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Adventurers of Oregon: a chronicle of the fur trade Skinner, Constance Lindsay, 1882-1939 1920

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Daguerreotype in tbe Library of Leiand Stanford, Jr., Uni-
versityJ]||Reproduced by courtesy of Mr. G. T. Clark, Librarian.
The picture came to the Library as a gift from Mrs. Mary Shel-
don Barnes, formerly a member of the f aculty.%'. On the back of
the daguerreotype is a letter authenticating the portrait:
" I send you . . . the daguerreotype of brave old Governor
McLoughlin . . . presented by him to John Quinn Thornton,
the first Suprème Judge of Oregon, amd given by him to me before his death. ^ . .
I Yours truly,
|      OREGON
1920 Copyright, 1920, by Yale University Press
Daguerreotype in the Library of Leiand Stan-
ford, Jr., University. Reproduced by eour-
tesy of Mr. G. T. Clark, Librarian. The
picture came to the Library as a gift from
Mrs. Mary Sheldon Barnes, formerly a
member of the f aculty. On the back of the
daguerreotype is a letter authenticating the
"I send you . . . the daguerreotype of
brave old Governor McLoughlin . . . presented T&y him to John Quinn Thornton,
the first Suprème Judge of Oregon, and
given by him to me before his death. . . .
"Yours truly
"S. A. Clabk."     Frontispiece
Engraving by St. Memin, in the Corcoran
Gallery of Art, Washington.
Facing page   34
Engraving after a drawing by Charles Bodmer in Travels in the Interior of North America in 183S-S-4-, by Maximilian, Prince of
Wied Neu-Wied. Copy in the New York
Public Library.
PROACHES, 1774-1859
Map by W. L. G. Joerg, American Geographical Society. Facing page    56
Painting by Charles Willson Peale in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. "        "       72
Engraving in the Print Department of the
New York Public Library.
Wood engraving in Voyage to the Northwest
Coast of America in 1811-14, by Gabriel
Engraving by A. L. Dick, after a drawing by
E. Didier in Commerce of the Prairies, by
Joshua Gregg, 1845.
Historic Oregon emerges from myth. Over the
region of those "continuous woods" which shroud-
ed the true River of the West, the romancings of
ancient mariners had spread the mirage of a great
inland waterway called the Strait of Anian. This
waterway threaded the continent from sea to sea,
among wondrous isles gorgeous with palaces, and
linked Europe to Asia. Into the Strait of Anian,
so the legend ran — and gathered magie as it ran
— flowed a mighty river, the River of the West.
This river had its source in the Mountains of Bright
Stones, in the heart of the continent, and its broad
equable tide was well adapted to bear fleets of treas-
ure ships into the strait that made so convenient
a short cut between Spain and the sublime East.
The first Adventurers of Oregon were therefore
certain Latin and Levantine seamen, who, for the
glory of some king, said that they had bravely
sailed and even meticulously charted these strange
waters of their own fancy!   Truly, in their tales,:
as Bancroft says, "maritime lying reaches thej
climax and borders oh the heroic."   There was
no Strait of Anian such as they described.x   Yet
where the imagination of these romancers coursed
among f abulous isles, one lucky American seaman,
after three centuries of naval f antasy, discovered the ]
Columbia River flowing scarf-like over the shouldetj
blade of the continent.   And it was chiefly by virtue of that discovery that the wilderness empire of I
Oregon found its destiny within the United States
of America.
But we may not leave the myth of the direct passage to Asia with merely a passing reference; it hal
had too potent an influence upon history for such
casual treatment. It dates back to Columbus, of j
course.    Columbus discovered America; but he
1 The documents relating to these early myths are printed in
the first volume of Bancroft's History of the Northwest Coast.    The^
name of one of the romancers is perpetuated in the name of the
strait discovered in 1787 by Barkley, an English trader, and;
named by him in honor of Juan de Fuca» a Greek pilot, whose
gallant ship was said to have breasted Anian's waters in 1592.
ii?ïsü«*»i»i4. THE RIVER OF THE WEST
did not discover that pathway to the Oriënt which
he was seeking, nor that the round world was much
larger and Asia much smaller than he had calcu-
lated them to be. He died believing that some-
where not far behind the new lands he had found
lay the Asiatic coast, and that somewhere — to the
south, he thought — opened a direct sea passage
whereby the galleons of Spain might the swifter
reach and bear home ward "the wealth of Ormus
and of Ind. |
The mystery of the short route to Asia concerned
Spain very particularly. Spain was the leading
maritime nation of the world, with Portugal a
close second; but now that all Europe was agog for
discovery, how long would it be before other nations — Franse, or perhaps even England — should
challenge her rights? How should Spain guard
against the encroachments of other nations with
oversea ambitions? In some such manner rea-
soned, with disquiet minds, their Spanish majesties
who had financed Christopher's voyages. They
appealed to the Pope to define the boundaries of
Spanish possession. So Alexander VI, generous
and of helpful intent, drew a line through the
Atlantic from pole to pole, and gave all that lay
west of the line to Spain and all that lay east of it to 4 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
Portugal. Surely not even the lore of Olympus,
where high gods made merry with a world of;
little men, offers a scène so rich and quaint as
that which we may conjure up from the story
of Pope Alexander dividing the world between
his children, as if it were but a rosy apple. Their
Spanish majesties feared, indeed, even after such
fair apportionment, that it might yet prove to be
an apple of discord. They resolved therefore to
have the western passage discovered without
delay, secretly if possible, and fortified at both
Thus began the great search which inspired most
of the explorers in the New World during three
centuries. The Cabots, Balboa, Magellan, Cortes,
Cartier, De Soto, Drake, Hudson, La Salie, were
adventurers who set out to make a reality of the
great discoverer's dream. Not all of them were
Spaniards; and thereby was it proved that Spain
had not groundlessly doubted whether the Pope's 4
award would long satisfy those nations which had
received no portion of it!
The first mariner actually to sail north of the
southern boundary of the present State of Oregon
is supposed to have been the Spanish seaman after I
whom Cape Ferrelo is named.   Ferrelo set out in THE RIVER OF THE WEST 5
1543 from Panama where the Spaniards had plant-
ed their first colony on the Pacific. He appears,
however, to have left no record of having landed.
Perhaps the northern waters, in his estimation,
promised little; at any rate his voyage led to no
further northward explorations at that time. The
Spanish interests of that day lay in the south; and
it was indeed a golden south, where Spanish seamen loaded their ships with wealth wrung from the
enslaved and terrorized natives and then sailed
homeward to spread the hoard at the IGng's feet.
It was the loss of some of these treasure ships, or
rather of their contents, in 1579 — a loss occasioned by the unwelcome activities of a certain
Francis Drake from England — that once again
turned Spanish sails northward in a search for
the hidden passage. Not only had Drake swooped
down as a conqueror upon waters and shores belonging exclusively to Spain, not only had he es-
caped to England with loot from Spanish vessels,
but he had discovered the desired passage and
had sailed through it — so the Spaniards believed.
Drake, of course, had not discovered the passage,
though he had gone northward for that purpose,
desiring some other homeward route than the one
frequented by Spanish ships.   He had, however, 6 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON I
anchored in Oregon waters and had taken possession, for his Queen, of the long rolling coast to the
south, naming it New Albion — prophetically naming it so, for although Spain was to be overlord of
this coast for centuries, it was to pass finally into|
the hands of a people speaking their law in thetó
English tongue.
The fearsome tales told thereafter of the red-
bearded English corsair miraculously steering his
treasure-crammed ship, the Golden Hind — the
very name sounded supernatural — into the mys-|
terious passage, inspired Spanish seamen to seek
that passage anew; for by what way the terriblei
Drake, "laughing athwart the decks," had gone
he might even again return.
But if Drake thus, in a legendary röle, inspired
the mariners of Spain to new search for the hiddenj
passage, he presently, in his proper person, put al
curb on Spain's activities and humbled her pride
upon the sea. And for two hundred years after
those ten days in July, 1588, when Drake scattered
the blazoned sails of the Armada upon the rocks^
and tide-rips of the North Sea, Spain had little]
heart for maritime exploration in any quarter of j
the globe. Had it not been for that achievementj
of Elizabeth's seamen far from Pacific shores, whol
knows what might have happened on the west
coast of America north of Mexico? Or on the
east coast? With Spain mistress of the seas, could
Englishmen have obtained a foothold on either
coast to drive a continental wedge between the
Spanish on the south and the French on the north?
The defeat of the Armada, remote as it seems, in
fact decided that the laws and language of England
should prevail in America.
Two centuries passed. Once again Spanish seamen of the south turned north to seek the western
gate of that hidden passage. It was shortly after
the accession of Carlos III to the Spanish throne,
in 1759, that Spain's ambition for world power,
which had been somnolent since the disaster of
the Armada, awoke once more. Drake's country-
men meanwhile had settled along the Atlantic
seaboaróV which coast also Spain held to be hers
de jure, if not de facto, Thus had the English
spread already to the New World their religious
heresy and their peculiar ideas of government. In
the very year when Carlos ascended the throne,
they had broken the blade of France on the heights
of Quebec; and in one year more they had practically swept from the ndrtheastern parts of America
that autocratie system of government and those
social ideals which were the f undaments of Spanish
power, no less than of French.
When Carlos of Spain was ready to give his
attention to the northern half of the New World,
the English coionists — either ignorant of or indifferent to the Spanish decree that, whatever
truce Spain might hold with England in Europe^
there should be "no peace beyond the line" —
were already beginning their thrust westward
towards the heart of the continent. Moreover,
Spain's domination of the Pacific coast was seri-
ously threatened by another power from the north'
Russian fur hunters had overrun Siberia to the
shore of the Pacific, where they had established
headquarters at Kamchatka. In 1741 Vitus Bering, a Dane sailing for the Russian Czar, had discovered the Aleutian Isles and the strait that bears
his name. And now the Russians were*masters of
Alaska, reaping enormous wealth from their yearly
harvest of sea otter and seal. Now, therefore, more
than ever was it vital to Spain that the hidden channel should be discovered, its banks f ortified, and itsl
waters closed f orever to all but Spanish keels.
So, in 1774, the Spanish Viceroy of Mexico dis-
patched Juan Perez to make a thorough explora- f
tion of the Northwest Coast.   The time seemed THE RIVER OF THE WEST 9
auspicious for New Spain. True, the English had
swept away the French and in this very year were
battling with the Indians beyond the Appalachians
for the rich territory of the Ohio; and far to the
north the traders of the Hudson's Bay Company
were pushing westward. But the storm of revo-
lution was gathering in the American colonies. If
the winds but continued to blow advantageously
for Spanish statecraft, the passing of that storm
should see Spain arbiter of the whole New World.
The acquirement of Louisiana from France, in 1763,
signified Spanish intent to press in irom the south
and west upon the English colonies. And, to f orè-
stall Russia, the interloper in Alaska, the whole of
the Northwest Coast must be explored and f ormally
annexed to New Spain.
From Bruno Heceta, who folio wed Perez's route
and made a landing in 1775 at the present Point
Grenville to establish Spanish claims, comes the
first mention that is not legendary of the River of
the West. Heceta did not discover a river, but he
noted in his journal that, when anchored near the
forty-sixth parallel, his observations of the currents had convinced him "that a great quantity of
water rushed from this bay on the ebb of the tide."
Illness among his crew as well as other mishaps
prevented Heceta from entering to explore the bay
where the River of the West — still unseen of white
men — emptied its foaming and roaring waters.
By 1776 the Northwest Coast had been thor-
oughly explored, so Spanish mariners reported, as
far north at least as Sitka, although neither the
Strait of Anian nor the River of the West had been
discovered. Spain, however, made no move to
occupy the land, as there seemed no immediate
danger from Russia, and the American Revolution,
as Spanish and French statesmen saw it, was ulti-
mately to bring the revolting coionists into the fold
of their Latin allies. In pursuance of the usual
Spanish policy of secretiveness, Spain did not pub-
lish any account of the explorations of her seamen.
But in 1778 a Yankee named Jonathan Carver
published in London a book purporting to be a
record of his travels across the American continent,
in which he related as fact what Indians had told
him of the great River of the West rising among
the Mountains of Bright Stones and flowing into
the Strait of Anian. The name of this great river,
said Carver, was the Oregon; and a map proved
the tale. This book contained some truth, for apparently Carver did penetrate beyond the Missis-
sippi, but it contained also not a little myth and THE BIVER OF THE WEST 11
a great deal of padding f róm untrüstwörthy sources.
Today the one important bit in the book is the grand
name "Oregon.53 Is it an Indian word, or a word
of Spanish derivation, or did Carver invent it? No
one knows. It seems not to have been used again
until 1811 when William Cullen Bryant retrieved
it and immortalized it in Thanatopsis:
. . . Take the wings
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound
Save his own dashings. . . .
Two years before the appearance of Carver's
book, that is, in 1776, when England and her
American colonies were locked in bitter strife, the
British Admiralty had sent Captain Cook to explore the Northwest Coast of America. One of the
aims of this expedition, of course, was the discovery
of the passage; for the offieers and crew of any
ship of His Majesty's discovering that passage
would receive twenty thousand pounds sterling,
an award offered by Parliament in 1745 and still
standing. Cook anchored off Nootka, Vancouver
Island, on March 29, 1778, and then sailed north
until forced by ice to turn back. He wrote in his
journal: "Whatever passage there may be, or at
least part of it, must lie to the north of latitude
72°," which was indeed so. The only actual passage was the impracticable northern strait already
discovered by Bering. Cook then crossed to the
Asiatic coast and thence to the Sandwich Islands,
where he was killed by natives. His voyage to
the Northwest Coast had results. It was made the
basis of England's claims in the quarrel with Spain
about Nootka ten years later. More important,
however, was the introduction of Englishmen to
the sea-otter trade. A few sea-otter skins had
been presented by the natives at Nootka to Cook
and his men; and when Cook's ship arrived at
Canton, after the tragedy at the Sandwich Islands,
these furs were bid for by Chinese tradesmen at
what seemed to the English seamen fabulous sums.
Trade! Furs convertible into gold! Here was
the potent influence to bring out of the realm of
myth the land "where rolls the Oregon." Since
the days when Elizabeth had answered Philip of
Spain out of the mouths of Drake's guns, England
had consistiently refused to concur in Spain's doctrine that the Pacific was a closed sea. So when
the news of furs on the Padfic coast of America
was bruited about English ports, English merchants lost no time in preparing expeditions for THE RIVER OF THE WEST
trade with the natives of that far country. As for
the direct passage, let the explorers look for it; as
to the Spanish fiat, let the diplomats wrangle about
it. Honest merchants were neither to be lured by
an invisible channel nor barred by an intangible
principle from new paths of trade. Presently
four separate fur trading expeditions — one from
China, two from India, and one from England —
ploughed Pacific waters.
One of these, sailing from Bengal, was com-
manded by John Meares, late of the British navy.
Though Meares made Nootka his headquarters,
he, too, like Cook, had some influence on Oregon.
He was an enterprising soul and a brisk trader,
hardly more scrupulous than other men of his class
at that time. Since he was obliged to sail along a
so-called Spanish coast, he hoisted the Portuguese
flag when convenient, and perhaps left it flying
at the Felice9s masthead while. he went ashore at
Nootka and purchased the place — with bound-
aries unspecified — from Chief Maquinna for some
copper and a pair of pistols, and denoted it not
Portuguese but British soil. He erected buildings
of a primitive sort and "occupied." He shipped
some Chinese workmen from their native land,
gathered up Kanaka wives for > them at Hawaii — 14 ADVENTÜREBS OF OREGON 1
possibly with the idea that the less conversation
between married folk the more harmony — and
proceeded to colonize Nootka. He was well received by the Indians. His description of the welcome given him is worthy of reproduction, for
the sake of the picture it gives us of the chiefs
Maquinna (or Maquilla) and Callicum and their
warriors, a scène the like of which can never recur.
Meares wrote in his journal, on May 16,1788:
They moved with great parade about the ship, singing
at the same time a song of a pleasing though sonorous
melody: there were twelve of these canoes, each o|v
which contained about eighteen men, the greater part
of whom were cloathed in dresses o{ the most beautiful
skins of the sea otter, which covered them from their
neck to their ancles.    Their hair was powdered with
the white down of birds, and their f aces bedaubed with
red and black ochre, in the form of a shark's jaw, and
a kind of spiral line which rendered their appearance
extremely savage.    Ig. most of these boats there were
eight rowers on a side. . . .   The Chief occupied a
place in the middle, and was also distinguished by an
high cap, pointed at the crown, and ornamented at the
top with a small tuft of feathers.    We listened to then
song with an equal degree of surprise and pleasure.    It
was, indeed, impossible for any ear susceptible of de-I
light from musical sounds, or any mind that was not
insensible to the power of melody, to remain unmoved^
by this solemn, unexpected concert. . . . ff Sometimes THE RIVER OF THE WEST
they would make a sudden transition from the high to
the low tones, with such melancholy turns in their vari-
ations, that we could not reconcile to ourselves the
manner in which they acmiired or contrived this more
than untaught melody of nature. . . . Everyone
beat time with undeviating regularity, against the
gunwale of the boat, with their paddies; and at the
end of every verse or stanza, they pointed with extended arms to the North and the South, gradually
sinking their voices in such a solemn manner as to
produce an effect not often attained by the orchestras
in our quarter of the globe.
After the concert, the chiefs forought aboard the
Felice a skin bottle of seal oil, in which exhilarat-
ing beverage Meares and his guests pledged their
eternal friendship.
Having thus established amicable relations with
the Indians, Meares set about erecting buildings
and a fort, and he also built a little ship, the North-
West America, the first vessel to be constructed on
the Northwest Coast. He explored southward in
search of Bruno Heceta's river, or the River of the
West. He did not find it, though he crossed the
bar and stood near enough to its mouth to name
the spit of land hiding it Cape Disappointment,
and the harbor beyond, Deception Bay.
His colony soon came to grief. The year 1789
saw two other expeditions in these waters.   One
hailed from the Spanish port of San Bias, Mexico, and the other from Boston. The Viceroy of
Mexico had bethought him that it was now three
years since he had sent up the coast a sea scout
to report what the Russians were doing. Spain
had graciously permitted the Russians to occupy
Alaska, but with thej'jJBstinct proviso that their
ramshackle trading craft were not to nose southward. It was H%h üme to ascertain if this understanding were perfect on both sides. The Viceroy
therefore sent north Don Eslevan Martinez, captain of the Peincessa, which was no trading vessel
but an imposing ship of war bristling with guns.
Martinez made some startling discoveries. Hgg
learned that the Russians were about to push
down to Nootka; he found at Nootka the Meares
colony; he found also riding at anchor in Nootka
Sound, besides an English vessel, the Iphigenia,
two other vessels flying the Stars and Stripes,
the Columbia, Captain John Kendrick, and the
Lady Washington, Captain Robert Gray, both
of Boston. Meares himself was absent on a voyage to China. Martinez seized the colony and
the English vessels, the Argonaut, the Prineeséi
Royal, and the North-West America, as they
sailed into port, quite unaware of the Spanish THE RIVER OF THE WEST 17
intruder. He took Captain Colnett of the Argo-
naut a prisoner to Mexico. He did not molest the
American vessels^
England promptly demanded redress for the
séizures at Nootka. Spain answered haughtily,
rattled the sword, and made a gesture to her cousin
of France, who nodded agreeably and took down
the family armor and began polishing it publicly.
But the earth beneath the Bourbon's palace at
Versailles was already quivering from the sub-
terranean rumblings of the French Revolution, and
Spain saw that the aid she had counted upon was
uncertain at best. Spain was obliged therefore
to sign articles which, besides reimbursing the
enterprising Meares for his losses, restored Nootka
to the British flag, and acknewiedged the right of
British subjects to free and uninterrupted navigation, commerce, and fishing in the North Pacific;
also to make and possess establishments on the
Pacific coast wherever these should not conflict
with the prior rights of Spain. Though the articles defined the rights of only the contracting
parties, England and Spain, yet in signing them
Spain abrogated her ancient claim to sole sover-
eignty on the Pacific; and, whether either party
realized it or not, in this documentoboth concurred
in the principles of a free sea and of ownership by
occupation and developmênt.
But those Americans, Kendrick and Gray, trading at Nootka under the Stars and Stripes — who
were they? Of them history tells not so much as
we would like to know. They were in the service
of a group of merchant adventurers in Boston,
friends of Doctor Thomas Bulfinch of Bowdoin
Square. These merchants, we are told, on a wn#ï
ter evening in 1787, forgathered in the Doctor's
library and, fired by a published account of Cook*è
voyages, then and there decided to enter the sea-
otter trade in the Pacific. Joseph JBarrell, a pros-
perous trader and banker, seems to have taken the
lead in the enterprise, in which Bulfinch himself
joined. The other partners were Crowell Hatch,
Samuel Brown, John Pintard, and John Derby.
These were gentlemen traders of the old school,
and theirs was the happy lot to live in the hey-
day of Boston's adventuring upon the sea, when
four hundred sail might often be counted in the
harbor by any worthy meichant, such as Joseph
Barrell, as he loitered on his way to the Bunch of
Grapes, the famous old tavern on the site of
the present Exchange.   It was at the Bunch of THE RIVER OF THE WEST 19
Grapes that the Boston Marine Association held
its meetings.
The partners procured and made ready for sea
a ship, the Columbia, and a little sloop, the Lady
Washington. The vessels were stocked with trin-
kets to trade with the natives for furs.' The voyage was to be a long one, around the Horn, around
the whole world, indeed, for the Columbia would
sail from the Pacific coast to China, there exchange
a cargo of furs for a cargo of tea and silk, and
return home to Boston. It was the lst of October before all was ready for the voyage. Then,
after the usual celebrations on board, the Columbia9
under eommand of John Kendrick, and the Lady
Washington, under command of Robert Gray,
lifted anchor and put out to sea, and the partners
went back to their daily round to await the return
of the Columbia with a rich cargo from China.
Nearly three years rolled by. Then, one day in
August, 1790, into Boston harbor sailed Robert
Gray on the Columbia. He and Kendrick had
spent two seasons gathering furs on the coast; there
they had found the British trader Meares and had
seen his post raided by the Spaniard Don Martinez; they had exchanged ships in the Pacific,
where Kendrick remained to continue the trade. 20 ADVENTURERS OP OREGON W
Gray had taken the furs to Canton and now
brought home a cargo of tea. The furs had not
sold well in Canton; perhaps Gray w^as not a good
trader; at all events, the results in trade were dis^
appointing. But, for the moment, the partners
forgot their losses. Had net their own ship, the
Columbia, circumnavigated the globe? All Boston
turned out in its best attire to welcome Gray as he
marched up the street folio wed by his Hawaiian at-
tendant in a bright feathered cloak; and Governor
John Hancock held a reception in his honor.
The partners met once more in Bulfinch's library. Two of them decided to withdraw, but the
others considered the prospects promising enough
to warrant a second venture. So the good ship
Columbia was overhauled and made ready for sea
On September 28, 1790, Robert Gray sailed out
of Boston harbor on his second voyage around the
Horn. On June 5,1791, he arrived at Clayoquot,
the American trading post on Vancouver Island.
That summer the Yankee adventurers fared not
too well. Gray sailed as far north as Portland
channel, where some of his men were murdered
by hostile Indians. His comrade in adventure,
Kendrick of the Lady Washington, also met with THE RIVER OF THE WEST 21
tragedy. The natives of Queen Charlotte Island
attacked Kendrick's ship and his men on shore;
and his son was among the slain. The two ships
returned to Clayoquot in September and Kendrick
set out for China with the furs. Gray erected at
Clayoquot a fort and constructed a little sloop,
named the Adventure, which he put under command of Haswell, his second offices- The Indians
about Clayoquot were not friendly, and during the
winter Gray and his men were obliged to exercise
constant watchfulness to avert a meditafted attack.
On April 2,1792, both vessels left Clayoquot, the
Adventure türnirig north for trade and the Columbia dropping southward. Perhaps Gray was only
bent on finding new trading fields, for sea otter
were still plentifui to the south of Vancou1*er Island. Yet his movementsWsuggest that he may
have been consciously exploring, searching fox that
passage which was supposed to lie some where
hidden, or for the River of the West.
It was in October, 1790, the month following the
Columbia's departure from Boston, that England
and Spain signed the articles relative to Nootka
and to mutual rights on the Pacific. In December
George Vancouver, a British naval oflficer, who had
sailed with Cook as a midshipman, received his commission to go to Nootka to take over from Spanish
emissaries the land seized by Martinez and to explore. Vancouver's ships left Falmouth, England,
on April 1,1791. They rounded the Cape of Good
Hope, crossed the Indian Ocean, and sailed along
the western coast of Australia, made Van Diemen's
Land, New Zealand, the Society Islands, and the
Sandwich Islands, whence they set sail for the
Northwest Coast of America. They sighted that
coast in 39° north latitude on April 17,1792. At|
dawn on the twenty-ninth of the same month,
as they headed northward, the English mariners
descried a sail, the first they had seen in many
months of wandering over the watery wilderness.
The stranger ship declared herself by firing a gun!
and sending the American colors to the masthead.
The Discovery, under Vancouver's personal com-}
mand, hove to for an exchange of greetings and
news. The American vessel was the Columbia, and
her commander, Captain Robert Gray, informed
Vancouver that he had recently lain for nine days
off the mouth of a large river where the reflux was
so violent that he dared not attempt to enter. Gray
had also sailed for many miles through the narrow
waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and was now THE RIVER OF THE WEST 23
heading south again, to make a second attempt to
enter the river which lay behind the forbidding,
foam-dashed wall of Cape Disappointment.
Despite the information given him by the American, Vancouver believed that he could not have
passed any "safe navigable opening." He had indeed noted in his journal, in passing Cape Disappointment, that he had not considered "this opening worthy of further attention." Gray's news
impressed him therefore but slightly. He jotted
down in regard to it: "If any river should be
found, it must be a very intricate one and inacces-
sible to vessels of our burden.'3 He pushed on
northward. He discovered and explored Puget
Sound, naming it after one of his lieutenants. He
named Mount Baker in honor of another lieutenant who was the first man on board to descry that
white crown of beauty. He explored the mainland
of British Columbia and, circumnavigating the island that now bears his own name, swung down
to Nootka where the Spanish Commissioner, Don
Quadra, awaited him.
But óf far greater moment was the feat which
Robert Gray, the Yankee seaman and fur trader,
had in the meantime accomplished.    Gray had 24 ADVENTURERS OF ÖREGONf |
run his ship past the spur of Cape Disappointment
and into the mouth of the great river. This is the
entry he made in his log, May 7, 1792:
Being within six miles of the land, saw an entrance
in the same, which had a very good appearance of a
harbor. . . . We soon saw from our masthead a
passage in between the sand-bars. At half past three,*
bore away, and ran in north-east by east, having from
four to eight fathoms, sandy bottom; and, as we drew
in nearer between the bars, had from ten to thirteen
fathoms, having a very strong tide of ebb tö stem. . . .
At five p.m. came to in ÜNe fathoms water, sandy
bottom, in a safe harbor, well sheltered from the sea
by long sand-bars and spits.
Within the harbor the Columbia wüs speedily sur-
rounded by Indians in canoes, and trading continued briskly for several days. The canoes having departed, the Columbia "hove up the anchor,
and came to sail and a-beating down th# harbor.
By the llth of May, Gray was ready to attemp
the entrance of the river itself. This is how h
narrates that historie event:
At eight a.m. being a little to windward of the entrance of the Harbor, bore away, and run in east-
north-east between the breakers, having from five t(
seven fathoms of water. When we were over the bar,
we found this to be a large river of fresh water, uj THE RIVER OF THE WEST
which we steered. At one p.m. came to with the
small bower, in ten fathoms, black and white sand.
The entrance between the bars bore west-south-^est,
distant ten miles; the north side of the river a half mile
distant from the ship; the south side of the same two
and a half miles' distance; a village on the north side
of the river west by north, distant three-quarters of a
mile. Vast numbers of natives came alongside; people
employed in pumping the salt water out of our water-
casks,^n order to fill with fresh, while the ship floated
in.   So ends.
Not an imaginative man, this Robert Gray, and
no stylist. He had found the great River of the
West. He had made'fact ofrthe nrj*th beloved of
the ancient mariniers. And he sets down his discovery laconically as iï it wfcre no more than an
incident of a trading voyage — just one brief mat-
ter-of-fact paragraph and So ends! It is almost,
indeed, as if he considered the discovery of this
river, which he named the 'Columbia, unimpor-
tant. Other sea wanderers had sought it; some
of them had even fancifully charted ft, so §p*eat
had been their faith. Explorers, dreaming of vast
inland seas and golden rivers, of jeweled cMes to be
discovered and of colonies to be founded — som%
of them scientific men, too — seeking this river
had passed it by. 26 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON 1
But, if Robert Gray was no writer, we may
nevertheless, from his terse jottings, read the character of a man too literal-minded to suspect other
men of the gift for artistic f able — a matter-of-
fact man who reasoned that, if Bruno Heceta had
feit the current made by a river, then the river
which made the current was there — and, more, a'j
man of plain courage, an experienced sailor with sm
impartial estimate of his own seamanship and with
a mind not to be appealed to by the things that
touch imaginative men with fear; one who saw
merely winds to beat against and tides to gage
and make use of, where other men saw a Cape
Disappointment looming over the grave of ships.
Gray sold his furs in China and returned to
Boston in 1793. The results must have fallen
below expectations, for he was not sent out again.
Kendrick of the Lady Washington was killed in
Hawaii by a gun explosion. Gray's discovery apparently impressed the public little more than ifr
had impressed Gray himself, for it was not foliowed
up in any way for some years. Neither recognition nor wealth was bestowed upon the discover-
er. Gray died in 1806 at Charleston, and he died
in poverty. CHAPTER II
Though Gray suffered eclipse, and though the
Government of the United States maintained an
attitude of indifference towards his discovery, there
was one American statesman with that vision of
his nation's natural domain which had inspired
the sweeping phrase "from sea to sea" in the charters granted to the first English cèlonists. Thomas f
Jefferson dreamed of expansion to the Pacific Ocean
for at least twenty years before the way opened \
to put his desire into effect. In December, 1783,
he had written on 'this matter to George Rogers
Clark, whose military genius during the Revolution
had given the young Republic its f arthest western
boundary. The fact that the British at this time
entertained the idea of exploration overland apparently had its influence on Jefferson, for he wrote:
I find they have subscribed a very large sum of
money in England for exploring the country from the
«•rtttS! i 28
Mississippi to California. They pretend it is only to^
promote knowledge. I am afraid they have thoughts
of colonising into that quarter. Some of us have been
talking here in a f eeble 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
our prospect is not worth asking the question.
Jefferson's  doubts as  to the  prospects were
evidenüy>|ustified, for nothing was done.   Three
years later in Paris, as American Minister, Jeffer-
son hstened sympathetically to a young country-
man named John Ledyard, who had sailed withlj
Cook and who was eager tb cross the continent!
from the North Pacific.    His plan included thelj
establishment of trading «posts and the explora-^
tion of the intervening unknown territory for the»
purpose of laying claim to it in the name of his
country.    Jefferson gave Ledyard the only assist-
ance in his power, which was to request the Empress of Russia to permit LedyaUd to cross her
domains.   She refused^fout nevertheless the youngf
exploreniset out to traverse Siberia to Kamchatka,
whence he was to go by sea to Nootka, and essays
the crossingriof the continent,   flhi Siberia he wast
arrested by the Russian authorities, wjbo weref<
aware of his plans with regard to the fur trade, LEWIS AND CLARK 29
and was carried back to Poland. He made his
way to France and presently joined an exploring
expedition bound for Africa. There he perished.
The American chronicles of these years are all
but silent on the theme of Pacific exploration. In
1793, the year after Gray's discovery of the River
of the West, Jefferson made a positive effort to set
an expedition on the way to the Pacific by land.
Again, as in 1783, apparently he did not find
"enough of that kind of spirit to raise the money"
among the elect of Congress, for it was the American Philosophical Society which responded to his
plea. AtFrench botanist named André Michaux
was chosen to make the journey in the interests of
science. If the selection of Michaux satisfied the
American Philosophical Society, it did not at all
please a certain Virginian youth who was one
of Jefferson's friends. This youth, who was just
finishing his education at a Latin school, was more
than willing to forgo further literary wanderings
in the company of Virgü's hero for the sake of
writing in action an epic of his own on the virgin
soil of the West. But Meriwether Lewis, at eighteen years of age, f ailed to convince the philersophers
or Jefferson that he possessed the qualifications
and experience requisite to make a success of the
venture. The wise men might better have en-
trusted their affair to this valiant American boy
than to the Frenchman Michaux, for no sooner
had the botanist reached Kentucky than his scientific mind revolted from the peaceful study of sta-
mens and pistils and exereised itself busily with
military intrigue.
Another decade elapsed without further progress, though the passing years were not without
their events and theèr lessons. Spain conceded to
Americans the right of navigation on the Missish
sippi; but, before the concession, the secret machi-
nations of Spanish agents had kept the trans-
Appalachian commonwealths in perpetual ferment.
The diplomacy of Spain in respect to Kentucky
and Tennessee, however, served the purpose of
arousing the American authorities to the danger
threatening the young Republie — the danger of
being hemmed in on three sides by hostile powers
and thus barred from expansion. In 1800 Spain
secretly ceded Louisiana to France, stipulating that
the territory should not be ceded to any other
power without Spain's consent. The transfer became known to American statesmen and increased
their uneasiness. On the north, in Canada, were
the none too friendly British; to the south were LEWIS AND CLARK 31
the Spanish; and now Louisiana, with its vast and
undefined boundaries, had come into the possession
of France — the militaristic France of Napoleon
Bonaparte. And, in 1802, Napoleon was planning
a military and colonizing expedition to Néw Orleans
to strangle the commerce of the United States on the
Mississippi and to occupy his new colonial empire
lying between that river and the Rocky Mountains.
Meanwhile, in March, 1801, Jefferson had become President of the United States. He made
two attempts to purchase from France and Spain
New Orleans and the Floridas. His failure in both
instances no doubt had not a little to do with the
determination he reached in January, 1803, to send f
an expedition to the Pacific coast — to the mouth
of that River of the West discovered in 1792 by
Robert Gray. Because the expedition must pro-
ceed as far as the Rockies across country which
lay within the vague boundaries of Louisiana and
which therefore was foreign soil, its true character
and intents must be kept secret. So Jefferson, in
the private message sent Jby him to Congress,
asked for an appropriation of $2500 for a "literary
While other civilized nations have encountered great
expense to enlarge the boundaries of knowledge by 32
undertaking voyages of discovery, and for other literary purposes, in various parts and directions, our nation seems to owe to the same object, as well as to its
own interests, to explore this the only line of easy
communieation across the continent, and so directly
traversing our own part of it. The interests of commerce place the principal object within the constitutional powers and care of Congress, and that it should
incidentally advance the geographical knowledge of
our own continent can not but be an additional grati-
fication. The nation claiming the territory, regard-
ing this as a literary pursuit, which it is in the habit of
permitting within its dominions, would not be disposed
to view it with jealousy. . . . The appropriation of
$2500 "for the purpose of extending the external commerce of the United Staties," while understood and
considered by the Executive as giving the legislative
sanction, would cover the undertaking from notice and
prevent the obstructions which interested individuals
might otherwise previously prepare in its way.
While Jefferson's expedition was in preparatioa
in the spring of 1803, it happened that Napoleon
experienced a change of heart in regard to Louisiana because the Mistress of the Seas was clearing
her decks for war on him. Napoleon was now anx-
ious to get rid not of New Orleans alone but of the
whole territory. Whatever motives may have con-
tributed to his swift decision, he took satisfaction
in the belief that he had given England a rival that LEWIS AND CLARK        1        33
should one day humble her pride. That no spirit
of good-will towards the United States inspired
him is evident from his remark that the Louisiana
territory "shall one day cost dearer to those who
oblige me to strip myself of it, than to those to
whom I wish to deliver it."
In fact, Napoleon believed that he was selling to
the United States, at a stiff price, a Pandora's Box
of troubles. Some of his malign prophecies had a
temporary fulfillment. In biblical language, which
narrates evils as transient experiences*_they "came
to pass" — came and passed. And we may wonder today what thoughts would have agitated the
mind of Napoleon if he could have seen the fleets
of England and America keeping guard together in
the North Sea while, on the soil of France, Britons
from five lands f ought side by side with Americans
and Frenchmen for France; or could he have looked
upon an American people unified from coast to
coast and from the Rio Grande to the Canadian
line, with little else than a yearly Mardi Gras Car-
nival at New Orleans to remind them that the
Louisiana territory, forming now the greater part
of thirteen States, was once in the possession
of a hostile France and was sold to America with
Jefferson paid for Louisiana $15,000,000. The
treaty of purchase was signed in May, the month
of England's declaration of war, and ratified by
the Senate in October, 1808. It will be seen that
Napoleon did not allow the conditions of his treaty
with Spain to stand in his way. Spain, however,
could do nothing but suffer indignantly. Jeff erson's
expedition to the mouth of the Columbia would
make its way westward across all American territory.
The Fates seemed propitious for the enterprise. \
Having won the coöperation of Congress, Jeffer-
son's next move was to select a leader. His choice
feil upon that same young Virginian who, ten years?
before, had advanced his claim against that of
the unstable French botanist. Meriwether Lewis
since then had gone far to qualify himself for the
great adventure. He had become a captain in the
regular army and had taken a gallant part in
the frontier wars; and, as Jeff erson's private secretary since 1801, he had convinced the President
of his fitness to lead the expedition. In Jefferson's
Memoir we find the following:
I had now had opportunities of knowing him inti-
mately. Of courage undaunted; possessing a firmness
and perseverance of purpose which nothing but im-
possibilities could divert from its direction; careful as a MERIWETHER LEWIS AT THE YÏME[WHEN HE WAS
Engraving by St. Menin, in the Corcoran Gallery of Art,
Washington.   4L     '.w?    tMuLwBÊsM A rve/e
jéD iiBiooioO 9rij ni «..ninsM .18- ~ié aaryufttffft
:-'      :
t£ Üu
Wem      • *«€
Ju***. *'
tt part
father of those committed to his charge, yet steady in
the maintenance of order and discipline; intimate with
the Indian character, customs, and principles; habitu-
ated to the hunting life; guarded, by exact observation
of thè vegetables and animals of his own country,
against losing time in the description of objects already possessed; honest, disinterested, liberal, of sound
understanding, and a fidelity to truth so scrupulous
that whatever he should report would be as certain as
if seen by ourselves — with all these qualifications, as
if selected and implanted by nature in one body for this
express purpose, I could have no hesitation in confiding
the enterprise to him.
Portraits of Lewis confirm Jefferson's description.
They show a finely formed head and a face eloquent of courage, of integrity, and intelligence.
Lewis took up the desired task with energy.
Conscious of his need of astronomy and natural
science in order to make faithful geographical
notes* he spent some time in Philadelphia "under
tutorage of the distinguished professors of that
place." He personally supervised the construction of the necessary boats and arms; and he wrote
to his friend, William Clark, inviting him to join in
the splendid adventure and offering him equality
with himself in command and honors. William
Clark, then with his brother, George Rogers Clark,
at Clarksville, Tennessee, where Lewis desired him
to enlist frontiersmen for the expedition, accepted
the invitation with a light-heartedness equal to
his friend's. It is this enthusiasm, bubbling fre-
quently into mirth, which makes Lewis and Clark's
journals — even when the journals record days of
peril and severe hardship — such live reading.
William Clark, born in Virginia in 1770, was
four years older than Lewis. He had joined his
brother, George Rogers, in Louisville at the age of
fourteen and had fought in the Indian wars, first
under his brother and later under Charles Scott
and "Mad Anthony" Wayne. He was described
in 1791 as "a youth of solid and promising parts,
and as brave as Caesar." He was a tall man,
strongly built, with bright red hair and blue eyes;
his brow was broad, his not handsome features
were strongly marked, and the expression of his
countenance was friendly and firm. As a young
officer under Wayne he had acquitted himself with
a dignity and an adroitness beyond his years on
important missions to the Spanish authorities in
Louisiana. But he was no scholar, as the original
spelling in his journal shows.
The personnel of the expedition included forty-
three men besides the two leaders. The men, nearly
all of them young, were enlisted from among the LEWIS AND CLARK 37
Kentucky frontiersmen and from the western gar-
pfeons. Among the Kentucky volunteers were sons,
or other kin, of the" men who had first crossed
the Appalachians with Daniel Boone and who
had held Kentucky through the bloody Indian raids of the Revolution and won the Illinois
country under the leadership of George Rogers
Clark. Some of the regular army men, indeed,
were taken from the Kaskaskia garrison. One of
the young frontiersmen was Charles Floyd, a kins-
man of that John Floyd who fought in Dunmore's
War, the war which pushed^ the white man's frontier from the Appalachians to the Ohio River — in
the year 1774, the year of MeriwetherLewis'sbirth.
The guide was a Frenchman named Charboneau,
who brought with him his Indian wife Sacajawea,
the Bird-Woman. Clark's Sservant York, a huge
black man, accompanied his master. The three
boats specially built to convey the expedition up
the Missouri River were two pirogues and a bateau
fifty-five feet long, which was propelled by a sail
and twenty-two oars and boasted a forecastle and
cabin. Besides arms and munitions, the bales
in the boats contained presents for the Indians,
mathematical instruments, medicines, meal, and
pork, and a variety of camp equipment.
The explorers wintered at the mouth of the
Wood River opposite the mouth of the Missouri,
waiting till spring should dissolve the ice, break-
ing the routine of their camp by frequent hunting
trips. On May 14, 1804, to quote Clark, having
crossed the Mississippi, they "proceeded on under
a Jentle brease up the Missourie." The speed of
their boats, under favorable conditions, was from
twelve to fifteen miles a day. On the afternoon
of the sixteenth, Clark with the boats reached St.
