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The quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society. Volume XXIV Oregon Historical Society 1923

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of the
Oregon Historical Society
Volume XXIV
MARCH, 1923
Number 1
Copyright, 1923, by the Oregon Historical Society
The Quarterly disavows responsibility for the positions taken by contributors
to its pages.
Joseph  J.  Hill—Ewing Young  in  the  Fur  Trade  of the  Far
Southwest, 1822-1834 j - - ^SSftlp^Mi^S^® 1-35
Fred Lockley—Recollections of Benjamin Franklin Bonney *;W* . 36-55
George  H.  Himes—First  Newspapers  of  Southern  Oregon   and
Their Editors ;5^^^^^^^K: - - 56-67
Diary of Reverend George Gary^ Introduction and Notes by
Charles Henry Careys ^S&^^S^^^&^S^^ 68-105
Letter of Peter H. Bur5&^1844^',!», - hWMM^r 105-108
Purchases of Fine Sto^^ler) Oregon (1871-2), from Western
Farmer       '3H|^^S!f^-       I ^^^^^^^^^S l08"109
.Entered at the post office at Portland, Oregon, as second-class matter  THE
MARCH, 1923—DECEMBER, 1923
Edited by
Eugene, Oregon
Koke-Tiffany Co.
Astorians, More About
By Stella M. Drumm 335-360
Bonney, Benjamin Franklin, Recollections of
By Fred Lockley     36-55
Columbia, Letters Relating to the Second Voyage of the
By Judge F. W. Howay 132-137
Harrell, James E. R., Reminiscences of
By Fred Lockley 186-192
High School Legislation, A History of, in Oregon to 1910
By Charles Abner Howard 201-237
Newspapers, First of Southern Oregon, and Their Editors
By George H. Himes     56-67
Northwest Fur Trader, A, in the Hawaiian Islands
By Ralph S. Kuykendall 112-131
Ogden, Peter Skene, Exercises at the Unveiling of the Memorial. Stone at the Grave of
—An Account of the Occasion
By Henry L. Bates 361-363
—Address on the Life and Services of Peter Skene Ogden
By Frederick V. Holman 363-379
—Dedicatory Address
By T. C. Elliott 379-382
By C. D. Chitwood 382-384
By Harvey G. Starkweather 384-385
—Letter from John E. Bell, British Consul at Portland        385
Young, Ewing, in the Fur Trade of the Far Southwest, 1822-34
By Joseph J. Hill       1-35
Burnett, Peter H., Letter of (1844) „ 105-108
Douglas, James, Letter of, to Governor George Abernethy 193-194
Gary, Reverend George, Diary of, Introduction  and Notes by
Charles Henry Carey 68-105; 152-185; 269-333; 386-433
Grimsley, Colonel Thornton, Letters of, to Secretary of War
John Bell (1841), Introduction by T. C. Elliott 434-442
Stock, Fine, Purchases for Oregon, from the Western Farmer 103-109
Work, John, Journal of, on Trip from Fort Vancouver to Umpqua River and Return, in 1834; Introduction and Comments
by Leslie M. Scott 1 238-268
Joseph Schaefer, Carey's History of Oregon..
..198-200 AUTHORS
Bates, Henry L.—The Occasion of the Unveiling- of the Memorial
Stone on the Grave of Peter Skene Ogden. >. 361-363
Bell, John E.—Letter from, Read at the Unveiling of the Memorial
Stone at the Grave of Peter Skene Ogden        385
Carey, Charles Henry—Introduction to and Notes on the Diary of
Reverend George Gary 68-105; 152-185; 269-333; 386-433
Chitwood, C. D.—Address at the Unveiling of the Memorial Stone
on the Grave of Peter Skene Ogden. 382-384
Drumm, Stella M.—More About Astorians   335-360
Elliott, T. C.—Dedicatory Address at the Unveiling of the Memorial Stone a tthe Grave of Peter Skene Ogden 379-382
—Introduction  to Letters of  Colonel  Thornton   Grimsley to
Secretary of War John Bell 434-442
Hill, Joseph J.—Ewing Young in the Fur Trade in the Far South-
west, 1822-34  - \      1-35
Himes,  George  H.—First Newspapers in Southern  Oregon  and
Their Editors      56-67
Holman, Frederick V.—Address on the Life and Services of Peter
Skene Ogden at the Unveiling of the Memorial Stone on the
Grave of Peter Skene Ogden 363-379
Howard, Charles Abner—A History of High School Legislation in
Oregon to 1910 201-237
Howay, Judge F. W.—Letters Relating to the Second Voyage of
the Columbia  132-151
Kuykendall, Ralph S.—A Northwest Fur Trader in the Hawaiian
Islands   112-131
Lockley, Fred—Recollection of Benjamin Franklin Bonney     36-55
—Reminiscences of James E. R. Harrell _ 186-192
Schafer, Joseph—Review of Carey's History of Oregon 198-200
Scott, Leslie M.—John  Work's Journey from Fort Vancouver to
Umpqua River and Return, Introduction and Comments 238-268
Starkweather, Harvey G.—Remarks at the Unveiling of the Memorial Stone on the Grave of Peter Skene Ogden 384-385
of the
Oregon Historical Society
Volume XXIV
MARCH, 1923
Copyright, 1923, by the Oregon Historical Society
The Quarterly disavows responsibility for the positions taken by contributors
to its pages.
SOUTHWEST, 1822-1834
By Joseph J. Hill
Bancroft Library, University of California
The present article aims to supplement the account
of Ewing Young's activities in Oregon so ably presented
by F. G. Young in the Quarterly for September, 1920, by
giving a more detailed account of the part played by
Ewing Young in the fur trade of the Far Southwest.1
For the twelve years preceding the date of his arrival in
Oregon in the summer of 1834, Young had been an active
participant in the fur trade of the Far Southwest. He
might even be regarded as its central figure for that
period (1822-1834). But, so far as the writer's information goes, no adequate account of this part of his life
has ever been compiled.
In order to present Young in his proper perspective
in the fur trade of the Far Southwest, a very brief consideration of some of the more salient features of the
fur trade in that region might be helpful.
Misconceptions concerning the fur trade in the Far
xThe present article is but a portion of the larger work, The American Fur Trade in the Far Southwest, which in turn is one of a series of
articles on the opening of the Southern Trails to California which the
writer is preparing for publication. "The Old Spanish Trail" {Hispanic
American Historical Review, IV., 444-473, August, 1921) is a part of
this series.
r\ "■ Joseph J. Hill
Southwest. But few people, perhaps, realize that there
was any considerable fur trade in the Far Southwest.
They think of fur-bearing animals as living only in the
colder regions to the north. They do not seem to appreciate the significance of the many "Beaver" and
"Nutrias" creeks still on the map of the Southwest—indelible evidence of the presence of those much coveted
animals in that region.
This is due largely to the fact that documents relating
to this trade in the Southwest have been both consciously
and unconsciously ignored by leading writers on the
subject. Chittenden, in his monumental work, The American Fur Trade in the Far West, sums up the work of the
Patties after their arrival in Santa Fe, in the fall of
1824, as follows: "The career of the Patties for the six
years thereafter was mainly in the Far Southwest, in
New Mexico, Arizona, and California, and does not fall
within the scope of this work."2 And yet the Pattie
narrative gives an account of some half dozen trapping
expeditions in that region. Chittenden, therefore, virtually says that the Southwest is not a part of the West.
The American fur trade in the Far West to him seems to
have meant the American fur trade in the Northwest,
Difficulties of the problem. With this attitude toward
a document which he had in his hand and pretended to
use, there is little wonder that he failed to find and use
other documents containing material on the fur trade in
the Southwest. On the whole, however, it is much more
difficult to put the account together of the fur trade in
the Southwest than it is to give the corresponding account of that industry in the Northwest. The reasons
for this are quite apparent. The character of the business, itself, is one of the principal difficulties in the way
of getting at its history. We need but to remark that
the greater portion of the trade in this region was clan-
2 11:507-8. Ewing Young in Far Southwest
destine. None but Mexicans could legally obtain licenses
to trap in Mexican waters. Mexicans, however, would
not trap. The industry, therefore, fell, without competition, into the hands of American trappers. But as their
activities in the field were unlawful, there was more or
less of a tendency to conceal the real facts of what they
were doing.
The fur traders of the Upper Missouri region usually
had some sort of headquarters in Missouri, where their
records and papers of various kinds accumulated and
where many of them still remain, prized as historic collections. In the Southwest, on the other hand, trappers
resorted to Taos and Santa Fe as outfitting depots where
they disposed of their furs and made up their outfits for
the next trapping expedition. They can seldom be said
to have had any headquarters, and their papers and accounts, if they kept any, seem long since to have been
Furthermore, the newspapers of St. Louis and other
frontier settlements of Missouri announced the arrival
and departure of trapping parties in and from those settlements for the Upper Missouri river. These newspaper
accounts now form an important part of our information
concerning the fur trade in the Upper Missouri and
Rocky Mountain regions. But in New Mexico there were
no newspapers during the period when trapping was at
its height in the Southwest. Some echo of the activity
in that section, of course, occasionally found its way into
the Missouri papers but it was only an echo as compared
with the accounts of the activity in the Northwest.
