached
Lake   Huron.    Shortly afterward he sent his
agent, Jean Nicolet, westward up the lakes to
visit the Indian tribes in what is now Wisconsin.    There the French learned of a great river
43 44
Effect of the
to the west, which they rejoiced to think would
afford the long-sought passage to the South
Sea. In 1673 Joliet and Father Marquette set
out to explore this river. They launched their
bark canoes at Green Bay, ascended the Fox
River, and crossed over by a very short portage to the Wisconsin. The descent was easy,
and in a few weeks they were floating along
upon the broad current of the Mississippi.
They hoped it might carry them to the South
Sea, either at the Gulf of California or some
more northerly point. By the time they reached
the mouth of the Arkansas, however, the explorers were convinced that the Mississippi was
an Atlantic river, and that its course was almost
directly southward to the Gulf of Mexico. A few
years later (1682) La Salle descended to its outlet, and took possession of the river and valley
for the king of France.
The exploration of the Mississippi gave an
entirely new idea of the magnitude of North
America. A stream greater than any of those
east of the Alleghanies was flowing through
the land for two thousand miles, and draining
a vast territory whose very existence had been
unknown. From the eastern mountains great
tributaries, hundreds of miles in length, added
their waters to its flood. Other large rivers
entered from the west, and these doubtless had
their headsprings far away in unknown regions, EARLY EXPLORATIONS WESTWARD
lying toward the setting sun. The shore of
the South Sea, so vividly present to the imagination in these early times, receded westward
a thousand miles. Instead of reaching it by a
stream interlocking with the James, the Potomac, or the Hudson, the problem now was to
find a west-flowing river near the sources of the
Red, the Arkansas, or the Missouri.
It was not long after the French gained control of the Mississippi valley, before the Missouri came to be looked upon as the great river
highway to the west. French traders and
trappers ascended its turbid waters, and gathered information from the Indians about its
upper streams. Men were always looking for a
way to the Pacific, and even with no prompting
from natives or others, would have constructed
in imagination a river flowing from near the
head of the Missouri to the South Sea. But
there were several good reasons for believing in the existence of such a stream. In
the first place, the Spaniards as early as 1603
claimed to have found a large river entering
the Pacific near the southern boundary of the
present state of Oregon; and for more than
two hundred years they had known of a similar stream flowing to the Gulf of California.
Their sources had never been seen, and it
was reasonable to suppose that they could be
reached  from  the   upper  Missouri.     Besides,
The Missouri and
a western Jonathan
there were traditions among the Indians about
rivers flowing toward the sunset; and early
in the eighteenth century, so the story runs,
an old chief who lived on the Lower Mississippi,
traveled for many moons in this direction until
he reached the western ocean. French missionaries, from the time of Marquette, dreamed
of carrying the Gospel to the tribes on the
wTest-flowing river, and other Frenchmen hoped
to establish a line of trading posts connecting
the Mississippi with the South Sea. It was in
pursuing this project that Verendrye, in 1743,
discovered the Rocky Mountains in the country of the upper Yellowstone.
We now come to one of the most picturesque
figures in early western exploration,—the American traveler, Captain Jonathan Carver. He was
a Connecticut man, who had joined the Colonial
army during the war against the French (1754—
1763), and had performed good service. When
the war closed, he decided, so he says, to undertake a journey to the far west with the hope
of making discoveries useful to the government. On this expedition Carver was absent
more than two years, from June, 1766, to October, 1768. He visited the Great Lakes and
crossed over by the Fox and Wisconsin to the
Mississippi. At the Falls of St. Anthony (St.
Paul, Minnesota) he expected to prepare an
expedition  for  the  purpose of  ascending the
*«aq ii*Ni,MA»>JViJjUXlJJJ1
Missouri and seeking for the River of the West.
Being disappointed in these arrangements he
went up the St. Peter River and wintered among
the Sioux. From these Indians he probably
learned some details concerning the geography
&n ^<2T-v$J
Wfoe  &<gouA
ifrorfoms yys
'■■/^Kansezj   tP-
Mifso*t %
of the upper Missouri, and he may have heard
from them the name " Oregon," of something
like it, applied to the western river; at least we
are indebted to Carver for this significant word.
He prepared a map which shows his ideas con-
J? He goes
to England
river and
cerning the River of the West. We do not
know how far it may have been based on information gained from the Indians, and how far
it was imaginary; but however produced, it is
one of the most interesting maps connected
with the early history of the Pacific Northwest.
On returning from his travels, Carver soon
went to London, where he spent the latter part
of his life. For his knowledge of the interior
of America, a large part of which he no doubt
drew from earlier French travelers, he became
an object of attention from prominent men connected with the British government. He tells
us, for instance, of interviews which he had with
the Lords of Trade and members of Parliament.
It is a most interesting fact that the search for
a western river became connected, at this point,
through Carver, with the long familiar search
for a strait.
We have already seen that the British government was at this time anxiously seeking
the Northwest Passage. Hearne's discoveries
(1769-1772) were creating a belief that the
passage might be found by sailing northeastward from Bering's Strait. This was what led
the government, in 1776, to send out Captain
Cook to the Northwest Coast. But Carver tells
us that an expedition had been planned two
years  earlier to accomplish the same object EARLY EXPLORATIONS  WESTWARD
in a different way. It was proposed to send
a party of some sixty men, including sailors,
shipbuilders and other mechanics, to Lake
Pipin on the Mississippi. There they were to
establish a fort or headquarters from which to
begin the march overland along the Missouri.
From the head waters of the Missouri they
were to cross to the Oregon, and sail down
that river " to the place where it is said to empty
itself near the Straits of Anian." This party
was to carry with them across the continent
all the equipments necessary to build ships on
the Pacific, establish a naval station near the
mouth of the " River of the West," and begin
the search for the Northeast Passage. Carver
tells us that the plan was dropped on account of the Revolutionary War in America,
which broke out at this time. Instead of the
proposed overland expedition, the British government sent out Captain Cook, whose voyage
not only added to our knowledge of North
Pacific geography, but also opened up the
fur trade with all the attendant results described in the last chapter. Among these, the
most important was the discovery of the river
Oregon, concerning which Carver certainly
knew nothing definite.
From this time the story of westward explora- Jefferson a
tion centers very largely in one individual, the westernman
great American statesman, Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson the
Jefferson's home was in the western portion
of what is now the state of Virginia, near the
eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
From boyhood he had been familiar with the
story of western adventure, and was the personal friend of many of the men who, like
Daniel Boone, crossed the mountains to Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio. Kentucky after
its settlement remained for twenty years a part
of Virginia, and Jefferson, as a member of the
state legislature, or as governor of the commonwealth, could not escape the necessity of
interesting himself in everything relating to
that section of the West.
He was a man of broad sympathies and
intensely active, inquisitive mind. Of all the
great men of his time in America, not even
excepting Franklin, Jefferson was undoubtedly the most widely informed. He loved
science, literature, and the arts for their own
sakes, and strove earnestly to gain at least
a general view of every branch of knowledge. In this respect he resembled the great
European thinkers of the eighteenth century. For all these reasons he is not inaptly
called "the universal philosopher." Jefferson
was a leading spirit in the American Philosophical Society, which aimed to gather new
information in all departments of learning, but
laid special stress upon everything pertaining
to the geography, and the animal and plant
life, of the continent. The settled portions of
North America wrere already known; but west
of the mountains, and especially beyond the
Mississippi, lay vast stretches of territory concerning which only vague rumors had thus far
been received. The Great West was still a land
of mystery and wonder, holding peculiar attractions for a man of Jefferson's imaginative mind.
It is refreshing to read, in his letters written
to friends living on the western waters, requests
for all sorts of curiosities to be found in those
regions, — the bones of the Mammoth or Mastodon, elk horns of unusual size, remarkable
minerals and plants. He was always glad to
pay the charges for transporting boxes of these
things from the place of their discovery to
his home at Monticello. In a letter to Philip
Nolan, the notorious character who has been
depicted as " the man without a country," Jefferson asked for a full account of the wild
horses, of which large herds roamed over the
Spanish country toward Santa Fe. This information, too, was for the American Philosophical
In these letters of Jefferson to western men His letter to
there appears, at last, evidence of a desire to    ep
know about the whole region west of the Mis-
sissippi and across to the Pacific Ocean.    On
the 26th of November, 1782, he wrote to a Mr, 52      A HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
proposal of
Question of
the route
Steptoe, asking not only for the " big bones,"
which seemed so hard to procure, but also for
"descriptions of animals, vegetables, minerals,
or other curious things." In addition, he would
be glad to receive " notes as to the Indians'
information of the country between the Mississippi and the South Sea."
On the 4th of December, 1783, almost one
year later, Jefferson wrote the now well-known
letter to George Rogers Clark. After mentioning his desire to obtain the "bones, teeth,
and tusks of the Mammoth," he says: " I find
they have subscribed a very large sum of money
in England for exploring the country from the
Mississippi to California, they pretend it is
only to promote knolege. I am afraid they
have thoughts of colonizing into that quarter,
some of us have been talking here in a feeble
way of making the attempt to search that country. But I doubt whether we have enough of
that kind of spirit to raise the money. How
would you like to lead such a party ? tho I am
afraid the prospect is not worth asking the
This is the first proposal made in the United
States for an overland journey to the Pacific.
It could scarcely have appeared earlier, for at
this time the treaty of peace with Great Britain,
closing the Revolutionary War, was only three
months old, and the last of the enemy's troops
were just leaving the country. The treaty gave
us the Mississippi as the western boundary of
the United States. The great region beyond
the river belonged to Spain, whose colonies
extended in a broken line from New Orleans,
through Texas, to Mexico and Santa Fe. Along
the Pacific, as we have seen, she had a few missions and presidios, reaching northward as far
as San Francisco Bay. It is not at all unlikely,
since he speaks of a British plan to reach California, that Jefferson wished George Rogers
Clark to go to the Pacific by a southern route,
from near the mouth of the Mississippi, but we
cannot be certain. Three years later the far-
seeing statesman had fixed upon the Missouri
as the line of approach to the western sea, and
he held to this idea until the transcontinental
route was opened under his direction by Lewis
and Clark.
At this point we meet once more with the Jefferson
adventurous Yankee, John Ledyard. In the H
preceding chapter we found him, after the return of Cook's expedition, trying to persuade
some great merchant of the Atlantic cities
to fit him out with a ship for the Northwest
fur trade. Failing in this Ledyard went to
France, where he hoped to meet with better
fortune. Again he was almost, but not quite,
successful. Jefferson was then living in Paris
as Minister of the United States to the court 54      A  HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
New plan to
of France; and since Ledyard was always in
need of friends, he was not long in making the
statesman's acquaintance. We could easily infer,
even if we did not have the testimony of both
men to the fact, that the subjects of the Northwest fur trade and westward explorations were
most interesting topics of conversation at their
frequent private meetings and the dinner parties
of mutual friends.
Since Ledyard had failed in his trade project
he was all the more eager for some exploring
venture which might bring him what he called
" honest fame." For this purpose the western
portion of North America offered the greatest
inducements. In his over enthusiastic manner
he wrote: " I die with anxiety to be on the
back of the America States after having either
come from or penetrated to the Pacific Ocean.
There is an extensive field for the acquirement
of honest fame. A blush of generous regret sits
on my cheek when I hear of any discovery there
which I have had no part in. — The American
Revolution invites to a thorough discovery of the
continent. — Let a native explore its resources
and boundaries. It is my wish to be the man."
Jefferson wrote that Ledyard was " panting for
some new enterprise," and he encouraged him
in a plan to explore western North America,
beginning at the Pacific coast. The traveler
was " to go by land to Kamtchatka, cross in EARLY EXPLORATIONS  WESTWARD
some of the Russian vessels to Nootka Sound,
fall down into the latitude of the Missouri, and
penetrate to and through that to the United
Ledyard started out bravely toward the end The Siberian
of the year 1786. In order to reach St. Peters- returned18
burg he traveled on foot across Sweden, Finland, and Lapland, through the blinding storms
of an Arctic winter, nearly perishing from cold,
hunger, and fatigue. From the Russian capital
his journey was less difficult, and he arrived in
northeastern Siberia before the next winter.
There he waited, hoping to get a chance to
sail to Nootka Sound in the spring for the
purpose of beginning his great journey across
the continent of America. He was used to
disappointments; but that which now overtook
him was the bitterest and most terrible of all.
The Russian government refused, in spite of
his passport, to allow him to go forward. He
was arrested, placed in a closed vehicle, and
" conveyed day and night, without ever stopping to rest, till they reached Poland, where
he was set down and left to himself." Sick
and almost heartbroken, he made his way to
1 Before setting out on this journey he went to London and
was invited to take passage on a trading ship about to visit the
Northwest Coast. Ledyard was delighted. He got on board
with his two great dogs, his Indian pipe and hatchet, and already
felt the thrill of being under way, when the ship was arrested by
the government and the voyage abandoned. 56     A HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
return to
London, where he arrived in May, 1788. But
soon recovering his spirits, in a few weeks he
was eagerly planning another exploring scheme.
This time he proposed to search for the sources
of the Nile, having been engaged for that purpose by the African Association in London.
He started, reached Egypt, and was already
looking forward to a plunge into the depths
of the Dark Continent, when he fell sick and
died very suddenly in November, 1788. A few-
days earlier he had written an enthusiastic
letter to his old friend Jefferson.
Jefferson was called home from Paris in
1790 to become Washington's. Secretary of
State. Others were by this time thinking of
exploring the West, and Captain John Armstrong made an attempt to pass up the Missouri in the spring of 1790; but reports of
wars among the Indians turned him back.
In 1792 Jefferson supported a scheme of the
French botanist, Michaux, to make a journey
to the Pacific; but this also failed. Eight
years later he was elected President of the
United States, and then, at last, the opportunity came for carrying out his long-cherished
project of western exploration.
iiiiiii«iHa'.iia|i|nmiiai eon
When Jefferson entered upon  his office of Napoi
President, March 4, 1801, the Mississippi was alarmsthe
^ l l Americans
still the western boundary of the United States.
All west of the river was supposed by Americans to belong to Spain, which had been in
possession at New Orleans since 1763. As a
matter of fact, however, the great Napoleon,
who was then at the head of the French government, had recently forced Spain to give
back Louisiana to France, but without publishing to the world the treaty of October, 1800,
by which this was accomplished. When the
Americans learned, a little later, of the change
of ownership of this western territory, and the
prospect that France would -succeed Spain at
the mouth of the Mississippi, great alarm was
felt throughout the country. " Perhaps nothing
since the Revolutionary War," wrote Jefferson,
" has produced more uneasy sensations throughout the body of the nation."
A  glance at the condition of  the West of The western
that time will explain why this was so.    The settlements
entire region beyond the Alleghanies was by
of life in the
nature tributary to the Mississippi. It was a
fertile land, containing rich valleys, beautiful
plains, and far-stretching forests which once
teemed with wild game. Daniel Boone called
Kentucky " a second Paradise." He and other
pioneers at first entered the region as hunters.
Afterward they cut a road through the
Shenandoah Valley and Cumberland Gap
("the Wilderness Road"), through which they
brought their wagons, families, and cattle, to
make new homes upon the western waters.
The pioneers of Tennessee arrived at about
the same time, just before the Revolutionary
War, and occupied the high valleys along the
head waters of the Tennessee River. From
these beginnings settlement had spread rapidly,
in spite of Indian wars and frontier hardships,
until, in the year 1800, Kentucky had a white
population of 180,000, and Tennessee 92,000.
By that time Ohio had also been settled, partly
by Revolutionary soldiers from New England,
and already counted 45,000 people. A few
settlers were scattered along the rivers of Ala-
bama and Mississippi, and still others lived in
the old dilapidated French villages of Illinois,
Indiana, and Michigan. We will not be far
wrong in placing the total white population on
Mississippi waters in 1800 at 325,000.
The prosperity of all these people was absolutely in the hands of the power that con- Thomas Jefferson.
trolled the Mississippi. At that time there
were no canals joining the eastern and western
streams; railroads had never been heard of;
and the steamboat, afterward such a wonderful aid in transporting goods and passengers
up the rivers of the West, was yet to be invented. Manufactured goods, articles of little
bulk and considerable value, were carried
across the mountains from the Atlantic seaboard by pack train or wagon, to supply the
frugal wants of the frontier settlers. Cattle
from the great ranges of Kentucky and Tennessee were driven eastward to market; but all
the other produce of farm, mill, and factory,
the surplus wheat, corn, pork, flour, and lumber,
were carried to the one invariable market at
New Orleans. The means employed in transportation was the old-fashioned "ark," or flatboat,
made of rough plank and guided by rudder or
setting pole. Such craft were a feature of
every farming community in the western states.
They were built by the farmers themselves,
and moored in convenient streams to await
their cargoes. Then, when harvest was over
and the free days of autumn arrived, the
husbandman loaded on the annual surplus,
and with his sons or hired men floated down
to the distant Spanish city. There he sold his
cargo, boat and all, to secure the money needed
to clothe his family and buy the small supply 62     A HISTORY OF THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
on the
close the
of homely comforts which they had learned to
demand. The return was by keel boat up the
river, on the back of a Spanish pony overland,
or by ship around to the most convenient
Atlantic seaport.
So long as Americans had the free use of
the Mississippi, all was satisfactory. In theory
this was one of our unquestioned rights; but
the practical fact was different, for the Spaniards owned the land on both banks of the
river at its mouth, and our people were dependent on them for a place to deposit the
produce brought down until it could be transferred to ocean vessels. If they, or the French
who were about to step into their places, should
refuse to continue this right of deposit, or
should charge a heavy toll for it, they could
sap the very lifeblood of the American communities in the entire trans-Alleghany region.
The Spaniards were supposed to be too
weak to attempt this wTith any promise of success ; but France had become the dread of
Europe, and ranked as the greatest military
power of the world. It is not strange that
Americans should take alarm at the prospect
of having her as a neighbor on the west, especially since this would mean French garrisons
planted about New Orleans. The uneasiness
of which Jefferson wrote was caused by the
fear that  France,   when  once  in  possession, THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION
might undertake to oppress the Americans in
order to establish her influence over the western people.1 Just before the close of the year
1802 the news reached Washington that a
Spanish official at New Orleans had actually
denied to Americans the right of deposit,
which was guaranteed by treaty. This action
not only increased the alarm already widely
felt, but aroused the West to a desire for war
in which many eastern people shared.
Jefferson was by nature strongly averse to Jefferson's
war, and would sometimes yield a great deal in ?Tan^°ibuy
I o New Orleans
order to preserve peace. In this case, however, and west
his mind seems to have been made up. We
must go to war rather than permit France to
take and keep possession of the mouth of the
Mississippi. But it would be best, he thought,
to delay the armed conflict as long as possible,
and meantime he would try to gain the control of the river for the United States by the
arts of diplomacy, in the use of which he
was a master hand.    The plan was to frighten
1 During the Colonial period France held all the territory
drained by the Mississippi, and only gave up the region between
the river and the Alleghanies to Great Britain (1763) because
she was compelled to do so. After the United States came
into control of it France began scheming to get it back. This
was one of the objects of the Genet mission in 1793, and it
occupied the French government at other times, as the Americans well knew. Spaniards and English also had an ambition
to control the region west of the Alleghanies. One such British
plan connects with the Nootka Sound controversy. 64     A HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
The special
message of
January 18,
Its two
The first
Napoleon with a threat that the United States
would join Great Britain in a war against
France, and thus induce him, as a condition
of peace, to sell us the island and city of New
Orleans, together with West Florida. This
wTould give the United States both banks of
the Mississippi at its mouth, and insure the
control of the river. Jefferson had already instructed Robert R. Livingston, our minister to
France, to undertake this purchase of territory
from Napoleon; and when the war spirit ran
high in Congress, during the winter of 1802-
1803, he sent James Monroe to Paris as a special
commissioner to assist in carrying out this plan.
At the same time Congress took measures to
place the country in as good condition as possible to bear the shock of a future war.
It was under these circumstances, when the
country was excited over affairs in the West,
and fearful of a collision with the overshadowing power of France; when the fate of the
Mississippi appeared to be hanging in the balance, and might turn either way; that President Jefferson sent to Congress the now famous
message of January 18, 1803, recommending an
exploring expedition to the Pacific.
This document contains two distinct parts
which ought, however, to be read together.
The first part deals with questions which apparently relate wholly to Indian affairs.    But THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION
the reader of the message can readily see that
the President's chief purpose is to provide additional protection to the Mississippi River.
He felt strongly, at this time, that our interests
^J     J    9 9
would not be safe till the United States had a
large population in the West, and especially
along the great river itself.    The government
must  encourage   the westward  movement in
every proper way, and thus "plant upon the
Mississippi itself the means of its own safety."
But especially must an effort be made to establish American settlements on the great stretches
of unoccupied land immediately along the east
bank. Since the Indian tribes owned most of
tli is land, something must be done to induce
them to part with it; and Jefferson believed that
the best method was to continue selling them
goods, including plows and other implements
which had a tendency to make of the Indians an
agricultural people. With the expansion of their
corn fields, the growth of their herds and flocks,
they would see the uselessness of retaining vast
stretches  of forest for hunting grounds, and
CD     CD '
would be glad to sell these to the government
for money or needed supplies. That is why
Jefferson dwells at such length upon the importance of maintaining government trading
houses, where they already existed among Indian tribes, and urges Congress to consider
carefully the question of establishing others. rr-fT
The second
The Mississippi River, and the question of
how to defend it, lie back of this entire discussion.
When we come to the second part of the
message other questions appear, but the argument for the protection of the Mississippi is
still present. The power of the United States
extended only to the river itself, the great region to the west being under the jurisdiction
of Spain, which was about to hand over the
country to France. Large and powerful native
tribes hunted the buffalo upon the broad prairies which now are divided into numerous
states, containing millions of inhabitants. The
Indians, along the Missouri especially, were so
closely connected with the Mississippi that, as
the President saw, they could either help or
harm us a great deal. He insisted that we
ought to become better acquainted with these
tribes. They were trading with British subjects whose headquarters were at Montreal- in
Canada. They might just as well be sending
their beaver and other furs down the Missouri,
and across the United States to New York or
Baltimore. If they could be induced to trade
with Americans, it would be to our advantage
in every way. Those Indians would then be
our friends instead of our enemies, and would
serve as a protection to the Mississippi from
the west.
iiMi4ijiiMwrmH»wiaiaHajjAiiuii{wfBBijjB THE  LEWIS  AND  CLARK  EXPEDITION
In this manner Jefferson led up to his great a govem-
project of sending a government expedition up ^km^ro-"
the Missouri. It was the opportunity to explore p°sed
the West for which he had been waiting twenty
years; yet his message has very little to say
about exploration for its own sake, and a great
deal about commercial treaties with the Missouri River Indians. This shows simply that
Jefferson was a practical, tactful man, who
knew how best to approach Congress on the
subject of an appropriation for carrying out his
plans. "An intelligent officer," he says, "with
ten or twelve men fit for the enterprise and
willing to undertake it, might explore the whole
line, even to the Western Ocean, have conferences with the natives on the subject of commercial intercourse, get admission among them
for our traders, as others are admitted, agree
on a convenient deposit for an interchange of
articles, and return with the information acquired in the course of two summers."
The phrase " even to the Western Ocean ' The Pacific
shows clearly that Jefferson had in mind a
genuine exploring expedition, such as he had point
planned several times during the preceding
twenty years, but was never able to obtain.
He proposed nothing less than the opening of
a way across the continent to the Pacific Ocean,
and a careful scientific examination of the
country along the route.
Ocean its
objective The Louisiana Purchase a
later event
When we remember that the message was
written on the 18th of January, 1803, it becomes
plain that the exploring expedition recommended by Jefferson had nothing whatever to
do with the Louisiana Purchase. At that time
he had just sent Monroe to France to assist
Livingston in the plan to purchase New
Orleans and West Florida. Neither Jefferson
nor any one else had thus far hoped that we
should own the whole of Louisiana. On the
30th of April, however, a treaty was made in
Paris by which Napoleon transferred the entire
region to the United States; and since the
expedition already planned did not set out for
more than a year, it has often been supposed
that the purchase of Louisiana was the reason
for sending it. This is a mistake. Congress
had passed a bill appropriating twenty-five hundred dollars for the expedition, and President
Jefferson had appointed its leader before it was
known in the United States that Louisiana was
ours.1 We are now prepared to study the
organization of the Lewis and Clark expedition,
and to follow the intrepid American explorers
in their thrilling journey across the continent.
1 This paragraph would be unnecessary but for the fact that
hundreds of books, now in print, contain the historical error
above mentioned. CHAPTER  VI
Jefferson's plan for carrying out the explor- pian of
ing project was to appoint an army officer as orgamzat101*
leader, and let him select a few men from the
military posts, wherever  they  could  best  be
spared.    In this way he would not only secure
men trained to obey a commander, which was
an important point, but would be enabled to
fit out the expedition with very little expense;
for the soldiers and officers wrould continue to
draw their regular pay from the military department.    His choice for the leadership fell
upon   Meriwether  Lewis, a  young Virginian, captain
brought up in the neighborhood of Monticello, Meriwether
who had long been a favorite of Jefferson. He
was of good family, was fairly well* educated,
and had many gifts both of mind and person.
From boyhood Lewis had been fond of hunting, and had made himself an excellent woodsman. He was also an enthusiastic student of
plants and animals, was inured to the hardships
and discipline of camp life, and understood the
character and customs of the American Indians.
For a number of years he had been in the regu-
lar army, but at this time held the office of
private secretary to the President. His qualifications were admirable in so many respects,
that in spite- of some lack of scientific training,
Jefferson " could have no hesitation in confiding
Meriwether Lewis.
the enterprise to him." He knew Lewis to be
" honest, disinterested, of sound understanding,
and a fidelity to truth so scrupulous that whatever he should report would be as certain as
if seen by ourselves." Besides, he was " steady
in the maintenance of discipline," and would be
" careful as a father of those committed in his
It was at Lewis's suggestion that the Presi- William
dent appointed a second officer to share the
command of the party, and the man to fill the
post was also selected by the young captain.
By a curious chance the individual chosen was
William Clark.
William Clark, younger brother of the celebrated western general, George Rogers Clark,
to whom Jefferson had made the first proposal
of an overland journey to the Pacific in 1783.
Like Lewis, Clark wTas a man of military experience, having served under General Wayne
("Mad Anthony") in the campaign against the
Ohio    Indians.    He  had   traveled   widely  in Instructions.
The main
Notes and
the West, on several occasions even crossing
the Mississippi., Clark was a few years older
than Lewis, and differed from him in being
less imaginative and enthusiastic; but in all
respects he was a worthy companion, splendidly
qualified to share the responsibility of the great
enterprise. The two leaders were peculiarly
fitted to work together harmoniously, and did
so from the beginning to the end of the expedition. " Throughout all the trying experiences
of the three years during which they were
united, their respect and friendship for each
other but deepened and strengthened — a
record far from common among exploring
Jefferson personally prepared the instructions which were to govern the leaders in their
work. I The object of your mission," he wrote
to Lewis, " is to explore the Missouri River and
such principal streams of it as, by its course
and communication with the waters of the
Pacific Ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregon,
Colorado, or some other river, may offer the most
direct and practical water communication across
the continent for the purpose of commerce."
They were to keep careful records day by
day of the distances traveled and the points of
1 Quoted from Reuben Gold Thwaites," Rocky Mountain Exploration with Special Reference to Lewis and Clark," New York,
1904, p. 105. OPENING  A  HIGHWAY  TO  THE  PACIFIC      73
interest along the route. All noteworthy geographical features, such as the mouths of tributary rivers, rapids, falls, and islands, were to be
accurately located with respect to latitude and
longitude, so that a correct map of the rivers
followed and the portage between them could
be drawn from the explorer's notes. The
President suggested that several copies of these
notes should be made in order to guard against
their loss by accident; and also "that one of
these copies be on the cuticular membranes of
the paper-birch as being less liable to injury
from damp than common paper." The officers
were urged to induce as many of the men as
possible to keep diaries, and several of them
did so.
Full instructions were given about dealing Dealing
with the Indian tribes along the route, the ex
plorers being required to "treat them in the
most friendly and conciliatory manner which
their own conduct will admit"; they were to
impress upon the red men that the United
States was not only their friend, but that she
was a great and strong power able to afford
them full protection. If possible, they should
arrange to have a few influential chiefs visit
The President made his instructions complete other
enough to cover every detail of the work pro- matters
posed.    Climate, soil, plants, animals, curious
the party
geological remains, Indian legends — all these
and other matters were to be kept in mind, and
all possible information secured concerning
them. I Should you reach the Pacific Ocean,"
he said, " inform yourself whether the furs of
those parts may not be collected as advantageously at the head of the Missouri ... as at
Nootka Sound or any other point of that coast."
If so, the trade not only of the Missouri and
Columbia, but of the Northwest Coast as well,
might be carried across the continent to the
eastern seaboard of the United States. One
of the most pleasing paragraphs in the instructions is that in which the kindly Jefferson says
to Lewis, " We wish you to err on the side of
your safety, and to bring back your party safe,
even if it be with less information."
Captain Lewis spent several weeks in Philadelphia, under scientific instructors, and then
set out for the West. He expected to get
under way up the Missouri before the end of
the year 1803. But delays at Pittsburg, where
a drunken boat builder kept him waiting a
month, and difficulties in navigating the Ohio
during low water, wore away the summer.
Clark joined him in Kentucky, and at several
of the western posts soldiers were enlisted for
the journey. Of these there were four sergeants
and twenty-three privates, including nine Kentucky hunters,    Two French interpreters, the
Indian wife of one of these (Sacajawea), and
Clark's burly negro, York, completed the party.
Sixteen additional soldiers and water men were
engaged to accompany the expedition as far as
the villages of Mandan Indians.1
The winter of 1803-1804 was passed in camp The first
at the mouth of the river Du Bois, opposite the wmter
Missouri. Captain Clark spent most of his
time in drilling the men, building boats, and
making other necessary arrangements about
the establishment; while Lewis purchased supplies at St. Louis, and gathered information
concerning the route from traders who thus
early were familiar with the river as far as the
Mandan villages. He frequently visited the
American officers, and other persons of note
in the little French hamlet, so soon to become
an important American town. On the 9th of
March he witnessed the ceremony of lowering the foreign flag and raising the emblem of
our own country over the territory of upper
By the 14th of May the final touches had been The start.
given to the preparations, and  the  exploring   a    arette
party commenced the historic  journey across
the  continent.     Their   supplies,  instruments,
1 The muster roll of the party, on leaving Fort Mandan, is
given in Coues's " Lewis and Clark Expedition,"' New York, 1891,
I, p. 253. note. Much interesting matter on the persons composing the party is contained in Eva Emery Dye's "Conquest,"
Chicago, 1902. y6      A HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
They meet
articles for trade and presents for the Indians,
were carried in a flotilla consisting of three
boats: one was a keel boat of twenty-two oars,
with deck, sail, and breastworks; the other two
were small craft, of six and seven oars respectively. Many of the leading citizens of St.
Louis turned out to see them off. All recognized the importance of the enterprise, and
delighted to honor the men who were braving
CD <_y
untold dangers in order to open a highway to
the shores of the Pacific. As the boats toiled
up the swift-flowing Missouri they were often
hailed from the banks by groups of French
settlers, and sometimes by companies of Americans who were already beginning to emigrate
to this newly opened region of the West. At
St. Charles they made a halt of several days,
and it was not till the 25th of May that the
explorers passed La Charette, the home of
Daniel Boone, and the last settlement on the
Missouri. From this point their path lay
wholly within the Indian country.
On the 5th of June they " met a raft of two
canoes joined together, in which two French
traders were descending from eighty leagues
up the Kansas River, where they had wintered
and caught great quantities of beaver." Nine
days later they encountered another party of
traders coming  down  from  the Platte.    The
4th of July was celebrated by the firing of the OPENING  A  HIGHWAY TO  THE  PACIFIC      yy
big gun, and apparently in other ways, for one
of the journalists says that a man was snake-
On the east side of the Missouri, hear the
mouth of the Platte River, Lewis and Clark
held councils with the Oto and Missouri
Indians, giving the chiefs medals to hang about
their necks, distributing flags, and leaving other
tokens of American supremacy. The place of
the gathering they named Council Bluff, noting
that here was a good situation for a fort and
trading house. The soil was good for brick,
wood was convenient, and the air was " pure
and healthy." One other incident of this part
of the journey is deserving of notice. On the
20th of August, when the party was passing
the site of the present Sioux City, Sergeant
Charles Floyd died and was buried by his
companions near the river. This is the only
death that occurred on the entire journey.
The country afforded little variety of landscape as day by day the exploring party moved
along the course of the Missouri. Almost
everywhere was the narrow fringe of forest,
running down to the water's edge, while here
and there a wood-covered island divided the
current of the river. Parallel to the stream,
and at varying distances from it, low ranges
of hills separated the valley from the broad
prairie beyond.    Deep ravines, cutting across
council ;
death of
River landscape.
Arrival at
the Mandan
the line of bluffs, opened natural highways
from river to upland, and these were often worn
down by the hoofs of the buffalo, which regularly followed such paths in search of wTater.
Immense herds of these animals were seen, and
many were slain by the hunters, adding not a
little to the good cheer that enlivened the
evening camp.
About the end of October they reached the
villages of the Mandan Indians, within the present boundaries of North Dakota. The sharp
night frosts warning them of approaching winter, it was decided to establish quarters here.
A site was chosen, cottonwood and elm logs
brought from the river bottom, and a "fort'
built. This consisted simply of two rows of
rude blockhouses, placed in the form of a
letter " V," with shed roofs rising from the inner
sides. A row of strong posts, or palisades, completed the triangle. Such was Fort Mandan,
where Lewis and Clark spent the long, severe,
yet busy and not unpleasant winter of 1804-1805.
Many things required to be done. There wrere
notes to copy, reports to write, maps to draw;
articles of interest found on the trip up the
Missouri must be prepared for submission to
the President; new boats were needed for the
The winter's upward journey. These preparations occupied
the leaders during a large part of the winter;
but they took occasion, also, to visit all of the
surrounding Indian tribes, and to make the
best arrangements possible concerning future
trade with the Americans. British traders
from the far north visited them at Mandan
during the winter, and carried back to the
posts of the Northwest Company and to Montreal the news that an American party was
on its way to the Pacific.1
Great Falls of the Missouri.
In March the thaw came, and soon the Mis- Up the
r r    • r\       .Li       Missouri
soun  was  once  more  tree   ot  ice.     On  the fl_ •
ag dill.
7th of April, after starting the keel boat down The Yellow
the  river,  the  eager  travelers   proceeded  on
their way, rejoicing in the expectation of soon
beholding the River of the West, and the great
1 It is probable that this news stimulated the Northwest Company to hasten explorations, which its agents had already begun,
on the west side of the Rockies.
The grizzly
Other terrors
ocean which was the object of their search.
Before the month closed they passed the mouth
of the Yellowstone, where the plains were " animated by vast herds of buffalo, deer, elk, and
antelope," usually so tame that they allowed
the hunter to come very near them, " and often
followed him quietly for some distance." Beaver, too, were especially abundant here. From
Indian travelers Lewis obtained a good account of the Yellowstone, and the country
through which it flows. Near its confluence
with the Missouri was " a situation highly eligible for a trading establishment."
One form of game found in this region was
rather tamer than the explorers desired it to be,
the grizzly bears, with which they had many
thrilling encounters. On one occasion, when
he had just discharged his rifle at a buffalo, Captain Lewis discovered one of these terrible animals rushing furiously toward him, with jaws
distended, ready to tear him in pieces. There
were no trees at hand, and the captain had
barely time to reach the river bank and leap
into the water, when he was able to frighten
the beast off with his halberd. Other terrors
were not wanting. A buffalo bull storming
through camp after dark, a night fire and falling tree trunk, dangerous rapids, the upsetting
of a boat — these are but hints to indicate the
nature of the experiences with which the days OPENING A  HIGHWAY TO THE PACIFIC     81
and nights were filled, as the explorers pushed
on through this wild but interesting region,
toward the sources of the great Missouri.
Multonomah Falls.
After some difficulty at  the   Three   Forks, Theinter-
they ascended what they called the Jefferson lockms
branch, and on the 12th of August Captain
Lewis, with one division of the party, arrived
at the headsprings of the river, high up near
The Sho-
Character of
the west
slope of the
the summit of the Rockies, in a spot I which
had never yet been seen by civilized man." On
the same day he crossed over to " a handsome
bold creek of cold, clear water," flowing westward. The interlocking rivers, one flowing to
the Atlantic, the other to the Pacific, had at
last been found.
It was not long before he discovered a party
of Shoshone Indians, from whom, after much
delay, horses were procured for the journey to
the navigable waters of the Columbia. At
this point the Indian woman, Sacajawea, proved
extremely helpful, for she belonged to the tribe
of Shoshones and turned out to be the sister
of a leading chief.
The explorers were now face to face with
the most serious problem encountered during
the journey. The western slope of the Rockies
differed greatly from the eastern in being much
more rugged and precipitous, with deep cafions
through which the rivers rushed and swirled
for great distances, until finally, on emerging
from the mountains, they became navigable for
boats. The travelers had been able to ascend
the Missouri, to its source, with comparative
ease; following along the river valley, which
was usually free from serious obstructions, a
plain and easy path, sloping so gradually that
it appeared to be almost level. Now they must
make their way over sharp ridges, through ter-
1 >H
rifle mountain defiles, choked with fallen timber and masses of rock debris. Moreover,
they had no satisfactory way of determining problem of
what route to take, or how far they would be the route
obliged to travel before reaching navigable
water. It was necessary to follow the advice
of their Shoshone friends to some extent, but
the leaders soon found that this could not be
altogether relied upon.
As a preparatory step, Captain Clark explored a way down Salmon River to its junction
with a larger river to which he gave the name River
of his friend Lewis.1 But he learned that this
stream was unnavigable for many miles below
the point reached, and that it would be impossible to follow its course through the canon.
He therefore returned, and the explorers decided to cross over to the river which flowed
northward (Clark's Fork). This they would follow to a point below, where an Indian road, the
Lolo Trail, was said to cross the Bitter Root
Mountains to the mouth of the north branch
of the Clearwater. For nearly a month they
threaded dark forests, over steep hills, rocks,
and fallen trees; made their way along dangerous cliffs;  crossed raging torrents, whose icy
1 It is now commonly called " Snake River," a name distasteful
in itself, and possessing no significance. In this volume the
original name, appropriately conferred by the explorer in honor
of his friend and companion one hundred years ago, will be used
the Columbia to the
waters chilled both men and animals. Sometimes they encountered storms of sleet and
snow, again the " weather was very hot and
oppressive." Most of the men became sick,
and all were much reduced in strength.    Food
The Dalles.
Mount Hood in the distance.
was so scanty that they were compelled to kill
and eat some of the travel-worn horses.
At the place where the north fork of the
Clearwater joins the river of that name, the
party prepared five canoes, and on the morning
of the 7th of October entered upon the last
stage of their eventful journey. The difficulties
of travel were nearly over; for the boats glided
swiftly down the current, and ten days brought
them to the confluence of the Lewis and Columbia.    Here they were greeted by a proces-   OPENING A  HIGHWAY  TO  THE  PACIFIC      89
sion of two hundred Indians, marching in their
honor to the music  of  primitive  drums.    In
two weeks they passed the Great Falls (Celilo), under the  *
Long Narrows (Dalles), and Cascades, reaching shadow of
& \ /' ^ cd   ]y[t Hood
on the 2d of November the tide-water section
of the river. Then, on the 7th of November,
they heard the breakers roar, and saw, spreading and rolling before them, the waves of the
western ocean —" the object of our labors,
the reward of all our anxieties."