Charles, twenty-five miles up the stream, and here
Lewis, who had been detained at St. Louis, joined
him on the twentieth. They set out the next
day, making slow progress because of shifting
sand bars and crumbling cliffs. Once, at least,
a falling bank almost swamped one of the pi-
rogues and the men had to jump overboard and
hold the boat steady until the current swept away
the sand.
After four days of such travel they reached La
Charette, a tiny village and the last outpost of
civilization. Here Daniel Boone was living at this
time, filling the office of syndic, or magistrate; and
here the explorers hove to for the night, pitching
camp just above the village. On the next day they
said f are well to the last white habitation they were |K| LEWIS AND CLARK 39
to see until their return two years later and pushed
on into the unknown.
Their troubles with sand bars, snags, and falling
banks continued, but they met those troubles gaily.
Frequently they stopped for hunting, for forty-
five lusty explorers could consume a goodly quantity of fresh meat. They were not yet quite alone
in the wilderness, for sometimes they met the de-
scending pirogues of trappers and hunters who were
bringing their winter's harvest of furs and deerskins to St. Louis. From one of these parties they
engaged an interpreter named Dorion to facilitate
their intercourse with the Siouan tribes through
whose territory they would pass.
By the middle of June, mosquitoes and flies were
upon them in cloudsv \ In places the driftwood and
snags were so thick that they must chop their way
through them. Their oars were already worn out
and they were obliged to cut timber and shape
new ones. On the twenty-sixth they reached the
mouth of the Kansas River, having traveled some
three hundred and forty miles from their starting
point at the mouth of the Missouri. Where Kansas City stands now, Lewis and Clark found the
lower villages of the Kaw or Kansas Indians, a
tribe "not verry noumerous at this time," owing
to wars. An important part of Lewis's duties, in
accordance with Jefferson's instructions, was to establish trade relations with the Indians along the
route and to make them understand that the ter»
tory wherein they dwelt was now a part of the
United ptates whose President was the Indians'
Great Father. In the interests of science, as well
as of commerce, Lewis was also to learn whatever
he could of Indian habits and languages and to
note the differences and similarities between the
various tribes. His copious notes in A Statistical
View of the Indian Nations Inhabiting the Territory
of Louisiana furnish us, indeed, with the only information we have concerning some of the tribes of
that time as they njrere before contact with the
white race had changed them.
The Fourth of July was celebrated near the site
of the present Atchison, Kansas, by firing a salute
and by a dance. 'There was a fiddler among the
men and he and his fiddle did their tunef ui service
on all occasions when there wasa fête day to honor
or when a succession of hardships had.tinged
the crew's mood with glumness. Throughout the
whole march, when the shadow of defeat crept
down, it was banished by a round of grog and the
sound of the fiddle* calling on the men to dance. JLEWIS AND CLARK 41
And they dancedtf Sometimes hungry, sometimes
sure that the dangers already experienced had led
them only into an impasse where they were about
to perish, often sore-footed and spent, they danced
— and all was well again. On this first Independence Day in the wilderness the captains not only
ordered a salute and a dance, but they had a chris-
tening as welk i They named two creeks Fourth-
of-July and Independence. The latter still ripples
under the name given it by its godfathers, Lewis
and Clark, perhaps the first white men to spy its
On the 8d of August Lewis held council with
chiefs of the Otoes, a branch of the Pawnees, on a
cliff about twenty miles above the present city of
Omaha. This cliff Lewis and Clark named the
Council Bluff. Lewis was the chief spokesman at
the council, while Clark "Mad up a Small prea-
sent for those people in perpotion to their Consi-
quence." Speeches were made by the chiefs in
answer to Lewis's "talk," and gifts were exchanged.
With buffalo robes and painted skin tents the chiefs
responded to the medals and gold-braided uniforms
bestowed upon them. Here Liberté, a Frenchman,
deserted and, although searched for, was not to be
found; but a soldier, Reed, who attempted the
< x'Utl
same thing was recaptured and punished by being
made to run the gauntlet several times while being
soundly beaten with rods. Lewis and Clark, in
keeping with the ideas of their time, believed in
severe penalties. Their journals record one other
instance of insubordination—in which the culprit
received seventy-five lashes on his bare back. Perhaps it is not surprising that there were so few
incidents of the sort to set down.
Sometimes Lewis recorded the day's events;
sometimes Clark was the diarist. Not only by the
orthography (Clark spelled as he listed and capita^
ized adjectives or prepositions as the humor seized
him) is it easy to tracé each author. Lewis pictures Natuare's handiwork with a touch of romance
as well as with a carefulness of detail which shows
that the instruction he received from the "distin-
guished professors" in Philadelphia has not been
wasted. Clark's entries reveal the keen observation of the frontiersmen. His accuracy is a natural gift, trained soiely by woodsman's experience
and for practical purposes. A gorgeous sky does
not leave him cold, but his first thought about
it is concerned with its prophecy of weather. As
for instance when he notes that "at Sunset the
atmespier presented every appearance of wind, LEWIS AND CLARK 43
Blue & White Streeks centiring at the Sun as She
disappeared and the Clouds Situated to the S.
W. Guilded in the most butifull manner." The
"appearance of wind" was a matter of very practical import to the expedition which was being
pushed up the stream by sail as well as by oars. It
had its bearing on the safety of the night camp,
and on the chances of the hunt. Generally in the
same spirit, Clark notes rapids and bluffs and the
outlines of banks and the quality of soils. A bad
stretch of portage compels him to cast an apprais-
ing eye over the river falls which cause his discom-
fort. He is interested, too, in setting down the
personal incidents and gossip of each day. So
that in reading his entries we get illuminating side-
lights on the characters and dispositions of the
men as well as of their leaders. Clark's narrative,
realistic and "human," runs side by side with
Lewis's—with its scientific data, its flashes of wit,
and its romantic enthusiasms — and supplements
it in a way that makes the Lewis and Clark Journals a unique literary work and a perfect example
of collaboration. (Ü
On the 20th of August, Clark records the only
death which took place on the journey. Charles
Floyd "Died with a great deel of composure. . . .
a butifull evening." Today a tall obelisk on
Floyd's Bluff, Sioux City, Iowa, marks the grave
of the first American who feil in that country in
the cause of civilization.
As they neared the mouth of the Big Sioux
River, the explorers heard from Dorion, the inter-
preter, an interesting story. Near the source of
that river, he said, there was a creek which flowed
in from the east between high cliffs of red rock. Of
this red stone the Indians made their pipes. And,
since pipes were a suprème necessity in both their.
domestic and political life, they had established a
law under which that region was held sacred to
peace. Tribes at war with each other met there
to mine the brilliant stone, without the least show
of hostility, am| there an Indian fleeing from hisu
foes might find sure refuge. Among these jagged
red cliffs the fugitive was as one "between thed
horns of the altar."
On the twenty-third, Fields, one of the party,
had the honor of kilïing their first buffala; and, a
week or so later, Lewis shot an antelope and introduced the prairie dog to science. The journal here
has a long account of the Dakota Sioux, with whomi
Lewis and Clark held councils. One of these coun-
cils threatened to ton out badly.   Clark went LEWIS AND CLARK 45
on shore "with a view of reconsiling those men
to us.'3 The Indians seized a pirogue and were
"very insolent both in words and justures" so
that Clark drew his sword and made a signal to
the boat to prepare for action. The Indians who
surrounded him drew their arrows from their quiv-
ers and were bending their bows, when the swiyel
in the boat was instantly pointed toward them,
and "those with me also Showed a Disposition
to Defend themselves and me. I feit My Self
warm & Spoke in very positive terms." The Sioux
chief, impressed by this resolute front, ordered the
warriors to draw back. Clark-continues, "after
remaining in this Situation Sometime I offered my
hand to the 1. &>2. Chiefs who refused to receive
it." Presently the chiefs changed their minds,
however, as Clark turned away towards the boats.
They waded in after him and he invited them on
board. So, throiigh a frank show of both warlike
courage and good-wiU a peril was passed. The conclusion of Clark's story of the event discloses that
strain of buoyancy in both leaders which must have
been one of the strongest bonds of their friendship.
After proceeding about a mile they anchored off a
little island overgrown with willowswhich they called
"bad humered Island as we were in a bad humer."
They had now been for some weeks in the
big game country. Deer, buffalo, elk, antelopes,
wolves, and bears were seen frequently in herds
and packs. On the 19th of October they saw fifty-
two herds of buffalo and three herds of elk. Twoj
days later they passed the Heart River a little)
below the spot where a railway bridge now joins
the towns of Bismarck and Mandan. Advance
gusts from oncoming winter assailed the explorers
as they hastened on, passing nine ruined villages
of the Mandans in whose chief towns they intended j
to make their winter camp. They reached their destination on the twenty-sixth; and in the first week
of the following month they began the building of|
their fort, on the east bank of the Missouri, about
twenty miles beyond the present town of Wash-
burn, North Dakota. They had traveled some
sixteen hundred miles from their starting point.
A relict of the Mandan tribe lives today on thef
Fort Berthold reservation, but there are very few
full-bloods among them. In 1804 the Mandans
numbered over twelve hundred. They were sufficiently unlike the other plains tribes to cause
much romantic speculation as to their origin. They
were fair er skinned; and light hair was not uncom-
mon among them.  They wore their hair very long, DANCE OF
Engraving after a drawing by Charles Bodmer in Travels in
the Interior of North America in Ï882-3-4, by Maximilian, Prince
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sometimes trailing to their heels. They lived in
earthen houses, well built, circular in shape with
slightly domed roofs. They were cultivators of
the soil, with no lust for warfare; and consequently
they were despised and raided by the ferocious
Sioux. It was their boast, then and afterwards,
that they had never shed the blood of a white
man. Lewis and Clark were not the first white
men they had entertained*. The Canadian explorer
La Vérendrye spent a part of December, 1738,
with them. They were familiar with the traders
of the North-West Company and of the Hudson's
Bay Company. Some of these traders, indeed,
came to the Mandan villages while Lewis and Clark
were wintering there.
Buffalo hunts were among the diversions and
duties of the winter months. Lewis had ample
time to study the Mandans and to inscribe their
legends and history as well as to collect and prepare
specimens of various sorts to send to President
Jefferson in the spring. To give a practical proof
of the American Government's friendship for its
Mandan children, Clark offered to go out with a
number of the men of the expedition and a party of
Indians to pursue and punish a band of Sioux who
had attacked some Mandans.   The Indians were
greatly pleased at this compliment; but, as the snow
was thick and the going bad, they pref erred to take
the will for the deed. In February the exploring
party was augmented by one papoose, a boy, his
mother being Sacajawea, the young Indian wife of
Toussaint Charboneau the guide.
On April % 1805, the explorers left Fort Mandan and pushed on up the Missouri in canoes and
pirogues. The more imposing bateau was now
headed down stream, manned by thirteen men who
vowed to bring it safely to St. Louis. Its pre-
cious contents included, besides specimens, skins,
Indian articles, buffalo robes, and other trophies
for Jefferson, a report from Lewis and a copy of
Clark's diary. The spirit which animated not only
the leaders but the rank and file is attested to by
Lewis in his letter to the President. Of the men
who Were to guide the bateau, Lewis wrote: 'I
have but little doubt but they will be fired on by
the Sioux; but they have pledged themselves to
us that they will not yeald while there is a man
of them living."
Lewis and Clark's party now numbered thirty-
two persons. Following the list of their names we
Sëad that Charboneau and his wife, with her infant, accompanied the expedition as "Interpreter ,       LEWIS AND CLARK 49
and interpretress." Sacajawea was a Shoshöne
who had been captured when a child by Minne-
tarees and by them sold as a slave to Charboneau.
The old voyageur brought her up and afterwards
married her. From now on we are to find the
young Indian woman, Sacajawea, gradually taking
a prominent part in the councils of the expedition.
On the 26th of April the explorers passed the
mouth of the Yellöwstone River and gave it its
English name, translated from the French roche-
jaune. Three days later Lewis had a lively en-
counter with two "brown or yellow bears" of a
sort new to him. One of these animals, wounded
by Lewis, pursued him for "seveiSty or eighty
yards" but only to its own death, for Lewis managed to reload and kill itr-^and jso made the
scientific discovery of the grizzly bear. From now
on "yellow" bears, "white" bears, and "brown"
bears, all variously tinted grizzlies, appeared with
disturbing frequency, and whenever they caught
sight of an explorer they gave chase. One brown-
furred guardian of the wild, with seven bullets in
him, forced the intruding hunters to throw down
their guns and jpouches and leap twenty feet into
the river; he plunged ür after his foes and had all
but snapped upon the hindmost when a shot from
'« * »f *;V5i i 50 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
the shore put the eighth ball in him and ended the
chase. This happened on the 14th of May. It
was surely a day of tests for the explorers. Whilè
thehunters were fleeing from Bruin, a squall struck
a canoe under sail and upset it, with the assist-
anceof Charboneau, who completely lost his head:
É Charbono cannot swim and is perhaps the most
timid waterman in the world." Fortunately the
little vessel, which contained "our papers, instru-
ments, books, medicine . . . and in short almost every article indispensibly necessary to further the views, or insure the success of the enter-
prize in which we are now launched to the distance
of 2200 milesfibwas not completely overturned. But
the lighter articles were washed overboard and
were saved only by the cool courage and nimble
fingers of Charboneau's wife, the Bird-Woman,
who snatched back most of them from the hungry
stream. In this merry fashion did the explorers
celebrate the anniversary of their setting out from
the mouth of the Wood River.
The Missouri now wound about the base of tall
cliffs of white sandstone sculptured by wind and
water into grotesque shapes. Perhaps it was this
remarkable environment that stirred the practical Clark into a romantic mood and led him to LEWIS AND CLARK 51
christen a stream they passed presently, " Judith's
River," in honor of the lady of his heart whom he
afterwards married. Clark was one of those to
whom a rosé by any other name would smell as
sweet; the lady's name was, in fact, Julia Hancock,
not Judith. Nevertheless the Judith River still
marks the map of Montana in her memory. A
little later Lewis also complimented a lady, his
cousin Maria Wood, though the turbulent waters
of Maria's River (now written Marias) "but üly
comport with the pure celestial virtues and amiable
qualifications of that lovely fair one."
At Maria's River, on the 2d of June, they came
to a halt, for they did not know which of the two
streams was the Missouri* Here the party divided.
Lewis with six men set off to investigate Maria's
River, and Clark proceeded up the south fork,
the Missouri. Both leaders had serious encounters
with grizzly bears, besides other difficulties, before
they returned to the forks; but they returned of one
mind, convinced that the south fork was the Missouri. What manner of leaders they were is re-
vealed in the fact that their party willingly turned
up the south fork with them, although all the
men were also of one mind, but in the opposite
Leaving Clark in charge of the boats, Lewis
proceeded up the river on foot, untü he heard a
distant rush of waters and saw spray rise above the
plain like a column of smoke and immediately
vanish.   The noise, increasing as he approached,
soon "began to make a roaring too tremendious for
any cause short of the great falls of the MissouriJ
Then the FaUs came into | view.   Lewis hurried
down the banks of the river, which were two
hundred feet high and "diflicult of accëss," and sat
on a rock below the center of the Falls to enjoy
"this truly magnificent and sublimely grand object, which has from the commencement of time
been concealed from the view of civilized man."
The Great Falls were more than a sublime spec-
tacle to Lewis and Clark; they were proof positive
that the explorers twere on the true Missouri, head-
ing towards the passes that led into the region of
the Columbia River. jfc ^
While waiting for the boats, Lewis explored the
surrounding country, and he crowded a great deal
of excitement into the few days. He shot a buffalo
and was waiting to see it drop when he discovered
a brown bear within twenty steps of him. He had
forgotten to reload, so that there was nothing for it
but flight.   The bear, open-mouthed, pursued him, LEWIS AND CLARK 53
gaining f ast. The plain was bare of trees or brush.
Lewis decided that his only chance was to plunge
into the river and force the bear to attack under
the handicap of swimming. His ruse was successful. But a little later, as he continued his explorations, three buffalo bulls ran at him. Lewis
writes: 'I thought at least to give them some
amusement and altered my direction to meet them;
when they arrived within a hundred yards they
made a halt, took a good view of me and retreat-
ed with precipitation." He now pushed rapidly
through the dark towards camp to escape from a
place which "from the succession of curious adventures'1 seemed to him an enchanted region.
"Sometimes for a moment I thought it might be
a dream, but the prickley pears which pierced my
feet very severely once in a while . . . convinced
me that I was really awake.'3 He made his bed that
night under a tree and awoke in the morning to find a
large rattlesnake coiled on the trunk just above him.
Clark, with the boats, was meeting dangers of
another sort. "We set out at the usual time and
proceeded on with great difficulty . . . the current
excessively rapid and difficult to assend great numbers of dangerous places, and the f atigue which we
have to encounter is incretiatable the men in the
water from morning until night hauling the cord &
boats walking on sharp rocks and round slippery
stones which alternately cut their feet & throw
them down, notwith standing all this dificuelty
they go with great chearfulness, aded to those
dificuelties the rattlesnakes inumerable & require
great caution to prevent being bitten." Of the five
falls on the Missouri two received from Lewis and
Clark the names they still bear — Great Falls and
Crooked Falls.
At this point, of course, navigation became impossible. To reach free water again it was necessary to make a portage of about seventeen miles.
The men shaped wheels from the one lone cot-
tonwood tree on the bank and made axles and
tongues of willow and other light woods within
reach. With these they moved the laden canoes
across the rough surface of the plain which was
dented deep by the hoofs of the buffalo. The
hard dried edges of the dents tortured the men's
moccasined feet and made hauling difficult and
slow. The tongues and axles broke repeatedly and
had to be renewed. But the men were helped
sometimes by high winds, which blew the canoes
under sail at a good pace over the earth. They
had stumbled across rough country for thirteen LEWIS AND CLARK 55
days when at last they reached the launching point
above the Falls. Then, while Cruzatte, the French
voyageur, scraped his fiddle, all who could make
use of their feet had a dance on the green.
On the 29th of June, Clark, Charboneau, and the
Bird-Woman and her baby almost lost their lives
in a cloud-burst. They had taken refuge from the
rain in a narrow ravine when suddenly a torrent
descended upon them. "The rain appeared to
descend in a body and instantly collected in the
rivene and came down in a roling torrent with
irresistible force driving rocks mud and everything
before it which opposed it's passage. Capt C for-
tunately discovered it a moment before it reached
them and seizing his gun and shot pouch with his
left hand with his right he assisted himself up the
steep bluff shoving occasionally the Indian woman
before him who had her child in her arms; Shar-
bono had the woman by the hand indeavoring to
pull her up the hill but was so much frightened
that he remained frequently motionless and but
for Capt C both himself and his woman and child
must have perished." The water rosé so swiftly
that it was up to Clark's waist before he had begun
to climb and "he could scarcely ascend f aster than
it arrose tül it had obtained the debth of 15 feet 56 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
with a current tremendious to behold. One moment longer & it would have swept them into the
river just above the cataract of 87 feet where they
must have inevitably perished." In this adventure Clark lost his compass, Charboneau dropped
his gun, shot pouch, and powder-horn, and the
Bird-Woman had barely time to grasp her baby
before the net in which it lay at her feet was swept
away. Some of the men had been out on the plain
when the storm broke and the heavy hail, driven
upon them by the violent wind, had felled several
of them so that they were "bleeding freely and
complained of being much bruised."
The explorers had been for some time, of course,
in sight of the Rocky Mountains, and, while not
unimpressed by the grandeur and beauty of the
great range, they were doubtless thinking more of
the passes among the peaks which they must find
and penetrate. On the 13th of July, they took
stream again at a point about three miles above
the present city of Great Falls, Montana; and on
the twenty-fifth they reached Three Forks, the con-
fluence of the three rivers which unite their waters
to form the Missouri. These rivers were name4
by Lewis and Clark the Madison, the Jefferson, and
the Gallatin. LEWIS AND CLARK 57
They were now in the country of the Snakes, or
Shoshones, the Bird-Woman's people. Near by
Sacajawea pointed out the very spot where she
had been captured. Eagerly she watched^ for signs
of her tribe, minutely examining deserted brush
wickiups to discern how recently they had been
tenanted, straining her eyes for smoke signals
among the blue mists on the mountains.
Sacajawea, searching the sunlit horizon or looking wistfully out into the dusk as it drifted down
and extinguished her hope of that day, was little
understood by the two busy leaders, who had
already noted in their journal that, true to the
Indian character, she viewed the old scènes with
indifference. But her preoccupation provoked
her lord and master, so that one evening he dealt
her a blow, for which Clark gave him a "severe
At length, after navigating the shallows and
canyons of the Jefferson to a point near the present town of Dillon, Montana, the explorers met
with a company of famishing Shoshones, pressing
on eastward to the buffalo grounds along the
Missouri. Lewis, exploring by land, had found
them first and with difllculty had persuaded them
to remain to greet the boat party.   These Indians
were so often the prey of the fierce Blackfeet that
they were intensely nervous and suspieïous. The
appearance of the boats reassured them, and so
great was the relief of their frightened chief that
he feil upon Lewis's neck and repeatedly embraced
him till he was "besmeared with their grease" and|
"heartily tired of the national hug." The party
disembarked. The eager Bird-Woman raced ahead
and presently, says Clark, "danced for the joyful
sight," as she held out her arms to a young woman
who rushed towards her. The two had been companions in childhood and had also been together
in captivity.
The Shoshone chief took Lewis and Clark to his
lodge. His warriors quickly marked a small circle
in the sod, in the center of the tent, by tearing up
the bunch grass; and here Indians and white men
seated themselves on green boughs covered with
antelope skins. Then the sacred pipe was brought
Clark was enough impressed with this pipe to make
a drawing of it; and, from his picture and written
description, we can see its long stem and its large
bowl of green stone, polished like crystal and
gleaming like jade, as the chief slowly gestured
with it to the four points of the compass. But
though the white men knew that the chief meant LEWIS AND CLARK 59
them well because he had taken off his moccasins — as one who said, "May I f orever go bare-
foot if I deal-not truly with you" — yet they
could not make their needs known to him. And
those needs were great. For here, at the foot of
the high Mountains of Bright Stones, all their
hopes would end unless this chief could be in-
fluenced to guide them through the pass. They
knew that it would not be easy to persuade him to
part with horses enough for their party and baggage; and, as they regarded his "fierce eyes and lank
jaws grown meagre from the want of food," they
doubted if anything they could offer would induce
him and his starving tribe to turn back from their
hunting trip. So Sacajawea was sent for, not only
to interpret but to plead, as a Shoshone, with her
kin to open the sealed door in that great stone
barrier that the white men might go on to the wide
waters of the River of the West.
It was surely a dramatic moment for the Bird-
Woman when she slipped into the formal council
circle, with head bent and eyes downcast as became
a woman among chiefs. But a keener experience
was in store for her. As the chief began to speak,
telling the white men that not by his war name but
by his peace name, Cameahwait, or Come and 60 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON ■
Smoke, would he be known to them, the Bird-
Woman recognized her brother. She sprang up
with a cry, ran to him, and threw her blanket about
him, weeping. The chief also was deeply moved
by this strange meeting, and for a brief moment
the white men caught a glimpse of the universal
human heart beating behind the racial barrier.
" The meeting of those people was really affecting,"
Lewis writes. Lewis and Clark could only guess at
the meaning of Sacajawea's long earnest speech to
her brother, but they could heartily rejoice at its
results, for the chief agreed to fulfill all their desires.
The explorers had now to adapt their outfit to
overland travel; so they set about making pack-
saddles. For nails they used rawhide thongs; and,
for boards, oar handles and the planks of some of
their boxes encased in rawhide. While the crew,
assisted by the Indian men, were at this task, the
Indian women were busy men ding the white men's
moccasins. Though the chief had promised that
the Shoshones would help transport the baggage
and see the party safely over the mountains, yet
on the day before the departure he secretly prepared to go down the Missouri to the buffalo
grounds. Taxed with his double-dealing, he admitted it to Lewis regretfully, explaining that the LEWIS AND CLARK    v 61
tribe's food supply had come to an end and that,
seeing his people in want, he had forgotten his
promise to the white men, which, however, he
would now fulfill at all costs. In this incident we
get a pure white flash of the young Bird-Woman's
character, for, despite her joy in the reunion with
her kin, her loyalty to Lewis and Clark moved her
to betray to them the change in her brother's plans
which so menaced the success of the expedition.
Moved by these experiences among the Shoshones, Lewis, in one of his most thoughtfui moods,
thus records his birthday, the 18th of August:
This day I completed my thirty-first year, and con-
ceived that I had in all human probability now existed
about half the period which I am to remain. ... I had
as yet done but little... to further the happiness of the
human race, or to advance the information of the succeeding generation. I viewed with regret the many
hours I have spent in indolence and now soarly feel
the want of that information which those hours would
have given me had they been judiciously expended.
But since they are past and cannot be recalled, I dash
from me the gloomy thought, and resolved, in future, to
redouble my exertions and at least indeavour to pro-
mote those two primary objects of human existence,
by giving them the aid of that portion of talents which
nature and fortune have bestoed on me; or in future,
tolive for mankind, as I have heretofore lived for myself.
The party crossed the backbone of the Rockieg
through the Lemhi Pass and entered a wild country!
of deep gorges, mad streams, and thickly wooded
mountain flanks. Here Sacajawea's kinsmen took
leave of the white men and returned to the eastern;
side of the range — all but one old Shoshone who
consented to remain and guide the expedition, for
the explorers had still to encounter grave perils before the navigable waters of the Columbia River
would ease their travel. Clark spent a week in
fruiÜess explorations of the branches of the Lemhi
and the Salmon in Idaho. There was no clear river
high way here. The expedition then pushed north-
west through the hills and, veering east, passed the
Continental Divide into Montana again. Here
Lewis and Clark had friendly encounters with Nez
Percés and Flathead or Salish Indians. On the
7th of September they camped south of the present
Grantsdale, Montana. They pressed on north-
ward to Lo Lo Creek, named by them Travelers
Rest, and crossed again into Idaho through the
Lo Lo Pass. Heading towards the Clearwater, the
Shoshone guide sometimes mistook the trail and it
seems that the expedition floundered about. The
•men suffered from hunger, from cold and fatigue.
They were obliged to kill a horse occasionally for LEWIS AND CLARK 63
food. Sometimes the main party halted, while
Clark with some of the hunters went out searching
for a way out of the maze of foaming streams and
snow-crowned precipices. But by the twenty-sixth
all were safely camped on the Clearwater. Both
leaders and men were very ill from the privations they had undergone; nevertheless they began
building canoes at once. On the 7th of October
they were headed down the river and three days
later they camped near its mouth. Then, launch-
ing their canoes on the Snake, they came on the
sixteenth to the mouth of that river which pours
its waters into the Columbia itself. Here Indians,
as though to celebrate the great event—the signifi-
cance of which they could not have grasped had
it been told to them — collected in numbers to
receive the white men. "A Chief came from this
camp which was about J£ of a mile up the Columbia river at the head of about 200 men singing and
beeting on their drums Stick and keeping time to
the musik, they formed a half circle around us and
Sung for Some time."
On the 18th of October Lewis and Clark floated
out upon the River of the West. They portaged
the Celilo Falls on the twenty-third and took
stream again in that stretch of the river known as
the Dalles where the water runs over lava beds
and between grotesquely carved lava cliffs. The
navigators presently saw ahead of them a tremen-
dous rock stretching across the river leaving a channel "between two rocks not exceeding forty five
yards wide" through which the whole body of the
Columbia must press its way. A portage herè
was considered by Clark "impossible with our
Strength"; he therefore "deturmined to pass
through this place notwithstanding the horrid ap-
pearance of this agitated gut swelling, boiling &
whorling in every direction, which from the top of
the rock did not appear as bad as when I was in it;
however we passed Safe." Two days later they
passed the Long Narrows, where their canoes were
nearly swampedby the boiling tide, and camped on
Quinett Creek near the present city of The Dalles.
Then one more bad stretch of water, the Cascades,
must be portaged before the ease of continuous
unobstructed navigation was theirs. On the 7th of
November, according to Clark, there was "Great
joy in camp, we are in view of the Ocian, . . .
this great Pacific Octean which we have been so
long anxious to See, and the roreing or noise made
by the waves brakeing on the rockey shores . . .
may be heard distictly." LEWIS AND CLARK 65
It would seem that what they saw, however,
was not the ocean but the mouth of the Columbia,
which is over a dozen miles wide at this point below
the site of the future Astoria. They now experienced the ocean swells which roll through the
river here and also the blowing rain and fog characteristic of the Northwest Coast. Their first
camp was on Point Ellice, called by Clark Point
Distress. Here for several days they were not
only drenched to the skin but pelted with stones
which the rains loosened from the hillside. In this
wretched condition they remained, wet and cold,
and with only a little dried fish to satisfy their
hunger. The men were scattered on floating logs
or trying to shelter themselves in the crevices of
the bank. Here also "we found great numbers
of flees which we treated with the greatest caution
and distance." The weather cleared on the 15th of
November and the explorers moved round the point
into Baker's Bay, where they built shelters for themselves with the timbers from the walls of an abandoned Indian village. Their journey had occupied
eighteen months and had covered four thousand
miles. On the rugged wilderness irom the mouth
of the Missouri to the Pacific Ocean, Lewis and
Clark and their loyal band had written America's
greatest epic of adventure. Here they were now
at the mouth of Robert Gray's river; and pres-
enüy we see the indefatigable Clark climbing joy-
ously to the top of Meares's Cape Disappointment.
On one side of him rolls a free sea; on the other
stretches a wooded cliff line which shall be the
western shore of the United States.
Lewis and Clark wintered among the Clatsop
Indians, south of the Columbia, a few miles up the
Lewis and Clark River, where Lewis pursued his
ethnolögical studies and the others passed the time
in hunting and exploring.
On March 23,1806, the expedition turned home-
wards. On the 30th of June, having recrossed the
Great Divide through Lo Lo Pass and reached
Travelers Rest Camp, a mile above the mouth of
Lo Lo Creek, the leaders decided on the dangerous
plan of separating the party to make explorations.
On the lst of July Lewis wrote:
From this place I determined to go with a small
party by the most direct rout to the falls of the Mis-
souri, there to leave [three men] to prepare carriages
and geer for the purpose of transporting the canoes
and baggage over the portage, and myself and six
volunteers to ascend Maria's river with a view to explore the country and ascertain whether any branch
of that river lies as far north as Latd 50. and again LEWIS AND CLARK
return and join the party who are to decend the Mis-
souri, at the entrance of Maria's river . . . the other
part of the men are to proceed with Capt Clark to the
head of Jefferson's river where we deposited sundry
articles and left our canoes. from hence Sergt Ordway
with a party of 9 men are to decend the river with
the canoes; Capt C with the remaining ten including
Charbono and York will proceed to the Yellowstone
river at it's nearest approach to the three forks of the
Missouri, here he will build a canoe and decend the
Yellowstone river with Charbono the indian woman,
his servant York and five others to the missouri where
should he arrive first he will wait my arrival. Sergt
Pryor with two other men are to proceed with the
horses by land to the Mandans and thence to the
British posts on the Assinniboin [Clark says, "the
tradeing Establishments of the N W Co"] . . . to
prevail on the Sioux to join us on the Missouri.
In consequence of this daring plan, which was
not fully carried out in detail, the party was sepa-
rated for six weeks. Lewis explored Maria's River
and found that it had no branches reaching to the
fiftieth parallel. His excursion, however, was not
uneventful, for he exchanged shots with the war-
like Blackfeet and later was shot accidentally and
painfully wounded by Cruzatte, the fiddler, who
mistook his leader for a deer. The Bird-Woman
accompanied Clark's party. It was she who rec-
ognized signs obliterated to other eyes, who pointed
out the true passes in the maze of hills and ra-
vines and guided the party safely to Three Forks.
From Three Forks Clark set out to explore the
Yellowstone River to its mouth.   On the journe^j
he mapped many points now famous, such as the
Big Horn mountains and river, the plain where
Custer's monument now stands, and the huge rock
called Pompey's Pillar on which Clark's signature
and the date cut in with his knife are still legible.
He lost all his horses, which were silently rounded
up and driven away by Crow Indians.   Descend-
ing the river, near the present city of GlendiveJ
Clark and his men were forced to halt for an hoinf
because the river, though a mile wide, was occupied
from shore to shore by the crossing of a buffalo
herd.   The next day they witnessed the crossinJ
of two herds.
One of Clark's companions was John Colteri
This man returned to the Yellowstone River im
1807, and was, so far as is known, the first white
explorer of the mountains of Wyoming between th$
Big Horn Range and the Idaho border. He discovered the Three Tetons and Yellowstone Lakm
and some part at least of Yellowstone Park.       M
By the 14th of August Lewis and Clark were
once more among the Mandans with whom they LEWIS AND (MaABK 69
had spent their first winter on the trail. Here
Colter left them to return to the wilderness. And»
here they parted with Sacajawea and her family,
since Charboneau desired to remain among the
Mandans. Clark writes: "I offered to take his
little son, a butifull promising child who is 19
months old to which they both himself & wife
were willing provided the child had been weened."
Lewis and Clark reached St. Louis at noon, September 23, 1806, announcing their approach by
firing of cannon. All St. Louis, hearing the splen-
did noise, rushed down to the bank to greet them.
The welcome, Clark says, was "harty." On the
next day they wrote letters, Clark to his brother,
Lewis to Jefferson; and Drouillard, one of the crew,
sprinted off with them to overtake the mounted
postman. The explorers then sallied forth to pro-
cure new attire, which they sadly needed. They
bought cloth and took it to a "tayler." On the
twenty-fifth they "payed" visits and in the evening were honored by a " dinner & Ball." The next
day Clark jotted down the last line of the great epic:
" A fine morning we commenced wrighting; &c."
In 1807 Meriwether Lewis was appointed Gov-
ernor of Louisiana Territory.   Two years later, 70 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON ■
while riding along the Natchez Tracé on his wa^
to Washington and accompanied only by his ser-
vant, a Spaniard, he paused for the night at a
lonely inn, seventy-two miles below Nashville in
Lewis County, Tennessee. Here he was shot.
For a long time the impression prevailed that he
had taken his own life in a fit of depression. Later
investigations, however, have led to the conclusion
that he was robbed and murdered by the half-
caste, Grinder, who kept the inn. But the belief
of Lewis's family was that the Governor had been
done away with by his Spanish servant, not only?
for the money on his person but for the sake of
certain documents which Lewis was taking to
Washington. Whether Lewis feil a victim to the
rapacity of the ill-reputed Grinder, or whether his
death was but one more knot in the intricate skein
of Spanish intrigue, will now, probably, never be
known. But, at least, the theory of suicide no
longer beclouds his f ame. His body was buried be-
side the Tracé near the spot where death found him.
In 1848, the State of Tennessee raised a monument of marble over the grave. Even today the
scène is a wild one. Forest, uninvaded by axe or
plow, closes about the broken column which marks
the place of Meriwether Lewis's last sleep on trail* LEWIS AND CLARK 71
William Clark survived his friend for thirty
years. His was a life crowded with useful activi-
ties. A year after his return he entered the fur
trade. He was appointed Governor of Missouri
Territory in 1813 and retained the office until
Missouri was admitted to statehood in 1820.
Later he became Superintendent of Indian Affairs
and held that post until his death. He had already, on his western journey, established among
the Indians a reputation for courage, justice, and
friendship. His influence with the tribes was probably greater than that of any other white ïnan
since Sir William Johnson of colonial days. The
name of "Red Head" was loved and revered in
every lodge and wickiup from the Mississippi to the
Pacific. As Governor and as Superintendent of Indian Affairs, his executive ability, shrewd common
sense, and his f arsightedness, integrity, and humanity made his official acts constructive incidents in
the growth of the American commonwealth.
In his personal relations he was loyal, affection-
ate, and generous. In behalf of his brother he
addressed dignified and just appeals to the Vir-
ginian authorities for payment of the debts
which George Rogers Clark had contracted in the
equipment of his Illinois campaigns.   And when
-;t»fs?gSQ 72 f        ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
Virginia would not pay, and George Rbgers Clark
could not, William Clark assuined the burden. It
was his insistence that won at last a small pension
for his brother. #He also \ paid notes of Lewis's
which had been protested, so that the honor of his
dead friend should not be smirchedA We know
that he did not wish to f orget the Bird-Woman who
had guided him safely to Three Forks on his homeward journey, since he offered to adopt and «ducate
the son bornto her on the march, and presuma-
bly also he was responsible for the appointment
of old Charboneau as interpreter at the Missouri
Sub-Agency in 1837.
William Clark married twice and was the father
of seven children. His first wife was the lady for
whom, as he supposed, he had named Judith River.
He died in 1838, aged sixty-eight years, and he was
buried in Missouri.
Clark lived to see great changes come to Missouri after the transfer of the territory to American rule. Then St. Louis was only a small village, backward in comparison with any American
settlement of its size, and La Charette, some
forty odd miles to the northwest, was the farthest
frontier. But in 1838 there were many thriving
American settlements in Missouri, and St. Louis  miÖÖN
rge nogers v
pal! peae
toT   ' 40$SÊÊ0  H^alstó  ..-"_.   toOee: %p:
whi oh i protr::. ï il- that tti*Jaonor oim
dep? ; .:        -   -  to - eeirched,   We;k
- -   te did not wish to f orgel     .- e. e-     e e ■ ■ wÊ
forks on Ms hc
9IJB9H   ilOgllil
,fl*H  eiasbaeqvbalni  sl&e'ï fioalIïW geh-BdO '■«,
W - <3&
[is first wife was the$adM
|    > -.-r- 1 aam^
• -ir -
and he
Clark ir   •   ...     -  greai  e' •    :0 oome-lo ]
kouri afl v tiipli|p»fer of   ': e 'toritory to Ar
rmiJÉtÉii    ., -    .  e'„.    -       - e.     .      i small
e*. oacKwaro. iB*f^       irisi ^ wixja any^Ainer
Afi I'   ÏYlïiï*» fa t
ld   1
were .:•. ■
was the emporium of a vast trade in furs, the arteries of which ran through that great wilderness
first mapped and in part first explored by Lewis
and Clark. CHAPTER IH
The fur trade of North America — which en-
couraged and sustained the earliest French and
English explorations inland, which was the chief
spoil f ought for in the colonial wars, and which
swept across the continent, the f orerunner of colonization, to see the last days of its glory in Old
Oregon — began as an accident. It was not furs
in the first place that brought Europeans adven-
turing on the northern shores of the New World.
Immediately in the wake of those earliest mariners
searching for the pathway to the East came other
sea rovers to fish for cod. This takes us back
to Sebastian Cabot. Sebastian returned from the
second English voyage to America — the voyage
of 1498 — with marvelous fish stories, which so
stirred the watermen of Europe that fishing vessels
from England, France, and Portugal were soon on
the Banks of Newfoundland.   Presently Spaniards
joined them, and it was not long before Basque
whalers from the Bay of Biscay were wrestling with
Leviathan in American waters. The French seem
to have led all the rest, even as they were later to
lead the way as trappers and fur traders.1 The
fishing fleets went out in April and returned in
August. The industry was divided, then as now,
into "green " and " dry." The dry-cod fishers built
platforms on shore on which they split and dried
their fish. Each ship had its own station to which
its crew returned year after year. And these dry-
cod fishers, who lived partly on shore for three
months of every fishing season, were the first white
men to trade with the Indians for furs.
We should not turn away too quickly from the
picture of the first Indian who stepped forward to
offer a beaver pelt to a man of our race in exchange
for some trinket made in Europe. That picture
illustrates the opening chapter of a great romance.
The Indian's gesture beckons the white man to the
free march of the forest trail and the rhythmic
glide of the birch canoe.   His beaver pelt is a sign
1 By 1578 the French had 150 vessels off Nova Scotia and Newfoundland — as against 100 Spanish, 50 Portuguese, 25 Basque,
and 50 English vessels — and in 1603, four years prior to the
Jamestown settlement, they had nearly 600 ships on the Banks.
See H. P. Biggar, Early Trading Companies of New France.
"-.< >r*ïëS£i 76 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON |
pointing northward, southward, westward. All
trails lead to the beaver landstand, in following
them, the trapper shall pierce to the Frozen Sea
and to the Ocean of the Setting Sun. And, besidel
those great inland waters of which the-öld mariners
dreamed, his camp fire shall glow like a star dropped
upon the wasten
It was the French who first caught the vision o§
the fur trade. The Dutch bartered with the Indians at Manhattan and far up the Hudson. And
English traders were the first pathfinders across
the Appalachians. But it was Frenchmen who,
in advance of all others, pursued the little beaver
into the wilds of the continent. H the goal they
sought was the legendary strait, their activities
were quickened and supported by the fur trade.
It was as fur traders that Champlain and his associ-
ates explored the region of the Great Lakes. It
was the beaver that lured on Radisson and Groseil-
liers, the first white men to reach the prairies beyond the Great Lakes and probably the first to
pass overland to Hudson Bay. Again it was the
beaver that made possible the exploration of the
Mississippi by Joliet and Marquette and La Salie,
and the discovery of the Saskatchewan, and of the
Black Hills of South Dakota by La Vérendrye. THE REIGN OF THE TRAPPER 77
Before New France feil the French had established trading posts reaching from Montreal up the
Great Lakes, across to the Lake of the Woods, on to
Lake Winnipeg, and up the Saskatchewan as far as
the Rocky Mountains. By a chain of forts circling
southward, from the head of Lake Ontario, they
dominated the Ohio, the Wabash, the Wisconsin,
and the Ulinois. They were on the Arkansas, the
Red, the Osage, and the Kansas. Through Kas-
kaskia, New Orleans, Fort Alabama, and their itin-
erant trade with the tribes from Tennessee to the
Gulf, they were masters of the Mississippi.
For the Frenchman in Old Canada the life of the
wilderness had an irresistible lure. In vain the
authorities at Quebec tried to compel him to live
within the settlements and cultivate the soil. The
glamor of the woods drew him away to follow the
beaver with the Tndian trappers. He married
among the Indians and reared his children in their
lodges. Thus there sprang up that new and entirely unique type of man, the coureur-de-bois, or
trapper, and his complement and companion, the
voyageur, or canoeman — rovers of the forest; first
offspring of France in the New World; speaking
two mother tongues; care free and good-humored;
disdainful of hardship and danger; and indifferent
to all education other than the Indian's lore.   The
governor might ban them; the priest might deplore
their impiety; but through them France wielded!
the first great fur empire of North America.
