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The quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society. Volume XXII Oregon Historical Society 1921

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of the
Oregon Historica!|Socief§|
March, 1921.
Number 1
Copyright, 1921, by the Oregon Historical Sociefy^S1^
The Quarterly disavows responsibility for the positions taken by contributors to its pages ■
] Alice Applegate Sargent—A   Sketch of Rogue River Valley
Histbry   .\ .   , N L . S.       1-11^
Lindsay Applegate—The South Road Expedition .7    12-45 1
G..F. Coan—Federal Indian Relations in the Pate^^^Northw^St^'^
1S49-1853    .-:46-89
Entered at the post office at Portland, Oregon, as second-class matter  THE
MARCH, 1921.—DECEMBER, 1921.
Edited by
The Ivy Press, Portland, Ore.  TABLE OF CONTENTS
Bore's, John, Log of the Columbia, 1790-3 (Reprint)
Annotations by F. W. Howay and T. C. Elliott 257-351
Emigrant Road Into Southern  Oregon,  Notesi and  Reminiscences of Laying Out and Establishing the Old,
in the Year 1846
By Lindsay Applegate     12-45
Federal Indian Relations in the Pacific Northwest, The
First Stage of, 1849-52
By C. F. Coan     46-89
Gray, Captain Robert, Remnant of the Official Log of the
Columbia, 1792 (Reprint)
Annotations by T. C  Elliott   303-11
Indian Relations in the Pacific Northwest, The First Stage
of the Federal, 1849-52
By C. F. Coan     46-89
Oregon, The Origin of the Name
By T. C. Elliott  91-115
Oregon Bound, Correspondence of S. H. Taylor, 1853 117-160
Oregon Boundary Question, The Last.Phase of the
By Andrew Fish 161-224
Rogue River Valley, A Sketch of, and Southern Oregon
By Alice Applegate Sargent       1-11
Saw Juan Island, The Struggle for, or The Last Phase of
the Oregon Boundary Question
By Andrew Fisfe 161-224
Southern Oregon History, A Sketch of the Rogue River
Valley and
By AHce Applegate Sargent      1-11
E. Ruth Rockwood, Smith's Pacific Northwest Americana     252-6
Bon's, John, Log of the Columbia, 1790-3  , 257-351
Carver, Jonathan, Petition for Payment for Services and
Expenses in Connection with Travels to Interior
Parts of North America     111-3
—Second Petition for Payment for Services and Expenses in Connection with Travels to Interior Parts
of North America    113-5 Pages
Gray, Captain Robert, Remnant of the Official Log of the
Columbia      ...    352-6
Roberts, Reverend William, The Third Superintendent of the
Oregon Mission, The Letters of, Second Installment
Edited by Robert Moulton Gatke 225-251
Rogers, Robert, Proposal of, to Explore for Northwest
Passage       101-5
—Second Proposal of, to Explore for Northwest
Passage  106-110
Taylor, S. H., Letters of, to the Watertown  (Wisconsin)
Chronicle, Oregon Bound 117-160
Whitman, Dr Marcus, Requests of, at Boston of American
Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions, March,
1843     357-9
Applegate, Lindsay, Notes and Reminiscences of Laying Out and
Establishing the Old Emigrant Road Into Southern Oregon in the Year 1846     12-45
Coan, C. F., Federal Indian Relations in the Pacific Northwest,
The First Stage of, 1849-52     46-89
Elliott, T. C, The Origin of the Name Oregon  91-115
—Annotations on John Boifs Log of the Columbia, 1790-3.303-311
—Annotations on Remnant of Captain Robert Gray's Log
of the Columbia, 1792     352-6
Fish, Andrew, The Last Phase of the Oregon Boundary
Question    161-224
Gatke, Robert Moulton, Editing Letters of Reverend Wm.
Roberts     225-251
Howay, F. W., Annotations on John Boifs Log of the Columbia,
1790-3 265-351
Sargent, Alice Applegate, A  Sketch of the Rogue River and
Southern Oregon History •       l-n
Taylor, S. H., Correspondence of, Oregon Bound, 1853 117-160
Whitman, Dr. Marcus, Requests of, at Boston of the American
Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions     357-9
Young, F. G., Introduction to John Boifs Log of the Columbia,
1790-3    257-264 THE QUARTERLY
of the
Oregon Historical Society
Volume XXII
March, 1921
Number l
Copyright, 1921, by the Oregon Historical Society
The Quarterly disavows responsibility for the positions taken by contributors to its pages
By Alice Applegate Sargent
Lying between the Cascade mountains on the east, and the
Coast range on the west, and tempered by the warm oceanic
current from Japan, the Rogue River Valley has a climate
unsurpassed except perhaps by the coast valleys of Greece.
About the year 1834 we find the Rogue River Valley a
wilderness inhabited by a tribe of Indians. These Indians were
a branch of the tribe living in northern California whom we
now know as the Shastas. But the original name was not
Shasta but Chesta. They were the Chesta Scotons and the
Indians living in the Rogue River valley were Chesta Scotons.
The first white men to set foot in the valley of whom we
have any authentic record, were some French Canadian trappers who were trapping for furs for that great British monopoly
the Hudson's Bay Company. These men made their way into
the valley and set their traps along the river, but the Indians
* Read before the Greater Medford Club in the Spring of 1915. 2 Alice Applegate Sargent
stole the traps, and the trappers always spoke of them as the
rogues; the river was the river of the rogues and the valley
the valley of the rogues. Old pioneers have assured me that
this is the way by which the river, the valley and the Indians
came by the name.
Another story as to the origin of the name is this: That the
river was called Rouge or Red river by some French voyageurs
on account of the cliffs at the mouth of the river being of red
color. By an act of the legislature in 1853-4 Rogue river was
to be Gold river, but it has never been so called.
In the year 1846 fifteen pioneers from the Willamette valley
came into the Rogue river valley, seeking a route by which
immigrants could reach the Willamette valley without having
to travel the long northern route across the Blue mountains and
down the Columbia river as they had to come. Their names
were: Jesse Applegate, Lindsay Applegate, Levi Scott, John
Scott, Henry Boygus, Benjamin Burch, John Owens, John
Jones, Robert Smith, Samuel Goodhue, Moses Harris, David
Goff, Benit Osborne, William Sportsman and William Parker.
Lindsay Applegate was my father, Jesse Applegate, my
Each man was equipped with a saddle horse and a pack
horse. As they made their way through the Rogue river valley
they were constantly followed by the Indians and had to be
on guard day and night. When they had to pass through
heavy timber and brush they dismounted and led their horses,
carrying their guns across their arms ready to fire. The Indians
were armed with bows and poisoned arrows, the pioneers with
the old-time muzzle loading rifles. They made their way
through the valley, crossed the Cascade mountains into the
Klamath country and thence east to the Humboldt river. Here
they met a train of immigrants. They brought back with them
one hundred and fifty people, the pioneers traveling ahead and The Rogue River Valley
making a road over which the wagons could pass. This train
was taken through to the Willamette valley. Now that we
have our splendid Pacific Highway, built at enormous cost,
with all the modern implements, rock crushers, steam rollers,
and plows, and by the labor of hundreds of men, it is well for
us to remember that the first road in southern Oregon and
through the Rogue River valley was built by the labor of fifteen
men with nothing but axes in their bare hands, and amidst
perils and hardships that would strike terror to any but the
stoutest hearts. It was free to all, a work of humanity, the only
recompense to the builders was a consciousness of duty nobly
In 1848 a party of pioneers from the Willamette valley came
into the Rogue River valley on their way to the gold mines in
California. They prospected for gold on Rogue River and on
the stream we now know as the Applegate and then pushed on
to California. My father was with this party also and the
stream and valley were named for him.
In 1850 two men, Cluggage and Pool by name, equipped a
pack train at the mining town of Yreka, California, and carried
supplies between Yreka and towns in the Willamette valley.
They followed a narrow trail across the Siskiyou mountains
and along the bank of Bear creek. It was their custom when
they reached this valley, to stop to rest and recuperate their
animals. The wild grass grew so high in the valley that the
man who herded the mules had to stand on the back of his
horse in order to locate the rest of the herd.