The  purpose  of  the  expedition  had   been Establish
achieved.    A highway across the continent of winter
0 J quarters.
North America was now an established fact, Fort ciatsop
and all that remained to be done was to carry
back the news of the great discovery. Jefferson had instructed Lewis to find, if possible, a
ship on the Pacific by which some or all of the
party might return to the United States with
the journals of the expedition. But, while
traders often entered the Columbia, as the
natives testified, no vessel appeared during the
winter of 1805-1806. All that could be done
was to spend the rainy season on the Oregon
coast, and take up the return march overland in
the spring. At a place three miles above the
mouth of the Netal (now called Lewis and
Clark River), on the " first point of high land
on its western bank," the explorers erected a
low-roofed log building, to which, in honor of
the neighboring tribe of Indians, they gave the 90     A  HISTORY  OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
name of Fort Clatsop.1 The location was by
no means ideal, for the party was in need of
food, and in this region game was not very
plentiful. The winter at Fort Clatsop was
therefore a time of real hardship, relieved by
the hope of a speedy return to homes beyond
the mountains. The shelter was completed
on the last day of December; the next morning
" a volley of small arms' was fired " to salute
the new year." Some of the men were kept
busy hunting the lean elk, on which the party
was forced to subsist; others were sent to the
seacoast—seven miles distant—to manufacture
a supply of salt. At the fort the officers busied
themselves with the notes and journals of the
Completing expedition. On the nth of February Clark
finished the great map of the overland route,
so often printed, and a copy of a part of which
is found on next page. A little trade with the
Chinooks and Clatsops (mainly for dogs, fish,
and wapato roots) formed the chief diversion
during this tedious winter.
1 The Netal enters Meriwether's, now called Young's, Bay.
The fort was located two hundred yards from the bank of the
river. It was in the form of a square, 50 x 50 feet. Two cabins,
one of three, the other of four, rooms, occupied two sides. Between them was the parade ground, the ends of which were
closed by means of posts or palisades. In the June (1904) number of Scribner's Magazine, Mr. Reuben Gold Thwaites publishes for the first time the ground plan of Fort Clatsop. The
drawing was found by him while searching recently among Clark's
papers, u traced upon the rough elk-skin cover of his field book."
the great
The Teturn
March 23,
The days dragged painfully by till the 23d of
March, when our travelers commenced the homeward journey. Before setting out they distributed  written  statements   among the   Indians,
CD '
explaining who it was that had so mysteriously
come to their country from the land of the
rising sun. These the natives were instructed
to show to any white men who should visit the
river. The journey eastward was not without
its difficulties. The tribes along the river demanded high prices for horses and dogs, and
the stock of goods carried by the explorers was
soon exhausted. But both Lewis and Clark
were skilled in the use of common remedies
for the diseases which prevailed among the
Indians, and by selling their drugs at a high
price they were able to buy the supplies which
were indispensable to them. The snow still
lay deep in the gulches when the party reached
the western base of the Rocky Mountains, impeding their progress for many days ; but in
Arrive at St. spite of all obstacles, they made the journey
Louis Sep-    T^fa complete success, reaching St. Louis on
tember 23, x . .
1806 the 23d of September, just six months out from
the mouth of the Columbia.1
1 Captain Lewis went at once to Washington to make his report to President Jefferson, Soon afterward he was appointed
governor of Missouri Territory, but died very suddenly and mysteriously, in 1809, at the early age of thirty-five.
Captain Clark was for many years the United States superintendent of Indian affairs for the West, with headquarters at St.
Louis.   He died in 1838. OPENING A HIGHWAY TO THE PACIFIC
The journals of the- expedition, very much amended and
abbreviated, were first published in 1814 under the editorship of
Nicholas Biddle. Many editions, based upon this one, have
appeared since that time, the most satisfactory being that by Dr.
Elliott Coues, New York, 1891, 3 vols. A new edition, containing
a literal transcript of the complete journals, and much matter
Telating to the expedition not hitherto published, is now.being
issued under the editorship of Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL.D. CHAPTER VII
rights and
west of the
The chances
for a profitable fur
The explorations of Lewis and Clark, together with Gray's discovery of the Columbia,
gave the United States a good claim upon the
country wrest of the Rockies, drained by this
river and its branches. But in order to hold it
permanently, as against other nations of the
wrorld, it would be necessary for Americans to
take actual possession of the region. Here was
a difficulty. The recently purchased territory
of Louisiana had doubled the area of the
United States, and would furnish homes for
millions of families. Emigrants would find no
need to cross the Rockies for many years to
There was but one way in which Americans
could make use of the newly explored territory,
and that was by trading with its native peoples.
Lewis and Clark found, along the Columbia
and its tributaries, numerous tribes of Indians,
living upon fish, game, and roots.1    Most of
1 Hundreds were seen drying salmon at various points along
the river, and the Dalles was the great fish market of the
them were wretchedly poor, lacking every comfort, and many of those things which civilized
men regard as necessaries. Yet the streams
were full of beaver, and if traders should once
begin to frequent the up-river valleys, as they
already did the inlets along the coast, these
Indians would soon take to hunting furs in
order to have something to exchange for the
goods they all coveted. Had our people been
prepared for it, a large business might have
been built up in that region.
But at the time of Lewis and Clark's return American
the Americans were not ready to take advantage of these opportunities. The fur trade as organization
a business was as old as the American colonies.
From Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay; from
the Connecticut, Hudson, Potomac, James, and
Savannah rivers; it had spread westward with
great rapidity, always keeping in advance of the
actual settlement. Long before the Revolutionary War the Indians on the western waters
had learned to listen for the tinkling bells of
the trader's pack train as it emerged from the
passes of the Alleghany Mountains. Almost
everywhere "the Indian trade pioneered the
way for civilization." x It improved the trails,
which afterward became roads; it planted its
trading  posts  at  important points  along  the
1 Quoted from Frederick J. Turner, " The Significance of the
Frontier in American History." The British.
Bay and
Fur companies
rivers, or upon the Great Lakes, and these in
many cases were growing into great towns.1
This trade had, therefore, been of the utmost
importance in American history; and in spite
of the government trading houses, which had
existed for a few years, it was still important.
With the opening up of the Missouri by Lewis
and Clark it promised to extend itself rapidly
to the Rocky Mountains ; but for making use
of the country to the west of the Rockies our
traders were at a disadvantage in not having a
thorough organization, with a large capital and
strong commercial support. These wrould be
absolutely necessary in conducting operations
at such distances,, by means of ships upon the
Pacific, and large trading houses in the western territory.
In the British section of North America conditions were different. There we find two great
companies, each with a large capital and powerful organization, fitted to control the trade of
vast wilderness areas. The first of these was
the Hudson's Bay Company, whose forts near
the mouths of the rivers flowing into Hudson
Bay received each year about seventy-five thousand beaver skins, brought down from the far
1 " The trading posts reached by these trails were on the sites
of Indian villages . . .; and these trading posts . . . have grown
into such cities as Albany, Pittsburg, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis,
Council Bluffs, and Kansas City." — Turner. * Significance of the
Frontier," etc.
interior in great fleets of canoes, manned by hundreds of Indians.1 The second was the Northwest Company, with headquarters at Montreal.
It was the successor of the French traders
of Canada, and, although young (organized in
1787), had already gained control of most of
the trade along the Great Lakes, the Assini-
boin, Saskatchewan, and Athabasca rivers;
while its agents were to be found on the
Upper Mississippi and the Missouri as well.
By a series of wonderful explorations, Alexan- The North-
der Mackenzie, an officer of the Northwest Com- west Com"
7 pany crosses
pany, had even opened a way for the trade to the Rocky
the Arctic Ocean (along the Mackenzie River,
explored by him in 1789) and across the Rocky
Mountains to the  Pacific.2     In  1806, having
1 The Hudson's Bay Company received a charter from Charles
the Second in 1669. In 1742 a thousand Indians came to the mouth
of Nelson River in six hundred canoes, bearing fifty thousand
beaver skins; while during the same summer the fort on Churchill
River received twenty thousand beaver and several thousand
other furs. The natives carried back blankets, guns, powder,
shot, hatchets, knives, tobacco, brandy, and paint. Prices of
goods were very high. A pound of gunpowder cost four beaver skins, and a blanket twelve. The skins were sold at the rate
of six shillings per pound. It is declared that some of the goods
sold at a profit of two thousand per cent.
2 Mackenzie crossed the Rockies from the head of Peace River
in the spring of 1793. After incredible difficulties he found a
river flowing westward, which he supposed to be the Columbia.
(It was, in fact, the Fraser River.) This he descended for a
number of days, when he left it, and followed an Indian trail to
the coast. There he painted on a smooth rock in these words
the story   of   his  great achievement,   "Alexander   Mackenzie,
h 98
great trading project
learned of Lewis and Clark's expedition, the
company sent Simon Fraser to this western
district. He built a fort high up on a river
navigated by Mackenzie, believing, as the explorer did, that this was the Columbia. Two
years later Fraser descended to its mouth
and found out his mistake. It was then
called Fraser River. The Northwest Company had now obtained a foothold among the
tribes west of the Rockies, and were moving
slowly, yet surely, toward the great river. A
few years would see many log trading forts
upon its upper streams, and none could doubt
that the ambitious " Northwesters' hoped at
last to control the entire trade of the Columbia
Mackenzie himself had a plan by which a
single company, formed by a union of the
Northwest and Hudson's Bay companies,
should gather the fur harvest of half of the
continent. They were to have ships on both
oceans to trade along the coasts, and carry
away the furs collected at two great central
stations located, the one at the mouth of Nelson River (on Hudson Bay), the other at the
estuary of the Columbia. By establishing posts
throughout the interior he expected this giant
monopoly to control the trade from the parallel
from Canada, by Land, the twenty second of July, one thousand seven hundred and ninety three."
of 450 to the Arctic Ocean.1 The reader may
smile at Mackenzie's project, and set it down
as the dream of an enthusiast; yet twenty years
later events occurred in the history of the fur
trade which, as we shall see, almost literally
fulfilled these plans. Meantime, however, others
aside from the Canadians became interested in
the western fur trade, and in the race which
now ensued an American, rather than a British,
fort was planted at the mouth of the Columbia.
In the city of New York, at that time not John Jacob
yet the metropolis of the country, John Jacob stor
Astor ranked as a merchant prince. For twenty-
five years his ships had sailed the high seas,
visiting all the great markets of Europe, and
his name was known and honored in every
commercial center of the world. Mr. Astor
early began to buy and sell furs, finding this
one of the most profitable branches of trade.
His cargoes were made up largely in Montreal,
the headquarters of the Northwest Company,
where beaver skins were received from hundreds
of trading posts, planted upon   lake and river
1 Except that portion of the Pacific coast on which the Russians were established. Mackenzie desired a union of the two
British companies partly on account of the increased financial
strength that this would give, and partly because the Hudson's
Bay Company had a charter while the Northwest Company had
none. The Nelson River was the best and shortest route from
the interior to the Atlantic, and the Columbia was "the line of
communication from the Pacific pointed out by nature." (See
Mackenzie's Voyages, London, 1801, pp. 407 ff.) 100    A HISTORY  OF THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
ing project
as far west as the Rocky Mountains. Being
a shrewd and quick-witted man, Astor soon
learned all the details of the business carried
on by this company, not only at Montreal,
but through the long stretches of wilderness
as well.
When Lewis and Clark returned from their
wonderful journey, with information about the
route to the Pacific and the opportunities for
trade along the Missouri and Columbia rivers,
Mr. Astor at once planned a brilliant trading project, similar in many ways to that of
Mackenzie. He believed it would be possible, with his large capital and tested business
ability, to at least gain control of the trade over
a broad belt of country stretching from the
Great Lakes to the Pacific Ocean. The first
point was to push westward to the Mississippi
and Missouri. For this purpose he organized
(1808) the American Fur Company, in which
Astor himself was the principal stockholder.
He next proposed to establish a central station,
at the mouth of the Columbia, for the trade of
the region lying beyond the Rocky Mountains,
and build a line of trading posts extending
along the route explored by Lewis and Clark
t> 1 j
from the Pacific Ocean to the Mississippi.1    He
1 Astor had already begun a trade along the Great Lakes, so
that practically the great depot on the Pacific would be connected
with his business office in New York. RACE  FOR  COLUMBIA RIVER FUR TRADE     IOI
planned to send from New York every fall one
ship freighted with goods for the Indian trade,
and supplies for all the posts west of the Rocky
Mountains. On arriving in the Columbia,
about February or March, she was to unload
this portion of her cargo and sail along the
coast to gather the sea otter and other furs
which the natives had long been accustomed
to sell to American shipowners. This cruise
was to be extended as far north as Sitka, for
the purpose of carrying supplies to the Russians
in exchange for their furs.1 Thereafter she
was to return to the Columbia. Meantime,
in May or June, the traders from the interior
posts would have delivered at the central station all the furs secured during the preceding
winter on the rivers flowing into the Columbia.
These were then to be placed on board the
vessel, which would sail to Canton during the
following winter. The cargo of furs was to be
^exchanged for an equally valuable cargo of silks,
tea, and other Chinese goods, with which the
Astor ship was expected to return to New York
after an absence of about two years.
1 At Sitka (New Archangel) the Russian American Fur Company collected furs from the neighboring islands, the Alaskan
coast, and the interior. But they had very poor facilities both
for marketing their product and obtaining necessary supplies.
They were glad of the opportunity to make arrangements with
Mr. Astor by which their furs were to be carried to the Canton market and regular supplies brought to New Archangel. 102     A HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
He sends Such was the  plan  worked   out  in  all  its
toeth?crw details by Mr- Astor before any Part of I was
lumbia put into operation. In the summer of 1810 he
fitted out his first ship, the Tonquin, for the
voyage around Cape Horn. She was placed in
charge of Captain Jonathan Thorn, and left
New York under the convoy of the famous
American warship Constitution. On board
the Tonquin were several of the partners of the
Pacific Fur Company, organized by Mr. Astor
to carry out his project. Most of these were
engaged in Canada, among the men belonging
to the Northwest Company. The clerks, too,
were nearly all Canadians.1 The Tonquin left
New York on the 6th of September, 1810,
rounded Cape Horn in December, and two
months later arrived at the Hawaiian Islands.
The voyage thus far had been without serious
accident, but marred by almost ceaseless quarreling between the captain and the Canadian
partners. While a good disciplinarian, and
doubtless a very successful commander on a
ship of war, Captain Thorn was not well qualified to manage a group of independent Scotch
and American fur traders.
Amvai at When the ship arrived off the mouth of the
the Colum- x
bia; Astoria Columbia,   March   22,    1811,   new  difficulties
1 For a delightful account of the way these Canadians went
down to New York, by boat, to await the sailing of the Tonquin^
see Franchere's Narrative, New York, 1854, pp. 23-25. RACE  FOR  COLUMBIA RIVER FUR  TRADE     103
arose. The waves were running high, and the
line of breakers across the entrance to the
river struck terror to the hearts of inexperienced sailors. Yet the captain sent out men
in the ship's boat to sound the channel, a proceeding in which seven of the little company
lost their lives. Three days passed before the
Tonquin crossed the bar and anchored safe in
As it was in 1813.
the river. Then the Astor party selected a site
for their fort, and began the erection of the
Pacific coast emporium of the fur trade, which
was appropriately named Astoria. " Spring,
usually so tardy in this latitude," says Fran-
chere, " was already well advanced; the foliage
was budding, and the earth was clothing itself
with verdure. We imagined ourselves in the
garden of Eden." tw
Fate of the
On the 5th of June the Tonquin left the
river on her northern cruise in search of furs.1
From this voyage she never returned, nor did
a single one of the fated men who sailed in her
from Astoria live to tell the gruesome story
of the Tonquin s destruction. That awful tale
is known only from the report of a Gray's Harbor
Indian, who was taken on board as an interpreter to the northern tribes, and who escaped
death when the ship was blown to atoms, with
several hundred natives on board, in the bay
of Clayoquot. She had entered that harbor to
trade; the Indians brought their furs, and for
some time the deck was animated by the
varied scenes of peaceful barter. Finally, a
slight difficulty between the captain and a leading chief sent the visitors back to their boats
in an angry state. Next day they returned,
pretending friendship, and holding up their
bundles of furs in token of a desire to trade.
A number came on board at once; others followed, till the deck was crowded. At a given
signal they drew their knives, till then concealed, and rushed upon the hapless crew,
quickly  killing  all  but   five,   who   had  been
1 One of the partners, Mr. Alexander Mackay, was on board as
chief trader. He was a former Northwest Company man, and
had been the companion of Mackenzie on his famous journey to
the Pacific in 1793. He was a man of ability, very popular among
his associates, ana", bis death in the Tonquin disaster was deeply
ordered into the   rigging  to  unfurl  the sails.
CDCD        O
These managed to reach the cabin, where the
CD '
firearms were kept, and soon succeeded in
clearing the ship. Four of them, remaining
unhurt, tried to escape by boat; but when
they reached the shore all were captured and
put to death with every refinement of torture.
The fifth man was badly wounded and preferred
to remain on board. Next day the Indians returned, apparently intending to loot the vessel;
but when several hundred had clambered to
the deck, others still remaining about her in
canoes, a terrific explosion took place, and the
ship with all on board leaped into the air, a mass
of flaming ruin. Perhaps it was the work of
the man on board, possibly the Indians themselves ignited the powder in the magazine; at
all events they had suffered such retribution
for the cruel massacre of the Tonquin s crew as
the northern tribesmen could not soon forget.
About  the  time   of   the   Tonquin s  arrival The over-
on  the   Pacific  coast  another  detachment of „ri party*
Astor's men was preparing to cross the conti- Price Hunt
nent by following the trail of Lewis and Clark.
This company was under the direction of Mr.
Wilson Price Hunt of New Jersey, an American partner, to whom Astor had confided the
chief management of the Pacific department of
the fur trade. He collected most of his men in
Canada, at Montreal and   Mackinac, carrying 106    A HISTORY OF THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
them to St. Louis in the fall of 1810 in boats,
by way of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, and
the Mississippi. They spent the winter in a
camp near the frontier of settlement on the
Missouri, and in March began the ascent of the
river.1 At the Aricara villages (near the present northern boundary of South Dakota) they
learned that the Blackfoot Indians were hostile,
and therefore decided to leave the river, making their way overland with horses in a southwesterly direction, to the Big Horn and Wind
River mountains. They crossed these ranges
and entered the Green River valley. Passing
over the divide to Lewis River, they then decided to abandon their horses and take to
canoes. This was an unfortunate error, for the
stream  soon, contrary to appearances, proved
1 Bradbury, an English naturalist, to whose | Travels in
America" we owe the preservation of many of the incidents of
the trip as far as the Aricara villages, tells us (p. 16) : "On
leaving Charette, Mr. Hunt pointed out to me an old man standing on the bank, who he informed me was Daniel Boone, the
discoverer of Kentucky. As I had a letter of introduction to him,
from his nephew, Colonel Grant, I went ashore to speak to him.
... I remained for some time in conversation with him. He
informed me that he was eighty-four years of age ; that he had
spent a considerable portion of his time alone in the backwoods,
and had lately returned from his spring hunt with nearly.sixty
beaver skins." Irving, after reading this statement of Bradbury,
suggested that the veteran woodsman probably felt a | throb of
the old pioneer spirit, impelling him to shoulder his rifle and join
the adventurous band." Though he failed to do so in person,
his children crossed the Rockies, and we meet his honored name
in both Oregon and California. RACE FOR COLUMBIA RIVER FUR TRADE
itself a true mountain torrent, threatening
destruction to both men and boats. They
therefore left it (at the Cauldron Linn) and
set out on foot, after breaking the company
into smaller parties to make it easier to find
game. The sufferings of these men, in their
weary wanderings over the Lewis River desert,
are more easily imagined than described, although Mr. Irving, in his classic history of the
Astoria enterprise, has succeeded in giving us
some very vivid pictures. Hunt, with a section
of the party, reached the Grand Ronde valley
at the close of the year, and on the 15th of
February arrived at Astoria. Some had already
reached the fort; others straggled in from time
to time, till nearly all were safe.
Soon after this overland party reached the ship
lower Columbia Mr. Astor's ship, the Beaver,
sent from New York in the fall of 1811, anchored (May 10, 1812) in the Columbia River
with a cargo similar in all respects to that
carried by the Tonquin the year before. The
Astorians were greatly rejoiced. At last they
had abundant supplies, new reinforcements of
men, and every encouragement to carry the
trade far up the rivers toward the sources of
the Columbia. It began to look as if Astor's
brilliant project might be grandly successful
after all, despite the calamities which attended
its beginnings.
May 10,
1812 The Northwesters
lose the race.
In the preceding year, before the fort had
been completed at the mouth of the river, a
party of men prepared to ascend the Columbia
for exploration and trade; but just as they
were setting out (July 15) a canoe floating the
British flag drew in to the shore at Astoria,
greatly to the astonishment of the Americans.
A gentleman stepped ashore, and introduced
himself as Mr. David Thompson, geographer of
the Northwest Company. He said that he had
expected to reach the mouth of the river during
the preceding fall, and had actually wintered
west of the Rockies, but that owing to the
desertion of some of his men it was impossible
to carry out his plans. The Astorians believed it wras his intention to plant a fort for his
company near the spot where their own establishment was rising, and in this they were doubtless correct. We now know, from Thompson's
journal and other sources, that this indomitable
British " pathfinder" had been on the Pacific
slope several times prior to 1811. In the year
1807 (June 22) he reached a tributary of the
Columbia by crossing Howse Pass in the
Rockies, and wrote in his diary, " May God in
his mercy give me to see where its waters flow
J     CD
into the ocean and return in safety."1    In 1809
1 The late Dr. Elliott Coues made a study of Thompson's
journals in their manuscript form, and published generous quotations from them in connection with the journals of Alexander
he founded a Northwest Company fort at
Lake Pend d'Oreille, and another in the Flathead country, on Clark's Fork. A still earlier
establishment was that on the Kootenai, and
now there was also one on the Spokane River.
The Americans saw at once that here was a
formidable rival for the up-river trade; but they
knew their advantage as the occupants of the
lower Columbia, and determined if possible
to drive their Montreal competitors across the
The delayed party, under David Stuart, one Fort
of Astor's partners, now set out up the river,
accompanied as "far as the Cascades by Thompson on his return. When Stuart's party reached
the place where the Columbia and Lewis rivers
meet they found a pole stuck in the ground,
and tightly bound around it a sheet of paper
containing the proclamation: " Know hereby
that this country is claimed by Great Britain
as part of its territories, that the N.W. Company of Merchants from Canada, finding the
Factory for this people inconvenient for them,
do hereby intend to erect a factory in this
place for the convenience of the country
around. D. Thompson." Notwithstanding
this announcement, or possibly because of it,
Stuart passed right on up the north branch
Henry. This gives us the valuable " Henry-Thompson Journals," 3 vols., New York, 1897.
of trade in
to the Okanogan River, where he established
the first up-river fort for the Astor Company,
and carried on a successful winter's trade.1
When the Beaver arrived in 1812, with men
and supplies, the Astorians decided on a great
forward movement to the interior. They proposed to go into the neighborhood of every
Northwest post and begin a rival establishment.
Thus they planned a fort on the Spokane, with
branch trading houses on the Flathead (Clark's
Fork) and Kootenai rivers, and another in
the She Whaps region. A third venture was
to be made on the Lewis River, while the
trade at Okanogan was to be continued.2 The
Spokane project was in charge of Mr. Clark,
David Stuart went back to Okanogan, and Mr.
Donald M'Kenzie was sent up Lewis River.
Both Clark and Stuart, with their clerks and
assistants at the branch stations, succeeded
admirably in the  trade of this second winter.
1 Alexander Ross, one of the clerks, who spent most of the
winter alone at Okanogan, while Stuart was exploring far to the
north in the She Whaps country, tells us in his book, " The Fur
Hunters of the Far West," that he bought fifteen hundred beaver,
worth in Canton twenty-five hundred pounds, for goods worth,
not to exceed, thirty-five pounds. This he calls a " specimen of
our trade among the Indians."
2 At the same time Mr. Robert Stuart was sent east with letters
for Mr. Astor. His party became bewildered in the upper Lewis
River country, and were forced to winter on the plains, reaching
St. Louis April 30, 1813, after being out nearly a year from
M'Kenzie did nothing on the Lewis, and by
the middle of January was back at Astoria,
with an alarming story which foreshadowed
coming events.
While  visiting  Spokane  House  about the War news
close of the year  1812, so M'Kenzie told the posses the
J Rockies
people at Astoria, Mr. John George M'Tavish,
partner of the Northwest Company, had arrived
fresh from Montreal, with news that war had
Fort Okanogan.
broken out between the United States and
Great Britain, and that the company was expecting an English warship to enter the Pacific
and capture Astoria. At this time the fort was
in charge of Donald M'Dougal, a Canadian like
O CD      '
M'Kenzie, Hunt having sailed away the preceding summer in the Beaver, and being still 112   A HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
of Mr. Hunt
absent. These two men weakly determined to
abandon the Columbia the following summer
and cross the mountains; but the other partners when they came down with their furs in
June (1813) vetoed this plan, insisting on remaining another winter if possible. M'Tavish
descended the river with his men, spent much
time about Astoria, and received needed supplies from the Americans, while he waited for
the ship, which, as he declared, was daily
Mr. Hunt sailed away in the Beaver on the
4th of August, 1812. He ran to Sitka, made
a successful trade with the Russians, and then
proceeded to the islands of St. Peter and St.
Paul, where he received eighty thousand sealskins. By this time it was winter; the vessel
was much damaged, and .all haste had to be
made to get the valuable cargo to Canton.
The Beaver, therefore, did not stop at the Columbia, but carried Hunt to Hawaii and continued on to China. Here the captain (Sowles)
obtained news of the war, which sent him into
hiding with his vessel till it was over. Hunt
finally learned of the war in Hawaii and came
to the Columbia in an American ship, the
Albatross, reaching Astoria August 4, 1813,
after an absence of exactly one year. He
learned that the partners were resolved to
abandon the river, and while he opposed, he RACE  FOR COLUMBIA RIVER FUR  TRADE
could not change the resolution. Still, hoping
to save something, he sailed again in the Alba-
tross to seek a vessel which might be available
for the purpose of carrying away the goods and
At last, on the 16th of October, influenced Astoria sold,
by their fears if not by selfish motives, the part-   0ct0 e[ J '
J J ' ir 1813; taken
ners sold Astoria and its belongings, with all by the
furs, supplies, and other property at the interior Dumber 12
stations as well, to the Northwest Company. (pns)tiSi3
One incident remains, and the story of Astoria
is finished. " On the morning of the 30th"
[November], says Franchere, "we saw a large
vessel standing in under Cape Disappointment;
. . . she was the British sloop-of-war, Raccoon,
of twenty-six guns, commanded by Captain
Black," . . . The long-looked-for British ship
had come, and on the 12th of December (Henry
says the 13th) the American flag was hauled
down at Astoria to make place for the Union
Jack. The station itself was rechristened Fort
George. More than two months later (February
28, 1814) Mr. Hunt appeared once more, in the
brig Pedlar, purchased by him for the purpose of
carrying away Astor's property. He was too late,
and sailed away again, first to the north, then
down the coast to California and Mexico.1
1 Most of the Canadian partners of Mr. Astor accepted positions with the Northwest Company, as did also many of the clerks
and laborers.   A few, includine: Mr. Gabriel Franchere, went back 114   A HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
to Canada overland in the spring of 1814, with the Northwest
Company's express. Franchere's " Narrative," and two similar
books, also by clerks of the Astor Company, A. Ross's "Fur
I Innters of the Far West" and Ross Cox's " Adventures on the
Columbia," are the principal sources for the history of the Astor
enterprise. All of these have long been out of print. The
" Henry-Thompson Journals," recently published, throw additional light on some phases of the history, and Irving's " Astoria "
contains some matter taken from manuscript sources not now
accessible. CHAPTER VIII
the Hudson's bay company
When Mr. Hunt bade farewell to the Colum- changes on
bia (April 2, 1814), he left the British rivals in Sae Colum"
full control not only of the fort at the mouth of
the river, but of all the avenues of trade between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific,
from California to Alaska. A few days later
their first supply ship, the Isaac Todd, entered
the river with a cargo containing everything
necessary for the trade of the entire department. She also brought additional men, and
these added to the list of Astorians already
engaged, gave the Northwest Company a force
sufficient to occupy the country at least as fully
as Astor had done. They, however, made no
important change in the trade for several years,
till Donald M'Kenzie established the Walla
Walla Fort (1818), and began to send trapping
parties along Lewis River. This greatly extended the area covered, and increased the
profits in a marked degree.
In 1821 a noteworthy change occurred in the Union of
fur trade of the British dominions.    The Hud- *he British
tur com-
SOn's   Bay  and   Northwest  companies,   whose panies, 1821
agents had long been destroying each other in
their bitter contest for the possession of the
northern forests, were now united under the
name of the Hudson's Bay Company.1 The
dream of Alexander Mackenzie had been realized. From Montreal to Fort George, from St.
James, near the head of Fraser River, to the
Arctic Ocean and Hudson Bay, the wilderness
Fort Walla Walla.
traffic was at last organized under a single
management, and carried on absolutely without
competition except where the British came in
contact with Americans or Russians. York
Factory on Hudson Bay was the eastern emporium, and   the residence of  the  company's
1 In 1816 actual war broke out in the Red River valley, where
Lord Selkirk had established a colony for the Hudson's Bay Company, across the path of the Northwesters. The union was brought
about by the interference of government officials. THE HUDSON'S  BAY  COMPANY
governor, Sir George Simpson. Fort George,
at the mouth of the Columbia, was to be the
western emporium.
In  1824 Dr. John McLoughlin arrived on Dr.
the Columbia to take charge of the western ^?^0UJ lin
<-> builds rort
department. One of his first steps was to Vancouver,
abandon Fort George and to establish new I 24_I 25
headquarters at Point
Vancouver.1 Here
was an ideal location
for a trading center.
The Willamette, entering the Columbia
a short distance below, had its sources
nearly two hundred
miles to the south;
the Cowlitz opened
an avenue for trade
toward Puget Sound;
...     r        ,       ~ Dr. John McLoughlin, 2824.
while tor the Columbia  itself, breaking   through the  Cascades  a
few miles above Vancouver, the site was the
best that could be found. On a fine prairie
about three quarters of a mile from the river,
McLoughlin built the first Fort Vancouver,
and occupied it in 1825. Four years later
another  establishment was  built on the  low
1 The point reached and so named by Broughton in October,
ground near the river bank. It was simply
a stockade made of posts about twenty feet
in length, inclosing a rectangular space thirty-
seven rods long by eighteen rods in width,
which contained all the principal buildings, including Dr. McLoughlin's residence. The servants of the company, with their Indian families
Lorfg.West  120 ofG>
H Rainier'
C.DisapppmtmentHL        ; «r^a^
PoiAt Adam4  \^>8torsl
MAP OF    oWti
C.Orford or Blanf{§f
«)i      JOT
and friends, lived just outside, where in course
of time a considerable village grew up. Such
was the famous Fort Vancouver, round which
clusters so much of the romance, as well as
the more sober history, of early Oregon.1    Dr.
1A fascinating picture of life at this western emporium of the
fur trade is given by Mrs. Eva Emery Dye in her " McLoughlin
McLoughlin remained in charge of the establishment for twenty-two years, managing the
company's business with rare success; and by
his firm control over the Indians of the entire
Oregon country, his kindness and hospitality
to American traders, missionaries, adventurers
and colonists, richly deserving the title, " Father
of Oregon," bestowed upon him by the pioneers.
Vancouver was the clearing house for all the The fur
business w7est of the Rocky Mountains. Here Vancouver
the annual ships from London landed supplies
and merchandise, which were placed in warehouses to await the departure of the boat brigades for the interior; here was the great fur
house, where the peltries were brought together
from scores of smaller forts and trading camps,
scattered through a wilderness empire of half
a million square miles. They came from St.
James, Langley, and Kamloops in the far northwest ; from Umpqua in the south; from Walla
Walla, Colville, Spokane, Okanogan, and many
other places in the upper portions of the great
valley. Hundreds of trappers followed the
water courses through the gloomy forests and
into the most dangerous fastnesses of the
mountains, in order to glean the annual beaver
crop for delivery to these substations. We do
not know precisely what the total business
amounted to; but in 1828 a visitor to Vancouver (Jedediah Smith) learned that McLoughlin 120    A  HISTORY  OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
had received during the year thirty thousand
beaver skins, worth two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, besides a large quantity of other
Aside from the fur trade, which was the
principal business, Vancouver was also the center of other activities.    By 1828 a fine farm had
*3£T" '"^Uhj."
Fort Vancouver.
been opened on the prairie about the fort, and
fields of wheat, oats, corn, peas, and barley
flourished in the rich soil of this favored locality. As the years passed, more and more land
was brought under cultivation, until the farm
aggregated several thousand acres, " fenced into
beautiful corn fields, vegetable fields, orchards,
gardens, and pasture fields, . . . interspersed
with dairy houses, shepherds' and herdsmen's THE HUDSON'S  BAY  COMPANY
cottages."x In 1814 the Isaac Todd brought to
the Columbia from California four head of
Spanish cattle; the Astor people already had
a few hogs, obtained from the Hawaiian Islands, and also several goats. These were the
beginnings of the live stock interest of the
Northwest. In 1828 the Vancouver pastures
fed about two hundred cattle, fourteen goats,
and fifty horses; while ranging the surrounding woodlands were about three hundred swine.
The numbers of all kinds of animals increased
with surprising rapidity. At first it had been
the intention merely to raise grain and vegetables for the use of the establishment itself;
but in course of time a large amount of wheat
w7as sold to the Russians, and to American
whalers in need of supplies. There was a flour
mill at the fort, and on a neighboring stream
a large sawmill, which not only produced lumber for home use, but also an occasional cargo
for shipment to the Hawaiian Islands. The
fort had its mechanics, representing all the
ordinary trades, — smiths, carpenters, tinners,
coopers, and even a baker. Several coasting
vessels had been built by the carpenters prior
to 1828. J
Although business was the first consideration
at Vancouver, and Dr. McLoughlin tolerated
1 Ouoted from Dunn, " The Oregon Territory and the British
•^ ' ^J a/
North American Fur Trade," Philadelphia, 1845, p. 107. 122    A HISTORY OF  THE PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
life at
no idlers, yet, on the whole, life was pleasant
there. The officers were nearly all well-educated gentlemen, who enjoyed good living,
books, and agreeable company. Their dining
hall at Vancouver was not merely a place where
the tables were supplied with good food, but
the scene of bright, intelligent conversation,
conducted with perfect propriety, and pleasing
to the most refined guests. The wives of the
officers were usually half-caste women, yet in
many cases they are said to have been excellent
housekeepers and good mothers. They and
their children did not eat with the men, but
had tables in a separate hall. In other respects
home life was much as it is in ordinary communities. The children spent most of the
summer season out of doors, engaging in all
manner of sports, and gaining special skill in
horsemanship. In the winter a school was often
maintained at the fort.1 Religious services were
conducted on the Sabbath, either by McLoughlin himself or by some visiting missionary or
priest. The village had its balls, regattas, and
other amusements, rendering it a place of much
gayety, especially about June, when the brigades
of boats arrived with the up-river traders, and
1 John Ball, a New England man who came with Wyeth in
1832, taught the first school at Vancouver in the winter of 1832-
1833. He raised a crop of wheat in the Willamette valley in the
summer of 1833. THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY
their crews of jovial, picturesque French voya-
Fort Vancouver dominated the fur trade of The mo-
Oregon almost as completely as if the country ^E^d of
had actually been the private property of the the Hud-
Hudson's   Bay   Company.     When   American coJs
traders began to enter the Columbia valley,
they soon found themselves at the mercy of
this great monopoly which controlled the
Indian tribes, possessed unlimited capital, and
could afford to raise the price of beaver skins
to ten times their ordinary value in order to
drive out a competitor. While McLoughlin
treated all strangers well and even generously
at Fort Vancouver, he permitted no interference with the trade, which his strong position
in the country enabled him to control. We
must now inquire by what right these British
subjects had come into possession of the Pacific
Northwest, and how their presence affected the
rights and interests already secured in this
country by the people of the United States.
>mpany CHAPTER  IX
How the
arose, 1817
The war that ruined Astor's trading project
was closed by the treaty of Ghent in December, 1814. The governments of Great Britain
and the United States agreed that | All territory, places, and possessions whatsoever, taken
by either party from the other during the war,...
[should] be restored without delay. . . ." Mr.
Astor seems to have thought that since his fort
on the Columbia had been taken possession of
by a British warship, the Northwest Company
ought now to give it up, together with the surrounding country. He was not yet prepared
to abandon an enterprise which had so deeply
excited his interest, and he urged the United
States government to secure the restoration of
Astoria. In July, 1815, six months after the close
of the war, the American Secretary of State
gave notice to the British government that
the Columbia would be reoccupied under the
treaty; and two years later (September, 1817)
our government ordered Captain Biddle (ship
Ontario) to go to Astoria and " assert the claim
of the United States to the [Oregon] country in
a friendly and peaceable manner. . . ." When
the British minister at Washington, Mr. Bagot,
learned of this last act, he entered a protest,
declaring that Astoria was not one of the
" places and possessions' referred to in the
treaty, since the fort had been purchased by
British subjects before the Raccoon entered
the river. Nor was the Columbia valley " territory . . . taken . . . during the war," but
a region " early taken possession of in his
Majesty's name, and . . . considered as forming
part of his Majesty's dominions."1 Here was
a sharp conflict of claims between the United
States and Great Britain, which required twenty-
nine years to settle, and is known in history as
the Oregon question.
The first point to be agreed upon was as to Formal
which nation had the right to occupy the country at the time, setting aside the greater question of the final right of ownership. Here,
certainly, the Americans had the advantage;
for although Broughton may have taken formal
possession in October, 1792, nothing had been
done by the British government or people
between that date and the year 1811 to make
good their claim to the lower Columbia. On
the other hand, the American trader, Gray, had
of the
October 6,
1 It was claimed that Lieutenant Broughton took formal possession of the Columbia country when he entered the river in
First treaty
of joint
October  20,
shown Broughton the way into the river; Lewis
and Clark had explored from its fountains to
the sea; and Astor had taken and held possession till the events of the war forced him to
retire. Whatever rights Great Britain may
have gained as a result of explorations north
of the Columbia, the planting of forts on tributaries of this river, or the mapping of the coast
north and south of the estuary, the plain fact
remained that Americans had been in possession of the territory at the mouth of the river
when the war came, and therefore they ought
to be in possession after its close. The British
government admitted the force of these arguments, and on the 6th of October, 1818, their
agents at Fort George allowed Mr. J. B.
Prevost to run up the American flag.1 This
was the formal restoration of the territory to
the United States, and meant that Americans
were now at liberty to occupy it if they chose
to do so.
Two  weeks later,   October   20,   1818,  diplomatic  representatives  of  the  two countries
1 Prevost had been appointed joint commissioner with Biddle,
and sailed with him on the Ontario to Valparaiso. Thence
Biddle proceeded to the Columbia and took formal possession of
the country, Aug. 9, 1818, though no British officer there had instructions to hand over the fort. Meantime, however, Prevost
learned that such instructions had been issued, and, being invited
by a British naval officer to accompany him northward, he sailed
to the Columbia and received possession. THE OREGON  QUESTION
concluded a treaty in which the Oregon question was mentioned. At that time there was
no dividing line between the territories of
Great Britain and the United States west of
the Lake of the Woods, and it was agreed to
take the 49th parallel as the boundary from
this point to the crest of the Rocky Mountains.