This, however, was not an undisputed empire.
There was soon an English rival in the field — a
rival for which two Frenchmen were responsible.
It was in the summer of 1666 that those intrepid
wanderers and traders, Radisson and Groseilliers,
having fallen foul of the Governor at Quebec in
the matter of trading licenses, found themselves —
after a series of vicissitudes — in London. Out of
ruin, persecution, and ship wreek, they entered into
a city of gloom. London lay under the pall of the
Great Plague. The gay monarch, Charles II, had
fled to Oxford and was holding court there, sur-
rounded by his f avorite nobles and his best beloved
ladies. But the King was bored; he found life at
Oxford very dull; so he welcomed the chance of
hearing the two French castaways teil their marvel-
ous tales of adventure in the New World. He enjoyed their stories — thought them so good as to
be worth forty shillings a week for the rest of the
year, a very fair pension indeed for a couple of
entertainers in those days.
By the winter of 1666-67 fire had swept London THE REIGN OF THE TRAPPER        79
clean of contagion, and the King and his courtiers
returned to the city. Once in London and still
under the royal favor, the merry monarch's two
entertainers became the rage. Prince Rupert, the
King's Admiral and cousin, just home from the
Dutch Wars, was much taken with them. So were
the aldermen and the high patrons of commerce;
for, though the Dutch wars had given to England
the Dutch colony of New Netherland on the Hudson, they had been disastrous to English trade upon
the sea; and patriotic and practical Englishmen
were looking all ways for means to recoup their
losses. So Radisson and Groseilliers (the latter appears in the records as "Mr. Gooseberry")
were invited to castle, tavern, and coffee-house
to expound their views on the fur trade over
roasted pullets.
This abundant feasting and story-telling had its
dênouement, first, in a voyage to the shores of Hudson Bay to establish the verity of the Frenchmen's
tales as to the trading opportunity in that region,
which was English by right of Hudson's discovery
in 1610, and, secondly, in a charter given under the
King's seal in 1670, granting unto his cousin Prince
Rupert and seventeen courtiers, designated as
the "Governor and Company of Adventurers of 80 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
England trading into Hudson's Bay,': in feudal
domain, all the lands drained by waters flowing into
that great inland sea. This charter, giving away
an empire almost half the size of Europe, the King
signed with his quill pen. He was richly garbed
for the ceremony in the new style of coat and vest
designed by himself. He was in a happy frame of
mind, for now he had an antidote for the tantrums
of milady Castlemaine in the warm-hearted gaiety
of "pretty witty Nellie," as the diarist Pepys calls
Nell Gwyn. Surrounding the King, as he affixed
his royal signature to the instrument, stood the
"gentlemen-adventurers" named therein, among
them the weak James, Duke of York, afterwards
King, and the martial Rupert, soldier, sailor, and
artist, a man of power, and the outstanding figure
of the group. Had Rupert been King instead of
that pretty philanderer in the chair, perhaps the
course of these eventful years would have been
better for England. But who can know? What
one of that brilliant group imagined that the Company they formed would long outlive the Stuart
dynasty? It was decreed that the territory granted
under! the charter should henceforth be known
as Rupert's Land. But, though the Company of
which Rupert was»the first Governor still flourishes, THE REIGN OF THE TRAPPER 81
there is no Rupert's Land mentioned on iany map
of that country today.
The Company sent ships to Hudson Bay and
built forts on the Nelson and HayéS rivers and on
James Bay. Yearly three vessels sailed from England with goods and returned laden with furs. Un-
like the French traders, the officers of the Hudson's
Bay Company did not range the woods to trade
but lived in feudal state within their stockaded
forts and waited for the Indians to come to them.
As a group of Indians approached*ene of the forts,
the commander and his subordinates would emerge
to greet them. The commander wore a periwig, a
sword, and a^silken cloak. His manner was courte-
ous and aloof, his discourse dignified and straight-
forward. The Indians quickly learned to know
him as a man of his word and a trader who had one
price and no rum. This way of trading worked
very well for a short time. But one year it was
noticed that fewer Indians were coming to trade;
the next year there were fewer still. The reason
was soon learned. Canadian traders, branching
north from the St. Lawrence, were intercepting the
tribes and getting their furs.
These Canadians, a company of stout traders and
dare-devils as reckless and unscrupulous as ever
: < ><»;"eSJ i 82    I    ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
ranged the wilds, saw that English frost on the
shores of Hudson Bay threatening blight to the
lilies of France. But this was the year 1686,
and France and England were at peace. And
could some hundred armed men pass through the
gates of Quebec on their dash to Hudson Bay without the cognizance of the Governor? They could,
if the Governor would look over his other shoulder.
Beautiful indeed were the gates of Quebec to the
eyes of every loyal Canadian; but were there not
other fine views to be admired from the castle Windows? Evidently the Governor thought so, for a
raiding force was presently on its way overland to
Hudson Bay. With the marauders, dressed as Indians, went three Le Moynes, young men in their
twenties, one of them that Pierre Le Moyne d'Iber-
ville later to win f ame on land and sea as the most
illustrious fighter of New France and as the founder
of the colony of Louisiana which Jefferson was to
add to the United States.
Swiftly, by forest, stream, and swamp, the raiders
sped northward until they reached the outskirts of
the English Fort Moose on the shore of James Bay.
Lurking low in the shadows of the moonlit brush
fringe, Iberville took note of the drowsy sen-
try.   Then he darted forward, his moccasined feet THE REIGN OF THE TRAPPER        83
noiseless on the sod, and plunged his dagger through
the watchman's throat. The snoring traders within the fort woke to the firing of guns, the clink
of steel, and the yells of savage men leaping and
clambering over the bastions. Before the sleep
was out of their eyes, their fort was lost — and with
it their great packs of furs. Fort Moose was only
the beginning. All the forts on the Bay save one
were looted by the raiders, who then returned to
Quebec as fast as they could travel under their
burden of furs.
The Adventurers of England carefully transcribed
their losses in neat columns and doggedly set the
helm of their fortunes once more for the scène of
their disaster, only to meet again with the same
fate. One summer day, as the supply ships from
England sailed into the Bay against a stiff wind,
they spoke a vessel wafting out merrily under
full canvas with the Union Jack at her masthead.
Homeward bound! "A goode wind and a faire
sail to her!" They plodded on — to anchor before
forts looted and wrecked. It was indeed one of
their own ships that had sailed by them, packed
deep with furs; but the skipper of that ship was
Iberville, the raider.
Iberville made his last visit to Hudson Bay in 84 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
1697, before the Peace of Ryswick. Now that
France and England were at war, he wore, not the
fringed bückskin of a coureur-de-bois, but the uniform of a naval officer of France, and he com-
manded the Pelican, a French man-of-war. He
fought three armed English vessels on the Bay and
defeated them after a savage fight amid the ice-
floes. It was a strange setting for a naval battle.
Perhaps the f urtive animals of the wilderness, hearing a sound roll in heavier than the roar of wind
and surf, stood still in their tracks and stiffened at
the thunder of that fierce fight for their pelts.
After the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, when Hudson Bay was restored to England, the Adventurers
strengthened their half-dozen posts on the Bay and
built the great stone fort named Prince of Wales,
on the Churchill River.I This fort mounted forty-
two cannon — six to twenty-four pounders — and
was manned by some two score men. The rosters
of the other forts listed from eleven to forty men
apiece. And there in the bleak stillness and lone-
liness of the waste, year in, year out, these men
lived and ïtraded with the Indians.   They drank
1 This fort was partially destroyed in 1782 by the French
Admiral La Perouse, as an ally of the Americans in the Revo-
lutionary War.   Its ruins are still standing.
snow-water for nine months of the year because
the river was salt for twelve miles above its mouth;
in the brief summers they hauled fresh water with
three draft horses kept for the purpose. Their
most pleasant duty, says one of them, was killing
But, in truth, very little is known of what happened during these years on Hudson Bay. When
the last echo of Iberville's guns died away, a cur-
tain of silence, thick and vast as the northern snows,
dropped between the traders on the Bay and the
bustling world. The records of the following years
lie in the cellars of Hudson's Bay House in London;
barely a hint of their contents has reached us. We
know that yearly the ships came and went, bearing
huge packs of furs home to London. We know,
too, that gifts were made — silver fox tippets
for Queen Anne, beaver socks for a George or
two, "catt skin counterpanes" for some lordship's
"bedd." Portly merchants and rich nobles, with
their good dames, walked abroad in fur trimmings
to stir the envious. Milord might be heard to say
that he had paid a pretty penny for his beaver
mittens — "egad, sir, yes, in good English money!"
But little could he compute the cost of them. Behind that screen of silence was the true reckoning
made — where, at the short summer's end, the
white haze gathered and lowered and moved down
over land and sea, with a breath like steel, stilling]
the waters, burying the land, piling white towers
about the trees, rearmg white crags along the
shore, drifting against the doors of the trading
posts, shutting out the light of the windowpanes
with a white tapestry, dropping, dropping. "We
cannot reckon any man happy," said one, "whose
lot is cast upon this Bay." These were the cost
of milord's mittens — the monotonous life, the
loneliness of the silent years.
Meanwhile, far to the south of Hudson Bay, the
great struggle between France and England dragged
on. The Americans were pushing westward to the
tribes hitherto trading with the French. At length
the Governor of Virginia sent the young George
Washington to drive the French away from an
English trading post on the Ohio, where Pittsburgh
now stands, and the first shots of the Seven Years'
War cracked across Great Meadows. The con-*
quest of Canada foliowed; and its bloody after-
math, the Indian rising called Pontiac's War — I
which was the red man's protest against the new
masters of the interior trading posts, the English
colonial traders — ran its course. But the fierce
struggle for the hapless little beaver was only
Out of the ashes of the old French fur trade,
which was under governmental ward, arose a
swarm of "free traders." Among them was a
woods rover of a new type. English and French
pursuing the beaver we have already seen. Now
in the throng of the free traders the Scot appears.
We shall find him presently taking the French-
man's place among the Indians and rising to a
leadership in the fur trade which he is never to
surrender. He had his difficulties at first. The
Indians in the old French hinterland distinguished
only between French and English; and to them the
Scot was an Englishman, one of a race they had
been taught by the French to hate.
One of the first, if not the first, of the free traders to enter the old French country was Alexander Henry, the elder. In 1761 Henry went from
Montreal to Fort Michilimackinac. This fort was
a strategie point, as it commanded the route into
Lake Superior, and was the chief depot for the furs
from the territory comprising Wisconsin and Michi-
gan. Here Henry was visited by sixty Chippe-
was, their faces blackened with war paint, and 88 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
tomahawks and scalping knives in their hands.
They consented, however, to trade with him and assured him that he might "sleep tranquilly without
fear of the Chippewas." This was a sweet promise
not long kept; for during Pontiac's War, two years
later, the same Indians, with some Ottawas, murdered the English at Michilimackinac and took
Henry prisoner. He was saved only by the friendly
offices of a Chippewa who had formerly adopted
him as a brother.
The "Handsome Englishman," as the Indians
called Henry, seems to have been the first British
trader to push beyond Michiiïmackinac into the
Lake Superior country. By 1767 his canoes were
on Lake Winnipeg. He spent sixteen years in the
wilderness and penetrated at least as far north as
Beaver Lake and the Churchill River. On the
way to the Churchill he traveled with three other
adventurers whose names are distinguished in the
fur trade, the Frobishers and Peter Pond.
It was not long, indeed, before the free traders from Montreal and Quebec were overrunning
the North and establishing themselves in Rupert's
Land — the sacred precincts of the Hudson's Bay
Company. The Frobishers built Cumberland House
on the Saskatchewan and Fort Isle a la Crosse THE REIGN OF THE TRAPPER        89
on the lake of the same name a little north of the
junction of the Beaver and Churchill rivers. Both
sites, commanding the waterways to Hudson Bay,
were admirably chosen. At these forts the Indians
going down to the Bay were intercepted and in-
duced — by higher prices or by rum — to sell furs
that were, in some instances, already paid for by
the Hudson's Bay Company in credits. Up to this
time the old Company had maintained its traditional aloofness, and, except for some notable ex-
ploring expeditions, it had not stirred inland from
its forts on the Bay. But in 1774, Samuel Hearne,
the Company's celebrated young explorer, discov-
erer of the Coppermine River, came up from the
big stone fort at the mouth of the Churchill and
built Cumberland House, on the lake of the same
name. The old Company saw at last that it would
be obliged to branch inland for the protection of
its trade.
The free traders hurt the Hudson's Bay Company, but they hurt themselves much more —
sometimes to the extent of killing one another.
And their competition and their rum were disas-
trous to the Indians. Traders were murdered by
Indians on the march; their forts were attacked and
burned, and their goods were stolen. The precarious
condition to which the free traders at length re-
duced themselves is reflected in an official report to
the Governor of Canada on the fur trade, written
in 1780.   This report says that, though the furs|
are producing an annual return of £200,000 sterling,
the gathering of them is carried on at great expense, «j
labor, and risk of both men and property — every
year f urnishing instances of the loss of men and
goods by accident or otherwise: that the traders inj
general are not men of substance but are obliged
to obtain credit from the merchants of Montreal
and Quebec for each year's supply of goods; and
that, when their trade fails, they are destitute olj
every means to pay their debts.1
It is not surprising, then, that the rival traders at
both Michilimackinac and Montreal took counsel
together and decided to put an end to ruinous competition. The Mchilimackinac Company, formed
in 1779, was an association of Üiirty traders calleé
the Mackinaws. In the same year nine houses m
Montreal trading west of Lake Superior joined
forces; and four years later (1788) these Montreal
merchants, with some others under the leadership
* A report to Haldimand, dated 1780, signed by nine trading
houses of Montreal. Cited by Davidson, The North West Company, Appendix, page 256. m
of the Frobishers and Simon McTavish, united
in the partnership since known as the North-West
Company, or the Nor'westers, the stormy petrels
of the northern wilds.
The Nor'westers began in strife. Some of the
" winterers" — partners who wintered in the great
white land — were dissatisfied with the shares al-
lotted them and violently withdrew. Among these
was Peter Pond, explorer of the Athabaska and
Great Slave regions, and too powerful a man to
be left in enmity. His demands were speedily
niet, and he joined the Company. At this, the
friends who had withdrawn with him were furi-
ously incensed. They banded together and made
war on the North-West Company's brigades. It
became a war with powder and shot, for the
Nor'westers stopped at nothing to smash their
small rival. But when Pond killed Ross, a lead-
er among the allied free traders, both factions
took fright and united in haste to forestall any
undesired investigation by the authorities. This
beginning was prophetic. In the violence of
their methods — and, be it said, in the brilliance
of their achievements — the Nor'westers were to
prove themselves deserving successors of the ma-
rauding and plundering Frenchmen on Hudson
Bay and also of the illustrious French explorers of
Old Canada.
The majority of the partners were Scotch High-
landers; and it is not too much to say that they
brought to their trade rivalry with the Hudson's
Bay Company the spirit of Celtic chiefs at war.
Their rival was a chartered company with a mo-
nopolistic grant, while they were only an association
without royal favor. The Nor'westers, therefore,
saw, as their first need, a loyal organization, every
man of which should be bound to their interests by
his own. Hence it was arranged that a clerk could
become a partner after a brief term of service, the
length of which depended upon his-own initiative.
Thus the Company attracted bold and resolute
young men who were not minded to let fears or
scruples shut them off from the coveted goal. The
man who could produce results counted highest
with the Nor'westers. Even some of the original
partners contributed only their experience and
energy: these were the "winterers" who com-
manded the trapping army in the field. The
funds and the goods for trade were found by the
partners resident in Montreal. But the real
sinews of war were the voyageurs and the cour-
eurs-de-bois, of whom the North-West Company THE REIGN OF THE TRAPPER 93
employed great numbers. The servants of the
Hudson's Bay Company were chiefly English and
Scotch, who had first to learn the ways of the wild
and so were no match for the Canadian boatmen
and trappers, the product of several generations
of wilderness life.
The Nor'westers made their interior headquarters on the north shore of Lake Superior, first at
Grand Portage (Minnesota) at the mouth of the
Pigeon River, and later at Fort William (Ontario)
at the mouth of the Kaministikwia. These posts
were outside the royal domain of the Hudson's Bay
Company, but not far; only a day's journey over
the watershed separated them from the Rainy
Lake region drained by Hudson Bay and therefore
Rupert's Land or Hudson's Bay Territory. From
Grand Portage the Nor'westers' brigades ranged
westward through Rupert's Land and far north
to the Athabaska and Great Slave Lakes. They
also tapped the territory south of Lake Superior
and southwest as far as the Mandan towns on the
Missouri. Nor did they wholly respect the regions
to the southwest sacred to the Mackinaws, with
whose men they frequently clashed.
To the voyageur of the Nor'westers' brigades
there was only one person more ridiculous than a 94 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
Mackinaw voyageur, and that was a Hudson's Bay
man. The Mackinaw voyageur might be a great
man in his own opinion; but let him walk humbly
when men of the Nor'westers hove to at Michili-
mackinac for extra canoes on their way to le pays
d'En Haut! "Je suis un homme du Nordl' the
Nor'wester would brag as he jostled aside the de-
spised Mackinaw. Anything to provoke a fight!
Like master, like man! Such discourtesies well reflected the views of the partners themselves towards their rivals in trade. The Nor'westers held
in contempt the Hudson's Bay Company, with
its slow ways and its code of lawful dealing. Its
pious principles — one price, no violence, and no
rum for Indians — the Nor'westers regarded with
unutterable scorn.
But let us see what these Nor'westers did to rofl
back the mystery of unknown lands. Far to the
northwest, a thousand miles from Lake Superior,
stood their Fort Chipewyan, on the south side of
Lake Athabaska. There lived Alexander Mackenzie, a young Scot in his thirties, who had begun his
career as a clerk in a free trading establishment and
because of his abilities had been granted a partnership in the North-West Company. Mackenzie
proposed to make Fort Chipewyan not merely an THE REIGN OF THE TRAPPER        95
outpost of his Company's trade but the emporium
of the greatest trapper's country on the continent.
He saw the commanding position of his fort on Lake
Athabaska as the central depot for a vast traffic.
Great water high ways led to it from every direction.
On the south and west the inflowing streams of the
Athabaska and the Peace linked him on the one
hand to the Saskatchewan Valley and on the other
to the Rocky Mountains. To the east lay a chain
of lakes and streams stretching towards the rivers
entering Hudson Bay. And to the north a tre-
mendous river, issuing from Lake Athabaska, gath-
ered up its mighty waters in the Great Slave Lake
and moved on through the northern forests.
This river was unknown. Beyond the Great
Slave Lake no white man had foliowed its course
to the Frozen Sea. Nor had any white man yet
penetrated the Rocky Mountains and reached
the Pacific by land. Both these achievements feil
to the glory of Alexander Mackenzie. In the
summer of 1789 he discovered and explored to the
Arctic the great river now known as the Mackenzie. And three years later, he passed up the Peace
River, crossed the Rockies, and, on July 22,1793,
painted his name in red letters on a rock beside
the Pacific Ocean. 96 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON I
Mackenzie's Odyssey was soon the gossip and
song of the whole North. In Rupert's Land,
building forts for the Hudson's Bay Company, was
a young surveyor named David Thompson, who
was greatly disturbed by it and discontented. He,
too, wished to cross the mountains and explore.
His ambition was to survey and map the whole of
the great Northwest, to pierce the mystery of the
wilderness with the clear light of science. But
Thompson's pleas to the Company feil on deaf ears.:
He was too good a trader and altogether too vahkö
able a man to send awandering. The North-West
Company, however, would give him his opportunity if the Hudson's Bay Company would not. So
it came about that Thompson, on May 23, 1797,
being then at Deer Lake, wrote in his journal:
"This Day I left the service of the Hudson's Bays
Company and entered that of the Company of
the Merchants from Canada. May God Ahnighty
prosper me."
Thompson received his instructions at Grand*
Portage in June, the month after he entered the
Company's service.   He was to survey and mapf
the fur country, showing the geographical position
of the forts, and to find the forty-ninth parallel,
which was to mark the boundary between the THE REIGN OF THE TRAPPER
American and British Northwests. He was to go
south to the Missouri and explore the sites of
ancient villages, hunt for fossils, and learn what he
could of the ancient history of the country. For
the rest he could follow his heart's desire; and his
progress would be f acilitated by orders on the trading posts for whatever he needed in men and goods.
His was the biggest dream of all. Other men
sought one river; but to Thompson the River of
the West was only as a single brook on the great
map he meant to make of the whole Northwest.
Thompson set out from Grand Portage, to be on
trail almost continuously for nine years. In that
time he ranged from Great Slave Lake to the Missouri, traced the headwaters of the Mississippi,
entered the Rocky Mountains from the head of
the Saskatchewan, made numbers of geographical
sketches and scientific notes on the country from
the Rockies to Hudson Bay and the Great Lakes,
and surveyed the shores of Lake Superior.1 His
labors were  by no means ended.    In  1807 he
'"Thompson was an exceedingly accurate and methodical
surveyor," says Mr. J. B. Tyrrell of the Geological Survey of
Canada, the editor of Thompson's Narrative; "it was my good
fortune to travel over the same routes that he had travelled a
century before, and while my instruments may have been better
than his, his surveys and observations were invariably found to
have an accuracy that left little or nothing to be desired."
crossed the Rockies. He spent four years on the
Columbia and its tributaries, building forts and
trading with new tribes; returning to the Nor'westers' forts east of the mountains from time
to time with large packs of furs. He was thus
the first man to make a detailed survey of those
parts of Idaho, Montana, Washington, and British
Columbia which are watered by the Columbia or
by its source and branch streams. *,
A rare man was Davkl Thompson — a little
man, but every inch of him an inch of pRjwer. Except for his short stature he might readily have
passed for an Indian with his jet black hair cut
straight across his forehead, fringing his brows,
with his black eyes, and his tanned cheeks painted
with Nature's vermilion. An associate has left
this description of him: "Never mind his Bun-
yan-like face and cropped hair: he has a very
powerful mind and a singular faculty of picture-
making. He can create a wilderness and people
it with warring savages, or climb the Rocky Mountains with you in a snow storm, so clearly and
palpably, that only shut your eyes and you hear
the crack of the rifle, or feel the snow flakes melt
on your cheeks as hé talks."1   In fort or on trail
1 Bigsby, The Shoe and Canoe. 4 THE REIGN OF THE TRAPPER 99
Thompson ruled his men like a benevolent master;
and he was a law to himself, whatever the orders of
his Company. He would have no liquor with his
brigades; he would not use it in trade. Once two
of the partners, Donald McTavish and John McDonald of Garth — whom we shall meet later —
compelled him to take some kegs of whiskey for
trade with the tribes in the mountains. Thompson selected a vicious, unbroken horse to pack the
kegs and then let it go through the defiles at its
own gait. The horse was in perfect sympathy with
Thompson's ideas — only splinters of the kegs remained when the brigade reached the trading post
— and Thompson reported that he feit sure the
same costly accident would occur if another un-
wise attempt were made to transport liquor across
the mountains.
Devoutly religious, Thompson sought the spiritual welfare of the voyageurs and coureurs-de-bois
who traveled with him. He preached the moral
life, a manhood sprung from the Godhead and
confident in its source, brotherly and equitable,
finding its joys not in excesses of the senses but in
self-mastery. Seldom passed an evening in camp
that Thompson did not read aloud three chapters
from the Old Testament and three chapters from
the New, and then expound their meaning in
"most extraordinarily pronounced French." By
the rushing Saskatchewan, among the snow wastes
of Athabaska, on the bleak crags of the Rocky
Mountains*, this prophèt in buckskin, like Isaiah
of old, called to a primitive people, "Make straight
in the wilderness a highway for our God.'3
While Thompson was searching for the source of
the Columbia, another Nor'wester, Simon Fraser,
also exploring beyond the mountains, far north of
the Columbia, discovered the Fraser River and
foliowed it down to the widening of its mouth
near the sea.
The journals of Fraser, Mackenzie, Thompson,
and the elder Henry, like those of Lewis and Clark,
are records of heroism as well as of discovery; and
they are the earliest epics of the Great West. The
ideal of sheer manhood pitted against vast and
primal Nature, which is the underlying theme of
these journals, still animates the literature of the
West; but it is doubtful if any of the later writings
present that ideal more faithfully than do the
journals of these old explorers. Unconsciously,
out of his deep sincerity, Thompson makes himself
known to us as the Star-Man, the name given him
by some of the tribes, by day and night on the THE REIGN OF THE TRAPPER       101
plains and the mountains, taking observations with
his primitive instruments, so that by the fixed law of
the heavens he might at last bring the whole of that
vast unknown land into the clear apprehension and,
so, into the service of mankind. No finer touch of
art than his is needed to picture for us this trader-
astronomer and his small band of half a dozen
men, almost out of food, pressing slowly and pain-
fully through the dense snows of Athabaska Pass
— where the dogs seemed to "swim in the road
beat by the snowshoes,' and, so high lay their
route, that the stars looked to be within hands'
reach — while somewhere behind them, as they
knew, in close pursuit foliowed a warrior band of
the fierce Piegans. Nor could literary imagination
conceive of a more dramatic escape than the one
he narrates without comment. The Indians came
upon his trail in the mountains, and, perceiving
the helpless situation of their quarry, knowing they
had but to advance and kill, were stopped by
the sight of three huge bears which emerged from
the rocks and stood across the Star-Man's tracks.
There the Piegans turned back, understanding that
the Great Spirit had sent the bears to protect his
son, for, as they said, "we all believe the Great
Spirit speaks to you in the night when you are
looking at the Moon and Stars and tells you of what
we know nothing." One line from Thompson's
pen lays bare the explorer's heart, when, following
the mystifying bends and doubhngs of the upper
Columbia, he cried out: "God give me to see
where its waters flow into the ocean!"
There was another side to the life of the Nor'westers. Whatever their lot, whether in fort or
afield or in the countinghouse district of Montreal,
they took life gaily. Their Beaver Club, on Beaver
Hall Hill in Montreal, was a famous place. It was
an exclusive club. No partner was eligible forl
membership in it unless he had spent at least one
winter in the North. Men who had gone hardily
through the rough life of a winter in le pays d'En
Haut could be relied upon to keep the Beaver Club
from stagnating, at any rate, and a right rollicking
place they made of it, from all accounts, as they
met o'nights to eat and drink, to toast the King
and each other and all the lads of the North
conglomerately and severally.
Spring was above all others the season of un-
bounded joy, for in spring the brigades came in
with their furs. Then it was that hilarity broke
away from the confining walls of the Beaver Club
and resounded through the streets and taverns of THE REIGN OF. THE TRAPPER       103
Montreal and along the bank of theSt. Lawrence.
On these nights, as April glided into May, fiddles
screeched and voyageurs and trappers jigged and
sang by the gleaming camp fires beside the river,
while some of their comrades sprawled on the
ground whiffing the beloved "tabac"; and betimes
Indian drums sounded under the scream of the
fiddles — like the undertone of booming surf in a
shrill wind — to the padding of the feet of Indian
trappers in the wild buffalo and wolf dances.
No less boisterous would be the scène in the
candle-lighted banquet room of the Beaver Club,
where sat lusty Scots wearing gold-braided uniforms, eating and drinking from silver salvers
and gobtets, all engraved with the Club's crest —
a beaver — and the motto, Fortitude in Distress.
While from the river's bank rosé the strains of the
-voyageur9 s song —
| Lui-ya longtemps que je faime,
Jamais je ne t'oublierai — "
or the roar and bellow of the buffalo cry from the
trampling Indian dancers whirling with their pine-
knot torches, the revelers in the Beaver Club
poured still another libation to the lads of the
North.   A McTavish or a McKay danced the
"t*t*$£S! i 104 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON '\
Highland swpyd-dance, to the plaudits and quaf-
fings about the board. Fortitude in Distress! On
two thousand miles of peril they had proved again
that the brigades of the. Nor'westers were manned
by the swiftest, the hardiest, and the boldest men
who roamed the wflds. At length came the concluding ceremony, a tribute to the voyageur. The
lordly Noiïfaesters and their guests knelt on the
floor and, with tongs, pokers, canes, or whatever
would serve their purpose, imitated the canoeman's
swift, rhythmic strokes, while they sang in rousing
chorus one «f his favorite paddle-songs.
When by river, lake, and portage the canoe htm
gades arrived early in summer at Fort William1 on
Lake Superior, even wilder scènes were enacted.
The Nor'westers did not own Montreal; but Fort
William was theirs, and at Fort William they made
such laws and social conventions as pleased them.
The fort held a huge banquet hall where two hundred men could feast at their ease. Portraits of
the King and of Nelson adorned the rough walls.
But the picture most contemplated, no doubt, was
the large map of the fur country drawn by David
1 Built by the Nor'westers in 1803, on British soil, forty miles
north of Grand Portage, their former Lake Superior headquarters,
after some unwelcome visits from American customs officers. THE REIGN OF THE TRAPPER       105
Thompson. The fare on the rude tables was not
inferior to that prepared in the Beaver Club, for
the best French chefs, at lordly hire, had been
cajoled to endanger their art and their lives on
rapids and whirlpools in order to cook venison
steaks and buffalo tongues to a king's taste in
Fort William. To a Nor'wester's nice palate
there was, it seems, nothing incongruous in a
buffalo's tongue served up in one of those seductive
sauces with which a Pompadour or a Montespan
had once essayed to recapture the butterfly heart
of her monarch. Whe finest of wines had also been
carried over the long route to give tang to the welcome home. And, when the last drop was drained,
the casks were rolled out on the floor and such
Nor'westers as could still keep semblance of a
balance would sit astride of them shouting and
singing. Among the feasters were traders from
the Far North — some of whom wintered on the
Mackenzie River. Fort William was all that these
outlanders ever saw of civilization. Here for a
short time once a year they spoke with white men,
ate and drank and clasped hands with their kind.
One of the events of this yearly gathering was
the buffalo hunt. It was not only for pemmican
and dried meat that the trapper bunted the buffalo.
He needed the skins for clothing and for bedding,
for the making of his tent and bull-boat and saddle.
The bone was put to various uses, supplement-
ing the trapper's steel weapons; and the sinew
sometimes served as thread or cord.
The trappers mounted and rode westward to
their f avorite hunting grounds in the country of the
Mandans. Between the Saskatchewan and the
Missouri lay one of the greatest buffalo ranges,
where these animals roamed in such numbers that
often a single herd was known to take several days
to pass a given point; and the plains were plowed
deep with their trails leading to and from theirs
drinking-places. Sometimes the white trappers
foliowed the f avorite hunting methods of the Indian
members of their fraternity, which were either tol
drive the buffalo over a cliff, for hunters stationed
below to make an end of by rifle or bow and arrow,
or to decoy them into a corral. This latter was ac-
complished by an Indian in a buffalo robe, skilied
in the natiye art of mimicry. As a rule, however,,
the trappers preferred a fair field and no favor.
They rode down on the herd, singled out their
quarry, and fired the first shots that started the
stampede. Then not only the hunter's skillful rid-
ing and his accuracy of aim but the intelligence THE REIGN OF THE TRAPPER       107
and speed of his horse were required to keep the
battle an even one. For a stumble, a misstep, an
instant's slowness in wheeling and dodging, meant
death to the hunter and his mount.
After the hunt and, of course, the feast which
celebrated it the trappers prepared the meat and
skins for winter use. All must now be made ready
for the time when they should set forth to trap.
Weapons were overhauled by the smith. The
trapper's garments were cut and fashioned — by
his Indian wife, probably, for the gates of the fort
were wide open to the tawny belles of the plains.
Nothing too simple in style was considered good
sartorial art. The trapper must have his moccasins plentifully beaded or worked with brightly
dyed quills, and his leggings and jacket must be
fringed. He was forced to go without the little
bells or jingling bits of metal in which the canoe-
man rejoiced, for his task of stalking wild animals
necessitated a silent wardrobe. But he could have
a bright sash, wonderful gauntlets, a beaded cap,
as well as a fur one for cold weather, fur pouches
for powder and shot, and perhaps a beaded bear's
or swan's foot pouch for his tobacco. With these
added to his hunting suit, the trapper considered
himself appropriately tailored.   Sometimes a cap
■■i*<*iéïlf 108    plADVBNT^RS OF OREGON
mounted with.horns or furay ears was included in
the troüsseau in which he was to wed the white
Solitude. This was an Indian hunter's device for
deceiving wild animals where the man must cross
open snowy spaces to get within range. Other
methods also the trapper practised to conceal his
presence from the creatures of the wildernessj
When he set his traps, he*?trailed the hide of a
freshly killed deer over his tracks to obscure the
man-smell; and if he had handled his traps without
deer hide on his hands, he smeared them with an
oily substance extracted from the beaver, which
served also as a bait.
It might be that the gaily fringed and hand-
somely accoutered trapper, who set out with buoy-
ant heart as the snows feil, would return with wealth
in his pack. It might be that he would never return. The bait in his traps would lure other beasts
than the beaver or fox or mink he invited; and, to
the wolf-pack, the man-smell caused no fear.
While the Nor'westers were thus spreading the
trapper's kingdom towards the northern and western oceans, the traders of St. Louis were not letting
the time pass unimproved. Lewis and Clark had
opened the way for them to expand their trade. THE REIGN OF THE ^RAPPER        109
Not idly br casually had Jefferson instructid
Lewis to form trading relations with the Indians
along the Missouri? In the year after the return
of the great expedition, Manuel Lisa, a Spanish
trader, formed a partnership with Drouillard, who
had been with Lewis and Clark, and ascended the
Missouri to the Yellowstone. On the way he met
the lone explorer and trapper, John Colter, aïfi
easily persuaded him to turn back. Up the Yellowstone they went, into the country of the war-
like and pilfering Crows, to the mouth of the Big
Horn. Here Lisa built a fort and opened trade.
In the following year (1808) the Missouri Fur Company was organized with William Clark and Lisa
as two of the partners; and in another two years
the company had built trading posts in the Mandan
towns and at Three Forks.
Not unhampered did the Missouri Fur Company's brigades, led by Lisa and Drouillard, pass
upon the river high way; and it was believed by
them and their friends that the Indians who fired
volleys at their pirogues were set upon them by the
Nor'westers to discourage the invasion of what
those autocratie fur barons considered to be their
territory. Drouillard, who was in charge of the
post at Three Forks, was waylaid and killed by
Blackfeet while he was out hunting in the Jefferson
Valley, in the year that the fort was built. Colter
was captured by Indians of the same tribe. His
courageous demeanor so impressed the Blackfeet
that they gave the white man a chance for his life.
Colter was stripped even to his moccasins, led out a
hundred yards or so on to the plain and told to run.
His run for life by which he miraculously escaped
should long ago have inspired some maker of ballads.
After a race of six miles over the plain, which was
covered with prickly pear, he cast the Indians ofl
his trail by diving under a raf t in the river where he
hid until the Blackfeet gave up the search. Then he
swam downstream, landed, and traveled for seven
days, naked, without weapons, his feet f uil of thorns,
until he reached Lisa's fort on the Yellowstone.
The next notable figure on the fur-trading field
was John Jacob Astor of New York. Astor was
planning a vast scheme which involved the establishment of trading posts on the Columbia, a chain
of posts across the plains—in fact, the control of
the entire fur trade of the continent. He was
acquainted with the Nor'westers, having bought
furs from them for some years for his New York
trade, and was anxious for them to join him in his
enterprise on the Columbia if the matter could be THE REIGN OF THE TRAPPER       lil
arranged. As a preliminary step, he proposed that
he and they should buy out the Mackinaws and
thus remove a rival from the trade about the Lakes.
It suited the Nor'westers to help Astor obliterate
the Mackinaws, which was finally done, but further
than that his plans for mastery of the fur trade met
with no sympathy from them. In particular they
disliked his views with regard to posts on the
Pacific Coast, for they were themselves about to
petition the British Government for a charter for
a monopoly of the trade west and immediately
east1 of the Rockies; and it had been with this
purpose in mind that they had sent Thompson and
Fraser on their journeys of exploration. Now appeared this cloud, Astor the American, on their
bright horizon. The leading partners had a conference with Thompson3; and although there seems
'Territory drafned by the Athabaska and Mackenzie rivers
and therefore not within the chartered domain of the Hudson's
Bay Company.
3 On June 28, 1810, Alexander Henry, the younger, at the
North-West Company's southernmost post on the Athabaska
wrote in his journal, " Mr. Thompson embarked with his family
for Montreal in a light canoe with five men." Since Thompson
was tra veling light, the inference is that he was speeaüng to Montreal in response to orders just received by the brigade returning
from that point, though he may have received his final instructions at Fort William on the way East and have gone no further.
His journals are silent on this point. 112 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
to be no record of it, there is little doubt that he
was bidden to build a post on the upper Columbia
and to lay claim to the territory about its head-
waters and the Snake, and thence to complete his
exploration of the Columbia to its mouth. If his
orders had been to beat Astor's ship, the Tonquiv$
in a race to the mouth of the river — as has often
been stated — he would not have spent the spring
of 1811 on its upper waters. It was not by preceding Astor's men on the coast but by the charter
they hoped to receive as a result of their explorations that the Nor'westers expected to gain Oregon,
for as a chartered company they would be backed
by the British Government.
Whether John Jacob Astor knew the plans of
the Nor'westers* even ai they knew his, is conjec-
tural. However that may be, he proceeded with
his own enterprise. His first contingent would sail
in the ship Tonquin from New York and take the
sea route round Cape Horn — the route which
Robert Gray had sailed twenty years before — to
the entrance of the River of the West. And a
fleet of pirogues, conveying men in his service,
would strike from St. Louis up the Missouri to
follow the trail of Lewis and Clark into Oregon. CHAPTER IV
If in these dawning hours of the Great West the
trapper was lord of the land, the ruler of the waters
along the Northwest Coast was the Indian hunter
of sea-otter — a dark-skinned Neptune with spear
for trident. The sea-otter trade, initiated by the
Russians and advertised by Cook, had grown largely
since the adventures of John Meares and Robert
Gray. And it was almost wholly an American
trade. By 1801 fifteen American vessels, nearly all
from Boston, were trading with the natives on the
Pacific; and in that year fourteen thousand pelts
were shipped and sold in China at an average of
thirty dollars apiece.
So it was that in the year 1810 John Jacob Astor
of New York was preparing to capture the trade
of the Northwest Coast, and the Nor'westers in
Montreal were conf erring with David Thompson to
defeat him.   That Astor had in mind the sea-otter
8 118
'. '**«*ïr5J j 114 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
trade when he decided to send a ship round the
Horn, as well as an expedition overland, is not
to be doubted. He would place the Tonquin in
the sea-otter trade on the Coast and build posts
for the land trade in beaver on the Columbia and
at suitable points across the continent. Thus he
would control a mighty fur-trading system reach-
ing from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Ocean and
on to China and India. It was a bold plan worthy
of the genius and imagination of this pioneer of
American commerce.
Meanwhile a similar idea had entered the Russian mind. In 1806 the Inspector at New Arch-
angel, Alaska, had urged his Government to found
a settlement at the mouth of the Columbia and to
build a battleship for the purpose of driving the
American traders away. His enterprising suggestion went further. He pointed out that, from the
settlement on the Columbia, the Russians could
advance southward to San Francisco and "in the
course of ten years we should become strong enough
to make use of any favorable turn in European
politics to include the coast of California in the
Russian possession." That the Russians planned
to descend upon the Columbia in 1810, a Boston
trader named Winship learned from his brother,  'éOSk
tt S'
mg fee "' ■■:>■  toto-e ;
«WbS 4
k> "taomjisqaCÏ imi*i 9aT 'ai' |civfiï|al
* Government to I
toe  ^Itoetoe   -e
also a trading captain; and he made haste to fore-
stall them. Early in the spring, Winship ran his
vessel up the Columbia, sowed grain, and began
building on a low spit which he named Oak Point.
Indian hostility compelled him to abandon the
undertaking, and he departed with the intent to
return next year in force sufficiënt to cope with
the savages. Winship's attempt at occupancy
amounted to nothing in itself, but his presence on
the river that year caused a postponement of the
Russians9 secret design. But for this Boston sea-
man the story of Old Oregon might not now find
place in the history of the United States. Two
years later, in 1812, came just such a "favorable
turn'3 as the forward-looking Inspector at New
Archangel had been on the lookout for. While
England was warring with Napoleon and Madison,
and while Americans were intent on the conquest
of Canada» an expansive Russia soundly established
on the River of the West, with armored brigs to
chase away American traders, might well have laid
a locking grasp upon the coast from Alaska to California. Indeed, the War of 1812 had hardly more
than begun when Russian traders stole down to
Bodega, California, and, with the permission of
the Spanish authorities, erected a trading post. 116 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
This trading post they subsequently transformed
into a fort from which they refused to budge
despite the indignant cries raised by Spain.
The belief prevailed among American traders
that alien influences were at work among the savages. In 1803 occurred the seizure of the Boston and
the massacre of the crew at Nootka by Maquinna's
tribe. And in 1805 the savages attacked another
Boston ship trading in Millbank Sound and murdered the captain and a number of the crew. Russian vessels were at this time cruising southward and were in the habit of calling at Nootka
and at the mouth of the Columbia. No proof
was advanced, liowever, of Russian complicity in
these attacks.
It was plain that the time had come for a fort
to be erected at the mouth of the Columbia — the
time for occupation to attest ownership. On that
subject, as we have seen, the Russians, the Canadian Nor'westers, and the American Astor were
all agreed. The question was, which of the three
should build the fort?