Cluggage had worked at mining and one day, while they
were in camp in the valley, went up into the hills where Jacksonville now is. Following up a gulch or ravine, he came to a
place where the heavy rains had washed the soil entirely away,
leaving a ledge of rock exposed.   Taking his bowie knife from Alice Applegate Sargent
his belt he dug around in the rocks and sand and found nuggets of gold. He returned to camp and reported his discovery
to Pool. Together they went back to the spot and staked out
their mining claims.
Returning to Yreka they bought a camp outfit and mining
tools and returned to work their claims. They had kept quiet in
regard to their discovery, but in some way it became known and
in two months from the time Cluggage found the nuggets of
gold a thousand men were on the spot. Claims were staked
out and every man went to work to dig out the gold. No time
was spent in building cabins; a man would throw his saddle
blanket over a manzanita bush and put his bed under it. Some
built shelters of bark and brush while others put up tents.
Fortunes were taken out that winter, and many who had families in the east and elsewhere went back in the spring and
summer and brought them to the Rogue River valley. This
was the beginning of the settlement. Some took up land in
the valley while others settled in Jacksonville and Ashland.
The county of Jackson was organized by an act of the legislature on the 12th of January, 1852. Until 1853 there were but
four white women in Jacksonville, namely, Mrs. McCully, Mrs.
Evans, Mrs. Lawless and Mrs. Gore.
The winter of 1852 was an exceptionally hard one. Snow
fell until all trails were completely blocked. Flour rose to one
dollar a pound and salt was priceless. Some adventurous men
went to California on snow shoes to buy salt. Provisions gave
out and towards spring the people had to live on wild game,
meat cooked without salt. The summer of 1852 was very dry,
about such a summer as the one just past, and the wheat and
potato crop were not a great success, but the following season
was more favorable.
Ashland was founded in 1852 by Abel D. Helman and Robert
Hargadine. A saw mill was built on Mill creek, and in 1854 a
big flouring mill was built there, the first in the Rogue River
valley.   Ashland was named from Ashland, Ohio, Mr. Helman's The Rogue River Valley
native town, and called Ashland Mills on account of the saw
and flouring mills. The town was known as Ashland Mills for
many years.
The first school in the Rogue River Valley was taught by
Mrs. McCully in Jacksonville, and was a subscription school.
The first white child born in the Rogue River valley was
Walter Gore, son of a pioneer of 1852, born on December
3rd 1852.
In 1853 the Indians began war on the white settlers, but
were soon subdued and a treaty made with them at Table Rock..
Stockades were built at different places in the valley, for the
protection of the settlers. Fort Lane was built in 1853-4 on a
hill facing Table Rock and occupied by regular troops for three
years. The old site is on a hill west of some old buildings at
Tolo and south of Gold Ray Dam.
In 1853 many immigrants came into the valley; many buildings were erected, but as all supplies had to be brought from
Crescent City by pack animals, not a pane of glass could be had
that year for window lights; cotton cloth stretched over the
openings was used instead.
During the spring steps were taken to found a Methodist
church in Jacksonville. The pastor was Rev. Joseph S. Smith.
The church was built and used jointly by Methodists and
Presbyterians for many years.
The town of Phoenix was founded in 1854, the land being
donated by Samuel Culver, whose old dwelling still stands by
the roadside.   The town was named originally Gasburg.
The first newspaper printed in southern Oregon was called
"The Table Rock Sentinel", printed in 1855. The editor was
G. W. T'Vault.
Jackson county in 1855 was the richest and most populous
county in Oregon. But in that year the Indians again began
war. The 9th of October has been called the most eventful
day in the history of southern Oregon, for on that day nearly
twenty people were murdered by the Indians and their homes Alice Applegate Sargent
burned. The settlers were totally unprepared and taken by
surprise. A Mrs. Haines was taken prisoner and her fate is
still wrapped in mystery, although the Indians claimed she died
a week later; her husband and two children were killed. Mr.
and Mrs. Jones were killed. The next family in their path was
the Wagner's. A woman had made her way to the Wagner
home who wished to go to Jacksonville. She spent the night
at the Wagner home and next morning Mr. Wagner agreed to
take her to Jacksonville as he had a span of horses and a
wagon. On his return two or three days later nothing was
found of his home but a heap of ashes. Long afterwards, when
the war was over and the Indians had become friendly towards
the whites, some members of this war party told of Mrs.
Wagner's fate. When they surrounded the house she barricaded as best she could. The Indians wanted to get possession
of her and tried to induce her to come out of the house, fearing
to try to enter as they knew she was armed. Finally they set
fire to the house hoping to drive her out and then capture her.
While the house was burning she stood where they could see
her. Taking down her long hair, she combed it out before a
mirror and then sat calmly in a chair until the flames closed
around her. Her little girl had been captured and died soon
after, so the Indians claimed. At the Harris' home were Mr.
and Mrs. Harris, their two children, a boy aged ten and a girl
twelve, and a man who was employed about the place. This
man was in a field and was killed. Mr. Harris was shot while
on the porch near the door, Mrs. Harris dragged him into the
house, bolted the door and collecting a number of firearms
prepared for defense. The daughter was shot in the arm and
disabled and Mr. Harris died in about an hour. Mrs. Harris
continued to fire at the Indians through the crevices between
the logs. After a time an Indian messenger arrived with some
message to the Indians who all immediately ran towards the
river. As soon as they had disappeared Mrs. Harris and her
daughter fled from the house, knowing the Indians would set The Rogue River Valley
fire to it on their return. They hid in a thicket of willows until
they were rescued by a company of troops the following day
and taken to Jacksonville. When Mrs. Harris ran to meet the
soldiers, carrying her little girl in her arms, covered with blood
and blackened by powder. Major Fitzgerald, the officer in
command cried out, "Good God! are you a white woman?"
while tears ran down the cheeks of the bronzed and bearded
The little son of Mrs. Harris had disappeared. Every ravine
and thicket for miles around was carefully searched by men
aided by the soldiers, but not a trace of the missing child was
ever found. What pen could picture the grief of the sorrowing
mother as the long years rolled by bringing no solution of the
awful mystery.   I have not the time to go farther into details.
The war was brought to a close in 1856 and the Indians
taken to the reservation in the Willamette country.
During the Indian wars there was quite a body of troops in
the Rogue River valley. Two companies of volunteers from
California, six companies, which were organized here in the
valley, and one from Douglas county, besides the regular
troops stationed at Fort Lane.
The toll road was built across the Siskiyou mountains in
1857-8 under authorization of the Oregon legislature. The
Oregon and California State Company was organized in 1860
to carry mail between Sacramento and Portland. A wagon
road was built between Jacksonville and Crescent City this
same year and a stage line established.
A company of volunteers was organized in Jacksonville in
1861 called the "Baker Guard." In 1863 a company of state
troops was organized in Ashland. It was Company A 1st
.Regiment, 1st Brigade of Oregon Militia and was called the
"Mountain Rangers."
A telegraph line was established in 1866 and the little valley
of the Rogue was put into communication with the outside
world. Alice Applegate Sargent
A woolen mill was built in Ashland in 1867-8 at a cost of
$32,000.   This mill was destroyed by fire some years ago.
When I was a child there were eight large flouring mills in
the valley, and hundreds of pounds of flour were carried out of
the valley by pack animals and wagons, besides what was consumed in the valley. From the old Barron farm at the foot of
the Siskiyous to Rogue River the valley was golden with grain,
and the yield was from thirty to fifty bushels of wheat to the
acre. Almost every farmer in the valley had planted an
orchard, many of them very large. I have never seen finer
fruit, for in those days the fruit was perfectly free from disease—a wormy apple was unheard of. Spraying was not necessary and smudging was never resorted to, as there was always
an abundance of fruit. When the orchards came into bearing
the country east of the Cascades, and the mining towns in
California were supplied with fruit from the Rogue River
valley. The first apples raised in the valley were Gloria
Mundis, raised on the Skinner place on Bear Creek and sold to
a wealthy miner from Gold Hill for two dollars and fifty cents
Jacksonville, besides being the first town founded in the
Rogue River Valley, was at one time the richest and most
flourishing. It had been settled by people of education and
culture who were wide awake and progressive. I marvel now
that people so isolated could have kept so abreast of the times.