The British diplomats wished to establish a
boundary west of the Rockies as well, whereupon the Americans offered to extend the line
of 490 to the Pacific Ocean. This the other
party declined, thinking that it would not give
Great Britain all the territory she could reasonably claim, and indicating that they thought the
Columbia River should form the dividing line
from the point where the 49th parallel crossed its
easternmost branch to the sea. The American
government was not willing at this time to
press its claim, and so we accepted a provision
for the "joint occupation" of the Oregon country for a term of ten years. This meant simply
that Englishmen and Americans had an equal
right to trade and settle in every part of the
country; but that neither the one nor the other
could have absolute control over any part of
it till the question of ownership should be determined. The treaty also guarded the rights
of other nations.1    It is well to remember that
*At this time neither Spain nor Russia had formally given
up their claims to territory in the Oregon country.    In   1819, 128    A HISTORY OF  THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Lack of
interest in
the Oregon
Bryant and
in this first diplomatic discussion over Oregon,
the United States was willing to accept the 49th
parallel as a boundary, while Great Britain would
probably have been satisfied with the Columbia.
On many accounts it seems very unfortunate
that the question could not have been settled
in 1818 by dividing the country on the 49th
parallel as was done after so much wrangling twenty-eight years later. Possibly a little
greater determination on the part of our government might have brought this about, and
saved us the long quarrel with Great Britain.
But the fact is that very few people were
then giving the slightest thought to the far-
off region beyond the Rockies. Bryant wrote
of it in 1817 as,—
" The continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon and hears no sound
Save his own dashings." l
however, when Florida was purchased by the United States,
Spain yielded to our government all her rights north of the 42d
parallel of latitude, so that whatever rights she may once have
had in the Oregon country henceforth belonged to the United
States. Five years later an agreement was made between the
United States and Russia by which the two nations established
the line of 540 40' as a boundary for trading purposes. Thus the
question of the ownership of the Oregon country was left to be
worked out between the people of the United States and the
government of Great Britain.
1 Because of the popularity of the poem " Thanatopsis," in
which the lines appeared, the name " Oregon" was brought prominently before the country. Bryant obtained the word from
Carver's Travels. THE OREGON  QUESTION
Only one person seems to have been fully
alive to the fact that we had rights there which
ought to be carefully looked after.    This was
an eccentric Boston schoolmaster named Hall
J. Kelley, who began now to agitate the Oregon
It may be that some of Kelley's pamphlets or John Floyd
letters reached men connected with the United ^r^uces
the Oregon
States government.    At all events, on the 20th question in
of December, 1820, a young Virginian by the December
name of John Floyd brought the question for- 20> l82°
ward for the first time in the Congress of the
United States. He wished "to inquire into
the situation of the settlements on the Pacific
Ocean, and the expediency of occupying the
Columbia River." In January, 1821, he made
a report on the subject of our rights west of
the Rockies, and a little later presented a bill
for planting a fort at the mouth of the Columbia, and for granting lands to settlers.
It was many months before Floyd was able The first
to get a hearing; but in 1822 he brought in consces'
cd cd 7 cd sional de-
another bill  which aroused much interest in bate on
Congress and drew the attention of the country «*?£«■;
o J   rloyds
to the Oregon question. In the debate which speech
occurred Floyd took the leading part. He was
one of those men who have the power of looking beyond the present, and seeing in imagination the changes likely to occur in future
years.     Though he  lived in Virginia, Floyd
knew what was going on beyond the mountains, and was thrilled by the spectacle of
America's wonderful growth, which he believed
to be due largely to her free system of government. In the space of forty-three years, he
said, Virginia's population had spread westward
more than a thousand miles. He evidently
believed it would not be long before Americans
would reach the Rockies, and stand ready to
descend into the Oregon country. This was a
new thought, just beginning to take hold of
the American people, and as yet quite startling
to most men who, in spite of what had already
been done, found it difficult to conceive of the
American population actually expanding till it
should reach the Pacific. But he only hinted
at these things, knowing very well that most
members of Congress would regard predictions
of this kind as the merest folly. Floyd's main
argument had to do with the importance of the
Columbia River to American commerce. Our
people ought to have the benefit of the fur
trade now going to British subjects; many
whalers from New England annually visited
the Oregon coast and needed some safe port in
which to refit and take supplies ; the trade with
China would be greatly advanced by maintaining a colony on the Pacific. He tried to show
that the Missouri and Columbia together would
form a good highway for commerce across the THE  OREGON  QUESTION
continent, and that the entire distance between
St. Louis and Astoria could be traversed with
steamboat and wagon in the space of forty-four
Other speakers also urged  the commercial Mr. Baiiies's
importance of a fort at the mouth of the Co- rema.r^able
1 . ■: predictions
lumbia. Mr. Bailies of Massachusetts declared
that in all probability there would one day be
a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific
oceans, which would be an added reason for
maintaining a colony on the Pacific. Most
persons feared that Americans going to this
distant land would separate from us and set up
a government for themselves; but Mr. Bailies
pointed out that such a canal would bind them
closely to us. Yet, if they should form an
independent American state on the Pacific,
even this would be better than to have that
region pass into the hands of foreigners, or be
left a savage wilderness. 11 would delight,"
said the speaker, "to know that in this desolate
spot, where the prowling cannibal now lurks
in the forest, hung round with human bones
and with human scalps, the temples of justice
and the temples of God were reared, and man
made sensible of the beneficent intentions of
his creator." The country, he said, had made
marvelous progress within the memories of
living men, and with the fervor of an ancient
prophet   he   continued:   " Some   now  within The practical man's
view of the
these walls may, before they die, witness scenes
more wonderful than these; and in after times
may cherish delightful recollections of this day,
when America, almost shrinking from the
I shadows of coming events,' first placed her
feet upon untrodden ground, scarcely daring to
anticipate the greatness which awaited her."
To show how the hard-headed, practical men
comprising the majority in Congress treated
such idealists as Floyd and Bailies, we have
only to turn to the opposition speech of Mr.
Tracy of New York. He declared that there
was no real demand for a fort and colony on
the Columbia. No one had shown that it
would benefit commerce. It was visionary to
expect an overland commercial connection with
the Pacific Ocean. Military posts ought not
to be used to draw population far away into
the wilderness, but merely to protect the frontier. Mr. Tracy had received accurate information about the territory along the Columbia,
from men who had visited that region, and was
sure that its agricultural possibilities had been
greatly overestimated. As a final argument,
he declared that the people on the Pacific and
those on the Atlantic could never live under
the same government. 1 Nature," said Mr.
Tracy, 1 has fixed limits for our nation; she
has kindly interposed as our western barrier
mountains   almost   inaccessible,   whose    base THE  OREGON   QUESTION
she  has  skirted with irreclaimable deserts of
On the 23d of January, 1823, after along and Defeat of
vigorous debate, Floyd's bill came to a vote in Foyds 1
the House of Representatives and was defeated,
one hundred to sixty-one. The time had not
yet come for an American colony on the Pacific, because the government was unwilling to
plant such a settlement, and the people were
not yet thinking of Oregon as a " pioneer's land
of promise." Only a few men, and those of
the rarer sort, looked forward to the occupation
of the Columbia region as a step toward the
establishment of a greater America, with a
frontage on the Pacific Ocean similar to that
which we then had upon the Atlantic.2
We  must  now turn  from Congress, where Diplomatic
Oregon bills were brought up nearly every ses-
1 From the time of Long's exploring expedition to the Rocky
Mountains (1819), the western portion of the Great Plains was
called the " Great American Desert."
2 Strangely enough none of the speakers in the House seemed
to suspect that we might not have a right, under the treaty of
joint occupation, to plant a military colony at the mouth of the
Columbia, or that Great Britain had an actual claim to the country which was protected by that treaty.
Only one man appeared to understand the situation clearly,
Senator Benton of Missouri. He believed that if the British remained in sole possession of Oregon till 1828, the year that the
treaty of joint occupation was to expire, they would remain for a
still longer period ; and in a speech in the Senate he favored an
American colony on the Columbia as a means of maintaining our
rights in the country. A HISTORY OF  THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
sion till the end of 1827, but always in vain, to
see what was being done for Oregon elsewhere.
The discussion of 1822-1823 had brought the
matter home to the people and the govern-^
ment in such a way that statesmen began to
see the importance of settling the question^
An attempt was made in the year 1824, but it
failed. Great Britain claimed a right for her
people to trade and make settlements in any,
part of the Oregon country, admitting that our
citizens had the same, but no greater right.
Our government, through Secretary of State, J..
Q. Adams, claimed that we had a clear title to
territory on the Pacific as high up as 51 °, but we
were willing once more, as in 1818, to take the
49th parallel. This first negotiation was conducted by Mr. Richard Rush. Two years
later the government sent over its most accomplished diplomat, Albert Gallatin. John Quincy
Adams was at that time President of the United
States, and Henry Clay Secretary of State. It
was these three men wTho, under Gallatin's skillful leadership, had secured the favorable treaty
of peace with Great Britain in 1814. Now.
they were all working together once more,
though in a different way, trying to obtain
treaties which should settle several important
commercial questions, as well as the Oregon
boundary. Gallatin spent more than a year in
London, had many long discussions with the
British diplomats, and secured four separate
treaties, one of which, agreed upon August
6th, 1827, referred to the Oregon question
but did not settle it.
Gallatin, like   Rush, offered  to  extend  the Gallatin's
49th parallel to the Pacific  as   the boundary, [^^bTbie H
but   Great   Britain   insisted   on her  right   to cause
the territory west and north of the Columbia,
and  no  compromise   could be reached.    Her
representatives entered upon long arguments to
show that their government had rights below
the 49th parallel. They denied that Gray's
discovery of the river, or even Lewis and
Clark's exploration, gave Americans an exclusive right to the Columbia valley; and
they properly laid great stress upon the explorations which British navigators like Cook and
Vancouver had made along the coast north of
the river. But while these arguments had a
measure of justice in them, there is reason to
believe that Great Britain was simply determined upon delay in settling the question.
Her subjects had expended large sums of
money to develop the trade of that country;
they were in control, gathering their annual
cargoes of furs, and the government was naturally anxious to protect their interests. Our
people had created no property rights in Oregon since Astor's time; very few had ever set
foot west of the Rockies, and it would probably 136    A  HISTORY  OF  THE PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
be many years before they would be prepared to
settle in the country. Meantime the British
fur traders might as well continue to profit from
their advantages. But once let Americans
rather than Englishmen come into practical
control of the Columbia valley, and the British
government would soon be ready to settle the
question. Gallatin knew this, and so did President Adams. They were therefore the less
unwilling to accept a simple renewal of " joint
occupation' for an indefinite time. America
must wait for the full establishment of her
rights in Oregon upon the movements of the
American pioneers. CHAPTER X
We have seen that in 1800 the region west of The west
the Alleghanies had a population of about three
hundred and twenty-five thousand. Twenty
years later, when Mr. Floyd and a few others
began to dream about expansion to the Pacific,
the West already contained more than two
million people, nearly one tenth of whom (two
hundred thousand) were living beyond the
Mississippi. The country had entered upon a
period of marvelous growth. Many thousands
of emigrants were crossing the mountains each
year, forests were leveled as if by a sort of
magic, and a single season often saw great
stretches of wild prairie transformed into fields
of wheat and corn. In such pioneer states as
Indiana and Illinois the wild game was rapidly
disappearing from the river valleys as new
settlers entered  to make clearings  and  build
homes. Many of the rude hamlets of twenty
years before had given place to progressive and
wealthy towns, thriving upon the business of
the growing communities about them.    Louis-
ville, Cincinnati, New Orleans, and   St. Louis 138    A  HISTORY  OF THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
The American fur
trade of the
far west2
had already become places of note, and controlled the commerce of the West much as
New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore
dominated the eastern section of the United
States. The western rivers were alive with
noisy little steamboats, one of which had recently ascended the Missouri to the mouth of
Platte River.1 Roads were being opened everywhere, and the Erie Canal was under construction from the Hudson River to Lake Erie.
The frontier of settlement was in the western
part of Missouri, whence a trail had already
been opened to Santa Fe, while others led far
into the great plains toward the west and
Beyond the frontiers the trapper hunted
the beaver streams, and the trader carried his
tempting wares to the Indian villages, much as
they had done twenty, fifty, or a hundred years
before. Yet in some respects great changes
had occurred in the western fur trade. From
the time of Lewis and Clark's return and the
opening of the Missouri River country, American traders had shown a strong disposition to
1 The Western Engineer', employed as part of Long's exploring
equipment in 1819.
2 Under the above title Captain H. M. Chittenden has recently
given us a remarkably complete, accurate, and interesting history
of the fur trade throughout the great region west of the Missis*
sippi. His book, which cost years of patient research, was published in 1902 (3 vols.). PIONEERS  OF THE PIONEERS
organize for the better regulation of the business. The Missouri Fur Company, founded
in 1808 for the purpose of controlling the trade
of the Missouri River, was the pioneer of such
associations in the United States, and it soon
made St. Louis a great fur-trading center.1 But,
while remarkably successful elsewhere, this
company did not succeed after all in gaining
commercial possession of the upper Missouri,
because of the hostile Blackfeet. In 1822 a
new company was organized at St. Louis by
General William H. Ashley, whose plan in the
beginning was to establish trading posts at
favorable points on the upper Missouri, like
the mouth of the Yellowstone, and keep agents
in the country. The Blackfeet, however, could
not be pacified, and this method had to be
given up. Ashley then adopted the policy of
sending bands of trappers to form camps in
the best beaver districts, and trap out the
streams one after another.
Under leaders like David Jackson and William L. Sublette, these parties not only gathered the fur harvest of some of the Missouri Rockies
fields, but traversed the country for great distances to the southwest, far into the Rocky
Mountains. Finally they entered the region
tributary to the Columbia, and came into corn-
cross the
1 Astor tried to combine with this company, but was unable to
petition with the traders and trappers of the
Hudson's Bay Company.1 It was the clashing
of skirmishers. .Behind the one party was a
powerful commercial organization, and a proud
but distant government jealous of their legal
rights; behind the other was a rapidly expanding nation, whose people would one day be pre^
pared to follow the traders across the Rockies,
and plant American colonies on the coasts of
the South Sea.
In 1826 General Ashley turned over his
business to Jedediah S. Smith, David Jackson,
and William L. Sublette. The first of these
(Smith) immediately set out from their Rocky
Mountain camp and with a few men crossed
the desert and mountains to California, arriving
at San Diego in October, 1826. He remained
in the country during the winter, and the following summer returned to Salt Lake. In
spite of severe sufferings on his first trip, Smith
went back to California the same season, losing
most of his men at the hands of the Mojave
Indians.    In California he got together a new
1 Several instances are recorded of American trapping companies getting the advantage of British parties in some way and
securing their furs. In 1825 General Ashley got possession, for a
trifling sum, of about seventy-five thousand dollars' worth of Hudson's Bay furs. We do not know exactly how these peculiar feats
of wilderness commerce were performed, though it is pretty certain that the free use of whisky upon opposition trappers was one
of the means employed. PIONEERS OF THE PIONEERS
party, and in 1828 crossed the mountains northward to Oregon. On the Umpqua River his
company was attacked by the Indians and all except the leader and three others killed. Smith
also lost his entire catch of furs, his horses, and
other property, so that when he arrived at Fort
Vancouver (August, 1828) he was in desperate
straits. Dr. McLoughlin received him kindly,
supplied all his needs, and even sent men to
the Umpqua to recover the furs stolen by the
savages. Nearly all were secured, and these
McLoughlin purchased at the market price,
giving the American trader a draft on London
for the sum of twenty thousand dollars. From
Vancouver Smith went up the Columbia to
Clark's Fork, and then to the rendezvous of
his company in the Rocky Mountains, having gained the distinction of making the first
overland trip from the United States into California, and also the first from California to
The next spring (1830) Smith, Jackson, and Wagons
Sublette took the first loaded wagons into the p°s0s.
Rocky Mountains to the head of Wind River, Captain
having  driven  from  the   Missouri   along the
line of  the Platte and the Sweetwater.    The
partners reported that they could easily have
crossed the mountains by way of South Pass.
The   discovery  of   this   natural   highway,  so
important in the history of the entire Pacific 142    A HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
coast, must be credited to Ashley's trappers,
some of whom first made use of it in 1823.
Three years later a mounted cannon was taken
to Salt Lake by this route, and four years
after that loaded wagons crossed over for the
first time to the west flowing waters. These
vehicles belonged to the train of Captain
Bonneville, a Frenchman in the United States
army, who turned fur trader in 1832, hoping to
gain a fortune like General Ashley. The
story of his romantic marches and long detours through the great western wilderness
has been charmingly told by Irving in his " Adventures of Captain Bonneville." In the space
of about three years he traversed a large portion of the Lewis River valley, and went down
the Columbia as far as Fort Walla Walla.1
But the gallant captain was no match for the
shrewd American traders, or for the well-organized British company controlling the Columbia
River region, and therefore his venture turned
out a complete failure.
In the same year that Bonneville set out for
the  West an enterprising Bostonian, Captain
the first trip  Nathaniel J. Wyeth, also entered the Oregon
to  regon    COuntry for the purpose of trade.    Wyeth had
long been familiar with the writings of   Hall
J. Kelley concerning Oregon, and in the sum-
1 A few of his men, under Joseph Walker, went to California in
1833-1834.   Some of them remained there as settlers.
mer of 1831 he arranged a plan to send a ship
around Cape Horn while he, with a party of
landsmen, was to proceed across the * country
hoping to meet the vessel near the mouth of
the Columbia. A company of Boston merchants furnished the vessel, which sailed in the
fall of 1831. Wyeth gathered a small party of
men, formed a sort of " Wild West" camp on
an island in Boston Harbor, greatly to the
astonishment of most people, and in spring
was ready to begin the overland march.
Knowing that the trip would have to be made
partly by land and partly by water, the ingenious Yankee invented a machine which could
be used either as a wagon bed or a boat. This
the Latin scholars at Harvard College named
the " Nat Wyethium." He found it less useful
than at first supposed and left it at St. Louis.
At that place Wyeth and his men joined a
party of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company
under William L. Sublette, with whom they
made the trip to the Rocky Mountains by
means of a pack train. Here some of the men
turned back discouraged, so that the last portion of the trip was made with only eleven
men. This little party reached Vancouver,
October 24, 1832. The ship had not arrived,
and they soon learned that she had been
wrecked at the Society Islands. Wyeth therefore returned to Boston in 1833, leaving a few 144    A  HISTORY  OF THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
Wyeth's second expedition
of his men, who became the first agricultural
settlers of Oregon. The business part of the
enterprise had failed completely.
But Wyeth was plucky, and had great faith
in the prospects for a profitable commercial
enterprise in the Oregon country. The salmon
fishery of the Columbia was a possible source
of great wealth, and he proposed to couple fur
trading with it. He therefore induced the
Boston partners to supply another ship, the
May Dacre, which was sent down the coast in
the fall of 1833. Wyeth himself made the trip
overland once more in the summer of 1834.
This time he took a number of wagons from
St. Louis, with goods which had been ordered by the Rocky Mountain Fur Company.
When the company refused to receive them,
Wyeth selected a place near the junction of the
Lewis and Portneuf rivers, where he built Fort
Hall and began trading with the Indians on
his own account by means of an agent left
there. He then passed on down the river,
reaching Vancouver in September. Once more
the energetic captain was disappointed, for the
May Dacre, which had been expected to reach
the Columbia early in the summer, during the
salmon fishing season, came in tardily the day
after the land party arrived. Nothing could
then be done about fishing, so Wyeth sent her
to the Hawaiian Islands with a cargo of timber, PIONEERS  OF THE  PIONEERS
while he spent the winter in trapping beaver
on the streams south of the Columbia, principally the Des Chutes. By the middle of February he was back at Vancouver, the guest of
McLoughlin. His trading plans were now all
ruined. Nothing could be done with the fur
trade in opposition to the Hudson's Bay Company. His trading establishment at Fort Hall
did not prosper, the fisheries and other commerce amounted to little. Wyeth lingered in
the country till the summer of 1836, when he
returned to Boston and soon closed out his
business in Oregon. Some of the men left by
him began the business of farming, with the
assistance of the Hudson's Bay Company.
Thus Wyeth's enterprise is in a very real
sense a bridge between the purely commercial
era of northwestern history and the era of
actual colonization.1
But  there  was  also  another   motive,   very
1 Wyeth kept a regular journal, which has been preserved in
the family of one of his descendants. A few years ago the manuscript was sent from Massachusetts to Oregon and published
(1899), together with a large number of Wyeth's letters, under
the editorial direction of Professor F. G. Young, secretary of the
Oregon Historical Society. The volume forms an invaluable
source for the study of conditions in Oregon, and the state of the
western fur trade, during the years covered. A very rare book
on the first part of the first Wyeth expedition is the little volume
by John B. Wyeth, published at Boston in 1833. Only a few
copies are now in existence. It is, however, being reprinted under
the editorship of Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL.D. Indian
missions in
the West
different from that influencing the fur trader,
that was drawing men into the great western
wilds and on toward the Pacific Ocean. This
was the desire on the part of many good men
to do something for the improvement of the
Indians. There was nothing new in this any
more than in the fur trade; but in the one case
as in the other the period we have now reached
witnesses a great expansion of effort and better
organization. A few missionaries had labored
among the Indians west of the Alleghanies since
the first settlers crossed those mountains, and
some of the tribes had made good progress in
the direction of civilization. With the purchase of Louisiana, however, it became the
policy of the government to induce those living
east of the river to go to the new territory on
the western side in order to make room for the
expanding white settlements.1 Some crossed
over freely, or at least with little objection, but
others refused to go. After a time the government undertook to remove them. This caused
great distress among the Indians, and likewise
produced a mighty wave of sympathy for the
red men. The newspapers recited their sufferings, and quoted the pathetic speeches of
1 Writing of the significance of Louisiana shortly after the
purchase, Jefferson said, " It will also open an asylum for these
unhappy people [the Indians], in a country which may suit their
habits of life better than that they now occupy, which perhaps
they will be willing to exchange with us."' PIONEERS  OF  THE PIONEERS
Indian chiefs, forced to leave " the land of their
fathers, where the Indian fires were going out."
Missionaries followed, without hesitation, to the
strange lands where " new fires were lighting
in the West," and soon a considerable number
of devoted men were at work among the tribes
living between the Mississippi and the Rocky
Mountains. Some were laboring among peoples they had known east of the river; some
sought out new fields on the Missouri, the
Kansas, the Platte, and other streams, where
they preached, taught the Indian children to
read, and often induced the natives to till the
soil and live in permanent houses, instead of
wandering about in pursuit of game. Sometimes the government employed the missionaries as teachers or Indian agents, and often
assisted them by providing a blacksmith to
make tools and farming implements.
Since these things were going on in many The Nez
places throughout the West, and since a few Pe'cesf ol
r cd gation to bt.
persons like Hall J. Kelley had already been Louis
writing about the Oregon Indians in connection
with plans for settling that country, it is not
strange, but perfectly natural, that men should
at last undertake to Christianize the tribes
living on the Pacific coast. A little incident
occurring in 1831 or 1832 (the date is in doubt),
wras sufficient to start the first missionaries across
the mountains.    As the story goes, the nations cnmnssBf
of the
of the upper Columbia had learned from British
traders something about the white man's reli-
gion. Wishing to know more, the Nez Perces
sent four of their leading men to St. Louis to
see General Clark, whom they remembered as
having once visited their country, to ask for
" the white man's book of heaven," as the Bible
was called among them. These Indians, setting   out   on   their   strange   and   interesting
mission, crossed the mountains and the plains
in safety and reached St. Louis, where they
were kindly received by General Clark. Two
of them died while in the city.   The remaining
two started for their own country in spring,
but one died before reaching the mountains.
The story of these four Indians, and their
long journey to the East in search of spiritual
help and guidance, was soon published in the
religious papers and created the keenest interest.
First to respond to the call for teachers was the
Methodist denomination, which in 1833 commissioned Rev. Jason Lee to begin work among
the Flatheads.1 Learning of Wyeth's plan tG
return to Oregon in spring, Lee arranged to
have all the provisions and equipments for
the new mission taken to the Columbia in
the  May  Dacre,   while  he  and  his   nephew,
1 The Indians who went to St. Louis were often spoken of as
Flatheads, though in fact they appear to have belonged to the
Nez Perces branch. PIONEERS  OF  THE  PIONEERS
Daniel Lee, and three laymen, Cyrus Shep-
ard, P. L. Edwards, and C. M. Walker, joined
Wyeth's overland party and made their way to
the Columbia. They decided, for various reasons, to let the Flatheads wait and to begin
work among the Indians on the Willamette.
All went down to Vancouver, arriving in the
month of September, 1834. When the May
Dacre came in with their supplies, the missionaries explored the country for a suitable
site. " On the east side of the river [Willamette], and sixty miles from its mouth, a location was chosen to begin a mission. Here was
a broad, rich bottom, many miles in length, well
watered and supplied with timber, oak, fir, Cottonwood, white maple, and white oak, scattered
along its grassy plains."1 They immediately
began preparing materials for a house and
when the rains of winter came had a respectable shelter. At the same time land was
fenced for cropping, a barn built, and other
improvements made; so that the establishment took on the 'appearance of a prosperous
woodland farm.
The missionaries were not the only settlers The first
in   the Willamette valley.     On arriving here cJf0^on
they found about a dozen white men already
1 Lee and Frost's " The First Ten Years of Oregon," reprinted
by the Oregonian, Sunday edition, October 11 to January 10,
occupying little farms, scattered along the river,
where they lived in log cabins with Indian
wives and families of children. Most of them
were former servants of the Hudson's Bay
Company who had either become unfit to
range the forest, or preferred to settle down to
cultivate the soil and live a quiet life. Dr.
McLoughlin furnished them stock and provisions, as he did the men left in the country
Progress of
the mission
Old Mission House, Oregon.
by Wyeth, receiving his pay in wheat when
the crops were harvested, and in young stock
to take the place of full-grown animals which
he supplied. Here was the beginning of the
first agricultural colony in Oregon, and it was
this mixed community into which the missionaries now came as a new influence, tending to
' CD
bring about better social conditions.
From the first, the missionaries were more
successful in their efforts among the neighbor-
ing settlers than with the surrounding Indians. PIONEERS  OF THE  PIONEERS
They opened a school, maintained religious
services, and soon organized a temperance society which, partly through Dr. McLoughlin's
influence, many of the white men joined. The
Indian children were admitted to their school,
and some of them made fair progress in learning. Orphans were adopted into the mission
family from time to time, receiving in this way
greater benefits from their contact with civilization. In 1837 the mission was reenforced by
the arrival of twenty assistants sent from the
East in two vessels.1 New efforts were now
made to Christianize the Indians of the Willamette, and the following year a branch mission
was begun at the Dalles of the Columbia.   This
became an important station; but the work in
the valley did not flourish, for the natives were
a sickly, degraded race, almost beyond the reach
of aid, and were rapidly dying off.
Let us now see what was going on in other Parker's
portions of the Oregon country. The story of
the Nez Perces delegation to St. Louis had
affected  other denominations as well as  the
1 The first party arrived in May, and contained Dr. and Mrs.
Elijah White, with two children ; Mr. Alanson Beers, his wife
and three children: three young women, Miss Pitman, who was
soon married to Rev. Jason Lee and who died the following year,
Miss Susan Downing, who married Mr. Shepard. and Miss
Elvira Johnson; and one unmarried man, Mr. W. H. Wilson.
The second company, arriving in September, consisted of seven
persons: Rev. David Leslie, wife and three children, Miss Margaret J. Smith, and Mr. H. K. W. Perkins. A HISTORY OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
Methodists, and in 1835 the American Board
of Commissioners for Foreign Missions sent
out Dr. Samuel Parker to inquire into the
prospects for missionary work among the Oregon Indians. Mr. Parker was accompanied
by a pious young physician, Dr. Marcus Whitman. Together they made the overland
trip from Liberty, Missouri, with a party of
Rocky Mountain trappers. Arriving at Pierre's
Hole, they found Indians of several Columbia
River tribes, who all seemed anxious to have
missionaries settle among them. Thinking,
therefore, that the main point was now gained,
Dr. Whitman returned to the East to bring out
assistants and supplies to begin one or more
missions. Dr. Parker wTent on, under Indian
guidance, to the Columbia, arriving at Fort
Vancouver on the 16th of October. Here he
spent the winter as the guest of Dr. McLoughlin, and when spring came set out for the upper
country. He stopped at Fort Walla Walla,
where he preached to a multitude of Indians.
Then journeying up the valley of Walla Walla
River he observed, some twenty miles from the
Columbia, " a delightful situation for a missionary establishment. ... A mission located on
this fertile field," he says, " would draw around
[it] an interesting settlement, who would fix
down to cultivate the soil and to be instructed.
How easily might the plow go through these PIONEERS  OF  THE  PIONEERS
vallies, and what rich and abundant harvests
might be gathered by the hand of industry."
From this place he went up the Lewis River,
where he seems to have fixed upon another site
for a mission, and then struck off northward, exploring the beautiful valley of Spokane River.
Here, too, were many Indians, who appeared to
be anxious for religious instruction. Later in
the year (1836) Dr. Parker sailed from Vancouver for the Hawaiian Islands, whence he
returned to the Atlantic coast by way of Cape
Horn, reaching his home at Ithaca, New York,
in May, 1837, after an absence of more than
two years.1
When Dr. Whitman returned to New York
in the fall of 1835, with a report that the Columbia River Indians were eager for teachers,
the board at once commissioned him to superintend the planting of a mission in that country. He had some trouble to find helpers, but
at last Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Spalding consented
to go with Whitman and his newly married
wife. Mr. W. H. Gray also joined the party.
It must have required a great deal of courage
for these two women to undertake the overland
trip, which thus far had been accomplished by
none but men. At Liberty, Missouri, the missionaries joined a company of fur traders, and
1The following year Dr. Parker published his interesting little
book called "An Exploring Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains."
The Whitman party of
missionaries Beginnings
of the
traveled with them to the mountains. In addition to saddle horses and pack animals, Whitman had provided his party with a one-horse
wagon. At that time there was no road beyond Fort Hall, but on account of Mrs. Spalding's feeble health, which made it impossible
for her to keep the saddle, he drove this vehicle as far as Fort Boise on Lewis River, thus
opening a new stage in the wagon road to the
Arriving at Fort Vancouver in September,
the women were left under the protection of
Dr. McLoughlin's family, while the men went
up the river to begin the missions. On the
Walla Walla River, about twenty miles above
the fort, was a place which the Indians called
Waiilatpu, where the first establishment was
begun. In this prairie country timber was very
scarce, and therefore the missionaries built their
house of " adobes," large brick made of clay and
baked by exposure in the sun.1 This finished,
the  second station was begun on  the  Clear-
water, at its junction with the Lapwai, a short
distance below the point where Lewis and
Clark, in 1805, reached the navigable waters
of the Columbia. The place was in the midst
of the Nez Perces country, about one hundred
1 These particular brick were twenty inches long, ten inches
wide, and four inches thick, as Dr. Whitman wrote to a fellow-
missionary on Platte River.
and twenty miles east of Waiilatpu. Mr. and
Mrs. Spalding took up their abode here while
the Whitmans remained at the Walla Walla
The Indians of this country were far superior Expansion
in  every  way  to  those  of   western   Oregon. c t,e"/
They were wanderers during a good share of mission
the year, but the winters were usually spent
in fixed places, where they could be reached
with ease. It was not long before many of
them became interested in the schools established at both missions for their benefit, and
after a time some were taken into the church.
Special efforts were made to teach them to
depend more upon agriculture and less upon
hunting, fishing, and the search for camas
roots. It was easy to cultivate the soil in this
region, as Dr. Parker foresaw, so that the
Indians were soon raising little fields of corn
and patches of potatoes, which added much to
their comfort and well-being. In the spring
of 1837 Whitman planted twelve acres of corn
and one acre of potatoes, besides peas and barley. A few cattle were early procured from
the East, and these multiplying rapidly, and
being added to from time to time, soon developed into considerable herds, of which the
Indians secured a share. In the fall of 1838
a small party came from the East overland to
reenforce the up-river missions.    It consisted A  HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
of Rev. Cushing Eells and wife, Rev. Elkanah
Walker and wife, Rev. A. B. Smith and wife,
Mr. W. H. Gray and wife, and Mr. C. Rogers.1
Now it was determined to occupy the northernmost of the three mission fields selected by Dr.
Parker, the Spokane country, where the families
of Walker and Eells establish themselves in the
spring of 1839.2
Thus the tribes of the interior country were
at last brought under the influence of a few
men and women wholly devoted to their welfare, and understanding with a fair degree of
clearness how to guide these barbarians along
the path of civilization. The task was stupendous; but the missionaries knew it was
not impossible, and labored with exemplary
courage. They preached to the natives as
regularly as possible, gathered the children and
their elders in the schools, translated portions
of the Bible into the Indian language and
printed them on a little press, the gift jpf the
Hawaiian missionaries; they helped the Indians
build houses for themselves, showed them how
to till their fields and lead water upon the growing crops;  they erected   rude mills  to  grind
1 Gray, who came to the Columbia in 1836 with Whitman and
Spalding, had gone back to secure help, and was married before
2 This place was known as Tsimakane. For a short time a
station was also occupied at Kamiah, on Lewis River. PIONEERS  OF  THE  PIONEERS
their corn and wheat. Work was more than
abundant for these few men and women, yet
this only made their condition the more pitiable
for its intense loneliness. The families were
so widely separated that visits required a great
deal of time, which could seldom be spared.
Once a year the men from the several stations
Tsimakane Mission.
gathered at Waiilatpu to conduct the annual
business of the mission, and occasionally two
or three families managed to be together for
a brief time. But for the most part they depended on letters sent by Indian carriers to
keep them in touch with their fellow-workers,
and on trading or trapping parties to bring
news from down the river, wmere social life was
so much brighter, and where ships came in from 158     A  HISTORY  OF THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
foreign shores. Toward the end of the long
summer, when the corn was ripening in the
field, they looked with longing for the annual
pack train coming down from the Blue Mountains, which usually brought letters from friends
in eastern homes, and sometimes a welcome
traveler or missionary. CHAPTER  XI
The United States government, in all its Ten years of
departments, dropped the Oregon question OS ^"
when Gallatin secured the second treaty of 1837
joint occupation. For nearly ten years after
that date neither Congress nor the executive
made any move of importance toward settling
the dispute with England, or assisting American citizens to gain a foothold within the Oregon
country. Yet this period, 1827-1837, is of great
importance in the history of Oregon because of
the doings of the first pioneers as described in
the preceding chapter. Trappers, traders, and
missionaries had entered the region; and while
little impression was made upon the business
of the Hudson's Bay Company, a few Americans remained to till the soil and to instruct
the Indians in religious things. This created
a bond between the United States and the distant Columbia which forced the government
to take an interest in that country. The question of the future of Texas had also compelled
the United States to concern itself about the
Mexican   territories,  and  at  one   time  (1835)
visit to
President Jackson was anxious to buy northern
California in order to secure the fine harbor
of San Francisco. Accordingly, he sent an
agent, Mr. W. A. Slacum, to the Pacific to
collect information for the government, and on
this voyage the first official visit was paid to
Slacum arrived in the Columbia River at
the end of the year 1836, with particular instructions from President Jackson to govern
his doings there..   He was to visit all the white
settlements on and near the Columbia, as well
as the various Indian villages; to -make a complete census of both whites and Indians, and
to learn what the white people thought about
the question of American rights in Oregon.
Briefly, he was to | obtain all such information
• . . as [might] prove interesting or useful to the
United States." Mr. Slacum performed his
work with a good deal of thoroughness. He
made charts of the Columbia River, locating
all the principal Indian villages; visited Fort
Vancouver to learn about the fur trade and
other business of the establishment; and went
up the Willamette valley to the Methodist
mission, calling at nearly every settler's cabin
passed on the way. He was pleased with the
country, found the missionaries doing good
work among the French and other settlers,
and became enthusiastic over the agricultural THE COLONIZING MOVEMENT
advantages of the Willamette valley. He pronounced it " the finest grazing country in the
world.. Here there are no droughts," he says,
"as on the Pampas of Buenos Ayres or the
plains of California, whilst the lands abound
with richer grasses both winter and summer."
Mr. Slacum believed that if the settlers could Thewnia-
be better provided with cattle, which were as ™ette Cattle
1 Company,
yet comparatively scarce, the prosperity of the 1837
country would be assured; and with this idea
the Oregon people heartily agreed. The
Hudson's Bay Company, while generous in
providing farmers with work oxen, were not
prepared to sell breeding stock freely, because
their herds were not yet large enough to more
than supply their own needs. The only practical way to obtain more cattle was to bring
them overland from California, where the
Mexican ranchers were slaughtering many
thousands each year for the sake of the hides
and tallow which they sold mainly to Boston
shipowners.1 There was one settler in the
Willamette valley who was familiar with California, having lived there several years before
coming to Oregon. This was Ewing Young, a
man of considerable talent and enterprise, who
1 One of the most entertaining books on early California is
Richard H. Dana's classic story, " Two Years Before the Mast."
It gives an account of the author's experience while a sailor on
one of the " hide and tallow " ships trading along the California
now headed a movement for bringing cattle
from the South.1 Slacum encouraged the
project in every way, especially by offering to
carry to California without expense the men who
were to go for the purpose of securing cattle.
An association was formed, with Young at its
7 CD
head, that took the name of the " Willamette
Cattle Company." A fund of several thousand
dollars was subscribed,partly by Dr. McLoughlin
for the fur company, partly by the Methodist
mission, and the remainder by individuals.
Mr. Slacum himself took a small financial interest in the company. Ewing Young and P. L.
Edwards, with a few others, took passage in the
Loriot (Slacum's ship) to California, where they
bought eight hundred head of cattle at three
dollars apiece, and forty horses at twelve dollars apiece. After many vexations and hardships they arrived in the Willamette valley
with six hundred head of stock, the remainder
having been lost by the way.
The bringing of these cattle, in the fall of 1837,
marks the opening of a new era for Oregon.
1 Young was a noted frontiersman, originally from Tennessee,
who early began trading in New Mexico. From there he went to
California in 1829 and came to Oregon overland with a few others
in 1834, driving a band of horses. One of his companions on
this trip was the famous Oregon agitator, Hall J. Kelley, of
Boston. Kelley had expected to bring out a colony to Oregon
in 1832; but failing to secure colonists, he finally started on his
own account, going to Mexico, thence to California, and finally with
Young to Oregon.
It gave a great stimulus to stock raising, for
which the country was specially adapted, promoted the prosperity of the settlers already
there, and, by the reports which soon traveled
eastward, caused many people in the Mississippi
valley to look wTith longing eyes toward this
land of ease and plenty, thus preparing the
way for the colonizing movement which was
about to begin.
Mr. Slacum returned to the United States Renewal of
and made his report  to the government.    In °re£°n
1 ° agitation in
December, 1837, this document, so interesting Congress
as the earliest particular account of the Willamette settlement, was presented to Congress
and immediately aroused great interest. One
of the points which Slacum insisted upon
was that the United States must never accept a
northern boundary for Oregon that would give
to the British government the great harbor of
Puget Sound. In other words, his idea was
that we should hold out sturdily for the 49th
parallel, already thrice offered, and refuse
utterly to take Great Britain's offer of the
Columbia boundary. This doubtless strengthened the determination of a few leaders in
Congress to secure a law for the military
occupation of the Columbia, similar to that
wThich Mr. Floyd tried to obtain fifteen years
earlier. At all events, the Oregon question now came up  once more  and remained Linn's bill
and report,
January and
June, 1838
before   Congress,   in   some  form.
succeeding ten years, till Oregon was effectively
settled by the pioneers, a favorable treaty obtained
from Great Britain, and an American territory
created on the Pacific coast.