Some information has recently come to light from
the documents in the Mexican archives, due to the efforts
of Dr. Bolton, but a considerable portion of the information relating to the subject is to be found only in scraps—
chance remarks here and there—a great number of
which, while suggestive of the general movement, contain but few definite concrete details. Joseph J. Hill
One of the difficulties of the situation is the Spanish
method of handling foreign names. To illustrate, Ewing
Young's name is rendered Joachin Joon, Joachin Yon,
etc.; St. Vrain occurs in Spanish documents as Sambrano;
Jonathan Trumbull Warner's name was changed to Juan
Jose Warner; James Kirker is rendered into Spanish as
Santiago Querque; Don Juan Gid possibly refers to Mr.
Heath; Don Marcellin may be recognized as Marcellin
St. Vrain. Thus we might continue indefinitely, but not
always with absolute certainty in our identifications.
Summary of American fur trade in the Far South-
tvest. The story of the American fur trade in the Far
Southwest may be outlined regionally and chronologically
as follows:
I. The years 1815-1821 comprise the period of only
partially successful attempts on the part of the American
trappers to break into the Far Southwest.
II. From 1821 to 1823 was the period of the exploitation of the basin of the Rio del Norte. Practically all
the tributaries of the Rio del Norte were visited by
American trappers during these two years. In all there
were upwards of a hundred men engaged in the trade
during this period.
III. The years 1824-1826 mark the advance into the
Colorado basin. A number of parties entered this basin
in 1824, both by way of the San Juan and its tributaries
and also by way of the Gila and its tributaries. By the
end of 1826 practically every stream in the basin had
been trapped and re-trapped so many times that the
beaver were becoming scarce. The number of American
trappers engaged in the business during this period
reached into the hundreds, and the beaver fur that was
caught brought the trappers more than a hundred thousand dollars.
IV. From 1826 to 1832 may be characterized as the
period of the opening of the trappers' trails to California.
During this period trappers made their way to California Ewing Young in Far Southwest
over at least six different trails through the Southwest—
the Pattie trail, the Jackson trail, the Young trail, the
Armijo trail, the Wolf skill trail, and the Smith trail. The
number of persons engaged in the trade during this
period must have aggregated into the thousands.
V. The years 1832-1837 mark the period of the decline of the fur trade in the Far Southwest. By 1832
the caravan trade between Missouri on the one side and
Sonora and California on the other had, to a considerable
extent, supplanted the fur trade in the interest of the
American frontiersmen. The streams, too, had been
pretty thoroughly trapped by that time. Trapping continued beyond this date, it is true, but with decreasing
significance and emanated principally from the Robidoux'
posts in the Colorado basin rather than from Santa Fe
or Taos.
The inadequacy of the ordinary treatment of the fur
trade in the Far Southwest illustrated. The usual treatment of the American fur trade in the Far Southwest
sums up that industry for that region under the names
of Jedediah S. Smith and James Ohio Pattie with casual
mention, perhaps, of two or three others who followed
them. As a sort of corrective of such a treatment of the
subject it might be worth while to present a few of the
names of prominent men engaged in the industry. Remember, however, that only those who played a conspicuous part are mentioned and that we might give the names
of, perhaps, a hundred more and that the names of hundreds of others who took part in the business will, perhaps, never be known. With this preface we might mention the names of Joseph Philibert, Julius De Mun, A. P.
Chouteau, William Becknell, Hugh Glenn, Jacob Fowler,
Robert Fowler, Nathaniel Pryor, John McKnight, Robert
McKnight, Stephen Cooper, John Heath, Samuel Chambers, James Baird, Ewing Young, Joe Walker, William
Wolfskill, William Huddart, Sylvester Pratte, Sylvester
and James Ohio Pattie, Ceran St. Vrain, Milton Sublette, 6 Joseph J. Hill
Thomas L. (Peg-leg) Smith, Antoine Robidoux, Jedediah
S. Smith, David E. Jackson, David Waldo, Kit Carson,
Moses Carson, Job F. Dye, Sidney Cooper, J. J. Warner,
Thomas Fitzpatrick, Dick Wooton, Slover, Sinclair,
Gaunt, Le Duke, La Bonte, etc.
The importance of Ewing Young in the fur trade of
the Far Southwest. Of these names no one is deserving
of greater consideration than that of Ewing Young. For
some twelve years, as already stated, he was, perhaps,
the central figure in the fur trade of the Far Southwest.
Within those years he trapped the waters of the Rio del
Norte, the Pecos, the San Juan, the Gila, the Colorado,
and the Grand of the Rocky Mountain Southwest, and
the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers of California.
But he was more than a fur trapper. He was an organizer and leader of men, always at the head of the party
which he accompanied, never just a lay member. He
also equipped and financed parties which he did not accompany.
Young's initiation into the fur trade of the Far Southwest. Young was evidently a member of Becknell's expedition to New Mexico in 1821, for Barrows, in speaking
of Becknell's 1822 expedition, says that Captain Becknell,
Ewing Young, and a powder maker by the name of Ferrel
had some kind of contract to supply the Mexican government with powder, which at that time was enormously
high. The arranging of this contract must have been
part of the business transacted during Becknell's short
stay in Santa Fe on his 1821 expedition. In order, therefore, for Young to have been associated with Becknell in
that contract it is evident that they must have been together in New Mexico at that time. Young must, also,
have been one of Becknell's three companions on his
return to Missouri in December of 1821, for Barrows
speaks of him as a member of Becknell's 1822 expedition.
Upon their arrival at Santa Fe in the summer of 1822,
they set about exploring the neighboring country in Ewing Young in Far Southwest 7
search of nitre, one of the essentials in their powder-
making enterprise, but being unable to find any or to
obtain it from any other source, the party broke up, and
all but three or four went back to Missouri. Young and
Wolf skill were among those who remained in New Mexico. In the fall of 1822 they, with others, formed a party
which trapped the waters of the Pecos.3
The whereabouts of Young during the year 1823 are,
at present, unknown. He may have returned to Missouri
with the furs collected in the fall hunt but we have no
documentary proof that such was the case. All we know
is that he was not with Wolf skill who, in January, 1823,
set out with a single companion on a trapping expedition
down the Rio del Norte.
Young, Wolf skill, and Slover lead a trapping party to
the San Juan, 1S2U. In February, 1824, Young, Wolfskin, Slover and others fitted out a trapping party at Taos
to trap on the San Juan and other tributaries of the Colorado or Rio Grande of the West as it was then called.
"The party was numerous at first, but as it made around
the foot of the west side of the Sierra Madre, the various
members, one after another, took down the different
streams that suited them for hunting, till there only were
left Mr. Wolfskill, Slover, and Young, whose object was
to get outside of where trappers had ever been. They
remained out till the beaver season was over and arrived
again at Taos in June."4 The furs collected in this expedition brought some ten thousand dollars.
The second expedition down the San Juan, 182A. A
second and much larger expedition, one, in fact, consisting of about sixty or more men, made its way down the
San Juan in the fall of 1824, but whether Young was a
3 H. D. Barrows, "The Story of an Old Pioneer. Biographical Sketch
of Wm. Wolfskill" (The Wilmington Journal, October 20, 1866). This
was originally printed over the initial "B," but was later read by H. D.
Barrows before the Historical Society of Southern California and printed
in the Annual Publications of that society for the year 1902, V. 287-294.
4 Ibid. Joseph J. Hill
member of that party we are at present unable to tell.&
It may be considered quite probable that he was its organizer and leader. This assumption is based upon the
following facts: He had just returned from that region,
having made a successful hunt. The party which set out
for the San Juan would naturally return to New Mexico
in the following spring or early summer (1825). It is
known that Young returned to Missouri some time during
the summer of 1825.6 But the documents, so far, are
silent concerning his activities during the fall and winter
of 1824-5.
The significance of the year 1826 in the fur trade of
the Far Southwest. The year 1826 was a red letter year
in the history of the American fur trade in the Far
Southwest. It was especially notable for the number and
size of the trapping parties which were fitted out soon
after the arrival of the caravan from Missouri in the
latter part of July of that year. As the leaders applied
to Narbona, Governor of New Mexico, for passports to
Sonora, he soon became aware, from the lack of merchandise for trading purposes and from the general conversation among the applicants, that the principal intentions
of these persons could be reduced "to hunting beaver on
the San Francisco, Gila, and Colorado rivers." He,
therefore, wrote to the governor of Sonora informing
him of the passports he had issued and the size and
character of the parties to whom they had been granted.
Unfortunately his use of foreign names makes it somewhat difficult to identify some of the individuals referred
to. The list is enlightening, however, and gives an idea
of the extent to which trapping was carried on at that
time. He said that J. William (possibly refers to Isaac
Williams)    and   Sambrano    (St.   Vrain)    were   taking
5 Augustus Storrs, Answers . . . to Certain Queries upon the Origin, Present State, and Future Prospect of Trade and Intercourse between
Missouri and the Internal Provinces of Mexico, Washington, 1825, p. 11
(U. S. 18th Cong., 2d Ses. Senate Doc. 7, serial 108).