When this valley was dotted with beautiful farms and Ashland called Ashland Mills, Phoenix known as Gasburg, and
Jacksonville was the hub of the universe (so to speak), my
father moved his family from Douglas County where I was
born, to southern Oregon, and we lived for two years at the
toll house on the" Siskiyous.
Looking back to that time, I realize that it was a wonderful The Rogue Rtver Valley 9
experience for a child. Every day the road was thronged,
there were immense freight wagons drawn by six and eight
yoke of oxen, towering Marietta wagons drawn by six span of
horses; these we called the "bell teams." The leading span had,
fastened to the collars, bows of iron which were hung with
little bells. These bells were worn to warn other teams, as
there were only occasional places on the narrow mountain
grade where these teams could pass one another. When the
driver of a team came to one of these places he would stop and
listen. If he heard the faintest sound of bells there was nothing
to do but wait until the other team passed. Then there were
the long trains of fifty, sixty, and eighty pack mules all following the bell mare in single file.
Twice daily the great red and yellow stage coaches went
swinging by, drawn by six splendid horses. Unless a horse
weighed so many hundred pounds and was so many hands high,
the Oregon and California Stage Company would not so much
as look at him. They were all matched horses and I recall
especially the sorrels and the grays. There were long trains of
travel stained immigrants with their weary ox teams. Think
what the feelings of these people must have been when they
crossed the Siskiyou mountains and beheld far below them the
promised land, the Rogue River Valley, lying like a beautiful
garden between the mountain ranges.
I must not forget the wagons loaded with apples on their way
to the mining towns in California. The wagon boxes were
lined with straw and the apples piled into them. These apple
peddlers advertised their fruit in an unique way by having a
pointed stick fastened to a corner of the wagon bed on which
was stuck an apple.
When winter came and the snow fell deep on the Siskiyous,
as it sometimes does, father used several yoke of oxen and a big
bobsled to keep the road open to travel. Sometimes the snow
would fall steadily, filling the road behind them and all day 10
Alice Applegate Sargent
long the weary oxen would have to travel back and forth over
the long mountain grade. The forests were swarming with
wild animals, panther, wild cats, black, cinnamon and grizzly
bear, and great gray timber wolves which would howl in a
blood curdling way in the forest at dusk.
Immigrants were pouring into Oregon over the old road laid
out by the fifteen pioneers in 1846. The Modoc and Piute
Indians made travel unsafe even at that late date. A report .
came to my father that a train of immigrants coming over that
route was in great peril. Father called for volunteers and in a
very short time forty-one men were equipped and ready to go
to the help of the immigrants. They rode rapidly for several
days before they met the train. I have no recollection of my
father's or brother's return, but I distinctly recall the story that
father told of the rescue. When the party finally discovered
the immigrants they had corralled their wagons and prepared
to defend themselves as best they could against the Indians.
The rescuing party prepared a flag of truce by fastening a
white cloth to a long pole, to show that they were friends, and
then rode slowly forward. They had ridden almost up to the
wagons before they saw any signs of life, then a wagon cover
was thrown up and an aged woman with snow white hair
called out to them "Glory be to God, we are saved." They
brought this train in safety to the Rogue River valley and we,
no doubt, have some of these same people living in Medford
coming of railroad
The next great event in the history of the valley was the
coming of the railroad which was built into Ashland from the
north. The first train of cars ran into Ashland on May 4th
1884, an event celebrated in an imposing way. Ashland was
the terminus until 1887 when the railroad was completed and
the Rogue River Valley was linked by bands of steel with the
outside world.
Medford, the little city of which we all feel proud, was The Rogue River Valley
founded in December, 1883, by J. S. Howard. It was not incorporated until a year later. Bear Creek, which runs through
the city, was named originally Stewart River for Captain
Stewart, an army officer who was killed in a fight with the
Indians on the banks of the stream on the 17th of June, 1851.
And now, as the years roll on, let us not forget the brave
and self-reliant men and women who brought civilization into
the wilderness and made it possible for us to have peaceful
homes in the Rogue River Valley. NOTES AND REMINISCENCES OF LAYING OUT
By Lindsay Applegate
After the lapse of thirty-one years (as there has been no
history of this circumstance placed before the public), I propose to give a plain statement of facts from notes taken at the
time and from memory, giving motives that led to the enterprise. Our immigration of 1843, being the largest that had
ever crossed the plains, our progress was necessarily slow,
having to hunt out passes for our wagons over rivers, creeks,
deep gullies, digging down the banks where nothing but a pack
trail had been before, cutting our way through the dense forests before we could reach the valley of the Columbia, and then
it appeared as though our greatest troubles had begun; for
here we had to encounter cataracts and falls of the Columbia
and the broad and lofty Cascades, with their heavy forests.
At Fort Walla Walla, on the banks of the Columbia river,
with our teams about exhausted, we were advised to leave
our wagons and animals over winter at that place in the care
of the Hudson's Bay Co. A portion of the immigrants, including my two brothers' families and my own, accepted the proposition, providing we could secure boats in which to descend
the river, as it was supposed we might secure them from the
Hudson's Bay Co. Under these considerations we made arrangements with the said Company for the care of the latter
through the winter. We failed in our efforts to obtain boats;
having a whipsaw and other tools with us, we hunted logs
from the masses of drift wood lodged along the river banks,
hewed them out, sawed them into lumber, and built boats,
and with our families and the contents of our wagons, com- The South Road Expedition
menced the descent of the river. Dr. Whitman procured us
the service of two Indians to act as pilots to The Dalles. From
there we thought we would have but little trouble by making
a portage at the Cascades. We did well till we reached The
Dalles, a series of falls and cataracts. Just above the Cascade
mountains one of our boats, containing six persons, was caught
in one of those terrible whirlpools and upset. My son, ten
years old, my brother Jesse's son, Edward, same age, and a
man by the name of McClellan, who was a member of my
family, were lost. The other three who escaped were left to
struggle the best they could until we made the land with the
other boats. Leaving the women and children on shore while
we rushed to the rescue, it was only with the greatest effort
that we were able to keep our boats from sharing the same
fate. William Doake, a young man who could not swim,
held on to a feather bed until overtaken and rescued. W.
Parker and my son Elisha, then twelve years old, after drifting through whirlpools among cragged rocks for more than a
mile, rescued themselves by catching hold of a large rock a
few feet above water at the head of Rock Island. At the time
of the disaster it was utterly impossible to render them any
assistance for it was only with the greatest skill that we succeeded in saving the women and children from sharing the
same fate. It was a painful scene beyond description. We
dare not go to their assistance without exposing the occupants
of the other boats to certain destruction, while those persons
were struggling for life in the surging waters. The whole
scene was witnessed by Gen. Fremont and his company of
explorers who were camped immediately opposite, and were
powerless to render us any assistance. The bodies' of the
drowned were never recovered, though we offered a reward
to the Indians who searched the river for months. We reached
the Cascades without any other incidents worth relating.
We then made a portage around the falls, packing the most
of our effects on our backs, dragging our boats over the rocks,
Mk 14
Lindsay Applegate
reloaded and proceeded on our way to Vancouver, ascended
the Willamette river to the falls, there made another portage
around the falls, reloaded again, ascended the river twenty-
five miles, coming to a place called Champoeg, where we finally left our boats and made our way across the valley to
Lee's Old Mission, ten miles below where Salem now stands,
and on the first day of December entered one of the old buildings to remain for the winter.
Previous to this, we had been in the rain most of the time
for twenty days. Oh, how we could have enjoyed our hospitable shelter if we could have looked around the family circle
and beheld the bright faces that accompanied us on our toilsome journey almost to the end! Alas, they were not there!