Of the many men who took part in the Oregon discussions, between the years 1837 and
1843, none was more active or determined than
Dr. Lewis F. Linn, senator from Missouri.
He believed thoroughly in American rights
on the Pacific, was inclined to belittle the
British claims, and insisted on the urgent necessity of taking military possession of the
Columbia River. He proposed also to establish a territorial government for Oregon. His
first bill for these purposes was presented to
the Senate in January, 1838, and in June Dr.
Linn brought in a report on the Oregon question. This was a lengthy document, containing
a history of the events on which our right to
the Oregon country rested, and trying to show
that the British claim was not well founded.
In these respects it differed little from the
earlier report by Floyd; yet on many points
Linn was able to give information never before
presented to the country. For example, he
described the road to Oregon, which had recently been traversed by two women in the
Whitman-Spalding party. Many brief documents   containing  valuable   information   were
printed as appendices to the report, which thus
became a sort of text-book for the study of the
Oregon question. Thousands of copies were
printed, and in the next few years they were
distributed all over the country, especially
through the West, with the result that numbers of men soon became interested in " our
territory on the Pacific," as Oregon was frequently called.1
Other influences were working to the same Jason Lee's
effect. Jason Lee, the superintendent of the !5tu
Willamette mission, returned to the United party
States in the summer of 1838 "to obtain additional facilities to carry on . . . the missionary
work in Oregon territory." He traveled overland with a few companions, passing through
the frontier settlements of Missouri and Illinois,
where he accepted invitations to lecture and to
preach in the churches. A principal aim was
to raise money for his missionary enterprise,
but incidentally Lee aroused a good deal of
enthusiasm for the far-off country, so rich in
natural resources, where he had lived during the
preceding four years, almost within sight of the
Pacific Ocean. At Peoria, Illinois, he left one
of two Indian boys who had gone east with
him, and perhaps partly on that account a
special interest was aroused at that place.    In
1 When the pioneers began to go to Oregon copies of Linn's
Report were among the very few books taken across the plains. Petitions
the following spring Mr. Thomas J. Farnham
of Peoria, with a company of fourteen men,
undertook the overland trip to Oregon. He
failed to keep his party together, and finished
the journey with but three associates. Farnham visited the Whitman mission, and later
the Willamette settlement, after which he took
ship to the Hawaiian Islands and to California.
On his return to the United States he published popular accounts of the Oregon country,
as well as of California, which were widely read
and helped to swell the rising tide of interest in
the far west.
The settlers in the Willamette valley intrusted Farnham with a memorial to Congress,
asking that the protection of the United States
government might be extended over them.
Lee had carried with him from Oregon a similar petition, which was presented to Congress
in January, 1839, by Senator Linn. It spoke
of the fertility of the Willamette and Umpqua
valleys, the unsurpassed facilities for stock
raising, the mild and pleasant climate of western Oregon, and the exceptional opportunities
for commerce. A special point was made of
the growing trade with the Hawaiian Islands,
whose people needed the beef and flour produced in the Willamette valley, and would
soon be able to exchange for them coffee, sugar,
and other tropical products  required  by the THE  COLONIZING MOVEMENT
Oregon settlers.1 " We flatter ourselves," say
the thirty-six signers of the memorial, " that we
are the germ of a great state. . . . The country
must populate. The Congress of the United
States must say by whom. The natural resources of the country, with a well-judged
civil code, will invite a good community.
But a good community will hardly emigrate
to a country which promises no protection
to life or property. . . ." Lee personally
wrote a letter to Congressman Caleb Cushing
of Massachusetts, in which he reenforced the
statements made in the petition.2 " It may be
thought," he says, " that Oregon is of little im-
1 The discovery of these islands by Captain Cook in January,
.1778, proved of great importance in Pacific coast history. Their
situation made them the natural calling place for all vessels coming up the coast from Cape Horn, and also for ships crossing the
Pacific to or from China. When discovered, the several islands
of the group were occupied by barbarous tribes, each independent
of all the others. About the close of the eighteenth century there
arose a great chief called Kamehameha, who succeeded in uniting
most of the tribes, and in opening trade with the owners of ships
calling at the Islands. A prosperous era now began. In 1820
American missionaries established themselves at Honolulu, and
soon this place became a center of civilization affecting all the
tribes. The relations of the Hawaiian missionaries with the American people in Oregon, and afterward in California, was always
very close. Visits were occasionally made to the Pacific coast,
and, as stated in the last chapter, the Hawaiian missionaries presented those on the Columbia with a small printing-press, the first
ever used on the Pacific coast of the United States.
2 Cushing made a report to the House of Representatives
in 1839 which in some respects supplemented the report made
by Linn to the Senate the year before. 168     A HISTORY  OF THE PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
portance; but depend upon it, sir, there is the
germ of a great state." The Oregon people
desired from Congress two things: first, the
protection of the laws of the United States;
second, a guarantee that they might keep the
lands already taken up by them. Linn, Cushing, and other men made a faithful effort to
obtain such laws; but the prevailing sentiment
was against them, and no bill passed either
house of Congress till  1843.1
We have now to describe a movement arising outside of Congress in the summer of 1838,
Society; its  which added largely to the effect of the agita-
origin and        . . , it* *    r^      i • *-m  •
tion begun by Linn and Lushing. 1 his was
the so-called Oregon Provisional Emigration
Society, organized at Lynn, Massachusetts, in
August, 1838. The society was not a missionary organization purely, though most of its
leading members belonged to the Methodist
denomination. Its aim was " to prepare the
way for the Christian settlement of Oregon."
It proposed to enlist several hundred Christian
families, send  them  to Oregon  overland, and
1 It was, indeed, a very difficult matter to draw up a bill for the
extension of our national authority over Oregon without violating
either the letter or the spirit of the treaty of joint occupation.
Many members of Congress refused to support the bills presented
by Linn and others because it was feared their passage might
embroil us with Great Britain. See on this point the valuable
paper of Dr. J. R. Wilson on u The Oregon Question," published
in the Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, March and
encourage them to make use of all the advan-
tages for stock raising, commerce, fishing, etc.,
that the country afforded. But this was not
to be the only aim of the settlement, for which
the founders of the society had " nobler purposes in view." They believed it might be possible to Christianize the Indians, educate them,
and make them citizens, of a new commonwealth in which they were to have all the rights
and privileges of white citizens. The theory
was that while the Indians east of the Rockies
had already become hopelessly degraded, those
in the Oregon country were still mainly sound,
and if taken in time might be saved.
The society published a monthly magazine The
called at first The Oregonian. The phrase ^
and Indian s Advocate was afterward added
to the title. It was edited by Rev. Frederick
P. Tracy, of Lynn, Massachusetts, who was
also the secretary of the society. In the numbers of this magazine we find a large amount
of   information   concerning   the   Oregon    of
seventy years ago.1    The editor grew eloquent
1 Apparently only eleven numbers were printed. It begins
with October, 1838, and ends with August, 1839. Files of this
paper are very rare. The writer has seen and used two: the
first is in the State Historical Library of Wisconsin, at Madison,
the other in the private library of Hon. F. V. Holman of Portland, Oregon. Doubtless there are others, especially in Massachusetts. It contains Linn's and Cushing's reports, a review of
Parker's book, letters from missionaries, and other matter concerning Oregon. tsm
in the effort to set before his readers the possibilities of this great country. He called it
" the future home of the power which is to rule
the Pacific, . . . the theater on which mankind
are to act out a part not yet performed in the
drama of life and government." Oregon's " far-
spreading seas and mighty rivers [were] to
teem with the commerce of an empire"; her
"boundless prairies and verdant vales [were]
to feel the steps of civilized millions; . . ." —
Such enthusiasm, supported by much valuable information, must have produced considerable   effect,   since    the    magazine   reached
' CD
a circulation of nearly eight hundred copies.
But in addition to this the society also sent an
agent into the western states to enlist emigrants,
who were to go to Oregon in the spring of
1840. Nothing came of the colonizing scheme,
although the plans had been carefully worked
out. It is a most interesting fact that the society
had gained the good will of the Hudson's Bay
Company in London, and their promise to provide the Oregon colony with merchandise at
rates to be agreed upon. The organization
appears to have dropped into the background
by the end of the year 1839. But by this time
there were little knots of men in various parts
of the United States, — Pennsylvania, Ohio,
Michigan, Indiana. Illinois, and Missouri,—
who thought of forming emigration societies to THE COLONIZING MOVEMENT
colonize Oregon. There was some delay in
carrying out these plans; but the idea had begun to take hold of the popular mind, and a
few years would see the wagon trains gathering
for the wonderful journey across the continent.
We left Jason Lee busily at work in the Lee's mis-
eastern states raising money and men for his mis- slonai7 1
cd J colonization
sionary reenforcement. He was remarkably sue- scheme
cessful, securing, with the help of the Methodist
board, the large sum of forty-two thousand dollars. He got together a company of over fifty
persons—men, women, and children — with
whom he sailed from New York in the ship Lausanne on the 10th of October, 1839. In the following May they reached the mouth of the
Columbia from Hawaii, and on the 1st of June
all were safely landed at Vancouver. Here the
party separated. One of the ministers, Rev. J.
H. Frost, was sent to the mouth of the Columbia;
Rev. A. F..Waller took charge of a station at
Willamette Falls; two others, Rev. W. W. Cone
and Rev. Gustavus Hines, went to the Umpqua
to begin a new mission, which did not succeed;
Mr. Brewer and Dr. Babcock, laymen, reen-
forced the station at the Dalles; and Rev. J.
P. Richmond, with his family and Miss Clark
as teacher, went up to the station already begun
near Fort Nesqually on Puget Sound. The
rest of them passed up the Willamette to the
central mission near the present capital city of Visit of
Salem, where some took lands, and helped to
change this establishment into the true American colony it now became. About the same
time a number of Rocky Mountain trappers
settled in the valley, and still further increased
the American influence. The colony now contained more than a hundred people.
In the year 1841 Oregon received a visit
from Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, commander
of the Pacific Exploring Squadron sent out by
the United States government in 1838.1 Wilkes
took pains to travel through all the settled portions of the Willamette valley, and gives a detailed account of what he found there. Near
the mouth of the river was a group of young
men building a small vessel, which they called
The Star of Oregon, and which wTas afterward taken to San Francisco and exchanged
for cattle. At the falls were Waller's mission
and a trading, or rather salmon-packing, station
of the Hudson's Bay Company. At a place
called Champoeg there were four or five cabins,
in one of which Wilkes was entertained by an
old seaman, named Johnson, who had fought in
the glorious naval battle between the Constitu-
1 Two other noteworthy visitors to Oresron during: this year
were Sir George Simpson, governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, who was on his trip around the world, and a French diplomat, Duflot de Mofras, at that time connected with the French
legation in Mexico. Each wrote a book, in which some account
of Oregon is contained. THE COLONIZING MOVEMENT
tion and the Guerriere} Farther up the river
were observed " many small farms of from fifty
to one hundred acres, belonging to the old servants of the company, Canadians, who [had]
settled here; they all [appeared] very comfortable and thriving." Twelve miles above Cham-
poeg dwelt the Catholic priest, Father Blanchet,
" settled among his flock, . . . doing great good
to the settlers in ministering to their temporal
as well as spiritual wants." The traveler
passed a few more farms before reaching the
first of the buildings belonging to the Methodist mission. Wilkes was entertained by Mr.
Abernethy, whose family was one of the four
living in the "hospital' erected by Dr. White
— "a wTeil-built frame edifice with a double
piazza in front, . . . perhaps the best building
in Oregon." A ride of five miles brought him
to "the mill," 2 where he found "the air and stir
of a new secular settlement; . . . the missionaries [had] made individual selections of lands to
the amount of one thousand acres each, in the
prospect of the whole country falling under our
laws." He was convinced that they were now
more interested in building up the country than
in laboring further among the few remaining
Indians.    Neither did  they care to leave the
1 Johnson afterward built the first house in the city of Portland.
2 This was near the present site of Salem. 174    A HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
with the
Willamette valley in order to find a more
hopeful mission field, but preferred to remain
here and direct the future development of the
new colony they had done so much to create.
Among these people Wilkes heard much about
a plan to establish a provisional government for
Oregon. This he discouraged, believing that
there were as yet too few American settlers to
make the experiment a success.
Wilkes found some of his countrymen disposed to complain of the Hudson's Bay Company ; but he appears to have given little heed
to these mutterings, knowing that there was
no serious cause of trouble between the two
nationalities. In a very real sense the American settlers were dependent upon the fur company, and owed to it much of the prosperity
they enjoyed. McLoughlin generously assisted
the newcomers with stock and supplies, advancing in this way large sums in the aggregate ; the fort was the regular market for all
the wheat and other surplus produce raised in
the valley, and its stores furnished all the groceries, clothing, shoes, and other manufactured
goods which brought homelike comforts to
every little cabin, and luxury to a few of the
more pretentious dwellings in the settlement.
The fur company, too, wras the wall of defense
against the Indians of the entire country without which Oregon could not have been settled THE  COLONIZING MOVEMENT
when it was by feeble parties of missionaries
and others from the United States. It must
not be supposed that the British traders neglected to look sharply after their own commercial and national interests; but these were not
often directly opposed to the interests of the
settlers. Moreover, the officers of the company
in Oregon — McLoughlin, Douglas, Ogden, and
most of the others — were liberal and humane
men, inclined to deal fairly with the Americans
who had at least as good a right as themselves
to be in the country.1 Therefore, in summing
up the causes bringing about the colonization
of the Pacific Northwest we must not omit to
mention the presence on the Columbia of the
great British trading establishment, which in
most respects served the purpose of protection
and help to settlers as well as an American fort
could have done.
The  year after  Wilkes's  visit, Oregon  re- Dr. white's
ceived the first considerable party of the emi- comPai\yof
# -"-        J 120 settlers,
grants coming from the United States by the 1842
overland route.     Dr.  Elijah White, who had
arrived in the country in 1837, returned to the
East by sea in 1840.    Soon after this the government began to think of sending an Indian
1 They must have known, also, that if serious offense had been
sriven to the American government in the ill treatment of their
citizens in Oregon, the government of Great Britain would be
placed at a disadvantage in the contest for territory in Oregon. A  HISTORY  OF THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
agent to Oregon, and early in the year 1842
White was appointed to this position, with instructions to take out as many emigrants as
could be got together in the West. White
delivered lectures in various places, interviewed
pioneers in Missouri and elsewhere, and soon
had a company of about one hundred and
twenty men, who started from Independence,
Missouri, in May, and made a successful journey across the mountains. The party took
wagons as far as Fort Hall, using pack horses
from this place to the Columbia.1
While this company was on its way across
the plains, Lord Ashburton and Daniel Webster were discussing at Washington all the questions remaining unsettled between the United
States and Great Britain; and on the 9th of
August, they signed what is called the Ashburton Treaty. Americans had hoped that the
Oregon question might be settled at this time;
but in the negotiations it was soon found that
Great Britain was not yet prepared to make
concessions, and the treaty omitted all mention
of the matter.
1 About the same time the government sent out Lieutenant
John C. Fre*mont to explore a route into the Rocky Mountains.
This was the first of his " path-finding " expeditions. CHAPTER  XII
Many people were grievously disappointed at The Oreg
the outcome of the Webster-Ashburton nego-
tiation, because of the silence of the treaty concerning Oregon. Yet, looking back from this
distance, it is difficult to see how any serious
evil could result from a further delay in settling
the question. It had already waited a quarter
of a century, during most of which time Americans had no interests in the region west of the
Rockies. Now they not only had the beginnings of an actual settlement in the Willamette valley, but everything foreshadowed such
a large emigration to the Columbia that our
position would soon be much stronger than
that of our adversary. The situation was a
little like that on the Mississippi prior to the
Louisiana Purchase; and just as Jefferson
wanted time to plant strong American communities on the banks of this river before
forcing an issue with France, so far-sighted
statesmen of forty years later were glad to
see the pioneers preparing for the journey to
N 177
situation in
prospect for
in 1843.
Oregon,  because  this  would   strengthen   the
American claim as against Great Britain.1
Certainly at the time the Ashburton Treaty
was signed American prospects were brightening. In the same month (August, 1842), Dr.
White wrote a letter from the mountains in
which he assured the frontiersmen that the
Oregon colony would prove successful, that
his company would reach the Willamette in
safety, and that a good pilot2 procured
to bring out a company the following spring.
This was doubtless one of the causes inducing
the pioneers to prepare for the overland march
in 1843. But there were many others. The
long agitation in Congress, reports, speeches,
newspaper articles, and letters had given the pioneering class considerable information about the
Oregon country. They knew that the Willamette valley was a favored land for the farmer
and stockman, possessing a rich soil, mild cli-
1 President Tyler, writing three years later (October 7, 1845)
to Mr. Calhoun, says that he hesitated to take up the Oregon
negotiation after the treaty of 1842, "believing that under the
convention of joint occupation we stood on the most favorable
footing. Our population was already finding its way to the shores
of the Pacific, and a few years would see an American Settlement
on the Columbia sufficiently strong to defend itself and to protect
the rights of the U. States to the territory."
2 This term, ordinarily used to designate a person who steers
ships, or directs their course especially into harbors, was commonly employed sixty years ago by travelers in the Rocky
Mountains as an equivalent for the term " guide." THE  GREAT  MIGRATION
mate, and such a combination of prairie and
forest, with springs of pure water everywhere,
as would make the opening of new farms peculiarly easy and pleasant. In the western states,
the settlers had suffered much for the lack
of easy transportation, their crops bringing
scarcely enough to pay for the labor expended
upon them; but in Oregon they would have a
navigable river at their doors, and the ocean
but a short distance away. The market for
grain was said to be good, cattle were reported ?
to be worth four times what they were bringing
in western Missouri, and in each case the cost
of production was very much less. Oregon, also,
had other resources, aside from these exceptional
agricultural advantages. Her streams were full
of the finest salmon, which might be packed
and shipped at a good profit; splendid forests
of fir and pine, extending down to the water's
edge, invited the establishment of lumber mills ;
and unlimited water power was at hand for all
manufacturing purposes. Such a combination
of elements, the pioneers thought, would insure
the development of a prosperous state on the
shores of the Pacific.
For several years, the western people  had "Hard
experienced continuous " hard times," with low  !mes'
l 7 slavery,
prices for everything they had to sell, and al- the spirit of
. • ,     , ,1     • j-    adventure,
most no opportunity to improve  their  condi- patriotism
tion either in farming or other business.    The 180    A  HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
spirit of unrest on these accounts was widespread. Moreover, many persons in the southwestern states were beginning to feel very
keenly the evils of slavery, which was causing
violent agitation throughout the country, and
were anxious to remove their families beyond
the reach of its influence. But underneath all
other motives was a distinctly American love
of adventure, the product of generations of
pioneering. It was the spirit of the frontiersmen of the olden time: the longing to open
new "trails," to subdue strange lands, and
make new settlements. True, men had abundant opportunity to " move' without crossing
the western mountains. They might go
from Ohio to Michigan, Wisconsin, or Iowa;
from Kentucky to western Missouri, Arkansas, or Texas. But, while thousands were each
year doing this, such migrations after all were
hardly satisfying to those remembering the
deeds of pioneer ancestors who had traversed
the 1 Wilderness Road' into Kentucky, and
settled in a wild region amid constant dangers
and alarms from hostile savages. The stories
of Boone, Kenton, Clark, and scores of others
were still recited around frontier firesides by
old men and women who spoke out of their
own vivid recollections of these border heroes.
Such tales fired the imaginations of the young,
and prepared a generation of men for a new journey of two thousand miles through an uninhabited wilderness; the crossing of a vaster
system of mountains than any of which the
fathers knew; majestic snow peaks, deep, dark
canons through which the rivers rushed and 182    A  HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
roared in their headlong progress toward the
west; tedious stretches of barren plain; valleys
of enchanting loveliness; and at last the noble
river and the great, strange, inspiring sea!
Add to all this the belief, which many held,
that their going to Oregon would benefit the
United States in its contest with Great Britain
over territorial rights, and we have a combination of motives powerful enough to set hundreds of pioneers in motion.
The approach of spring (1843) found numbers of men in various sections of the country
preparing for the march. The companies had
been organizing for many months. Correspondence committees in western Missouri received
names of intending emigrants as early as September, 1842. An emigration agent from St.
Louis, Mr. J. M. Shivley, spent the winter in
Washington, kept the people of the West informed as to the progress of legislation respecting Oregon, and tried to induce the Secretary
of War to provide a company of troops to escort the emigrants. Senator Linn once more
brought up his bill for the establishment of a
territorial government and the granting of
lands to settlers. It passed the Senate on the 3d
of February by the close vote of twenty-four to
twenty-two. Although afterward killed in the
House of Representatives, the enthusiasm and
hope aroused by the passage of the bill through THE GREAT  MIGRATION
the Senate had much to do with starting new re-
cruits to the place of rendezvous. So did, also,
the public meetings held in various places, like
Columbus and Chillicothe, Ohio, and Springfield, Illinois, to discuss the Oregon question
and to adopt resolutions urging Congress to
pass the Linn bill. A few men of large influence in the western communities had decided
to emigrate, and they undertook to persuade
others by means of newspaper articles, personal
interviews, and public addresses. In Bloom-
ington, Iowa, the entire population appears to
have been affected by what men called the
I Oregon fever " ; they held several public meetings, organized an emigrating party, adopted
rules concerning equipment, the route to be
taken, and other details of preparation for the
Independence, Missouri, had for some years Organizing
been the general outfitting place for companies
of traders, trappers, and emigrants going to the
far West. The village lay a few miles from
the Missouri River, near the present site of
Kansas City, and was the radiating point for
many wilderness highways, including the great
Santa Fe and Oregon " trails." All the small
parties from Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, as well as those from
Missouri, gathered at this place. By the middle of May many had arrived, driving in from
Peter H.
the start;
Elm Grove
all directions two, three, a dozen or twenty
wagons at a time, with loose stock following
behind the train. They now made arrangements for the start, adopting a body of rules,
and choosing a pilot to conduct them through
the mountains. The pioneers were then ready
to move forward.
Probably the leading man of this emigration
was Peter H. Burnett, a young lawyer from
Platte County, Missouri, who had done much
to get the company together. He kept a diary
during the course of the journey, and on reaching the Willamette wrote a number of letters
for the New York Herald, giving an account of
the trip. Looking back from his far western
home to the time of  beginning  their march
from Missouri, and realizing both its difficulties
and the significance of what had been done, he
says: "On the 22d of May we began one of
the most arduous and important trips undertaken in modern times." The first camp, at
Elm Grove, on account of its strange pictur-
esqueness, produced a strong impression upon
the mind of Burnett, as it probably did on
others. " I have never witnessed a scene," he
says, "more beautiful than this. Elm Grove
stands in a wide, gently undulating prairie.
The moon shed her silvery beams on the white
sheets of  sixty wagons:  a thousand  head  of
J CD '
cattle grazed upon the surrounding plain ; fifty TTTira
campfires sent up their brilliant flames, and
the sound of the sweet violin was heard in the
tents.    All was stir and excitement."
By the  time they had crossed the Kansas Electing
River (June 1) a good many others had ioined °™?ers;
w '       o J J division of
the company, which now numbered one hun- the
dred and twenty wagons, nearly one thousand ompany
persons of all ages, and more than five times
as many animals. Stopping to complete the
organization, Peter H. Burnett was chosen captain, J. W. Nesmith orderly sergeant, and nine
others designated to form a council. A few
days later, however, Burnett resigned, and the
company w7as divided into two parts. Each
division had sixty wagons; but one was composed mainly of those who had few or no loose
cattle, and called " the light column "; while the
other contained the owners of the herds, large
and small, with which this emigration was en-
cumbered, and took the name of " the cow-column."    There was a separate captain for each.
The leader of the second division was Cap- "ADay
tain Jesse Applegate, a man whom the people J?w_l e
of Oregon delight to honor as one of the noblest Column,"
of the pioneers.    He is remembered as a states- A
man, a surveyor, a pathfinder through the south- Applegate
ern mountains, and in general a leader in all
the varied activities of frontier life in the Northwest.    But, fortunately, he was also a writer of
elegant English prose; and one  of the most Daybreak;
the camp
the stock
delightful productions of his pen is an account
which he wrote in 1876 of a typical day on this
long march " with the cow-column." Since
this essay gives us so lifelike a picture of the
great emigration in motion toward the west,
and since it describes the camping methods in
use for many years among trapping parties and
traders, as well as emigrants to Oregon and
California, we cannot do better than to transcribe a portion of it.1
" It is four o'clock a.m. ; the sentinels on
duty have discharged their rifles — the signal
that the hours of sleep are over — and every
wagon and tent is pouring forth its night
tenants, and slow kindling smokes begin largely
to rise and float away in the morning air.
Sixty men start from the corral, spreading as
they make through the vast herd of cattle and
horses that make a semicircle around the encampment, the most distant perhaps two miles
" The herders pass the extreme verge and
carefully examine for trails beyond, to see that
none of the animals have strayed or been
stolen during the night. This morning no
trails lead beyond the outside animals in sight,
1 The paper was first read by Mr. Applegate before the Oregon Pioneer Association in 1876, and published in their proceedings : recently it has been reprinted in the Quarterly of the
Oregon Historical Society (December, 1900). THE  GREAT MIGRATION
and by five o'clock the herders begin to contract the great moving circle, and the well-
trained animals move slowly towards camp,
clipping here and there a thistle or a tempting
bunch of grass on the way. In about an hour
five thousand animals are close up to the encampment, and the teamsters are busy selecting their teams and driving them inside the
corral to be yoked. The corral is a circle one
hundred yards deep, formed with wagons connected strongly with each other; the wagon in
the rear being connected with the wagon in
front by its tongue and ox chains. It is a
strong barrier that the most vicious ox cannot
break, and in case of attack from the Sioux
would be no contemptible intrenchment.
" From six to seven o'clock is a busy time; Getting
breakfast is to be eaten, the tents struck, the ]?adJ °r
the day s
wagons loaded and the teams yoked and march
brought up in readiness to be attached to their
respective wagons. All know when, at seven
o'clock, the signal to march sounds, that those
not ready to take their places in the line of
march must fall into the dusty rear for the day.
There are sixty wagons. They have been
divided into fifteen divisions or platoons of
four wagons each, and each platoon is entitled
to lead in its turn. The leading platoon to-day
will be the rear one to-morrow, and will bring
up the rear unless some teamster through in- 188    A HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
dolence or neligence has lost his place in the
line, and is condemned to that uncomfortable
post. It is within ten minutes of seven; the
corral but now a strong barricade is everywhere broken, the teams being attached to the
wagons. The women and children have taken
their places in them.     The pilot (a  borderer
A Buffalo Hunt.
who has passed his life on the verge of civilization and has been chosen to his post of leader
from his knowledge of the savage and his experience in travel through roadless wastes)
stands ready, in the midst of his pioneers and
aids, to mount and lead the way. Ten or fifteen young men, not to-day on duty, form
another cluster. They are ready to start on a
buffalo hunt, are well mounted and well armed, THE GREAT  MIGRATION
as they need to be, for the unfriendly Sioux
have driven the buffalo out of the Platte, and
the hunters must ride fifteen or twenty miles to
find them. The cow drivers are hastening, as
they get ready, to the rear of their charge, to
collect and prepare them for the day's march.
" It is on the stroke of seven; the rush to Breaking
and fro, the cracking of whips, the loud com- camPJ for_
0 i ward along
mand to oxen, and what seemed to be the the trail
inextricable confusion of the last ten minutes
has ceased. Fortunately every one has been
found and every teamster is at his post. The
clear notes of a trumpet sound in the front;
the pilot and his guards mount their horses;
the leading divisions of the wagons move out
of the encampment, and take up the line of
march; the rest fall into their places with the
precision of clockwork, until the spot so lately
full of life sinks back into that solitude that
seems to reign over the broad plain and rushing
river as the caravan draws its lazy length towards the distant El Dorado. . . .
" The pilot, by measuring the ground and The
timing the speed of the horses, has determined noonms
the rate of each, so as to enable him to select
the nooning place as nearly as the requisite
grass and water can be had at the end of five
hours' travel of the wagons. To-day, the ground
being  favorable,   little   time has been lost in
CD *
preparing the road, so that he and his pioneers 190    A  HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
Session of
The drowsy
are at the nooning place an hour in advance
of the wagons, which time is spent in preparing
convenient watering places for the animals, and
digging little wells near the bank of the Platte.
As the teams are not unyoked, but simply
turned loose from the wagons, a corral is not
formed at noon, but the wagons are drawn up
in columns, four abreast, the leading wagon of
each platoon on the left, the platoons being
formed with that in view. This brings friends
together at noon as well as at night.
" To-day an extra session of the council is
being held, to settle a dispute that does not admit
of delay, between a proprietor and a young man
who has undertaken to do a man's service on
the journey for bed and board. Many such
cases exist, and much interest is taken in the
manner in which this high court, from which
there is no appeal, will define the rights of
each party in such engagements. The council
was a high court in the most exalted sense.
It was a senate composed of the ablest and
most respected fathers of the emigration. It
exercised both legislative and judicial powers,
and its laws and decisions proved equal, and
worthy of the high trust reposed in it. . . .
" It is now one o'clock; the bugle has
sounded and the caravan has resumed its westward journey. It is in the same order, but the
evening is far less animated than the morning THE  GREAT  MIGRATION
march. A drowsiness has fallen apparently on
man and beast; teamsters drop asleep on their
perches, and even when walking by their teams;
and the words of command are now addressed
to the slowly creeping oxen in the soft tenor of
women or the piping treble of children, while
the snores of the teamsters make a droning
accompaniment. . . .
" The sun is now getting low in the west, Forming the
and at length the painstaking pilot is standing evenms
01 cd r o   camp;
ready to conduct the train in the circle which nightfall
he has previously measured and marked out,
which is to form the invariable fortification for
the night.    The leading wagons follow him so
o o o
nearly around the circle that but a wagon length
separates them. Each wagon follows in its
track, the rear closing on the front, until its
tongue and ox chains will perfectly reach from
one to the other; and so accurate [is] the measure and perfect the practice, that the hindmost
wagon of the train always precisely closes the
gateway. As each wagon is brought into position it is dropped from its team (the teams being
inside the circle), the team is unyoked, and the
yoke and chains are used to connect the wagon
strongly with that in its front. Within ten
minutes from the time the leading wagon
halted, the barricade is formed, the teams unyoked and driven out to pasture. Every one is
busy preparing fires ... to cook the evening A HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
meal, pitching tents and otherwise preparing
for the night. . . ." The watches "begin at
eight o'clock p.m. and end at four o'clock a.m."
The daily routine, here so graphically described, must have become extremely wearisome to the pioneers and their families after
a few months  spent   upon  the  dusty, dreary
The Old Trail along the Sweetwater.
"trail." At the end of ninety-eight days, on
the 27th of August, the company reached Fort
Hall, the trading post built by Wyeth in 1832
and afterward sold to the Hudson's Bay Company, which had become a famous way station
on the overland route. They were now on the
eastern border of the Oregon country, and two-
thirds of the distance to the Willamette  had THE GREAT MIGRATION
been traversed. The hardships already endured from storm, flood, and the unavoidable
mishaps of the long journey across the plains
were very great; yet all were aware that the
most difficult portion of the trip was still before
them. Thus far the road had been comparatively good; at least, the wagons always had a
J     CD CD J
well-marked trail to follow. But this practically
terminated at Fort Hall, which was connected
writh the lower country only by a pack trail.
No loaded wagons had ever passed the fort,
and when the pioneers set out from their homes
in the spring it was generally understood that
the wagon road ended at this place. However,
they soon found that it would, be impossible to
secure enough pack horses to carry their families and property to the Columbia, as the small
parties of previous years had done, and so it
became necessary to go forward with the wagons
at all hazards. The company was large, they
could send roadmakers ahead to prepare the
way, and might be able to overcome even the
w7orst difficulties by united effort. Besides, they
had with them Dr. Whitman of the Walla
Walla mission, who had taken his light wagon,
without a load, as far as Fort Boise in 1836,
and who knew more about the possibility of
opening a wagon trail through the region still to
be traversed than any of the other men. Whitman felt certain they could succeed, urged the
o From Fort
Hall to
down the
company to make the venture, and offered to
act as guide. His services to the emigrants
from Fort Hall westward were very great, and
are remembered with gratitude by the early
pioneers of the Northwest.1
They left Fort Hall on the 30th of August,
passed   Fort   Boise   September   20,  and   ten
Mt. Hood.
days later came in sight of the Grand Ronde,
the famous circular valley of the Blue Mountains. Its peaceful beauties are said to have
so impressed the travelers, after the toils and
hardships of the days spent in the desert, that
1 The circumstances inducing Dr. Whitman to make the winter journey from his mission on the Walla Walla to Boston and
Washington will be narrated in Chapter XIV. THE  GREAT MIGRATION
some broke into tears of joy as they looked
down upon it from the high plateau above.
Ten days later they reached Whitman's station,
where many of them bought supplies of wheat
and potatoes for the trip to western Oregon.
A portion of the emigrants arranged to leave
their cattle in the Walla Walla valley; some
drove herds overland; while the families, the
wagons, and other property were taken down
the Columbia in boats and rafts. By the end
of November all had reached the Willamette
1 Most of the sources from which this account of the great
emigration is written were discovered by the writer while searching through files of old newspapers preserved at Madison, Wisconsin, St. Louis and Columbia, Missouri. A portion of the
matter thus found has been reprinted in the Quarterly of the
Oregon Historical Society, where it can be conveniently referred
to. The most important single source for the journey is the
Burnett Herald letters, reprinted in the Quarterly for December,
1902. A series of other short letters appears in the Quarterly for
June, 1903, and still others in several recent numbers. The
Quarterly, edited by Professor F. G. Young, secretary of the
society, was begun in March, 1900, and has now completed the
fifth volume. In it has already been gathered a large amount of
valuable source material relating £0 the history of the Northwest,
as well as numerous special articles by pioneers and others. CHAPTER  XIII
of the
of 1843
The emigration whose organization and
movements have just been described marks a
new starting point in the history of the Northwest. Up to this time we have been dealing
with events which may be looked upon as
introductory; now we begin actually to see the
process of state building on the shores of the
Pacific. Just as in Virginia the colony can
hardly be said to have been planted prior to
the arrival of Delaware's party in 1610; as in
Massachusetts it was the great company
brought out by Winthrop in 1630 which firmly
established the English people, although the
beginnings of settlement already existed ; so on
the Pacific coast the emigration of 1843 closes
the period of experiment, and gives us a true,
self-supporting American colony. In the
present chapter we shall do scarcely more than
point out some of the changes produced in
Oregon during the succeeding three years as a
^J ^J C_") aa/
result of this influx of new people.
The earliest attempts to form a provisional
government for  the  Willamette  colony were Beginnings
made several years prior to  1843; but, as we of[he ag1_
I y ^° ' -§Bm tation for a
shall see, the organization  was  not   put  into government
effective operation till after the new emigrants
arrived.1    When our  people  began   going  to
the country there were no American laws to
control their actions, and no government whatever except that
which was exercised over  British   subjects  by
officers    of   the
Hudson's      Bay
Company.    The
missionaries    in
the    Willamette
valley,   and   the
other       settlers
who     gradually
collected    there,
regarded this as
one of their principal grievances,
and    repeatedly
petitioned Congress to extend the laws of the
United States over them.   But, as we have seen,
1 In the history of the Northwest the terms I emigrants " and
1 emigration" have commonly been used instead of | immigrants " and "immigration.'" The custom will be preserved in
these pages.
Governor George Abernethy. 198     A HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
The first
that body could not be induced to take any
action. In 1840, with the arrival of the Lausanne company and the Rocky Mountain trappers of that year, the American party felt greatly
strengthened and began to talk of organizing
a provisional or temporary government on their
own account, in the expectation of giving it up
whenever the United States should be prepared
to extend its authority over the country. The
French settlers, however, being attached to the
fur company, remained satisfied with conditions
as they were.
Early in 1841 an incident occurred which
brought out sharply the need of some regular
authority, and set in motion plans to secure a
political organization. Ewing Young, the pioneer stockman of the Willamette valley, whose
connection with the cattle company has already
been described, had, in the course of nine years'
residence in the country, become possessed of
a large herd of cattle and considerable other
property. In February of this year he died,
without making any provision by will for the
disposition of his estate, and so far as known
leaving no heir.    His neighbors were naturally
very much interested in the case, and it is
claimed that those who gathered at Young's
funeral issued a call for a general meeting to
consider what was to be done with this property.    On  the   17th  of   February,  when   the FIRST  AMERICAN   GOVERNMENT  ON  PACIFIC    199
public meeting occurred, resolutions were offered providing for a committee to draft a constitution and laws. This body was selected on
the 18th, and besides the settlers chose Dr. Ira
L. Babcock of the Methodist mission to be supreme judge wTith probate powers. They provided also for a clerk of courts and recorder,
a high sheriff, and three constables. The
meeting then adjourned to the second Tuesday
in June. Dr. Babcock, on the 15th of April,
appointed an administrator for Ewing Young's
property, this being, it is believed, the first official act of the Oregon provisional government.
When the June meeting took place it was The plan
found that the committee appointed to draft a
constitution and laws had done nothing, not
even so much as to meet for consultation. The
reason was plain enough. In their anxiety to
gain the support of the French settlers the
missionary party, which controlled the earlier
meetings, had succeeded in making the French
priest, Father Blanchet, chairman of the committee. But he refused to take any interest in
the matter and failed to call the committee together. Blanchet now resigned, and his place
being filled by an American it seemed that
something would probably be done. The committee was instructed to meet on a particular
day and report to a meeting of the settlers set
for October.    But now a new obstacle appeared
HHannasi /
in the person of Lieutenant Wilkes, v/no showed
himself decidedly opposed to the plan of a provisional government. The result was that the
whole matter was dropped for more than a year.
In the fall of 1842 Dr. White arrived as Indian agent, bringing his company of one hundred and twenty new settlers. Although the
French party had also been strengthened, it now
appeared to some of the Americans that the
time for action had come. The matter was
discussed during the winter, and with the approach of spring a favorable opportunity arose
to secure a public meeting. The settlers'
herds had suffered much from the ravages of
wild beasts, an evil which called for some
means of exterminating the forest foes. On
the 2d of February, 1843, a group of persons
gathered at the Oregon Institute appointed
a committee to " notify a general meeting,"
which was held on the second Monday of
March. The committee was prepared with
resolutions advising that bounties be paid for
killing wolves, lynxes, bears, and panthers;
that a subscription fund be raised for that purpose ; and that officers be appointed to manage
the business. These being adopted, the more
important and interesting resolution was offered,
I That a committee [of twelve] be appointed to
take into consideration the propriety of taking
steps for the civil and military protection of the FIRST  AMERICAN  GOVERNMENT  ON  PACIFIC   201
colony."1 This also received a favorable vote,
and now the plan to create a provisional government was fully launched.
Only two months were allowed to intervene The provi-
between the appointment of the committee and slonalg°y-
x x l ernment
the meeting to consider its report.    It was a voted at
time  of  great  political activity in  the settle- ^TT^T
ment.    The French people were still generally
Mount Rainier from the South.
opposed to the scheme, as they declared in a
formal address to the colonists prepared about
this time, and many of the Americans were
far from enthusiastic. There was much uncertainty in the minds of the settlers as they
1 This resolution was proposed by Mr. W. H. Gray, who was
then living in the Willamette valley, and who bore a prominent
part in the affairs of the colony at this time. 202    A  HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
gathered at Champoeg on the 2d of May.