6 U. S. 22d Cong., 1st Ses. Senate Doc. 90, p. 83, serial 213. Ewing Young in Far Southwest 9
twenty-odd men; that Miguel Rubidu (Robidoux) and
Pratt were taking thirty or more; that Juan Roles (possibly John Rueland) had eighteen in his party; and that
Joaquin Joon (by which name Ewing Young was known
in New Mexico) had eighteen more in his company.7
Young's expedition to the Gila, 1826. We are not
primarily concerned in the present article with the various parties mentioned by Narbona other than the one
led by Ewing Young. Some account of Young's activities during 1826 may be gleaned from the story of the
life of William Wolfskill written by his son-in-law, H. D.
Barrows, in 1866.8 According to Barrows, William
Wolfskill met Ewing Young in Missouri in the spring of
1826. He was then organizing a party to go to Santa
Fe. Wolfskill joined the party. They were probably a
part of the spring caravan of that year. Upon arriving
in Santa Fe, Young was taken sick, and he hired Wolfskill
to take charge of his party of eleven men who were going
to trap on the Gila. The company set out, but were
attacked by Indians and forced to return. Soon after
the return of this party Young organized another company consisting of about thirty men for the same place,
"where," Barrows adds, "he chastised the Indians, killing
several chiefs, etc., so that his party were enabled to trap
unmolested." Barrows speaks of Sublette and "Peg-leg"
Smith as being in the party. Wolfskill was not a member of the second of these expeditions and his biographer,
Barrows, gives no details concerning it.
With this account it is interesting to compare a statement in the newspaper story of the life of "Peg-leg"
Smith, written at the time of his death in 1866 by some
one who was, apparently, fairly well acquainted with his
7 Antonio Narbona to the Governor of Sonora, August 31, 1826, Ms.
(Mexico. Archivo de Governacion. Comercio. Expediente 44, copy in
Bancroft Library). Cf. T. M. Marshall, "St. Vrain's Expedition to the
Gila in 1826"   (The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XIX, 251-260).
8"The Story of an Old Pioneer" (The Wilmington Journal, October
20,1866). 10
Joseph J. Hill
life's activities.9 The account states that about this time
(between 1825 and 1828, but unfortunately the exact
date is not given), "Smith and Le Duke organized a
party of five for a trapping expedition to the Gila river.
All the party were well armed, and after two or three
weeks' travel they found good trapping grounds and
began to find beaver. They had been engaged about a
fortnight when they were discovered by a band of
Apaches, who came into their camp and made all sorts
of manifestations of friendship. After being feasted
they took their departure, but on passing where the trappers' horses were picketed one of the red rascals shot an
arrow into an animal. This was regarded as a declaration of hostilities, and the trapping party concluded that
it was best for them to leave that part of the country.
They packed up and started. Smith and Sublette determined to take up their traps, and in attempting to do so
were fired upon, a perfect shower of arrows falling about
them. Sublette was hit in the leg, and it was only by
the aid of Smith he managed to escape; the party lost
their traps, but saved their scalps." The narrative says
nothing at this point about a return to Santa Fe, but if
the trappers lost all of their traps there was likely nothing
else for them to do but to return for a new supply. "A
few months later," the account continues, "when encamped in another part of the country, they were visited
by a band of twenty Apaches, who were very arrogant.
One of the trappers prepared a hearty meal for them,
and as soon as the red skins were seated around the mess,
Smith gave a war-whoop and opened the battle. He says,
'None of them fellows ever returned home to tell of that
event; we fixed them all.' "
The similarity of the two accounts leads one to conclude that they both relate to the same expedition. The
five men in the Smith and Le Duke group and the eleven
» "The Story of an Old Trapper.    Life and Adventures of the Late
Peg-leg Smith' (San Francisco Bulletin, October 26, 1866). Ewing Young in Far Southwest
hired to Young under the command of Wolfskill taken
together, if we may add the names of Young and one
other who may have dropped out, check with the eighteen
for which the passport was issued in the name of Joaquin
Joon (Ewing Young) by Narbona in the latter part of
August, 1826.
Still a third account which clearly relates to the same
expedition is the statement of George C. Yount. Yount
also came to New Mexico in the summer of 1826 in the
caravan in which Young made the journey. Upon his
arrival in Santa Fe, he says, he found business at a standstill, having been overdone by enterprising Americans.
He was at last induced to join a band of free trappers
under license from the governor of New Mexico to trap
the Gila and Colorado rivers for beaver. On his way to
the Gila his party passed the copper mines, in the vicinity
of which they remained some three weeks. At the Boiling Springs three men abandoned the party, which Yount
then says had numbered sixteen. This agrees with our
previous calculations. The eleven in the Young party
under the command of Wolfskill and the five in the Smith
group bring the number up to the sixteen referred to by
Yount. According to his statement the party proceeded
down the Gila to the vicinity of the mouth of Salt River,
on their way passing through the Pima villages. When
near the mouth of Salt River they came upon the place
where the Robidoux party had been massacred, as Yount
says, "within the last three weeks."
Here the manuscript statement of Yount, preserved
in the Bancroft Library, ends abruptly. This statement
is apparently a copy of a fragment of a more complete
account which seems to have been used as the basis of
The Sketch of the Life of George C. Yount, written by
his grand-daughter, Elizabeth Ann Watson. This Sketch
continues the narrative by saying that "the trappers now
numbered thirty-two and it was not long before they were
surrounded by Indians, painted and with nodding plumes, 12
Joseph J. Hill
drawn bows, clubs, and spears. Smith, one of the trappers, fired his rifle; an Indian fell, and Smith, regardless
of danger, secured his scalp and holding it at arm's length
bade defiance to the Indians. Shot after shot followed
and it was not long before the enemy fled, leaving their
dead. Not a single trapper was hurt." That this is an
account of the activities of Young's party about which
Barrows narrates, is evidenced by the fact that both accounts refer to "Peg-leg" Smith as being in the party.
But Yount makes no reference to the party's being defeated and driven back to New Mexico and of its being
reorganized and enlarged from sixteen members to
thirty-two before reaching the place of the massacre of
the Robidoux party and the battle with the Maricopas.
But, from the fact that he does give the number in the
company first as sixteen and later as thirty-two, it would
seem that there has been an omission somewhere.
The outcome of the expedition is told by Gregg as an
anecdote on the first administration of Armijo, who succeeded Narbona as governor of New Mexico in May,
1827. Gregg says: "A law was then in existence which
had been enacted by the General Congress prohibiting
foreigners from trapping beaver in the Mexican territory,
under penalty of confiscation, etc., but as there were no
native trappers in New Mexico, Governor Baca and his
successor (Narbona) thought it expedient to extend
licenses to foreigners, in the name of citizens, upon condition of their taking a certain proportion of Mexicans
to learn the art of trapping. In pursuance of this disposition, Governor Narbona extended a license to one
Ewing Young, who was accompanied by a Mr. Sublette,
brother of Captain Wm. Sublette, and almost equally
celebrated for his mountain adventures. Previous to
the return of this party from their trapping expedition,
Armijo had succeeded Narbona in office and they were
informed that it was his intention to seize their furs. To
prevent this, they deposited them at a neighboring vil- Ewing Young in Far Southwest
lage, where they were afterward discovered, seized and
confiscated. The furs being damp, they were spread out
in the sun before the Guardia, in Santa Fe, when Sublette,
perceiving two packs of beaver which had been his own
property, got by honest labor, instantly seized them and
carried them away before the eyes of the whole garrison,
and concealed both them and his own person in a house
opposite. . . . Mr. Sublette finally conveyed his furs
in safety to the frontier, and thence to the United
This account of Gregg's is corroborated by the continuation of the narrative in the Watson Sketch in such a
way that makes it perfectly clear that Yount was a member of the Ewing Young party. To pick up the account
where we dropped it after the battle with the Maricopas,
the Sketch states that the trappers explored the Gila
River to its source. This, possibly, refers to Salt River,
or Black River, the name by which it was known to the
early trappers, for they had just descended the Gila.
The Sketch continues: "A little below the villages of
the Maricopas was a lake abounding in black beaver. In
trapping on the Colorado they constructed a small water
craft by scooping out cottonwood logs, after the method
practised by the Indians. After many encounters with
the hostile tribes of Indians, George Yount returned to
New Mexico, having five hundred dollars in money and
several thousand dollars' worth of furs, which he cached
near Bitter Creek. These were confiscated later on,
however, and George Yount had to postpone returning
to his family for another year."
The date of this confiscation seems to be established
as the summer of 1827 from an extract of a letter of
Jose Augustin Escudero dated March 22, 1831, in which
he says "that in the year 1827, when I was at Santa Fe,
I learned that they [a company of Anglo-American trappers] compromised a wretch named Don Luis Cabeza de
»Josiah Gregg, Commerce of the Prairies, 1844.    I, 227-8. 14
Joseph J. Hill
Vaca by persuading the miserable creature to receive
smuggled skins into his house, which he had in the desert.
This man, for resisting the search of his house, was
lamentably shot and killed by the soldiers who assisted
the arresting alcalde, who succeeded in taking out
twenty-nine packs of very fine beaver skins which were
spoiling that summer in the warehouse of the subcomis-
sariat of the territory."11
Briefly, then, the points in common in these various
accounts may be summed up as follows: The letter of
Narbona, Governor of New Mexico, indicates that Ewing
Young obtained a passport for eighteen men to go to the
Gila in August, 1826, for the purpose of trapping beaver.