That long and dreary winter, with its pelting rains and howling winds, brought sadness to us. Under these sad reflections, we resolved if we remained in the country to find a better way for others who might wish to emigrate, as soon as we
could possibly afford the time. From what information we
could gather from old pioneers and the Hudson's Bay Co., the
Cascade mountains to the south became very low, or terminated
where the Klamath cut that chain; and knowing that the Blue
mountains lay east and west, we came to the conclusion there
must be a belt of country extending east towards the South
Pass of the Rocky mountains, where there might be no very
lofty ranges of mountains to cross. So in 1846 after making
arrangements for subsistence of our families during our absence, we organized a company to undertake the enterprise,
composed as follows:
Levi Scott, John Scott, Henry Boygus, Lindsay Applegate,
Jesse Applegate, Benjamin Burch, John Owens, John Jones,
Robert Smith, Samuel Goodhue, Moses Harris, David Goff,
Benit Osborn, William Sportsman, William Parker. Each
man had his pack-horse and saddle-horse, making thirty animals to guard and take care of.
A portion of the country we proposed to traverse was at The South Road Expedition
that time marked on the map "unexplored region." All the information we could get relative to it was through the Hudson's
Bay Co. Peter Ogden, an officer of that company, who had
led a party of trappers through that region, represented that
portions of it were desert-like, and that at one time his company was so pressed for the want of water that they went to
the top of a mountain, filled sacks with snow, and were thus
able to cross the desert. He also stated that portions of the
country through which we would have to travel were infested
with fierce and war-like savages, who would attack every party
entering their country, steal their traps, waylay and murder
the men, and that Rogue River had taken its name from the
character of the Indians inhabiting its valleys. The idea of
opening a wagon road through such a country at that time,
was counted as preposterous. These statements, though based
on facts, we thought might be exaggerated by the Hudson's
Bay Co. in their own interest, since they had a line of forts
on the Snake river route, reaching from Fort Hall to Vancouver,-and were prepared to profit by the immigration.
One thing which had much influence with us was the fact
that the question as to which power, Great Britain or the
United States, would eventually secure a title to the country,
was not settled, and in case a war should occur and Britain
prove successful, it was important to have a way by which we
could leave the country without running the gauntlet of the
Hudson's Bay Co.'s forts and falling a prey to Indian tribes
which were under British influence.
On the morning of the 20th of June, 1846, we gathered on
the La Creole, near where Dallas now stands, moved up the
valley and encamped for the night on Mary's river, near where
the town of Corvallis has since been built.
June 21—Moved up the valley and encamped among the
foothills of the Calapooia mountains.
June 22—This day we traveled along the base of the Cala-
pooias, our course being nearly southeast, passing near a prom- 16
Lindsay Applegate
inent peak since called Spencer's Butte. In a little valley near
the butte, on the south side, we discovered Indians digging
camas. On perceiving us, most of them secreted themselves
in the timber. One of our party succeeded in capturing an old
Indian, and representing to him by signs the course we wished
to follow, the old fellow preceded us two or three miles, and
put us on a dim trail which had been marked by twisting the
tops of the brush along the route. It had only been used as
a foot-trail and but seldom at that. It led us into a prairie at
the base of the main Calapooia chain. Crossing the prairie, we
found the little trail where it entered the mountains with difficulty, and being guided by the broken brush, reached at sundown a little stream on the Umpqua side, where we camped
for the night in a beautiful little valley where the grass was
good and the ground almost covered with the finest strawberries I had ever seen.
The next morning, June 23, we moved on through the grassy
oak hills and narrow valleys to the north Umpqua river. The
crossing was a rough and dangerous one, as the river bed was
a mass of loose rocks, and, as we were crossing, our horses
occasionally fell, giving the riders a severe ducking. On the
south side we encamped for the night.
On the morning of the 24th, we left camp early and moved
on about five miles to the south branch of the Umpqua, a considerable stream, probably sixty yards wide, coming from the
eastward. Traveling up that stream almost to the place where
the old trail crosses the Umpqua mountains, we encamped for
the night opposite the historic Umpqua canyon.
The next morning, June 25th, we entered the canyon, followed up the little stream that runs through the defile for four
or five miles, crossing the creek a great many times, but the
canyon becoming more obstructed with brush and fallen timber, the little trail we were following turned up the side of the
ridge where the woods were more open, and wound its way
to the top of the mountain.   It then bore south along a narrow The South Road Expedition
back-bogie of the mountain, the dense thickets and the rocks on
either side affording splendid opportunities for ambush. A
short time before this, a party coming from California had been
attacked on this summit ridge by the Indians and one of them
had been severely wounded. Several of the horses had also
been shot with arrows. Along this trail we picked up a number of broken and shattered arrows. We could see that a large
party of Indians had passed over the trail traveling southward
only a few days before. At dark we reached a small opening
on a little stream at the foot of the mountain on the south, and
encamped for the night.
On the morning of the 26th, we divided our forces, part going back to explore the canyon, while the remainder stayed to
guard the camp and horses. The exploring party went back
to where we left the canyon on the little trail the day before,
and returning through the canyon, came into camp after night,
reporting that wagons could be taken through.
We found everything all right on the morning of the 27th,
although the Indians had hovered around us all night, frightening our horses a number of times. From the tracks we could
see that they approached very closely to our encampment.
Making an early start we moved on very cautiously. Whenever the trail passed through the cuts we dismounted and led
our horses, having our guns in hand ready at any moment to
use them in self-defense, for we had adopted this rule, never
to be the aggressor. Traveling through a very broken country
the sharp hills separated by little streams upon which there
were small openings, we came out at about noon into a large
creek, a branch of Rogue river, now called Grave creek, on
which we rested about two hours. During the afternoon our
course was over a more open country—through scattering pine
and oak timber. Towards evening, we saw a good many Indians posted along the mountain side and then running ahead
of us. About an hour by sun we reached a prairie of several
hundred acres, which extends down to very near the bank of
KM 18
Lindsay Applegate
Rogue river. As we advanced towards the river, the Indians
in large numbers occupied the river bank near where the trail
crossed. Having understood that this crossing was a favorite
place of attack, we decided as it was growing late, to pass the
night in the prairie. Selecting a place as far from the brush
as possible, we made every preparation for a night attack.
In selecting our camp on Rogue river, we observed the
greatest caution. Cutting stakes from the limbs of an old oak
that stood in the open ground, we picketed our horses with
double stakes as firmly as possible. The horses were picketed in the form of a hollow square, outside of which we took
up our positions, knowing that in case of an attack there
would be a chance of losing our horses and that that would
be a complete defeat. We kept vigilant guard during the
night, and the next morning could see the Indians occupying
. the same position as at dark. After an early breakfast we began to make preparations for moving forward. There had
been a heavy dew, and fearing the effects of the dampness
upon our fire-arms, which were muzzle-loaders, of course,
and some of them with flint-locks, we fired them off and reloaded. In moving forward, we formed two divisions, with
the pack horses behind. On reaching the river bank the front
division fell behind the pack horses and drove them over, while
the rear division faced the brush, with gun in hand, until the'
front division was safely over. Then they turned about, and
the rear division passed over under protection of their rifles.
The Indians watched the performance from their places of concealment, but there was no chance for them to make an attack
without exposing themselves to our fire. The river was deep
and rapid, and for a short distance some of the smaller animals had to swim. Had we rushed pell mell into the stream,
as parties sometimes do under such circumstances, our expedition would probably have come to an end there.
After crossing, we turned up the river, and the Indians in
large numbers came out of the thickets on the opposite side and The South Road Expedition
tried in every way to provoke us. Our course was for some
distance southeast along the bank of the river, and the Indians,
some mounted and some on foot, passed on rapidly on the
other side. There appeared to be a great commotion among
them. A party had left the French settlement in the Willamette some three or four weeks before us, consisting of
French, half-breeds, Columbia Indians and a few Americans;
probably about eighty in all. Passing one of their encampments we could see by the signs that they were only a short
distance ahead of us. We afterwards learned that the Rogue
Rivers had stolen some of their horses, and that an effort to
recover them had caused the delay. At about three o'clock, we
left the river and bore southward up a little stream for four
or five miles and encamped. From our camp we could see
numerous signal fires on the mountains to the eastward. We
saw no Indians in the vicinity of our camp, and no evidence of
their having been there lately. They had evidently given us
up, and followed the other company which the same night encamped in the main valley above. Under the circumstances,
we enjoyed a good night's sleep, keeping only two guards at
a time.