Of John Jacob Astor's early life not a great deal
is known. He was born of poor parents in 1763 at
Waldorf, a village near Heidelberg in Germany. THETONQUIN 117
At sixteen he worked in a butcher's shop belonging
to his father. Then he ran off to London. There,
four years later, he learned that a brother had gone
to America; and this news, coupled with his vision
of money to be made in America, prompted him to
try his fortune in the New World. It would seem
that his thrif t and his business acumen had already
achieved results, for the young man who had arrived
in London a penniless lad left for America on a
ship sailing for Baltimore with a small colleetion
of goods for trade. He reached New York some
time in 1784. Here, following the advice of a fur-
rier he had met in Baltimore, he exchanged his
merchandise for furs and returned in the same year
to London, where he disposed of his peltry at a
good profit. He had found the right road to
fortune. Ten years later he had established a
profitable business and was purchasing furs in
large quantities from the North-West Company of
Montreal for shipment to Europe and China.
In 1808 Astor incorporated by charter from the
State of New York the American Fur Company,
with a capital of one million xlollars supplied by
himself. Soon afterwards he combined with the
Nor'westers, as we have seen, to buy out the
Mackinaws, whose American trade was turned over
<>«*{*5f r 118 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON 1
to him with the proviso that he should not trade in
Great Britain or her colonies. Astor's magnificent
plan was taking shape. His acquisition of the
trading posts of the Mackinaws in Wisconsin was
the first link f orged in the great chain which he intended to stretch across the continent and which
should bind under his control the whole fur trade
of the United States. However little he knew of
the Nor'westers' ulterior plans, he saw that they
were spreading overland towards the Pacific; and,
v («tj*^e
wishing to eliminate them as rivals, he proposed
fïiat they should join with him in the Columbia
trade and offered them an interest of one-third.
He was also planning to conciliate the Russians and
to gain control of the Pacific coast trade to China.
Probably he saw, in his invitation to the Nor'westers, the first step towards control of their
Canadian and British trade, also, and so, towards
ultimate mastery of the whole traffic of North
America in pelts. And probably the Nor'westers
saw what Astor saw, namely, the final elimination
of themselves, even as by a coalition they had
helped him to eliminate the Mackinaws, for they
refused his offer and made swift plans for a descent
upon the Columbia.
Astor took up the gage of battle and went on THE TONQUIN 119
with the organization of his Pacific Fur Company
for trade on the Pacific Coast. He believed that
he would conquer his rivals and finally drive them
from the new field beyond the Rocky Mountains.
The Nor'westers had no sea-going ships. Their
furs must reach Montreal from the West through
Fort William by a long and perilous inland route;
therefore, the farther westward they pushed their
activities, the greater became their difficulties and
their expenses in bringing their furs to market.
On the other hand, Astor would have not only his
cross-country chain of forts from St. Louis on the
south and the Great Lakes on the north to the
Columbia, but his sea-going Tonquin and in time
other vessels as required. By sea, he would ship
supplies to the forts on the Columbia, and from
headquarters at the mouth of that river he would
ship the furs to Canton, while his trading posts
to be built along the Missouri would be supplied
by pirogues from St. Louis and would, in turn, send
their furs by the same means to that city.
Astor knew what was the chief factor in the
spectacular rise of the North-West Company-—
its men. And he realized that, if his superior
advantages in other respects were to count at
their full value in the battle before him, he too 120 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
must have men of the same stamina and experience.
Where should he look for them? In the North-
West Company itself, of course, for the Nor'westers had no peers. He therefore opened the war
by detaching from the Nor'westers several of their
|"winterers" and clerks. He enticed to join him,
among others, Alexander Mackay, the great Mac-
kenzie's companion in exploration, David Stuart of
Labrador, and his nephew Robert Stuart, Duncan
McDougal, and some clerks from Montreal, including Ross and Franchère, the authors of the diaries
which are our chief sources of information concerning the enterprise. But Astor needed more
than partners and clerks: he needed also some of
those French-Canadian voyageurs who served with
paddie and pole in the Nor'westers' canoe brigades
between Montreal and Fort William. He enlisted
into his service a number of these, and they came
in a body with their canoes down the Hudson to
New York. ^||É
Having recruited his men, Astor proceeded to
carry out the first part of his plan, which involved
making ready for sea his ship, the Tonquin, and
sending it round the Horn to the Columbia, with
several of his new partners and servants aboard.
On the Columbia they would choose a suitable THE TONQUIN  M- 121
site and erect a fort, which McDougal would com-|
mand, while the Tonquin under Captain Thorn
would ply along the coast for trade.
The Tonquin was a vessel of some 290 tons,
mountin&ten guns and carrying a crew of about
twenty-one men. Her captain, Jonathan Thorn,
was a naval officer on leave of absence. He was
a man of rigid determination, a believer in iron discipline, and easily moved to wrath by the smallest
infringementof the hide-bound rules and proprieties
of his code; a faithful, loyal man, but without the
least understanding of human nature, and too
lacking in imagination to have any sympathy
or good feeling towards persons who were different from himself and whose characters, therefore,
could not commend themselves to him. Thorn
took his responsibility towards Astor very .seri-
ously. Doubtless he was prepared to die bravely
and, if need be, go down with his ship in his em-
ployer's interest and for the honor of his flag. But
what his employer's interests required of the skip-
per of the Tonquin was most of all humor and tact
in dealing with the passengers. And neither humor nor tact was at all mentioned in any seaman's
manual ever perused by Captain Jonathan Thorn.
He took one look at the "winterers" and their
• -<»f-;«r-| j 122 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
voyageurs and despisèd them on sight for a shabby,
roistering set of braggarts. He saw the partners sitting among the canoemen — no naval commander
ever sat thus with deck-swabbers! — smoking with
them, passing the pipe from mouth to mouth in
Indian fashion (a custom which affronted his sani-
tary soul) and roaring with them in chorus the in-
numerable verses of A la claire fontaine, or Mal-
brouck. And he immediately wrote to Astor, in
effect urging him to get rid of these noisy, useless
knaves, who would do his project no good, besides
being an offense to the eyes of a tidy man. When,
at the first roll of the sea, partners, clerks, and
voyageurs were overcome by seasickness, Thorn
knew for certain that not one of them had ever
done a man's job in his life. They were falsifiers
and fabricators. They had never seen the fur
country where they claimed to have experienced
wild adventures; they had gone no farther into the
wilderness than the waterfront of Montreal; they
were waiters, barbers, draymen, and scallywags.
He doubted much if any one of the voyageurs had
ever dipped a paddie. In Thorn's experience, men
who were accustomed to water did not get seasick.
Yes, he had them there; it took a saüor to find these
rogues out. THE TONQUIN 123
And what was the opinion of Thorn current
among the ex-Nor'westers and their crew of pad-
dlemen? Wemayreadilyimaginehowthestiff and
truculent naval dictator, with his set of rules, appeared to "Labrador'2 Stuart and to Mackay of
Athabasca — Mackay, who had made those mi-
raculous journeys with Mackenzie — men whose
swift initiative had, time and time again, saved
themselves and their comrades from sudden peril
in the wilds. The voyageurs probably wondered by
what right Thorn gave himself such airs, since all
he had to do was to stand on the deck of a large
stoutly made boat while the winds took it over the
waves of broad open water without an obstruction.
Put him in a frail bark canoe and let him run
the boiling rapids, with great rocks, gnashing like
the teeth of a devouring monster, to grind him to
splinters. Would he, by a deft paddle-stroke, or a
thrust of the pole, whirl his craft aside and send it
flying past those jaws, like a feather on the spume?
"Crayez! Moi, j9n9F crais pas!99
Into this mutual non-admiration society Astor
sent farewell letters filled with wise advice. The
partners were assured that Captain Thorn was a
strict disciplinarian, a severe man, whose f avor they
should cultivate by very circumspect behavior; and 124 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
Thorn was advised to prevent misunderstandings
and to inspire the passengers with a spirit of good
humor at all times. Here then was a setting and
a cast prepared for either an excellent comedy
or a bitter tragedy, according as circumstances
should direct.
On September 8, 1810, the Tonquin was on her
way out of the harbor of New York. That she
was convoyed by the Consiïtution brings to mind
certain facts and assumptions which have an ob-
lique bearing on the subsequent history of Astor's
enterprise. While the American Government did
not take any part in Astor's venture, its attitude
Iwas sympathetic. It may be said that he had the
MSovernment's moral support in his large schemes
fior cornering the fur trade. And he had been
Wèadily granted an armed convoy to guard the Ton-
touin beyond the point where, it was rumored, a
British man-of-war waited its chance to stop Astor's vessel and impress the Canadians aboard of
ner. The presence of the British vessel was supposed to be due to the machinations of the North-
West Company. But that supposition hardly
shows agreement in motive with another assump-
tion, namely, that some of the ex-Nor'westers on
board the Tonquin, McDougal in particular, were THE TONQUIN 125
still more loyal to their old company than to Astor.
To be impressed into the British Navy would have
prevented the opportunity they might have later
to play the game on the coast in the interests of
their Montreal friends. Some of them had already
related Astor's plans to the British consul in New
York; and all of them had deceived Astor in the
matter of the American naturalization on which
he had insisted. The British man-of-war is sufficiently accounted for by the fact that England, in
the midst of the colossal struggle with Napoleon,
needed seamen and was not over particular how
she got them.
All lights out and under convoy, the Tonquin
slipped by safely and headed south.
The salt air gave the passengers lively appetites.
They demanded food at all hours and cursed the
sea-biscuit that mocked palates yearning for veni-
son steaks. Thorn's disgust increased daily. He
viewed with contempt the various clerks who sat
on deck scribbling down in their journals everything new to them that passed upon wave or sky.
Did the ship sail by an island that looked inviting?
At once there was a clamor to land and explore.
There was almost a riot on board because Thorn
refused to let his passengers off on the coast of
Patagonia where, so they had heard, the natives
were of huge size and strangely made.
Occasionally it was necessary to make port beij
cause the supply of fresh water was low. The pas-^
sengers would seize these opportunities to make
explorations and to hunt penguins, sea-lions, or
whatever game the coast afforded. And, paying
no attention to the ship's signals to them to return,
they would continue their amusement until it
palled. The second or third time that delay oc-
curred on their account — the ship was then at the
} Falkland Islands, in December — Thorn in a rage
put to sea without them. Fortunately for the ex-
cursionists, the younger Stuart had remained on!
board. When Thorn refused. to heave to and wait
for the eight men who were desperately tugging
after the Tonquin in the ship's boat, young Stuart
drew his pistol and threatened to shoot the captain
through the head unless he shortened sail and let
the boat come up. A shift of the wind rather than
Stuart's pistol slowed the Tonquin9s pace and \bm
indignant sightseers were presently safe on board.
In Thorn's account of the matter to his employer,
he deplores the shift of wind and asserts that ttl
would have been to Astor's advantage if the men
had been left behind.   It is probable that this THE TONQUIN 127
incident did little to improve the relations between
the captain and the partners, for discord continued
uninterruptedly throughout the voyage, waxing
fierce off Robinson Crusoe's island in the Pacific,
where the passengers wished to collect souvenirs.
On the 25th of December the Tonquin roundedl
Cape Horn and on the 12th of February put in at
Hawaii and anchored in the bay of Karakakooa.1
Astor had given instructions as to the treatment
of the natives of Hawaii, because he intended tc|
establish trade with them. The ex-Nor'westers
were thoroughly at home when it came to making
the right impression on the Hawaiians. They had
had experience in making friends with savagesl
and knew that visits and councils and gif ts, without haste, were the proper means. Thorn was interested only in securing a supply of hogs and fresh
water for the ship, and he saw nothing but childish
dilly-dallying in the conduct of his passengers with
the natives. "Frantic gambols," Thorn called the
whole procedure.
The partners had distributed firearms to their
men, while at Hawaii, sö that no possible act of
treachery on the part of the natives should catch
them unprotected. But Thorn suspected them of
plotting to seize the ship.   He had visions of a
bloody mutiny in which he would be deposed, perhaps murdered, and Astor's enterpiise would be
ruined. *He must have made his suspicion known,
for the partners were soon playing upon it. They
would make furtive signs, cease speaking English
and converse in Gaelic, whenever Thorn came
by. He wrote to Astor warning him about these
"mysterious and uriwarranted" conversations.
On March 22,1811, the Tonquin stood off Cape
There was^a high wind and a rough sea. On
the hidden sand bars stretching almost across the
entrance to the bay, the surf pounded and roared
and leaped like Niagara. The ship hove to about
three leagues from shore; and the Captain ordered
Fox, the mate, with another sailor and three voyageurs, to take out the whaleboat andseek the channel. Fox begged for seamen to man the boat; but
Thorn insisted that they could not be spared from
their tasks on the ship. In desperation Fox ap-
pealed to the partners. They, in turn, argued with
Thorn. The dangers were apparent. The whaleboat was a small ramshackle affair not fit to dare
such a sea as now raced over the bar; the voyageurs
were skilled in their special work as canoemen,
but they had no knowledge of the sea.   Fo&jpas THE TONQUIN -     129
unfortunate in his emissaries. They merely stiff-
ened the Captain's back. To Thorn, these were the
men who had held his ship up while they hunted
penguins, who had baited him in Gaelic and mocked
his dignity with too much singing. Now they were
trying to interfere with his management of his ship,
were they?
At one o'clock in the afternoon the whaleboat
left the ship. Those on deck watched it until it
was hidden by the cataracts of surf. All the afternoon they waited for the boat's return with news
of the channel. They waited through the night.
Morning broke. The wind had slackened; the
sea was calmer. The Tonquin sailed in nearer to
shore. All that day the watchers on deck looked
out hoping to descry the whaleboat emerging
through the high roaring surf between the capes;
and all day they saw nothing but the white hounds
of the sea rushing at full cry across the bar. Dark-
ness feil, and the ship moved out to safer water.
Next morning the Tonquin Cast? anchor near to
the Cape. The pinnace was manned and lowered
— Thorn could spare seamen today — and "Labrador'3 Stuart and Alexander Mackay went with
the crew. The surf forced a retreat and Stuart and
Mackay returned to the ship.    Then Thorn headed 130
the Tonquin towards the entrance, but he dared
not attempt to find the channel through the piling
breakers. Once again the pinnace was lowered,
again to be driven back. Thorn sent it out a third
time with orders to sound ahead while the ship foliowed. Aiken, the seaman in charge of the pinnace, having found the channel, attempted to return to the ship at a signal from Thorn. The boat
was near enough to the Tonquin for those on board
to hear the cries for help that rosé as the wavejg
suddenly swirled the little craft about and swept it
away towards the bar. Dusk was falling, and pres-
ently the pinnace was lost to view. The Tonquin,
still heading in, was in a perilousi way. She was
striking frequently in the narrow channel and the
breakers washed over her. At length the tide rosé
and the flow carried her in beyond the cape. She
dropped anchor in the bay.
In the morning, search parties were sent out
along the beach. Prèsently the party headed by
Thorn came upon Weekes, one of the men who had
been in the pinnace. His boat had been swamped.
He and a Sandwich Islander, one of the crew, had
reached land. Another Sandwich Islander's body
was washed ashore during the day. No tracé was
to be found of the other white men who had been ITHE TONQUIN 131
in the pinnace, nor of the whaleboat and its crew.
The Tonquin had first anchored off Cape Dis-
appointment on the 22d of March. Three days
and nights had passed before those now aboard
of her had looked over the safe waters of Bak-
er's Bay behind the promontory. And eight men
had perished.
There were clerks on board the Tonquin and they
set down in their diaries, in detail, every incident of
those seventy-two hours of terror. They wrote of
the aspect of the coast, of the sound and fearful
appearance of the breakers running mountain high,
of the sunken bars that wreek ships. And after
them came Washington Irving, man of letters.
Irving read their journals and talked with other
sailors who had adventured through the perils of
that place; and he pictured faithfully, albeit dis-
cursively in the literary f ashion of his day, the danger and the terror which Nature had set to guard
the entrance to the River of the West. But our
minds go back to the log-book of the discoverer of
that river. And we begin to see the nature of the
feat Robert Gray was recording when he jotted
down those few terse sentences:
Being within six miles of the land, saw an entrance
in the same. ...   At half past three bore away and 132
ran in northeast by east, having from four to eight
fathoms, sandy bottom; and, as we drew in nearer
between the bars, had from ten to thirteen fathoms,
having a very strong tide of ebb to stem. ... At
five p.m. came to . . . in a safe harbor.
No$ Robert Gray was not a writer.    But he appears to have been a seaman.
Now began a series of squabbles between Thorn
and the partners concerning a site for the fort.
Thorn was for rigging%p a shelter on the bay shore.
There he could deposit the stores and goods for the
trading post at once, and then be off up the coast
for sea otter. McDougal and the others, experil
enced in such matters, insisted on-seeking a site up
the river where situation would offer some points
of natural def ense. The site selected by McDougal
was on Point George about twelve miles up the
stream. Here was a sheltered harbor where small
vessels could anchor within fifty yards of the beach.
The Tonquin rode at anchor off the point, and the
Captain fumed as days and weeks flitted by while
the partners directed the building of the fort, wn#
its living quarters, storehouse, and powder magazine, or knocked off work to hold council with
j inquisitive swarms of Indians led by their chief, old
f Comcomly, the one-eyed.   Since the one gentleman THE TONQUIN 133
was on ship and the other on shore, Thorn and
McDougal could no longer match each other in
spoken invective. So they sent splenetic epistles
back and' forth across the little stretch of water.
By the end of May, however, the fort was com-]
pleted. It was built of bark-covered logs and was
enclosed in a stockade of log palings and mounted
with guns after the model of the fur-trading forts in
the Northi In honor of John Jacob Astor it was
named Astoria. On the lst of June, the Tonquin,
with Alexander Mackay and a clerk named Lewis
aboard, took sail. A strong wind held hér back
within the bay for four days, but on the fifth she
crossed the bar and turned northward towards
Vancouver Island.
While the Tonquin was moving on her way and
the men at Astoria were busy with their final
touches to the fort and in planting various grain
and vegetable seeds which they had brought witH
them, another fort was in building far up on the'
north branch of the Columbia at the mouth of the
Spokane. The man who was building that for|
was David Thompson, the Nor'wester.
In the autumn of the previous year  (1810JW
Thompson had set out from Fort William to make 184 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
his way to the Columbia. The natural route for
him lay through the Rockies from the North Saskatchewan. But this pass was closed to him by
the Piegans. He had been obliged, therefore, to
ascend the Athabaska and to cross the mountains
through the thick snows of Athabaska Pass. The
crossing occupied weeks. It was nearly the end
of January when Thompson and his men reached
the Columbia near the mouth of the Canoe River.
There they camped until spring.
In June Thompson was building his fort on the
Spokane; and Indians were passing the news from
village to village down the Columbia, till presently
this spicy bit of wilderness gossip^was retailed to
the citizens of Astoria. The Astorians supposed
that the men of whom they heard these tidings were
Astor's Overlanders. But, one day in the middle
of July, a canoe swept down towards the fort, with
fthe British flag flying. McDougal and the Stuarts,
who had rushed to the shore to welcome Astor's
Overlanders, greeted instead the old crony of their
grand battle days in Canada.   Thompson was
| tossed from one rough embrace to another, then
carried into the fort and, with his party of eight
men, treated to the best that Astoria afforded. In
consideration of Thompson's errand it has been THE TONQUIN 135
customary to censure McDougal and the other
partners for their reception of him; but on reflec-
tion it seems easy to take a more human view of
the matter. It would require more than business
rivalry or business loyalty to make such men f orget
what their long comradeship in the wilderness had
meant to them in times when each had proved his
claim to that "Fortitude in Distress," which had
welded the Nor'westers into a clan, hardy and
proud. Then, too, Thompson with his record of
skill and success under enormous difficulties must
have been a welcome relief to McDougal and
the Stuarts after their long session with Jonathan
Thorn, whose stupidity and obstinacy had sent
eight lives into eclipse before ever a log of Astor's
fort was laid in place. When Thompson ascended
the river — which, now, he had explored from its
source to its mouth — he was well provided with |
food and other necessaries. David Stuart, with
several clerks and voyageurs, set out at the samef
time to find good sites for trading posts. And,
when he and Thompson parted company, Stuart,
acted in Astor's interests and stole a march on the
Nor'wester by choosing a site at the mouth of the
Okanogan where he could compete for the trade
which Thompson was expecting to attract to his
fort on the Spokane. There Stuart established himself. Thompson in the meantime was f aring north
again through the mountains to put in the trapping
season among the Salish and then to take the long
route by lake and river to Montreal.
At Astoria the little colony now began eagerly
to watch for the sails of the Tonquin. It wasa
watch kept in vain. The history of the Tonquin
after she crossed the bar is barely more than a
rumor, for the diarists at Astoria set down only so
far as they were able to understand it the story
told them by an Indian interpreter who was the
only man to escape alive from the scène of disaster.
The Tonquin proceeded from Baker's Bay to
Clayoquot on Vancouver Island. Here she dropped
anchor and signaled for trade. This was done
against the entreaties of the interpreter, who warned
Captain Thorn that the natives of Nootka and
Clayoquot were hostile and treacherous. Thorn
was not one to listen to warnings. He was a cour-
ageous man, but he seems not to have been able
to differentiate between fear and caution in other
men. Not only did he insist on trading in that
region, but he ignored all advice about letting the
natives aboard only in very small numbers.   He #;       THE TONQUIN       J| 157
knew nothing of Indian character nor of the patience and tact which must be used in meeting
their annoying methods of barter. One day, when
Mackay had gone ashore, Thorn spread out the
goods for trade and proceeded to teil the Indians
precisely what he would give for each otter-skin.
The natives understood neither Thorn nor his ways.
They demanded more and still more. He refused
to trade with them at all. His anger only served
to arouse their mockery and insolence. One old
chief, who had led the others in bidding up the
prices, pattered about the deck after Thorn, poking an otter-skin at him and alternately quoting a
price and hurling a gibe. In exasperation Thorn
snatched the pelt and smacked the chief's face with
it. Then he thrust the old native off the deck and
kicked the furs about. The Indians gathered up
their pelts and made for the shore in a fury.
When Mackay returned and learned what had
taken place, he urged Thorn to set sail at once.
Mackay knew the vengef ui Indian temper. Thorn
treated his counsel with contempt. Had they not
cannon and firearms on board? Then why should
they run from a band of naked savages? He refused to make any preparations against a surprise
attack and turned in for the night.
Before Thorn or Mackay was awake in the early
morning the Indians came alongside in their huge
canoes and made signs to the man on watch that
they had come to trade.   They were apparently
unarmed.    As no orders to the contrary had been
issued, the Indians were allowed on board.   Canoes
clustered about the ship with both men and women
in them.   The women remained in the canoes while
the men clambered over the ship's sides.   Mackay
and Thorn hastily came on deck, and Mackay again
urged the captain to weigh anchor.   Thorn refused.   The Indians offered to trade on terms
satisfactory to Thorn and pelts were soon rapidly
changing hands.   The principal articles demanded
in trade were blankets and knives.    The blankets
the men threw overboard into the canoes, but the
knives they kept in their hands.   As soon as each
man had sold his furs and received his exchange,
he moved off and took up a position on another part
of the deck.    By the time that the furs were all dis-
posed of, there were several armed natives grouped
advantageously near to every white man on deck.
The anchor was being weighed, men had gone
aloft to make sail, and the captain ordered the
decks cleared.   With a yell, the Indians began the
real work they had come there to do. THE TONQUIN 189
Lewis, the clerk, was stabbed in the back as he
leaned over a baie of blankets and feil down the
companionway. Mackay, who was sitting on the
taffrail, was clubbed. He feil overboard and was
received on the knives of the women in the canoes.
Thorn made a fierce fight for his life. He was a
big burly man of great strength, and he laid one or
two Indians low with his fists and a clasp-knife
before he was clubbed down and stabbed to death.
Every white man on deck feil. There were seven
men aloft. Four of them escaped by leaping
through the hatch. They reached the cabin where
they found the wounded Lewis. Here the five
men barricaded themselves in, cut holes for their
firearms, and began pouring out a fire that drove
the natives back to their canoes and to the shore.
During the night the four men who were unhurt
lowered the ship's boat and stole out upon the tide,
with the desperate resolve of trying to row back
to Astoria. When morning came the Indians, rec-
onnoitering from a safe distance, saw a white man
on deck. It was evident that he was badly hurt
and very weak. He made friendly signs to them,
inviting them on board. The opportunity for rich
plunder was too alluring to be resisted. Presently
a few natives climbed over the taffrail.   The deck 140 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
was empty save for the furs, the bales of blankets,
and other merchandise. The one survivor had
crawled below again; and there was no sign of the
other men whose musket fire had driven off the
savages after their victory of the preceding day.
They signaled to their tribesmen who werelingering
at a safe distance. And it was not long before the
deck was thronged with Indians, while crowded
canoes, rocking on the tide, rubbed against the
ship's sides.
But, if yesterday had seen an Indian's vengeance,
today was to see a white man's. Satisfied at last
with the numbers of his foes which he had lured on
board the Tonquin and about her, this sole survivor
dragged himself to the powder magazine. The
natives on shore heard a sound new to them and
more terrible than the roar of the Thunder-God; it
was the one note of a dying white man's war song.
The Tonquin was blown into slivers by the explosion
and the bay was strewn with bits of what had once
been human bodies. Of over a hundred warriors
who had been jauntily gathering the spoils on deck,
only a few gruesome traces were washed ashore.
Those in the canoes also suffered havoc. A number
were killed; many were wounded and mangled.
There was mourning in Clayoquot.   The death WÊASTORIA IN 1813
Wood  engraving in Voyage to the  Northwest  Coast of America
in 1811-14, by Gabriel Franchère. - •
k m
m&mm he/V.Hso^ .4*%?»*
.mêdoa&i'i h
pïr^eëëëTtoTTto I e,._.]
xt^pH ni sa.iv«isfl9; booW
;lMso?to éèi: . h
e^e-   -
Of to-e;e    :..,j-etoetoto   ..
. ■'"• ***ifSli  THE TONQUIN 141
fires burned along the shore; and wailing was heard
in the great cedar houses which, last night, had
echoed to the savage chant of triumph.
But a day or so later the sea cast up to the Clayo-
quots a sacrifice to appease the spirits of their
slain. The four seamen who had left the Tonquin in the mad hope of reaching Astoria were
captured as they slept in a cave. They were
dragged to the village and were put to death after
prolonged torture.
In substance, this was the story which the interpreter told to the Astorians when at last he arrived
at the mouth of the Columbia with an Indian fishing
fleet. Rumors had already reached the little colony by other Indians from the Strait of Juan de
Fuca, who had come to the bay for sturgeon fishing. Indian gossip credited the Russians with
having instigated the attack on the Tonquin. Indeed, the Indians still maintain that the attacks
on American ships in those years were due to
Russian influence.
The story of the Tonquin9s fate and the deple-
tion of the little colony, through the departure of
Stuart and his party to the new inland trading
post, moved the Indians on the lower Columbia to
ask themselves whether they really desired the 142
presence of the white men at Astoria. The voté
was in the negative. McDougal knew Indians.
Therefore he was quickly suspicious when he found
them unwilling to trade and, in fact, deserting the
fort where they had so recently made themselves
very much at home. He set his men to work at
once, strengthening barricades, putting guns in
place, and making other preparations against attack. Then, all being in readiness, McDougal
sent for Comcomly and other headmen, charged
them with their perfidy, and vowed a terrible vengeance if they did not immediately mend their
ways. He knew how terrified the natives werej
of the smallpox, which they believed to be the
work of a devil. McDougal held up a corked
bottle, declaring that it contained the spirit of
the smallpox. Unless they behaved he would let
loose that disfiguring and devastating devil. Hast-
ily they assured him that they would behave. He
was the greatest of all great chiefs. They would
certainly behave.
McDougal, as time went on — so we learn —
thought it best not to rely entirely upon the super-
natural. Suppose a jealous medicine man were
to steal the bottle and drop it to the bottom of
the river?   Such a contingency was not at all THE TONQUIN 143
improbable. For the cement of good-wül natural
means would serve better than supernatural in the
long run, So at last there came a day when the old
Nor'wester girded himself with amity and put fair
words in his mouth and went a-wooing. Aftel
sufficiënt gifts and palaver had been exchanged,;
one of the many Misses Comcomly became Mistress
Presumably the maniage was a happy one, for it
inspired other Astorians to seek connubial bliss.
And, in time, old Comcomly, the one-eyed, came to
be known as "the father-jn-law of Astoria."
'<»«*4#tfi CHAPTER V
The story of Astor'&Overlanders is a tale of hero-
ism which enriches history even while it reveals
deplorable ignorance and inefficiency. Here, as in
his maritime enterprise, Astor showed unwisdom
in his choice of a leader. His own lack of actual
experience beyond the frontier was most unfortunate for him, for it led to fatal mistakes in judgment. Apparently he could discern men's moral
qualities, could perceive strength of will, courage,
rectitude. Jonathan Thorn had possessed these
traits, and they were conspicuous in Wilson Price
Hunt, the leader of the Overlanders. But Thorn's
inadaptability completely offset his good traits and
brought about disaster. And Hunt's ignorance of
wilderness life came near to wrecking the overland
In July, 1810, Hunt went to Montreal to engage
a brigade of voyageurs, taking with him Donald
Mackenzie, a fellow partner in Astor's Pacific Fur\
Company, formerly a Nor'wester. At Mohtrear
Hunt and Mackenzie found the hand of the Nor'westers everywhere against their efforts to recruit
rivermen and they failed to enlist the crew theyr
needed. They took what they could get, however,
and headed up the Ottawa and across Lake Huron
to Michilimackinac, there to augment their force
from the horde of idle boatmen and trappers who
lay about the strait every summer waiting for the
trapping season. At Michilimackinae, too, Hunt
and Mackenzie experienced difficulties. No sooner
was a canoeman engaged and a sum in advance
paid to him than some tavern-keeper or trades-
man would appear with a bill against him. Hunt
must either pay the bill, or lose his employee and
the money advanced to hold him to his bargain.
Another cause of delay, quite as irritating, lay in
the volatile temperament of the Canadian canoeman. After Pierre or Frangois had made his bargain and received his advance wages, he must
celebrate — gather his friends and kin about him,
carouse with them, sing and dance. Tomorrow,
next day, or next week, would be time enough
to embark; but today the wineshop beckoned,
tonight the fiddles called.
At length the partners, with their train of vaga-
bonds, were ready for the journey to St. Louis,
| across Lake Michigan, across Wisconsin, and down
jthe Mississippi.   They arrived at St. Louis on the
|3d of September.   Here Hunt, seeking to engage
fhunters and river boatmen, found Manuel Lisa of
| the Missouri Fur Company not one whit behind
the Montreal traders in putting obstacles in his
way.   By the time that Hunt had manned and
ïoutfitted his expedition, it was too late in the year
jto set out; for the upper waters of the 'Missouri
would be under ice before the boats could traverse
I more than the first five hundred miles of the riv«|
But, apart from the expense of wintering sixty
men in St. Louis, Hunt did not intend to leave
his mercurial rivermen for months within reach of
the taverns and of the machinations of the f ertile
Lisa.   Towards the end of October he pushed far
up the Missouri with his crew to the mouth of the
Nodaway some miles above the site of St. Joseph.
On this f avorable spot in a good game country the
Overlanders went into camp.   Two days later the
first blasts of winter closed the river immediately
north of them.
In January, 1811, Hunt returned to St. Louis.
He was anxious to engage more hunters, expert ASTOR'S OVERLANDERS 147
riflemen who might be needed not only to hunt
game but to defend the expedition from hostile
Indians. And he must also procure an interpreter to ease the party's way through the Sioux
country where, according to report, he was likely to meet with serious trouble. On this quest
Hunt encountered new difficulties, for the Missouri Fur Company was also equjpping an expedition not only for trade but to make a search for
one of their partners, Andrew Henry, who had
been forced by the savage Blackfeet to abandon
the Company's fort at Three Forks. Thus there
was a lively competition for riflemen, in the midst
of which Hunt was anything but gladdened to see
five of his own hunters from the camp on the Missouri trudge into St. Louis. They had quarreled
with the partners in charge of the camp. Hunt
could persuade only two of them to return with him.
Hunt's pirogues put out from St. Louis on the
llth of March. Despite his setbacks, he feit
himself fortunate in having the services of Pierre
Dorion, a half-breed, whose father had served
Lewis and Clark as interpreter among the Sioux.
Pierre Dorion had been an employee of the Missouri Fur Company, but had fallen out with
Lisa over a whiskey bill.   Pierre considered it an
"*<»t*ifSH 148
unpardonable wrong that Lisa had charged whiskey
against him at ten dollars a quart. Therefore he
engaged with Hunt the more willingly. But as
Lisa must pass through the Sioux territory, he, too,
had urgent need of Dorion, the only man available knowing the Sioux tongue. When blandish-
ments f ailed to detach the half-breed from his new
employers, Iisarquietly secured a writ relative to
the whiskey debt and arranged to have Dorion
served with it at St. Charles, on the way up the
river. Thus the interpreter would be prevented
from continuing with Hunt, and must take his
choice of either joining Lisa's own party or re-
maining in durance vile and penniless in the little
village of St. Charles. Lisa's scheme was foiled,
however, by two English scientists traveling withj
Hunt, named Bradbury and Nuttall, who had in
some way learned the plot and who warned Dorion.
The enraged interpreter left the boats shortly before St. Charles came into view and slipped into
the woods, promising to rejoin the brigade on the
next day at a safe distance above the village.
At the moment of departure from St. Louis,
Dorion had given Hunt an unwelcome surprise; he
had arrived on the river bank with his Sioux wife
and two small children and had refused to embark ASTOR'S OVERLANDERS 149
without them. Now, as he left the boats below
St. Charles, his wife and children and a bundie
containing all his earthly goods went into the woods
after him. But it was a lonely and disconsolate
man who signaled from the shore the next morn-
I ing. There had been a family tiff during the
night and Pierre, always forcible in argument, had
applied the logic of the rod. His wife, convinced
but offended, had stolen away in the darkness taking with her the children and the bundie.    Pierre's
; woe was so deep that Hunt halted the boats and
sent a Canadian voyageur into the woods to seek
for the lost woman, but without avail. On the
following morning before daybreak, however, the
Idistressed husband heard the voice of love calling
to him from the opposite shore and woke the camp
to share his joy. Hunt sent a canoe across; and
the wife, the children, and the bundie were once
jmore restored to their owner.
Hunt's next stopping point was the village of
La Charette, at the mouth of Femme Osage Creek,
the home, it will be recalled, of Daniel Boone, the
famous Kentucky hunter, fighter, and explorer.
Despite his seventy-five years, Boone had spent
the preceding winter in the wilds trapping beavéf
and had returned with over fifty skins.   Perhaps 450 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
only the influence of his sons and his wife kept him
from casting in his lot with Hunt's party. The
old pioneer stood on the bank as the boats pushed
up the river and watched them out of sight.
Early on the next day the Overlanders saw a
small bark canoe with a single occupant skim-
ming down the tide. It was John Colter, returning to civilization after one of his lonely trapping
forays in the Yellowstone. He had much to teil
the Overlanders of the malignant Blackfeet; and
though he was strongly tempted to join their great
adventure, the charms of a newly wedded bride,
who awaited him somewhere down the river, ap-
pealed to him at that time more than the lure of
the wilderness.
Passing through the territory of the Osages, thej
Overlanders learned that there was war throughout the greater part of the Indian country; and
that thé Sioux had been out on raids during the
preceding summer and could be expected to take
the warpath in full force as soon as spring had
cleared the prairies of snow. They heard, tooj
that the Sioux had determined to stop white traders from selling arms to other tribes with whom
they were at war. And while the boats halted at
Fort Osage, where they were greeted by Ramsay ASTOR'S OVERLANDERS 151
Crooks, one of the partners from the Nodaway
camp, they saw proof of the rumors of Indian
unrest. A war party of Osages returned from an
attack on an Iowa village and held high festival te
celebrate the taking of seven scalps. There were
dances, with triumphant shoutings, processions,
and planting of the war pole by day, and torch-
light processions and barbecues by night.
These excitements so thrilled the still undis-
ciplined savage nature of Dorion's Indian wife
that, when the hour for sailing came, she declined
to go on; she would remain f orever where such
pleasant things were happening. Dorion, however, who had not forgotten the pangs Nwhich her
absence had caused him earlier in the journey, was
in no mind to go lamenting and lonely all the way
to Astoria. JlHe resorted again to the birch. Before
Hunt could interpose, Dorion had convinced his
mate that trivia! amusements were not worthy to
weigh against the duties and delights of matrimony.
By the middle of April the Overlanders joinedi
their comrades at the mouth of the Nodaway, and,]
after a delay of some days, owing to the weather,;
they all started up the Missouri on their long
journey to the Columbia. In the party, numbering
about sixty, which Hunt was to lead, were four!
partners besides himself, and these four were experienced frontiersmen. Donald Mackenzie, one-
time Nor'wester, was al *"winterer'! of the Great
North; Ramsay Croöks, a Scot, had traded and
trapped on the plains with Robert 'MeLellan, an
old border fighter famed for his exploits and his
marksmanship; and Joseph/Miller had f ought as
a lieutenant under "Mad Anthony'! Wayne. To
any one of these men might Astor more wisely
|have entrusted his overland expedition. Mackenzie, indeed, had joined with the understanding
that he was to share the command. But at the
last minute Astor had reduced to a subordinate
position the bluff Non'wester who knew the wil-
derness as Astor knew his garden. Then there
were the hunters, among them the Virginian John
Day, a clerk named John Reed, the interpreter
Dorion and his family, and the crew of voyageurs. On the 28th of April they camped at the
mouth of the Plajtte Risrer for breakfast. Here
they saw more signs of Indian war. On the bank
lay the frame of a buil boat. It had been used not
long since to convey a raiding party across the
river. Rolling smoke on the horizon and, at night,
a red glare in the sky told of grass fires lighted by
a fleeing band to cut off pursuers. ASTOR'S OVERLANDERS 153
A few nights later as the party slept, save the
guards, eleven Sioux warriors rushed into'the camp
yelling and brandishing tomahawks. Seized and
overpowered, they protested that their visit was
friendly. But Dorion, being familiar with Sioux
customs, said that their naked state showed them
to be members of a band defeated in war who had
cast off their garments and ornaments and vowed
to recover their honor as warriors through perf orm-
ing some act of blood. But for the prompt action
of the guards the eleven devotees would there and
then have retrieved their right to flaunt feathers.
Hunt sent them across the river towards their own
territory under ward of his riflemen, with a warn-
ing. He was not in a mood to appreciate Indian
pleasantry of that nature. Two more of his hunt-
ers had deserted only a couple of days before.
If they continued to desert as the need of them
became greater, the situation promised to be serious enough. These frequent desertions by hunt-l
ers inured to the wilderness and its dangers are in
strong contrast to the loyalty and obedience of .the
men who served under Lewis and Clark. This is
accounted for by Hunt's ignorance of the men he
was dealing with. Apparently he knew neither^
how to allay grievances nor how to enforce law. *
Lewis and Clark, themselves experienced in frontier life, could give initiative full play without
relaxing the bonds of discipline.
Hunt had other anxieties. It will be remembered that two English scientists were traveling
with the expedition. Bradbury, an elderly botanist and mineralogist, had been sent out by the
Linnaean Society of Liverpool to make a colleetion
of American flora. Nuttall, a younger man, was
also a botanist. Bradbury carried a rifle, for he
was a mild sportsman after the manner of English
country gentlemen of his day; but NuttalFs sole
weapons appear to have been his microscope and
trowel. At every halting place, regardless of the
Indian danger, the two scientists would wander oi!
over the prairie in different directions each ab-
sorbed in his special pursuit. Did Nuttall discover a new plant, or Bradbury overturn a bit of min-
eral stone, instantly all warnings were forgotten.
They would range farther and farther afleid until
recaptured by a band from their own party. Nuttall, armed only with his trowel, tripping out over
the Indian prairie to dig for roots that were not for
the pot, especially drew the amused contemptof
the voyageurs. They called him "the fooi." Oü
est lefou? became a byword of the camp. ASTOR'S OVERLANDERS 155
Ü One day, as the boats approached a bend in the
river, Bradbury elected to leave his boat and walk
across the stretch of prairie which lay in front of
them.   They were in the country of the fierce
Teton Sioux, who were gathering in force, Hunt
had just learned, to bar their progress and take
away their goods and weapons.   In vain Hunt
reminded Bradbury of  "Indian  signs."   Bradbury had seen "signs" of iron ore.    With the
huge portfolio in which he pressed flowers under
his arm, his camp kettle slung on his back, and his
rifle over his shoulder, he set off .|f This day the old
gentleman met with an adventure.   After having
emptied his rifle noisily but ineffectively at some
prairie dogs, he stood near the bank at the upper
side of the bend peering at a mineral specimen
through his microscope when he feit ungentle
hands upon his shoulders.   There ensued a few
lively moments during which three or four savages
alternately threatened him with a leveled cross-
bow and tried to drag him away to their main
camp.   Against their carnal weapon Bradbury
opposed the arms of science.   The crossbow was
lowered before the charms of the scientist's pocket
compass.   When the novelty of the compass wore
off and hands again descended on Bradbury's
' < »<«J"*;i i 156 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
shoulders, he produced the microscope. The fas-
cination of this instrument fortunately held the
attention of the Ikidians until the boats came up,
when they fled.
The Indians visited the camp next day with a
white man bearing a note from Manuel Iisa asking
Hunt to wait for him sothat the two bands might
pass together through the Sioux country. 1 In view
of his experience of the Spaniard and his methods,
Hunt did not regard the overtnre favorably. More-
over, he had heard from Ramsay Crooks and
Robert McLellan of treachery which they believed
to have been dealt thetn by Lisa in> th§|§)revious
year in the Indian country. Hunt decided not
to wait. He sent Lisa an ambiguous, though a
friendly, answer.
On the morning of the 26th of May, Hunt was
deploring the loss of two more deserters when two
canoes bearing white men hove in sight. The men
were three hunters, Robinson, Hoback, and Rez-
ner. They had been with Lisa's partner, Andrew
Henry, on one of the head branches of the Columbia, wh^jjre Henry had gone after the Blackfeet had
driven him from the Three Forks of the Missouri.