According to Barrows there were eleven,men hired to
Young, but Young himself did not accompany the expedition as first organized. The story of the life of "Peg-
leg" Smith states that Smith and Le Duke led a party of
five to the waters of the Gila about this time and names
Sublette as a member of the party. Barrows mentions
"Peg-leg" Smith and Sublette as members of Young's
party. The two groups apparently traveled together,
making the party of sixteen referred to by Yount, as the
Yount Sketch refers to "Peg-leg" Smith as being a member of the party which Yount accompanied. Barrows
speaks of the party being attacked by the Apaches and
forced to return to New Mexico where it was reorganized
and increased to a company of "about thirty" with Young
at its head. The Smith account says that the party was
attacked by Apaches and lost all of its traps. Evidently
it had to return to New Mexico for a new supply although
the Smith account does not mention that detail. Yount,
also, refers to the party at first as a company of sixteen,
and the Sketch of his life speaks of it later as consisting
of thirty-two. The Yount Sketch speaks of Yount's furs
being confiscated upon his return to New Mexico.    Gregg
11 Jose Augustin Escudero, March 22, 1831  (Mexico.    Archivo de Go-
bernacion.    Jefes Politicos.    1831-1833.    Legajo  59, No.  1). Ewing Young in Far Southwest 15
informs us that that was what happened to the furs collected by Young and his men. Both accounts agree that
the furs had been deposited at a neighboring village in
order to avoid being apprehended by the Mexican authorities. Evidently the various accounts relate to the same
The foregoing details are presented at length in order
the more easily to compare them with the narrative of
James Ohio Pattie, who, we shall see, evidently fell in
with Young's party of "about thirty men" while on the
James Ohio Pattie's narrative of his expedition down
the Gila and up the Colorado rivers. According to Pat-
tie's narrative,12 he left the copper mines in Southwestern
New Mexico with a company of French trappers bound
for the Gila. They traveled down the river beyond the
point reached by the Pattie trapping party of 1824-5;
and finally arrived at an Indian village situated on the
south bank of the river where almost all the inhabitants
spoke Spanish, "for," to quote Pattie, "it is situated only
three days' journey from a Spanish fort in the province
of Sonora. The Indians seemed disposed to be friendly
to us. They are to a considerable degree cultivators,
raising wheat, corn and cotton which they manufacture
into cloths." The trappers had evidently reached the
Pima villages near the mouth of the Santa Cruz wash.
Three days beyond this village they arrived at the "Papa-
war" village, the inhabitants of which, Pattie says, "came
running to meet us, with their faces painted, and their
bows and arrows in their hands. We were alarmed at
these hostile appearances, and halted. We told them
that we were friends, at which they threw down their
arms, laughing the while, and showing by their countenances that they were aware that we were frightened."
Upon entering the village the Frenchmen separated
among the Indians, and in the evening allowed their
! The Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie, 1833, p. 81 et seq. 16
Joseph J. Hill
arms to be taken from them and stacked together around
a tree while they, themselves, retired among the Indians
to sleep. Against this, procedure Pattie remonstrated
and, persuading one Frenchman, whom he says he had
known in Missouri, to accompany him, made camp at
some distance from the Indian village. In the middle of
the night the Indians attacked the defenseless trappers,
killing all but the captain and Pattie and his companion.
The next night the three survivors fell in with a company
of American trappers with a "genuine American leader."
"We were now thirty-two in all," Pattie records. They
planned an attack upon the Indians who were so completely surprised that 110 of them were killed before the
rest could make their escape, and all the horses and property of the French company was recaptured.
This happened near the mouth of Salt River, up which
the Americans now trapped, the party separating at the
mouth of the Rio Verde, part ascending that stream and
the rest continuing up Salt River. After trapping to
the head of both streams the two parties re-united at
the junction of the two streams and then proceeded down
the Salt and Gila Rivers to the junction of the latter with
the Colorado, where Pattie said they found a tribe of
Indians called Umene (Yuma).
The trappers now turned their faces up the Colorado,
passing through the territory of the "Cocomarecopper"
(Cocomaricopa) and "Mohawa" (Mojave) Indians. The
Mojaves demanded tribute for the privilege of trapping
in the waters of their territory. The trappers would pay
no tribute. In the parley an American horse and an
Indian chief were killed. The next morning the Indians
attacked the whites but were repulsed with the loss of
sixteen of their number. A few days later they again
attacked the trappers, this time killing two of the Americans. Here Pattie makes the comment: "Red River at
this point bears a north course, and affords an abundance
of the finest lands."   The trappers were, therefore, evi- Ewing Young in Far Southwest 17
dently in the Mojave valley. They continued up the river
until they "reached a point of the river where the mountains shut in so close upon the shores that we were compelled to climb a mountain, and travel along the acclivity,
the river still in sight, and at an immense depth beneath
us." This was evidently at the mouth of Black Canyon.
Up the river they continued for a hundred leagues, according to Pattie's estimate, through snow from a foot
to eighteen inches deep, when they finally arrived at the
place "where the river emerges from these horrid mountains, which so cage it up." This was possibly the opening between Lee's Ferry and the mouth of the San Juan.
Here for a couple of days they trapped up a small stream
which enters the main river from the north. This may
have been the Paria, Sentinel Rock, or Warm Creek, all
of which enter the Colorado between Lee's Ferry and the
Crossing of the Fathers, so named from the fact that here
the Dominguez-Escalante expedition crossed the Colorado
on their homeward journey in 1776.
While in this vicinity they met a party of Shoshones
who had recently destroyed a company of French hunters
on the head waters of the Platte. Pattie here remarks:
"One of our company could speak their language, from
having been a prisoner among them for a year."
After a brief encounter with these Indians, the trappers resumed their march up the river to the point where
it forked again. They had now evidently reached the
mouth of the San Juan, for Pattie says they proceeded
up the right hand fork (i. e., up the San Juan) to the
chief village of the "Nabahoes" (Navajoes).
The trappers enquired of the Navajoes as to the best
route across the Rocky Mountains and were informed
that they would have to ascend the other fork. They,
therefore, retraced their steps to the junction and then
proceeded up the Colorado and Grand Rivers to the continental divide which they crossed near Long's Peak to
the South Fork of the Platte. 18
Joseph J. Hill
From here the narrative becomes confused for some
distance and it is impossible to trace their route with
certainty. Pattie says that they descended the South
Platte some five days, when they struck across to the
North Platte, which they left in four days for the Bighorn. Crossing this, they set out for the Yellowstone,
which they ascended to its head and then crossed the
mountains to Clarke's Fork of the Columbia, which they
ascended "to its head, which is in Long's Peak near the
head waters of the Platte." A glance at the map shows
at once how absolutely impossible it would be to follow
this route. It is probable that the party became confused in their streams. We cannot be sure as to their
route but the following is suggested as a possible solution
of the difficulty. It may be that they crossed from the
South Fork of the Platte to the Laramie which they mistook for the North Fork of the Platte. From there they
crossed to the North Fork of the Platte which they
thought to be the Bighorn, and then to the Sweetwater
which they called the Yellowstone. From the Sweetwater
they could have crossed to some of the streams flowing
into Green River, possibly the Little Snake River, and
then up the Yampa to its source not far from Long's Peak.
Crossing the mountains, they struck the Arkansas.
Here they had an encounter with a party of Blackfoot
Indians in which they killed sixteen Indians but lost four
of their own men. They ascended the Arkansas to its
head and then crossed the mountains to the Rio del
Norte. From here they went to Santa Fe, where, Pattie
records, "disaster awaited us. The governor, on the pretext that we had trapped without a license from him,
robbed us of all our furs."
Comparison of Pattie's narrative with the accounts of
Ewing Young's expedition, 1826-7. The points in common between the Pattie narrative and the fragmentary
accounts that we have of the Ewing Young expedition
are certainly striking, to say the least.    In the first place Ewing Young in Far Southwest
the French party with which Pattie had traveled from
the copper mines was massacred in the vicinity of the
mouth of Salt River, or Black River, as it was called by
Pattie, which is also the name by which it is known on
the early maps. This agrees with Yount's statement that
the Robidoux party was massacred in that same locality.
Pattie says there were thirteen in the French party.
Yount speaks of it as a party of sixteen, but we have
indicated how he might have been confused. Pattie tells
us that the American company, of which he now became
a member, numbered twirty-two, after he and his two
companions had joined it. This agrees exactly with the
Watson Sketch, and also with the Barrows account which
says that Young set out at the head of a company of
"about thirty." Pattie's "genuine American leader" can
very appropriately be applied to Ewing Young. Pattie
says that the American party attacked and defeated the
Indians who had murdered the French party, without the
loss of a single American. Mrs. Watson states that the
American party with whom Yount was traveling had
just such a battle in this same vicinity with a similar
outcome and that Smith fired the first shot. Barrows
says that "Peg-leg" Smith was a member of Ewing
Young's party. According to Pattie, the American company now trapped up Black (Salt) River to its source.
Salt River is one of the main branches of the Gila. The
Watson Sketch says that the American party trapped the
Gila to its source; but since they had just descended the
Gila it is probably meant that they trapped to the source
of the other main branch, i. e., Salt River, otherwise
known as Black River. Pattie says that they then descended the Gila to the Colorado and then trapped up
that stream and back to New Mexico. The Watson
Sketch indicates that they trapped down the Gila and
along the Colorado before returning to New Mexico. Pattie records that upon arriving in New Mexico their furs
were confiscated.    Gregg says that Young's party, of 20
Joseph J. Hill
whom Sublette was a member, had their furs confiscated,
and Mrs. Watson states the same thing of Yount.