The committee, however, reported in favor of
establishing a government. When a motion
was made to adopt this report, the vote wras
very close and some one called for a division
of the house. At this point arose the stalwart
figure of "Joe' Meek, one of the most picturesque of the " mountain men," and a person
of considerable influence among certain classes
in the community. Stepping out grandly in
front of the crowd of excited men he shouted:
" Who's for a divide ? All in favor of the report and of an organization, follow me." The
count was made, we are told, after half an hour
of the greatest confusion, and resulted in fifty-
two (52) votes in favor of and fifty (50) against
the resolution. So the project to organize a
provisional government was carried.
The officers recommended by the committee
officers; the were chosen  before  the  adjournment.    They
July meet- . r. J
ing were a supreme judge, a clerk and recorder,
a high sheriff (Joe Meek was very properly
elected to this post), three magistrates, three
constables, a major and three captains of militia. A legislative committee composed of nine
members was also chosen at this meeting, and
instructed to report a code of laws to be voted
on by the people July 5. The pioneers who
gathered at Champoeg to hear a 4th of July
address by Rev. Gustavus Hines remained over
to the next day and ratified the provisions of
the so-called First Organic Law.1
"We the people  of  Oregon  Territory," so Agovem-
the preamble of this famous document recites, ™entby
r l   " compact
" for purposes of mutual protection, and to secure peace and prosperity among ourselves,
agree to adopt the following laws and regulations until such time as the United States of
America extend their jurisdiction over us."
Here we have the well-known American method
of forming a government by "compact," or
agreement. Two hundred and twenty-three
years earlier, when the Pilgrim Fathers met
to draw up their " Mayflower Compact," this
principle was employed for the first time in
American history, and soon afterward the early
colonists of Connecticut followed it in their
" Fundamental Orders." When, at a later time,
American pioneers crossed the Alleghanies to
eastern Tennessee, and found themselves beyond the jurisdiction of any seaboard state,
they formed the " Watauga Association." Similar pioneer governments were created in Kentucky, on the Cumberland River, and elsewhere.2
1 This document, as well as the provisional constitution of
1845, may be conveniently found in Strong and Schafer's "Government of the American People," Oregon edition, Boston, 1901,
2 The people of Vermont, for example, had a government of
their own, created by compact or agreement among themselves,
for fourteen years before the state was admitted to the Union. 204     A  HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
The emigration of 1843
saves the
improvements made
in 1844-
The Willamette settlers were following in the
footsteps of their ancestors.
The work of the pioneers at Champoeg was
of very great importance in the history of
Oregon and the Pacific coast; for it called
the attention of men everywhere to the American colony in this region; it quickened the
interest of the United States government; and
announced to Great Britain that her subjects
wrere no longer completely dominant in the
Pacific Northwest. Yet, while the Americans
then in the country deserve great credit for
taking the first steps, these results were largely
due to the appearance of the great emigration
in the fall. It changed the small American
majority into an overwhelming one; provided
able political leaders, like Burnett, Applegate,
McCarver, Nesmith, Waldo, and Lovejoy; increased the property of the country; and gave
a feeling of security and stability which only
numbers can impart.
The government as adopted in July, 1843,
while probably the best that could then be
secured, was in some respects very weak. Instead of a governor there was to be an execu-
tive committee of three. The land law, which
was of greater interest to most of the settlers
than any other feature, was especially defective,
because it allowed the Catholic and Protestant
missions to claim each an entire township, aside FIRST  AMERICAN  GOVERNMENT ON  PACIFIC   205
from the*land their members held as individual
settlers. Lastly, there was no way to raise
money for the support of the government
except by private contributions, a thoroughly
inefficient and always disappointing method.
The legislative committee of 1844, made tip
mainly of the newcomers, revised the entire
system, providing for a governor, a house of
representatives, a more satisfactory judiciary,
a new land law permitting none but actual
settlers to hold claims, and above all a means
of raising taxes to support the government.
This last was the keystone of their political
arch, as the leaders well knew, and they were
wise enough to fit it exactly to its purpose.
The law required that every settler's property
should be assessed according to regular rates,
and in case any one refused to pay the tax apportioned to him, he was to lose the right to
vote and all other benefits of the government.
If his claim were jumped, the court could not
relieve him; if a thief were to drive off his
cattle or slaughter them in the pasture, the
sheriff and the constables would turn a deaf
ear to his appeal for help. He would become
an outlaw.
In  these ways the  provisional  government Success of
was completed.    The new scheme was adopted   .e vr,ovl~
1 -1 sional gov-
by a large majority on the 26th of July, 1845, emment
and Oregon at last had a constitution similar
CD nmmm
Effect of the
on later
in most respects to that of an ordinary state.
It was a good government, — firm, just,, and
effective in all its departments. The settlers
supposed it was to last only a few months, believing the United States was about to take
control of the country; but in fact this event
did not occur till nearly four years later. In
the meantime there was no reasonable cause of
complaint against the government maintained
by the sturdy, sober, order-loving pioneers
While these political matters were being
settled, western Oregon was filling up with
new people whose coming was due very largely
to the success of the 1843 emigration. When
that company started, many thousands of people
followed their movements with anxiety, not a
few regarded them as foolish adventurers, and
Horace Greeley declared: " This emigration of
more than a thousand persons in one body to
Oregon wears an aspect of insanity."1 When
they reached the Columbia in safety, proving
that loaded wagons could be taken through
without serious  difficulty, a great change  in-
1 New York Tribune, July 22, 1843. He feared that their
provisions would give out, their stock perish for want of grass
and water, their children and women starve. " For what," exclaimed Mr. Greeley, | do they brave the desert, the wilderness,
the savage, the snowy precipices of the Rocky Mountains, the
weary summer march, the storm-drenched bivouac and the gnaw-
stantly came over the thought of the country
with respect to Oregon. It was a startling
thing to eastern people to be told, by a man
who had made the trip, " You can move here
[from Missouri] with less expense than you
could to Tennessee or Kentucky." Moreover,
many prominent pioneers wrote home giving
favorable accounts of the country. Burnett
said, " If man cannot supply all his wants here,
he cannot anywhere." Another declared: 1 The
prospect is quite good for a young man to make
a fortune in this country, as all kinds of produce are high and likely to remain so from the
extensive demand. The Russian settlements in
Asia [Alaska ?], the Sandwich Islands, a great
portion of California, and the whaling vessels
of the Northwest coast procure their supplies
from this place." McCarver found " the soil
of this valley . . . equal to that of Iowa or any
other portion of the United States; . . ." and
T. B. Wood wrote, " The prairies of this region
are . . . equal to any in Missouri or Illinois."
Such letters were commonly printed, first in
the local paper of some western town, then in
the more widely read journals of the country,
with the result that Oregon took its place in
the popular mind by the side of Wisconsin,
Iowa, and Texas, as a territory possessing
attractions for the home seeker.
The emigrating company of 1844 numbered 208    A HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
The emigra- about fourteen hundred. The parties reached
tionof i 44 ^q Missouri frontier early in the spring and
set out in good time. But the wetness of the
season caused many delays, so that they reached
the western slope very late, and mostly in want
of provisions. A small party was hurried forward to bring supplies from the Willamette
valley, some bought food of the missionaries
on the Walla Walla, and even of the Indians,
and finally, late in the fall, most of them reached
their destination in a sorry state. The rains
having already set in, there was no chance to
provide proper shelter, and many suffered great
inconvenience, if not actual hardship. The
earlier settlers were forced to listen to a good
deal of repining from the newcomers; but, as
one of them wrote, this " only lasted during
the winter. In the spring, when the clouds
cleared away, and the grass and flowers sprang
up beneath the kindling rays of a bright Oregon
sun, their spirits revived with reviving nature,
and by the succeeding fall they had themselves
become old settlers, and formed a part of us,
their views and feelings, in the meantime, having
undergone a total change."*
In the year 1845 Oregon received the largest
1 Quoted from Burnett's " Recollections of an Old Pioneer,"
New York, 1880. The portion of this book relating to Oregon,
which contains a large amount of valuable matter on early conditions, the emigration of 1843, etc., has been reprinted in the
Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, Vol. V. FIRST  AMERICAN  GOVERNMENT  ON  PACIFIC   209
of the early emigrations, a body of nearly three The emigra-
thousand people.    They started, not in a single *g   .
caravan  like  the  earlier parties, but  in com- horrors of
panies of fifty, seventy-five, a hundred, or two «ceut.0Sff»
hundred wagons.    All went well till after they
passed Fort Boise, where the emigrants encountered Stephen H. L. Meek, who offered to guide
them over a trail by way of the Malheur River,
said to be much shorter than that commonly
used.1    Unfortunately, about one hundred and
fifty wragons followed him into the most barren
and desolate country that eastern Oregon contains, and where as it proved there was no
road except an old pack trail. Stock perished,
food gave out, the emigrants became desperate
in their anxiety to find water. When they
reached a little oasis in the desert, they formed
a camp, while mounted men to the number of
one hundred scoured the country in every
direction for water, only to return at nightfall
without  finding  it.    This was  continued  for
several days in succession. Meantime the
children and the weaker adults were falling
sick, and many of them were dying. In the
midst of this despair a galloping horseman
brought the glad news of the discovery of water.
The hated guide had found it. Grief was now
turned to joy; loud shouts rang out; there was
laughing  and  clapping of  hands.    But some
1 Sixty wagons had turned off at Fort Hall to go to California. 210    A  HISTORY OF  THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
stood reverently silent, with bowed heads and
eyes brimming over with tears of thankfulness.
The stream found proved to be a branch of the
Des Chutes River, along the course of which
the travelers passed down to the Dalles, whence
a few days brought them to the Willamette.
They had suffered the most terrible agony on
the route, wasted forty days of precious time,
and worse than all, lost about seventy-five of
their number.1 Those emigrants who followed
the customary route entered the valley at the
usual time without serious mishap.
The population of Oregon, which was doubled
by the arrival of the emigrants of 1845, now
numbered about six thousand, settled in five
counties, of which all but one were in the Willamette valley. They were Yamhill, Clackamas,
Tualatin, Champoeg, and Clatsop. In the election of 1845 the total vote for governor was five
hundred and four. The following year it was
more than doubled, and a new county, Polk, had
been added to the list of those lying south of the
Columbia, while there was now also a county,
named Columbia, north of the river.
Origin of the The new northern county has its explanation
Puget Sound par^-jy jn ^g fac|- fo^t a few Americans were by
of Oregon;
its distribution
this time settled on the waters of Puget Sound.
When the colonists first began coming to Ore-
1 The names of thirty-four, nearly all adults, were printed in
the eastern papers of the next year. FIRST  AMERICAN  GOVERNMENT ON PACIFIC    211
gon they were usually dependent on the Hudson's Bay Company for supplies, stock, tools,
and in general everything necessary to start
them in farming. McLoughlin, believing that
Great Britain would at last come into possession of the region north of the Columbia, tried
to prevent American settlers from taking claims
on that side of the river, directing them all to
the Willamette. For a time this plan worked
wTell, but when the best lands of the valley were
all taken up, and Americans became so numerous in the country as to feel somewhat independent of the fur company, a few pioneers began
to think of taking claims north of the river.
Of the party which arrived in the fall of 1844 a
few men, under the lead of M. T. Simmons,
tried to reach Puget Sound overland, but failing,
returned  to the neighborhood of  Vancouver,
CD '
where they spent the winter. The following summer Simmons started out once more, with six
companions, made his way up the Cowlitz to the
head of navigation, and then westward to the
lower end of the Sound. One of their fellow-
emigrants of the previous year, John R. Jackson,
was already established in a cabin on the highland north of the Cowlitz, and the pioneers also
saw the large farm opened some years before
by the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, a
branch of the fur company. They were delighted with the prospects of the Puget Sound The Hudson's Bay
accepts the
of the
country, with its splendid opportunities for
commerce and manufactories; and returning for
his family, Simmons settled, in October, on a
claim near the site of Olympia. Four other
families and two single men took claims in the
same neighborhood, and thus was the foundation
laid for a new community in the north.
While these sturdy frontiersmen were hewing a road through the jungle north of Cowlitz
Landing, the settlers in the Willamette were
winning their greatest political victory by inducing the officers of the fur company to bring
themselves, their people, and all the property of
the organization under the protection of the
provisional government. This was achieved
on the 15th of August. The monopoly, which
had dominated the affairs of the Northwest for
a quarter of a century, had at last sunk to a
subordinate position; and the Oregon question,
so far as control of the country itself was concerned, had been settled by the pioneers.1
1 McLoughlin made a special arrangement with the officers of
the government, whereby the company was to be taxed only on
the merchandise which it sold to settlers. Jesse Applegate is the
man who negotiated this important agreement. CHAPTER XIV
The change which had occurred in the relations between Americans and Englishmen in
Oregon no doubt had its effect upon the British government at home. So long as the Hudson's Bay Company was in control west of the
Rockies, there was every reason, from their
point of view, to continue the principle of " joint
occupation." But the tables had at last been
turned: American settlers were in full possession of the region south of the Columbia, and
were even beginning to open the forests north
of the river. It must have been clear to Great
Britain for these reasons that further delay in
settling the Oregon question would be wholly
to her disadvantage.
In the United States a remarkable agitation
had begun in the spring of 1843. It was due in
part to the failure of Linn's bill, and in part to a
rumor that the government at Washington was
willing to give up the region north of the Columbia to Great Britain if she would persuade
Mexico to sell us northern California. Many
local meetings were held in various parts of the
How the
of Oregon
affected the
The Oregon
at Cincinnati, July,
Origin of
the demand
for 540 40'
as the
u Fifty-four
forty or
Mississippi valley, and these resulted in the
calling of an Oregon convention at Cincinnati
in July, 1843.1 Nearly one hundred delegates
were in attendance, and not only the Mississippi
valley/but the entire country was interested in
their proceedings.
This convention adopted resolutions declaring that the United States had an undoubted
right to the country west of the Rocky Mountains between the parallel of 42 ° on the south
and 540 40' on the north. In other words, the
line established in 1824 to separate American
interests from those of Russia was regarded as
the rightful northern boundary of the United
States in the Pacific Northwest. This would
have shut Great Britain out from the territory
west of the Rockies, notwithstanding the explorations of her Mackenzies, her Thompsons,
Cooks, and Vancouvers; and would have left
no beaver ground on the Pacific slope for her
traders, who had controlled the commerce of
that region for thirty years.
This was claiming too much for the United
States. But there was some slight ground for
it, and besides many Americans were out of
patience  with   Great   Britain  for  refusing to
1 The idea of a Mississippi valley convention to consider the
Oregon question originated at Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio Statesman for this period is the best source of information on the entire
movement. Its files were consulted in the library of the Wisconsin Historical Society at Madison. THE OPENING OF A NEW ERA
accept the compromise line of 490 so often
offered. They therefore took up the idea of
the more northerly boundary, and insisted that
the country must go to war with our adversary
rather than abandon any part of the " Oregon
country." The next year (1844), when the Democratic convention met and nominated James
K. Polk for the presidency, the western delegates succeeded in making the Oregon question a part of their platform; and So it came
about that the entire country was treated to
the strange campaign cry of " Fifty-four forty
or fight," which probably helped somewhat to
win the election for Mr. Polk.
After the failure to prjovide for the north- The Oregon
western boundary in the Ashburton Treaty, qut!iSt\on
President Tyler had begun other negotiations
with the British government, but always in
vain. On the 4th of March, 1845, he went out
of office with, as he wrote, the " one wish remaining unfilled," that he could have settled
the Oregon question. President Polk at once
took it up, declared in his inaugural address
that our claim to the Oregon country was undoubtedly just, and soon entered into a new
correspondence with Great Britain. In spite
of the Democratic platform and campaign utterances, he again offered to compromise on the
49th parallel. When the British minister refused to accept the offer, Mr. Polk withdrew it, 11II ■■■■■■
indicating that no further concession could be
expected from the United States. Later in the
year he asked Congress for authority to put
an end to the treaty of joint occupation. This
was granted; but many prominent members
like John C. Calhoun, fearful that these steps
might lead to war, urged the President to give
Great Britain an opportunity to make some
offer on her part, which he consented to do.
The tardy concession came at last, June, 1846,
in the shape of an offer from the British government to settle the long dispute by taking the
49th parallel as the boundary. The President
submitted the question to the Senate, which advised him to accept, and on the 15th of June
the treaty was signed. The Oregon question
was now settled, and that in a way which was
perfectly fair to all parties concerned.
Before the close of the year (December 3)
the people of Oregon learned of the signing
government of the treaty with Great Britain, and supposed
that the United States would at the next session of Congress establish a territorial government over them. This, indeed, was the desire
of the President, and a bill for the purpose
actually passed the House of Representatives,
but could make no progress in the Senate.
The reason was not far to seek. In drawing
up the constitution for their provisional government   the   pioneers   inserted   the   famous THE  OPENING  OF  A NEW  ERA
clause from the Ordinance of 1787, declaring
that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude,
except as a punishment for crime," should ever
be permitted in the territory. This was made
a part of the Oregon bill presented by Stephen
A. Douglas of Illinois, and very naturally
called out the opposition of strong proslavery
leaders like Calhoun.
So the congressional session of 1846-1847
closed with no provision for Oregon. The
President felt a deep interest in this far western settlement, and caused Secretary of State
Buchanan to write a letter to the Oregon
people encouraging them to expect favorable
action at the next session of Congress (1847—
1848), which was already at hand when the
letter reached the Pacific. Buchanan made no
clear statement of the reason for the failure of
the Douglas bill. At about the same time,
however, a letter was received in Oregon from
Senator Thomas H. Benton, who threw the
blame upon Calhoun, but declared: " You will
not be outlawed for not admitting slavery. . 8 »
I promise you this in the name of the South,
as well as of the North." . . .
It was something to know that the leaders
at the national capital still remembered them;
yet the pioneers had been patient for a long
time, waiting for the government to give them
some sort  of recognition;   and  now that the
Polk and
the Oregon
again asked
to pass a
bill;  startling news
The up-river
and their
quarrel with Great Britain was closed, it was
hard for them to understand why action should
be longer delayed. President Polk was as good
as his word, recommending strongly to the
next Congress the passage of an Oregon bill.
But the opposition was at work once more, as
in the previous year, and might have been
equally successful but for a piece of startling
news carried across the mountains during the
winter that roused public feeling in favor of
Oregon, and practically forced Congress to act.
This was the report of the Whitman massacre,
into the causes and the history of which we
must now inquire.
The missions planted on the upper Columbia
by Dr. Whitman and his associates in 1836 and
the years following were influenced very little by
the colonizing movement described in the preceding chapters. Their location on the broad
interior plains prevented them from quickly becoming centers of extensive settlements like the
Willamette mission, so favorably located near
the coast. Therefore, while western Oregon had
been growing into a state, the up-river missionaries were laboring faithfully to teach the elements of civilization to a horde of barbarous
natives. For a few years their success was
sufficient to bring considerable encouragement.
But, as the novelty of the new life and teaching
wore off, the interest also slackened; Catholic THE  OPENING  OF A NEW ERA
priests came into the country, teaching by different methods from those used by the Protestants, and this tended to disturb the relations
between the missionaries and their wards;
worse than all, a number of dissipated, renegade Americans wandered among the tribes,
doing all the mischief in their power.
At last discouragements mounted to such
a height that the American board at Boston,
regarding the work in Oregon as almost a
complete failure, passed a resolution to close
the missions at Waiilatpu and Lapwai, retaining only the one in the north.1 News of this
action reached Dr. Whitman in the fall of 1842.
A meeting of the missionaries was at once
called, and an agreement reached that the
missions should not be given up. Moreover,
Dr. Whitman asked and received permission
from the assembly to return to the East and
lay the whole matter before the board in person.
Whitman left his station on the Walla Walla
October 3, 1842, with a single white companion, Mr. A. L. Lovejoy, expecting to cross the
mountains before the snows of winter arrived.
This he might readily have accomplished had
all gone well; but on reaching Fort Hall he
learned that the Indians were likely to arrest
Action of
the American board
closing the
winter ride,
October to
April, 1842-
1 This action was probably due to exaggerated reports of the
difficulties in Oregon written by one or two men formerly connected with the missions. mi
Whitman in
the East
his progress if he should continue by the direct
road, and therefore he turned south, making the
long detour by Taos and Bent's Fort. On this
journey winter overtook the travelers, violent
storms and deep snows impeded their march;
while the biting cold, exposure, and lack of
proper food would have destroyed any but the
most hardy pioneers. At last, early in January, they reached Bent's Fort, where Lovejoy
remained till the following summer, while
Whitman pushed on to St. Louis and thence
to Boston and Washington.
We are fortunate in having two accounts of
this intrepid missionary when he reached the
Atlantic coast.1 He wore his wilderness garb —
fur cap, buckskin trousers, and all — to the city
of New York and into the office of the great
editor, Horace Greeley, who described him,
referring to his clothing, as " the roughest
man we have seen this many a day." Again,
on board the steamboat Narragansett, going
from New York to Boston, he impressed a
traveler as one of the strangest figures that
had "ever passed through the Sound since
the days of steam navigation"; yet, " that he
was every inch a man and no common one was
1 One is Horace Greeley's editorial, in the New York Tribune
(daily) of March 29, 1843; the other a letter to the New York
Spectator, published April 5, 1843. Both are reprinted in the
Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society for June, 1903. THE  OPENING OF A NEW  ERA
clear." At Boston he succeeded in getting the
board to withdraw its order to abandon the
missions. He wished them to send out a few
good families to settle about the stations as
supports to the missionaries. At Washington
he urged the Secretary of War to establish
along the Oregon trail a line of forts and
farming stations, which might serve as a protection against the Indians and also furnish emigrants with needed supplies. By the middle of
May he was back at Independence, ready to take
up the line of march with the great company
gathering there. We have already spoken of
his important services on the route.
Although the   Indians welcomed Whitman Decline of
back  in   the  fall of 1843, with  every indica- ^ ™s|lons>
tion of pleasure at his safe  return, yet from
this time the missionaries gradually lost their
power over the surrounding peoples.1    Their
1 Mr. Spalding, indeed, wrote in June, 1843, that "the cause
of religion and of civilization has steadily advanced among this
people from the beginning." He declared that at his station
twelve Indians were members of the church, and more than
fifty had been received on probation; the school, which was
exceptionally prosperous, had increased from one hundred to
two hundred and thirty-four, chiefs and other great men as
well as the children learning to read and to print. Sixty
families had each raised over one hundred bushels of grain,
and the herds were increasing rapidly. There is scarcely a
doubt, however, that so far as the school was concerned, and
probably in other respects, Lapwai was at this time the most
prosperous of the mission stations, and this report is the most
cheering one that we get. 222    A HISTORY  OF  THE PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
The crisis
1847; causes
of hostility
letters thenceforth contained many complaints,
showing that conditions were becoming more
and more disheartening. By the close of the
year 1845 it seemed to them that the only thing
that could save the missions was the settlement
of Christian families in the country, as Whitman
had advocated for several years. But such help
failed to come, and the lonely workers in this
great wilderness were left alone to meet the
awful fate which was about to ingulf them.
Before the end of the summer of 1847 many
of the Cayuses became so surly and insolent
that Whitman seems to have thought seriously
of abandoning Waiilatpu and removing with his
family either to the Dalles or to the Willamette
valley. Unfortunately this plan was too long
delayed. When the emigrants of that year arrived, many of their children were sick with the
measles, a disease which soon spread rapidly
among the Indians as well. Dr. Whitman
treated both the whites and the Indians; but
while the former usually recovered quickly, the
latter, on account of their unwholesome mode
of life, died off in alarming numbers. It is
not surprising that this was so, but it could
not be expected that the natives would understand the true reason for it. What they saw
was that Whitman was saving the whites and
letting their own people perish. Nay, was he
not actually causing their death by administer- THE  OPENING  OF  A NEW ERA
ere, November 29, 1847
ing poison instead of the medicine he pretended
to be giving them ? This suspicion, horrible to
contemplate, took fast hold upon the minds of
the Cayuses, and was the immediate cause of
their determination to kill Dr. Whitman as
they were accustomed to kill sorcerers in their
own tribe, who, as they believed, sometimes
caused deaths among them.
The blow fell on the afternoon of the 29th Themassa-
of November, 1847, when Dr. Whitman, his
wife, and seven other persons at the mission
were put to death in the most barbarous
manner. Five more victims followed within
a few days; while half a hundred women and
children, largely emigrants who were stopping
at the station, were held as captives in one of
the mission houses.
The savages supposed that by keeping control of these helpless ones they could save themselves from the vengeance of the white settlers
in Oregon; for they gave out word that all captives would be put to death at the first news of
war from down the river. Fortunately, before
this came, Peter Skeen Ogden of the Hudson's
Bay Company arrived from Vancouver, pushing
through at the utmost speed on learning of the
massacre., to try to save the captives. It was
no easy matter to do this; but by exerting all
his influence and authority, Mr. Ogden finally
Rescue of
succeeded in
not  alone  those  at Declaration
of war
Waiilatpu, but the people at the Spalding
mission as well — a total of fifty-seven persons.
All were taken down the river, finding friends
and homes among the settlers of  the   Willa-
mette valley, where they were soon joined by
the missionaries from the northern station.1
When the news of the massacre reached the
Willamette valley (December 8), it produced
the wildest alarm. No one knew how far this
atrocity might be the result of a union among
the up-river tribes for the purpose of destroying
all of the white people in Oregon. They proposed, however, not to wait till the Indians
could reach the valley, but to send a force of
men up the river at once. So great was the
excitement and enthusiasm that in a single day
a company of troops was raised, equipped as
well as possible, furnished with a flag made
by the women of Oregon City, and hurried forward to the scene of danger. In a short time
an entire regiment was provided, by means of
which, in the space of a few months, the Cayuses were severely punished, and peace with its
blessings* was once more restored to the Oregon colony.2
1 A generation after these events took place Jesse Applegate
alluded feelingly to this service of Mr. Ogden as " an act of pure
mercy and philanthropy, which money could neither hire nor
2 The Indians who committed the murders were afterward
secured, tried, and executed. THE  OPENING  OF  A  NEW  ERA
But the war was a severe drain upon the strong feel-
people. The provisional government had no r ^ feins
funds, and money had to be raised in order to
keep men in the field. The difficulty was nobly
met; well-to-do settlers, merchants, and others
loaned money, and farmers generally furnished
supplies of grain, and other food. Large quantities of goods were purchased of the Hudson's
Bay Company, practically as a loan, although
individual settlers gave their notes by way of
security. It was generally expected that the
United States government would take this
burden of debt upon itself, this being the least
it could do to make amends for leaving the
people of Oregon so long defenseless. At this
crucial time, when the colony was shrouded in
the darkest gloom, men remembered the numerous appeals which had vainly gone up from
this far-off valley to the national capital, and a
feeling of bitterness against a seemingly ungrateful government was mingled with their
grief and fears. Had Congress done its duty,
so they believed, this evil would not have
befallen them.
In the excitement of those December days Last
the Oregon leaders prepared a ringing memorial to the national legislature, and started " Joe "
Meek eastward to carry it to Washington.
| Having called upon the government so often
in vain," they say, " we have almost despaired of
memorial to
receiving its protection; yet we trust that our
present situation, when fully laid before you,
will at once satisfy your honorable body of the
necessity of extending the strong arm of guardianship and protection over this distant, but
beautiful portion of the United States' domain.
Our relations with the proud and powerful
tribes of Indians residing east of the Cascade
Mountains, hitherto uniformly amicable and
pacific, have recently assumed quite a different
character. They have shouted the war whoop,
and crimsoned their tomahawks in the blood
of our citizens. . . . Circumstances warrant
your memorialists in believing that many of
the powerful tribes . . . have formed an alliance for the purpose of carrying on hostilities
against our settlements. . . . To repel the attacks of so formidable a foe, and protect our
families and property from violence and rapine,
will require more strength than we possess
. . . we have a right to expect your aid, and
you are in justice bound to extend it. . . . If
it be at all the intention of our honored parent
to spread her guardian wings over her sons and
daughters in Oregon, she surely will not refuse
to do it now, when they are struggling with all
the ills of a weak and temporary government,
and when perils are daily thickening around
them, and preparing to burst upon their heads.
When  the  ensuing summer's sun shall have THE  OPENING  OF  A  NEW  ERA
dispelled the snow from the mountains, we shall
look with glowing hopes and restless anxiety
for the coming of your laws and your arms."
Joe Meek, accompanied by nine sturdy asso- The news
ciates, set out from the headquarters of  the "\   as mg"
2 ton
army at Waiilatpu on the 4th of March, 1848,
and in just sixty-six days reached St. Joseph,
Missouri. Six days later (May 17) he arrived
at St. Louis, and now the dreadful story of the
Whitman massacre was flashed all over the
land, producing a feeling of sympathy and
anxiety for the Oregon people that nothing in
their previous history had been able to excite.
Meek went to Washington and laid his dispatches before President Polk. They were at
once sent to Congress, together with a. message
calling on that body to act, and act quickly, in
order that troops might be hurried to the defense of Oregon before the end of the summer.
No great haste was possible, for the question
of slavery was beginning to overshadow all else,
and the strongest passions were aroused on this
subject in the course of the debate on the Oregon  bill.    Yet so much general interest was
felt in the safety of Oregon that the measure
was finally passed, just before the adjournment
of Congress, August 1 \ after a continuous ses-
^D CD *-*
sion of twenty-one hours.
President Polk signed the bill and appointed
General Joseph Lane of  Indiana governor of 228   A  HISTORY  OF  THE PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
The territory of
Lane governor
the territory of Oregon.    Joe Meek was given
the office of United States marshal in the new
government.   Gov-
ernor Lane, Meek,
and a number of
others started for
Oregon by way of
Santa Fe and
California late in
August. They
succeeded, though
with much difficulty, in reaching
San Francisco,
where the governor
and marshal took
ship for the Colum-
General Toseph Lane. i • t^i •       ^
J bia.     i hey arrived
at Oregon City March 2, 1849, and on the following day the new territorial government was
1 This was the day before Polk's administration came to an
end. General Lane acted as governor less than two years, resigning in June, 1850. In 1851 he was elected to represent the
territory in Congress, and filled the office until 1859, wnen '1C
took his seat as one. of the United* States senators from Oregon.
In 1860 he was nominated for Vice President on the ticket with
John C. Breckenridge.   He died in 1881. CHAPTER  XV
For most Americans the history of the Conditions
Pacific coast had thus far been summed up California
in the story of Oregon. The Mexican (until
1821 the Spanish) territory south of the parallel
of 42 ° had sometimes attracted the notice of
public men, and once or twice produced some
effect upon the government's plans concerning
Oregon. But until about 1840 very little attention was paid to this vast province, where four
or five thousand people were living in comparative idleness, scattered about through the
valleys and over the plains of that fair and
sunny land. The principal occupation was
the keeping of herds, which required little
labor. The " Boston Ships," as the American
traders were called, plied up and down the
long coast line, visiting the harbors and inlets
where they exchanged groceries and manufactured goods for the cartloads of beef hides
and bags of tallow brought down from the
Sometimes sailors, attracted by the easy life Americans
of the Californians, deserted from these vessels California
Sutter and
Sutter's Fort
and became residents in the country. Other
Americans came overland as hunters and
trappers, like Jedediah Smith, Ewing Young,
and the Walker party sent out by Captain
Bonneville. Many of them remained to marry
native women, secure grants of land, and become citizens. After a time the region became
pretty well known among the class of frontiersmen who were beginning to go to Oregon, and
in 1841 the first emigrant train made its way
overland, partly by the Oregon trail, to the
Sacramento valley. Thereafter the annual
migrations to the far West were usually
divided, a portion branching off at Fort Hall
to go to California, although Oregon still received by far the larger share.
In 1839 Captain John A. Sutter, formerly a
soldier in the Swiss army, went to California
by way of Oregon, and in 1841 he secured from
the Mexican governor eleven square leagues
of land in the Sacramento valley. He built a
strong fort of adobes on the site of the present
city of Sacramento, began raising grain and
cattle on a large scale, and also traded with
the Indians for furs. Sutter employed a number of Americans upon his estate, and by
furnishing supplies to others enabled them to
settle in this interior section of California.
The fort was on the main emigrant routes
from  the   United   States and   Oregon,   which THE NORTHWEST AND CALIFORNIA
helped to make it in a few years the center of
the most important American community in
the country.
The   Mexican  government was  not  strong R
during  this  period even at  home, while   the war
great distance to California from the Mexican
capital, the difficulties of communication, and
the scattered condition of the population made
.in   nliiiiriljiJLi^T^T'^
Sutter's Fort in 1849.
her rule in this province so feeble as to be
almost ridiculous. The result was numerous
revolutions, in which the Americans usually
took part, and such a state of political unrest
that men accustomed to a settled and strong
government could scarcely be blamed for wishing a change. The interest which the United
States already had in Oregon, the continued
emigration of her people by sea and land to
California, the  letters written  back  by  these 232     A  HISTORY   OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
emigrants, the reports of official visitors and
the books of far West travelers produced a
feeling that our country must finally become
possessed of the southern as well as the northern section of the Pacific coast. After 1836
there was always danger of war between the
United States and Mexico over the question
of annexing Texas to the Union, thus increasing the feeling of uncertainty respecting California. It was well understood that in case
of hostilities this province would doubtless be
captured by the American fleet.1
The Bear By the spring of 1846 there were several hun-
ag   evot, ^Ye(^ Americans scattered through the country,
June, 1540 cd J'
the most numerous body of them in the vicinity
of Sutter's Fort. Lieutenant John C. Fremont, the " Pathfinder," with his surveying
party, had wintered in California, where he came
into conflict with the government authorities.
He then marched north toward Oregon, but
turned back from Klamath Lake on receiving
a visit from Gillespie, a secret agent of the
United States. The settlers about the fort
became convinced from his actions that war
had broken out, and some of them decided that
it would be the proper thing for them to declare
1 In 1842 Commodore Jones, believing that war had broken
out between the two nations, actually took possession of Monterey
and hoisted  the American flag.    He  gave up the place a few
hours later on learning his mistake. THE  NORTHWEST  AND  CALIFORNIA
California independent of Mexico. This they
did at Sonoma, June 14, 1846, raising the
famous lone star flag with the rudely painted
figure of a bear upon it (the " Bear Flag ").
Now followed an armed conflict, which might The war of
perhaps have been avoided, between the United iqu
States and the Californians. Fremont took
a prominent part in it, as did also Commodore Stockton of the American fleet. The
United States government sent General Kearny
to California by way of Santa Fe, and after a
few months of fighting the territory came definitely into American hands. When the treaty of
peace was signed, February 2, 1848, the conquest was confirmed to us. A military government had already been established, the laws
changed somewTiat in accordance with American ideas, and a new system of administration
substituted for that formerly maintained by
It was expected  that these changes would The gold
promote   the   prosperity  of   California,   which' 'ry
might at last hope to become a rival of Oregon
upon the Pacific coast.1    But no one dreamed
1 When the Bear Flag Revolt occurred, Captain Sutter (who
was a German Swiss and never mastered the English language
perfectly) wrote exultantly to a friend, " What for progress will
California make now!" The manuscript letter from which this
is quoted is in possession of Mr. P. J. Healy of San Francisco,
who kindly permitted the writer to examine his valuable collection. 234    A  HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC   NORTHWEST
The news
of the wonderful transformation about to take
place. On the 24th of January, ten days before
the treaty of peace was signed, James W. Marshall made his world-famous discovery of gold
on the American River, some fifty miles above
Sutter's Fort. He and Captain Sutter wished
to keep the benefits of the find to themselves,
but the secret escaped, as great secrets usually do, and in a few weeks the inhabitants
of California were hurrying north with shovel
and pan, hoping to wash quick fortunes out of
the sands brought down from the mysterious
Sierras. So great did the I rush ' become that
at San Francisco and other towns ordinary
lines of business were suspended, stores, warehouses, and even printing offices were deserted,
vessels touching at San Francisco had to remain in port because the crews escaped to
the mines. Picks, shovels, and pans rose to
famine prices.
Before the summer closed news of the discovery had reached Oregon, producing an
excitement scarcely less intense than that
caused by the Indian war just ended. Resolutions were instantly taken, plans made, and in
a few days a company was on its way southward. Soon a regular tide of travel, on foot,
by pack train, and wagon, set in across the Sis-
kiyous. Oregon lost within a single year a
very large proportion  of its male inhabitants. THE  NORTHWEST AND  CALIFORNIA
Some of the most prominent men passed into
this new emigration; for example, Peter H.
Burnett, soon to become the first governor of
CD •
the state of California. When General Lane
and Joe Meek reached San Francisco on their
way northward, they saw numbers of Oregon
men, some of whom, leaving the Willamette
valley or Puget Sound almost penniless, were
already returning to their families with thousands of dollars in gold dust.
The news was carried  across the  Rockies, The "Forty
and before the arrival of winter hundreds, thou- mners ; r
progress of
sands, on the Atlantic coast were preparing for California
the voyage to Panama, expecting to cross
the Isthmus and take ship to San Francisco.
Others in the interior impatiently waited till
the grass should start in the spring, when
twenty-five thousand persons, in an almost
continuous caravan, moved westward to the
valley of the Sacramento. But this was only
the beginning. Month after month, and year
after year, the excited multitudes pressed on to
this new El Dorado. All were looking for the
golden treasure; but while most men sought it
in the river drift, many took the surer methods
of carrying supplies to the mines, or of cultivating the soil in order to produce flour, bacon,
fruit, and other necessities which during  the
early years of the gold rush brought such fabu-
J    J CD CD
lous   prices.      Hundreds  of  new  occupations 236    A HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
San Francisco the
were opened, and fortunes made in the most
diverse ways. No young western community
had ever been advertised as was California
during these years; and few, even of the most
prosperous, had grown as rapidly as she.
The mining camps were soon extended so as
to embrace a large portion of the territory west
emporium of of the Sierras; towns like Stockton and Sacramento grew up as interior supply stations;
while San Francisco, at the great harbor of
California, rose at one bound to be the place of
chief importance among Pacific coast seaports.
Here was the emporium of all the trade of this
rapidly growing population, having relations
with the eastern coast, with Mexico, Central
and South America, Australia, Hawaii, and in
general all countries interested in the trade of
the great gold-producing territory which fortune had recently tossed into the lap of the
United States. Men from the eastern cities
employed their capital and their business skill
in building up at San Francisco great commercial establishments, whose influence has
been felt throughout the later course of Pacific
coast history. They did not confine themselves to California, but came northward to the
Columbia   River,  to   Puget   Sound,  and  the
CD '
smaller harbors along the Northwest Coast; to
the interior districts of the Oregon country,
wherever opportunities for profitable commerce THE  NORTHWEST AND  CALIFORNIA        237
were to be found. San Francisco's population
of a few hundred in 1848 grew by i860 to
more than 56,000, in another decade it became
150,000, and by 1880 exceeded a quarter of a
We cannot follow this wonderful movement change in
in detail, but it is easy to see that the discovery t/T5co!1crse
' J J   ol Pacific
of gold produced startling changes in the relations between the northern and southern sections of the Pacific slope. When the Oregon
bill was before Congress in the spring of 1848,
some wished to couple with it a bill for a California and a New Mexican territory also; but
others declared that the "native-born" territory
of Oregon should not be unequally yoked with
"territories scarcely a month old, and peopled
by Mexicans and half-Indian Californians."