On the morning of June 29th, we passed over a low range
of hills, from the summit of which we had a splendid view of
the Rogue River valley. It seemed like a great meadow, interspersed with groves of oaks which appeared like vast orchards. All day long we traveled over rich black soil covered
with rank grass, clover and pea vine, and at night encamped
near the other party on the stream now known as Emigrant
creek, near the foot of the Siskiyou mountains. This night,
the Indians having gone to the mountains to ambush the
French party as we afterwards learned, we were not disturbed. Here our course diverged from that of the other
company, they following the old California trail across the
Siskiyou, while our route was eastward through an unexplored
region several hundred miles in extent. 20
Lindsay Applegate
On the morning of June 30th, we moved along the north
bank of the creek, and soon began the ascent of the mountains
to the eastward; which we found gradual. Spending most of
the day in examining the hills about the stream now called
Keene creek, near the summit of the Siskiyou ridge, we moved
on down through the heavy forests of pine, fir and cedar, and
encamped early in the evening in a little valley, now known
as Round prairie, about ten or twelve miles, as nearly as we
could judge, from the camp of the previous night. We found
no evidence of Indians being about, but we did not relax our
vigilance on that account. We encamped in a clump of pines ■
in the valley and kept out our guard.
On the morning of July 1st, being anxious to know what
we were to find ahead, we made an early start. This morning we observed the track of a lone horse leading eastward.
Thinking it had been made by some Indian horseman on his
way from Rogue river to the Klamath country, we undertook
to follow it. This we had no trouble in doing, as it had been
made in the spring while the ground was damp and was very
distinct, until we came to a very rough, rocky ridge where we
lost it. This ridge was directly in our way. Exploring northward along the divide for considerable distance without finding a practicable route across it we encamped for the night
among the pines. The next morning, July 2d we explored
the ridge southward as far as the great canyon of the Klamath
but, having no better success than the day before, we encamped at a little spring on the mountain side. The next day,
July 3d, we again traveled northward farther than before,
making a more complete examination of the country than we.
had previously done, and at last found what seemed to be a
practicable pass. Near this was a rich grassy valley through
which ran a little stream, and here we encamped for the night.
This valley is now known as long prairie.
On the morning of July-4th, our route bore along a ridge
trending considerably towards the north.   The route was good, The South Road Expedition
not rocky, and the ascent very gradual. After crossing the
summit of the Cascade ridge, the descent was, in places, very
rapid. At noon we came out into a glade where there was
water and grass and from which we could see the Klamath
river. After noon we moved down through an immense forest,
principally of yellow pine, to the river, and then traveled up
the north bank, still through yellow pine forests, for about six
miles, when all at once we came out in full view of the Klamath
country, extending eastward as far as the eye could reach. It
was an exciting moment, after the many days spent in the
dense forests and among the mountains, and the whole party
broke forth in cheer after cheer. An Indian who had not
observed us until the shouting began, broke away from the
river bank near us and ran to the hills a quarter of a mile
distant. An antelope could scarcely have made better time,
for we continued shouting as he ran and his speed seemed to
increase until he was lost from our view among the pines.
We were now entering a country where the natives had seen
but few white people. Following the river up to where it
leaves the Lower Klamath Lake, we came to a riffle where it
seemed possible to cross. William Parker waded in and
explored the ford. It was deep, rocky and rapid, but we all
passed over safely, and then proceeding along the river and
lake-shore for a mile or so when we came into the main valley
of the Lower Klamath Lake. We could see columns of smoke
rising in every direction, for our presence was already known
to the Modocs and the signal fire telegraph was in active
operation. Moving southward along the shore we came to a
little stream coming in from the southward, and there found
pieces of newspapers and other unmistakable evidences of civilized people having camped there a short time before. We
found a place where the turf had been cut away, also the willows, near the bank of the creek and horses had been repeatedly
driven over the place. As there were many places where animals could get water without this trouble, some of the party Lindsay Applegate
were of the opinion that some persons had been buried there
and that horses had been driven over the place to obliterate
all marks and thus prevent the Indians from disturbing the
dead. The immense excitement among the Indians on our arrival there strengthened this opinion. Col. Fremont, only a
few days before, had reached this point on his way northward
when he was overtaken by Lieut. Gillispie of the United States
army with important dispatches and returned to Lower California. The Mexican war had just begun and the "pathfinder" was needed elsewhere. On the very night he was overtaken by Lieut. Gillispie, the Modocs surprised his camp,
killed three of his Delaware Indians and it is said that, had it
not been for the vigilance and presence of mind of Kit Carson,
he would probably have suffered a complete rout. At this
place we arranged our camp on open ground so that the Indians could not possibly approach us without discovery. It is
likely that the excitement among the Modocs was caused,
more than anything else, by the apprehension that ours was a
party sent to chastise them for their attack on Fremont. We
were but a handful of men surrounded by hundreds of Indians
armed with their poisoned arrows, but by dint of great care
and vigilance we were able to pass through their country safely. On every line of travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific,
there has been great loss of life from a failure to exercise a
proper degree of caution, and too often have reckless and foolhardy men who have, through the want of proper care, become
embroiled in difficulties with the Indians, gained the reputation of being Indian fighters and heroes, while the men who
were able to conduct parties in safety through the country of
warlike savages, escaped the world's notice.
On the morning of July 5th we left our camp on the little
creek (now called Hot creek), and continued our course along
the shore of Lower Klamath Lake. This threw us off our
course considerably, as the lake extended some miles to the The South Road Expedition
southward of our last camp, and we did not reach the eastern
shore until the day was far spent. We camped on the lake
shore, and the next morning, July 6th, we ascended a high
rocky ridge to the eastward for the purpose of making observations. Near the base of the ridge, on the east, was a large
lake, perhaps twenty miles in length. Beyond it, to the eastward, we could see a timbered butte, apparently thirty miles
distant, at the base of which there appeared to be a low pass
through the mountain range which seemed to encircle the lake
basin. It appearing practicable to reach this pass by passing
around the south end of the lake, we decided to adopt that
route and began the descent of the ridge, but we soon found
ourselves in the midst of an extremely rugged country. Short
lava ridges ran in every conceivable direction, >while between
them were caves and crevices into which it seemed our animals were in danger of falling headlong. The farther we
advanced the worse became the route, so that at length we
decided to retrace our steps to the smooth country. This was
difficult, as our horses had become separated among the rocks,
and it was some time before we could get them together and
return to the open ground. Then we discovered that one of
our party, David Goff, was missing. While in the lava field
he had discovered a band of mountain sheep, and in pursuing
them had lost his way. Some of the party went quite a distance into the rocks, but could hear nothing of him. We decided to proceed to the meadow country, at the head of the
lake, by encircling the lava beds to the northward, and encamp
until we could find our comrade. While we were proceeding
to carry out this program, we discovered a great number of
canoes leaving the lake shore, under the bluffs, and making
for what appeared to be an island four or five miles distant.
We could also see a lone horseman riding leisurely along the
lake shore, approaching us. This soon proved to be our lost
friend. The Modocs had discovered him in the lava fields,
and probably supposing that the whole party was about to 24
Lindsay Applegate
assail them from the rocks, they took to their canoes. He said
that, seeing the Indians retreating, he concluded he would
leave the rocks and ride along the lakeshore where the going
was good. We nooned in a beautiful meadow, containing about
two sections, near the head of the lake.