The difficulty of harmonizing Pattie's dates with
those of Young's expedition. The chief difficulty in harmonizing the accounts of the Young and the Pattie expeditions is in connection with the dates of the Pattie
narrative. According to Pattie, he left the copper mines
on the second of January, 1826, and traveled down the
Gila with a company of French trappers until the 28th
of the month. It was the 29th of January that he fell
in with the American company. They traveled up the
Colorado and finally reached Santa Fe on the first of
August, 1826. This was before Young's party left that
But Pattie's dates are very unreliable throughout his
entire narrative. Where we have contemporary documents with which to check them as in the case of that
portion of his narrative dealing with events in California,
we are frequently able to show that his dates are inaccurate, in some cases, a number of months. It seems that
he depended upon his memory for the major portion of
his narrative, and so, while his facts usually appear to
be fairly accurate, his dates are frequently wrong. It is
possible, therefore, that he is out some nine months or
more in his dates on this trip.
Difficulty of harmonizing Pattie's dates with other
events. There are some things in the narrative, itself,
which seem to make this conclusion imperative. In the
first place, Pattie speaks of traveling the full length of
the Grand Canyon through snow from a foot to eighteen
inches deep. But according to his narrative it was in
the month of April when they made that jonrney. Traveling on the south side of the Grand Canyon, it would be
rather unusual to find snow that deep at that season of
the year. Further, according to Pattie, it was the first
of August, 1826, that the company reached Santa Fe and
had their furs confiscated.    But Narbona was still gov- Ewing Young in Far Southwest
ernor of New Mexico until May, 1827, and his attitude
towards the American trappers had been one of leniency.
Later in this very month (August, 1826) he issued
licenses, as we have indicated, to a number of parties of
American trappers, knowing full well that they were
bound for the Gila to trap beaver. Pattie says that he
left the copper mines on the second of January and that
the American party, of which he later became a member,
continued trapping until nearly the first of the next August, when they arrived at Santa Fe. But this was contrary to the regular trapping custom. The trapping
season in the Far Southwest was the fall, winter and
spring; in the regions farther north it was the fall and
spring only. Never did the trappers continue their trapping activities into the hot summer months, nor would
they be apt to wait until the first of January to start.
*/ The probability of Pattie's narrative being an account
of the expeditions of Miguel Robidoux and Ewing Young.
Taking all things into consideration it is evident that
Pattie's narrative gives an account of the expedition of
Miguel Robidoux from the Santa Rita copper mines down
the Gila to the mouth of Salt River, where the Robidoux
party was massacred, and then continues with an account
of the expedition of Ewing Young on the Gila and up the
Colorado in the fall and winter of 1826 and the spring
of 1827.
Significance of the identification. With this identification established we are able now, for the first time, to
apply the Pattie narrative to the Ewing Young expedition. Heretofore, because Pattie's name was the only
one mentioned in the narrative, it has been thought of as
Pattie's expedition. We can now think of it from the
point of view of the organizer and leader rather than
from that of an egotistical boy who happened to be picked
up along the way.
To sum up the expedition we might say that after a
journey of some three or four thousand miles Young and #
Joseph J. Hill
his men, with twenty-nine packs of beaver worth from
fifteen to twenty thousand dollars, finally arrived at
Santa Fe early in the summer of 1827, there to have their
furs confiscated by the new governor, Manuel Armijo.
But Young could not be driven from the field simply
by losing the furs of one year's catch. As a precautionary measure, however, he proceeded to obtain passports
from the government at Washington which he, henceforth, carried as a protection against another possible
confiscation of his furs.
Young sends trapping party from Taos to the Colorado, 1828. For the two years after the confiscation of
his furs in the summer of 1827, until August, 1829, we
have, as yet, but little information concerning the movements of Young. In the summer of 1828, with a load of
merchandise purchased from William Wolfskill who had
just arrived from Missouri, Young fitted out a party to
trap on the Colorado River. He, himself, however, seems
to have remained at Taos, apparently engaged with
Wolfskill in general trading business there. During
that summer Wolfskill was sent to Paso del Norte for a
load of wines, brandy, panocha, etc., which he brought
to Taos in the spring of 1829. In the meantime Young's
trappers had returned, having been attacked by Indians
and compelled to retreat.13
Young's first expedition to California, 1829-30.,14
Young now fitted out another party of some forty men,
and placing himself at its head, set out again for the
Colorado. This was the beginning of his now famous
expedition to California. Of the personnel of the party
we know but little. Christopher (Kit) Carson, who was a
13 Christopher Carson, Kit Carson's Story as Told by Himself. Ms.
in Bancroft Library. Barrows, "The Story of an Old Pioneer" (The
Wilmington Journal, October 20, 1866).
14 The best account of this expedition is in Christopher Carson, Kit
Carson's Story as Told by Himself. Ms. in Bancroft Library. J. J.
Warner's account of the expedition in his Reminiscence of Early California. ^ Ms. in Bancroft Library, contains a number of inaccurate and misleading statements. Ewing Young in Far Southwest
member of the party, says that it was composed of
"Americans, Canadians, and Frenchmen," but, aside from
that of Young, he gives the names of only two members
—James Lawrence, who was shot by James Higgins.
The names of three others, Francois Turcote, Jean Vail-
lant, and Anastase Carier, appear in the California
archives as deserters of the main company seeking passports to return to New Mexico.15
The company left Taos in August, 1829. In order to
make it appear that they were setting out for the United
States and thus throw the Mexicans off their trail, they
traveled northward some fifty miles through the San Luis
Valley and then turned southwest through the Navajo
country to Zufii. From Zurii they directed their course
to the head of Salt River, down which they trapped to
Rio Verde, or San Francisco River as it was then called,
and from there up that stream to its head. Here the
party was divided, about half of it being sent back to
Taos with the furs thus far taken, and the rest, eighteen
in number, set out for California. Of the portion of the
company bound for New Mexico we have no further information.
Kit Carson happened to be in the division bound for
California and has left us an account of that portion of
the trip. From the head waters of the Rio Verde, the
trappers took a more or less direct route to the Colorado,
which they struck "below the great Canon." This part
of the journey had been over barren country practically
destitute of water, and had required two forced marches
of four days each to cross it. About fifteen miles northeast from Truxton is a watering place indicated on the
early maps of Arizona as Young Spring. This is probably the place where Young's men quenched their thirst
after the first of these four-day forced marches. At the
Colorado, they met a band of Mojave Indians, from whom
16 Manuel Jimeno Casarin, July 31, 1830 (Departmental State Papers,
Benicia.   Custom House II, 4-5.   Ms. in Bancroft Library). 24
Joseph J. Hill
they purchased an old mare which was killed for food,
and from whom the trappers also obtained a small quantity of beans and corn.
Crossing the Colorado, possibly in the vicinity of the
present El Dorado ferry, they took a southwest course,
following which, in three days they came upon the dry
bed of the Mojave River, up which they proceeded two
days before coming to any visible water. Ascending the
Mojave, their natural route led through the Cajon Pass,
four days to the westward of which brought them to the
San Gabriel mission.
Staying at San Gabriel but a single day, Young and
his men proceeded north to the mission of San Fernando
and thence to the waters of the San Joaquin River, where
they trapped until July, 1830. How long a time this was
is a matter of speculation, as the date of their arrival in
California is not known. In reading the account of the
expedition as recorded by Peters, one gets the impression
that the trappers had come straight through from New
Mexico, having spent very little time on the way. To
make matters worse, Peters antedates the departure of
the company from Taos several months, giving the date
of the setting out as April, 1829, instead of August of
that year as stated by Carson, himself. This had the
effect of making the events which actually happened in
the summer of 1830 appear to have happened in the
summer of 1829. The trappers probably remained on
Salt River and its branches until sometime in the winter
of 1829-30 and thus arrived in California early in the
year of 1830.
While on the San Joaquin they fell in with a company
of Hudson's Bay trappers from the Columbia River under
the command of Peter Skene Ogden. The two companies
trapped together for some time when Ogden finally set
out for the Columbia, leaving Young in possession of
the field.
In the first part of July, 1830, an incident happened Ewing Young in Far Southwest
which gave Young an opportunity to call at the mission
of San Jose and to establish friendly relations with the
Spanish authorities.16 To begin at the beginning of the
story, a number of Christian Indians had run away from
that mission and had fled to the mountains where they
had been befriended by the gentiles. The alcalde, Francisco Jimenez, was dispatched to. look for the fugitives.
A battle ensued in which the Spaniards and their auxiliaries were driven back. Being told by Indians of the
presence of the Americans on the streams of the Sierra
Nevada, Jimenez immediately set out to find them and
obtain what help he could from them. A party of eleven
men under the command of Kit Carson was dispatched
to assist the Spaniards. The result was that the Indians
were defeated and forced to deliver up the fugitives.
Taking advantage of the situation, Young with three
of his men, on July 11, took occasion to present himself
at the Mission of San Jose for the purpose of ingratiating
himself with the Spaniards and of opening trading relations with them. In answer to questions put to him at
that time, he stated that he had twenty-two men in his
company, all but one of whom had set out with him from
the San Luis valley, a day's journey from New Mexico.