They were Kentuckians of the stripe of those
great frontiejrsmen who won and held the Dark ASTOR'S OVERLANDERS 157
and Bloody Ground. Robinson was a veteran of
sixty-six years. He had been scalped in the Kentucky wars and wore a kerchief about his head
to conceal his disfigurement. The three were on
their way home to Kentucky; but, learning what
was afoot here, they turned their canoes adrift
on the stream and threw in their lot with the
A few days later the expedition confronted a
Sioux war party some six hundred strong gathereq
on the river's bank. The Overlanders hastily
loaded swivel guns and small arms and made réady
to fight their way through. The Sioux, seeing
these preparations, spread their buffalo robes on
the ground — their sign of peace, as Dorion explained — and invited the white men to a council.
Hunt, with the other partners and the interpreter,
stepped ashore — foliowed, it should be added,
by the elderly scientist, Bradbury, who was
always eager to collect data concerning the aborigines. The calumet was passed round the circle
and presents of tobacco and parched corn were
brought from the boat. The demeanor of the
white men was friendly and the gifts stacked beside
Hunt were appetizing. And the warriors could
see the hunters with their rifles on board the boats, 158 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
while the swivel guns pointed shorewards like fin-
gers of benediction lifted over the peace council.
The chiefs declared that they had meant to interfere with the white men's boats only because they
believed they were carrying ammunition to the
Arikaras, Minnetarees, and Mandans, with whom
the Sioux were now at war. Since the white men
were merely on their way to join their friends
beyond the mountains, the Sioux had nothing but
kindly feelings towards them.
Two days had barely passed when another large
Indian band was sighted running down to the river
as if to seize the boats in the channel ahead, which
was narrowed by a sand bar. Immediately the
men crouched low, their rifles ready. Miller feit
a touch on his arm. Nuttall had risen to his feet
and was peering at the flock of f eathered warriors^
" Sir," Miller heard the scientist ask with much ani-v
mation," don't you think these Indians much f atter
and more robust than those of yesterday? " These
fatter Indians, however, proved to be Arikaras
and their allies, out for a skirmish with the Sioux.
They jumped into the water and held out their
hands in the way of the white man's greeting, and
then hastened away to their towns up the river to
prepare their people for the visit of the white HïTrt»!
traders with the hope, of   course, of  a supply
of arms.
The expedition was still some miles below the
Arikara village when two Indians came up in haste
to inform Hunt that another large trading boat
was ascending the river. Manuel Lisa had read»
between the lines of Hunt's soft answer and was}
straining every nerve to overtakë Astor's barges.
Hunt thought it best to lie to and wait for the
Spaniard. He seems to have spent the waiting
time chiefly in calming the fiery McLellan, who
had sworn to shoot Lisa on sight because of the
Spaniard's machinations against himself and his
partner Crooks among the Sioux the year before. Another member of Hunt's party whose soul
turned to gall at the prospect of Lisa's society was
Pierre Dorion. He remembered now not only the
ten-dollar whiskey, not only the threat breathed
into his ear in St. Louis, but also the sneaking
writ that had been intended to lay him by the
heels in St. Charles; and probably he charged up
against Lisa those distressful hours spent without his adored mate and his children and his bundie. Brooding on his wrongs, Dorion sank into a
sullen rage.
The Overlanders were traveling in four boats. 160 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON |
Lisa's party, which numbered twenty-four besides
himself and a young sightseer named Henry
Brackenridge, had one large boat, propelled by
twenty rowers and mounting a swivel gun on the
bow. Among this boat's occupants there sat a
woman and her child — no other than the Bird-
Woman, Sacajawea, and the small boy who had
entered into the world while his heroic mother
was on the march with Lewis and Clark. As
on that journey, she accompanied her husband
Toussaint Charboneau, the interpreter. The great
event of her life, the crossing of the continent
with Lewis and Clark, and the characters of
those two brave adventurers had impressed the
Bird-Woman with a deep love for the white
race; and she had tried, in her humble fashion,
to imitate their ways of life as far as she was
able. But now, it seems, she was 31, perhaps
drifting into a decline as do so many Indians after
contact with the alien white people; and her desMl
was towards her own tribe, the far distant Shoshones, that her days might be finished among
them. This will be our last glimpse of the intelligent and courageous Bird-Woman, who piloted
Clark safely through the mountain passes on the
homeward march.  160 ADVENfURERS OF
I - .-, pöiiys which numbereSwÉaty-four feeside
PPand % a young sigt--ee.e.r ■ namedfHenr;
keniidge^ had on|ff|irge boat, propeüed b;
m a s^rdhgun on th
occupantsShere sat |
> other than the Bird
ie smal: boy who ha^
- bis heroic
rowers and
bow.   Among thisHÉj
woman and her chSd
Woman, Sacajawea.  :|
enteredfinto-the? wc L
Lp%itfeai^f- gniw-Bïb i mwm$®ti&dAhpr TJmJa&aL
s.-e-:  5 --e m§ of the continenl
|      "-..   ■• i e-   the  characters  ■.
|. " mm -er-s had-impressed ti
Bird-Ytoe;.^;.,,a witfi a dfep   love   for  tiie  wfcv.
race; and afae had tried, in her humblé fashion
imitate WÊt life as- faiÉfpshe -ifi
able.   But- fiïws If seems, she was il, perhap.
drifting inte e rietollneas do so many Indians alt
contact with the allen white people; and her das :
was towards %er oWn tribe, the f ar distant S;-
phone&j that-her days might' be^KÉMstt amoi
tkem.    TMs wil! be our last gH -.,: ,t     -w,
■•-•to?a^eotos Bkd^'r -.   - pllo-
CSÉila|afe% through the niotitttain passes ont!   ASTOR'S OVERLANDERS 161
And what of the little Charboneau, at this time
about six years of age? Casting forward throughout some forty years, we find references to him in
the annals of Oregon and Idaho traders. It appears natural enough that he should have struck
out for the country of his mother's people and for
that farther West of her wonderful journey, for
these were surely the subjects of most of the stories
she had told him in his chfldhood when they two
sat in the fire's gleam and she spun for him the
magical threads of romance, as mothers do all the
world over.
For two days the rival traders traveled together in apparent good-will. Lisa, indeed, was so
smooth-tongued and gracious that Dorion forgot
his wrongs and accepted an invitation to visit the
Spaniard's boat. Lisa plied the half-breed gen-
erously with whiskey and sought to win him from
his allegiance. But Dorion had his own sense of
honor; and not for bribes nor even for the liquor he
too dearly loved would he consent to break his
agreement. Lisa must have lost his temper at this
inconvenient exhibition of rectitude, for he threat-
ened to retain Dorion, forcibly if need be, to work
out his old debt of ten doDars a quart. Dorion
flew into a rage, left the boat, and went to Hunt at
once with the story. Lisa foliowed him but was
not in time to prevent Dorion's revelations, if that
were his object. There was a violent scène; and
Dorion, whose blows were always readier than his
words, struck Lisa. The noise of the brawl pres^
enüy lured all lovers of excitement to the spot.
Lisa had a knife, but Dorion seized a pair of pistols
and so kept his f oe at a distance. McLellan came
up with his rifle, and Hunt had some difficulty;
again in persuading him to defer the payment of
his vow. lp
Meanwhile the scientific Bradbury and the literary Brackenridge were doing their best to aid
Hunt in soothing the combatants. Lisa, in his
spleen, next hurled an insult at Hunt. Hunt's
ire rosé, and he challenged Lisa to a pistol duel.
Both expeditions might have come to a permanent
halt that night, had Bradbury and Brackenridge
not succeeded in preventing the duel from tajking
place. It was Lisa who yielded. He realized, no
doubt, that, if he fought Hunt and won, he would
have Dorion and McLellan to settle with afterwards.
The two expeditions continued in company dur-
mg the days following, but there was no further
interchange of courtesies until they arrived before the Arikara village and pitched their camps •ïlJTfUtf'
on opposite shores near the mouth of the Grandï
River (South Dakota). Lisa then sent Bracken-/
ridge to Hunt's tent with the suggestion that they
should enter the village together with the outward
appearance of amity, as it would be unwise to let
the warriors have an inkling of the differences that
existed between the white men. Hunt agreed the
more readfly because he preferred to have the Span-
iard under his eye during his intercourse with these
Indians who were new acquaintances of his but
old customers of his adversary. McLellan saw to
his rifle.
In his speech at the council in the vülage, Lisa
dissipated in a great measure the suspicions and
ill-feeling against him.   He assured the Indians
that, though his party and the Overlanders had
separate interests in trade, he would resent any
wrong done to his rivals as forcibly as if it were
done to himself.   He also lent Hunt every assist-
ance in securing horses to convey his men and
baggage overland.   Hunt intended to leave the
river at this point and to pursue his way across /
the plains, swinging southwesterly through the'
country of the Crow Indians and crossing the
Rockies through the Big Horn Range.   In this de-t
cision he had taken the advice of the three hunters, 164
Robinson, Hoback, and Rezner, who had urged him
to avoid the dangerous territory of the Blackfeet.
Here, then, the Overlanders were to leave the
trafl of Lewis and Clark and blaze their own path
to the sea. It was a foolhardy move; and Lisa
might well smile and assist in expediting his rivals5
'on their way to destruction, as he saw it. Had
Hunt possessed a knowledge of the wflds and of
Indians, he must surely have realized that sixty
men, well armed, would have a good fighting
chance against raiding parties of Blackfeet, but
that sixty men with their mounts and pack horses
would be courting disaster in launching into un-
known regions where they might lack for game and
water and for fodder for their horses. And, indeed,
they might expect to lack their horses also, for the
ICrow Indians were the most skillful horse thieves
jbn the plains. No wonder Lisa was all gracious-
ness. He was to trade horses of his own, pastured
among the Mandans, for^Hunt's four excellent
boats which would fSrobably be carrying the Missouri Fur Company's pelts to St. Louis while the
ibones of the Astorians lay bleaching on the desert.
On the 18th of July the Overlanders parted with
the scientists, who were returning to St. Louis, and
' set out from the Arikara vfllage with eighty-two ?lïTH*i
horses, pursuing a south westerly course across the\i
Grand and Moreau rivers. Hunt had not been
able to procure mounts for all his people. Most of
the horses carried heavy packs containing ammunition, goods for trade, traps, Indian corn, corn meal,
condensed soup, dried meat, and other essentials.
Hunt and the other partners were on horseback.
Dorion and his Sioux mate trudged together, she at
his heels leading a horse on which were securely
roped the little Dorions and the bundie. An addition made to the party in the Arikara village
was a renegade white man named Edward Rosé, a
sullen creature, of a vicious appearance. Because
Rosé had lived for some years with the Crows,
Hunt engaged him as interpreter.       ||e
Towards the end of July the Overlanders, on |
their southwestern route across the hot plains, feU
in with a friendly band of Cheyennes, from whom
they purchased thirty-six horses. The bales of
baggage were reassorted and one horse was allotted
to every two men. After two weeks spent in hunt-J
ing and trading with the Cheyennes, the cavalcaden
crossed the Cheyenne River and' moved on, now|
veering south towards the Big Horn Range. On*
the way, Rosé approached some malcontents of the
party with a plan to run off the pack horses with 166
their rich bales and join the Crows. These spoils, so
he assured them, would win for them high positions
in the tribe of his friends. Hunt forestalled the plot
by the simple expediënt of a bribe, consisting of
half a year's pay, a horse, some beaver traps, and
merchandise to be given Rosé after he had guided
the party through the country of his adopted
brothers. Thus made sure of his own rise in th&
world, Rosé ceased his altruistic efforts to promote
the fortunes of others.
To supply so large a caravan with meat, the
hunters ranged afleid in small parties. On one
occasion three of these hunters missed the trail,
and there occurred another agonized separation
of the Dorion famfly, for Pierre was with them.
The men had been out for several days, and their
comrades had given them up for lost when at last
they rode into camp. The stoical look with which
the Sioux woman faced her fear through those
few days gave way to w3d enthusiasm of joy
when she saw her heavy-handed lord returning
to her safe and sound. The peculiar domestipty
of the Dorions Hunt seems to have regarded with
a shocked wonder, for on this journey he was
making his first acquaintance with the chüdren
of the wfiderness in their own habitat.   Before ASTOR'S OVERLANDERS 167
this time he had known of them only what they
chose to reveal across his trading counters in
St. Louis.
Hunt's attitude of mind, as well as his material
data, was passed on to Washington Irving. We
cannot overpay Irving in thanks for the valuable
record he made for us from the letters and diaries
of the Astorians. But the heart of the life he
sought to picture was hidden from him. Hunt)
and Thorn, men bred in his" own world, he un-(
derstood; but Nor'westers, voyageurs, Indians—\
and the bond between the wild Dorions — were'
enigmatical to him.
In the furnace heat of mid-August the Over-/
landers drove on towards the red sandstone craga
of the Black Hflls, which stretched across the!
horizon like flames caught and fixed in fantas-1
tic outlines by the gods of the mountains. On the
heights of that red barrier, said the Indians of the
plains, these gods or spirits dwelt. And sometimes they spoke, not only in the thunders they
sent hurtling through the sky, but in calm days
and even in the silent starry nights when all save
gods slept. These reverberations, heard in the
Rockies as well as in the Black Hflls, have been
variously if not yet conclusively explained.   Lewis 168 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON |
and Clark describethe sound as consisting sometimes of one stroke, sometimes of several loud discharges in quick succession, and resembling closely
the sound of a six-pound cannon at a distance of
three mfles. In some regions of the Yellowstone
the sound has a more musical character, suggesting
that the gods in those flaming towers have relaxed
from wrath to listen wküe their bards strike upon
the strings of a thousand harps.
But whether in wrath or at their pleasures, th#j
gods know well how to guard against any approach
to their fortresses of sculptured fire, as the Overlanders, being only mortals, soon learned. Here and
there, a corridor would seem to invite them, bus
it led only to another barred door; and there was
little game in these mock passes. Still seeking a
way through, they moved southward for several
days, and then turned west. Having found their
way through the Black H31s, they were now trav-
eling along the ridge which separates the branch
waters of the Missouri from those of the Yellow-
istone; and they were steering their course by the
summits of the Big Horn Range far to the west
of them. They stumbled upon an Indian trail
and foliowed it for two days the mountains.
Water was scarce and the heat stifling.   They saw ASTOR'S OVERLANDERS 169
no more buffalo, for the defiles were bare of grass.
Corn meal and a wolf served them for supper one
night; and a small stream gladdened their parched
throats after twenty-five miles along a waterless
route. After another long stretch of hard travel
they came out at last upon green sward and water
at one of the forks of the Powder River. They
took a slow pace up the bank of the river, for buffalo were plentif ui here and the hunters were busüy
killing and drying meat. On the 30th of August
they camped near the southern end of the BigS
Horn Mountains. They had traveled nearly fourj
hundred miles since leaving the Arikara vfllage.
Here they were visited by two scouts from a band j
of Crows. It was evident that the Indians had >
kept Hunt's party under observation for some days.
Through Rosé, the interpreter, amicable relations
were established with this band and fresh horses
were procured. Then the Overlanders hastened on;
they were probably none too certain of keeping the
horses they had paid for in goods if the Crows
should take a notion to recover them. But the
ravines they now entered led nowhere and, after a
day of checkmate, they returned to the vicinity of
their last encampment. Rosé, who had been left
with his adopted Crow brethren, came into camp
- < 'i *ï"c5f i BB
the next morning. He bore a message from the
Crow chief inviting the party of white men to^
accompany his band across the mountains. As
Hunt's own attempts to find a pass over the hills
had been fruitless, he accepted the chiefs offer,
albeit with misgivings. So into the narrow mountain tra3 they went, the Crows leading the way*
and the white men foUowing. H the Crows were
famed for their horse stealing they were no less
justly famed for their horsemanship. Every man,
woman, and child rode, and their small-hoofed
wiry ponies could cling to the face of a cliff and
dash along the rocky ledges with the surety of
antelopes. Even the two-year-old children rode,
strapped with buffalo thongs upon their own ponies.
Absaroka, the Bird-People or Sparrowhawks, was
the true name of these Indians; but it is said that the
French traders, who called them Les gens des Cor*
beaux, and their neighbors on the plains had named
them after the prime thief of the bird tribe because,
hke crows, they flew down from their nests in the
mountains, filched whatever took their fancy and
bore it aloft where their robbed victims could not
follow. However they acquired the appellation,
they deserved it. But the name of Sparrowhawk
might well have been given them, as a compliment rlifttt*ti
to their riding; for, on their spirited horses, they
skimmed through the defiles and over the crests of
the ridges like hawks on the wing.
The Crows soon left Hunt's party far behind,
but they had shown him the road.   Though Hunt
had suspected their motives it appears that, for
once at least, these mountain magpies had been
moved by an honest impulse, for they did not lie in
wait for the white men and steal their horses.   The
next day, the Overlanders met a small party of
Shoshones with whom they crossed the second
ridge of the Big Horn Mountains and hunted
buffalo on the plain below.   The Shoshones di4
rected Hunt towards the Wind River, some thirty%
mües distant, and told him that it would lead him ]
towards the pass which opened upon the south
fork of the Columbia River, the Snake; and then/
went on their separate way.
After journeying up the Wind River for about!
eighty mfles the Overlanders halted to make canny
and to take counc3. In the five days of travel up
the river, repeatedly crossing its windings, they
had seen no game. Though Robinson, Hoback,^
and Rezner assured Hunt that, by tracing thisi
river to its source and crossing the one ridge there, \
he would reach the head waters of the Snake, Hunt
'«•f***»* i 172 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON 'ï
determined to veer again to the southwest where hei
had heard that another river eufa way through the
'mountains. There they would again see buffalo.
As they reached a high ridge commanding a wide
view, one of the hunters pointed to where threef
snowy peaks pierced the sky far to'the west and
said that at their feet lay the tributary of the
[Columbia. These peaks were the famous Three;
\Tetons, firstjdiscovered, so far as we know, by the
lone trapper, John Colter. In not following the
bed of the Wind River towards these grand old
pflotsyfHunt made another error. The course he
look for forty miles, south westerly along high
©ountry touched here and there with snow, led
pim to the southward flowing waters of the Green
River, the north fork of the Colorado. After
several days of travel and hunting along its banks,
as the river stfll continued southward, he turned
north west again to seek a pass through the mountains. Eight miles of riding led to a little mountain stream with buffalo feeding about it. Here
the Overlanders camped to Irill and dry meat
enough for the remainder of their journey and to
give men and horses a rest. During the eigh^en
days of September they had crossed two hundred
and sixty mfles of hard country. Hflfttttj
On the 24th of September they broke camrjl
Their westerly course across thè Gros Ventre Range!
led them to a stream where Hoback had trappedf
beaver a year before. Hoback's Riverv as it is
still called, is a tributary of the Snake and therefore one of the source streams of the Columbia.
They folio wed it through precipitous passes, where
at times there was barely foothold for their horses,
to its confluence with the turbulent and wider
waters of the Snake. Here, in a rugged valley and
within close view of the Three Tetons, they halted.
There was great joy in camp that night. The
evening meal was a f east of celebration; and no
doubt a dance to the scraping of the fiddle and
a shouting chorus were a part of the thank-offer-
ing made by the voyageurs and hunters who now
believed that all their troubles were ended.
Near the head of the Snake River, then, the
voyageurs set about canoe-making. As the expedition was now apparently almost within hafl of the
Columbia, four of the men who had joined for
the purpose of hunting and trapping cast off from^
the party and launched into the wflds. The joy
of the canoe-buflders was short-lived. Three men
whom Hunt had sent ahead to explore the river
returned with word that it was not navigable.
Hoback and his two companions now suggested
that the party should go on over the intervening
ridge, the Snake River Range, to Andrew Henry's
fort, on Henry's River, which joined the Snake
farther down. On the 4th of October the Overlanders forded the river and began ascending the
mountain. On the eighth in a squall of wind and
snow they reached the xfort. It was deserted.1
Hunt took possession of the fort for the Pacific Fur
Company, turned his horses loose and engaged two
Shoshones to take charge of the horses and the fort
Here Hoback, Rezner, Robinson, another hunter
named Cass, and Miller, one of the partners, left
the party and set forth to hunt and trap.
On the 19th of October the Overlanders em-
barked on the little river running past the fort,
which stood opposite the site of the present Egin,
Idaho. Their fleet consisted of fifteen canoes.
The stream that bore them presently joined with
the waters of the Snake, over six hundred miles
above the point where Lewis and Clark had
launched their canoes on that river six years before.
Down the widened flow sped the canoes, the voyageurs singing to the swift rhythmic strokes of their
1 Henry by this time had reached the Arikara village and
rejoined Lisa. ASTOR'S OVERLANDERS 175
paddies. They made thirty miles before they
camped for the night. The next day after twenty
miles of easy navigation they began to meet with
rapids. In places the men were obliged to make
portage along the shore, in others to pass the canoes down stream by the towline. Their dangers
and difficulties increased daily. They lost four
canoes with most of the cargo in them and the life
of one voyageur. At length, after some two hundred and fifty miles of water travel, they came to
the grand canyon of the Snake where the river, at
Shoshone Falls, plunges down through a narrow
chasm between to wering sides of sheer rock. Several men were sent out to explore. They returned,
after having gone forty miles down the river, and
reported that the channel continued impassable;
the four canoes they had taken with them had been
smashed. To add to the gravity of the situation,
the party now had only five days*rations.
Here they resolved to separate into four parties. Mackenzie with four men turned northward,
hoping that a march across the arid Snake River
Plains would bring him ultimately to a navigable
branch of the Columbia. McLellan with three
men pressed on down along one bank of the Snake
and Reed headed a party down the other.   Ramsay 176 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
Crooks, with six men, went back up the river,
hoping to encounter a Shoshone encampment
/ where he might be able to procure food and a few
horses. If this hope fafied, he would make the
long journey back to Henry's Fort and bring the
horses for the relief of the main party, which would
remain with Hunt at the canyon.
Hunt's men spent three days in caching theii
goods at the head of the canyon. They caught
a few beaver which eked out their scanty food
supply. On the third day Crooks and his men
reappeared, having realized that the oncoming
winter would make it impossible for them to reach
Henry's Fort on foot and return through the
mountains with the horses, even if they should find
the horses still at the fort.
Hunt feared to follow Mackenzie's plan of striking across the lava desert of Snake River Plains
because of the lack of water. He decided to keep
on down the Snake. He divided his people into
two bdnds. Crooks, with ei&hteen men, would take
'jthe south bank, and Hunt himself, wiiju#he
same number of men and the Dorion famfly, the
north bank. They set out on the 9th of November, each man carrying his share of the remain-
ing provisions.   They had cached most of their rftfffljtj:
baggage, but some blankets, ammunition, traps,
and other essentials must be carried. i Each man
bore twenty pounds, in addition to his personal be-
longings. Dorion's wife borejber pack, frequently
with the added weight of her two-year-old son,
whfle the other child, aged four, marched beside
her. There is no record of any, complaint from
her, although she was now nearing the time when
she should give birth to a third child.
Though they follówed the river, the high rockyft
banks made it impossible for them to descend for
water, but on the second day they found some7
rain pools among the rocks.   On the third dajil
Hunt and his party reached a camp of ShoshonesJ
from whom they purchased two dogs for their
For nearly a month Hunt and his men, with thef j
Sioux woman and her chfldren, wandered through'
the mountains about the Snake.    Sometimes they
found a little game or met with Shoshones and
obtained a couple of dogs or a few horses.   Oftener
they hungered.   Rain in the gorges and snow and
bitter winds on the ridges increased the pain of
their travel.   On the 6th of December they es-S
pied white men coming up the opposite bank.'
These were Crooks and his companions.   Worriy
p*t»*#5*3f j 178 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
with fatigue and emaciated from hunger, they
were returning from a point about sixty mfles
down the river which they could not pass because
there were no longer banks and ledges. The
shores were mountain walls of rock rising almost
perpendicularly from their base in the boiling
waters to their crests of snow. Crooks and his
party had, perf orce, turned back. They had eaten
their last meal — their moccasins.
Hunt k31ed the last horse but one and, hastüy
linaking a canoe out of the hide, sent across the
Iriver for Crooks.   But after Crooks had been fer-
iried across, the canoe was lost, swept away by the
current, before food could be taken over to the
famished men on the farther bank, and the turbulent waters forbade the employment of a raft.
Since Crooks had found the way down the river
impassable, Hunt was left with no choice; he also
f must turn back.   Both parties now headed up the
river along the opposite banks, retracing slowly
their painful steps.   Crooks was very 31 and could
not travel.   Hunt remained with him, allowing
I the others to push on in advance.   At length
! Crooks broke down and could go no farther with-
out food.   The one horse remaining belonged to
Dorion.   He had paid for it with a buffalo robe, ASTOR'S OVERLANDERS 179
and it carried his ch3dren and his bundie.   He
refused to part with it, even for food.    Fortu-
nately, before that night they reached a Shoshone (
encampment and found a number of horses paw-l
ing and snuffing for grass under the light snow.'
Two or three of the hunters crept forward, drove
the frightened Indians away, captured five horses,!
killed one, and set about cooking it.    By means
of a skin canoe which they made, cooked horse- j
flesh was now sent across the river to the starving i
band on the other side.   These men had kept hero-
ically on the march, though they had not tasted
food for nearly ten days.
The majority of Hunt's men moved on dou-*
bling their course up the river they had lately^
descended. But John Day, who had crossed to»
Hunt's party from the south side, collapsed. He )
had been formerly in Crooks's employ in the Siouxj
country, and Crooks would not leave him nowl'
Hunt was obliged to press on with his party, how^
ever, as his leadership and authority were neededJ
but he left behind with Crooks and Day a voyageur\
named Dubreuil, and two horses and some meat.
On the 15th of December Hunt's party came to a..
little river, probably Boisé Creek, which they had|
formerly crossed three weeks earlier.   As its banks
were inviting, they foliowed them up some dis*
tance and camped in open level country. The
weather was so cold that ice was running in the
Snake, and snow feil frequently. On the twenty-]
third, following the lead of three Shoshones from
a lodge on the creek who consented to guide them
across the mountains, Hunt and his men crossed to
the south side of the Snake, near the mouth oi
another river, probably the Payette or the Wei*
ser. The two parties, now united, moved on to*|
gether, save for the men left behind, Crooks, Day,]
and Dubreuil, and three voyageurs, who, being un-
able to march further, asked permission to remain!
among the Shoshones.
On the morning of the twenty-f ourth the travelers
turned westward and away from the Snake, but
1 their hardships were not ended.   The expedition,
consisting now of thirty-two white men, Dorion's
wife and children, the three Indian guides, and five
horses, made headway slowly and painfully.   One
sparse meal a day hardly took the edge off their
hunger.   Rain and snow impeded their march.
i Heavy night frosts chilled them through as they
I lay in camp and gave an icy temperature to the
streams they were obliged to ford from time to
time, as they struck out northwesterly for the ASTOR'S OVERLANDERS 181
chain of forested and snow-covered mountains
rising between them and their goal.
In the bleak and snowy dawn of the thirtieth,
the Sioux woman began to be in travafl; and Hunt,
divided between his sense of duty towards the
expedition and his feelings of humanity, hesitat-
ed about taking up the day's march. Food was
very scanty. Every hour of delay was dangerous.,
Dorion, too, urged him to go on. The party there-
fore pressed forward, whfle Dorion and his chfldren 1
remained with the woman. If Hunt cast an anx- |
ious look backward at the lonely camp in the w3-
derness, he may have seen, through the f alling snow,
the figure of the half-breed bent over the fire close
to that dark heap on the ground where his mate
contended against the malign powers of cold and
starvation for the life bound up in hers.
On the next day the sky cleared. The Overi
landers were approaching a Shoshone v31age soutiÉ
of the Blue Mountains in Oregon. The wintrJl
sun shone on a little valley that stretched out
before their gaze, dotted with Shoshone lodges and
horses. Here they were hospitably received. On
the following day Dorion tramped into the vu-
lage, leading the skeleton horse which — perhaps
with this emergeney in mind — he had repeatedly
'«•f*S£5! 5 A
refused to have küled. On its back sat the Sioux
woman with her newborn baby in her arms and he%
two-year-old boy dangling in a blanket fastened
to her body.
It was New Year's Day, 1812, and the men held
a celebration. After a banquet of roast horse-
flesh, with bofled roots and entrees of dog and
a punch composed of hot water, the musicians of
the party produced their fiddles. The voyageurs
danced and sang as in the days of their triumphant
marches with Alexander Mackenzie, David Thompson, and Simon Fraser of the Nor'westers. And
these tattered and much buffeted men, lean from
long hunger and hardship, dropped their troubles
with the last sands from the glass of the old year.
For two days the Overlanders rested and fed
among the Shoshones. Then once more they
assailed the mountains, where sometimes they
sank waist-deep in snow. By the 7th of Januaryl
they were descending the farther slope. The hard
travel and the cold had so weakened some of the
men that they could not keep up with the main
party. Before that night, the Sioux woman's baby
died. On the next day they came upon another
camp of friendly Indians, where they remained
until the stragglers overtook them.   Here they mm..
procured horses and dogs,  and here also they
learned that a band of white men had recently
gone down the river which flowed by this encamp-
ment into the Columbia.   From the accounts of
the party given him by the Indians, Hunt feil
sure that these were the men led by Mackenzie
and McLellan.   It would seem that this river was
the Umatilla which enters the Columbia some
distance below the mouth of the Walla Walla.
Leaving the river's bank, but keeping a westerly
course, the Overlanders reached the Columbia on 1
the 21st of January.   Ten days later they were I
bargaining for canoes with the Indians at the Long /
Narrows.   On the 15th of February the swift tide \
of the River of the West bore them round the
promontory into safe harbor under the shadow
of Astoria.
Here they found the men who had set off from
the Snake River canyon under Mackenzie, McLel- 7
lan, and Reed. The three parties had gravitated I
together in the h31s and had forced their way
through the canyons of the Seven Devils and
Craig Mountains against the terrifying obstacles
which had turned Hunt and Crooks back from this
route. After twenty-one days of almost super-
human effort, peril, and hunger, they had reached 184 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
the navigable lower waters of the Snake and foliowed them into the Columbia. Nothing had beeii
seen by these men of Crooks and Day and thé
voyageurs who had dropped out of the march; and
they were now counted as lost*
McDougal and the coloiry within the fort held
a grand celebration in honor of Hunt's arrival.
Cannon and small arms were fired, liquor kegs
weretapped, and the huge table in the banquet
hall was spread with such delicacies as fish, beaver-
tails, and roast venison. Fiddles leaped from
their bags again on that night and the happy
voyageurs danced. Well had they earned their
right to jig to their heart's content, for, as canoe-
men, they had vanquished strange waters, and dmv
ing six terrible months they had marched with honk
ors over more than two thousand perilous miles. I CHAPTER VI
Three immediate tasks faced the Astorians asr^
rainy spring succeeded rainy winter.    Dispatches I
must be sent to Astor, branch trading posts must
be established in the interior, and the goods biiried
in nine caches at the eastern end of the Snake
canyon must be recovered.
The loss of the Tonquin meant that the letters
and reports for Astor must be carried overland.
The care of these papers was undertaken by John
Reed, and he stowed them away in a bright tin
box made specially for the purpose.   Reed would
make the overland journey to St. Louis in con^-
pany with Robert McLellan, Ben Jones, a Kentucky hunter, and two voyageurs.   Two other parties were to set out at the sametime — one, unöefiM
Robert Stuart, to take supplies to his uncle's fórt]^
on the Okanogan, and the other, consisting of two •
clerks, to go to the caches, >
Accordingly, towards the end of March, 181£,i
the three parties launched canoes and ascended the
river. Trouble met them at the Long Narrows.
The Indians of the village of Wishram above the
Narrows, noted for their arts of treachery and
piracy, feil upon the canoes/ A fight foliowed;
and, before the white men were masters of the
field, two Indians had been killed and Reed ham
been clubbed and wounded and his shilling tin box
had been stolen. His condition and the loss of 1
the letters canceled the overland expedition for)
the time being. He and his party kept on to the|
Okanogan with Robert Stuart and, after some days
at the fort there, turned back downstream with'
the two Stuarts. Not far from the Long Narrows
they descried on the bank of the river two naked
white men who, on nearer approach, proved to ba
Ramsay Crooks and John Day. To their old com-!
panions it seemed that they had risen from the grave.
They had made the£r way from the Snake canyon
through terrible hardship and had recently beenj
stripped of their clothes and moccasins by the
Indians at Wishram. The two unfortunates were
taken aboard the canoes, f ed, and clothed like chiefs
in blankets and furs. On the llth of May they/
were all back at Astoria. ASTORIA UNDER THE NOR'WESTERS 187
But the problem still confronted them of howj
to send dispatches to Astor, and this notwithf
standing that they now had a seagoing vessel
Two days before the canoes beached at AstoriaL
the Beaver, Astor's second ship, bearing supplies^
was firing inquiring guns off Cape Disappointf
ment. On the eleventh or twelfth a committee f
of welcome crossed the surfy bar to the ship'sf
anchorage. First went a canoe in which were
six Indian paddiers and old Comcomly, who had
dressed himself in his best to do the honors. A
barge foliowed propelled by eight voyageurs and
bearing McDougal and McLellan. Piloted by this
delighted reception committee the ship sailed over
the bar and came to rest in Baker's Bay. The
Beaver brought fifteen American laborers and six
voyageurs, five clerks, including Ross Cox, and a
partner named John Clarke, an American who had
spent the greater part of his life as a trader in the
British Northwest.
The Beaver, however, was not avafiable to be
sent round the Horn to New York. It was to be
used to carry Hunt north to Alaska to bring to
fruition Astor's plans with regard to the Russian
trade. Astor had broached to the Russian Government his plan for securing to himself and the 188 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
Russians all the Pacific coast trade and so squeez-
ing out the free traders. He would furnish the
Russians with supplies and ship their furs with his
own to Canton. It wifl be seèn that Astor's aim
was twofold: to use the coöperation of the Russian
traders to drive other rivals off the field and, at the)
same time, to make the Russian traders dependent
upon him — upon his transoceanic and coastwisel
ships and his colony at Astoria. Hunt was to
sa3 to New Archangel (Sitka) to perfect these arrangements with the Russian official in authority at that port, bring away a cargo of furs, return to Astoria, and transfer to the Beaver all the
furs collected there, and then dispatch the ship
for China.
The reports to Astor could therefore not be seni
by sea; it would still be necessary to carry them byt
land. The duty was undertaken by a party of
seven men, headed by the younger Stuart and!
including Crooks, Day, McLeUan, and a voyageur
named LeClerci At the same time, Donald Mackenzie and the newly arrived John Clarke, with a
number of clerks, voyageurs, and hunters, made
ready to go inland to seek out good trading sites
and erect forts. On the 29th of June both expeditions headed up the Columbia their two barges ASTORIA UNDER THE NOR'WESTERS 189
and ten canoes, whfle the cannon of Astoria roared
a farewell to brave men.
Not far up the river, poor John Day began to
show signs of derangement, and Stuart was obliged
to send him back to Astoria in care of some Indians passing down on the way to trade at the fort.
The parting with his old companion left Ramsay
Crooks in great grief. He could not forget his recent experience with Day in the wilderness, when
the two men — debüitated from hunger and hard
travel and left behind in the barren w3ds of the
Snake canyon — had sustained and heartened each
other, ref using to separate. This is a tale of nobil-
ity and loyalty and sacrifice which has never been
written. All we have of it is a suggestion. They
had no journal in which Day could have set down
that the bleak winter sunset found them still in
their rocky camp of yesterday and without food
because Crooks was too 31 to march, and Day
himself too weak to range the hiUs hunting, even if
he had dared to leave Crooks alone. And later,
when Crooks was able to travel again and Day's
wits had wandered beyond the cruel Snake country
into the regions of more fantastic fears, there were
no means at hand whereby Crooks might record
how on such a day he had lost, under a new fail of
snow, the tracks of Hunt and his party which he
had foliowed desperately for over a week; or hoiÉ
Indians were hovering among the rocks, surround-
ing the night's camp but would not draw near
either to succor or to slay because of their awe
of that supernatural control to which they at-
tributed the ravings of the starved and demented
white man.
It is a general belief among savages, and one
common among the coast Indians, that madmen
are under the control of spirits and are either to
be wisely avoided or treated with special consid-
eration and reverence. The Indians bound for As-
toria, to whom Stuart and Crooks confided John
pay in the last stage of his dementia, guarded
him carefully and brought him safely to the fort.
Day partially reeovered and lived in Oregon for
several years only to die in those Snake Mountains,
the scène of his sufferings. So came to his end one
of the two characters in a lost chapter from the
book of Heroism. His name is "writ in water" —
but not unto perishing. At least two streams west
of the YeUowstone Park are known as "John Day's
River," and the place of his death is marked by
"Day's Defile." f       €        #
On the 29th of July the combined parties, ASTORIA UNDER THE NOR'WESTERS 191
numbering between fifty and sixty men, were
trafficking with the Indians on the Walla Walla
River for horses. The Walla Walla Indians, oi 1
the Chopunnish tribe, were a hospitable and kindly
folk and the best equestrians west of the moun-
tams. They owned large bands of horses and they
equipped their mounts with crude high saddles
after the Mexican fashion. They roamed far
afleid and are known to have traded with the
Spanish in California from an early date, exchang-
ing horses for vermilion and blankets. It was
among these Indians, then, that the two expeditions took leave of each other and went on their
separate ways.
Nine months later, on April 30, 1813, Robert
Stuart and his six men reached St. Louis, accom- ]
panied by Miller, the partner who had deserted/
Hunt on the way out to turn trapper. They had a
story to teil of various mishaps, the most serious
of which was the theft of their horses by the
Crows in the mountains, which forced them to continue on foot so that it became necessary to go into
camp for the winter on the bank of the Platte
River. In the Snake region Stuart found Miller,
Robinson, Rezner, and Hoback — all in hunger
and great distress, for they had been robbed of 192 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON I
their beaver catch and their guns by Indians.
M31er had tasted w3d life to his fill and now craved
the savors of civ3ization; but the threehunters asked
Stuart for another outfit of guns, traps, and other
essentials. These were supplied them from the
caches above the Snake canyon, and they pitched
their tents again in the wflderness. Only three of
the caches were found intact. The other six had
been rifled of their contents by Shoshones led
thither by the three voyageurs who had f allen out
of Hunt's starving band and attached themselves
to the Shoshones.
The trading caravan, which parted from Stuart
at the Walla Walla River, separated into detach-
ments. David Stuart and Alexander Ross proceeded to Stuart's Fort at the mouth of the
Okanogan. Here Ross remained while Staart
pushed north up the Okanogan and established
another post where now stands the town of Kam-;
loops, British Columbia, at the forks of the
Thompson. Far to the east John Clarke built
Spokane House at the confluence of Cceur d'Alene
and Spokane Rivers. Mackenzie and Ross Cox
opened trade with the Chopunnish or Nez Percésj
from a post which appears to have been on the
Clearwater some distance  above its confluence ASTORIA UNDER THE NOR'WESTERS 193
with the Snake.    Other Astorians went far north
up the Columbia to the Pend d'Ore31e River, to
ply trade with the Salish or? Flatheads and the
Kootenays, as weU as with the "Ch3dren of the!
Sun," or Spokanes, and thus to assist John Clarke
of Spokane House in cutting off trade from the
posts of the Nor'westers set up on the Spokane
and on the Pend d'Oreüle rivers by David Thompson the year before.  Some of the hunters who went
out from Astoria during the winter of 1812 ranged
southward into Oregon and are said to have ex-|
plored five hundred miles inland from the mouth ]
of the W31amette.(
Between the winters of 1812 and 1814, the Astorians had spread their trade over an area of country roughly outlined by the Continental Divide on
the east, the headwaters of the Wfllamette on the
south, and the Thompson River,2 New Caledonia\
(British Columbia) on the north.
But, as wfll be seen, it was not under Astor's
banner that these forts were to flourish.
1 This river is the Multnomah of Lewis and Clark, ^he Walla-
mot of Irving, the Willamet and Wylamit of earliest pioneer
records. It has sadly strayed from its Indian origin in the sitty
modern spelling and pronunciation, which mean nothing.
3 Discovered by Simon Fraser and named by him in honor of
13 iMi
"*»l*$*Zli 194
The Astorians — pushing into unexplored territory in the summer and fail of 1812 — did not
know that war had been declared by the United
States against Great Britain. Astor in New York
knew it; and his anxiety was great. The Nor'westers in Montreal and Fort WiUiam knew it;
and ft was never the way of thé . Nor'westers
to let the water freeze under their keels. The
partners in Montreal and the "winterers" at Fort
W31iam, after hearing David Thompson's report
on the little colony at Astoria, were resolved to
enter at once strongly into contest for trade on
the Columbia. The War of 1812 feU about oppor-
tunely for them; it enabled them to color their
plans in national and patriotic tints. War or no
war, they would have sent a trading expedition to
the mouth of the Columbia to battle by their own
methods against the Astorians. But the war gav<
them cause to ask a warship of His Majesty. That
would be the swifter way to take the trade — and,
with it, Astoria. So the arrangements were made.
Convoyed by the Raccoon, the ship Isaac Todd, with
a group of Nor'westers aboard of her, was to enter
the River of the West. And another expedition
was to leave Fort W31iam, paddling and portaging
through the maze of waters and mountains from ASTORIA UNDER THE NOR'WESTERS 195
Lake Superior to the Columbia, and along that
great artery to greet the Isaac Todd in the bay.
Meanwhile Astor petitioned the American Gov^
ernment for protection for his fort. In response the
Government somewhat tard3y prepared to send the
frigate Adams to Astoria, but, at the last moment,
canceled the order because her crew was needed
to supplement the scanty force on Lake Ontario.