After spending a couple of hours in this splendid pasture,
we re-packed and started on our way towards the timbered
butte, but had not proceeded more than a mile before we came
suddenly upon quite a large stream (Lost river) coming into
the lake. We found this stream near the lake very deep, with
almost perpendicular banks, so that we were compelled to turn
northward, up the river. Before proceeding very far we discovered an Indian crouching under the bank, and surrounding him, made him come out. By signs, we indicated to him
that we wanted to cross the river. By marking on his legs
and pointing up the river, he gave us to understand that there
was a place above where we could easily cross. Motioning
to him to advance, he led the way up the river about a mile
and pointed out a place where an immense rock crossed the
river. The sheet of water running over the rock was about
fifteen inches deep, while the principal part of the river seemed
to flow under. This was the famous Stone Bridge on Lost
river, so often mentioned after this by travelers. For many
years the water of Tule Lake have been gradually rising, so
that now the beautiful meadow on which we nooned on the
day we discovered the bridge is covered by the lake, and the
back water in Lost river long ago made the river impassable;
is now probably ten feet deep over the bridge.
After crossing the bridge we made our pilot some presents, and all shaking hands with him, left him standing on the
river bank. Pursuing our way along the northern shore of
the lake a few miles, we came to a beautiful spring, near the
base of the mountains on our left, and encamped for the night.
After using the alkali water of Lower Klamath Lake the previous night, the fresh, cold water of this spring was a real The South Road Expedition
luxury. There was plenty of dry wood and an abundance of
green grass for our animals, and we enjoyed the camp exceedingly. Sitting around our fire that evening, we discussed the
adventures of the past few days in this new and strange land.
The circumstances of the last day had been particularly interesting. Our adventure in the rocks; the retreat of the whole
Modoc tribe in a fleet of thirty or forty canoes across the lake
from Goff; the singularity of the natural bridge; the vast
fields of tule around the lake, and the fact that the lake was
an independent body of water, were subjects of peculiar interest and only intensified our desire to see more of this then
wild land.
July 7th, we left the valley of Tule Lake to pursue our
course eastward, over a rocky table land, among scattering
juniper trees. We still observed the timbered butte as our
landmark, and traveled as directly toward it as the shape of
the country would admit. This butte is near the State line,
between Clear lake and Goose lake, and probably distant fifty
miles from the lava ridge west of Lost river, from which we
first observed it, and supposing it to be about thirty miles away.
In pursuing our course we passed through the hilly, juniper
country between Langell valley and Clear lake without seeing
either the valley or lake, and at noon arrived at the bed of a
stream where there was but little water. The course of the
stream was north or northwest, and appearances indicated that
at times quite a volume of water flowed in the channel. This
was evidently the bed of Lost river, a few miles north of where
this singular stream leaves the Clear river marsh.
Leaving this place, we pursued our journey through a similar country to that passed over during the forenoon, and encamped at a little spring among the junipers, near the base
of the timbered hill, and passed a very pleasant night.
On the morning of July 8th, we passed our landmark and
traveled nearly eastward, over a comparatively level but extremely rocky country, and nooned in the channel of another 26
Lindsay Applegate
stream, where there was a little water standing in holes. On
leaving this place we found the country still quite level, but
exceedingly rocky; for eight or ten miles almost like pavement. Late in the afternoon we came out into the basin of a
lake (Goose lake), apparently forty or fifty miles in length.
Traversing the valley about five miles along the south end of
the lake, we came to a little stream coming in from the mountains to the eastward. The grass and water being good, we
encamped here for the night. Game seemed plentiful, and one
of the party killed a fine deer in the vicinity of the camp. From
a spur of the mountains, near our camp, we had a splendid
view of the lake and of the extensive valley bordering it on
the north. On the east, between the lake and mountain range
running nearly north and south, and which we supposed to
be a spur of the Sierra Nevadas, was a beautiful meadow country, narrow, but many miles in length, across which the lines
of willows and scattering pines and cottonwoods indicated the
courses of a number of little streams coming into the lake
from the mountain chain. A little southeast of our camp there
appeared to be a gap in the mountain wall, and we decided to
try it on the succeeding day.
July 9th we moved up the ridge towards the gap, and soon
entered a little valley, perhaps containing a hundred acres, extending to the summit of the ridge, thus forming an excellent
pass. The ascent was very gradual. The little valley was
fringed with mountain-mahogany trees, giving it quite a picturesque appearance. This shrub, which is peculiar to the
rocky highlands, is from fifteen to twenty feet high and in
form something like a cherry tree, so that a grove of mountain mahogany strikingly resembles a cherry orchard. About
the center of the little valley is a spring of cold water, making
it an excellent camping place, and for many years afterwards
it was the place where the immigrants were wont to meet and
let their animals recuperate after the long, tiresome march
across the so-called American Desert; for this Sierra ridge The South Road Expedition
separates the waters of the Pacific from those of the great
basin which extends from the Blue mountains far southward
towards the Colorado. The little stream on which we encamped before entering this pass is called Lassen creek, taking its name from Peter Lassen, who led a small party of immigrants across the plains in 1848, following our route from
the Humboldt through this pass, thence down Pitt river to the
Sacramento. From the summit of the ridge we had a splendid view. Northward the ridge seemed to widen out, forming
several low ranges of timbered mountains, while southward it
seemed to rise very high, as we could see patches of snow
along the summit in the distance. East and south of us, at
the foot of the ridge, was a beautiful green valley, twenty or
thirty miles in extent, and containing a small lake. A number of small streams flowed from the mountain into and
through the valley, affording an abundance of water for the
wants of a settlement. This fertile valley on the border of
the desert has since been called Surprise Valley, and now contains quite a population.
As we stood on the Sierra ridge, we surveyed the vast desert plains to the eastward of Surprise Valley, apparently without grass or trees, and marked by numerous high rocky ridges
running north and south. After deciding on our course, we
descended the mountain and soon came to a little stream, the
banks of which were lined with plum bushes completely loaded
with fruit. There was a grove of pines at hand, and there we
decided to noon, as the day was extremely hot. Game seemed
plentiful about this rich valley, and while we were nooning a
large band of antelope grazed in sight of us. Spending about
two hours among these pines, which were the last we saw during our long and weary march on the desert, we packed up
and moved across the valley eastward. After crossing the
valley we entered a very sandy district, where the traveling
was laborious, and next ascended to a table land, the surface
of which was covered with small gravel.    By this time most 28
Lindsay Applegate
of our horses were barefooted, and our progress through the
rocky country was consequently very slow. The country was
so desert-like that we had about despaired of finding water
that night, but just at dark we unexpectedly came to a little
spring. There was but little water, but by digging some we
were able to get quite enough for ourselves and horses, though
it kept us busy until about midnight to get the horses watered.
Although we had met with singularly good fortune in thus
finding water at the close of the first day's march on the desert, we could not always expect such good luck in the future;
and as we lay down in our blankets among the sagebrush that
night, we could not help having some gloomy forebodings in
regard to the future of our expedition.
On the morning of the 10th of July, we found an abundance
of water in the basin we had scraped out at the little spring
early in the night, so that we were able to start out on the
desert much refreshed. Our horses, however, looked very
gaunt as there was a great scarcity of grass about the spring.
The landscape before us, as we made our start this morning,
was anything but inviting. It was a vast sand plain. No trees
or mountains were in sight. Far in the distance were some
dark looking ridges. There was no vegetation excepting dwarf
sage and grease wood growing in the sand and gravel. At
about three o'clock in the afternoon we came to a huge volcanic wall, varying in height from twenty or thirty to several hundred feet, extending north and south as far as the eye
could reach and apparently without any gap through it. We
divided at the wall so as to explore it both ways. The party
going southward, after proceeding a few miles, came to a
little stream, forming a beautiful meadow at the base of the
wall, and flowing through a narrow gateway into the ridge.
They immediately dispatched one of their party in pursuit of
us with the good news, and we returned to the meadow early
in the afternoon, and decided to turn out our horses and give The South Road Expedition
them a. chance to feed and rest, while we explored the defile
on foot. We found it a very remarkable chasm, extending
nearly due east. The gateway was about sixty yards in width
and the canyon was, at some places, a little wider than that
perhaps, and at others, was only wide enough for a wagon
road. The little bottom was grassy and almost level, and, indeed, a remarkable track for a road. In many places, the cliffs
on either side towered to a height of several hundred feet, and,
in some places actually overhung the chasm. Those overhanging cliffs afforded excellent sheltering places for the Indians, and the signs betokened that it was a great place of resort for them. Sage hens and rabbits were plentiful, also
mountain sheep, but the latter were so wild that we did not
succeed in killing any of them. After making quite an extended trip into the canyon, we returned to the little meadow
and spent the night.