The other one had been added to his party from the English trappers whom he had met—the Hudson's Bay party
under Ogden. His passports were examined and arrangements were made to trade his furs for horses.
A week later Young returned to the mission with his
furs which he traded to Don Jose Asero, captain of a
trading ship in port. With the proceeds of the sale, he
purchased horses and mules and returned to his camp in
the mountains. A few days later a band of Indians
succeeded in entering camp and driving off some sixty
head of horses. Twelve of the trappers on the remaining horses immediately set out in pursuit but had to
16 Jose Berreyeza, July 15, 1830 (Departmental State Papers, II,
139.   Ms. in Bancroft Library). 26
Joseph J. Hill
travel upwards of a hundred miles, according to Carson,17
before they overtook the Indians and recaptured the
stolen animals, five of which, however, had been killed
by the Indians who were at the time feasting upon the
stolen property.
About this time, possibly during the very time while
Young was absent in pursuit of the Indians, three members of his party, whose names indicate that they were
Frenchmen, deserted and proceeded to Monterey where
on July 31, 1830, they applied for passports to return to
Taos, from which place they stated they had come with
Joaquin John (Ewing Young). Young and the loyal
members of his party, however, forced the deserters back
into line and compelled them to remain with the party.
After spending the summer on the various streams
flowing into the San Joaquin, Young in September, 1830,
set out on his return to New Mexico. On his way he
stopped at Los Angeles where he nearly lost control of
his men owing to the freedom with which liquor was
there supplied to them, either maliciously or otherwise.
Young suspected that it was a plot on the part of the
officials to get his men intoxicated and then to arrest
them. Howsoever that may be, he finally succeeded in
rousing them sufficiently to get them moving and thus
prevented any serious mishap to the expedition. An accident, however, occurred in spite of Young's efforts.
Two of his half-drunk men got to quarreling and one
(James Higgins) shot and killed James Lawrence.
Young says that he had to leave the dead man in the road
where he had been killed.
These incidents made it impossible for Young to
realize certain plans already partially matured. While
at San Jose, Young had met J. B. Cooper, who figures
prominently in the coast trade of the time. It appears
that Cooper had endeavored to induce Young to enter
17 See also, Ewing Young to J. B. Cooper, October 10, 1830 (Vallejo,
Documentos para la Historia de California, XXX, 135. Ms. in Bancroft
Library). Ewing Young in Far Southwest
into the mule trade. Apparently there had been some
talk of driving the mules through New Mexico to the
United States. Young had planned to trap on the Colorado until December and then bring his furs to the coast
and sell them, possibly to Cooper, and with the proceeds
buy mules. After the Los Angeles affair he gave up the
plan and on October 10, 1830, wrote Cooper that he had
lost confidence in his men and did not dare to return
with them to Los Angeles. He also wrote that he wished
to ascertain how mules were selling in Mexico before he
engaged in the speculation as he had no idea of taking
mules to the United States until peace could be established
with the Comanche Indians.18
From Los Angeles, Young and his party retraced
their previous trail to the Colorado and trapped down
that stream to tide water, and then up the Colorado and
the Gila and over to the copper mines, at that time in the
hands of Robert McKnight. At the copper mines Young
took the precaution of depositing his furs while he went
to Santa Fe to ascertain the situation there before bringing them in. At Santa Fe he procured a license to trade
with the Indians about the copper mines, and with this
subterfuge, returned to the mines and got the furs which
according to Carson amounted to some two thousand
It was probably during the month of April, 1831, that
Young again reached Taos. Carson gives the date as
April, 1830, but as we have seen from documents already
quoted, he has evidently made a mistake of a year in his
Other expeditions to California during the absence of
Young. While Young was out on this expedition two
other companies from New Mexico and possibly one from
the Great Basin made their way to California. The two
from New Mexico were led respectively by Antonio
Armijo and William Wolfskill.   We are unable to say
18 Ibid. 28
Joseph J. Hill
who was the leader of the one from the Great Basin but
"Peg-leg" Smith was a member of the party. But it is
not within the scope of the present article to consider
the movements of these parties.
The Smith, Jackson, and Sublette expedition to Santa
Fe, 1831. In the summer of 1831, shortly after the return of Young from California, a caravan of more than
ordinary significance arrived at Santa Fe from Independence, Missouri. The organizers and principal proprietors in this company as it left Missouri were Jedediah S.
Smith, David E. Jackson, and William Sublette, of Rocky
Mountain fame. When the company reached Santa Fe,
however, on July 4, 1831, Smith was no longer at its head.
He had been killed by a band of Comanche Indians, lying
in ambush at one of the water holes of the Cimarron
River. His death naturally brought about a dissolution
of the company. Shortly afterwards Sublette returned
to Missouri. Jackson, however, remained in New Mexico
and with David Waldo and Ewing Young entered the fur
trade of the Far Southwest under the firm name of Jackson, Waldo, and Company.
Jackson, Waldo, and Company send two parties to
California, 1831. In the fall of 1831 two parties were
sent out by this company—one was to go to California to
purchase mules to be taken to the United States; the
other was a trapping party destined for the waters of the
San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys.
Jackson leads a party to California to purchase mules,
1831. The first of these expeditions left Santa Fe under
the command of Jackson on August 29, 1831, according
to Austin Smith whose brother, Peter, accompanied the
party.19 The company consisted of eleven men. Each had
a riding mule, and there were seven pack mules, the loads
19 J. J Warner was a member of the company, and his Reminiscences
of Early California, Ms. in Bancroft Library, is our most detailed
authority for this expedition. This is not the same although, in general
outline, similar to his "Reminiscences of Early California from 1831 to
1846" printed in the Annual Publications of the Historical Society of
Southern California for 1907-1908, VII, pp. 176-193. Ewing Young in Far Southwest
of five of which were Mexican silver dollars. They traveled the regular route down the Rio del Norte, past the
Santa Rita copper mines, the abandoned mission San
Xavier del Bac, the presidio of Tucson, the Pima Indian
villages on the Gila, down the Gila to the Colorado, which
they crossed a few miles below the mouth of the Gila,
and past the mission San Luis Rey to San Diego, thence
by the coast to Los Angeles which they reached December
5, 1831. From Los Angeles, Jackson and the majority
of his party went north as far as the missions on the
southern shores of the Bay of San Francisco for the purpose of purchasing mules.
Young leads trapping party to California, 1831. While
they were thus engaged, we shall go back and follow the
movements of the other party. This one was under the
command of Ewing Young and consisted of thirty-six
men, according to Job E. Dye,20 who was a member of
the party and who has left us an account of the trip.
The names of seventeen members of the company are
recorded in Dye's narrative as follows: Sidney Cooper,
Moses Carson, Benjamin Day, Isaac Sparks, Joseph Gale,
Joseph Dofit, John Higans, Isaac Williams, James Green,
Cambridge (Turkey) Green, James Anderson, Thomas
Low, Julian Bargas, Jose Teforia, John Price, and Job
F. Dye.
The exact date on which the party set out is not
stated. Dye simply says that they "left San Fernando
[Taos] in October, 1831." In three days, he says, they
reached the Zufii village, where they remained two days,
"for the purpose of obtaining from the Indians a sufficient
supply of pinole (roasted corn meal) and pinoche (sugar)
and frijoles (beans) required for the route." This is just
an illustration of the position occupied by the Zufii Indian
villages. They were frequently visited by parties setting
out down the Gila, as the last place where supplies might
20 "Recollections of a Pioneer of California"   (Santa Cruz Sentinel,
May 8-15, 1869). 30
Joseph J. Hill
be obtained before entering the wilderness. From Zuiii
the trappers proceeded over the mountains to the headwaters of Blackwater, and thence down that stream to
where it enters into Salt River. Here, Dye says, they
"found beaver plenty and caught a great number of
While on Salt River a dispute arose between Cambridge Green and James Anderson, "each one claiming
that the other had set his traps on pre-empted ground,"
the outcome of which was that Green shot and killed
From the upper waters of Salt River they seem to
have crossed over to the Gila, as Dye speaks of them as
descending the Gila to the San Carlos and through the
Gila canon. While in this vicinity they were considerably worried by the Apaches with whom they had a
number of skirmishes. Continuing down the river they
passed the Pima villages where they obtained supplies of
pemican, pinole and frijoles. They then pushed on down
the Gila and Colorado until they reached tide-water.
Here, Dye says, they crossed the Colorado and thirteen out of the company concluded to cross the desert to
the California settlements. The others turned back. Dye
is somewhat vague in this part of his story. He says that
it was about the first of January when they reached tidewater. But it was not until about the middle of March
when they reached Los Angeles. He does not account
for the intervening period. In 1849 he crossed from
Sonora to California by what he said was the same route
that he followed in 1832. But in the 1849 expedition he
states that he crossed above the mouth of the Gila. On
the later expedition he claims to have discovered New
River which he says did not exist in 1832. This might
lead one to conclude that although they reached tide-water
on the 1832 trip, that perhaps they returned up the river
to the mouth of the Gila where they crossed as in the Ewing Young in Far Southwest
later journey and then proceeded across the desert to
Los Angeles where they arrived March 14, 1832.
Jackson returns to New Mexico with mules, 1832.