Two years after this incident California had a
population, mainly American, of 92,000 and
was ready for statehood, ten years later she had
380,000, and in another decade more than half
a million; while the territory of Oregon, which
in 1850 included the entire district west of the
Rocky Mountains and north of California, had
in that year less than 14,000 people. By 1870
the Pacific Northwest, then divided into the
state of Oregon and the two territories of
Washington and Idaho, had a total population of only 130,000 as against California's
560,000. California
the Northwest
These facts tell the story of how the natural
course of the Pacific coast's development was
changed by the magic of gold. The long list
of American explorers, traders, and mission-
*aries, whose deeds and sacrifices glorify the
early history of the Pacific Northwest, were
largely forgotten by a nation entranced with
the story of the | Forty-niners." The far-
reaching influence of Oregon as the oldest
American territory on the Pacific coast faded
quickly from the memories of men. The
Oregon Trail was already deep worn through
the sand hills along the Platte and Sweetwater,
Bear River, and the Portneuf, by the wagons of
the Oregon pioneers; it was lined with the
crumbling bones of their cattle, and marked by
the graves of their dead; yet instantly, after
the passage of the thronging multitudes of '49,
it became the " California Trail," and to this
day most men know it by no other name.*
California, in a word, so completely overshadowed the Northwest in wealth, in commerce, and in population, that to the people of
the country in general this state has seemed to
be about all of the Pacific coast. CHAPTER  XVI
PROGRESS   AND   POLITICS,   1849-1859
The relations between the  Northwest and California's
California  were  naturally very close.     Those debt to the
J J Northwest
Oregon men who went to the gold mines were
seasoned pioneers, who had already partly
conquered and civilized one great section
of the Pacific coast. They were a valuable
element in the new and mixed population that
now poured into the southern territory, helping
to bring order out of disorder, and to establish
an effective government for the new state as
they had already done for their own colony.
It is of course impossible, as well as unnecessary,
to measure California's debt to the Northwest
during the early years of the gold rush; but it
was undoubtedly very great.
On the other hand, there is much truth in NewCaiifor-
the claim that the rapid development of Cali- ma ePsto
K ■*■ create a new
fornia gave an entirely new aspect to life in the Northwest
Northwest.    The first effect of  the gold  discovery was to draw away one half or perhaps
two thirds of the able-bodied men of Oregon,
and to leave the country with insufficient labor.
to cultivate the fields already opened. But
this was only a temporary drawback. The
mines afforded a wonderful market for everything the northern region could produce.
Packers visited the farms, buying up the surplus flour, meat, lard, butter, eggs, vegetables,
and fruits. A large number of boats entered
the Columbia, ascending to the new village of
Portland on the Willamette, where they took on
cargoes of provisions as rapidly as these could be
collected from up the river. Cargoes of lumber
were carried away from the mills already established, and these proving insufficient to meet
the demand, others were built and put into
operation at various points along the Columbia.
Farmers, merchants, laborers, manufacturers,
speculators, in fact all classes of settlers in
Oregon, reaped a magnificent harvest from the
filling up of California, and the new wealth of
gold. Debts were canceled, homes improved,
and the conditions of life made easier and more
pleasant than they had been in the strictly
pioneer time ; new enterprises of all sorts were
started in the Willamette settlement, machinery
was imported for the use of the farmer, roads
opened, and steamboats placed upon the rivers.
The new territorial government, which fortunately came just at the beginning of the new
age, was of great benefit to the people in many
ways.    Among other things it enabled them to PROGRESS  AND POLITICS
make some provision for a system of common
schools,1 and to secure for this region a cheaper,
more frequent, and regular mail service. Under
these circumstances the population increased
much more rapidly than formerly; in spite of
the glittering attractions of California property-
rose in value and general prosperity prevailed.
When the discovery of gold was first reported Prosperity
in the autumn of 1848, there were only a few gothjPuget
settlers on Puget Sound, most of whom were colony
engaged in making shingles and getting out
timber for the Hudson's Bay Company. This
was almost their only means of securing the
supplies needed to support their families.
About twenty-five of the men immediately set
out for the gold mines, leaving a very small
remnant of population in the country. In a
few months many of them returned with an
abundance of money, to be used in making
improvements. Samuel Hancock tells us that
when he came back to Olympia in the fall of
1849, after spending a year in the mines,
" everything bore  the  impress of  prosperity."
Among other  things
grist mill  had  been
""•The pioneers of the Northwest showed commendable enterprise
in the establishment of high-grade schools, the earliest of which
was the Oregon Institute founded by the Methodist missionaries
at Salem in 1841. It afterward grew into the Willamette University. The second was Tualatin Academy, the beginning of
Pacific University. Common schools were also maintained by
private subscription before the public school system went into effect.
on Puget
The discovery of
erected, which was of great benefit to the community.
The settlement on Puget Sound received
special benefits from the great demand for
lumber which came from San Francisco and
the other California towns. No portion of the
Pacific Northwest was better fitted by nature to
supply this need; for here the forests usually
came down to the water's edge, while many of
the smaller inlets, some of them excellent harbors for ocean vessels, afforded the very best
sites for sawmills. Early in the year 1849 the
brig Orbit put into Budd's Inlet (Olympia)
for a load of piles. This was the beginning of
the lumber trade with San Francisco. In a
short time mills were running near Olympia
(Tumwater), at the mouth of the Dewamish
(Seattle), at Steilacoom, Cape Flattery, New
Dungeness, Port Townsend, and other places.
With lumber selling at sixty dollars per thousand feet, as it did for a time, the business was
immensely profitable.
Aside from lumber the California communities were in great need of fuel, and the people
of San Francisco made anxious inquiries about
the possibility of getting coal near the harbors
of the Northwest'Coast. An inferior quality
had been found north of the Columbia before
1850. In 1851 Samuel Hancock began searching near Puget Sound, and with the help of the PROGRESS  AND  POLITICS
natives found what seemed to be an important
deposit of this useful mineral. Other discoveries were made at later times on Bellingham
Bay, near Seattle, and at other points all convenient to good harbors. Some of these were
soon worked, with the result that thousands of
tons of coal were shipped to San Francisco
annually. All of these things brought about a
very prosperous condition in the little colony.
Since the country south of the Columbia increase in
had been settling up for a comparatively long popu
time, the lands there had been pretty carefully
picked over; and this fact, together with the
commercial advantages of Puget Sound, caused
some of the emigrants of these years to go
northward in search of homes. The lumber
mills gave employment, while the explorations
in search of coal, and for other purposes, were
bringing to light new farming lands in the
rich valleys back from the Sound, where the
settlers now began to take claims. But for
several years little progress was made in agriculture, flour and seed grain actually being imported from San Francisco at great expense in
exchange for a portion of the lumber sent
ddwn. The census of 1850 gives 1111 as the
total population north of the Columbia. Three
years later a special enumeration showed 3965-
In that year, for the first time, Puget Sound
drew a considerable part of the emigration to 244    A  HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
for a territorial
the Northwest, thirty-five wagons crossing the
Cascades by a new road which the northern
settlers had opened from the Yakima River to
The people about Puget Sound found themselves completely separated from those on the
government Willamette, and living as it were in a world of
their own. This was due largely to the difficulty of communication between the Columbia
River and the Sound. The feeling was
strengthened by the fact that all -the regular
trade of this section was with San Francisco.
Since their situation rendered them independent of the Columbia River commercially, they
came to believe that their country should also
have a separate government. Agitation for
dividing the territory began in 1851, and the
next year matters were brought to a head. In
September, 1852, a newspaper called the Columbian1 was begun at Olympia for the purpose of advocating the project, and one month
later (October 27) a meeting was held which
determined on choosing delegates to a convention.    This was to decide whether or not to
1 Files of this paper, from September, 1852, to December, 1853,
the entire period of its existence, as well as complete files of the
Pioneer and Democrat, and the Puget Sound Herald, were con-
9 o /
suited in the private library of Hon. C. B. Bagley of Seattle.
The writer also obtained from Mr. Bagley the loan of his files of
the Washington Statesman, Walla Walla, which proved invaluable for the study of the early history of the "Inland Empire." PROGRESS AND POLITICS
ask Congress to erect the district north and
west of the Columbia into a territorial government. Although some of the people living
along the river, to whom Oregon City was
more convenient than Olympia, objected to the
plan, the proposed meeting was held on the
25th of November, and a memorial asking for
the change sent to General Lane who then
represented the territory in Congress. On the
15th of January, 1853, the Oregon legislature,
sympathizing with the demand of the northern
settlements, adopted a similar memorial; but
before this reached him Lane had introduced a
bill for creating the territory of Columbia. It
passed on the 10th of February, 1853, with the
name Washington substituted for Columbia, a
change with which the people of the new territory were very well satisfied. . General Isaac I.
Stevens, who had been commissioned to survey
a northern route for a Pacific railroad, was
appointed governor. He arrived at Olympia
on the 26th of November, 1853, and the new
organization wras put in operation.1
1 General Stevens was a trained soldier and engineer, a graduate of West Point. His success in finding a practicable line
for a railroad immediately gave him great influence with the people of Washington, who believed thoroughly in the future of
their section. He served as governor till 1857, was then elected
delegate to Congress from the territory, remaining in that position till the breaking out of the Civil War, when he went to the
field of action.    He was killed while gallantly leading his divi- 246    A HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
of settlement
in southern
As the gold discovery promoted the prosperity of the Willamette valley and Puget
Sound, so it also led to the planting of new
communities in other favorable districts of the
Northwest. The region known as southern
Oregon contains the two important valleys of
the Umpqua and Rogue rivers. It had already become known to the pioneers, partly
through explorations for a southern emigrant
road made in 1846 under the direction of Jesse
Applegate. A portion of the emigration of
that and the following years came to the Willamette over this route; and when Oregon men
began going to the gold mines of California, the
country became still better known. Wagons
and pack trains, men on foot and on horseback, were continually passing back and forth;'
so that it was not long before a few individuals,
impressed with the beauty of the landscape, the
excellence of the grass and water, and the opportunities for farming and stock raising, began
to think of locating claims in these valleys.
Jesse Applegate, who was the most noted
explorer of southern Oregon, was himself led
to settle in  Umpqua valley.1    In  the  spring
sion at Chantilly. The " Life of Isaac Ingalls Stevens," by Hazard
Stevens, 2 vols., Boston, 1900, gives a full account of his services
and much valuable matter on the history of the Northwest.
1He founded and named the town of Yoncalla, which became
his home. General Lane also took a claim in this valley, near
the town of Roseburg, and spent his declining years in retirement. PROGRESS  AND  POLITICS
of 1850, he with a number of others organized
a company to take up lands and establish town
sites. It happened that while these pioneers
were making their way down toward the sea,
they met a party of Californians who had
entered the Umpqua by ship for the same
purpose. The two companies thus accidentally brought together formed a new association
which undertook to colonize the Umpqua
valley. Settlers and miners quickly overran
the region. The county of Umpqua, embracing the whole of southern Oregon, was created
by the territorial legislature in 1851.
The valley of Rogue River received settlers Rogue
about the same time, and  here the influence a^ethe
of gold discoveries was strongly felt.   California southern
miners had already prospected the Sierras to
the borders of the Oregon country; and just
at the close of the year 1851 rich placer mines
were discovered on Jackson Creek, a branch of
Rogue River.   A new rush began, Californians
and Oregonians both taking part in it, so that
in a very short time the village of Jacksonville
had a population  of  several  hundred, and a
number  of  other mining centers were  estab-
lished in the same neighborhood. Settlers
pushed in at the same time to take up the
fertile lands along the Rogue River and its
branches. While these things were going forward  in the upper portions of  the valleys of Indian outbreaks;
the Rogue
River War
southern Oregon, settlements were also begun
near the mouths of the rivers, especially at Port
Orford and about Coos Bay. The discovery of
coal near Coos Bay gave it a large trade with
San Francisco. The various centers of population were connected with one another by means
of mountain roads or trails; the interest in gold
mining stimulated emigration, and a population
of several thousand people was soon to be found
within this territory, which at the beginning of
the California gold rush was an absolute wilderness, occupied by native barbarians.
When the early missionaries and settlers
came to Oregon they found the Indians under
the control of the Hudson's Bay Fur Company,
whose officers were able to secure for the whites
such lands and other privileges as the Indians
had to bestow. The company w^s very successful in preventing conflicts between the two
races. Only rarely were the settlers molested
by the natives during these years, the most
notable exception being the Whitman massacre
in 1847. When the United States took control, in 1849, the situation had become more
difficult to handle. Settlers were by this time
becoming numerous; the Indians had begun to
fear for the safety of their lands, and they were
not yet convinced of the national government's
power. Soon afterward troubles began, especially  in   the   newly   occupied   territory   of PROGRESS  AND  POLITICS
southern Oregon, where miners and travelers
were occasionally murdered, and settlers driven
from their lands. In some cases, it must be
confessed, the whites were to blame as well as
the red men. But the time soon came when the
tribes of southern Oregon were ready to go on
the war path, and then hundreds of innocent
persons suffered the untold horrors which have
always marked such savage outbreaks. Men
were shot down on the highway or in the field;
at dead of night unprotected families were besieged in their cabins, the men killed outright,
the women and children enslaved, and homes
burned to the ground; sometimes whole settlements were either massacred or driven away.
This war, usually called, from the most terrible
of the tribes concerned in it, the Rogue River
War, began in 1851. It lasted, with some intermissions, till 1856, when the Indians being
removed to reservations the settlers were at
last secure in the possession of their homes.1
Southern Oregon was not the only section other
of the Northwest to suffer from the uprising Indianwars
of the natives during this period.    On Puget
Sound, too, the Indians began to murder white
men as early as 1850, though no general outbreak  occurred until  several years later.    In
1 In this war General Lane performed most important services
for Oregon, both as warrior and peacemaker.   The Indians stood
1854-1855 General Stevens, as superintendent
of Indian affairs, made treaties with nearly all
of the tribes both in eastern and western
Washington, and it was supposed that these
would put an end to all conflict between the
two races. But as a matter of fact the natives,
seeing the country filling up with white people,
were about ready for a general war in defense
of what they considered to be their own country. The situation here was not different from
that which brought on the great Indian wars
in other sections of the United States. Just
as New England had its King Philip's War,
and the middle West its struggles with Tecum-
seh and Black Hawk, so the people of the Pacific
Northwest, when settlement threatened to crowd
the Indians off their lands, were forced to meet
great combinations of native tribes under Chief
John, Leschi, Kamiakin, and others. Except
in southern Oregon, these wars came mainly
in the years i8s"j--i8s8. They included many
harrowing incidents, like  the murder of the
CD '
settlers in White River valley near Puget
Sound, the daring attack upon the little village.
of Seattle in the spring of 1856, the slaughter
of the emigrants on the Malheur River, and
massacres at the Cascades. The United States
government maintained troops at various places
throughout the Northwest, and in some cases
these rendered  most effective service during PROGRESS  AND  POLITICS
the Indian war; but their numbers were too
small to meet the great emergency, while difficulties arose between the territorial officers
and the military commanders that caused the
burden of the war to fall mainly upon the
people themselves. Volunteer companies were
called into the field, who with some severe
fighting and much attendant hardship were
able to bring this distressing period to a
close. The Indians here as elsewhere found
it necessary to accept the bounty of Congress
in the shape of a reservation, with pay for the
lands which they gave up to the government.
Most of the treaties went into effect in 1859.
Several years prior to the close of the Indian The Oregon
wars, the question of statehood for Oregon be- constltu'
* ° tional con-
gan to be seriously discussed, and in 1856 a bill vention,
for admitting the territory into the Union was cug,ust}°
cd J September,
introduced in Congress by General Lane. 1857
Though this failed, another bill passed the
House at the next session, authorizing the
people to frame a state constitution. It did
not pass the Senate, but the legislature of Oregon Territory had already provided for submitting the question of holding a convention to
the voters at the June (1857) election. It was
carried by a large majority, delegates were
chosen from the several counties, and on the
third  Monday in August the convention met
in the town of Salem.    September 18 a state 252     A HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
constitution was adopted, which being submitted
to the people was ratified by a vote of 7195 in
favor to 3195 against. The state government
went into operation in July, 1858, although Oregon was not formally admitted to the Union till
the 14th of February, 1859.1
1 The population of Oregon in i860 was 52,465, and of Washington Territory, 11,594.
General Isaac Ingalls Stevens. CHAPTER  XVII
The Indian wars of the Pacific Northwest, Extent and
like those of New England, western New York, character of
° the Inland
and various sections of the Mississippi valley, Empire
were followed by a period in which population
spread rapidly over previously unoccupied territory. Thus far settlement had been practically
confined to the region between the Cascade
Mountains and the Pacific, including the Willamette valley, Puget Sound, the Cowlitz and
Columbia districts, the valleys of southern
Oregon, and a few points near the seacoast.
This was only a small part of the Oregon country, the eastern section, from the" Cascades to
the Rockies, containing more than three times
as large an area. Above the point where the
Columbia breaks through the Cascades, one
hundred and ninety miles from the sea, it re-
ceives branches from the north whose sources
lie far beyond the American boundary of 490,
others from the south rising below the 42d parallel, and still others from every part of the west
slope of the Rockies between these two boundary- lines.    They drain an American territory
Its agricultural
begin to be
embracing about two hundred thousand square
miles, nearly one fourth larger than the combined areas of the New England states, New
York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. A portion of it is occupied by the forested ranges of
the Bitter Root and Blue mountains; but in
general it is a region of great plains, relieved by
wooded valleys and gently sloping hills. The
climate, soil, and productions, all vary greatly
from those of western Oregon, and the natives
were superior to the western Indians in intellect
as well as in strength, energy, and warlike valor.
Owing to the light rainfall over the greater
portion of the Inland Empire, some early travelers pronounced the entire region unfit to be
the home of civilized man. But the missionaries proved tha£ the natural grasses afforded
excellent pasturage for cattle and sheep,1 and
that the soil in many places would produce
bounteous crops of grain and vegetables even
without irrigation; while with an artificial
supply of water surprising results could be
obtained. Several of the valleys, like Walla
Walla and the Grand Ronde, which lay in the
path of the emigrants to Oregon, attracted the
attention of the pioneers at an early time by
1 Dr. Whitman wrote in October, 1847, Just before his death:
"The interior of Oregon is unrivaled by any country for the
grazing of stock, of which sheep is the best. This interior will
now be sousrht after." THE INLAND EMPIRE
the evident fertility of their lands; and as early
as 1847 it seemed certain that the first of these
would soon be occupied by farmers. But the
Whitman massacre of that year destroyed these
prospects, and another decade was to pass away
before plans of settlement could be resumed.
In the meantime other sections of the Inland
Empire were beginning to receive attention on
account of the rich farming lands they were
supposed to contain.
When General Stevens reached Olympia, in General
November, 1853, after completing the survey of oJ^enss
the northern railroad route, he declared to the tions
people of Puget Sound that there were several
great stretches of territory in eastern Washington which invited settlement. " I can speak
advisedly," he says, " of the beautiful St. Mary's
valley just west of the Rocky Mountains and
stretching across the whole breadth of the territory; of the plain fifty miles wide bordering
the south bank of the Spokane River; of the
valley extending from Spokane River to Col-
ville; of the Coeur d'Alene Prairie of six hundred square miles; the Walla Walla valley.
The Nez Perce country is said to be rich as
well as the country bordering on the Yakima
His treaties with the native tribes soon after- The Indian
ward were * expected to throw some of these ^^tifsettie-
tracts open, and other treaties made about the ment 256   A HISTORY  OF THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
same time with the Indians of eastern Oregon
looked to the settlement of portions of that
country. But when the Indians went on the
war path in 1855 this entire region, except a
small district protected by the military post at
the Dalles, was once more closed to the peaceful tiller of the soil. The prairies and open
river valleys, instead of being dotted over with
settlers' cabins or the white-sheeted wagons of
C(EUR D'ALENE,   1853.
emigrants, were traversed in all directions by
long files of marching men, and troops of gallant cavalry. Yet this only served to make the
whole country more familiar to the people of
western Oregon and Washington, and to increase the desire to settle there as soon as the
. Indian troubles should be over. THE  INLAND EMPIRE
By this time (1859) there was an additional Gold hunt-
motive for emigration to the Inland   Empire, ^s east of
0 r the Cascades
Even before the Indian war there had been
more or less prospecting for gold in the eastern
country, and in 1855 discoveries were made at
Colville, though at that time little could be done
with them. In the years 1857-1858 occurred
a rush to Fraser River in British Columbia.
For a time it was supposed this region would
prove very rich; but soon disappointments
crowded upon the Americans who had gone
there, and a great outpouring took place. The
men who left these mines spread over and
prospected large sections of the eastern country,
with results only less wonderful than those obtained in California ten years earlier. Rich
gold districts were opened near Colville ; on the
Clearwater, Salmon River, Boise River, John
Day's River, Burnt River, Powder River; the
Owyhee, Kootenai, Deer Lodge, Beaverhead;
the Prickly Pear, and other places. Californians
streamed northward as Oregonians had gone
south in '48 and '49. Mining camps grew in
a few months to towns of several thousand
people, and sometimes disappeared quite as
rapidly, when richer diggings were opened
elsewhere, or water for gold washing failed.
By rapid stages the prospectors passed up the
several branches of the Columbia, until they
stood  once  more  upon   the  summit   of   the 258   A HISTORY OF  THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
supplies to
the mining
Rockies, this time coming from the west. At
South Pass, Helena, and many other camps,
they met and mingled with the crowds of gold
seekers arriving from the East. These were
" tenderfeet" to the rugged men who had spent
twelve or fifteen years in the mining districts
of California, British Columbia, eastern Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and who rather
gloried in the name " yonder siders," applied to
them by the other class.
When the miners turned toward the northeast the pack trains headed in the same direc-
Pack Train on Mountain Trail.
tion, carrying the eager gold seekers with their
outfits, and following from camp to camp with
regular supplies of bacon and flour, picks,
shovels, pans, quicksilver, and other necessities of the business.    From ten to fifty horses THE INLAND EMPIRE
or mules usually made up the train, though
sometimes more than one hundred animals were
employed. They were loaded with packs varying from two hundred to four hundred pounds.
At first many of these trains set out from the
Willamette valley directly, crossing the Cascade
Mountains; but in a very short time (as early
as 1862) the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, with headquarters at Portland, made ar-.
rangements for carrying goods up the river
as far as old Fort Walla Walla, then as now
called Wallula. Intermediate points were The
Dalles and Umatilla Landing.
At Walla Walla, located a few miles above waiiaWaih
the site of  the Whitman mission, a military * s're'*|t dls_
' J    tributmg
post had been established in 1856, which soon center
drew about it a small settlement. This place
now became the distributing center for a mining region embracing nearly the whole of the
eastern country. The Dalles sent goods up
the John Day valley; Umtilla carried to Powder River, Owyhee, Boise Basin, and a few
other places in eastern Oregon and southern
Idaho; but Walla Walla sent its pack trains
not only to most of these camps, but try Colville, Kootenai, the Salmon and the Clearwater,
the Prickly Pear and the upper Missouri. The
trails radiated in all directions from this little
town, and during the packing season long lines
of horses and  mules were  ever coming and 260   A HISTORY OF  THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
trade by
and wagon
going. In winter the feeding yards of the
valley were filled with poor, worn creatures,
whose scarred backs and ugly girth marks
proved the class to which they belonged.1 The
packers themselves were an important social
element in Walla Walla and Wallula, sometimes
giving grand balls which the entire community
would attend. Many of them were enterprising young men who have since made themselves
felt in business and professional life.
The Columbia River, though affording with
its branches over two thousand miles of navigable water, is divided into sections by frequent
natural obstructions like the Cascades, Dalles,
Great Falls, and Priest's Rapids. As the interior trade grew, the navigation company
built boats on section after section, until it
became possible to go from Portland to Lake
Pend d'Oreille on the North Fork almost wholly
by water. This development resulted in part
from the opening of trade with the Rocky
Mountain country. Active mining operations
began in what is now Montana, but then
eastern Washington and western Dakota, in
1862.    The earliest diggings were located west
1 The number of pack animals maintained in the valley is
almost incredible. In the winter of 1866-1867 between five hundred and six hundred were kept within seven miles of Wallula.
During ten days in the month of July, 1869, when times were
dull, trains aggregating five hundred and fifty-nine packs were
fitted out at Walla Walla. THE INLAND EMPIRE
of the Rockies, but soon rich discoveries were
made east of the mountains also. Packers
from Walla Walla crossed over at once, carrying hundreds of tons of supplies at very great
expense. A military road, from Fort Benton
on the upper Missouri to Walla Walla, had been
constructed between the years 1859 and 1862,
under the direction of Captain John Mullan.
It was always passable for pack trains, but soon
Fort Benton, 1853.
fell into such a state of disrepair that loaded
wagons could not safely pass over it. Soon
the demand became loud for the reopening
of this highway. Work was done upon it at
various times, with the result that many wagons,
drawn by six or eight pairs of mules, carried
flour and bacon, produced in the Willamette 262   A HISTORY OF THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
East and
West; rapid
growth of
in the Walla
valley, from the head of navigation on the
Columbia to Helena on the Missouri, a distance of only about six hundred miles.
Pacific coast commodities now came into
competition with those brought from St. Louis
in many little steamboats; and thus the predictions of Mr. Floyd were in a way fulfilled: a
commercial route had been opened across the
continent by steamboat and wagon. The city
of Portland, as the western emporium of this
trade with the Inland Empire and Montana,
entered upon a period of rapid and substantial
growth, which has continued almost unbroken
to the present time.
From the beginning of this migration toward
the interior, the most favorable portions of the
country were eagerly sought after by those wishing to engage in agriculture or stock raising.
The rapid progress of mining stimulated this
movement, so that in spite of the long delay
in beginning the settlement of the Inland Empire, a farming population finally spread over
its fertile valleys and plains much more rapidly
than would have been the case if no gold rush
had occurred. The first district to be occupied
was the Walla Walla valley, where the presence
of the United States military post afforded a
home market for products, and where the lands
were not only fertile but easily tilled, comparatively well watered, and conveniently near to   THE  INLAND  EMPIRE
the Columbia River and the lower settlements.
It will be remembered that this valley was about
to be occupied in 1847, when the Whitman massacre suddenly drove all whites west of the Cascades. A few pioneers held claims there at the
outbreak of the later Indian war, and these had
to be abandoned also. When the treaties were
completed in 1859, many persons were ready to
take up lands in the country, while the emigration of that year furnished several hundred
settlers.1 In 1860 Walla Walla County had 1300
white people, and within the next six years the
government surveyed about 750,000 acres of
land in the valley, most of wfiich was immediately taken up for agricultural purposes. The
chief crop was wheat, which yielded at the rate
of forty to fifty bushels, and was turned into
flour for export to the numerous mining camps
supplied from this center. In 1865 the amount
thus sent out was 7000 barrels. At the same
time other products, like hay, onions, potatoes,
and wool, were shipped down the river. In
1870 Walla Walla County had 5174 inhabitants. By that time the valley was fairly well
settled, containing many beautiful farms, with
comfortable and even handsome dwellings, sur-
1 The Olympia Pioneer and Democrat of September 30, 1859,
says that eight hundred emigrants had settled in the Walla Walla
valley, while twenty families had taken claims on the Yakima, and
thirty on the Klickitat and through the country from the Dalles
to Fort Simcoe (on the Yakima). Settlement
of the
rounded by gardens, fruit orchards, and ornamental trees.
For many years the emigrants to Oregon had
passed with regret the beautiful valley of the
Grand Ronde, nestled so peacefully among
the Blue Mountains. After all danger from
the natives had been removed, and the Walla
Walla country partly filled up, settlers began
to take claims in this attractive region, notwithstanding its distance from the sea. A few were
left there by the emigration of 1861, but it was
the great company of 1862 which finally occupied the country. About two thousand, so the
newspapers of the time declare, remained in
the valley, while the rest, some eight thousand,
went down the Columbia. The first winter
was one of great privations; but the next summer a crop was raised on the newly broken
lands, which furnished an abundance of provisions. La Grande was the principal town, and
soon became the county seat of Union County,
which included the Grand Ronde within its
boundaries. From the first it was a place of
considerable importance, being the supply center for the valley until other towns, like Union,
Summerville, and Oro Dell, divided the territory
with her. A wagon road built in 1863 connected the Grand Ronde valley with Walla
Walla for trading purposes, while other roads
and trails made it possible for this upper settle-   THE  INLAND EMPIRE
ment to send its products to the mines of Boise
valley, Owyhee, and other places. The abundance of timber on the slopes of the Blue Mountains, and the fine water power of the mountain
streams, promoted the building of sawmills, of
which there were four in 1864. A description
of the valley, written in the spring of 1868, indicates that excellent progress had been made
in the first five years after settlement began.
I The waste prairie has changed to fenced and
cultivated farms, and in all directions the handiwork of intelligence and industry is visible.
Comfortable houses and outhouses have been
built, orchards planted; from the poor emigrant
has sprung the well-to-do farmer." County roads
crossed the valley in all directions, while two
good toll roads had been built through it. The
population of Union County in 1870 was 2552.
These two illustrations of the Walla Walla other agri-
and   Grand   Ronde   valleys   are   sufficient   to cultural
J settlements
show how population spread over the fine farming districts of the Inland Empire during the
years immediately following the gold rush to
this region. Many other districts had a similar history. Boise valley, Powder River, the
Clearwater and Spokane, the high valleys of
western Montana, — all had their farming communities, producing such supplies as the mining districts could use. The Yakima valley
east of the Columbia was situated much like 270   A  HISTORY OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
the Walla Walla, and was settled about the
same time. By 1870 the amount of produce
seeking a market from the upper Columbia was
already larger than the demand to be supplied
in that country, although only a small fraction
of the tillable lands had as yet been taken up.
The people needed better means of transportation, in order that they might ship their wheat
and flour down the river to a larger and more
stable market. The entire inland country
waited impatiently for railroads to connect its
scattered communities, and to afford the much-
desired outlet to the sea.1
1A short line of railroad, from Walla Walla to Wallula, was
first projected as early as 1862; but it was not until 1868 that
active work was begun upon it. The road was completed in
1874, largely through the energy and financial enterprise of
Dr. D. S. Baker. It was the first railroad in the territory of
Washington. CHAPTER  XVIII
The Inland Empire was  not  alone  in de- TheNorth-
manding railroad facilities at this time.    The Test   ■
°    , demands
entire Pacific Northwest was as yet altogether railways
lacking in this important means of development, and by 1870 the people of that section
were everywhere insisting that railways be built.
Many years earlier, when the Oregon question
was still unsettled, and when emigration to the
Columbia by means of wagons and ox teams
had but just begun, several schemes were
brought forward for the establishment of a
transcontinental line to extend to some point
on the lower Columbia, or to Puget Sound.
One such project was presented to the public
in 1845-1846 by Asa Whitney. He proposed
to build the road on condition that the United
States government grant to his company a belt
of land sixty miles wide, stretching from Lake
Michigan to the Pacific Ocean. Another
scheme was to make the road a national one,
the funds for construction to come from the
sale of lands along the line. This was advocated  by Mr. George Wilkes, of  New York,
The first
who in 1845 wrote a book on the subject,
petitioned Congress, and asked the support of
state and territorial legislatures in favor of his
A few years later the rush to California gave
rise to plans for a road to San Francisco Bay.
Thomas H. Benton was one of the earliest
advocates of this line. In 1853 surveys wrere
begun by the national government along three
different routes — one to cross the Rockies by
way of South Pass, one at a point south of that
place, and another far to the north, near the
head waters of the Missouri. When General
Stevens surveyed the last-named route, he pronounced it by far the most feasible of all, and
the people of the Northwest began to think
that the first transcontinental railway might
be built through their section, notwithstanding California's greater wealth and population.
But the times were unfavorable for railroad
building, because of the great struggle between the North and South over the question of slavery, wThich occupied the attention
of the whole country and finally led to the
Civil War.
While this conflict was raging/however, the
government made provision (1862) for the first
of the transcontinental railways by chartering
the Union Pacific Company to build westward
from the  Missouri, and the Central Pacific to THE  AGE  OF  RAILWAYS
build from the Pacific coast eastward. The
rapid development of California between the
years 1849 and i860 made San Francisco the
natural terminus rather than either of the northern ports so much discussed twenty years
earlier.1 The central route was chosen because
this was the most direct line to northern California. The road was to cross the Rockies at
South Pass, follow the Humboldt River, and
enter the Sacramento valley by the old California Trail. The work of construction was
soon begun at both ends, and pushed forward
as rapidly as possible. Great numbers of Chinese laborers, who had begun to come to California shortly after the gold discovery, were
employed on the western division. Finally, on
the 10th of May, 1869, the two sections were
brought together at Promontory Point, fifty
miles west of Ogden, Utah, where the ceremony of driving the golden spike completed
the gigantic undertaking.
This event marks an era in  the history of iheraii-
j-i        t>      ' n 1.       tm     j. j. • way marks a
the Pacific coast.     1 hat vast region, once so ue'v era
widely separated  from  the  remainder  of  the
country, was now brought into close touch with
the other sections, and began to share fully in
1 Sacramento, at the head of navigation on the Sacramento
River, was called the terminus of this road; but the line was at
Once extended to San Francisco, which became the terminus in
The Northwest still
with rail-'
the life of the nation as a whole. The journey
from the east coast to San Francisco by way
of Panama had required three and a half weeks;
it was very expensive and extremely unpleasant.
By the overland stage the trip was still more
costly and difficult. But at last, with the completion of the railroad, the Mississippi valley
had been brought wTithin a week's journey of
the Pacific; travel to the far West was cheap
and pleasant; mails became frequent and regular ; many varieties of western products began
to be sent east in exchange for manufactured
goods. Above all, a new movement of emigration set in to the Pacific coast which resulted
in planting many of the most delightful farming
and fruit-raising sections of California, and, as
we shall see, brought about important changes
in the Northwest as well.
Yet, in spite of the indirect benefits which
it brought to the people of the Northwest, the
Central Railway was not at all sufficient for
their needs. It barely touched the Oregon
territory at the southeast corner, without actually reaching any part of the settled area. In
order to make it of great use to this section,
other roads would have to be built through the
Northwest connecting with the Central. The
routes for such branch lines were clearly
marked out by nature. One was the old emigrant road from the Columbia to  Fort  Hall, THE  AGE  OF  RAILWAYS
along which Wilkes had proposed to carry his
national railroad in 1845; the other was the
wagon route which had been opened from the
Columbia by way of the Willamette, southern
Oregon, and the Siskiyou Mountains to the
Sacramento valley.
Several  years  before  the  Central   Railway The Oregon
was completed, California parties began survey- fomia^aii-
ing  this line to the  Columbia; and although way, 1868-
nothing came of it at the time, other schemes
and surveys were set on foot which finally led
to railroad construction in Oregon. In April,
1868, ground was broken at Portland for two
roads, one to run on the east side, the other
on the west side, of the Willamette River.
Five years later the East Side Railroad
was completed to Roseburg, in the Umpqua
valley, thus bringing the southern Oregon
country into connection with the Willamette
and the Columbia. From this point the process of construction was very slow, the southern portion being finally completed in 1887 to
connect with the Central Pacific.
Meantime, in  1874, Mr. Henry Villard be- Henry
came interested in this line and in the railroad tJ " Jl"
L 11 v    r 1 v 11 L 11 >-« Jl 1.1
development of the Pacific Northwest generally, railways
His first grand enterprise was the opening of
railway transportation along the Columbia; on
the south bank, connecting Portland with The
Dalles, the Walla Walla country, and eastern 276    A HISTORY OF  THE PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
Oregon.    To  bring this about  he organized,
with the enterprising Portland men who controlled the navigation of the Columbia, the
Oregon Railway and Navigation Company.
The line was first built to Baker City, in the
Henry Villard.
Powder River valley, and later extended to
meet the Union Pacific at Granger, Wyoming,
running practically along the old emigrant trail
up the Lewis River valley. Before this plan
could be fully carried out, Mr. Villard also
secured control of the Northern Pacific, which
had been in process of building from Duluth THE AGE  OF RAILWAYS
at the western extremity of Lake Superior for
several years. The union of all these interests
under his management gave a mighty impulse
to railroad development, such as the country
had never before seen. Construction was
hurried forward at utmost speed both from the
east   and   from   the
west, and on the 8th
of September, 1883
(in western Montana),
the last spike was
driven bv Mr. Villard
in the presence of a
throng of visitors
from both coasts, and
from nearly every
country of the Old
World.1 One of the
orators on this occasion was Senator J.
W. Nesmith, of Oregon, who as a young
man had crossed the plains in the great wagon
train of 1843. The early settlers of the Northwest had spent the best  years of their  lives
1 " The Memoirs of Henry Villard," 2 vols., Boston, 1904, contains a very interesting sketch of the railroad history of the
Northwest to the time of completing the Northern Pacific. The
earliest railways in Oregon were portage roads around the obstructions in the Columbia River and were owned by the Navigation Company at the time Villard took control.
Later railroad build
of population about
under pioneer conditions; but fortunately many
of them lived to see the dawning of the new
day made possible by their labors and sacrifices.
Railroad building did not cease with the
year 1883, but has been almost continuous from
that time to the present. The main line of the
Northern Pacific, the Columbia and Lewis
River road, the new Great Northern line to
the Sound, the connection northward with the
Canadian Pacific and southward with the Central Pacific, form the outlines of a system which
has gradually been extended, by means of
branches, into many new productive regions of
the Northwest. The results, while marvelous
in themselves, are only such as had long been
foretold by those familiar with the resources of
the Northwest, and with the effects produced
by railroads in other parts of the United States.
This becomes plain when we compare the slow
progress of the Northwest during the early
period with the rapid development which has
taken place in the past thirty-four years, and
especially in the past twenty-one years, since,
the completion of the Northern Pacific.
In 1870, when this great movement was just
beginning, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho had
a combined population of 130,000, of which
91,000 belonged to Oregon and only 24,000 to
her northern neighbor. Almost exactly one
half (64,200) of the total population of the North- THE AGE  OF  RAILWAYS
west was still living in the Willamette valley,
which even without railroads always had an
outlet to a seaport market. The other half was
widely distributed, in southern and eastern
Oregon, along the coast and the Columbia River
in both Oregon and Washington, and through
the numerous mining camps of Idaho.1 The
metropolis of the Northwest was Portland,
which boasted 8293 inhabitants — an increase
since the census of i860 of 5425.
The great valley of western Oregon was in The wn-
1870  the  only  district  of  this  entire region ^Ueyand
that was fully settled by an agricultural popu- southern
lation;   and even here, while  the  lands were
nearly  all   occupied,   large   portions  of  them
remained unfilled.     The grain raised on the
farms was shipped dowm the river to Portland
in steamboats, and great herds of cattle were
driven across the mountains to supply the mining camps as far east as Montana, and to stock
the ranches now beginning to be established
in many portions of the Inland Empire.    The
towns of the valley, aside from Portland, were
all mere  villages,  centers  of  an  agricultural
trade.   Southern Oregon, where farming, stock
1 Southern Oregon had about 12,000 people, eastern Oregon
10,500, the coast and Columbia River districts 4250. The counties bordering on the Sound had one half of the 24,000 people in
Washington, while the region east of the Cascades had 7000 of
the remainder. Idaho contained 15,000 people (lacking one),
scattered through a score or more of mining camps. 280    A  HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
on Puget
social conditions
raising, and mining were all carried on together,
was enjoying a fair degree of prosperity; but
here also, as on the upper Columbia, no great
development in agriculture was possible without railroads to open up a wider market for
the products of the soil. The Coos Bay
district had already become famous for its coal,
and in 1874 sent 45,000 tons to San Francisco.