On the morning of July 11, we again entered the gorge and
traveled ten or twelve miles to a place where the stream
formed quite a pool, and nooned. At this season, the stream
ran no further than the pool. Here another canyon comes
in from the north, and at the junction there is quite an area of
level ground—perhaps two acres—mostly meadow, forming an
excellent camping place. After noon we proceeded on our
way, following the dry bed of the stream, and, after a march
of perhaps ten miles, came out on the east side of the ridge.
Here we found a lake basin of several acres in extent, where
there was but a little water and a great deal of mud, hence
strongly suggesting the name of Mud Lake, which it has since
always borne. Earlier in the season, when the little stream
that feeds it flows all the way through the canyon, this is
doubtless quite a lake. The country eastward had a very forbidding appearance. Rising from a barren plain, perhaps fifteen miles away, was a rough, rocky ridge, extending as far
as the eye could reach towards the north, but apparently terminating abruptly perhaps fifteen miles south of our course. 30
Lindsay Applegate
Along the base of the ridge, towards its extremity, were seen
green spots, indicating water. After considering the situation
pretty thoroughly, we concluded that it would be the surest
plan to depart from our usual course and travel southward to
the extremity of the ridge, as, by so doing, we would probably
keep clear of the rocks and be more certain to find water. So
we followed the dry outlet of the lake, in a southwesterly direction, for a distance of three or four miles and we camped
at a little spring.
In this vicinity quite a tragedy occurred while Capt. Levi
Scott, accompanied by a detachment of regular troops, was en
route to meet the immigration of 1847. It was his intention
to make an effort to hunt out a direct route from Mud Lake
to Humboldt, thus saving the distance lost by our change of
direction in 1846. It appears that Mr. Scott and a man named
Garrison, leaving the train encamped at Mud Lake, started
out in a due easterly direction towards the black ridge to ascertain the practicability of finding a way across it. When out
about ten miles they came across two Indians. Not being able
to talk with them, they undertook, through signs, to learn
something about the country. The Indians appeared to be
friendly, but, taking advantage of Scott and Garrison while
they were off their guard, strung their bows and commenced
shooting with great rapidity. Garrison was mortally wounded,
and Scott, while in the act of firing, was shot through the
arm with an arrow, which passing through, entered his side,
pinning his arm to his body. Scott fired, however, killing his
Indian and the other took to flight. Scott's were, fortunately,
only flesh wounds, but Garrison had been pierced by two arrows and died soon after being conveyed to the camp. Thus
the effort to make the cut-off failed, and to this day has never
been made.
The little spring, where we encamped, furnished an abundance of water; the grass was good, but fuel extremely scarce,
there being nothing in this line but dwarf sage brush. The South Road Expedition
On starting out on the morning of the 12th of July, we observed vast columns of smoke or steam rising at the extremity
of the black ridge. Reaching the ridge a few miles north of
its extremity, we traveled along its base, passing a number of
springs, some cold and others boiling hot. At the end of the
ridge we found an immense boiling springs from whence the
steam was rising like smoke from a furnace. A large volume of water issued from the spring which irrigated several
hundred acres of meadow. Although the water was strongly
impregnated with alkali, it was fit for use when cooled, and
the spot was, on the whole, a very good camping place for the
desert. The cliffs, at the extremity of the ridge, were formed
of immense masses of black volcanic rock and all about were
vast piles of cinders, resembling those from a blacksmith's
forge. This place has ever since been known as "Black Rock,"
and is one of the most noted landmarks on the Humboldt desert. At this place we rested a day and consulted as to the
best course to pursue in order to reach the Humboldt, or, as
it was then called, Ogden's river. The result of the council
was that we agreed to separate, one party to travel eastward
and the other to pursue a more southerly direction.
In pursuance of the plan decided on at Black Rock, on the
morning of July 14th, we separated into two parties; eight
men starting out in a southerly direction and seven men, including myself, towards the east. The country before us appeared very much like the dry bed of a lake. Scarcely a spear
of vegetation could be seen, and the whole country was white
with alkali. After traveling about fifteen miles we began to
discover dim rabbit trails running in the same direction in
which we were traveling. As we advanced the trails became
more plain, and there were others constantly coming in, all
pointing in the general direction toward a ledge of granite
boulders which we could see before us. Approaching the ledge,
which was the first granite we had seen since leaving Rogue
river valley, we could see a green mound where all the trails 32
Lindsay Applegate
seemed to enter, and on examining the place closely we found
a small hole in the top of the mound, in which a little puddle of
water stood within a few inches of the surface. This was a
happy discovery for we were already suffering considerably
for want of water and our horses were well nigh exhausted.
The day had been an exceedingly hot one and the heat reflected
from the shining beds of alkali, had been very oppressive. The
alkali water at Black Rock had only given us temporary relief
—our thirst was really more intense from having used it. Unpacking our horses, we staked them in the bunch grass about
the granite ledge, and began digging down after the little vein
of water which formed the puddle in the rabbit hole. The
water seemed to be confined to a tough clay or muck which
came near the surface in the center of the mound, thus preventing it from wasting away in the sand. Digging down in
this clay we made a basin large enough to hold several gallons
and by dark we had quite a supply of good pure water. We
then began issuing it to our horses, a little at a time, and by
morning men and horses were considerably refreshed. Great
numbers of rabbits came around us and we killed all we wanted
of them. This is the place always since known as the Rabbit
Hole Springs.
Looking eastward, on the morning of July J5th, from the
elevated table lands upon which we then were, we saw vast
clouds of smoke, completely shutting out the distant landscape.
The wind blowing almost constantly from the southwest, kept
the smoke blown away so that we could get a tolerably good
view towards the south. Our wish was to continue our course
eastward, but the country, as far as we could see in that direction, being a barren plain, we concluded to follow the granite ledge, which extended in a southeasterly direction from the
spring, believing the chances of finding water would be better
by following that route. The smoke, as we afterwards learned
was caused by the burning of peat beds along the Humboldt
river, the stream we were now wishing to find, though we The South Road Expedition
had no correct idea of the distance we would have to travel
in order to reach it, nor of the difficulties to be encountered.
Pursuing our way along the ridge, searching everywhere care-
iSttlly f<ar water, at about eleven o'clock A. M. we observed the
rabbit trails all leading in the same direction, and following
the course indicated, we found a basin in the side of a rock
large enough to hold a few gallons of water. Into this basin
the water oozed from a crevice in the rock, very slowly, so
, when the basin was emptied it was a long time filling.
Tthere was no way of improving this spring, for whenever the
jbaain was full and the water running over, it would waste in
the loose gravel and sand, and we did not get a sufficiency of
it for ourselves and horses until late at night. Appearances in-
<dicated£hat it was a great resort for Indians, though there did
not seem to be any in the vicinity while we were there. During the afternoon and evening, great numbers of little birds
came for water, and were so tame that we could almost put
our hands on them.
On the morning of July 16th, we proceeded along the ridge
for four or five miles and came to quite a large spring, but so
strongly impregnated with alkali that we could only use it in
making coffee. Here we rested an hour or so while our horses
grazed. This morning we passed over a country abounding in
quartz. At this spring our granite ridge terminated, and before us was a vast desert plain, without a spear of vegeation,
and covered with an alkaline effloresence which glittered beneath the scorching rays of the sun. The heat was intense as
we rode slowly out to the eastward upon the great plain. After
weihad traveled a few miles, we observed what was supposed
to be a lake, even fancying that we could see the waves upon
its surface, but after riding in that direction awhile, we discovered that it was only one of those optical illusions so often
(.experienced on the desert. Next, we saw what we supposed to
be a clump of willows to the eastward and rode in that direction with all possible dispatch, but, on nearing the place, we 34
Lindsay Applegate
discovered, to our intense disappointment, that it was only a
pile of black volcanic rocks, fifteen or twenty feet high. The
sun was now getting quite low, and the heat was somewhat
abating, yet it remained quite hot as we rode a few miles to the
eastward on the desert. As night closed in upon us we selected
our camping place in a little sag where there were some strong
sage bushes growing. To these we tied our horses securely, for,
as there was not a blade of grass and they were suffering for
water, we knew they would leave us, should they break away
from their fastenings. The only camp duty we had to perform
that night was to spread our blankets down upon the loose sand.