Early in April, Jackson returned from the north with
about 600 mules and 100 horses. As this was a much
smaller number than it was hoped he would obtain, the
plans of the two partners were somewhat altered. Instead of the two companies joining and all proceeding
together through Texas to Louisiana, as it had been tentatively planned, it was now resolved that Jackson should
return to New Mexico with the purchased animals along
the route he had come out, while Young, after assisting
Jackson to cross the Colorado, should spend the summer
in California hunting sea otter and in the fall proceed
with a party of trappers to the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers for a beaver hunt.
The return trip began in May. The company broke
camp on the Santa Anna River at La Sierra Rancho and
set out for the Colorado, arriving there in June. After
the crossing was effected, which was done with considerable difficulty and the loss of a number of animals, owing
to the high water, Young with some five men returned
to California while the rest of the company proceeded to
New Mexico. Further details of the Jackson division of
the company have not been preserved.
Young engages in otter hunting along the California
coast, 1832. Upon arriving again in Los Angeles in June,
1832, Young arranged with Father Sanches, who was
then in charge of San Gabriel mission and who owned a
brig commanded by Captain William Richardson, to
transport his party on an otter-hunting expedition. The
party consisted of seven men, according to Warner, two
of whom were Kanakas. Young seems soon to have tired
of the sport of shooting otters after having been "spilt
out of the canoe into the surf a number of times," and so
left the party when near Point Conception and proceeded
by land to Monterey.   The rest of the party cruised 32
Joseph J. Hill
along the coast from Point Conception to San Pedro but
with what success we are not told.
Young's trapping expedition in the San Joaquin and
Sacramento rivers, 1832-3%. From Monterey Young proceeded to Los Angeles where he gathered a company of
some fourteen men, including his otter hunting party
which had by that time returned to Los Angeles, for a
beayer hunt. In the early part of October they set out
by way of Fort Tejon and the western shore of the Tulare
Valley lakes to the mouth of King's River. They trapped
up that stream and then crossed to the San Joaquin
which they descended as far as Fresno River when it
was discovered that the San Joaquin and its tributaries
from there on had been recently trapped. ^ Young therefore pushed on without delay to the Sacramento River.
A few miles below the mouth of the American River he
came upon a large company of Hudson's Bay trappers
under Michel La Framboise.
"This party," Warner tells us, "had been in the valley
since early in the spring of 1832, having come in over
the McLeod trail, and had trapped all the waters of the
valley north and west of the San Joaquin River."
In January, 1833, after having been marooned for
several weeks on the Sacramento, Young and his men
made their way to the northwest by way of the southern
and western shores of Clear Lake to the Pacific coast
which they struck some seventy-five miles north of Fort
Ross. "Young followed along the coast," to quote Warner, "searching with little success for rivers having
beaver, and in fruitless attempts to recross the mountain
range, until near the Umpquah River, where he succeeded
in getting over the mountains and fell upon that river
at the eastern base of the coast range of mountains.
This river was followed up to its southeastern source,
and then traveling Smith's trail, he struck the Klamath
Lake near its northern extremity. From thence he traveled southerly along its western shore, and, crossing the Ewing Young in Far Southwest
Klamath and Rogue rivers and passing through the camp
where McLeod lost his horses and valuable catch of
beaver skins, crossed Pitt River and entered the Sacramento valley, which he descended to the American River
and then crossed the country to the San Joaquin River,
up which he traveled to the great bend and then to the
mouth of King's River, where, striking the trail of the
preceding year, he followed it southerly to Lake Elizabeth, where, leaving it, he traveled more easterly along
the northern base of the mountain to the San Bernardino,
Cajon Pass, through which he entered the valley of San
Bernardino in December, 1833, and passing on to Teme-
cula, took the trail upon which he had come from the
Colorado in the spring of 1832, and returned to that
river to make a winter and spring season hunt upon it
and the lower part of the Gila River. He was moderately successful in this hunt and returned to Los Angeles
in the early part of the summer of 1834."21
Upon his return to the Spanish settlements of California, Young met Hall J. Kelley and was induced by
him to go to Oregon where he settled and became one of
the leading American citizens in that territory. With
this expedition he therefore drops out of the fur trade
of the Far Southwest.
Summary of Young's activities in the fur trade of
the Far Southwest, 1822-31*. For some twelve years he
had been one of the central figures in that trade. A complete account of his activity during that twelve years
would give us a very full account of the fur trade in the
Far Southwest during its most flourishing period. Unfortunately, he wrote but little, himself, and no one personally acquainted with his activities has left us any
record of his life. It is, therefore, with difficulty that
anything like a complete account of his movements during
this period may be pieced together.
211 have here followed the text of the printed version in the Annual
Publications of the Historical Society of Southern California, VII, 187-8. 34
Joseph J. Hill
The bearing of the above on the settlement of Ewing
Young's estate. In view of the foregoing, it might be
interesting to call to mind a few of the events of early
Oregon history. As indicated in the Quarterly for September, 1920, Ewing Young settled in Oregon in 1834
where he died, intestate, in 1841 with several thousand
dollars' worth of property and with no known heirs. His
property was taken over by the provisional government
of Oregon and held in trust until 1855 when it was finally
turned over to a young man signing himself Joaquin
Young, who satisfactorily proved that he was the natural
son of Ewing Young and Maria Josefa Tafoya, a New
Mexican woman.
One of the principal documents used in proving his
claim was the certification of his baptism, recorded by
the priest at Taos in the parish baptismal record book.
The record reads: "In this parish church of Taos on the
12th of April, 1833 (mil ochocientos treinto y tres)22, I,
the priest Don Antonio Jose Martinez, baptized solemnly,
applied the holy oil and sacred baptism to a boy four days
old and I gave as name Jose Joaquin, the natural son of
Maria Josefa Tafoya . . . God parents Richard Cam-
bell and Maria Rosa Gripalba, who said that his natural
father Joaquin John, a foreigner, dwelling in this place,
invited them." An affidavit signed by Charles Beaubien,
C. Carson, and Manuel Lefebre stated that Joaquin John
was the name by which Ewing Young was known in New
Mexico. Thus the identity of the young man was sufficiently proved and the proceeds from the estate of
Ewing Young were delivered to him.
But the whereabouts of Ewing Young during the summer of 1832 seems never to have occurred to anyone as
an item of consequence in the identification of the young
man or in the awarding of the property of Ewing Young
to him. In view of the fact that Ewing Young left New
Mexico in October of 1831, as we have shown above, on
J See accompanying plate. Ewing Young in Far Southwest
his second expedition to California, and that he never
returned to New Mexico, it might now be asked how he
could be the father of a child born to a New Mexican
woman on the 8th of April, 1833. RECOLLECTIONS OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
By Fred Lockley
Recently while in Mulino I spent an afternoon with
B. F. Bonney. "I was christened Benjamin Franklin,"
said Mr. Bonney. "My father, Jarvis Bonney, was born
in New York City on Oct. 14, 1793. His people were
from Scotland. My mother, whose maiden name was
Jane Elkins, was also born in New York City on March
11, 1809.
"My mother was my father's second wife. He had
five children by his first wife and nine children by his
second wife. I am the second child of the second brood.
I was born in Fulton Co., 111., on Nov. 28, 1838.
"My father was a millwright, carpenter, cabinet
maker and cooper. When I was a boy flour sacks were
not used, flour being shipped in barrels. My father ran
a cooper shop and manufactured flour barrels near what
is now called Smithfield, 111.
"There was so much fever and ague in Illinois, father
decided to move. He had heard of Oregon. The thing
that decided him to come to Oregon was he had heard
there were plenty of fish here. Father was a great fisherman, and while he caught pike and red horse there, he
wanted to move to a country where he could catch trout
and salmon.
"My father put in his spare time for some months
making a strong sturdy wagon in which to cross the
plains. My father's brother, Truman Bonney, after talking the matter over with my father, decided that he also
would come to Oregon.    He had a large family.
My father and mother, with their children, Edward,
Harriet, Truman, Martha Jane, Emily, Ann and myself,
started for the Willamette Valley on April 2, 1845. There
were over 3000 people who started for Oregon in the
spring of 1845.
iii Recollections of B. F. Bonney
"Presley Welch was captain of one of the trains,
Joel Palmer and Samuel K. Barlow being his lieutenants.
Samuel Hancock was captain of another train. Both of
these trains left from Independence, Mo. Another company with over 50 wagons left from St. Joe. The captain of this wagon train being A. Hackelman. Still another wagon train left St. Joe, Mo., under command of
W. G. T'Vault, John Waymire being his assistant. Sol
Tetherow was in command of still another wagon train.
"I was seven years old when we started for Oregon.
I can well remember what a hullabaloo the neighbors set
up when father said we were going to Oregon. They
told him his family would all be killed by the Indians; or
if we escaped the Indians we would either starve to
death or drown or be lost in the desert, but father was
not much of a hand to draw back after he had put his
hand to the plow, so he went ahead and made ready for
the trip. He built a large box in the home-made wagon
and put in a lot of dried buffalo meat and pickled pork.
He had made over a hundred pounds of maple sugar the
preceding fall which we took along instead of loaf sugar.
He also took along plenty of corn meal. At Independence, Mo., he laid in a big supply of buffalo meat and
bought more coffee. He also laid in a plentiful supply
of home twist tobacco. Father chewed it and mother
smoked it. To this day I enjoy seeing some white-haired
old lady smoking her Missouri meerschaum, as we used
to call the old corn cob pipes in those days. It reminds
me of my mother.