And the supply ship which Astor had commissioned
to accompany the Adams was held in New Yorkl
harbor by the British blockade. The Lark, however, another boat, had sailed with supplies and
more traders before the blockade; and Astor could !
only hope that she would reach Astoria safely/
and that the men aboard, joining with the Astorians, would be able to hold the fort until the Government could send aid. He may have feit that
his hope was a forlorn one, for he remembered,
doubtless with misgivings, that McDougal and%
most of the men at the fort were not only Canadians but old Nor'westers. And Thorn of the lost
Tonquin, even before war had come to compli-
cate further the already complex ethics of men
trained in the Nor'westers' school, had written to
him more than once his unfavorable opinion of
McDougal's loyalty. 196 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
McDougal learned in January, 1813, of the
Nor'westers' plans. In that month Donald Mackenzie, just arrived from up the river, brought
the word to Astoria. He told how John George
McTavish, a Nor'wester trading on the upper
Columbia, had dropped in at Spokane House
and had confided to both Clarke and Mackenzie
what was in the wind. And McTavish had drawn
a long bow, as the saying goes; he had spoken of
bombardments and wholesale destruction, perhaps also of dungeons for renegade Canadians, and
incidentally of a trip he himself meant to make in
the spring to contest for the trade at Astoria.
f^McDougal laid Mackenzie's news before the
Mtle group of Astorians, and after agitated dis-
Icussion came to the decision to abandon Astoria in
the spring and depart across the mountains for
St. Louis. He sent out Mackenzie, Reed, and
another clerk named Seton to the forts on the
Okanogan, the Pend d'0re31e, and the Spokane,
to inform the partners at these interior posts of
the intended evacuation, instrücting them to bring
their furs and goods to the möuth of the Walla
Walla, whence they would proceed together to Astoria, protected by their numbers from the pflfer-
ing Indians below.   They were to trade all their ASTORIA UNDER THE NOR'WESTERS 197
merchandise with the Walla WaUas for horses,
keeping only their supply of provisions. Thus provided with sufficiënt horses to carry the men and
the bales of furs that now stocked the warehouses,
McDougal planned to make the great hegira of the f
Astorians on the lst of July, the earliest moment \
when they could hope to be ready for departure.
From these instructions it does not yet appear
that McDougal was doing any less than his best to!
safeguard Astor's interests, as well as his own and |
the interests of the other partners.    The plan feU
through because David Stuart and Clarke, not *
liking it, failed to make the necessary purchases
of mounts and smoked fish and meat for the journey.   McDougal did not become aware of their
lack of coöperation until the middle of June, when
they finaUy arrived with their furs.   It was then
too late to send men back to the Walla Wallas
for horses — since Indians are not to be hurried
in their trading—and to conclude the necessary
preparations in time to cross the high mountains
before the descent of winter.
The journey must be abandoned, therefore, un-
tü the following year; and what the situation
would be then none could foresee. A new peril had
been added by the stupid brutality of Clarke and 198 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
Farnham, a Vermonter, one of the clerks. These
two men, wh3e among the Nez Percés, had seized
and executed an Indian for stealing a s3ver cup
from Clarke. The other partners strongly condemned the act — this was not the Canadian way
of dealing with Indians — but the mischief was
done. We shaU see later how the offended tribe
took their revenge.
To add to McDougal's perplexities, there were
presently visitors at Astoria. Down the river
came John George McTavish of Fort W31iam and
his retinue of voyageurs and hunters. It wis a
pretty demonstration of the old Nor'wester spirit
that they made, as the fleet of canoes swung into
harbor beside the fort. The men were dressed in
holiday garb — colored fringes dangled from their
caps and shirts, little bells and gay beads clinked
among the f ringes of their leggings and sleeves —
and the boatman's songs of Old Canada swelled
from their throats. The brigade went into camp,
whfle McTavish made himself at home in Astoria
and was given his freedom of the best the fort had
to offer.
McDougal is under suspicion for his reception of
McTavish. Yet it may weU appear that the wily
Scotch laird of Astoria was trying to play his game ASTORIA UNDER THE NOR'WESTERS 199
as cannily as possible, seeing that his partners,
Stuart and Clarke, by fafling to buy horses, had
checked his best move. There was certainly nothing to be gained by making a foe of McTavish, for
the arrival of the Isaac Todd and the Raccoon might
any day make him the Chief Factor of Astoria.
It should be borne in mind, too, that Hunt and
the Beaver were very long overdue. Unknown to
the Astorians, Hunt had changed his plans. Fear-
ing to risk a valuable cargo of sea-otter pelts in
crossing the river bar, he had kept on to the Sandwich Islands. He intended to await there the Lark,
the supply vessel which Astor was to send out, and
to return in her to Astoria wbile the Beaver continued her course to Canton. No chronicler has
yet doubted the excellence of Hunt's intentions.
His motives were always of the best, but the results of his initiative were never fortunate. The
belief that Hunt and the Beaver had come to disaster influenced not only McDougal; even the obstinate spirit of Stuart was now cast down by it.
The upshot of the gloomy deliberations of the partners was that, when McTavish desired to purchase
some goods for trade, they sold him not the goods
alone but the Spokane trading post. He was to
pay in horses to be delivered in the foUowing 200 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON ■
] spring. Three of the Astorians then requested and
received of McDougal papers of discharge and en-
rolled with McTavish. The partners drew up a
statement of conditions, setting forth their reasons for abandoning Astoria and the outlying posts,
and gave it to McTavish to forward for them to
Astor by the winter express which the Nor'westers
sent out annually from Fort W31iam to Montreal.
And on the 5th of July McTavish took leave of the
despondent Astorians and was borne upstream by
his belled and chanting paddlemen.
The partners decided to add to their stock of
furs during the winter, rather than to idle away
the six months before their departure. Stuart returned to the post at the mouth of the Okanogan;
Clarke went to the Pend d'Oreüle River; Mackenzie, with a bgdvjfrf hunters, to the W31am-
ette,and Reed, with the Dorion family and five
voyageurs including Le Clerc, undertook to trap in
the Snake River country. McDougal and forty
men remained at Astoria, not a little apprehensive
concerning the tribes in their immediate vicinity. It was in this summer month of July, 1813,
that McDougal, having exhausted all other means
of terrorism and diplomacy, offered himself — a
more or less willing sacrifice — for the safety of rftmtti;
the Astorians and became Comcomly's son-in-
law. And exactly one month later, to the very
date, his spouse's brother burst into the bridalf
bower with news of a ship in the offing. There was
great excitement within the fort. Was it the Isaac
Toddf Or the Beaver returned after a year away,
like a ghost from Neptune's realm? Was it His
Majesty's ship Raccoon with guns to batter down
the fort? Nearer came the ship and now the
watchers could see the Stars and Stripes at her
masthead. Shouting with joy, they rugbed to the
guns and fired a salute. McDougal was alreadyf
rowing out in a small boat to meet the vessel.
As twflight closed in the boat returned and McDougal and Hunt sprang ashore. The ship wasf
the Albatross, chartered by Hunt for two thousand
dollars at the Sandwich Islands, after he had
waited in vain for months the coming of Astor's
supply ship, the Lark, which, unknown to him,
had been wrecked.
Though Hunt was greatly perturbed at the idea;
of abandoning Astor's vast schemes for the Pacific
coast trade, he finally agreed to the decision which
the other partners had made. His first concern
was in regard to the furs. He resolved to sa3 in
the Albatross, which was bound to the Marquesas 202 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
and the Sandwich Islands. He hoped to charter
a vessel at the latter port in which to caU for the
furs and carry them to market in Canton. It was
.agreed that if he did not return, McDougal should
make whatever arrangements he could with Mc-
^Tavish. Hunt confidently expected, however, to
be back at Astoria by the lst of January. Even
so he would have been too late to have a voice as to
the disposition of Astor's property, but as a matter
of fact he did not return to the Columbia until the
28th of February.
On the 7th of October, about six weeks after
Hunt's departure, John George McTavish with a
brigade of seventy-five men in ten canoes were again
wafted down the river to the jingle of bells and
the music of boatmen's songs. He knew that the
Isaac Todd and the attendant warship must be
nearing Astoria and he intended to beat them
there. The two Astorians, Mackenzie and Clarke,
accompanied the brigade. They had fallen in
with McTavish up the river wh3e on their way to
the upper posts and had turned back in the hope
that they might succeed in gliding down ahead of
him and so get the news to McDougal and plan
their moves before the Nor'wester's arrival. But
their chance never came to leave that Nor'wester ASTORIA UNDER THE NOR'WESTERS 208
behind in the night. McTavish had given orders
to his men to sleep with one eye open and an ear
to the ground. The two Astorians did slip their
canoes noiselessly into the stream one morning
before dawn, but only to see, in the first light, two
other canoes fuü abreast of them; and, with what \
cordiality they could muster, they said "Good \
morning" to McTavish.
Irving, taking a long-distance view, aUeges that
McDougal might have dictated his own terms,
because the Nor'westers were out of provisions
and had lost their ammunition; that he might, in\
fact, have made off up the river with the furs. j
Be that as it may, McDougal now surrendered
Astoria to the Nor'westers and sold them, under/
agreement duly executed, Astor's stock of furs and
goods and the buildings and boats, and all the
forts on the Columbia and the Thompson at about
a third of their value. Thus the rapacious Nor'westers had turned the trick not only against
their rival, John Jacob Astor, but also against the
British Government. A month later, when His
Majesty's ship the Raccoon safled into the river,
it only remained to hoist the British flag above)
Astoria and to rechristen the captured post Fort
George.   There is   no   record   saying  that  the
privilege of performing these loyal ceremonies was
considered by His Majesty's officers as fuU compensation for the loss of the rich prize in furs,
which they had made all speed to capture, having
been egged on thereto da3y by a Nor'wester they
had aboard, John MacDonald of Garth. The
feelings of the naval men, indeed, Were such that
they held no pleasant teas or banquets on board
the Raccoon in honor of McDougal or MacDonald
or McTavish. And, if McDougal's canny, un-
warriorfike conduct so grieved His Majesty's bluff
and simple mariners, what was the effect upon
another heart in Astoria? Poor old Comcomly!
Having witnessed the bloodless surrender of the
fort, the great chief retreated to his lodge, hid his
face and his one eye under his blanket and mourned
that his peerless daughter — she of the proudest
lineage and the flattest head among the Chinooks—
should have married not a man but a squaw.
When Hunt returned in February to find Astor's
property disposed of and the Union Jack waving
in place of the Stars and Stripes, there, too, was
McDougaVnow acting as Chief Factor of the
Nor'westers* Tp^st of Fort George. The dissolution of Astor's company, as provided for by contract, had left him free to rejoin the Canadians. ASTORIA UNDSR THE NOR'WESTERS 205
There remained nothing for Hunt to do but to
receive the drafts on the North-West Company
for the sum of the bargain price and arrange about ■
forwarding them to Astor by a small party of
Astorians headed by David Stuart, Clarke, and
Mackenzie, who refused to join the Nor'westers;
and who were about to cross the mountains.
Hunt then reëmbarked.f
In April of that year (1814) the Isaac Todd
arrived. The ship brought several distinguished'
lights of the North-West Company, among them
an autocratie old gentleman named Donald McTavish, whose róle was that of governor of the new'
domain, but whose chief aim in life was to keep a
full goblet beside him, an aim rendered difficult
by the continuous motion he made for emptying it.
To assist him in solving his problem, old Donald
had enlisted the services of a barmaid named Jane
Barnes, whose Hebe-like sk31 and swiftness in
pouring had won his heart in an English alehouse.
This barmaid was the first white woman on the
Columbia. Her flaxen curls, blue eyes, and ruddy
cheeks so inflamed the heart of Comcomly's son
that he offered one hundred sea-otter skins for
1 Hunt returned to St. Louis and in 1822 was appointed Post-
master by President Monroe. %§Ë 206 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
the privilege of marrying her; but the Governor
would not surrender his fair one. Let us hope that
the old Governor quaffed at least one of his many
cups nightly to the bold adventuring spirit which
had made young Jane Barnes shake the dust of a
sailor's alehouse from her bare feet and dare the
high seas and the savage wilds
For to admire and for to see,
For to be'old this world so wide.
A little longer than thirty days did Governor
McTavish hold high revels. The journal of the'
younger Alexander Henry, who came to Astoria
with one of the Nor'westers' canoe brigades, tells
how high ran the tidés of rum within and about
Fort George. From other sources we learn that
in June those tides came into conflict, so to speak,
with the swoflen flood of the Columbia, when a
canoe bearing the Governor, Alexander Henry, and
half a dozen voyageurs, all rather more than less
unbalanced by their liquor, was overturned, and
the Governor and Henry were drowned. When her
patron sank inappropriately into a watery grave,
what became of venturesome Jane? History seems
to be mute. But there is a rumor to the effect
that she saüed away to China and captured the ASTORIA UNDER THE NOR'WESTERS 207
heart of a magnate of the East India Company,
who bu3t a palace for her.
In July of the previous year, it w31 be recalled, a
party of seven men, with Pierre Dorion and his
wife and ch3dren, had gone into the Snake River
country under John Reed's leadership to trap.
There Robinson, Hoback, and Rezner had joined
them. When David Stuart, Clarke, Mackenzie,
and their party of Astorians set out from Fort
George on Aprfl 4, 1814, to cross the mountains,
they expected to find Reed and his band, inform
them of the changes that had occurred, and take
them across country to St. Louis, if they should
desire to go east rather than enlist with the Nor'westers. The latter choice was open to them,
because it was a part of the agreement between
McDougal and McTavish that the North-West
Company should endeavor to find places for any j
of Astor's men who might wish to remain in
the territory.
As Stuart and his companions neared the mouth
of the Walla Walla they heard a voice hailing them
in French. They turned in towards the bank.
It was Dorion's wife calling to them. She had a
tragic story to teU.   In the winter she had gone 208 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
along the Clearwater with Pierre, Rezner, and Le-
Clerc to a beaver stream.   It was in the Nez
Percés territory, a five-days' journey from Reed's
post.    Wh3e she was at her work of dressing
skins in the hut one evening, LeClerc entered
Meeding from wounds.   Indians had faUen upon
the three men suddenly and LeClerc alone had\
escaped alive — barely alive, for he collapsed as
his tale was told.    The Sioux woman quickly
caught two of their horses, loaded her chfldren and
some food on one of them and, after binding up
LeClerc's wounds as best she could, lifted and
roped him upon the back of the other.   Leading
the horses she set off swiftly into the dark winter
night towards Reed's trading post.   Three days
later as her keen eyes searched the landscape, she
caught sight of a band of mounted Indians riding
towards the east.   She lifted LeClerc down and hid
him with herself and her chfldren and the horses.
That night, a cold January night, she dared not
make a fire.    She snuggled her children in her
garments to keep them warm but the cold was too
severe upon LeClerc, weakened from wounds; and,
when morning came, he was dead.    On the next
day, when the Sioux woman reached Reed's en-
campment, she found only the horrible traces of 9 ASTORIA UNDER THE NOR'WESTERS 209
slaughter. She fled towards the mountains where
the Walla Walla cuts its way from Idaho into
Washington; and there she camped in a ravine
under a shelter of- skins and cedar branches until'
spring, subsisting meagerly on the smoked flesh of
her horses. When milder weather came, her food
was nearly gone. She started out again with her
children, crossed the mountain and went down
along the river bank until she arrived among the
hospitable Walla Wallas, who took her in and cared
for her and her chfldren.
The woman could give Stuart no reason for the
massacre nor say by what tribe it had been com-
mitted. But, as Clarke heard her tale, perhaps hisf
mind reverted to the scène he had staged nearly a*
year before in the vicinity of these murders. And,
if so, he saw now with different eyes the gibbet of
oars erected on the spring grass by the beaver
stream and the Indian, who had been tempted to
theft -— hke a ch3d or a magpie — by a brightly
gleaming cup, bound and slung in the noose and
strangled wh3e his tribesmen looked on with
expressionless faces t31 his struggles were over
and they took up his body and s3ently went on
their way.
So was savagely snapped the savage bond which
had held Pierre and his Sioux mate together
through harsh seasons within their tents and
through hunger, cold, and the hourly peril of death
in the wilderness. The last picture we have of
Dorion's wife is as a fugitive among the WaUa
Wallas, telling her story to Stuart. But ten years
later there was a young Indian named Baptiste in
thé brigades of the Hudson's Bay Company in
Oregon, who was the eldest son of Pierre Dorion
and the Sioux woman. CHAPTER VII
The war with Great Britain came to a close with
the Treaty of Ghent in December, 1814. It was a
peace without victory, and aU captured territory,
places, and possessions were to be restored to their
former sovereignty. Astoria was not mentioned
in the treaty, but in negotiations immediately subsequent a demand for its return was made by the
United States. The British Government demurred
on the ground that Astoria was not captured territory, since the vaUey of the Columbia was "considered as forming a part of His Majesty's dominions." EventuaUy, by a liberal construction of the
term "possessions," Astoria, bu3t by an American,
was restored to the United States, but the question
of the ownership of Oregon was left open. |§
Neither nation at that time had any real sense
of the value of Oregon nor anything but the
vaguest idea of its possible boundaries.   Great
Britain did not then, or later, herself lay sovereign
claim to the whole region. Her attitude was less ag-
gressive than defensive; she desired to protect the
British traders in their rights. Since the question
of title had been mooted, in 1818 a convention provided that the two nations should jointly occupy
the country for ten years. So began the Oregon
dispute, which in course of time led perilously
close to a third war with Great Britain.
i Before the Joint Occupation Treaty of 1818,
some effort was made by John Jacob Astor and his
friends to have the status quo ante bellum clause in
the Treaty of Ghent construed to cover his lost
property at Astoria; but his arguments could
hardly be convincing when it was disclosed that
the North-West Company had paid — however
inadequately — for everything received. Astor's
heavy losses on the Columbia and at Michili-
mackinac through the war made him feel bitter.
He never forgave McDougal for having sold his
furs to the Nor'westers because, if the furs had
been seized, he could have recovered their value
under the treaty. The American Government
could not coüect salvage for John Jacob Astor, but
it could assist him in another way. At his instiga-
tion Congress passed a law f orbidding alien traders THE KING OF OLD OREGON 21&
to operate within the bounds of the United States
except as engagês of Americans. This law was en-
acted in April, 1816. It served to keep British
traders out of the territory about the Missouri and
off the southern shores of the Great Lakes, but it
could not, of course, touch the Nor'westers in their
operations beyond the mountains. They s$31 occupied Astor's forts by right of purchase. So the
curfew kneU which Astor had sounded for their
especial benefit rang for the most part unheeded.
No doubt it was discussed ironically at the sup-
pers in the Beaver Club of Montreal when Astor
appeared in that town to buy furs.
Astor was wflling, even anxious, to send out
more traders and ships to the Pacific Coast and to
begin his daring scheme all over again. He had
a spirit nothing could daunt, and his dream was
worthtany cost and all effort. But he realized
that without support from his Government he
coüld not hope to drive the Nor'westers from Qre-
gon. Had he been granted his request for one
nulitary post on-the Columbia with fifty soldiers
and the rank of lieutenant tfor himself, he would
have proceeded,3even by arms, if need be, to make
John Jacob Astor the master of the world's fur
trade.   But the American Government was not 214 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
minded to take any step contrary to the spirit of
the treaty just entered into wkh England. The
war, and the international agreements resulting
from it, had made Astor's dream impossible of ful-
fiUment. His affliction, however, was proportion-
ately less than that of his partners and employees,
if life be reckoned above money. In the massacre
of the Tonquin9s crew, in the wreek of the Lark, in
the loss of life among the Overlanders by hardship
and Indian wrath, not less than sixty-five men had
perished. The partners, including McDougal, received nothing for their two years of to3 and peril
in the wfiderness.
With his Pacific Fur Company dissolved and the
business of his Southwest Company — his partnership with the Nor'westers in the Mackinaw trade
— suspended by the war, Astor was obliged to con-
fine his activities to his American Fur Company.
To establish a western department at St. Louis,
from which to send out his own traders into thé fur
country of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers,
was his immediate necessity if he wished to survive
as a fur merchant. Here was Astor hoisted by his
own petard. The Nor'westers, at their rollick-
ing suppers, might weU jest at the statute of 1816
which Astor had instigatéd against them; for the THE KING OF OLD OREGON 215
Missouri Government, influenced by the St. Louis
traders^ used that statute to bar Astor from St.
Louis and to permit the seizure of his goods and
furs on the river on the pretext that, as British
traders chiefly formed the personnel of his company, his business was unlawful. It was not until
1822 that he finally secured a foothold in St. Louis.
Meanwhfle the Nor'westers, having got themselves into a sea of trouble, were obliged to strike
their colors. Their piratical aetivitiesin the North
had stabbed fu3y awake the drowsy old Hudson's
Bay Company. The old Company had suffered
many outrages from its rival. Not only were its
brigades robbed on the march, but some of its trading posts were attacked, its furs and supplies carried
off, and its servants wounded or killed by the
lawless Nor'westers.
It was in 1811 that Lord Selkirk, a Scotch noble-
man, purchased shares in the Hudson's Bay Company and acquired a vast tract of that Company's
lands as a preliminary step in his scheme to found
a colony on the Red River. In August, 1812, the
first coionists arrived and set up their huts on
the site of the present city of Winnipeg. The colony was soon beset by the Nor'westers. Faifing to
discourage the settlers by peaceable means, they
resorted to violence, which culminated in 1816, in
the lrilling of the Governor of the colony and twenty
settlers. Finally Lord Selkirk himself, armed%ith
powers as a Justice of the Peace, and accompanied
by a number of disbanded soldiers who desired to
take up land, set out from Montreal to the Red
River. He escaped the Nor'westers' hired assas-
sins ljing in wait for him, made a number of ar-
rests at Fort William, and he sent the culprits east
for trial. Thus it came about that John Jacob
Astor, buying furs at the North-West Company's
depots in Montreal, had the satisfaction of seeing
in the clutches of the law some of the dare-devir
gentry who had thwarted him.
The riotous conduct of the Nor'westers and its
results were made'Ahe subject of parliamentary
inquiry in Great Britain in 1819; and two years
later the North-West Company was absorbed by
the Hudson's Bay Company. It was a victory
for Law and Order. The Nor'westers were strong
men and they had done great things in the wflder-
ness. Their Alexander Mackenzie had foliowed
to the Arctic Ocean the great river which bears his
name, and he was the first Anglo-Saxon expfcrer
to cross North America overland to the Pacific.
Their Simon Fraser had discovered the Fraser THE KING OF OLD OREGON 217
River and passed down its roaring waters almost to
the sea. Their David Thompson was the pioneer
explorer of the whole Northwest and of the Columbia River from its source to its junction with the
Snake. Through such men as these, and through
violent, hardy men who knew no virtue save courage, had they conquered the wilds. But even in
the w3ds they could not defy the law. Beating
against that rock, their company lost its existence.
So it was that the old Hudson's Bay Company,
the ancient " Company of the Adventurers of England," established law and order in the Oregon
country and raised over the forts built by the Astorians and appropriated by the Nor'westers the
old banner with the letters H. B. C. in its center,
iflather, to Robert Gray's river, came to rule the
man who is now known as the Father of Oregon or
the King of Old Oregon. John McLoughlin was of
Irish and Scotch blood and a Canadian by birth.
He was borniin 1784 in the parish of Rivière du
Loup far down on the St. Lawrence River. For a
time he practised medicine in Montreal. Later
he went to Fort W31iam #fs resident physician, developed an interest in the trade, and joined the
Nor'westers asr.a wintering partner. He was not
of the same quality as'the roisterers who gathered
at Fort W31iam. The uprightness of his character, the distinction of his bearing, and his digni-
fied and kindly manner would have found fitter
place from the first in the service of the Hudson's
Bay Company.
It was as an officer of the Hudson's Bay Company that John McLoughlin was to come into his
own and to make for himself a name imperishable
in the annals of Oregon. He was not quite forty
when he arrived on the Columbia, a man of striking appearance, about six feet four inches in height,
broad-shouldered — a commanding figure. His
piercing glance, overhanging brows, and broad f ore-
head swept by a plume of white hair, won for him
the title of "White Eagle" from the Indians. His
official rank was Chief Factor, but bis subordinates
called him "Governor."
This man was to rule for twenty years as the
autocratie monarch of the Pacific Northwest. It
was a régime of equity in trade and of personal
morals. McLoughlin took to wife the Indian
widow of Alexander Mackay, who perished on the
Tonquin, and adopted Mackay's ch3dren. He set
the example of marital fidelity and compelled every
man in his employ who had taken an Indian wife
to conduct himself as if State and Church had THE KING OF OLD OREGON 219
united them for life. He was, indeed, State and
Church in Oregon. His moral force dominated
white men and Indians alike.
In 1825 McLoughlin abandoned Fort George, or
Astoria, and made his headquarters at his new Fort
Vancouver, up thé river about six miles north of
the mouth of the W31amette. Fort Vancouver
was an imposmg structure, as befitted the Capitol
of a primitive realm. It was built in the shape of
a paraUelogram. Its dimensions were 750 by 500
feet, and it was enclosed in a stockade of closely
fitted timbers twenty feet high. Within the walls
the space was divided into two courts with a number of wooden buildings facing on them. There
was a powder magazine built of stone. McLough-
lin's house stood in the center of the enclosure facing the huge gates. It was a large two-storied
mansion of logs containing, besides the private
rooms for himself and his family, an imposing din-
ing room, a general smoking room, and a visitors'
hall. Some of these rooms were decorated with
mounted elks' heads, skins, Indian cedar blankets
and baskets, and other ornaments contributed by
admiring natives. In the court, at each side of
the mansion's doors, stood two cannon with p3es
of bafls.   Below the fort on the edge of the river
stretched a growing v31age of cabins. j Here lived '
the married laborers, servants, voyageurs, and hunters; and here also, in time* iwe*e built a hospital, a boathouse, a storehouse for cured salmon,
barns, a miU, and a granary and dairy house.
-—Cultivation of the land from the fort to the liver
^as begun at once, and gradually a farm extended
on all sides and along the Columbia, about nine
square miles in all. McLoughlin realized that the
forts west of the mountains must be supphed with
foodstuffs from some point within their own territory, as the cost, the risk, and the delay occasioned
by the transportation of food by land and by sea
from the eastern coast were too great. Accord-
ingly, besides planting grain and vegetables, he imported a few cattle from California as soon as a
vessel could be procured in which to bring them
north. In time the King of Old Oregon could look
from the upper rooms of his mansion over fifteen
hundred cultivated acres and beyond to a grassy
prairie where roamed more than a thousand cattle.
There were dairy farms on the mainland and on
Wapato Island in the mouth of the Wfilamette;
on this island were the dairy buildings from whieh
products were shipped north to the Russian posts.
On the south side of the Columbia where .the THE KING OFÊiOLD OREGON 221 ^
W31amette empties itself there also gradually rosé
a few rough dwellings, spreading southward along
the banks of the smaller stream. These were set
up principally by voyageurs whose years of fighting
white water were done. McLoughlin encouraged
the old servants of the company to farm. Whatever these small farms produced above their owners'
needs found a ready market among their neighbors
and the Indians.
This was the real beginning of settlement in Old ^
Oregon, out of which the States of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and part of Montana, were afterwards carved. The story of this farthest "West"
is a romance of the fur trade. The "Wests" between the Appalachians and the Rockies were first
settled by bold and restiess'ïnen who went into
the wilderness and battled with the Indians for
land. The fur trader truly had been there before
them, for he was always the first man to enter the
Indian's country, but he had founded no settlements. In Old Oregon, however, settlement was
begun before ever a white-covered wagon crossed
the plains. The beginning of Oregon City was in
the first cabins raised and the first garden patches
planted by old servants of the Hudson's Bay Company.   Settlers seeking homes, of the same kind as
'*t*r«É£Sji 222
those who reared vfilages in Kentucky and Missouri
and Ohio, were to come later; but, when they came,
they were to find a wilderness already yielding to
the plough. They were to see neat cabins, arranged
so as to outline narrow streets, and patches of
planted grain, and to hear thè tinkle of the dairy
farm and the whir of gristm31s and sawmills. Herei
only, the fur ttrader did not pass with the beaver
and the deer, leaving the land and the forest un-
touched. Even in the story of its first settlements,
then, Old Oregon is still the romance of the fur
trade. And it was John McLoughlin's idea — the
planting of these tiny hamlets and farms where the
aged voyageurs and hunters might settle down to
safe and useful living, instead of being cast forth as
human driftwood when their best days as brigade
men were past.
McLoughlin's chief lieutenant was a young man
whom he had brought from Fort W31iam with him.
"Black Douglas" was the sobriquet bestowed on
this tall handsome youth with the dark skin and
raven hair. James Douglas, afterwards prominent in British Columbia, was, Hke his chief, a
Highlander born far from Bonnie Scotland. It
was in Demerara, British Guiana, in 1803, that
Douglas first süw the light.   At twelve or fifteen THE KING OF OLD OREGON 223
years of age he accompanied an elder brother to
Montreal, where he presently became an apprentice
in the North-West Company.
Another man in McLoughlin's ranks was Peter
Skene Ogden, brigade leader and explorer. Ogden
also had been a Nor'wester; and, Kke McLoughlin,
he was born in Quebec. He was a rather short,
rotund man with a high voice and a merry round
face. He always had a jest for any one who would
listen and was inordinately fond of practical
jokes — characteristics which made him a striking
contrast to his two dignified friends, Douglas and
From Fort Vancouver McLoughlin sent out his
brigades east, north, and south, and directed them
to set up new trading posts. He sent Douglas to
Fort St. James, on Stuart Lake in New Caledonia;
and forts were erected throughout that northern
territory as far as the Stikine and Taku Rivers.
It was a far cry from these northern outposts to
another erected about the same time on the Ump-
qua River in - south western Oregon. CentraUy
situated in the interior on the Colv31e River, arose
Fort Colv31e. This was an important post, asort
of clearing house or bookkeeping headquarters for
the accounts of the whole country.   The clerks
'*t»»*iSH /
from the lesser posts brought their accounts to Fort
Colv31e to be audited and transcribed for the
annual report which was sent across country by
the annual express brigade to Norway House on
Lake Winnipeg.
From Fort Vancouver went out all the supplies for the northern forts west of the mountains.
The route foUowed to the interior posts, roughly
speaking, was by canoe and barge up the Columbia
to Fort Okanogan, thence by horse to Kamloops
Lake, then by water again down the Thompson
River into the Fraser to supply Fort Langley near
the mouth of the Fraser. To reach the northern
posts in New Caledonia the brigades usuaUy took to
horse at Kamloops and rode the two hundred odd
m3es up the Fraser to Alexandria, where again
they dipped upon the surface of that river and
poled and towed upstream about 150 mües to Fort
George at the mouth of the Nechaco, thence by
the Nechaco River to the fort on Stuart Lake.
The earliest brigades traversed more of the |ÉFay
by water, with sometimes long and hazardous
Southward, the brigades under Ogden or Tom
Mackay went into California. And eastward
Ogden led his men beyond Salt Lake.   He was * *   - . *    *    »•
presumably the first white man to see Mount
Shasta and the headwaters of Sacramento River.
He discovered the Humboldt River. He penetrated
into the desert of Nevada. He explored Idaho, a
part of Utah, and tracked through the rugged
country between the Snake and the Colorado.
In the Rockies and east of them Ogden's brigades met and clashed with the men of the American Fur Company — in which now, as partners,
were Ramsay Crooks, John Clarke, and Robert
Stuart—nand with General Ashley's men from
St. Louis, or the Rocky Mountain Traders, as they
were called. Manuel Lisa was dead and the Missouri Fur Company was bankrupt; but Lisa's partner, Andrew Henry, had formed a new company
with Ashley. The Rocky Mountain men paid the
Indians doublé the Hudson's Bay Company's prices
for furs and, defying the laws of their Government,
they opened a fountain of rum in the w3derness in
their effort to starve Ogden off the ground. They
lay in wait for the H. B. C. brigades, or set the Indians on to attack them, and pirated their furs. It
was war to the knife. The Blackfeet and Shoshones,
profiting by the lessons thus inculcated in them, developed a fine impartiality towards aU white traders and robbed aU alike.   One year they stole 180
beaver traps from Ashley's men. Ogden had his
revenge, too, when some St. Louis traders were
caught by snow in the hills. The Indians, under
his influence, refused to make snowshoes for them
until Ogden had bought at his own price the furs
which they had hoped to market in St. Louis.
The use of liquor gave the St. Louis traders a
large advantage over the H. B. C. men, for McLoughlin prohibited rum as an article of trade; but
ulthnately they suffered for it at the hands of the
Indians to whom they had taught the vice of drunkenness. The Rocky Mountain Traders and the
American Fur Company fought each other as
bitterly as they fought the Hudson's Bay Company. Twice, at least, Rocky Mountain Traders
who had been pilfered by rivals or Indians stag-
gered, stripped and star ving, into H. B. C. forts
and asked for succor. McLoughlin's men received
the unfortunates hospitably. They sent one man
saf ely home to the Mandan country under escort.
In the other case they dispatched a brigade to
recover the furs and to lay down the law to the
thieving tribe. Though they did not let the trader
take out the furs, they paid him for them the
market price and sent him also safely on his way.
It has been urged by some writers that the THE KING OF OLD OREGON 227
Indians were stirred up to violence by the Hudson's Bay Company, not only in their attacks on
traders but later in the massacre of American settlers in Oregon. That charge is well answered
by the facts concerning settlement and trade in
New Caledonia and Rupert's Land (now Canada),
where, under the Company's rule continued for
two centuries, trade was carried on and, later,
settlement took place without a single massacre
initiated by Indians. In Oregon, McLoughlin
carried out the policy of the Company, which had a
fixed price for furs and which meted out the same
justice to an Indian as to a white man. If a white
man had exhibited an Indian scalp in Old Oregon
he would have been tried f ormally and hanged.
The fur brigades which went out east, north,
and south from McLoughlin's rude castle on the
great river were smaU armies under tried captains.
A brigade would consist of fifteen or twenty-five
white men, fifty or more Canadian, Indian, or
half-breed trappers, and enough horses to supply
each man with three. It was McLoughlin's policy
to send the wives and fannlies on the march with
the men. The women cooked and dressed skins in
the camps; and their presence acted as a deterrent
to those wflder spirits among the men who would 228 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
have met war with war but for this responsibility.
To the tribes the presence of women was always
a sign of peaceful intent. The northern brigades
bound for the upper Fraser set off in spring by
water. Canoes and barges were launched upon the
river to the singing of the voyageurs. The horse
brigades for the south and east took the trafl in
autumn. A bugle caUed the men into line on the
day of the march, and Highland pipers played
them off. "King" McLoughlin, in his long black
coat and his white choker, with his white eagle
plume floating in the breeze and his gold-headed
cane in his hand, stood in the gates to give them
Godspeed. In every brigade there were fiddlers>
and sometimes a Scot with his bagpipes went
along to rouse the men in a black hour with The
Cock o9 the North.
Frequently McLoughlin and his wife rode out
at the head of the Wfilamette brigades. The
King's presence was dearly coveted by the men,
and Mrs. McLoughlin delighted in these excur-
sions whtfch broke the monotony of life under a
fixed roof. The lady of Fort Vancouver sat upon
a gafly caparisoned steed with bits of sfiver and
strings of bells clinking along her bridle reins and
fringing her skirts.    Her garments were fashioned THE KING OF OLD OREGON 229
of the brightest colored cloths from the bales at the
fort and she wore "a sm3e which might cause to
blush and hang its head the broadest, warmest and
most fragrant sunflower," whfle at her side, also
handsomely arrayed, "rode her lord, King of the
Columbia, and every inch a king, attended by a
train of trappers under a chief trader each upon his
best behaviour."
In addition to the H. B. C. trade by land, there
swiftly grew up on the Pacific an overseas and
coastwise trade. The overseas trade was chiefly
with China. On the coast, vessels plied between
Fort Vancouver and San Francisco, where the
Company had a trading post, and between Fort
Vancouver and the Russian posts in Alaska.
These ships also carried supplies to the Company's
forts on the northern coast. The Russian Fur
Company did not Hke the proximity of British
posts, and it induced the Russian Government
to rescind the right of other than Russian vessels to navigate Russian. streams. The Russian
territory was held to extend farther south than
McLoughlin's Fort Simpson on the Nass River,
just north of the present Prince Rupert. The
dispute ended, as far as the H. B. C. was con-
cerned, in the lease by the Company of a strip 230 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
of the Alaskan coast, lying between Cape Spencer
and Fort Simpson, for a rental of two thousand
sea-otter skins yearly.
In this year (1839) the H. B. C. had a fleet of not
less than half a dozen vessels safling at regular
seasons from Fort Vancouver. Among these was
the Beaver, the first steamer on the Pacific coast.
The Beaver had left London in 1835 as a safling
ship, rounded the Horn, and dropped anchor before
Fort Vancouver in 1836. Here she was fitted out
with machinery and became a steamboat. The
Beaver Aved to a ripe old age in the coast trade
and was wrecked at last in the narrows at the
entrance to Burrard Inlet. There, until a few years
ago, the hulk lay impaled on the rocks below
Stanley Park and could be seen by passengers» on
the great ocean liners entering and leaving the
harbor of Vancouver, British Columbia.
- McLoughlin urged his company to purchase the
whole of Alaska from Russia. And, as the spirit
of revolt blazed up in California, he pointed out the
éase and advantage of acquiring that country also.
He'sent his son-in4aw, Glen Rae, to San Francisco
with funds and with instructions as to how to
gamble in revolutions for the. advantage of the
H. B. C.   This plail met with disaster when Glen THE KING OF OLD OREGON 231
Rae met with a certain beautiful Carmencita and!
forgot all else. That is one of the stories. The
other is that Rae picked as winner, among several
revolutionary factions, the one which was doomed
to be last under the wire. He achieved nothing
but the loss of the Company's funds, and he shot
himself rather than return and teil the whole
truth to the "King" in Oregon.
But whether his plans went weU or 31, McLoughlin did not lose the serenity in which his
power was rooted. Not the whole strength of the
Hudson's Bay Company could have made McLoughlin a king whose rule was unquestioned if
his had not been a kingly spirit. Men who had
brawled and roistered and known not the name of
law under the Nor'westers' régime now stepped
The daily life of the King and his courtiers and
his motley subjects in the feudal realm of Old Oregon is worth a passing glance. There is nothing hke it in the United States today, nor was
there ever anything hke it during the pioneer days
in other parts of the country. Nowhere else on
American so3 have white men gone in numbers of
a hundred or more with a train of employees and 232 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
built forts and houses, tilled fields, set up milis,
and herded cattle in the midst of the red man's
country, to be received by the natives not only
as friends but as rulers.
The keynote of life at Fort Vancouver was work.
On the Sabbath, men rested — and worshiped;
but there was no idling on week days. A huge
bell, mounted in the court on three poles and
sheltered from rain by a small slanting roof, rang
at five in the morning to rouse officers, clerks, and
laborers to the day's duties. At eight it called
them in from the fur houses, milis, and fields to
breakfast, and at nine Tang them out again to their
tofl. At noon it sounded for dinner, and an hour
later for work again. At six o'clock it announced
the evening meal and the end of the day's labor.
The King rosé with his subjects, fox McLoughlin
kept an active supervision over the various operations at headquarters. He was also for some
years the only physician in Oregon, and many
were the demands upon his skill, for men who had
been out in the sleet and cold of the hills or in the
long rains of the coast winter frequently came
home with rheumatic pains and f evers. |.
We are inclined to think of the life in that far-
thest West as a barren life for a man of intellect THE KING OF OLD OREGON 233
and culture such as McLoughlin. But that view
is erroneous. McLoughlin's chief officers were men
of his own stamp. He himself had studied his profession of medicine in Paris and had spent some
time in Great Britain; and among his comrades
in Oregon were university men from Oxford and
Edinburgh. Books and conversations on serious
topics, such as history and international relations,
in which subjects these men were weU versed,
were their relaxation. The brigades from Hudson Bay and sailing ships brought the London
Times, however late, and also volumes of history,
biography, travel, and agrjeulture. The classics could be found on the shelves in the living
room of the Big House and the modern poets were
there, as well as the novels of Lord Selkirk's
'Üiend, Walter Scott. From time to time the ships
brought distinguished visitors from the Old World,
and sometimes such visitors came overland. A
few of these were men of seience, Hke NuttaU
who had first ventured into the wilds with Lisa's
brigade, and David Douglas, the Scotch botanist
whose name was given to the northwestern fir tree.
Globe-trotters and big game hunters of that day
also came to Fort Vancouver. All guests were
warmly welcomed to King McLoughlin's rude 234 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
castle for as many weeks or months as they chose
to remain, and horses and %sérvants for their
personal use were assigned to them.
McLoughlin's chief interest apart from trade was
agriculture. He had engaged a scientific Scotch
horticulturist named Bruce, who was makü|f
experiments with both indigenous and imported
plants. Bruce coaxed the w3d strawberry plant
to produce a large luscious berry and the w3d rosé
to expand its blossoms. His apple trees, grown
from seed, flourished. He f ailed, however, to per?
suade the Californian fig and lemon trees to endure the Oregon winters. King McLoughlin took
the greatest interest in these experimqnts, and
in the growing season hardly a day woi|lp! pass
without a visit to the frames and beds where
Bruce was matching his science against the climate
and the habits «f w3d plant life.
Another point of interest in the establishment
'was the large smithyiwl^ere.took,and machinery
were repaired andr where hatchets and axes for
trade, as weU as for the use of'the fort's laborers,
were made.
If in imagination, on a tranquil summer evening,
we stand with the King of Old Oregon on the bank
of the River of the West, we may read there the THE KING OF OLD OREGON 235
prophecy of Oregon's future destiny in the world
of modern commerce. From the little sawmill
comes the hum of the saw and the drumlike sound
of green timber planks dropping upon the wharf, for
the Company's bark lying at anchor will carry
a cargo of lumber to the Sandwich Islands. So
we have a tiny glimpse of the beginning of the
vast timber trade of ithe north Pacific coast. Far
down, the river is black-dotted with long high-
prowed cedar canoes, and the air blowing up
stream brings a sound of many voices in chorus.