Puget Sound was acquiring a world-wide
reputation for its manufactories of lumber.
Soon after the opening of the California market,
capitalists from the East and from San Francisco began here the establishment of those
enormous lumbering plants which have been
the wonder of so many visitors to the Pacific
coast. The small water-power mills of the
pioneering time sank into insignificance or
ceased to exist; while monster steam mills,
planted at a few of the most favorable points,
practically monopolized the business. Each
of the great sawmills supported a settlement,
made up at first almost entirely of the company's
employes. After a while, with the occupation
of the farming lands in their vicinity, some of
these grew into important market and shipping
points. But the towns of western Washington were for a long time behind Walla
Walla both in wealth and in population. In
1870 Olympia, the largest of them, had but
1200   people,   while   Seattle   had   1100,   and THE  AGE  OF  RAILWAYS
Tacoma 73. As late as twenty years ago
Seattle had scarcely outgrown the conditions
of a village. There was some talk of connecting this region by rail with Oregon on the
south, and with the Inland Empire on the
east. But nothing had as yet been done, and-
the Sound country was almost completely shut
off from all other sections of the Northwest.
Social conditions had been very unsatisfactory
in the little lumbering communities, because
there were so many single men without homes,
and but few families. This difficulty was keenly
felt, and very unusual efforts were made to overcome it. In 1866 a shipload of young women
was brought to Seattle from the East. This led
to the planting of many new homes, promoted
farm life, and brought about a great improvement in the character of the settlement. Puget
Sound and the entire Northwest owe a debt
of gratitude to these excellent women, many
of whom, fortunately, are still living to enjoy
the prosperity which their coming to this far-
off coast did so much to create.1
Such, briefly, was the situation of the Northwest at the beginning of the railroad age.    It
was a region containing a score or more of dis-
tinct settlements, most of which had little in
General condition of the
in 1870
1" They have proved a blessing to every community from the
Cowlitz north to the boundary line." C. B. Bagley in Quarterly
of the Oregon Historical Society, March, 1904. 282    A HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
common with any of the others. Each went
its own way, producing what it could, selling
what it might, in the mines, in San Francisco,
and in Portland. Because there was little
intercourse between the sections, there was a
good deal of jealousy and ill will. Politically
the Northwest was now divided into three
parts, Idaho having been set off as a separate
territory in 1863; but the lack of unity within
the separate divisions made possible numerous
schemes for changes in boundaries, the creation
of new territories, and so on. At one time
there was a plan to unite the Willamette valley
and Puget Sound into one state, making
another of the entire inland country; again
it was proposed to annex the Walla Walla
country to Oregon; to unite northeastern
Washington with northern Idaho, and make a
separate state of this; to attach southeastern
Washington to southern Idaho and eastern
The railroads soon produced a great transformation in almost every respect. The men
who were responsible for the construction of
these lines were especially anxious to attract
emigrants to the Northwest, in order to develop its great resources and thus create business for the roads. Emigration bureaus were
formed in cities of the Atlantic coast; pamphlets describing the advantages of the country THE AGE OF  RAILWAYS
were distributed broadcast; and northwestern
farm lands were widely advertised in the newspapers. As a result the population of this
region began to increase with great rapidity as
compared with the period prior to 1870. As
already stated, the total for that year was 130,000.
In the ten years from 1870 to 1880 there was an
addition of 152,500; in the next decade 465,000;
while from 1890 to 1900 the gain was 330,000.
It is interesting to note that, while California
was far in advance of the Northwest when the
period began, and continued to lead for another
ten years, her increase since 1880 has been
very much less. From 1870 to 1880 she received 304,447; in the next decade 343,436;
and in the last 271,655. In other words, during the twenty years from 1880 to 1900 this
northern region gained 795,000 people as
against California's 615,000.
The growth of cities is yet more striking. The growth
Thirty-four years ago Portland was the only ofcities
town approaching. 10,000 population. It was already flourishing, but from this time its progress was remarkable. The census of 1880
gives the city 17,577; that of ten years later
46,385 ; and the last (1900) 90,426. On Puget
Sound the village of Tacoma, with 73 inhabitants in 1870 and only 1100 in 1880, leaped
by 1890 to 36,000. During the last ten-year
period, however, very little gain was made, the
census of 1900 showing only 37,714. Seattle
presents the spectacle of a town which has
grown in twenty years from a village of 3533
people to a city of 80,271 people. This surprising result is due largely to the railroads,
although Seattle has in recent years gained
enormously  on   account   of   the   trade   with
Falls of the Spokane.
Alaska. East of the Cascade Mountains,
towns have of course grown less rapidly; but
there has been substantial progress in all three
of the states comprising the Pacific Northwest.1
Idaho in 1900 had two cities of over 4000
each: Boise, 5957, and Pocatello, 4045; eastern  Oregon had two:  Baker City, 6663, and
1 Washington was admitted into the Union on the nth of
November, 1889; Idaho on July 3, 1&90.   THE AGE OF RAILWAYS
Pendleton, 4406; and eastern Washington two,
Walla Walla and Spokane. The first of these
contained 10,049 inhabitants; the latter, 36,848.
Considering that Spokane is an inland town, Spokane
her history has been an extraordinary one. A «pai0uSe'3
few pioneers settled on "Spokane Prairie' as country
early as 1862, and stores were opened near the
bridge to supply the wants of miners going
east into the mountains. But for some years
the place remained very insignificant. In 1880
it had but 350 inhabitants. The rapid growth
since that time is due mainly to the fact
that the railroad opened up near Spokane one
of the most wonderful wheat-raising districts
in the world, the so-called " Palouse " country,,
stretching southward toward Lewis River.
Having a magnificent water power in its falls,
Spokane quickly became a great center for the
manufacture of flour, as well as a distributing
point both for the rich agricultural region to
the south and the mining districts to the north
and east. CHAPTER XIX
The present
an age of
The development of every country depends
upon the number, ability, and enterprise of the
people inhabiting it. The Pacific Northwest
has been especially fortunate in the character
of its settlers, who were men and women of
the best class from almost every portion of the
United States. Until very recently, however,
their numbers have been so limited that it has
not been possible to make use of more than
a small portion of the natural resources which
this region affords. As the early traders devoted their energies to securing furs of wild
animals, so the early settlers, coming a few
thousand annually with ox teams, were interested mainly in obtaining good farms, on which
to raise grain and cattle. Although some of
them desired to do so, they were unable to
make much use of the almost limitless forests
of excellent timber, the valuable fisheries of
the coasts and rivers, and the opportunities for
manufacturing so lavishly provided by nature.
And so it has been down to the present time.
Men have come to the Northwest primarily for
its  free lands.    The quantity of these which
could be taken up and converted into farms at
slight expense was so vast that until now the
increase in population has resulted mainly in
an enlargement of the cultivated areas. While
a few towns have grown with wonderful rapidity, increasing-trade, rather than manufacturing,
has been the chief cause. Now, however, the
population and wealth of the Northwest have
both reached the point where a rapid development of all kinds of resources becomes possible;
and the astonishing activity manifested everywhere is proof that this country is undergoing
a great transformation. From a people pursuing agriculture and commerce as almost the
only interests, they are changing rapidly to a
complex society, engaged in a multitude of different occupations.
Good beginnings have already been made in Manufactur-
many lines of manufacturing.   Flour and lumber l^dl
are being exported to the markets of the world; pects
manufactures  of  iron, wool,  and  paper  have
reached large proportions; salmon canning is a
leading industry of the coast region; and shipbuilding has attained great prominence.1    But
1 From the earliest settlement of the country the Columbia River
and Puget Sound districts have been engaged in this important business, for which their situation probably affords greater advantages
than are possessed by any other portion of the United States.
Most of the vessels thus far constructed have been of wood ; but
the launching of the battleship Nebraska at Seattle on. the 7th
of October, 1904, proves that the Northwestern shipyards are
already equipped for building the heaviest iron ships.
of life in the
in most of these lines there is room for almost
indefinite expansion. For example, the Northwest has the greatest body of standing timber
now to be found in the United States. The
forests of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota
are rapidly disappearing, while the demand for
timber in the middle West and the East is
increasing. The result is a wholly new activity
in northwestern lumber, marked each year by
the establishment of many new mills in every
portion of the country, arid a rapidly growing
export trade.
The lumber business here, as in the older
states, has been a pioneer among manufacturing industries. Plants for the manufacture
of excelsior, furniture, wagons, and carriages
naturally group themselves around the lumber
mills; while the successful establishment of one
line of industries always tends to attract others
to the same locality. These influences have
helped to build up the interior towns, many of
WTiich now begin to take on the appearance of
cities. They are providing themselves with
the modern conveniences, such as electric lighting, water, and sewer systems; streets are
scientifically graded, and in a few cases electric
railways have already been built. Socially, also,
these smaller places are following in the footsteps of the large seaport cities of the Northwest, which in turn keep close touch with the THE  PACIFIC NORTHWEST  OF TO-DAY    291
great centers of population on the Atlantic
coast. Churches, benevolent societies, and
fraternal orders are everywhere; the common
school system is well developed, and high
schools, until recently confined to the larger
places, are at present being established in all
towns of any importance.1 The movement for
town and school libraries, local historical societies, commercial clubs, women's clubs, and
other means of intellectual, moral, and scientific
development, has already produced good results.
The rural districts have been less fortunate.
Most of the farms are large, even in the well-
settled sections, thus scattering the population
thinly over the country. Moreover, roads have
generally been bad, making it difficult for
farmers to communicate with each other, or
with the neighboring towns. In short, farm
life, while independent, healthful, and profitable
in a financial way, has here as in many other
places been a life of comparative isolation,
with all the drawbacks incident to that fact.
A strong movement for good roads has recently
been inaugurated; rural mail delivery prevails
almost everywhere; and many lines of telephone
have been established.    Just at present there is
Improvements in
farm life
1 There are also numerous academies and colleges maintained
by private or denominational means, while each of the three states
has its agricultural college, its normal schools for the training of
teachers, and its state university. 292     A  HISTORY  OF  THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST
The irrigation movement
a decided interest in the building of electric
railway systems, a movement which promises to
produce a great improvement in the conditions
of farm life. At the same time the methods of
agriculture are changing, grain raising in many
places giving way to dairying, hop raising, and
fruit growdng, all of which tend to break up
the over-large farms, and to draw the country
population more closely together.
One of the most significant movements of
the present time is the development of irrigation schemes, in which the national government,
the state governments, and private parties are
all taking an active interest. The Inland
Empire contains immense stretches of otherwise excellent land which receives naturally
too little moisture to produce paying crops.
Much of this is so located that water can be
supplied artificially; and when this is done a
previously desert spot is instantly transformed
into a garden. Some of the most charming
districts of the Northwest, like Payette valley
in Idaho, the Yakima valley in Washington,
and   Hood   River   in   Oregon,   illustrate   the
CD '
effects of irrigation. There are now on foot
well-matured plans of reclamation, which, when
completed, will provide homes for nearly half a
million people on lands till now covered with
sage brush. The present extraordinary growth
of Idaho and eastern Washington is explained THE  PACIFIC  NORTHWEST  OF  TO-DAY     293
by this fact. But this is not all. The benefits
of irrigation are becoming so well understood
that the fruit growers and dairymen of southern
Oregon are employing it in order to overcome
the disadvantages of their long dry season;
and even in the Willamette valley, where the
rains continue longer in spring and begin earlier in fall, ditches are being opened to irrigate
ordinary farm land. The possibilities presented by this newly awakened interest are far-
reaching.    Under irrigation  a few  acres will
support a family, and indeed large farms are
out of the question. The general adoption of
this method of agriculture would mean the fre-
quent division of the present farms and the multiplication of homes, with all the advantages of
a dense population over a sparse one.
We have thus indicated some of the forces The new
now at work tending to transform the Pacific *?eiSs lu
o the North-
Northwest, and to give it the importance which west
the vastness of its territory and multiplicity of
its resources have long foreshadowed.    Its ad-
vantages are becoming understood, and the
region is at last beginning to receive that full
tide of immigration for which it waited longer
than any other great section of the West. It
is a movement of both capitalists and laborers.
Some are attracted by the opportunities for
agriculture; some by the rich and extensive
mineral deposits  awaiting  development;  and
others by their interest in commerce and manufacturing. Thoughtful men everywhere have
been impressed by the advantage which this
region is acquiring from the extension of American commerce in the Orient; from the prospective construction of the Panama Canal; and
from the plans now matured for opening the
Columbia River beyond the Great Falls, so as
to allow large vessels to penetrate far beyond
the Cascade Mountains and bring the Inland
Empire to the sea.
Blending of Just at this time, when growth in all material
the two ages ^jngg js proceeding at so rapid a rate, and when
the people of this great section are turning their
eyes with joyful anticipation toward the future,
the historic past is likewise claiming for itself,
through the centennial anniversary of Lewis
and Clark's exploration, an increased measure
of attention. This is one of the fortunate things
in the present situation; for if the spirit of the
pioneer age, its rugged independence, strong
homely virtues, and wholesome aspirations, can
be carried over and blended with the best the
new time gives, the future greatness of our
civilization in the Northwest is assured. APPENDIX
Provisional Government
David Hill, Alanson Beers, and I,.*-        ^ o.   <.   , o..
Joseph Gale  .    .    .    .    .    . } Ist Exec- Com" l8« to l844
P-w  ,W °' RuSSeU' and \ 2d Exec. Com., 1844 to 1845
W. J. Bailey j ^* ^°
George Abernethy June 3, 1845, to March 3, 1849
Territorial Government
Joseph Lane March 3, 1849, to June 18, 1850
Kintzing Pritchett      ....    June 18, 1850, to Aug. 18, 1850
John P. Gaines Aug. 18, 1850, to May 16, 1853
Joseph Lane May 16, 1853, to May 19, 1853
George L. Curry    ...... May 19, 1853, to Dec. 2, 1853
John W. Davis Dec. 2, 1853, to Aug. 1, 1854
George L. Curry Aug. 1, 1854, to March 3, 1859
State Government
John Whiteaker
A. C. Gibbs      .
George L. Woods
La Fayette Grover
S. F. Chadwick
W. W. Thayer
Z. F. Moody
Sylvester Pennoyer
William P. Lord
T. T. Geer  .
George E. Chamberlain
March 3, 1859, to Sept. 10,
Sept. 10, 1862, to Sept. 12,
Sept. 12, 1866, to Sept. 14,
Sept. 14, 1870, to Feb. 1,
Feb. 1, 1877, to Sept. 11,
Sept. 11, 1878, to Sept. 13,
Sept. 13, 1882, to Jan. 12,
Jan. 12, 1887, to Jan. 14,
. Jan. 14, 1895, to Jan. 9,
. Jan. 9, 1899, to Jan. 14,
Jan. 14, 1903, to	
295 296
Territorial Government
Isaac I. Stevens  1853 to 1857
Fayette McMullen  1857 to 1859
R. D. Gholson  1859 to J86i
W. H. Wallace  1861 to 1862
W. M. Pickering  1862 to 1866.
George E. Cole    .  1866 to 1867
Marshal F. Moore  1867 to 1869
Alvin Flanders  1869 to 1870
Edward S. Salomon  1870 to 1872
Elisha P. Ferry  1872 to 1880
W. A. Newell  1880 to 1884
Watson C. Squire  1884 to 1887
Eugene Semple  1887 to 1889
Miles C. Moore  1889
State Government
Elisha P. Ferry  1889 to 1893
John H. McGraw  1893 to 1897
John R. Rogers  1897 to 1901
Henry McBride  1901 to 1905
Albert E. Mead  1905
Territorial Government
William H. Wallace
Caleb Lyon .    .    .
David M. Ballard .
Samuel Bard
Gilman Marston
Alexander H. Connor
Thomas M. Bowen
Thomas W. Bennett
David P. Thompson
March 10, 1863, to Feb. 26, 1864
Feb. 26, 1864, to April 10, 1866
April 10, 1866, to March 30, 1870
March 30, 1870, to June 7, 1870
June 7, 1870, to Jan. 12, 1871
Jan. 12, 1871, to April 19, 1871
April 19, 1871, to Oct. 24, 1871
Oct. 24, 1871, to Dec. 16, 1875
Dec. 16, 1875,to Julv 24> l0>76 APPENDIX
Mason Brayman July 24, 1876, to Aug. 7, 1878
John P. Hoyt Aug. 7, 1878, to July 12, 1880
John B. Neil July 12, 1880, to March 2, 1883
John N. Irwin March 2, 1883, to March 26, 1884
William M. Bunn .... March 26, 1884, to Sept. 29, 1885
Edward A. Stevenson . . . Sept. 29, 1885, to April 1, 1889
George L. Shoup April 1, 1889, to , 1890
State Government
George L
Shoup  . .
N. B. Willey . . .
William J. McConnell
Frank Steunenberg
Frank W. Hunt    . .
John T. Morrison . .
Frank R. Gooding
1890 to 1891
1891 to 1892
1893 to 1897
1897 to 1901
1901 to 1903
1903 to 1905
Delazon Smith Feb. 14, 1859, to Nov. 3,
Joseph Lane Feb. 14, 1859, to March 3,
Edward D. Baker March 4, 1861, to Oct. 21,
Benjamin Stark Oct. 21, 1861, to Sept. 11,
Benjamin F. Harding . . . Sept. 11, 1862, to March 3,
James W. Nesmith .... March 4,1861, to March 3,
George H. Williams .... Marcji 4, 1865, to March 3,
Henry W. Corbett     ....   March 4, 1867, to March 3,
James K. Kelley March 4,1871, to March 3,
John H. Mitchell March 4, 1873, to March 3,
John H. Mitchell March 4, 1885, to March 3,
John H. Mitchell   .    March 4, 1901 (term expires March 3,1907)
La Fayette Grover      ....  March 4, 1879, to March 3,
Joseph N. Dolph March 4, 1883, to March 3,
George W. McBride .... March 4, 1895, to March 3,
Henry W. Corbett     (Appointed by Governor, not seated; 1897)
Joseph Senion Oct. 8, 1898, to March 3, 1903
Charles W. Fulton, March 4, 1903 (term expires March 3, 1909) ■*^
Watson C. Squire      ....  March 4, 1889, to March 3, 1897
John B. Allen  ......  March 4, 1889, to March 3, 1893
John B. Allen   .    . (Appointed by Governor, not seated; 1893)
John L. Wilson March 4, 1895, to March 3, 1899
George Turner March 4,1897, to March 3,1903
Addison G. Foster .... March 4, 1899, t0 March 3, 1905
Levi Ankeny . . March 4, 1903 (term expires March 3, 1909)
Samuel H. Piles    .  March 4, 1905 (term expires March 3, 1911)
William J. McConnell    .    .    .   January, 1891, to March 3, 1891
George L. Shoup January, 1891, to March 3, 1901
Fred T. Dubois March 4, 1891, to March 3, 1897
Henry Heitfeld March 4, 1897, to March 3, 1903
Fred T. Dubois     .   March 4,1901 (term expires March 3,1907)
Weldon B. Heyburn, March 4,1903 (term expires March 3, 1909)
Territorial Period
Samuel R. Thurston  .... Feb. 15, 1849, to April 9, 1851
Joseph Lane  June 2, 1851, to Feb. 14, 1859
Statehood Period
La Fayette Grover     .... Feb. 15, 1859, to March 3, 1859
Lansing Stout  .    .    .    .    .    . March 4,1859, to March 3, 1861
George K. Shiel  March 4, 1861, to March 3, 1863
John R. McBride  March 4, 1863, to March 3,1865
J. H. D. Henderson   .... March 4, 1865, to March 3, 1867
Rufus Mallory  March 4,1867, to March 3,1869
Joseph S. Smith  March 4, 1869, to March 3,1871
James H. Slater  March 4, 1871, to March 3, 1873
Joseph S. Wilson ,    ,    ,    ♦    . (Died before qualifying, 1873) APPENDIX
James W. Nesmith .... March 4,1873, to March 3,1875
George A. La Dow    ....     (Died before qualifying, 1875)
La Fayette Lane Oct. 25, 1875,t0 March 3, 1877
Richard Williams March 4, 1877, to March 3, 1879
John Whiteaker March 4, 1879, to March 3, 1881
M.C.George March 4,1881, to March 3,1885
Binger Herman March 4,1885, to March 3, 1899
W.R.Ellis       March 4, 1893, to March 3,1899
Thomas H. Tongue, March 4,1897, to Jan. 11,1903 (died in office)
Malcolm A. Moody .... March 4,1899, to March 3,1903
Binger Herman, June 1,1903 (present term expires March 3,1907)
John N. Williamson  .    .     March 4, 1903 (present term expires
March 3,1*907)
Territorial Period
Columbia Lancaster  1854 to 1855
J. Patton Anderson  1855 to 1857
Isaac I. Stevens  1857 to 1861
W. H. Wallace  1861 to 1863
George E. Cole  1863 to 1865
A. A. Denny  1865 to 1867
Alvan Flanders  1867 to 1869
S. Garfielde  1869 to 1872
A. B. McFadden  1872 to 1874
Orange Jacobs  18741.01878
Thomas H. Brents  1878 to 1884
C. S. Voorhees  1884 to 1888
John B.Allen  1888 to 1889
Statehood Period
John L. Wilson March 4, 1889, to March 3, 1895
W. H. Doolittle March 4, 1893, to March 3, 1897
S.C.Hyde March 4, 1895, to March 3,1897
W. L. Jones,  March 4,1897 (present term expires March 3,1907)
James Hamilton Lewis   .    .    .  March 4,1897, to March 3,1899 300
F. W. Cushman    .    .
William E. Humphrey
.    .     March 4,1899, to Nov. 4,1905
March 4, 1905 (present term expires
March 3, 1907)
Territorial Period
William H. Wallace   .... March 4,
Edward Li. Holbrook      .    .    . March 4,
Jacob K. Shafer  March 4,
Samuel A. Merritt      .... March 4,
Stephen S. Fenn  March 4,
John Hailey  March 4,
George Ainslie      .    .    .    .    . March 4,
Theodore F. Sinsriser
March 4,
John Hailey March 4,
Fred T. Dubois March
1864, to
1865, to
1869, to
1871, to
1873, to
1877, to
1883, to
1885, to
4, 1887,
to Jan.
3, 1865
3, 1869
I 1871
3, 1879
3, 1883
3, 1885
3, 1887
, 1890
Statehood Period
Willis Sweet
Edgar Wilson   .
James Gunn
Thomas L. Glenn
Burton L. French
. January, 1890, to March 3, 1893
. March 4, 1893, to March 3, 1897
. March 4, 1897, to March 3, 1901
. March 4, 1901, to March 3,1903
March 4, 1903 (present term expires
March 3, 1907) Abernethy,   George,
Lieutenant   Wilkes,   173;
ernor, see Appendix.
Adams, John Quincy, relation to
Oregon Question, 134, 136.
Agriculture, 61;   among Indians,
65> **47> l55-lS6> 22I'> at Van"
couver, 120, 121; possibilities of,
on Columbia overestimated, 132;
begun by Wyeth's men, 145; at
or near Willamette Mission, 149—
150; at interior missions, 152,
155, 156, 22 f; in Willamette
valley, state of in 1841, 173—
174; advantages of, for, 160-
161, 178-179, 206-207; effect of
gold discovery on, 2jo; state of
about 1870, 279, 292, 293; on
Puget Sound, 211,212, 243, 281;
in southern Oregon, beginnings
of, 246, 247, 280; irrigation, effects on, 293; in Inland Empire,
possibilities tested by missionaries, 254, 255; testimony of General Stevens, 255; development
delayed by Indian War, 255-
256; promoted by mining, 262;
in Walla Walla valley, 262-266;
in Grand Ronde
269; other inland sections, 269—
270; development waits on railways, 270, 280; effects produced
by railways, 282—285; new conditions in, 286, 289, 291-293.
Africa, way   around,  opened   by
Vasco da Gama
> o*
wise,   121;   southern  boundary
fixed, 128, 207;  Seattle's trade
with, 284.
Albatross, 112, 113.
Albion, New, 12, 13.
Alleghany Mountains, crossing of,
by pioneers, 58; communication
with East, 61.
America, Central, 2, 3.
American Board of Commissioners
of Foreign Missions, sends Dr.
Parker   to   Oregon,   152.     See
American Fur Company, organized
by Astor, 100.    See Astor.
American    Philosophical   Society,
Jefferson's connection with, 50,51.
Anian,  Straits  of,  mentioned  by
Carver, 49.
Applegate, Jesse, " A Day with the
Cow-Column" quoted, 185-192;
204;  negotiates with H. B. Co.,
212;   on P. S. Ogden, 214;   in
southern Oregon, 246—247.
Arctic Ocean, new knowledge concerning, gained by Hearne, 23,
48;  by Mackenzie, 97.
101 302
Argonaut, British vessel seized by
Spaniards • at   Nootka   Sound,
Aricara villages, visited by Hunt's
party, 106.
"Ark," or flatboat, used on Mississippi, 61.
Arkansas River, 44, 45.
Armada, Spanish, destroyed by
British seamen, 15.
Armstrong, Captain John, tries to
explore the West, 56.
Ashburton, Lord, makes treaty
with United States for Great
Britain, 176.
Ashley, General William H., organizes Rocky Mountain Fur
Co., 139; secures H. B. Co. furs,
140; and the discovery of South
Pass, 142.
Assiniboin River, 97.
Astor, J. J., plans Western fur trade,
100; see Columbia River fur
trade; urges U. S. to secure
Astoria after treaty of 1814,
124; tries to combine with Missouri Fur Co., 139.
Astoria, founded, 103; described
by Franchere, 103 ; emporium
of Columbia River fur trade,
103-114 ; bought by N. W. Co.,
and afterward taken by the
British warship Raccoon, 113;
name changed to Fort George,
113 ;  restoration to U. S., 126.
Athabasca River, 97.
Australia, Cook explores, 23;
trade with California, 236.
Babcock, Dr. Ira L., goes to
Dalles mission, 171; elected
supreme and probate judge by
Willamette valley settlers,  199.
Baffin's Bay, 23.
Bagley, C. B., private library of,
244;  quoted, 281.
British  minister to
U. S., protests against the Ontario's being sent to Columbia, 125.
Baker, Dr. D. S., builds Walla
Walla and Columbia River Railway, 270.
City, 276, 284.
Balboa, discovers Pacific Ocean,
1, 2 ;  explores, 4, 27.
Ball, John, with Wyeth, first school
teachfer in Oregon, 122.
Bear, grizzly, Lewis's encounter
with, 80.
Bear Flag revolt, 232-233.
Bear River, trail along, 238.
Beaver, abundance of, on Columbia, 95.
Beaver, Astor's second ship to
Columbia, 107 ; sails to China,
Beers, Alanson, and family, 151. .
Bellingham Bay, coal found near,
Benton,  Thomas  H., on  Oregon
Question, 133 ;   writes letter to
Oregon people, 217; advocates
railroad to San Francisco Bay,
 , Fort, 261.
Bent's Fort, 220.
Bering, Vitus, Danish navigator in
service of Russia, discoveries,
22, 31.
   Strait, 1;  discovery of, 22,
23, 26.
Bible,   inquiry for,   by  Columbia
River Indians, 147-148.
Biddle,   Captain,    dispatched   to
Columbia, 124,  126.
 , Nicholas,  edits  Lewis  and
Clark's journals, 93.
Bighorn   Mountains,   crossed   by
Hunt's party,   166.
Bitter Root Mountains, crossed by
Lewis and Clark, 85, 86. INDEX
Blackfoot Indians, attitude toward Hunt's party, 106 ;   139.
Black Hawk, 250.
Blanchet, Rev. Father, mission of,
in Willamette valley, 173 ; attitude toward provisional government, 199.  .
Blockhouses, Fort Mandan a series
of, 78.
Blue Mountains, timber of, 269.
Blue Ridge Mountains, Jefferson's
home near, 50.
Boise, population of, 284.
 , Fort, 194, 209.
 valley, mining in, 257, 259;
agriculture in, 269.
Bonneville, Captain, fur trader,
operations in Oregon country,
Boone, Daniel, 50, 58, 76; interviewed by Bradbury, 106 ;   180.
Boston    Ships,"   on   California
coast, 229.
Boston merchants, engage in the
fur trade of N. W. Coast and
China, 37-39.
Bradbury, English naturalist, his
"Travels in America" quoted,
Brewer, -, missionary assistant,
goes to Dalles, 171.
British  Columbia,  gold   rush   to,
Broughton, Lieutenant, enters Columbia River, 42 ; takes possession of country for Great Britain,
Bryant, William Cullen, popularizes name " Oregon," 128.
Buchanan, James, writes to Oregon people, 217.
Buffalo, herds seen by Lewis and
Clark, 78; in camp at night,
80; hunted by emigrants,  189.
Burnett, Peter H., helps raise emigrating company, 184;  quoted,
184-185, 207, 208; letters to
N. Y. Herald, 195 ; " Recollections," 208; goes to California,
Burnt River, 257.
Cabrillo, Spanish explorer, explores
coast of California, 7, 8, 14, 31.
Calhoun, John C, and Tyler, 178;
opposes Oregon Territorial Bill,
216, 217.
California, origin of name, 6; discovery of, 7 ; coast explored, 7,
8,9; Drake in, 12, 13; Vizcaino explores, 14; planting of
presidios and missions, 16, 17,
18; northern explorations from,
18-21; ranches in, 161; conditions about 1846, 229 ; Sutter's
Fort, 230; Mexican War, conquest of California, 231-233;
gold discovery and its effects,
234-238;. on N. W., 239-248;
railroad built to, from the East,
272-273 ; from Oregon, 275 ;
recent growth of, compared with
that of N. W., 283.
 , Gulf of, explored, 6, 7 ; mentioned, 44, 45.
  Peninsula, discovery, attempted colony, 5 ; missions in,
Trail, 238.
Canal, Erie, 138.
 , Interoceanic, first suggested
rh 1523, 4.
Canton  (China),  becomes center
of the N. W. fur trade, 28.
Cape, East, named by Cook, 26.
 Flattery, saw-mill at, 242.
 of Good Hope, 13, 38.
 Horn, 33.
 Prince of Wales, 1, 26.
Carver, Captain Jonathan, travels
in the  West, 46-47;   uses the
name "Oregon," 47;   his map, 304
48-49; plan to seek the N. W.
Passage, 49.
Cascade Mountains, divide the Oregon country into an eastern and
a western section, 253; broken
through at one point by the
Columbia River, 117, 253.
Cascades of the Columbia, passed
by Lewis and Clark, 89 ; obstruction to navigation, 260.
Catholics. See Missions and Blanchet.
Cattle Company, Willamette, formation and effects of, 161-163.
Cauldron Linn, 107.
Cayuses.    See Whitman massacre.
Cedros Island, reached by Ulloa, 6.
Celilo, or Great Falls of Columbia
River, 89 ; obstructs navigation,
260; canal around, 294.
Central America, passage through
sought, 2, 3, 4.
Central Pacific Railway, 273. See
Champlain, French explorer, 43.
Champoeg, visited by Wilkes, 172 ;
settlers' convention at, to adopt
a plan of self-government, 202-
Charles the Fifth, 9.
Chillicothe, town in Ohio where
Oregon meetings were held in
\ 1843, 187.
China, trade with, in furs begun,
28; from U. S. opened, 36;
Ledyard's plan to trade with,
36-37; Boston merchants send
Columbia to Canton, 37 ; Astor's
project, 1 oi; Beaver sails for,
112; Russian trade with, 101 ;
the China trade and Oregon
question, 130 ; Chinese laborers
build  Central  Pacific  Railway,
27 j.
Chinook Indians, trade with Lewis
and Clark, 90.
Chittenden, Captain H. M., writes
a history of the fur trade, 138.
Churchill River, 23.
Cibola, Cities of, 6.
Cincinnati, 137.
Cities, growth of, in California,
236-237 ; in N. W., 283-285.
Civil War, effect of, on Pacific railroad projects, 272.
Clackamas, county of, 210.
Clark, George Rogers, Jefferson
writes to, about a transcontinental expedition, 52.
 , John, fur trader of Astor's
party, builds Spokane House,
 ,   Miss,   missionary   teacher,
goes to Nesqually mission, 171.
—,   William,  selected  as  com
panion by Lewis, 71 ; early
career of, 71—72; brother of
George Rogers Clark, 71 ; relations with Lewis on the journey,
72 ; appointed Indian agent for
the West, 92; receives Nez
Perces visitors, 198; death, 92.
See Lewis and Clark's Expedition.
Clark's Fork, of Columbia River,
85; D. Thompson builds fort
on, 109 ; Astor's men on, no ;
reached by steamboats, 260.
Clatsop, county of, 210.
 ,  Fort,   camp  of Lewis  and
Clark in Oregon, 90.
  Indians of lower Columbia,
Clay, Henry, 134.
Clayoquot Harbor, Columbia winters in, 38 ; Tonquin destroyed
in, 104-105.
Clearwater River, Lewis and Clark
embark at, 86 ; Lapwai mission
on, 154; gold mining on, 257,
259 ;  agriculture on, 269.
Cceur d'Alene Prairie, 255. INDEX
Colleges, in the N.W., 241.
Colorado River, discovered by
Alarcon, 6; alluded to, 44, 45.
Columbia and Lady Washington,
on N. W. coast, 37-42.
Columbia River, first seen by
Heceta, 21 ; Carver's lack of
knowledge of, name " Oregon "
applied to, 47 ; entered by Gray
in ship Columbia, given vessel's
name, 38-39 ; sought by Mackenzie overland, 97—98; explored by Lewis and Clark,
69-93 > occupied for trading
purposes by Astor, 99—114; controlled by N. W. and H. B.
Cos., 114-123; American traders
visit, 139—145; missions planted
on, 145-158 ; beginnings of
American colonization on, 144,
149-150; British desire boundary at, 127, 135, 211; main
portion of river falls to U. S. by
treaty of 1846, 216; navigation of, 260; improvement of,
 fur   trade, begun   by Astor
party in 1811, Astoria built,
102-103; N. W. Co.'s agents
build trading posts on upper
Columbia, but arrive at mouth
of river too late to prevent
American occupation, 108-109 >
ship Tonquin destroyed, 104—
105; Hunt's overland party, 105—
107; ship Beaver arrives at
Astoria, 107; Fort Okanogan
founded, 109-110; expansion of
trade, no—in ; news of war,
effect of, 111-113; N. W. Co.
in control, trade renewed, 115 ;
H. B. Co. absorbs N. W. Co., 116;
dominates fur trade of northern
half of North America, 116; Dr.
John McLoughlin in charge on
the Columbia, 117;  builds Fort
Vancouver as western emporium,
117—118; description of fort and
business at, 118-123; monopoly
methods, 123, 145; value of the
trade, 120.
Columbus, town in Ohio where an
Oregon convention was agitated
in 1843, ^3f 214.
Colville, trading post at, 119; mining near, 257, 259.
Commerce, influence of East India
trade on explorations, 3, 5 ;
Spanish, with Philippines, 9, 14;
of trans-Alleghany country with
New Orleans, 61, 62; cut off
by Spaniards, 63; influence on
Louisiana Purchase, 63—64; a
highway for, to the Pacific, see
Lewis and Clarke Expedition
and Oregon question ; Wyeth's
commercial scheme, 142-145 ;
between Hawaii and Oregon,
166, 169, 170; Fort Vancouver
as a market, 174; facilities for,
in early Oregon, 179, 207; on
Puget Sound, 212; in California,
229; importance of San Francisco, 236; her commercial influence on N. W., 236-237, 240,
241, 242, 243 ; of Puget Sound,
242, 243,244; of Inland Empire,
258-260, 262, 265, 266, 270; of
small towns, 279; of Spokane,
285; causes growth of cities,
289; Montana trade, 260-262;
of Portland, 262-279, 283; commercial development of Puget
Sound, 283-284; world commerce of Pacific N. W., 289, 294.
See Columbia River Fur Trade
and Missouri River.
Compact, government by, illustrated by Oregon provisional
government, 203.
Cone,   Rev.
missionary, 306
Congress. See Oregon question
and Oregon, Washington, and
Idaho territories.
Constitution, 102, 172-173.
Constitutional convention, in Oregon, 255 ; adoption of Constitution, 260.
Cook, Captain James, explores
N. W. Coast, 22-27, 28, 42, 48.
 Inlet, in Alaska, 28.
Coos Bay, settlements begun at,
248;  coal mining at, 280.
Coppermine River, explored by
Hearne, 23.
Coronado, 6.
Cortez, Hernando, explores Pacific
coast, 4, 5, 6, 7;  31.
Coues, Dr. Elliott, historian, his
muster roll of Lewis and Clark's
party, 75; editor of journals, 93,
Council Bluff, named by Lewis and
Clark, 77.
Cowlitz River, 117.
Cox, Ross, I Adventures," etc., 114.
Cuadra, Spanish navigator, on N.
W. Coast, 21, 25;  31.
Cushing, Caleb, report on Oregon
question, 167, 168.
Dakota, 260.
Dalles of Columbia, or Long Narrows, 89; native fish market,
94;  171, 256.
Dana, Richard H., "Two Years
before the Mast," 161.
Darien, 1, 2.
Dartmouth College, Ledyard attends, 33, 34.
"Deception Bay," named by
Meares, 39.
Democratic convention, 1844, endorses "Fifty-four-forty," 215.
Des Chutes River, Wyeth traps
beaver on, 145; followed by
1845 emigration, 210.
Discovery and Resolution, Cook's
ships, 23-26.
Douglas, James, factor of H. B.
Co., 175.
 , Stephen A., introduces Oregon Territory Bill, 217.
Downing, Susan, missionary, 151.
Drake,    Sir    Francis,    cruise    in
Pacific, 10-14.
Du  Bois  River, Lewis and Clark
camp at, 75.
Dunn, John, "Oregon Territory,"
etc., quoted, 121.
Dye,    Eva     Emery,    author    of
"Conquest," 75;  "McLoughlin
and Old Oregon," 118.
Edgecumbe, Mt, discovered, 21;
named, 25.
Edwards, P. L,, with Lee, 149;
in Willamette Cattle Co., 162.
Eells, Rev. G, missionary at
Tsimakane, 156.
Elizabeth, Queen, 10, 13.
Elm Grove, emigrant camp at,
Emigration, to Kentucky, Tennessee, etc., 58; necessary for safety
of Mississippi River, 65; to Missouri valley, 76; no need to
cross Rockies, 94; few had
crossed in 1827, 135; settlement of Oregon question waits
upon, 136; to middle West,
1820, 137, 138; early settlers
on Willamette, 149, 150; to
Oregon stimulated, 163; political conditions favoring, 167;
Oregon Provisional Emigration
Society, 168-170; Jason Lee
promotes, 171, 172; condition
of emigrants of 1841, 172-174;
White's company, 175, 176;
the great emigration, 177-195;
causes of, 177-180; organization,   182,   184,   185,   190;   the INDEX
march, cow-column, 185-192;
at Fort Hall, 192, 193; the road
westward, 193, 194; Whitman
as guide, 194; reaches Willamette, 195; sources for, 195;
effect on provisional government, 196, 204; on later emigrations, 206, 207; of 1844,
207-208; of 1845, 208-209;
new road followed, 209—210;
later, see Puget Sound, California, Inland Empire, Southern
Oregon, Railways.
Empress of China, ship which
opened the China trade, 36.