"When we passed through Independence it was merely
a trading post. The Indians were camped all around
and were anxious to trade buffalo robes for shirts, powder, lead and fire water, preferably the latter. Father
bought four finely tanned buffalo robes of the Indians.
"There were several stores in Independence, a number of blacksmith shops and wagon shops as well as livery
stables and hotels. 38
Fred Lockley
"At Independence we joined the Barlow wagon train.
Barlow soon took command of the train. In those days
you could size a man up, but you can't do it any more,
there isn't the opportunity. Barlow had good judgment,
was resourceful, accommodating and firm.
"One man in the company by the name of Gaines had
a fine outfit. He had six wagons and was well to do.
He settled in Polk County.
"One of the things I remember very vividly was a
severe thunder storm that took place in the middle of
the night. The thunder seemed almost incessant, and
the lightning was so brilliant you could read by its flashes.
The men chained the oxen so they would not stampede,
though they were very restive. Our tents were blown
down as were the covers off our prairie schooners and
in less than five minutes we were wet as drowned rats.
Unless you have been through it you have no idea of the
confusion resulting from a storm on the plains, with
the oxen bellowing, the children crying and the men
shouting, the thunder rolling like a constant salvo of
artillery; with everything as light as day from the lightning flashes and the next second as black as the depth of
the pit.
"At Fort Hall we were met by an old man named
Caleb Greenwood and his three sons; John was 22, Britain 18, and Sam 16. Caleb Greenwood, who originally
hailed from Novia Scotia, was an old mountain man and
was said to be over 80 years old. He had been a scout
and trapper and had married a squaw, his sons being
half breeds. He was employed by Captain Sutter to
come to Fort Hall to divert the Oregon-bound emigrants
to California. Greenwood was a very picturesque old
man. He was dressed in buckskin and had a long heavy
beard and used very picturesque language. He called
the Oregon emigrants together the first evening we were
in Fort Hall and made a talk. He said the road to Oregon was dangerous on account of the Indians.    He told Recollections op B. F. Bonney
us that while no emigrants had as yet gone to California,
there was an easy grade and crossing the mountains
would not be difficult. He said that Capt. Sutter would
have ten Californians meet the emigrants who would go
and that Sutter would supply them with plenty of potatoes, coffee and dried beef. He also said he would help
the emigrants over the mountains with their wagons and
that to every head of a family who would settle near
Sutter's Fort, Captain Sutter would give six sections of
land of his Spanish land grant. After Greenwood had
spoken the men of our party held a pow-wow which
lasted nearly all night. Some wanted to go to California,
while others were against it. Barlow, who was in charge
of our train, said that he would forbid any man leaving
the train and going to California. He told us we did not
know what we were going into, that there was a great
uncertainty about the land titles in California, that we
were Americans and should not want to go to a country
under another flag. Some argued that California would
become American territory in time; others thought that
Mexico would fight to hold it and that the Americans
who went there would get into a mixup and probably
get killed.
"The meeting nearly broke up in a mutiny. Barlow
finally appealed to the men to go to Oregon and make
Oregon an American territory and not waste their time
going to California to help promote Sutter's land schemes.
"Next morning old Caleb Greenwood with his boys
stepped out to one side and said: 'All you who want to
go to California drive out from the main train and follow me. You will find there are no Indians to kill you,
the roads are better, and you will be allowed to take up
more land in California than in Oregon, the climate is
better, there is plenty of hunting and fishing, and the
rivers are full of salmon.'
"My father, Jarvis Bonney, was the first one of the
Oregon party to pull out of the Oregon train and head 40
Fred Lockley
m 111
south with Caleb Greenwood. My uncle, Truman Bonney, followed my father, then came Sam Kinney of Texas,
then came Dodson and then a widow woman named
Teters, and some others. There were eight wagons in
all that rolled out from the main train to go to California
with Caleb Greenwood.
"The last thing those remaining in the Barlow train
said to us was, 'Good-bye, we will never see you again.
Your bones will whiten in the desert or be gnawed by
wild animals in the mountains.'
"After driving southward for three days with Caleb
Greenwood, he left us to go back to Fort Hall to get other
emigrants to change their route to California. He left
his three boys with us to guide us to Sutter's Fort. Sam,
the youngest of the three boys, was the best pilot, though
all three of them knew the country as well as a city man
knows his own back yard.
"We headed southwest. I never saw better pasture
than we had after leaving the main traveled road. Our
oxen waxed fat and became unruly and obstreperous.
After two weeks traveling we struck a desert of sand and
sage brush.
"Breaking the way through the heavy sage brush was
so hard on the lead team of oxen that their legs were
soon bruised and bleeding, so each wagon had to take it&
turn at the head of the train for half a day, then drop
to the rear. On this sage brush plain we found lots of
prickly pears. We children were barefooted and I can
remember yet how we limped across that desert, for we
cut the soles of our feet on the prickly pears. The
prickly pears also made the oxen lame, for the spines
would work in between the oxen's hoofs.
"One day Sam came riding back as fast as he could
ride and told us to corral the oxen for a big band of
buffalo were on the way and would pass near us. Whenever oxen smell fresh buffalo they go crazy. They want
to join the buffalo.   We got the wagons in a circle and Recollections of B. F. Bonney
got the oxen inside. The buffalo charged by, not far off.
The Greenwood boys killed a two-year-old and a heifer
calf. We had to camp there for a few hours, for our
guides told us that if our oxen crossed the trail of the
buffalo they would become unmanageable. It is an odd
thing that when oxen smell the fresh trail of the buffalo
they stop and paw and bellow as if they smelled fresh
blood. If you have ever tried to stop a runaway ox
team you know what hard work it is. I remember seeing on the plains a stampede of oxen which were hitched
to the wagons. They tried to stop them but they had
to let them run till they were tired out. Two of the oxen
were killed by being dragged by the others. The men
cut the throats of the two oxen, bled them and we ate
them, though the meat was tough and stringy.
"While we were crossing the sage brush desert, one
of the men in our party named Jim Kinney, who hailed
from Texas, came upon an Indian. Kinney had a big
wagon and four yoke of oxen for his provisions and
bedding. He also had a spring hack pulled by a span of
fine mules. His wife drove the mules while Kinney himself always rode a mule. He had a man to drive his
wagon with the four yoke of Oxen. Kinney was a typical southerner. He had long black hair, long black mustache, heavy black eyebrows, and was tall and heavy,
weighing about 225 pounds. He had a violent temper
and was a good deal of a desperado.
"When he saw this Indian in the sage brush he called
to his driver to stop. Kinney's wagon was in the lead,
so the whole train was stopped. Going to the wagon he
got a pair of handcuffs and started back to where the
Indian was. The Indian had no idea Kinney meant any
harm to him. My father said, 'Kinney, what are you
going to do with that Indian?' Kinney said, 'Where I
came from we have slaves. I am going to capture that
Indian and take him with me as a slave.' My father
said to him, 'The first thing you know, that Indian will 42
Fred Lockley
escape and tell the other Indians and they will kill all
of us.' Kinney said, T generally have my way. Any
man that crosses me, regrets it. I have had to kill two
or three men already because they interfered with me.
If you want any trouble you know how to get it.' Kinney
was an individualist. He would not obey the train rules
but he was such a powerful man and apparently held
life so lightly that no one wanted to cross him.
"Kinney went to where the Indian was, jumped off
his mule, and struck the Indian over the head. The Indian
tried to escape. He put up a fight but was no match for
Kinney. In a moment or two Kinney had knocked him
down and gotten his hand cuffs on him and dragged him
to the hack, fastened a rope around his neck, and fastened him to the hack. Kinney told his wife to hand
him his black-snake whip, which she did, as she was as
much afraid of him as the men were. Then he told his
wife to drive on. He slashed the Indian across the naked
shoulders with the black-snake whip as a hint not to pull
back. The Indian threw himself on the ground and was
pulled along by his neck. Kinney kept slashing him to
make him get up, till finally the Indian got up and trotted
along behind the hack.
"For several days Kinney rode back of the Indian,
slashing him across the back with the black-snake to do
what he called 'break his spirit.' After a week or ten
days Kinney untied the Indian and turned him over to
his ox driver, telling him to break the Indian in to drive
the ox team.
"Kinney had a hound dog that was wonderfully smart.
He had used him in Texas to trail runaway slaves. After
two or three weeks Kinney did not tie the Indian any
more at night, as he said if the Indian ran away the dog
would pick up his trail and he could follow him and kill
him to show the other Indians the superiority of the
white man. He said he had killed plenty of negroes and
an Indian was no better than a negro. Recollections of B. F. Bonney
"After the Indian had been with Kinney for over
three weeks, one dark windy night he disappeared. Kinney called the Indian his man Friday. In the morning
when Kinney got up he found the Indian had taken a
blanket as well as Kinney's favorite Kentucky rifle—a
gun he had paid $100 for. He had also taken his powder
horn, some lead, and three hams. Kinney was furious.
I never saw a man in such a temper in all my life. Every
one in the train rejoiced that the Indian had escaped
but they all appeared to sympathize with Kinney for
they were afraid of being killed if they showed any signs
of satisfaction. Kinney saddled his mule,