It is a sound too shriU for melody, but the wild,
piercing "oh-ah we-ah!" has in it something in
keeping with the blood-hued flare across the western sky and with the drench of colored light which
envelops^the river and tips the somber forest with
fire. The Indians are singing their Song of the
Catch, as they float down to the bay to fish. In
their canoes are spears with bone hooks — and
some with iron hooks now, since the opening of
the smithy — and nets woven of cedar and grass
fibers. They w31 drop their weighted nets, stretch-
ing each net between two canoes, and some of the
men in both canoes will hold an end of the net
whfle the other men paddie. In this fashion they
wfll sweep the waters and snare the salmon that 236 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
rush thickly into the river. The first fish caught
w31 be offered in thanksgiving to the Creator of all
things. After this ceremony has been performed
the other salmon will be split and boned and hung
up to dry in sun and smoke on racks erected along
the shore and on the rafters and roofs of the
houses. When winter draws near, the dried fish
will be marketed to the tribes of the interior.
Thus, primitively, these Indian fishers and barter-
ers forecast the salmon trade which, in the future, shall contribute so large a part of the wealth
of Oregon. The tinkle of bells as cows are driven
up to the milking, the young fields of grain and
vegetables, and the little spirals of smoke above
the cabins announce that this is a country of yield-
ing earth, a pleasant land for homes. These farms
and cabins, planted at McLoughlin's behest, not
only forecast the acres of grain fields and apple
orchards, the stock ranches and the hamlets and
cities of homes which constitute the Oregon of our
day, but they mark the beginning of the end of Old
Oregon and its King. In the coming democracy of
the soil his feudal kingdom is to pass away.
As the King reënters his castle, the great bell tolls
the end of a day's work. Officers, guests, clerks,
brigade leaders, gather in the huge dining room. THE KING OF OLD OREGON 237
The autumn brigades have not yet departed, so
some forty men sit at the tables tonight; and
there are enormous roasts to feed them.
In the group immediately about McLoughlin
are James Douglas, Ogden, Tom Mackay, the
Payette whose name endures in Idaho, Nuttall
the botanist perhaps, or a British army officer on
leave, and maybe an American trader who has
fought the fur battle unsuccessfully in the mountains and has been forced to throw himself upon
McLoughlin's mercy, such as Nathaniel J. Wyeth,
with whose little band Nuttall crossed the Rockies. A piper stationed behind the King's chair
plays while hungry men, bronzed and hardy from
a life in the open, make amends to their stomachs
for lean days in the desert lands and for supperless
nights when they tightened their beits and lay
under their blankets in the snow-choked passes.
The memory of famine gives zest to the dinners
at the Big House. Between courses Ogden, with
twinkling eyes, cracks his jokes. Then Tom Mackay, the irrepressible story-teller whose Indian
blood shows in the imagery blended with his hu-
morously bragging recitals of the games he has
played with death beyond the mountains, begins
at ale with his invariable formula:   "It rained, it 238 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
rained! it blew, it blew! and my God how it did
snow!" And McLoughlin, pouring the one small
glass of wine which he allows himself, laughs. Her
laughs as a King may who knows not one traitor nor
pol troon in all his realm. If this is the evening of his
reign, there is a glow upon it warmer than the red of
sunset and kindled by a spirit stronger than wine.
As we cónjure up the scène of the evening meal
in the Big House, we are reminded of illustrations
we have seen in books about medieval Scottish
life. ;*The huge room with its two wide stone fire-
places, its bare timbered Walls and log rafters, and
following the line of the walls, its long tables
#èighted with steaming platters where twoscore
Boten feast by candlelight, seems to |>e the replica
of the banquet hall in the rude castle of some
Highland'Aieftain in the days of Bruce. Here,
too, we easily distinguish the chief, for his de-
meanor bespeaks the man who earns his right to
command by his deeds. And, when we consider
the points of likeness which the clan system and
the primitive code of the Scotch Highlanders
bear to the tribal system and code of the red men,
we can understand how it was that the Highland
factors and brigade leaders of the great fur companies triumphed over their rivals and held the THE KING OF OLD OREGON 239
friendship of the Indians. Each brigade was as a
separate division of the clan under a petty chief;
and all these chiefs were subject to the head of the
clan. The Indians understood this system because their own confederacies were formed on
much the same plan. With them, also, the chief
must prove his right by his deeds — by good deeds
or ev3 deeds, if so be that they were strong deeds.
The American traders they regarded only as
traders and as friends or foes, according to their
mood. But the Scots were chiefs of tribes, after
the fashion of Indian chiefs.
The man who sits at the center of the banquet
table in the Big House, with two taU candles fighting up the platter of roast venisön before him and
the k3ted piper standing behind his chair, is not
only Chief Factor John McLoughlin, head of the
white clans in the western division. He is Chief
White Eagle, head of the tribes; and in the gossip,
story-telling, and song which enhance the feast of
venison and salmon in the red men's huge lodges
this night, White Eagle's name and strong deeds,
his eye and word of command, and his great
stature, are the favorite themes. Honorable and
mighty are the tribes who have White Eagle for
their chief!
l« »«***; «j CHAPTER Vm
It was in 1832 that Nathaniel J. Wyeth, of Boston,
crossed the plains to give McLoughlin battle on
Oregon sofl. Wyeth duplicated Astor's plan of campaign. He sent out a ship with goods for trade
and with provisions; and he himself at the head of
a small party of men set off by land. For various
causes several of his men left him on the way, and
fortune did not smile with unwonted benignity on
the remainder, nor on the enterprise in general.
Wyeth and a few of his party reached Fort Vancouver in need. The ship was wrecked. McLoughlin
received; the tattered wanderers hospitably and let
them have whatever they required from the stores
of the Company in exchange for labor or on credit
When Wyeth returned to Boston it was to plan
another expedition. He sent out the ship May
Dacre to meet him at the mouth of the Columbia,
and he once more proceeded to cross the continent,
accompanied by a band of young New England-
ers whom his accounts of El Dorado beyond the
Rockies had fired with enthusiasm. This time
Wyeth's ship put into port safely, and he had
goods and men enough to warrant him in establish-
ing two posts for trade. He built one post on
the island in the mouth of the Willamette and
erected Fort Hall, his headquarters, on the Snake.
McLoughlin then sent Payette to build Fort Boisé
near Fort Hall in Idaho, and the Indians passed
Wyeth's fort by and took their trade to the post of
the Company, whose personnel and methods they
knew and trusted. Nor would they come to his
Wfllamette post. Wyeth, defeated, sold out to
McLoughlin and returned to New England, where
he prospered in other branches of commerce. His
venture as a fur trader scarcely caused a ripple on
the surface of life in Oregon, but in the East it
kindled interest in the territory beyond the mountains, an interest dormant since the days of Lewis
and Clark. Was Oregon a land for settlement?
Men began to ask that question.
But*Wyeth's excursion wh3e it had some effect,
was not the chief cause which led to settlement.
To the Salish Indians — wrongly named the Flat-
heads, because this tribe did not practice distortion
— belongs the honor of having awakened the East
on the subject of Oregon. In 1832, the year of
Wyeth's first venture in Oregon, two old men and
two young warriors of the Salish journeyed from
Flathead Lake in the mountains through the dan-
gerous country óf their Indian foes to St. Louis, to
seek out William Clark and to request from him
a Bible and a holy man to teach their tribe what
was in thaCbook. The Salish had closely observed
the Hudson's Bay Company's traders in Oregon
and had concluded that it was something in the
trader's Bible which made the white man a man
of power. From the voyageurs they had heard of
priests who instructed the ignorant in the ways
of righteousness; they haÉ heard, too, through
other tribesmen of the "Black Robes^" for the tra-
dition of these great missiönaries of New France
ms a part of Indian loreH*and being themselves,
1 Of all early missiönaries to the North American Indians the
French Jesuits have left the most illustrious name. Members of
the Order first arrived at Quebec in 1625. They came thereafter
in great numbers and dwelt among the Indians everywhere as far
west as the Mississippi and as far north as Hudson Bay. After
the fail of New France (1760) an edict of the British conquerors
forbade the Jesuits to add to their numbers in Canada, but per*
mitted those already in the country to remain and "die where they
are." The last priest of those who remained died in 1800. An
American reprint of their Relations, edited by B. G. Thwaites,
was published in seventy-three volumes (Cleveland, 1806-1901). THE FALL OF THE FUR KINGDOM   243
like most of the coast Indians, of a deeply religious
temperament, they had at last resolved to send
daissaries to Red Head, the Indians' friend, to
state their great desire for spiritual enlightenment.
Where had these Salish seen or heard of the
Bible? That question has troubled the chroni-f'
clers — who knew not the Scotch traders of the
Hudson's Bay Company and the Nor'westers.
But, as we have seen, many of these traders were
religious, however unchristianlike the conduct of
some of them might at times be. Even that
Alexander Henry, who sank beneath the Colum-
bm's waters with Astoria's old Governor when
both were overweighted with rum, was jWhat he
himself would have called a God-fearing man. JTis
journals, as well as the diaries of Cox, Ross,
Thompson, Ogden, and others, reveal a profound
faith in the God of salvation and in the erficacy of
prayer for protection. At Fort Vancouver 0n the
Sabbath, McLoughlin read from the Bible and
prayed in the great hall that was filled with the
Company's employees, red and white. The Star-
Man, trading with the Salish, had read his jBible
and expounded as was his custom everywhere.
In camp when on the march Ogden held prayers, as
his journal tells us, and read from the Bible.   The 244 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON» fl
Indian brigade men attended these services as
devoutly as the while men, although they understood not a word. Ogden's wife was a Salish
woman, daughter or sister of a Salish chief who was
his firm friend. In all probabflity it was Ogden's
Bible which gave the Salish *their great desire to
possess a copy of that holy book.
The old men on the mission to St. Louis were
two who had known Lewis and Clark in 1805.
The young warriors went with them to protect
them. They saw Clark. He received them kindly,
but he was powerless to give them a missionary.
Their sacred errand ended in tragedy and dis-
appointment. The two aged men died in St.
Louis and the young warriors returned to their
tribe empty-handed. But the news of their pious
search spread far and wide. George Catlin, the
artist, was in St. Louis at the time; and, so greatly
did the poetic theme of these primitive seekers of
the Light stir his imagination that he wrote and
talked of them incessantly. The matter soon began
to be seriously discussed by the churches and at
the meetings of the mission boards.
The first response came from the Methodists.
When Wyeth crosfeed the continent for the second
time, in 1834, in his train went Jason Lee and his THE FAIJIfü>F THE FUR K3NGD0M   245
nephew Daniel Lee, two missiönaries of that de-
nomination. By McLoughlin's advice the Lees
settled in the growing settlement on the W3-
lamette and not in the territory of the Salish.
No doubt missiönaries were less needed by the
Salish than in the spreading village and farming
community peopled by the old voyageurs and labor-
ers of the Company and also by some sixty white
settlers who had straggled into Oregon from various parts. These settlers had married Indian
wives/and were bringing up a flock of chfldren
without religious counsel of any sort. McLoughlin had already provided them with a school-
teacher named Solomon Smith, a Harvard man of
Wyeth's first band, who took root in the country
by marrying Celiast, daughter of the Clatsop chief,
and began a family and farm of his own.
In 1835 the American Board of Commissioners
for Foreign Missions sent out the Reverend Samuel
Parker and Dr. Marcus Whitman to found missions among the Indians of Oregon. By this date
steamers were plying on the Missouri River, but
the steamer which bore these missiönaries got
the worst of an argument with snags or sand bars
and so came to a halt at Liberty, Missouri.
From this point the missiönaries and the party
of traders under whose escort they were to proceed to Oregon took horse and pushed overland
through the valley of the Platte, following that
route first made by the buffalo, then appropriated
by the Indians and the fur traders, and now known
to history as the Oregon Tra3. £
At one of their encampments in that country
of thé Teton Range — lying between the head waters
of the Platte and Green rivers on the east and the
headwaters of the Snake on the west, where Astor's Overlanders wandered long and helplessly, and
where later Ogden's brigades clashed with the traders of St. Louis — Parker and Whitman met bands
of Salish and Nez Percés. These Indians evinced
so keen a desire for religious instruction that
Whitman decided to turn back with an east-going
brigade and bring more missiönaries. Parker continued the journey over the mountains, guided by
a party of the eager Salish. These Indians, says
Parker — who kept a journal — "are very kind
to each other, and if one meets with any disaster, the others wfll wait and assist him." They
had not proceeded far when they met a large
1 Father de Smet says that the Indians called this trail, marked
deep by the wagon wheels of the settlers, the "Great Medicine
Road of the Whites." THE FALL OF THE FUR KINGDOM   247
band of Nez Percés coming to greet the holy man,
advancing in columns, the warriors leading and
the women and clnldren in the rear — all singing
for joy, wh3e their drummers beat out the rhythm
of the march.
Although provisions were scarce and it was dan-
gerous to delay, Parker pitched camp so that he
might impart spiritual food to the several hundred
primitive souls who thus sought him in the w3der-
ness. He preached to them a number of sermons.
They can have understood very little if anything
of what he said, but he preached from the Bible,
and so they knew that his words must be true and
mighty; and they were happy. A buffalo hunt
foliowed, and Parker was presented with a large
quantity of cured meat and twenty buffalo tongues.
A hundred and fifty Indians remained with him
and brought him to the Hudson's Bay Company's
post at the mouth of the WaUa Walla. Here they
left him and returned over the mountains to re-
join their hunters. The officer at the post sent
Parker down the river to Fort Vancouver, where
Mclxmghlin made him welcome.
Parker visited the site of Astoria and the tribes
about the mouth of the river and saw for himself why
McLoughlin had quitted Astoria and had moved
' *t*f *$«& i 248 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
his trading headquarters sixty miles up the Columbia. He found the Chinooks besotted and de-
graded with liquor from the trading vessels which
put into Baker's Bay from time to time. Before the founding of Astoria the Chinooks, under
the stern governance of Comcomly, were sober
Indians. It is even recorded that the old chief
once strongly reprimanded his son-in-law, Mo
Dougal, for giving rum to Comcomly's son, caus-
ing him to return drunken to the Chinook village
and to make a shameful spectacle of himself
before his tribesmen. But during the reign of
the Nor'westers, it seems that the Indians lived
in a state of debauch, continued since then by
means of liquor from the American trading vessels.
In the following spring Parker traveled through
the valley of the Walla Walla, the Snake, and the
Spokane rivers, noting favorable sites for missions,
and late in the year (1836) he set sail from Fort
Vancouver. After an absence of two years he returned to his home, at Ithaca, New York, and
immediately published his Journal of an Exploring
Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains. This made another wind to fan the rising interest of easterners
concerning Oregon.
The Macedonian cry from the Salish country THE FALL OF THE FUR KINGDOM   249
was not disregarded by the King of Old Oregon.
If the savages themselves were petitioning for a
teacher of the Scriptures, it began to appear that
the white men in Oregon should also make request.
McLoughlin wrote to his superiors in London
asking for a chaplain to be sent to Fort Vancouver
without delay. In duè course a minister of the
Church of England arrived, accompanied by his
wife. This lady was the second white woman on
the Columbia and, as chance would have it, her
name also was Jane and her last initial B. The
name of this couple in fact was Beaver — a circum-
stance which was merrily hailed as a good omen
among the fur traders, since beaver was the Standard coin of the fur realm. But, alas, Jane Beaver
was as inappropriate in her way to wflderness life
as ever Jane Barnes had been. Mrs. Beaver refused to associate in any way with the Chief Fac-
tor's wife, or with the wives of his officers; and
Beaver himself publicly denounced McLoughlin
and Douglas for the iniquity of marriages legal-
ized only by the common law of the wilderness.
Douglas's wife, Nelia Connolly, the daughter
of a white man, was able to understand the words
that were unintelligible to the Cree wife of McLoughlin, and the scorn and condemnation of the
English woman bew3dered her and struck her with
grief. Douglas, in temperament the opposite of
his chief, cold, cutting, and doubly punctilious in
anger, conveyed his impressions of the Reverend
Mr. Beaver to that gentleman and insisted on the
immediate performance of the marriagé ceremony#
Not so McLoughlin. That insulted monarch flew
into a rage and drubbed the over-zealous moralist
from the fort with his gold-headed cane. And, re-
fusing to consider any rite performed by Beaver
a sacred one, he would not submit to a ceremony
at his hands but peremptorily ordered Douglas,
lately equipped with powers as a Justice of the
Peace, to tinite him legally to the mother of his
McLoughlin, when his f ury had passed, made public apology for his action with the cane, fearing that
he had done what might diminish the clergyman's
possible influence for good in the community. But
Beaver found himself unable to accept the apology,
and as soon as possible he and his lady sailed away
from that jungle of iniquity — and ferocity. They
had contrived, with the l>est intentions, to do no
small harm during their brief visit. Ritualism and
convention had met with the primal and the self-
lawed, and the test had been too severe for both. THE FALL OF THE FUR KINGDOM   251
Misunderstanding was mutual and perfect. The
Beavers, from their sheltered English parish, where
conduct was ordered in advance and where no
greater danger threatened them than being caught
out in the rain without their galoshes, could not
even guess at the nature of the feelings they had
stirred and outraged Jn fthe husbands of the Indian women at Fort Vancouver. If they had known
how to listen, they could have heard from those
husbands tales of feminine heroism which might
have enlightened them, tales of how death from
some wrath of Nature or from human foe had
missed its mark at the man only because of the
woman's spontaneous reaction to her creed which
declared her own life to be nothing outside his
service. Ogden has recorded two occasions when
the Salish woman saved his life and one gal-
lant episode when she sprang to horse, pursued the
party of rival traders and Indians who had seized
his furs, dashed into the caravan, cut out the pack
horses and stampeded them back to her husband's
camp under the leveled rifles of his foes. And
sixteen-year-old Nelia Connolly had leaped to the
place of danger before her young husband, as hostile Indians rushed upon him in the lonely north-
ernmost fort in New Caledonia.   Such memories
as these gave fire to the fury of the King; for was
it not he who had issued the ukase that, if any
Wan dealt unfaithfully by an Indian woman, he
could not remain in the service of the Company
or in Oregon?
In 1836 Marcus Whitman and his bride, accompanied by Henry Spalding and his wife and W. H.
Gray, a lay helper, arrived at Fort Vancouver.
Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. Spalding were the first
white women to cross the continent to Oregon.1
The missiönaries had come by covered wagon from
Fort Laramie to Fort Boisé, where Payette had
put them in the charge of Tom Mackay's brigade,
then about to start homewards. They were received with enthusiasm and every offer of service
was made to them by white men and Indians alike,
so that their passage from Boisé to WaUa Walla
and down the Columbia was 13se a triumphal prc-
cession. Word had been sent ahead to McLoughlin,
and, when the Whitmans and Spaldings landed,
they found the King and his court on the bank to
welcome them.
On McLoughlin's advice, WhÜtman went to the
Cayuse Indians about five miles west of Walla
1 Ten years earlier Manuel Lisa's wife had crossed the plains
with her husband to his fort at thé mouth of the Big Horn. THE FALL OF THE FUR KINGDOM   253
Walla, and Spalding established himself at Lapwai
on the Clearwater among the Nez Percés. While
waiting for their new dwellings to be made ready
for them, the two young women remained in the
Big House and undertook to give instruction to
McLoughlin's children. ||f
In 1838 McLoughlin went to London to confer
with his superiors. From all signs, as he read them,
the Treaty of Joint Occupation would soon cease
to operate. By the terms of tJiis treaty, signed
in 1818, Great Britain and the United States had
agreed that the subjects of both governments
should have equal rights within the territory west
of the Rockies for ten years. The treaty left the
question of title to this region in abeyance. Ten
years later the time was extended mdefinitel§4
with a clause providing that the agreement could
be terminated by either party on twelve months'
notice. A second decade had now run its course,
and there was little disposition on either side to
continue the agreement much longer. In the notes
exchanged by the two Governments prior to 1828,
the United States had expressed a willingness to
consider an adjustment of the boundary at the
forty-ninth parallel aU the way to the Pacific.
But the British Government, pointing out that this 254 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
line would cut off the southerngend of Vancouver
Island, would not consent and presently suggested
that the line should be drawn down through the
middle of the Columbia River, leaving the navigation of that stream free to both parties. This
suggestion the United States rejected.
The workings of dipdomacy were watched closely
by the officials of the Hudson's Bay Company in
England, and very probably those officials made
suggestions to the British Government At all
events, they seem to have thought it hkely that the
Columbia would ultimately be decided upon as the
boundary, for Bort Vancouver was built on the
north bank of the river and the brigade leaders
who ranged south of the river were instructed not
to conserve the game but to follow up all the beaver
streams, and, in short, to trap out this part of the
country. Early during his reign at Fort Van*
couver, McLoughlin became convinced that the
country south of the Columbia, today the State of
Oregon, would soon attract settlers, and that, whatever the diplomats might decide, the territory
would belong in the end to the nation which colo-
nized it. It was with these several thoughts in his
mind that he sent the old servants of the Company into the W31amette Valley to settle.   There THE FALL OF THE FUR KINGDOM   255
settlement could not interfere with thé fur trade
and, later, it might hold the territory for Gfceat
Britain. McLoughlin wished to see aU the western country from Mexico to the Arctic Ocean under
his nation's flag.
But now the Americans weïe coming in; and, if
they settled the country, the same principle would
apply in their case. So far he had been unable to
induce the Company's officers in London to undertake colonization in Oregon as they had done
on the Red River in Rupert's Land. Sir George
Simpson, the Governpr of the Hudson's Btey Company, ridiculed the idea that Oregon would ever
be a Mecca of overland migration. He thought
the difficulties too great and also that Oregon was
not a farming country. But the old King knew
better. Therefore he went to England to declare
his views in person before the directors of the
Company and to plead for action.
His visit was not successful. The Company did,
indeed, agree to send out a few men to farm under
the grant of a new company to be formed and to
be called the Puget Sound Agricultural!Company;
but they made light of his prognostications in general and rather let him feel that he was taking too
much upon himself in giving advice.
McLoughlin reached home towards the end of
1839. Immediately he was confronted by a new
problem created by the influx of missiönaries and
one which he could now do little toward solving.
v^In the year before, Jason Lee had gone east for more
helpers and had returned by ship bringing with
him more missiönaries and their families and some
settlers. It had been McLoughlin's policy to advise
each missionary to seek a separate field where his
acftivities would not overlap those of any other religious teacher. Creeds were ünimportant to hinv
as indeed they were toéhe other sons of the wfider-
ness. And because it was not creeds but knowledge of God and the Commandments which mat-
tered to Man, he had, five years since, appointed
Jason Lee, the Methodist, to the settlement of
French-Canadian Catholics on the Wfilamette, for
as yet no priest of their own Church had entered
Oregon. There Jason Lee performed marriages
and baptized clnldren. Whitman and Spalding,
McLoughlin had sent to different tribes, so that
each tribe should have but one white leader of light
and thus should not be confused by a divided authority. But the missiönaries, some with their
families, who had come on Jason Lee's ship were
settling wherever the soil looked most promising THE FALL OF THE FUR KINGDOM   257
for wheat. Moreover, two Catholic missiönaries,
Blanchet and Demers, had arrifred from the Red
River and had begun their labors on the Willamette
and at Fort Walla among Whitman's Cayuses.
Father Pierre Jean de Smet, a Belgian Jesuit from
St. Louis, came in 1840 and settled among the
Salish. Other priests quickly fo3owed and toured
the Indian territory, preaching and baptizing; and
there were presently in Oregon about sixty missiönaries, itinerant and stationary. More settlers came
and also some American traders. The latter were
not attached to the American fur companies but
were smaU peddlers; and the chief article of trade
on their pack horses was liquor. When the brigade
leaders came in nextspring (1840) they reported to
McLoughlin that the Indians were uneasy because
so many people were coming in, and were already
sorry for their invitation to the missiönaries.
Because of later happenings, it is worth while to
understand the Indian point of view. With thé
Indians of the North Pacific territory, who lived
either on the seashore or along the larger rivers
inland, water was nét uncommonly used in some
of their religious rites, because chiefly on the
waters and byi the products of the waters they
lived.   Therefóre they took very kindly to the rite
17 258    »   ^ÉbVENTURERS OF OREGON
of baptism. When Protestant and Catholic missiönaries wrote in their diaries that they had baptized scores of eager Indians daily, they were not
exaggerating. For when the Indians learned that
near by there was a white holy man who could per-
forin a Strong Magie with water, they traveled mü
droves to partake of the blessing. So far so good.
But presently they were told that the baptism
they had received so happ3y was impotent to save
them. According to Indian logic that meant a
bad magie, and it might harm them very much—by
bringing about a fish famine, for instance. Thus
did they interpret the white man's dispute of
creeds; and dissensions arose among themselves as
to the respective merits of the missiönaries. Ar»
each year they saw more white men coming in and
taking up their land, for which they were paid
nothing. They began to be very suspicious as to
the true purpose of the white holy man's magie.
Add to these perplexed questionings the incitev
ment of the free trader's whiskey, and we have the
fundamental causes of the Cayuse War which was
to break forth within a decade. Tragedy was in-
evitable, although most of the men and women
who taught the Gospel in Oregon were devoted
spirits, willing not only to live theinlives among the THE FALL OF THE FUR KINGDOM   259
Indians but to give their lives for the creeds they
taught and for the salvation of their red-skinned
McLoughlin now was between two fires-^shis
Company's „displeasure and the animus of the new
settlers. Sir George Simpson came out in 1841
and, on looking over the books of the Company at
Fort Vancouver, was furious because of the credit
given to the Americans. McLoughlin retorted that
he would not allow these men to starve. What
most stirred Simpson's anger probably was the
proof before his eyes, in the tents and cabins, that
McLoughlin's prophecies of settlement — which he
had scouted — had been true ones. On the other
hand the settlers and even some of the missiönaries, whom McLoughlin had received kindly and
had generously helped, distrusted him. They did
not understand the old King and his sway over Oregon. Two eras of civilization, historically more than
a hundred years apart, were touching and clashing
in Oregon — the eras of old feudalism and of modern repubhcanism. Those who so readily vilified
McLoughlin and the Hudson's Bay Company did
not know that, duririg these few years, only the old
King's fiat held the Indians back from slaughter.
They did not know thatia native deputation had 260 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
waited upon McLoughlin and requested permission
to wipe out the strangers who were speaking ev8(
words against him — nor that these red-skinned
deputies had been driven from Fort Vancouver in
disgrace, with the threat of ostracism from the
Company's trade and from all its benefits if they
lifted a finger against the newcomers.
In 1843 Marcus Whitman, returning to Oregon
from a visit to the East in connection with the affairs of the mission, feil in on the way with a caravan of over nine hundred settlers and guided them
across the mountains. The men were accompanied
by their wives and families and aU their worldly
goods. The Great Migration into Oregon had begun.
Winter caught the caravan in the mountains.
Through snow and sleet the immigrants straggled
to the bank of the Columbia. Here they bu3t rafts
to float them down. And on one of these rafts, as
it shot through the Dalles under the pelting of rain,
a baby was born. It was night and stormy with
wind and rain when the first of the fleet neared Fort
Vancouver. McLoughlin ordered his men at the fort
to turn out to aid the rain-soaked pilgrims in moor-
ing the rafts and in landing the household goods.
Bales of blankets werè carried down. All night the
clerks over their books made entries of supplies THE FALL OF THE FUR KINGDOM   261
sent out by a small army of runners. McLoughlin
ordered the women and ch3dren taken to the Big
House, where his wife ministered to their needs.
He remained on the shore t31 morning in the driving rain, directing the work of his men. His presence meant more than the settlers guessed. It
was a sign to the Indians. The explanation, which
he wrote to his superiors in London, of the large
accounts carried on his books for the settlers and
missiönaries w31 bear recordiag here. It was to
the effect that, if he had shut the gates of the fort
and the doors of the storehouses against the immigrants, the Indians would have f allen upon them
and the charge would have been made by those
who were jealous of the Company's preërninence
that its officials had set the natives on to murder
tnese people.
The growth of the American population made it
necessary now for the settlers to organize a provisional government, since they were unwfiling
to acknowledge the authority of McLoughlin and
the Hudson's Bay Company. The first convention of Americans met in 1843,I at Champoeg on
1 As early as 1838 settlers had petitioned Congress to establish a
territorial government for their protection; and on several occasions
throughout 1841 and 1842 public meetings had discussed the ad-
visability of setting up a provisional government. 262 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON M
the W31amette near the present Salem, Marion
County, and chose three commissioners to govern
them. Two years later they framed a constitution and appointed a governor. The new government was opposed by the British settlers and by
Douglas. But McLoughlin supported it and con-
tributed to its first exchequer. The missiönaries
living among the Indians were not in favor of it,
for the deposing of McLoughlin meant that there
was now no authority which the Indians would
recognize. The natives were becoming more sullen and resentful daily because of the great con-
course of white settlers; and there was now no check
at all upon whiskey peddling.
Meanwh3e the Oregon Question was convulsing
Congress and a part of the nation on the eastern
side of the mountains. A year before the Oregon
settlers appointed their governor and subscribed
to a constitution, President Polk had been swept
into the White House by the slogan of "Fifty-ïlbur
Forty or Fight," which meant that Great Britain
must recognize as American soil the whole Pacific
coast from the northern boundary of California
to the southern hmits of Russian Alaska — 54°
40' — or else the United States would declare |pr*
Negotiations were in progress between John C. THE FALL OF THE FUR KLNGDOM   263
Calhoun, Secretary of State, and Richard Paken-
ham, on behalf of the British Government, when
Polk declared, in his inaugural address, that "our
title to the country of the Oregon is * clear and un-
questionable.' " 1 Yet, in spite of these statements
and the loud response they evoked, Pakenham
made two proposals to submit the question to arbitration; but both were declined by Buchanan, the
new Secretary of State, who said uncompromis-
ingly that the United States would arbitrate no
question involving its territoria! rights.
But by the spring of 1846 the United States was
at war with Mexico. To fight Great Britain at the
same time was impracticable. Though there was
furious recrimination in certain quarters in England, as the echo of the bloodthirsty speeches of
Congressmen and Senators sounded across the
Atlantic, the British Government marked out for
itself a course, described by Lord Aberdeen as
"consistent with justice, reason, moderation, and
common sense."   On June 6,1846, Pakenham sub-
z When Polk in his annual message amazed his followers by stating that he had continued the negotiations begun by Calhoun and
had offered to compromise on the f orty-ninth parallel, it was recalled
that he had not repeated the phrase of the Democratie platform —
F the whole of the territory of Oregon." This offer of compromise
was not accepted by Great Britain and was subsequently withdrawn. 264 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON J
mitted to Buchanan the draft of a treaty which:
was signed six days later without amendment or
alteration. The President sent the treaty to the
Senate for consideration without his signature.
This was a reversal of the usual procedure; but
the overwhelming majority in favor of signing the
treaty (37 to 12) in a degree at least saved Polk
from the appearance of a wanton change of front.
By the terms of this treaty the boundary line
between the territories of the United States and
those of Great Britain was continued westward
along the forty-ninth parallel to the middle of the
channel which separates Vancouver Island from
the mainland; thence it proceeded southerly to
Juan de Fuca Strait and through the center ofc
that strait to the ocean, thus securing the whole
of Vancouver Island to England. Navigation of
the channel and strait was to be free and open to
both signatories; and navigation of the Columbia
River was to be free to the Hudson's Bay Company and to those trading with them; and the
possessory rights of the Company and of aU British
subjects in the territory were to be respected.
This settlement was eminently just. It gave
to the United States the territory rightly claimed
through Gray's discovery of the Columbia, through THE FALL OF THE FUR KINGDOM   265
Lewis and Clark's descent of the lower part of the
river, and through the planting of Astoria. On
these facts the American right to the Columbia
VaUey rested soundly. The United States had
also, in 1819, acquired Spain's claim to the coast,
through the treaty which ceded the Floridas and all
Spanish territory on the Pacific north of California. But the Spanish title to Oregon was a shadowy
one. Spanish mariners had done no more than
land on the coast and declare possession; and, two
hundred years before they did so, the English-
man Drake had sailed along the north Pacific coast
and had taken possession of "New Albion" for
his sovereign. ,
Great Britain's claim to the Northwest Coast
— Oregon, Washington, New Caledonia, and Vancouver Island — was based on the explorations
of Cook and Vancouver, on Mackenzie's overland
journey to the sea, and on the explorations and
establishments of the fur traders. The British
right to New Caledonia (British Columbia) and
Vancouver Island is easfiy seen to be indisputable
now that the mists of controversy have evaporated.
Indeed, even when the argument was raging,
Calhoun advanced England's right in conversations with Polk, as Polk's diary reveals, and more 266 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON
than once urged upon Polk's attention the fact that
England could claim the country watered by the
Fraser by the same right that the United States
claimed the country watered by the Columbia,
pointing out that the Hudson's Bay Company had
built a score of trading posts on the Fraser and its
tributaries and had begun colonization at Victoria
on Vancouver Island.
The Oregon Treaty gave to both the United
States and Canada a broad outlet on the Pacific,
with the opportunity to expand their settlements
to its shores and their commerce across its waters.
Unfortunately the lurid and acrimonious language of many Congressmen and Senators was
reflected by the populace — now about ten thousand — in Oregon itself. There was discord be-.
tweèn the Americans and the British and un-
reasoning animosity against the Hudson's Bay
Company and its officials and servants. This
unfriendly feeling began as early as 1841. Lieutenant Wflkes of the United States Navy, visiting
Oregon in that year, commented on the attitude
of the settlers towards the Company which had
treated them with such great generosity, and expressed his surprise. There is no doubt, however,
that the Company's servants, whose regard for THE FALL OF THE FUR KINGDOM   267
McLoughlin was little short of adoration, resented
the intrusion of the settlers and their new government, and contributed their share of strife. Those
were the blind days when jingoism ranked as
patriotism, and when a man's love for his own flag
was measured largely by the hatred he feit for
his neighbor's. 111-will did not prevail with all, but
it did preva3 with too many. It was finally to
pass away in the exercise of democratie government and in blood, when the Indians rosé against
the white dwellers in Oregon and thus accelerated
their union.
In the year of the Oregon Treaty, McLoughlin
resigned from the Hudson's Bay Company and
retired with his famfiy to Oregon City. He was
succeeded by Douglas at Fort Vancouver. The
Indians took the departure of "White Eagle"
from the Big House bitterly to heart, and they
blamed the Americans for this stroke of sorrow.
McLoughlin knew that as a deposed chief his
power was broken; he could no longer command
the natives. He sent word up the river to the
Whitmans and begged them to come into the
settlement, but they would not leave their post
among the Cayuse Indians.
A few months later an epidemie of measles broke 268 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON j
out and a number of sick were being nursed at the
Mission House by the Whitmans and their helpers.
The disease spread among the Indians, and Whitman and Spalding had their hands full. The natives were terror-stricken. Some of them, at least,
believed that the white people had purposely let
loose this scourge to wipe out the Indians. No
doubt they had heard of Duncan McDougal and
his corked bottle of smallpox and concluded that
the missiönaries could have kept the bottle of
measles corked if they had half tried. The epidemie seems to have been the spark which touched
off the stored-up fears and resentments of the
Indians. The wanton murder of numbers of their
red kindred just beyond the hills by Bonnevfile
and other American adventurers, the seizure of
their lands by settlers, whose first great caravan
these Indians had seen enter their country under
Whitman's guidance, were other causes of their
suUen discontent.
The Whitman mission was attacked. The
Whitmans and twelye others in it were murdered.
Some fifty persons were taken away as prisoners.
The government of Oregon, powerless to effect
the rescue of the captives, appealed to Douglas.
Ogden with some of the men of his brigade foliowed e*ȕT.ft*ii*
the Indians into the mountains and induced them
to surrender the prisoners.
When the Indian risings began, the Hudson's
Bay Company stopped the sale of firearms to the
natives. But the insane prejudice abiding in the
minds of some of the settlers and missiönaries inspired a few of Oregon's early chroniclers to set
down the cause of the uprising to the macbinations
of the Company.x Some of the farm lands belonging to the Puget Sound Agricultural Company
were seized by settlers in defiance of the Treaty of
1846, and attempts were made to wrest McLoughlin's holdings from him. But the Father of Oregon had many friends as weU as foes among the
settlers, and these stood by him loyaily.
John McLoughlin died in 1857, aged seventy-
three. A few years before his retirement from
office he had turned for comfort, in the storms of
1 Not only the Company but the Roman Catholic priests were
accused; and a storm of Protestant and Catholic recrimination
rocked Oregon. The histories written by W. H. Gray, a Protestant layman, and Father F. N. Blanchet show how far men
of zeal but of narrow sympathies may be led to forget the in-
junction that '* he who hateth his brother is a murderer." Mar-
cus Whitman was a Christian in his life as well as in his death.
Father de Smet's devoted labors among the Salish reveal the
Catholic missionary at his highest. Even those men who dipped
their pens in gall had not hesitated to stake their lives in pursuit
of their ideals.   The Indian war would have come in any case. 270 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON J
censure and prejudice that broke over him, to the
Canadian priests who had come into Oregon, and he!
died a devout Catholic. His latter years saw no
change in his large spirit of tolerance and good-w3|
towards loyalties and f aiths other than his own. In
soul and mind, as well as in bodfly stature, McLoughlin towerei high above most of the men of his day
in Old Oregon. He got little gratitude in his life-
time and for years after his death, a cloud rested
upon his memory. But the pages of scurrility about
him have been f aded white by the light of the truth,
and his name and f ame are today treasured as a
great tradition in Oregon. ■ He was a master bu3d-
er, for he erected the moral structure of law and
of just and humane principles in the w3derness|p
and it was under the shelter of his building that
settlement began and grew in peace for a decade.
The Indian outbreaks which began in 1847 and
continued for a generation compeUed the American Government to provide for the security of the
settlements, and, in 1848, the American domain
west of the Rockies was erected into Oregon Territory. In 1853 it was divided and Washington
Territory was set up. Six years later, on February 14, 1859, the State of Oregon was admitted to
the Union with its present boundaries. m    THE FALL OF THE FUR KINGDOM   271
So passes Old Oregon. So dawns the new régime.
Great changes have come to that country west
of the mountains in the thirty-five years since
McLoughlin went tp live there! Portland, first
settled in 1845, is now a chartered city and the
home of Oregon's first newspaper, the Oregonian.
There is a settlement at Seattle, named after a chief
who remained friendly during the Indian wars. Victoria, on Vancouver Island, whither Douglas moved
the Pacific headquarters of the Hudson VBay Company in 1849, is a thriving colony. The capital of
McLoughlin's f eudal kingdom, Fort Vancouver, is
the county seat of the new Washington Territory.
The Hudson's Bay Company w31 shortly sell to
the United States Government all its property
on the American side of the boundary. The old
Company is now no longer a f eudal overlord but
only a trading corporation. Its domains to the
north, west of the mountains, have been sur-
rendered to the Crown and two new colonies, Vancouver Island and British Columbia, which are
presently to become one, are bèginning their history. James Douglas is the Governor of both
colonies. A few years more and these colonies,
together with the fur trader's vast northern empire of Rupert's Land and Athabaska, east of the 272 ADVENTURERS OF OREGON 1
mountains, shall pass into the new Dominion of
The population of Oregon and Washington has
been temporariTy depleted by the stampede for
gold, foUowing the discovery of mines in California
in 1849, and Victoria has become a great outfitting
post. Men are pouring into Victoria to buy goods.
Presently begins the rush of gold seekers up the
Fraser River. A new adventure beckons to the
hardy, and cavalcades of Oregon men are driving
northwards. The men of young Oregon, the men
of the second generation, are seeking new goals in
the wflderness, even as their fathers sought. They
are traveling the old route of the northern brigades,
up the bend of the Columbia, up the Okanogan,
and down David Thompson's river to the Fraser.
La their packs are not beaver traps but washing-
pans, shovels, and picks. As they pass through the
peaceful valley of the Thompson, they see Indians
paddling up the river towards the fort to trade.
They cast scarcely a glance at the bales in the
canoes..; The great quest today is not pelts but
gold. A boundary line between two flags no longer
holds asunder the spirit of British and American
adventurers. But the romance of the fur trade
For data on the discovery of the Northwest Coast
and the Columbia River consult: Hubert Howe Ban-
croft's History of the Northwest Coast, 2 vols. (San
Francisco, 1884), which ineludes a part of the log-book
of Gray's officer, Haswell; Robert Greenhow's History of Oregon and California (Boston, 1847), which
contains that portion of Gray's log recording his discovery of the river; W. H. Gray's History of Oregon,
1792-m9 (Portland, 1870); T. Bulfinch's Oregon and
Eldorado (Boston, 1866); H. S. Lyman's History of
Oregon, 4 vols. (New York, 1903); Joseph Schaf er's
History of the Pacific Northwest (New York, 1905); E.
S. Meany's History of the State of Washington (New
York, 1909); W. R. Manning's The Noptka Sound
Controversy in the Annual Report for 1904 of the
American Historical Association (Washington, 1905);
Arthur Kitson's Captain James Cook, the Circum-
navigator (London, 1907); George Vancouver's A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, 3 vols.
(London, 1798); H. H. Bancroft's Washington, Idaho,
and Montana (San Francisco, 1890); Agnes C. Laut's
Vikings of the Pacific (New York, 1906).
For Lewis and Clark: Jefferson's Message from the
President of the United States communicating Discoveries made in Exploring the Missouri, etc. (Wash-
ï8 273 274
ington, 1806); Olin D. Wheeler's Trail of Lewis and
Clark, 2 vols. (New York, 1904); The Original Journals
of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 8 vols. (New York
1904-1905), edited by R. G. Thwaites. The last
named supersedes other editions of the journals and
former histories of the journey — such as those edited
and revised by Elliott Coues and Biddle and Allen —
by reason of its accuracy and completeness.
On the expeditions sent out by John Jacob Astor
and the founding of Astoria: Washington Irving's
Astoria (New York, 1861); Gilbert Franchère's Narrative of a Voyage, etc. (New York, 1854); Ross Cox's
The Columbia River, or Scènes and Adventures, etc.