England,    15,    28,    29,   33,   34,
Exploration of Missouri and Columbia valleys. See Lewis and
Clark Expedition, Missouri River,
and Columbia River.
  of the North.    See Hearne,
Samuel,    and   Mackenzie,   Sir
of the Pacific coast, by Balboa
and his companions, from Panama
to the Gulf of Fonseca, 4; by
Cortez, from Mexico to the California Peninsula, 5; by Ulloa, to
latitude 280, 6; by Cabrillo and
Ferelo, to about latitude 420, 7-
9; by Drake, 10-14; by Vizcaino, 14; by Russians in Alaska,
to about 6o°, 16, 21, 22; by
Perez, from Monterey to about
540 40', 18-20; by Heceta and
Cuadra, to about 580, 20-21; by
Cook, from 440 to above Cape
Prince of Wales, 22—27.
— of the West, by Champlain
and Nicolet, from Canada to
Wisconsin, 43-44; by Joliet,
Marquette, and La Salle, to the
Gulf of Mexico, 44; Verendrye
discovers the Rocky Mountains,
45-46; the French hope to reach
the Pacific via the Missouri and
a west-flowing river, 45-46;
Carver in the West, see Carver.
Farnham, T. J., visits Oregon, 166;
writes on California and Oregon,
Felice, British ship seized by Spaniards at Nootka Sound, 37.
Ferelo, Spanish explorer, with Cabrillo, 7, 8.
Fisheries, whale, on N. W. Coast,
130, 207; Wyeth's salmon fishing project, 144,145, 169; value
of, 179, 289.
Flathead Indians, mission planned
for, by Methodists, 148; traders
among, 109, no.
Fletcher, Francis, historian of
Drake's   voyage,   10;    quoted,
Florida, 16; Jefferson tries to buy
West Florida, 64;   purchase of
Florida, 128;  Spanish rights on
Pacific granted to United States
in treaty with Spain, 128.
Floyd, Charles, with Lewis and
Clark, dies on journey, 77.
 , John, begins Oregon agitation
in Congress, 129; speech on
Oregon bill, 130—131; his predictions fulfilled, 262.
Fonseca, Gulf of, reached from
Panama, 4.
Forests of the N. W. See Lumbering.
"Forty-niners," 235.
Fox River, 44.
France, 9, 15, 43-46; attempt to
control the West, 63; sells Louisiana to U. S., 68.
Franchere, Gabriel, clerk of P. F.
Co., "Narrative," 102-103, Ir4>
goes to Canada, 113.
Franciscans, founders of California
missions, 17—18. 3o8
Fraser, Simon, British explorer,
descends Fraser River to the
Pacific, 98.
  River, Mackenzie navigates,
Fremont, John C, first "path-
finding" expedition, 176; in
California, 232, 233.
Frost, Rev. J. H., missionary, 171.
Fuca, Juan de, legend of, concerning strait, 25.
Fur trade, of Canada, begun by
Champlain, 43; plan of French
to trade across the continent,
46; British H. B. Co. organized,
its trade, 96-97 ; N. W. Co. succeeds French traders of Canada,
97; its westward operations, 97-
98; Mackenzie's trading project,
98; Northwesters threaten to take
possession of the Columbia, 98.
See Columbia River, Hudson's
Bay Company, and Northwest
 , of the N. W. Coast, begun
by Cook's men, 29; British
traders, Hanna, Meares, etc., 29-
32; occasions the Nootka Sound
controversy, 32-33; Americans
interested in N. W. Coast, Led-
yard's trading project, 35-36;
Boston merchants send ships
to the N. W. Coast, 37-39. See
Columbia River.
- , of the United States, as old
as the American colonies, influence of, in early times, 95-96;
government trading houses, 65;
lack of organization prior to
Lewis and Clark's exploration,
96; effects of exploration on, 100,
138-139. See Astor, Columbia
River, and Missouri River.
Gallatin, Albert, negotiates treaty
with Great Britain, 134-136,159.
Gama, Vasco da, 3.
Genet, French minister to U. S.,
his plans, 63.
George, Fort.    See Astoria.
Gillespie, Lieutenant A., with Fremont in California, 231.
Golden Hind.    See Drake.
Good Hope, Cape of, 13.
Government, first American, on the
Pacific. See Oregon provisional
Grand Ronde valley, entered by
Hunt, 107; crossed by emigrants, 194; settlement of and
conditions in, 266-267.
Gray's Harbor, discovered by Gray,
38; native of, reports Tonquin
disaster, 104.
Gray, Robert, on ship Lady Washington, 37; on Columbia to China
and to Boston, 38; discovers
Columbia River, 38-40.
Gray, William H., with Whitman,
153; goes East and returns with
wife, 156; helps form provisional
government, 201.
Great Britain, 16; sends out Captain Cook to explore N. W.
Coast, 24, 29; Nootka convention, 32, 34, 48, 49, 53; interest
in the West, 64, 109, 111; and
the Oregon Question, 124-126,
163, 164, 168, 175, 176, 177-
178; hopes to secure northern
part of Oregon, 211; U. S. willing to give it up, 213, 214, 215;
concedes 49th parallel boundary,
treaty, 216.
Greeley, Horace, quoted, 206; editorial on Whitman, 220.
Green Bay, 44.
Green River vallev, 106.
Grenville Point, Heceta takes possession for Spain at, 20.
Guerriere, 173.
Gulf of Mexico, 44. St<itfci#«i««jiy
Hall,   Fort,   176;    emigration   of
1843 at» I93-' 94-
Hancock, Samuel, 241, 242.
Hanna, James, begins N. W. Coast
fur trade, 29.
Haro, Spanish sea captain, 31.
Haswell's diary, quoted, 37.
Healy, P. J., owner of California
manuscripts, 233.
Hearne, Samuel, explorations of,
Coppermine  River, 23, 48.
Heceta, Spanish navigator, 20; discovers Columbia River, 21, 31,
Helena, mining camp at, 258.
Henry-Thompson Journals, The,"
109, 114.
Hines, Rev. Gustavus, missionary,
171; address at Champoeg, 202.
Holman, F. V., 169.
Holland, 15.
Hood River valley, illustrates effects of irrigation, 292.
Howard, British sea captain, 15.
Howse Pass, discovered by D.
Thompson, 108.
Hudson Bay, 16; port at, 19; York
Factory, 116.
Hudson's Bay Company. See Fur
trade of Canada and Columbia
River fur trade. Description of
the trade at Hudson Bay, 97;
conflict with N. W. Co., Red
River Colony of Lord Selkirk,
116; consolidation with N. W.
Co., 116.
Hudson, Henry, perishes in the
search for Northwest Passage,
Humboldt River, route of Central
Pacific Railway, 273.
Hunt, Wilson Price, partner of
P. F. Co., 105; gathers party for
Columbia, 105; the overland
journey, 106-107; sails from
Astoria   in   ship   Beaver,   111;
trade at Sitka, 112; goes to
Hawaii, 112; to Columbia, atti-
tude on affairs there, 112-113;
leaves Columbia River, 113.
Idaho, mining in, 258, 259; agriculture, 269; plan to unite northeastern Washington with northern Idaho, etc., 282; admitted
into the Union, 284; cities of,
284; population in 1870, 279;
present extraordinary growth of,
due in part to irrigation, 292.
Illinois, Oregon emigration movement in, 170, 183.
Independence, town in Missouri,
starting point of emigration parties going to Oregon, California,
Santa Fe, etc., 183.
Indian affairs, for the West, Clark
in charge of, 92.
 War, Cayuse, causes of, 222-
223; the Whitman massacre,
223; captives ransomed, 223-
224; the Oregon provisional
government proclaims war, 224;
preparations and military operations, 224-225; effect on Congress, 225-227; the Rogue River
War, causes and results, 248-
249; other wars, 249-251; effects
on emigration to Inland Empire,
255, 256-
Indians, California, 8, 13, 17, 18;
Northwest, 19, 20. See Fur trade,
Missions, and Indian War.
Inland Empire, source for the study
of, 244;   discussed, 253-270; its
extent and character, 253-254;
agricultural   possibilities,    254-
255;   effect of Indian War on
settlement of, 256;  discovery of
gold in and its effect, 257-258;
" tenderfeet "   and   "yondersid-
ers," 258; pack trains, 258-260;
steamboats on upper Columbia, /
wagon roads, 260—262; competition between St. Louis and
Portland for Montana trade, 261—
262; agriculture in Walla Walla
valley, 264-266; in Grand Ronde
valley, 266, 269; railroad agitation, 270.
Iowa, emigration from, to Oregon,
Iphigenia, British ship, seized at
Nootka by Spaniards, 37.
Irrigation, employed by missionaries at interior missions, 156;
development of, in Pacific N. W.,
Irving, Washington, "Astoria" referred to, 106, 107, 114; "Captain Bonneville," 142.
Isaac Todd, N. W. Co.'s ship, arrives at Fort George, 115; brings
cattle to Columbia River, 121.
Jackson, Andrew, President, interest in Pacific coast, 160; sends
Slacum to Oregon, 160-161.
•'    ' , David, fur trader, 139, 140,
, John R., settles near Puget
Sound, 211
Jackson Creek, in southern Oregon, gold found on, 247.
Jacksonville, Oregon, founded, 247.
James the First, instructions to
London Co. about exploration
toward the Pacific, 43.
Jamestown, 15.
Jefferson, Thomas, two sources of
interest in the West, 49-51; his
letter to Steptoe, 51-52; letter
to G. R. Clark, 52; relations
with Ledyard, 53-56; • with Mi-
chaux, 56; concerned for safety
of the Mississippi, 63-64; tries
to buy New Orleans and West
Florida, 64; connection between
defense of the Mississippi and
Jefferson's plan to extend the
Indian trade, 64-66; and the
proposal to send an exploring
expedition up the Missouri, 66;
outline of the message of January 18, 1803, which provides for
a government expedition " to the
Western Ocean," 64-67; Jefferson buys Louisiana, relation of
this incident to the proposed expedition, 68; sends Lewis and
Clark, 69-93.
John, Chief, 250.
John Day's River, mining in, 257;
packing to, 259.
Johnson, Elvira, missionary, 151.
 , seaman, settled at Champoeg, 172.
Joliet, French trader and explorer,
Jones, T. Ap. C, commodore, takes
Monterey, 232.
Joint-Occupation, Treaty of, 127;
definition of, 127; 2d Treaty of,
Journals of Spanish priests with
Perez, 18; Jefferson's instructions to Lewis concerning, 72;
publication of Lewis and Clark's,
93; Thompson's, 108; Henry-
Thompson's, 109, 114; Wyeth's,
edited by F. G. Young, 145.
Kamiah, interior mission, 156.
Kamiakin, Indian chief, 250.
Kamtchatka, 54.
Kamloops, fort of H. B. Co. on
Fraser River, 119.
Kansas City, 183.
Kansas River, traders from, seen
by Lewis and Clark, 76.
Kearny, General S. W., in California, 233.
Kelley, Hall J., begins Oregon agitation, 129; influences Wyeth,
142, 147; visits Oregon, 162. Utititgt&t
Kendrick, Captain John, 37.
Kenton, Simon, 180.
Kentucky,   early    settlement    of,
population in 1800, 58.
Klamath  Lake, Fremont   returns
from, to California, 232.
Klickitat, 265.
Kootenai, fur-trading station, no;
mining region of, 257, 259.
La Charette, Boone's home, 75,106.
Lady Washington, ship, on N.W.
Coast, 37.
La Grande, town in Grand Ronde
valley, 266.
Lane, General Joseph, appointed
governor of Oregon Territory,
sketch, 227-228; 235; introduces Washington Territory Bill
in Congress, 245; services in
Rogue River War, 249; settles
in southern Oregon, 246; 251.
Langley, fort of H. B. Co. on
Fraser River, 119.
Lapwai.    See Missions.
La Salle, explorer of the Mississippi, 44.
Ledyard, John, early life, 33-34;
with Captain Cook, 34; back to
America, seeks support for trading expedition to N.W. Coast, 35-
36; publishes account of Cook's
expedition, 36; in France, 53-
54; meets Jefferson, 55; plans
to explore North America from
Nootka Sound eastward, 55;
his Siberian journey, 55—56; in
Africa, death, 56.
Lee, Rev. Daniel, missionary, with
Jason Lee, 149.
■ , Rev. Jason, founds Oregon
mission, 148-149; returns to the
East, 165; his influence on Congress, 167; raises colonizing
party for Oregon, reaches the
Columbia on Lausanne, 171.
Leschi, Indian chief, 250.
Leslie, Rev. David, missionary, 151.
Lewis, Captain Meriwether, early
life, 69-70; Jefferson's private
secretary, 70; character, 70;
chosen to lead exploring expedition, 69; return journey to Washington, 92; governor of Missouri
Territory, mysterious death, 92.
See Lewis and Clark's Expedition.
  and Clark's Expedition, origin of, 57-68; appointment of
leaders, 69-71; instructions, 72^
74; preparations, the party, 74—
75; the start, 75-76; Indian
council, 77; at Fort Mandan,
78-79; from Mandan to the
Rockies, 79-82; Shoshones, Sacajawea, 82; the west slope of
the Rockies, 82-86; on the Columbia, 86-89; reach the Pacific,
.89; at Fort Clatsop, 89-90; return journey, 92; sources for the
study of, 93.
 River, discovered and named
by Clark, 85 ; name " Snake
River" not used in this book,
River Desert, 107.
Liberty, Missouri town, outfitting
place for trapping parties, 153.
Linn, Dr. Lewis F., U. S. Senator
from Missouri, active in behalf
of Oregon, his report on, 164-
165; 166; 168; his bill passes
Senate, 182; popular agitation
to secure passage through the
House, 183, 213-214.
Livingston, Robert R., instructed
to buy New Orleans and West
Florida, 64.
Lolo Trail, followed by Lewis and
Clark, 85.
Lovejoy, A. L., companion of Dr.
Whitman, 219, 220.
:'. -,ta«-t"7r«r 312
Louisiana, conditions in Lower, 63,
64; purchase of, 68 ; transfer of
Upper, witnessed by Captain
Lewis, 75.
Louisville, important western town,
Lumbering, exceptional advantages
for, in Pacific N. W., 289-290;
earlier development, see Manufacturing.
Mackenzie, Sir Alexander, explores
Mackenzie River, also a route to
Pacific, 97 ; fur-trading project
of, 98, 99 ;  nearly realized, 116.
Mackinac, Hunt secures men from,
Magellan, Spanish navigator who
first rounded South America, 2.
Malheur River, 209, 250.
May Dacre, Wyeth's ship, 144,
Mayflower Compact, 203.
Mammoth, Jefferson's efforts to get
bones of, 51.
Mandan, villages visited by St.
Louis traders, 75; reached by
Lewis and Clark, 78.
 , Fort, Lewis and Clark's camp,
winter of 1804-1805, 78-79,
Manufacturing ships, 4; first built
on N.W. Coast, 37, 38, 49 ; ark,
or flatboat, 61; Lewis and Clark
build canoes, 86; ships built at
Vancouver, 121 ; on Willamette,
Star of Oregon, 172; on upper
Columbia, 260; importance of
shipbuilding industry, 289 ; lumber mills, at Vancouver, 121 ;
opportunities for, in Willamette
valley, 179 ; erection of, promoted by gold rush to California,
240; on Puget Sound, beginnings of, 242 ; later development
.of, 280; in Grand Ronde valley,
269 j flour mills, at Vancouver,
121 ; erected by missionaries
on upper Columbia, 156 ; The
Mill (Salem), 173; in Walla
Walla valley, 265 ; special development at Spokane, 285;
other lines of manufacturing,
Marquette, Father, French priest
and explorer, 44, 46.
Marshall, J. W., discovers gold in
California, 134.
Martinez, Spanish navigator, seizes
British ships at Nootka Sound,
McCarver,   M.  M.,  204;   quoted,
McLoughlin, Dr. John, arrives at
Fort George, 117 ; builds Fort
Vancouver, 117; management
of fur trade, 117—123; entertains Jedediah Smith, 141,
Wyeth, 145, Dr. Parker, 152,
the Whitman party, 154 ; equips
men for farming, 150 ; promotes
temperance society, 151 ; subscribes to the Willamette Cattle
Co., 162; makes loans of stock
and supplies to American settlers, 174 ; tries to prevent them
from settling north of the Columbia, 211 ; accepts the provisional government, 212.
M'Dougal, D., P. F. Co. partner,
Meares, Captain John, N.W. Coast
trader, ship seized by Spaniards,
32, 39-
Meek, Joe, first sheriff of Oregon,
202; sent to Washington, 225,
227;   appointed U. S. marshal,
228, 235.
 ,   Stephen  H. L.,  misguides
emigration of 1845, 209.
Mendoza, Viceroy of Mexico, sends
Alarcon, Cabrillo, and Ferelo to
explore Pacific coast, 6, 7. INDEX
Mexico, 4, 5, 6, 9.
Michaux, Andre, has project to
explore the West, failure, 56.
Missions, in Lower California, 17 ;
in California, planting of, 17—
18; French project for on
Pacific, 46; in middle West,
146-147 ; the Nez Perces delegation to St. Louis, 147—148.
■ , Methodist, in Oregon, beginnings on Willamette, 148-
149; influence on Willamette
settlers, 149—150; progress of,
151 ; reinforcements, 151, 165,
171—172 ; expansion of effort,
171—172;    becomes   a   colony,
 ,   Congregational   or   Presby
terian, Parker's tour into the
Oregon country, 151, 153 ; mission sites chosen, 152, 153 ; the
Whitman party, 153 ; journey of,
154;  begins two stations, 154-
155 ;  expansion  of work,   155,
156 ; social conditions, 156—158 ;
problems of, 218, 219 ; action
of American Board, see Whitman ; decline of, 1843 to 1847,
221, 222; the Whitman massacre, 222, 224; break-up of
interior missions, 224.
—, Catholic, in Willamette val
ley, 173 ; political influence of,
199 ;  in interior, 218, 219.
Mississippi River, 16 ; explored
by French, 43-44; geographical effect of, 45; Missouri branch,
45—46 ; West dependent on, 61,
62 ; early commerce of, 61, 62 ;
opposition of Spain on, 62, 63 ;
Jefferson's interest in, 63-68.
See Lewis and Clark's Expedi-
Missouri, Oregon emigrations rendezvous in, 153, 183, 208.
1 River, see Mississippi ; prom
ises a route to the Pacific,
45-46 ; Carver's plans, 47, 49 ;
exploration of, see Lewis and
Clark's Expedition; a commercial route to the Pacific, 130,
262 ; fur trade of, 96, 97, 100,
I38> 139, 141 ; road from, to
Walla Walla, 261 ; railroad
route to Pacific, 272.
M'Kenzie, Donald, fur trader with
Astor and N. W. Co., no, in,
115, 116.
Mofras, Duflot de, visits Oregon,
Moluccas, importance of spice
trade with, 3, 5.
Monopoly. See Hudson Bay Co.,
Monroe, James, helps secure treaty
with France in 1803, 64.
Monterey, harbor discovered, 8;
fortified mission at, 18; base
for northern explorations, 18-20.
Montreal, Astor secures men from,
105, 109.
Morris, Robert, favors Ledyard, 26.
M'Tavish, J. G., N. W. Co. fur
trader, brings war news to
Columbia, n 1 ; secures transfer
of Astoria to N. WT. Co., 112-
Mullan, Captain John, builds Mul-
lan Road, 261.
Napoleon, secures Louisiana from
Spain, 57;  sells to U. S., 68.
Nebraska, battleship built at
Seattle, 2S9.
Nelson River, route of fur trade to
Hudson Bay, 98, 99.
Nesmith, J. W., with 1843 emigration, 185; 204; at Northern
Pacific Railroad celebration, 277.
Netal River, now Lewis and Clark's
River, site of Fort Clatsop, 90.
New Archangel (Sitka), 101. 314
New Orleans, the market for the
trans-Alleghany West, 61 ; Jefferson tries to buy, 64.
New York, Astor seeks to center
fur and China trade at, ioo-ioi.
Nez Perces Indians, send delegation to St. Louis, 147-148; 151,
Nicaragua Lake, discovered, 4.
Nicolet, Jean, French trader, 43.
Nolan, Philip, Jefferson writes to
about wild horses, 51.
Nootka convention, treaty between
Spain and Britain, 32.
——— Sound, discovered by Perez,
19; Cook names, 25; and the
Columbia, 28-42; first sale of
sea-otter skins in Canton, 28;
effects of, 29; early fur trade,
30; Nootka Sound the center
of, 30-31 ; Russia pushes down
the coast, 31 ; Spanish rights
threatened, 31 ; Spain fortifies
Nootka Sound, 32; Spaniards
seize British vessels at Nootka,
32; the Nootka Sound controversy and its settlement, 32-
33; influence upon American
interests in the Pacific N. W., 33.
North Dakota, Fort Mandan in, 78.
Northwest America, first sea-going
vessel built on N. W. Coast, 37.
 Coast, definition of, 20; and
Alaska, 15-27.
  Company, origin and growth
°f> 97 '■> occupation of the country west of the Rockies, 97-98,
108-109; acquisition of Astoria
as a result of the War of 1812,
III-113 ; consolidation with
H. B. Co., 115-116.
— Passage, 3, 16, 22.
Ogden, Peter Skeen, factor of
H. B. Co., 175 ; saves Waiilatpu
captives, 223, 224.
Ohio, population in 1800, 58;
Oregon meetings in, 183, 213-
 Statesman, newspaper, source
of   information   on   Cincinnati
Oregon convention of 1843, 214.
Okanogan, Fort, founded by Astor
party, in.
Olympia, beginnings of, 212 ; prosperity after the gold rush, 241,
242 ; territorial government begun at, 245 ; population in 1870,
Onalaska, or Unalaska, Ledyard
explores, 34.
Ontario, warship sent to Columbia,
124, 126.
Orbit, brig which began the lumber trade from Puget Sound to
California, 242.
Oregon Historical Society, publications of, 145, 195, 208, 281.
 , origin of name, 47, 128.
 provisional government, early
political conditions, 197; first
step toward self-government,
198-199 ; cause of failure, 199-
200; new agitation, the " wolf-
meeting," 200; Champoeg meeting, 201-202; officers chosen,
202; the first organic law, 203;
government by compact, 203;
weakness of the first provisional
government, 204-205; saved by
the great emigration, 204-205;
its final success, 206; the H. B.
Co. accepts its authority, 211-
212; effect on Oregon question,
213; undertakes a war against
the Cayuse Indians, 224; terminates, 228.
 question, situation on Columbia when War of 1812 came,
108-113; sale of Astoria to N.W.
Co., 113; taken by Raccoon, 113;
question of its restoration under INDEX
treaty of Ghent, 124; British
rights first asserted in 1817,125;
U. S. to have right of possession
of Columbia till question of
ownership could be settled, 125—
126 ; Joint-Occupation Treaty,
126-127; first discussion of
boundary, 127-128; lack of
national interest in Oregon,
Bryant's "Thanatopsis," Kelley's
pamphlets, 128-129; in Congress, 129; Floyd's resolution,
report, and bill, 129; second
bill, debate, Floyd's argument,
129-131; Bailies's predictions,
131-132; Tracy's "practical"
views, 132 ; defeat of bill, 133 ;
Benton's Senate speech, 132;
first diplomatic discussion over
Oregon, 134; second diplomatic
discussion, Gallatin, 135-136;
reasons for failure, 136; the
question dropped, 1827—1837,
159; Slacum in Oregon, 160— 162;
report, 163; Oregon discussion
resumed in Congress, Linn's bill
and report, 164-165; Jason Lee
in the East, T. J. Farnham's visit
to OregOn, petitions and memorials, 165-168; Cushing's report,
167; Oregon Provisional Emigration Society, 168-170; local
emigrating companies, 170 ;
Lee's colony of 1840, 171-172 ;
Oregon in 1841, 172-175 ;
White's company of emigrants,
1842, 175-176; the Ashburton
Treaty, 176; the great emigration
of 1843, 177-195; see Emigration.— Establishment of provisional government for Oregon;
see provisional government. —
Effect on Oregon question, 213;
Oregon convention at Cincinnati,
213-214 ; " Fifty-four-forty,"
214-215 ;   Polk   President,  his
attitude, 215; Britain offers compromise, 216.
— State, agitation for statehood,
adoption of Constitution, and
admission into the Union, 251—
— Steam Navigation Company
opens river trade with Wallula,
259; extends operations on upper
Columbia, 260, 262; becomes the
Oregon Railway and Navigation
Co., 276.
— Territory,   President    Polk
recommends creation of, 216,
218, 227; bills for, 216, 218,
227; slavery influence in Congress opposes, 217, 218, 227;
passage, 227 ; General Lane,
first governor, 227; government
inaugurated, 228 ; terminates,
— Trail, 238.
Oregonian and Indians Advocate,
Oregonian, The Sunday, of Portland, Oregon, reprints Lee and
Frost's " First Ten Years of Oregon," 149.
Orient, trade with, from Pacific
N.W., 295.    I       j
Pacific Fur Company.    See Astor
and Columbia River Fur Trade.
Palouse,  wheat-raising region of
Pacific N.W., 285.
Panama    Canal,   affects    Pacific
N. W., 294.
 , Isthmus of, 1, 235, 274.
Parker, Dr. Samuel, A. B. C. F. M.,
missionary,     explores    Oregon,
Peace River, ascended by Mackenzie, 97-99.
Pedlar, ship used by Hunt, 113.
Pen d'Oreille, Lake, N. W. Co.
fort at, 109; navigation to, 260. 3i6
Perez, Juan, explores N. W. Coast,
18-20, 31.
Perkins, Rev. H. K. W., missionary, 151.
Philippines, discovered by Magellan, conquest and commerce
with, 9.
Pioneer and Democrat, Puget
Sound newspaper, used as
source, 244, 265.
Pitman, Miss, 151.
Platte River, Oregon Trail along,
141, 185, 238.
Pocatello, city in Idaho, population of, 284.
Polk, James K., elected President,
213; settles Oregon question,
Population, of middle West about
1800, 58; in 1820, 137; of Oregon, in 1841, 172; in 1846, 210;
of California, in 1850 and i860,
237; of the N. W., in 1850 and
i860, 237; of Oregon and
Washington, in i860, 252; of
the Inland Empire, 266, 269;
distribution of, in N. W., about
1870, 278-280; later growth,
283—285; prospects for increase
due to irrigation, manufacturing,
etc., 292-294.
Portland, a new village at time of
California gold rush, 240; emporium of trade to Inland Empire, 262; metropolis of the
N. W., 1870, 279; progress of
population, 283.
Portneuf River, trail along, 238.
Port Townsend, lumber mill at, 242.
Portugal, 3; flag of, used by
British N. W. traders, 29, 32.
Powder River, mining on, 257,
259; agriculture on, 269.
Prevost, J. B., receives Columbia
country from British at Astoria,
Prickly Pear River, 259.
Princess Royal, British ship seized
by Spaniards at Nootka, 32.
Puget Sound, Fort Nesqually and
Methodist Episcopal mission on,
171; first settlement on, 210—
212; California miners from, 235;
commercial progress of, 236,
241; lumbering on, 242; discovery of coal, 242—243; increased population, 242, 244;
demands separate territory, 244,
245; project of railroad to, 271;
population on, 279; lumbering,
280, 281; social conditions, importation of women from the
East, 281; growth of cities on,
283, 284.
 Agricultural Company, 211.
 Herald, used as source, 244.
" Quarterly," of Oregon Historical
Society, 195, 208, 281.
Raccoon, British warship, takes
Astoria, 113.
Railways, 61; inland country waits
for, 270; Walla Walla and Columbia River line, 270 ; age of,
in Pacific N. W., 271; early
Pacific railway projects, Asa
Whitney, 271; George Wilkes,
271—272; influence of Civil War
on, 272; first Pacific railway
completed to San Francisco Bay,
273; effect of, 273-274; insufficient for N. W., 274; connecting lines planned, 274, 275;
Oregon-California Railway, 275;
Henry Villard, 275-277; Oregon Railway and Navigation Co.,
276; Northern Pacific completed, 277; later railway building, 278; effect of, 278-285.
Resolution and Discovery, Cook's
ships, 23. INDEX
River of the West, early ideas concerning, 43-44; relation to Missouri, 45, 46; Carver's report
and map, 46—49; Jefferson and,
53.    See Columbia.
" Rocky Mountain Exploration,"
by Reuben Gold Thwaites,
quoted, 72.
Rocky Mountains, Verendrys discovers, 46: crossed by Lewis
and Clark, 82; difference in
character of east and west slopes,
82, 84, 92; Mackenzie crosses
by Peace River, 97; David
Thompson crosses by Howse
Pass, 108; eastern boundary of
Oregon, 127; a supposed inaccessible barrier to westward
emigration, 132; explored by
Long, 133; American fur traders
enter, 139; Jedediah Smith
crosses to California and to Oregon,. 140-141; wagons taken
into, 1830, 141; discovery of
South Pass, 141; first wagons to
cross, 142; road opened to Fort
Hall, 144; completed to Columbia, 1843, I93*
Rogers, Rev. C, missionary, 156.
Rogue River valley receives settlers, 247.
 War.    See Indian War.
Roseburg, Oregon and California
Railway completed to, 275.
Ross,  Alexander,  eterk  of P.  F.
Co.,  at   Okanogan,   th<
Hunters," quoted, no;   114.
Rush, Richard, negotiates with
Britain on Oregon, 134, 135.
Russia, explorations of, in Alaska,
16, 20, 22, 25; government of,
arrests Ledyard, 54; treaty with
U. S., 128; Astor's trade with
Russians in Alaska, 101, 112;
H. B. Co.'s trade'with, 121.
Sacajawea, guide   to   Lewis and
Clark, 75, 82.
Sacramento valley, 231.
Salem, origin of, 172, 173; constitutional convention at, 251.
Salmon River, Captain Clark descends, 85;  mining on, 257, 259.
San Carlos, mission of, 18.
Sandwich Islands, Cook discovers,
24; account of, relations with
Oregon and California, 167.
San Diego Harbor, discovered, 7;
named, 14; fortified, mission at,
17, 18.
San Francisco, becomes the commercial emporium of Pacific
coast, 236; population, 237.
San Jacinto (Mt. Edgecumbe), 21,
San Miguel, Gulf of, where Balboa
- reaches the Pacific, 1;   Bay of,
later called San Diego, 7; Island
of, 8.
Santa Fe, possible route to Pacific
by way of, 53.
Santa Marguerita, a discovery made
by Perez, 19.
Santiago, exploring ship of Perez
and Heceta, 18, 20.
Saskatchewan River, 97.
Scribner's Magazine cited, 90.
Sea-otter, importance of, 28, 29,
Seattle, beginnings of, 242; shipload of women arrive at, 281;
her marvelous growth in twenty
years, 284; battleship Nebraska
built at, 289; importance of
Alaska trade, 284.
Selkirk, Lord, founds Red River
colony, 116.
Serra, Father Junipero, founds California missions, 17.
Shepard, missionary, 151.
She Whaps River and Lake, fur
trade upon, no.
ttx* iiAtinn!i*ili: 3i8
Shively, J. M., Oregon emigration
agent at Washington, 182.
Shoshone Indians, aid Lewis and
Clark, 82.
Siberia, Ledyard's journey in, 55.
Sierras, gold found in, 234.
Simmons, M. T., pioneer settler on
Puget Sound, 211, 212.
Simpson, Sir George, governor of
H. B. Co., 117; visits Oregon,
Siskiyou Mountains, crossed by
Oregon men going to California,
234;" railway across, 275.
Sitka, 101.
Slacum, W. A., sent to Pacific coast,
160; visits Willamette valley,
160-161; promotes cattle company, 161-162; returns to U. S.
and reports, 163.
Smith, A. B., missionary, 156.
 , Jedediah, 119; visits California, 140; crosses to Oregon,
141; attacked by Umpqua Indians, 141; at Vancouver, 141;
takes wagons to Rocky Mountains, 141.
Snake River.    See Lewis River.
Society Islands, Wyeth's ship
wrecked at, 143.
Sonora, Cuadra's ship, 20, 21.
South Pass.   See Rocky Mountains.
  Sea, discovered by  Balboa,
1, 2;  explored, 5, 44, 45.
Sowles, Captain, in charge of ship
Beaver, 112.
Spain, her power on the Pacific, 9,
10; decline of, 15, 16; plans of,
16, 17; executes plans, 17-21;
gives up exclusive claim to N. W.
Coast, 32; treaty with U. S., 128.
Spalding, Rev. H. H., joins Whitman, 153; wife an invalid on
journey, 154; they settle at
Lapwai mission, 154-155; his
account of the mission, 221.
Spectator, The, New York newspaper used as source, 220.
Spokane, beginnings of, and account of development, 285.
    House,   P.  F.  Co.   trading
station, built by Clark, in.
 River, no. '
Star of Oregon, a vessel built on
Willamette, m 1841, 172.
St. Elias, named, 25.
Steptoe, Jefferson writes letter to,
Stevens, General Isaac I., appointed
governor of Washington Territory, 245-246; sketch of, 245-
246; opinion of inland country,
255; explores Northern Pacific
Railroad route, opinion of, 272;
his treaties with Indian tribes,
255-256; "Life of," by Hazard
Stevens, 246.
St. James, H. B. Co. fort, 119.
St. Louis, Captain Lewis at, 75;
important western trade center,
138, 139.
Stock-raising, beginnings of in
N.W., 121; advantages of Willamette valley for, 160; Willamette Cattle Co., 161-163;
favored land for, 178; in Inland
Empire, 254, 279; dairying,
292; in southern Oregon, 246,
1 Strait," the search for a, 2, 3.
Strong and Schafer, " Government
of American People " cited, 203.
Stuart, David, P. F. Co. partner,
builds Fort Okanogan, 109-110.
 , Robert, P. F. Co. partner,
sent East from Astoria, wanders
in Rocky Mountains, 110.
Sublette, William L., Rocky Mountain fur trader, 139,140,141,143.
Sutter, Captain John A., settles in
California, 230, 233, 234.
Sutter's Fort, 230-231. INDEX
Tacoma, beginnings, population in
1870, 281; rapid growth, 283-
Taos, 220.
Tecumseh, Indian chief, 250.
Tennessee,   population   in   1800,
" Thanatopsis," popularizes the
name " Oregon," 128.
Thompson, David, geographer of
N. W. Co., appears at Astoria,
108; discovers Howse Pass, 108;
plants forts on upper Columbia,
109; opposes P. F. Co., 109;
journal quoted by Dr. Coues,
Thorn, Captain Jonathan, in charge
of Tonquin, 102; at mouth of
Columbia, 103; at Clayoquot,
trouble with Indians, death, 104,
Three Forks, of the Missouri,
Lewis and Clark at, 81.
Thwaites, Dr. Reuben Gold, quoted,
72; publishes plan of Fort Qat-
. sop, 90; edits Lewis and Clark's
journals, 93;  John B. Wyeth's
book, 145.
Tonquin, Astor's first ship to the
Columbia, 102; loss of men at
mouth of river, 103; northern
cruise, destruction of, 104-105.
Tracy, Rev. Frederick P., editor
of Oregonian and Indian*s Advocate, 169.
 ,  of New York, speech on
Floyd's bill, 132-133.
Trappers, American, sent to Rocky
Mountains by Ashley, 139; come
in contact with H. B. Co. trappers, 139-140; party of settlers
in Willamette valley, 172.
Tribune, the New York, cited,
206, 220.
Tsimakane, mission on Spokane
River, 156.    See Missions.
Tualatin, County, in Oregon, 210;
Academy, 241.
Turner,   Professor   Frederick   J.,
" Significance     of     Frontier,"
quoted, 95, 96.
Tyler, President John, quoted on
Oregon question, 178.
Ulloa, Spanish explorer, sent out
by Cortez, 5, 6, 7, 31.
Umatilla Landing, 259.
Umpqua, Fort, 119.
  valley,  settlement  of,  246-
247; railroad to, 275.
Union Pacific, 276.    See Railways.
Vancouver, Captain George, 42.
 ,   Fort.    See  Hudson's  Bay
Verendrye, discovers Rocky Mountains, 46.
Villard, Henry, interested in Oregon railways, 275; organizes
Oregon Railway and Navigation
Co. to build line up Columbia
valley, 276; secures control of
Northern Pacific Railroad, 276;
completes Northern Pacific Railroad, 277; " Memoirs of," 277.
Vizcaino, Spanish explorer, in California, 14, 15, 17.
Waiilatpu.    See Missions.
Waldo, Daniel, 204.
Walker, C. M., with Jason Lee,
 , Rev. Elkanah, missionary at
Tsimakane, 156.
 , Joseph,   leads   portion   of
Bonneville's men to California,
Walla Walla River, Fort Walla
Walla-at mouth of, 115 ; mission
site selected on, 152-153 ; mission on, 154.
  valley,  settlement   of,   259,
260,  261 ;    development,   262, w*s
265-266 ; military post in, 259 ;
commercial activity of Walla
Walla town, 259-260; importance of, 280.
Waller, Rev. A. F., missionary at
Oregon City station, 171.
Wallula, 270.
War of 1812, effect on Oregon, see
Oregon question.
Washington     Statesman,    source
used, 244.
—— Territory, included in early
Oregon, see Oregon Territory,
Columbia River, and provisional
government ; early settlement,
see Puget Sound ; agitation for
separate territory, 244; first
newspaper, 244; first territorial
meeting, 244 ; second meeting,
memorial to Congress, 245 ;
Lane's bill for creation of the
Territory of Columbia, 245;
amended and passed, 245 ; General Stevens governor, 245 ;
gold inH see Mining and Inland Empire ; becomes a state,
 ,  State   of,   admitted,   284;
cities of, 283, 284, 285 ; effects
of commerce and of irrigation,
289, 292.
Wayne, Anthony, 71.
Webster, Daniel, concludes Ash-
burton treaty, 176.
Western Engineer, steamboat
used by Long's exploring party,
White, Dr. Elijah, comes to Oregon, 151, 173; appointed Indian
agent, takes emigrants to Oregon, 175-176, 200.
Whitman, Dr. Marcus, with Dr.
Parker, 152 ; brings missionaries to Oregon, 153-154 ;
founds interior missions, 154-
155 ;  guides emigration of 1843,
193-194; reasons for his famous
winter ride, 218-219; difficulties
and hardships on journey, 219,
220; missions decline, 221-222 ;
the Whitman massacre, 223;
Whitman's opinion of inland
country, 254.
Whitney, Asa, his railroad project,
Wilderness Road, 58, 180.
Wilkes,    Lieutenant   Charles,   in
Oregon, 172-174.
 , George, plans national railroad to Pacific, 271-272, 275.
Willamette Cattle Company, 161-
 , Indians of, a sickly, degraded
race, 151, 173.
 Mission.    See Missions.
- valley.    See Emigration and
Wilson, Dr. J. R., on Oregon
question, 168.
——, W. H., missionary, 151.
. Wind River Mountains, crossed by
Hunt's party, 106, 141.
Wisconsin Historical Society,
library  of,  used,   214.
Wood, Tallmadge B., quoted,
" World Encompassed, The,"
Fletcher's account of Drake's
voyage, 10.
Wyeth, Nathaniel J., interested in
Oregon, 142; trading project,
143 ; first journey to Columbia,
143; return to Boston, second
journey, 144 ; plans ruined, 145 ;
influence on settlement of Oregon, 145 ; his journals and letters, 145.
Yakima valley, settlement of, 265 ;
agriculture in, 269 ;  an irrigated
section, 292.
Yamhill County, Oregon, 210. INDEX
Yellowstone River, described by
Lewis and Clark, 80.
Yoncalla, founded and named by
Jesse Applegate, 246.
York, Captain Clark's negro servant, 75.
York Factory, 116.
Young, Ewing, organizes cattle
company, 161-162; death, estate, 198-199.
 , Professor F. G., edits Wyeth's
journals, 145 ; Quarterly^ 195.
Young's Bay, 90.
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