3 vols. (New York, 1832); Alexander Ross's Adventures
of the First Settlers, etc. (London, 1849); James Parton's
Life of John Jacob Astor (New York, 1865).
On the fur trade there is a wealth of material from
which have been selected the f ollowingf H. P. Biggar's
Early Trading Companies of New France (Toronto,
1901); Gordon Charles Davidson's The North West
Company (Berkeley, 1918); Louis F. R. Masson's
Les Bourgeois de la Compagnie du Nord-Ouest, 2 vols.
(Quebec, 1889-1890); Agnes C. Laut's Conquest of the
Great Northwest, 2 vols. (New York, 1909); J. Dunn's
The Oregon Territory and the British North American
Fur Trade (Phfladelphia, 1845); H. M. Chittenden's
The American Fur Trade of thé Far West, 3 vols. (New
York, 1902); and History of Early Steamboat Navigation
on the Missouri, 2 vols. (New York, 1903); Elliott Coues's
New Light on the Greater North West, containing the
journals of Alexander Henry and David Thompson,
3 vols. (New York, 1897); and Forty Years a Fur Trader
(New York, 1898); Lawrence J. Burpee's Highways o} BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
fheFur Trade in Royal Society of Canada Transactions,
m, Series 3, and The Search for the Western Sea (London,
1908); T. C. Elliott's Columbia Fur Trade prior to 1811
in Washington Historical Quarterly, vol. vi (1916);
Alexander Mackenzie's Voyages, etc. (London, 1801);
and Agnes C. Laut's transcript of Ogden's Journal in
the Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, vol. xi
(1910). Hearne's Journey edited by Joseph B. TyrreU
(1911) and Thompson9s Narrative also edited by Tyrrell
(1916) in the Champlain Society Publications, Toronto.
On Oregon during the beginnings of settlement, and
missionary work: Bancroft's History of Oregon, 2 vols.
(San Francisco, 1886-1888); W. H. Gray's History of
Oregon (1870); F. N. Blanchet's Historical Sketches of
the Church in Oregon (Portland, 1870); W. Barrows's
Oregon: the Struggle for Possession (Boston, 1883) in
the American CommonweaUh series; Father de Smet's
Oregon Missions and Travels, etc, in vol. xxrx of Early
Western Travels (Cleveland, 1906) edited by R. G.
Thwaites. Interesting material is contained in the
Quarterly and other publications of the Oregon Historical Society and also in the publications of the Oregon
Pioneer Association. For the career of McLoughlin
read Bancroft's History of Oregon and F. V. Hol-
man's Dr. John McLoughlin, the Father of Oregon
(Cleveland, 1907). The latter work contains excerpts
from documents., letters of McLoughlin's, and letters
to him and about him by various pioneers, including Wyeth.
On the later period: Schafer's Oregon Pioneers and
American Diplomacy in Essays in American History
(New York, 1910); Diary of James K. Polk, 4 vols.,
edited by M. M. Quaife (Chicago, 1910); J. S. Reeves's 276
American Diplomacy under Tyler and Polk (1907) ;|
Allen Johnson's Stephen A. Douglas: a Study in Ameri^
can Politics (New York, 1908); Wülis Fletcher Johnson'sj
America*s Foreign Relations, 2 vols. (New York, 1916) ;|
Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the State of
Oregon held at Salem in 1857 (Salem, 1882). INDEX
Aberdeen, Lord, on settlement
of Oregon question, 263
Absaroka Indians, 170; see also
Crow Indians
Adams (frigate), 195
Adventure (sloop), 21
Aiken, seaman on the Tonquin,
Alabama, Fort, French at, 77
Alaska, Russians in, 8, 9, 16;
Hudson's Bay Company's
trade with, 229; coast leased
by Hudson's Bay Company,
229-30; McLoughlin urges
purchase of, 230
Albatross (ship), 201
Alexander VI, Pope, divides
the world, 8-4
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
sends Parker and Whitman
to West, 245 '
American Fur Company, 117,
214, 225, 226
American Philosophical Society aids Pacific exploration,
Anian, Strait of, 1, 2, 10
Argonaut (ship), 16, 47
Arikara Indians, Astor's Overlanders and, 158-59
Arkansas River, French on, 77
Ashley, General W. H., 225
Asia, short route sought to,
Astor, J. J., plans for fur-
trading system, 110, 114,
117-19;     and    North-West
Company, 110-12, 117, 216;
and sea-otter trade, 113-14;<
early life, 116-17; and American Fur Company, 117, 214;
scheme as to Russian trade,
118, 187-88; and Pacific
Fur Company, 119; recruits
men, 120; sends Tonquin
to Oregon, 120 et seq.; his
Overlanders journey to Oregon, 144 et seq.', and War of
1812, 194; petitions American government protection
for Astoria, 195; tries to
recover Astorfa, 212; law to
aid, 212-13(undaunted, 213;
losses, 214; at St. Louis,
214-15; bibliography, 274
s4&$oria, Buflding of, 132-33;
story of the Tonquin told at,
136; Indians at, 142, 200-
1201; Astor's Overlanders
reach, 183; under the Nor'westers, 185 et seq.; decision
to abandon, 196; Nor'westers come to, 198-200, 202;
AÏblatross reaches, 201; sur-
rendered to Nor'westers,
203; renamed Fort George,
203; restored to United
States, 211; Parker at, 247;
see also George, Fort
Atchison   (Kan.),   Lewis  and
Clark at site of, 40
Athabaska   becomes   part   of
Canada, «71-72
Athabaska, Lake, Fort Chipewyan on, 94, 95
277 278
Athabaska Pass, Thompson
crosses» 134
Baker, Mount, Vancouver
names, 23
Baker's Bay, Lewis and Clark
in, €5; Tonquin in, 131;
Beaver in, 187
Bancroft, George, History of
the Northwest Coast, cited, 2
Barkley, English trader, 2
Barnes, Jane, first white
woman on the Columbia,
205-06, 249
Barrel], Joseph, 18
Beaver, chaplain to Fort Vancouver, 249-51
Beaver, Jane, wife of chaplain,
Beaver (ship), 187, 188, 199,
Beaver, first steamer on Pacific
coast, 230
Beaver Club, 102, 108, 213
Beaver Lake, Henry reaches, 88
Bering, Vitus, 8, 12
Big Horn Mountains, Clark
maps, 68; Astor's Overlanders cross, 169, 171
Big Horn River, Lisa on, 109
Big Sioux River, place of peace
for Indians, 44
Bigsby, The Shoe and Canoe,
quoted, 98
Bird-Woman, see Sacajawea
Black Hills of South Dakota,
discovery of, 76; Astor's
Overlanders in, 167
Blackfeet Indians, and Lewis,
67; and Colter, 110, 150;
traders and, 225
Blanchet, F. N., Catholic missionary, 257; history of Oregon, 269 (note); bibliography,
Bodega (Cal.), Russians at,
Boisé Creek, Astor's Overlanders on, 179-80
Boisé, Fort, 241, 252
Bonneville, Captain B. L. E.,
Boone, Daniel, 37, 38, 149
Boston, expedition to Northwest from, 16; Gray's return to, 19-20; trade from,
Boston (ship), 116
Boston Marine Association, 19
Brackenridge, Henry, 150,162,
Bradbury, English scientist
with Hunt, 148, 154, 155-
156, 157, 162; returns to St.
Louis, 164
Bright Stones, Mountains of,
source of River of the West,
1,10; Lewis and Clark reach,
British Columbia, Vancouver
explores, 23; British right to,
265; becomes colony, 271;
see also New Caledonia
Brown, Samuel, 18
Bruce, Scotch horticulturist at
Fort Vancouver, 284
Buchanan, James, Secretary of
State, 263, 264
Buffaloes, Clark sees, 68; an-
nual hunt of trappers, 105-
Bulfinch, Dr. Thomas, 18, 20
Cabot, Sebastian, 74
Cabots explore New World, 4
Calhoun, J.  C, Secretary of
State, and Oregon question,
262-63, 265
California, Russians plan advance into, 114; Ogden goes
to, 224; revolution in, 230-
Callicum, Indian chief, 14
Cameahwait    (Come-and-
Smoke), Shoshone chief, 59-
Canada, conquest of, 86; Dominion formed, 272
Carlos III, of Spain, 7-8
Cartier explores New World, 4
Carver, Jonathan, publishes
book on West (1778), 10-11
Cass, hunter, leaves Lewis and
Clark, 174
Catholics, missiönaries in Oregon, 257; blamed for Indian
uprisings, 269 (note)
Catlin, George, 244
Cayuse Indians, Whitman and,
252, 267-68; War, 258
Celiast, Solomon Smith mar-
ries, 245
Celilo Falls, Lewis and Clark
portage, 63
Champlain, Samuel, as fur
trader, 76
Champoeg, convention at, 261-
Charboneau, Toussaint, guide
and interpreter for Lewis
and Clark, 37, 48-49, 50,
55, 56, 67, 160; remains
among Mandans, 69; interpreter at Missouri Sub-
Agency (1837), 72
Charboneau, son of Sacajawea
and Toussaint Charboneau,
48, 69, 161
Charles II, of England, and
Radisson and Groseilliers,
78, 79; charters Hudson's
Bay Company, 79-80
Cheyenne Indians, Astor's
Overlanders and, 165
"Children of the Sun," 193; ^
see also Spokane Indians
China, workmen brought to
Vancouver Island from, 13;
fur-trading expedition from,
13; Beaver to be dispatched
to, 188; Hudson's Bay Company's trade with, 229
Chinook Indians at Astoria,
Chipewyan, Fort, 94
Chippewa Indians, Henry and,
Chopunnish Indians, 191,192;
see also Nez Percés Indians,
Walla Walla Indians
Churchill River, Fort Prince of
Wales on, 84; Henry reaches,
Clark, G. R., Jefferson writes
to, 27-28; brother of William, 35, 36; Illinois expedition, 37; William assumes
debts of, 71-72
Clark, William, invited by
Lewis to join expedition,
35-36; personal characteris-
tics, 36, 71-72;* quoted, 38;
as a diarist, 42-44, 58; and
Indians, 45, 71; names
Judith River, 50j«l, 72| explores the Missouri, 51;
dangers encountered by, 53-
54; and the cloud-burst,
55-56; on Cape Disappoint-
ment, 66; explores Yellowstone River, 68; offers to
adopt Charboneau's son, 69;
writes to brother, 69; "Red
Head," 71, 243; Governor
of Missouri Territory, 71;
Superintendent of Indian
Affairs, 71; pays brother's
debts 72; marriagé, 72;
death (1838), 72; and Missouri Fur Company, 109;
Indians seek missiönaries
through, 242, 244; see also
Lewis and Clark expedition
Clarke, John, partner in
Astor's enterprise, 187; jour-
neys inland, 188; at Spokane
House, 192, 193, 196; dis-
approves plan of abandoning
Astoria, 197; executes Indian, 197-98, 209; goes to
Pend d'Oreille River, 200;
accompanies Nor'westers to
Astoria, 202; refuses to join
Nor'westers,  205;  journeys 280
Clarke, John—Continued
back across mountains, 205,
207;    and    American    Fur
Company, 225
Clatsop Indians, Lewis and
Clark among, 66
Clayoquot (VancouverIsland),
Gray at, 20, 21; Tonquin at,
Clearwater River, Lewis and
Clark on, 62, 63; post on,
Colnett, Captain of the Argo-
naut, 17
Colter, John, 68, 109, 110, 150,
Columbia River, importance of
discovery, 2; Gray discovers,
25; Lewis and Clark on, 63-
64; Thompson on, 98, 112;
Astor plans posts on, 110-11,
114; Russians plan settlement, 114; Astor's fort, 120-
121; see also Astoria; Astor's
Overlanders reach, 183; see
also West, River of the
Columbia (ship), 16, 19, 20,
21, 22, 24
Columbus, Christopher, and
search for Asia, 2-3
Colville, Fort, 223-24
Comcomly, Indian chief, 132,
142, 187,201,204, 248 <
Congress, law forbidding alien
traders in United States,
212-13; petition for tèrri-
torial government for 'Oregon, 261 (note); Senate and
Oregon treaty, 264
Connolly, Nelia, wife of Douglas, 249, 251
Constitution (ship), 124
Cook, Captain James, 11-12;
and sea-otter trade, 113
Coppermine River, Hearne discovers, 89
Cortes explores New World, 4
Council Bluff, Lewis and Clark
name, 41
Cox, Ross, 187, 243
Crooked Falls, 54
Crooks, Ramsay, partner in
Astor's enterprise, 150-51,
152; and Lisa, 156, 159; on
Snake River, 175-76, 177-
178; left with Day in mountains, 179, 180, 184, 189-90;
Stuart finds, '186; journeys
overland, 188; and American
Fur Company, 225
Crow Indians, as horse thieves,
68, 164, 191; Lisa among,
109; Astor's Overlanders and,
163, 164, 169; Rosé and,
Cruzatte, French voyageur with
Lewis and Clark, 55, 67
Cumberland House, 88, 89
Dalles, The, Lewis and Clark
at site of, 64
Davidson, G. C, The North
West Company, cited, 90
Day, John, hunter with Astor's
Overlanders, 152; lost with
Crooks. 179, 180, 184, 189-
190; Stuart finds, 186; starts
over mountains, 188; de-
rangement, 189-90; sent
back to Astoria, 190
Day's Defile, 190
Deception Bay, 15
Demers,  Catholic missionary/
De Soto, Hernando, see Soto
Derby, John, 18
Dillon (Mont.), Lewis and
Clark at site of, 57
Disappointment, Cape, Meares
names, 15; Gray at, 23, 24;
Vancouver passes, 23; Clark
at, 66; Tonquin at, 128, 131;
Beaver reaches, 187
Discovery (ship), 22
Dorion, father of Pierre, interpreter with Lewis and dark
39,44 INDEX
Dorion, Baptiste, son of Pierre,
Dorion, Pierre, interpreter with
Astor's Overlanders, 147,
152, 153; and Lisa, 147-48,
159, 161; his family on the
march, 148-49, 151, 152,
165, 166, 176-77, 181-82,
200; his horse, 178-79, 181;
wife tells tragedy of his
death, 207-09; wife remains
with Walla Wallas, 209-
Douglas, David, botanist, 233
Douglas, James, McLoughlin's
chief lieutenant, 222-23, 237;
Beaver and, 249-50; opposes
new government of. Oregon,
262; succeeds McLoughlin,
267; government of Oregon
appeals to, 268; Governor of
Vancouver Island and British
Columbia, 271 >
Drake, Francis, 4, 5, 6, 26,5 i
Drouillard, member óf Lewis
and Clark expedition, 69;
and Missouri Fur Company,
109 ISH
Dubreuil, voyageur with Astor's
Overlanders, 179
Dunmore's War, 37
Dutch fur trade, 76
England, see Great Britain
Farnham, clerk at Astoria, 198
Felice (ship), 13, 15
Ferrelo, Spanish seaman, 4-5
Ferrelo, Cape, 4
Fields, member of Lewis and
Clark expedition, 44
"Fifty-four Forty or Fight,"
Fisheries,   Cabot's   quest  for,
74;   beginnings  in   Oregon,
Flathead Indians, 62, 241; see
also Salish Indians
Floridas, Jefferson attempts to
purchase, 31; ceded to United States, 265
Floyd, Charles, 37; death, 43
Floyd, John, 37
Floyd's Bluff, Sioux City (Ia.),
Fourth-of-July Creek, 41
Fox, mate on the Tonquin,
France, Spain and, 17; acquires
Louisiana (1800), 30-31
Franchère, clerk with Astor's
expedition, 120
Fraser, Simon, discovers Fraser
River, 100, 216-17; with
North-West Company, 111,
Fraser River, discovered, 100,
216-17; gold seekers on, 272
French, English and, 9, 78;
leaders in fishery industry,
75; and fur trade, 76; coureur-
de-bois, 77-78; trading posts,
77 ^
Frobishers, Henry and, 88;
build Cumberland House,
88; build Fort Isle a la
Crosse, 88-89; and North-
West Company, 91
Fuca,'Juan de, 2 (note)
Fur trade, Cook and sea-otter
skins, 12, 113; Americans
and, 18; Gray and, 19-20,
24, 26; Lewis and Clark
meet traders, 39; reign of the
trapper, 74 et seq.; bibliog-
raphy, 274-75; seealso American Fur Company, Astor,
Hudson's Bay Company,
Missouri Fur Company,
North-West Company, Pacific Fur Company
Gallatin River, Lewis and
Clark name, 56
George, Fort, Astoria renamed,
203; Hunt returns to, 204;
Astorians leave, 207; McLoughlin abandons, 219 INDEX
George, Fort, on the Nechaco
River, 224
Ghent, Treaty of (1814), 211
Glendive, Clark at site of, 68
Golden Hind (ship), 6
Good Hope, Cape of, Vancouver sails around, 22
Grand Portage (Minn.), headquarters of North-West
Company, 93, 96
Grand River (S. D.), Astor's
Overlanders near, 163
Grantsdale (Mont.), Lewis and
Clark camp near site of, 62
Gray, Captain Robert, of
Boston, 16, 18, 113; first
voyage to Pacific Coast, 19-
20; second voyage around
the Horn, 20-21; at Clayoquot, 21; and Vancouver,
22, 23; discovers Columbia
River, 23-25, 31; returns to
Boston (1793), 26; death
(1806), 26; quoted, 131-32
Gray, W. H., 252; History of
Oregon, 269 (note)
Great Britain, explorations,
5-6; settlements, 7; English
in America, 9; fur trade,
12-13, 76; and Sfcain, 17, 21;
and France, 32; and fisheries,
74, 75 (note); English as
rivals of French, 78; Oregon
question, 262-67
Great Falls, Lewis and Clark
at, 52, 54, 56
Great Lakes, French trading
posts on, 77
"Great Medicine Road of the
Whites," 246 (note)
Great Slave Lake, Thompson
on, 97
Great War, 33
Green River, Hunt reaches,
Grinder, reputed murderer of
Lewis, 70
Gros Ventre Range, Hunt
crosses, 173
Groseilliers, French explorer,
76; in England, 78, 79
Haldemand, report to (1780),
90 (note)
Hall, Fort, Payette builds, 241
Hancock, John, reception for
Gray, 20
Hancock, Julia, 51
Has well commands Adventure,
Hatch, Crowell, 18
Hawaii, Tonquin reaches, 127;
see also Sandwich Islands
Hayes River, Hudson's Bay
Company builds fort on, 81
Hearne, Samuel, 89
Heart River, Lewis and Clark
pass, 46
Heceta, Bruno, 9, 26
Henry, Alexander, the elder,
Henry, Alexander, the younger,
206, 248; quoted, 111 (note)
Hénry, Andrew, partner in
Missouri Fur Company, 147,
156, 174 (note), 225
Henry's Fort, 174, 176
Henry's River, 174
Hoback, hunter with Astor's
Overlanders, 156, 164, 171,
173, 191, 207
Hoback's River, 173
Hudson, Henry, explores New
World, 4
Hudson Bay, Radisson and
Groseilliers reach, 76; restored to England, 84
Hudson's Bay Company, 9,
47; established, 79-80; still
flourishes, 80; builds forts,
81; Indians and, 81, 226,
242; Canadian rivals, 81-
82; activities after Peace of
Utrecht, 84-86; and free
traders, 89; rivalry of North-
West Company, 92, 94, 215;
servants, 93; Thompson and*
96; Red River colony, 215- INDEX
Hudson's Bay Company—Confd
216; absorbs North-West
Company, 216; in Oregon,
217 et seq.; rival traders,
225-26; fleet (1839), 230;
religion, 243; Parker reaches
post of, 247; and settlement
of Oregon, 254-55; American
animosity toward, 266; and
Indian uprisings, 269; sells
United States property on
American side, 271; Pacific
headquarters moved to
Victoria, 271
Humboldt River, Ogden discovers, 225
Hunt, W. P., leader of Astor's
Overlanders, 144 et seq.; on
the Beaver, 187-88, 199; on
the Albatross, 201-02; returns to Astoria, 204, 205;
in St. Louis, 205 (note)
Iberville, Pierre Le Moyne d',
82, 88-84
Idaho, Ogden in, 225
Independence Creek, 41
Illinois River, French on, 77
India, fur-trading expeditions
from, 13
Indians, reception of Meares,
14-15; Gray and, 20, 21,
24; Lewis and Clark and,
44-45, 63; fur trade with,
75-76; Hudson's Bay Company and, 81, 226, 242; and
free traders, 89; hostile to
Winship, 115; massacre at
Nootka, 116; and Astoria,
132, 141-42; Thorn and,
186-38; attack return expedition of Astor's men, 186;
and fur traders, 225-27; and
missiönaries, 257-58; and
Oregon government, 262;
uprisings in Oregon, 268-
269, 270; see also names of
Ipkigenia (ship), 16
Irving,   Washington,   Astoria,
131, 167, 208
Isaac  Todd  (ship),   194,  195,
199, 201, 202, 205
Isle a Ia Crosse, Fort, 88-89
James, Duke of York, and
Hudson's Bay Company, 80
James Bay, Hudson's Bay
Company builds fort on,
81, 82
Jefferson, Thomas, and ex-
pansion, 27-28; Lewis and,
29, 34, 47, 48, 69; President
of United States, 31; private
message to Congress, 81-
82; Memoir quoted, 34-85
Jefferson River, Lewis and
Clark on, 56, 57
Jesuits as missiönaries to
Indians, 242 (note)
John Day's River, 190
Joint Occupation Treaty (1818),
212, 253
Joliet, Louis, 76}
Jones, Ben, hunter, 185
Juan de Fuca, Strait of, Gray
in, 22; Indians from, 141
Judith's River, Clark names,
50-51, 72
Kamchatka, Ledyard starts
for, 28
Kamloops (B. C), post established on site of, 192
Kansas River, Lewis and Clark
reach, 89; French on, 77
Kaskaskia, French in, 77
Kaw (or Kansas) Indians,
Lewis and Clark and, 89-40
Kendrick, Captain John, 16,
18, 19, 20-21, 26
Kentucky, Spain and, 30
Kootenay Indians, Astorians
trade with, 193
La Charette, 72; Lewis and
Clark reach, 38; Hunt at,
<"•**(«&££-£: 284
Lady Washington (sloop), 16,
19, 20, 26
Langley, Fort, ,224
La Perouse, Admiral, 84 (note)
Laramie, Fort, 252
Lark (ship), 195, 199, 201, 214
La Salie, René-Robert Cave-
lier, Sieur de, 4, 76
La Vérendrye, 47, 76
Le Clerc, voyageur with Astor's
Overlanders, 188, 200, 208
Ledyard, John, 28-29
Lee, Daniel, 245
Lee, Jason, 244, 256
Lemhi Pass, Lewis and Clark
go through, 62
Lemhi River, Lewis and Clark
explore, 62
Le Moynes with marauders to
Hudson Bay, 82; see also
Lewis, clerk on the Tonquin,
183, 139
Lewis, Meriwether, 29-30;
chosen by Jeffersqn for expedition, 34; Jefferson on,
34-35; prepares for expedition, 35; A Statistical View
of the Indian Nations In-
habiting the Tevrptory of
Louisiana, 40; and Indians,
40, 41, 66; as a diarist, 42;
writes to Jefferson, 47, 48,
69; encounters with bears,
49-50, 52-53; explores
Maria's River, 51; and
Great Falls, 52; quoted, 61;
shot accidentally, 67; Gover-
nor of Louisiana Territory,
69; death (1809), 70; see also
Lewis and Clark expedition
Lewis and Clark expedition,
27 et seq.; personnel, 36-37;
diary of, 42-48; loyalty of
men, 153-54; bibliography,
Lewis and Clark River, 66
Liberté, deserter from Lewis
and Clark expedition, 41
Lisa, Manuel, fur trader, 109;
Missouri Fur Company, 109;
and Astor's Overlanders, 146,
156, 159, 160, 161-62, 163,
164; Dorion and, 147-48,
161; Henry and, 174 (note);
death, 225; wife crosses
plains, 252 (note)
Lo Lo Creek, Lewis and Clark
on, 62, 66
Lo Lo Pass, Lewis and Clark
in, 62, 66
Louisiana, Spain acquires
(1763), 9; ceded to France
(1800), 30-31; Iberville and,
Louisiana Purchase, 32-34
Lumbering, beginnings in Oregon, 235
McDonald, John, of Garth,
99, 204
McDougal, Duncan, joins
Astor, 120; to command fort
on Columbia, 121; loyalty to
Nor'westers, 124-25, 195;
selects site for fort, 132; and
Thompson, 134-35; frightens
Indians with the "bottle of
smallpox," 142, 268; marries
daughter of Comcomly, 143,
200-01; honors Hunt's arrival at Astoria, 184; welcomes
the Beaver, 187; learns Nor'westers' plans, 196; decides
to abandon Astoria, 196;
plan falls through, 197; and
McTavish, 198-99, 202, 207;
sells goods and post to McTavish, 199; meets the Alba-
tross, 201; surrenders Astoria to Nor'westers, 203;
opinions of his conduct, 204;
becomes Chief Factor for
Nor'westers, 204; Astor and,
212; loss to, 214; Comcomly
reprimands, 248
MacKay, Alexander, joins Astor,  120; and Thorn,  123; INDEX
MacKay, Alexander—Continued
landing from the Tonquin,
129; sails on Tonquin, 133,
187, 138; death, 139; McLoughlin marries widow of,
Mackay, Tom, 224, 287, 252
Mackenzie, Alexander/ partner in North-West Company,
94, 182; discovers and explores Mackenzie River, 95,
216; journal. 100
Mackenzie, Donald, partner
in Pacific Fur Company,
144-45, 152; recruits river-
men in Montreal, 144-45; on
journey overland, 175, 188;
leads expedition to erect
forts, 188; and the Nor'westers, 196, 202; traps
Snake River Country, 200;
returns across mountains,
205, 207
Mackenzie River discovered
and explored, 95, 216
Mackinaws, 90, 93, 94, 111,
McLellan, Robert, partner
with Astor's Overlanders,
152; and Lisa, 156, 159, 162,
163; on journey overland,
175, 183; makes start for
return journey, 185, 188;
welcomes the Beaver to Astoria, 187
McLoughlin, John, Father of
Oregon or King of Old
Oregon, 217; member of
North-West Company, 217-
218; with Hudson's Bay
Company, 218; "White
Eagle," 218; prohibits rum,
226; policies, 227; life at
Fort Vancouver, 228-29,
231-39; his wife, 228-29;
urges purchase of Alaska,
230; character, 231; as a
physician, 232-33; hospital-
ity, 233-34; interest in agri
culture, 234; welcomes Parker, 247; sends to England
for clergyman, 249-51; and
Whitman, 252; goes to London, 253; sends settlers to
Willamette Valley, 254-55;
and missiönaries, 256; attitude toward American settlers, 259, 260, 261, 262;
resigns from Hudson's Bay
Company, 267; death (1857),
McTavish, Donald, 99, 205-06
McTavish, J. G., of the North-
West Company, 196; comes
to Astoria, 198-200, 202-
203; Astoria surrendered to,
203, 207
McTavish, Simon, 91
Madison River, Lewis and
Clark name, 56
Magellan explores New World,
Mandan, Fort, 48
Mandan Indians, Lewis and
Clark among, 46-47, 68-69
Maquinna (or Maquilla), Indian chief, 13, 14
Maria's River (Marias), Lewis
explores, 51, 67
Marquette, Jacques, Jesuit
priest, 76
Martinez, Don Estevan, 16, 19
May Dacre (ship), 240
Meares, John, 18-15, 16, 17,
19, 113
Methodist Church sends missiönaries to Indians, 244^45*
Mexico, war with, 263
Michaux, André, 29-80
Michilimackinac, Hunt seeks
to enlist men at, 145; Astor's
losses at, 212
Michilimackinac Company, 90
Michilimackinac, Fort, 87
Miller, Joseph, partner with
Astor's Overlanders, 152,
158; leaves party, 174;
Stuart finds, 191-92 286
Mississippi River, Spain con-
cedes right of navigation, 30;
Lewis and Clark cross, 38;
French on, 76, 77; Thompson traces head waters of, 97;
Hunt takes party down, 146
Missouri Fur Company, 109,
146, 147, 225
Missouri River, Lewis and
Clark on, 38 et seq.; doubt
as to course, 51
Montreal, and fur trade, 90;
Nor'westers in, 102-04; Astor at, 213, 216
Moose, Fort, Canadians reach,
82, 83
Napoleon, plans expedition to
New Orleans, 31; sells Louisiana, 32-33
Nass River, Fort Simpson on
Natchez Tracé, Lewis killed
on, 70
Nelson River, Hudson's Bay
Company builds fort on, 81
Nevada, Ogden in, 225
New Albion, 6, 265
New Archangel (Sitka), Hunt
bound for, 188
New Caledonia, Hudson's Bay
Company's posts in, 224;
British right to, 265; see
also British Columbia
New Orleans, Napoleon and,
31; Jefferson attempts to
purchase, 31; French in, 77
New Zealand, Vancouver
touches, 22
Nez Percés Indians, Lewis
and Clark and, 62; Astor's
men trade with, 192; Clarke
and Farnham execute one
of, 198; kill Dorion and
companions, 208; Parker and
Whitman meet, 246, 247;
Spalding among, 253
Nodaway River, Hunt camps
near mouth of, 146, 151
Nootka (Vancouver Island),
Cook at, 11; Meares's colony,
13-16; Martinez seizes, 16,
17; restored to England, 17;
Vancouver at, 22; Ledyard
plans to go to, 28; Boston
seized at (1803), 116
Northwest America (ship), 15,
North-West Company, Mandans and, 47; established, 91;
strife among, 91; personnel,
92; employ coureurs-de-bois,
92-93; headquarters, 93; and
Hudson's Bay Company,
94, 215, 216; achievements,
94 et seq.; life in Montreal,
102-04; life at Fort William,
104-08; Astör and, 110-12,
118, 214; Astoria under,
185 et seq.; end of, 216
Norway House, 224
Nuttall, English scientist with
Astor's Overlanders, 148,
154, 158; returns to St.
Louis, 164; at Fort Vancouver, 233; crosses Rockies
with Wyeth, 237
Oak Point, Winship names), 115
Ogden, P.S., with McLoughlin,
223, 224, 237; and St. Louis
traders, 226; religion, 243;
Indian wife, 251; induces
Indians to surrender missiönaries, 268-69
Ohio River, French dominate,
Okanogan River, Stuart es-
tablishes post at mouth of,
135, 185, 186, 192, 196, 200,
Ordway, Sergt., of Lewis and
Clark expedition, 67
Oregon, myth connected with,
1-3; early explorations, 4-
10; Carver and, 10-11; origin
of name, 11; Cook in, 11-12;
Meares  in,   13-15;  Robert INDEX
Oregon, myth, etc.—Continued
Gray in, 16, 18-21, 23-26;
Vancouver in, 21-23; Lewis
and Clark expedition, 27
et seq.; Thompson in, 98,
102, 133-84, 217; Nor'westers in, 111-12, 185 et
seq.; Astor and, 113 et seq.;
question of ownership, 211-
212, 253-54, 262; McLoughlin in, 217 et seq.; Hudson's
Bay Company in, 217 et seq.;
settlement of, 221-22, 241
et seq.; McLoughlin urges
colonization of, 254-55:
Great Migration to, 260:
boundary defined, 264; Spanish title, 265; Treaty, 266:
erected into Territory (1848),
270; admitted as State
(1859), 270; effect of discovery of gold in California
on, 272; bibliography, 273-
Oregon City, beginningsof, 221;
McLoughlin retires to, 267
Oregon River, Carver's account of, 10
Oregon Trail, 246
Oregonian, Oregon's first news-
paper, 271
Osage, Fort, Astor's Overlanders at, 150
Osage Indians, Astor's Overlanders among, 150-51
Osage River, French on, 77
Pacific Fur Company, 119,
145, 174, 214
Pakenham, Richard, and Oregon Treaty, 263
Parker, Samuel, missionary,
245, 246, 247; Journal of an
Exploring Tour Beyond the
Rocky Mountains, 248
Payette, of the Hudson's Bay
Company, 237, 241, 252
Pelican (French man-of-war),
Pend d'Oreille River, Astorians
on, 193, 196, 200
Perez, Juan, 8, 9
Piegan Indians, Thompson and,
101, 134
Pintard, John, 18
Platte River, Stuart's party
winters on, 191
Point Ellice (Point Distress),
Point George, 132
Polk, J. K., and Oregon question, 262, 263, 265-66
Pompey's Pillar, 68
Pond, Peter, 88, 91
Pontiae?» War, 86, 88
Portland (Ore.), settled (1845),
Portland Channel, Gray at, 20
Portugal, maritime nation, 3;
and fisheries, 74, 75 (note)
Prince of Wales, Fort, 84
Princess Royal (ship), 16
Princessa (ship), 16
Pryor, Sergt., of Lewis and
Clark expedition, 67
Puget Sounds Vancouver discovers, 23
Puget - Sound Agricultural
Company, 255, 269
Quadra, Don, Spanish Commissioner, 23
Queen Charlotte Island, Kendrick slain at, 21
Quinett Creek, Lewis and
Clark on, 64
Raccoon (ship), 194, 199, 201,
Radisson, French explorer, 76;
in England, 78, 79
Rae, Glen, són-in-law of McLoughlin, 230-31
Red River, French on, 77;
Selkirk attempts colony on,
215-16, 255
Reed, member of Lewis and
Clark expedition, 41-42
'*'*<*t*$ês*i INDEX
Reed, John, clerk with Astor's
Overlanders, 152, 175, 183,
185, 186, 196, 200, 207
Revolutionary War, 10
Rezner, hunter with Astor's
Overlanders, 156-57, 164,
171, 174, 191, 207, 208
Robinson, hunter with Astor's
Overlanders, 156-57, 164,
171, 174, 191, 207
Rocky Mountain Traders, 225,
Rocky Mountains, Mackenzie
penetrates, 95; Thompson
crosses, 97—98
Rosé, Edward, interpreter with
Astor's Overlanders, 165-66,
Ross, leader among free traders,
killed by Nor'wester, 91
Ross, Alexander, clerk with
Astor's expedition, 120, 192,
Rupert, Prince, #9, 80
Rupert's Land, Hudson's Bay
Company granted, 80-^81;
free traders in* 88;- North-
West Company and, 93;
Hudson's Bay Companyin,
227, 255; becomes part of
Canada, 271
Russian Fur Company, 229
Russians, fur hunters at Kam-
chatka, 8; in Alaska, 8, 9,
16; initiate sea-otter trade,
113; plan for settlement on
Columbia, 114; erect post in
California, 115-16
Sacajawea, the Bird-Woman,
with Lewis and Clark expedition, 37, 48, 49,' 50, 55, 56,
57, 58, 59-60, 61, 67-68, 69,
72; with Lisa's party on way
to Shoshones, 160
St. James, Fort, on Stuart
Lake, 223
St. Louis, fur trade, 39, 72-78,
108; Lewis sends bateau to,
48; Lewis and Clark return
to, 69; Astor plans forts
from, 119; Hunt at, 146-47,
205 (note); Bradbury and
Nuttall return to, 164; Astor's men start for, 185, 207;
Stuart's party reaches, 191;
Astorians plan to set out for,
196; Astor in, 214, 215;
Salish Indians seek Clark in,
242, 244
Salish Indians, Lewis and
Clark among, 62; Thompson
among, 136; Astorians trade
with, 193; request for missiönaries, 241-44; Whitman
and, 246; Father de Smet as
missionary to, 257
Salmon River, Clark explores,
San Bias (Mexico), expedition
to Northwest from, 16
Sandwich Islands, Cook at,
12; Vancouver touches, 22;
Hunt in, 199, 202; Hunt
charters Albatross in, 201
San Francisco, Hudson's Bay
Company has post at, 229
Saskatchewan River, discovered, 76; French trading
posts on, 77
Scotch, as fur traders, 87; and
North-West Company, 92
Scott, Charles, 36
Selkirk, Lord, 215, 216
Seton, clerk at Astoria, 196
Seven Years' War, 86
Shoshone Indians, Lewis and
Clark among, 57-61; Astor's Overlanders and, 171,
177, 179, 181-82; rifle caches
of Astorians, 192; rob white
traders, 225
Siberia, Ledyard plans to
traverse, 28
Simpson, Sir George, 255, 259
Simpson, Fort, 229, 230
Sioux Indians, and Lewis and
Clark, 44-45; Astor's Over- INDEX
Sioux Indians—Continued
landers encounter, 153, 155,
Smet, Father P. J. de, cited,
246 (note); Jesuit missionary, 257, 269 (note)
Smith, Solomon, 245
Snake Indians, 57; see also
Shoshone Indians
Snake River, Lewis and Clark
on, 63; Astor's Overlanders
seek, 171; Astor's Overlanders on, 173-80; Astorians trap country of, 200;
Fort Hall on, 241
Society Islands, Vancouver
touches, 22
Soto, Hernando de, explores
New World, 4
Southwest Company, 214
Spain, explorations, 3-4, 4-5,
8-9, 16; defeat of Armada,
6-7; claims in America, 7;
acquires Louisiana (1763),
9; secretiveness, 10; England
and, 12, 17, 21; concedes
right of navigation on Missis-
sippi, 30; and France, 34;
and fisheries, 74, 75 (note);
treaty with (1819), 265
Spalding, Henry, missionary,
&52, 253, 256, 268
Sparrowhawks, 170; see also
Crow Indians
Spokane House, 192, 193, 196
Spokane Indians, Astorians
trade with, 193
Spokane River, Thompson
builds fort on, 133, 134;
Astorians on, 196; post sold
to Nor'westers, 199
Stuart, David, of Labrador,
joins Astor's company, 120;
and Thorn, 123; landing
from the Tonquin, 129;
greets Thompson, 134, 135;
builds fort on Okanogan,
135-36; establishes post at
Kamloops, 192; and plan to
abandon Astoria, 197, 199;
at Okanogan, 200; refuses
to join Nor'westers, 205;
sets out to cross mountains,
205, 207
Stuart, Robert, nephew of
David, joins Astor's company, 120; greets Thompson,
134, 135; leads expedition to
Okanogan, 185, 186; leads
party overland from Oregon,
188-92; and American Fur
Company, 225
Stuart Lake, Fort St. James
on, 223, 224
Stuart's Fort, 192; see also
Tennessee, Spain and, 30;
erects monument to Lewis, 70
Thompson, David, of the
North-West Company, 96,
182; explorations,96-98,217;
personal characteristics, 98-
100, 243; journal, 100; the
Star-Man, 100-01; map of
fur country, 104-05; sent to
Oregon, 111-12; builds fort
on Spokane, 133, 134, 193;
and McDougal, 134-35; returns to Montreal, 136
Thompson River, Astorians on,
Thorn, Captain Jonathan, of
the Tonquin, 121-88, 135,
144, 195; fate, 136-39
Three Forks, Lewis and Clark
at, 68; trading post of Missouri Fur Company, 109,
147, 156
Three Tetons, Colter discovers,
Thwaites, R. G., ed., Jesuit
Relations, 242 (note)
Tonquin (ship), 112, 185, 195;
voyage to Oregon, il 13 et seq.;
fate of, 136-41, 214
Trappers, reign of, 74 et seq.
Travelers Rest, 62, 66 290
Tyrrell, J. B., on Thompson,
97 (note)
Umatilla River, Astor's Overlanders on, 183
Utrecht, Treaty of (1713), 84
Vancouver, George, 21-23
Vancouver, Fort, description
of, 219-20; brigades from,
223, v224; life at, 231-39;
Wyeth reaches, 240; Parker
at, 247, 248; request for
chaplain for, 249; situation,
254; Simpson at, 259; settlers
arrive at, 260; Douglas suc-
ceeds McLoughlin at, 267;
county seat of Washington
Territory, 271
Vancouver Island, Vancouver
circumnavigates, 23; British
right to, 265; Pacific headquarters of Hudson's Bay
Company, 271
Van Dieman's Land, Vancouver at, 22
Victoria, British colonization,
266; headquarters for Hudson's Bay Company, 271;
traders in, 272
Wabash River, French on, 77
Walla Walla Indians, 191, 197,
Washington, George, 86
Washington Territory (1853),
270, 271, 272
Wayne, "Mad Anthpny,"
Clark under, 36; Miller
serves under, 152
Weekes, seaman on the Tonquin, 130
West, River of the, myth concerning, 1; Heceta's account,
l>-10; Carver's account, 10;
Meares searches for, 15;
Gray and, 21, 25, 81; Gray
names it the Columbia,
25; Lewis and  Clark and,
59, 63; see also Columbia
Whitman, Marcus, missionary,
269 (note); sent to Oregon,
245; returns for more missiönaries, 246; journeys with
wife to Oregon, 252; among
Cayuse Indians, 252, 256;
guides caravan across mountains, 260; McLoughlin invites to Oregon City, 267;
measles epidemie, 268; murdered, 268
Wilkes, Lieutenant, of United
States Navy, cited, 266
Willamette River, Astorians
on, 193, 200; changes in
name, 193 (note); Fort Vancouver north of, 219; Wyeth
builds post on island, 241
William, Fort (Ontario), headquarters of North-West
Company, 93, 119, 194, 200,
216; life at, 104-08; McLoughlin goes to, 217-18
Wind River, Astor's Overlanders on, 171
Winnipeg, Lake, French on,
77; Henry on, 88; Norway
House, 224
Winship, Boston trader, 114-15
Wisconsin River, French on, 77
Wishram, trouble with Indians
of, 186
Wood, Maria, 51
Wood River, Lewis and Clark
winter at mouth of, 38, 50
Woods, Lake of the, French
on, 77
Wyeth, N. J., 237, 240,241,244
Wyoming, Colter explores
mountains of, 68
Yellowstone Park, Colter discovers, 68
Yellowstone River, Lewis and
Clark name, 49; Clark explores, 68
York, Clark's servant. 37, 67    University of British Columbia Library
3™9424'Ö3Ö63 1527 


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