Then we stretched ourselves upon them, with little hope of rest,
for our thirst had by that time become intense; worse, no doubt,
from reason of our having drank the strong alkali water that
morning. Our reflections that night were gloomy in the extreme. Even if we could have heard the cry of a night bird
or the familiar note of a coyote it would have given us encouragement, for it would have indicated the presence of water
somewhere in the vicinity; but not a sound was heard during
the livelong night except our own voices and the restless tramp
of the half-famished horses.
As we started out on the morning of July 17th to the eastward we could see only a short distance on account of the
dense clouds of* smoke which enveloped the country. We spent
much of the day in searching in various places for water and at
about four o'clock in the afternoon we came to some ledges of
rock. They afforded a shelter from the scorching rays of the
sun, and we halted to rest for a while as some of the party were
now. so exhausted that they could scarcely ride. From the top
of the rocks we could discern a small greenish spot on the
desert, five or six miles distant, and, hoping to find water
there, we decided to ride towards it. Robert Smith was now
suffering severely from a pain in the head, and, as he was not
able to ride, we were compelled to leave him under the rocks,
with the understanding that he would follow us as soon as he The South Road Expedition
felt able to ride. After going four or five miles, we beheld a
horseman approaching us. This soon proved to be John Jones,
one of the party who left us at Black Rock on the morning of
the 14th. He had found water at the place we were making
for, and, in searching for the rest of his party, had accidentally
fallen in with us. We of course made a "stampede" for the
water. On our arrival there two of the party, filling a large
horn with water, started on their return with it to Smith. They
met him on the way, hanging on to the horn of his saddle, while
his horse was following our trail. By the time they returned
the other party also arrived, so that, at about six P. M., we
found ourselves all together again. The other party had fared
almost as badly as we had, not having had any water since ten
o'clock in the forenoon of the day before.
Although a Godsend to us, this wa£er was almost as bad as
one could imagine. It was in the bed of a little alkali lake,
thickly studded with reeds. There were about four inches of
strong alkali water resting upon a bed of thin mud, and it was
so warm and nauseating that it was impossible for some of the
party to retain a stomach-full very long at a time. It was a
grand relief to our poor horses to have an abundance of water
and grass once more, and, tired as they were, they worked
busily all night upon the reeds and grasses about the little lake.
Much exhausted, we retired early, and arose "considerably refreshed the next morning.
On the morning of July 18, our course was nearly southeast
along the edge of a vast level plain to our right. Immense
columns of smoke were still rising in front of us, and at about
ten or eleven o'clock we came to places where peat bogs were
on fire. These fires extended for miles along the valley of the
Humboldt river, for we were now in the near vicinity of that
stream, and at noon had the great satisfaction of encamping
upon its banks. We found this sluggish stream about thirty
feet wide, and the water strongly alkaline and of a milky hue.
Along its banks were clumps of willows, affording us an abund- 36
Lindsay Applegate
ance of fuel, and as there was plenty of grass for our horses,
our camp was a good one. Since leaving Rabbit Hole Springs
we had traveled much too far south of our course to satisfy us,
and our desire was now to travel up the Humboldt until we
should reach a point nearly east of Black Rock, and endeavor
to find a route for the road more directly on our old course.
On July 19, we traveled perhaps twenty miles in a northeasterly direction along the river bottom, and encamped. The
next day, July 20, we pursued our way along the river, on
a good, easy route, making about the same distance as the
day before. On the 21st we continued our march up the
river and at noon came to a point where the river bottom
widened out into quite an extensive meadow district. From
this point we could see what appeared to be a low pass
through the ridge on the west, through which was a channel
of a tributary of the Humboldt, now dry. Here we decided
to encamp and send out a party to examine the country towards
Black Rock.
We had nothing in which to carry water but a large powder
horn, so we thought it best not to risk sending out too large a
party. On the morning of the 22nd of July, Levi Scott and
William Parker left us, and, following the dry channel of the
stream for about fifteen miles, they came to a beautiful spring
of pure water. Here they passed the night, and the next day,
Juy 23rd, they ascended by a very gradual route to the table
lands to the westward, and within about fifteen miles of their
camp of the previous night, they entered quite a grassy district
from which they could plainly see Black Rock. Exploring the
country about them carefully they found the Rabbit Hole
Springs. The line of our road was now complete. We had
succeeded in finding a route across the desert and on to the
Oregon settlements, with camping places at suitable distances,
and, since we knew the source of the Humboldt river was near
Fort Hall, we felt that our enterprise was already a success,
and that immigrants could be able to reach Oregon late in The South Road Expedition
the season with far less danger of being snowed in than on the
California route down the Humboldt and over the Sierra Ne-
vadas. The sequel proved that we were correct in this opinion,
for this same fall the Donner party, in endeavoring to cross the
Sierras, were snowed in, suffered the most indescribable horrors, and about half of them perished.
The Humboldt Meadows affording us a splendid camping
place, we concluded to remain there and recruit our jaded ani-
mals for a few days before pursuing our journey farther.
From Humboldt Meadows to Fort Hall and
Back to Black Rock.
Our object was to locate the road direct from near the head
of the Humboldt to Bear river, leaving Fort Hall forty or
sixty miles to the northward. Our itock of provisions being
almost exhausted, we decided to dispatch a party, with the
strongest animals, to Fort Hall at once, for supplies, while the
rest of us would move along more slowly, making such improvements on the road as seemed necessary, and perhaps
reaching the head of the river in time to meet the Fort Hall
party there on its return. Accordingly, on the morning of the
25th of July, Jesse Applegate, Moses Harris. Henry Boygus,
David Goff and John Owens, left us for Fort Hall. The place
decided on for the reunion of the party was known as Hot
Spring or Thousand Spring Valley, on the Humboldt. I shall
not undertake, after this date, to give a detailed statement of
our experiences, until the conclusion of our journey in the fall,
only mentioning the most important incidents of the long and
wearisome campaign.
The journey up the Humboldt, through a country so uniformly alike the entire distance, was quite monotonous. The
sluggish stream, fringed, with willows on either side, flowed
through a narrow valley bounded by dry volcanic ridges, gradually increased in volume as we advanced towards its source,
as the water wastes away in the dry, sandy region through 38
Lindsay Applegate
which it flows. Like the Nile, this stream rises sufficiently
every year to overflow and fertilize its valley, so that it produces the finest grass. Since 1843, immigrants had occasionally traveled down this stream to its sink, and had thence
crossed the high, snowy range of the Sierra Nevada, from
Truckee run via Donner lake, to the Sacramento valley; and
as we proceeded up the river, we frequently met small parties,
like ourselves, sunburned and covered with alkali dust, and
worn and wearied by the long and difficult journey.
Game was our principal dependence for food, and this we
found exceedingly scarce along the Humboldt, and the thousands of Indians who inhabited the valley at this season seemed
to subsist chiefly upon grasshoppers and crickets, which were
One day, during our march through this country, Capt. Scott
and myself, leaving the party on the west side, crossed the
river for the purpose of hunting, and, while pursuing a band of
antelope, came upon wagon tracks, leading away from the river
towards a rocky gulch among the hills, two or three miles
distant. Several wagons seemed to have been in the train, and
on either side of the plain tracks made by the wagon wheels
in the loose sand were numerous bare-foot tracks. Following
the trail into the mouth of the gulch, we found where the
wagons had been burned, only the ruins being left among the
ashes. We found no human remains, yet the evidences were
plain that a small train of immigrants had been taken here not
a great while before, and that they had perished at the hands
of their blood-thirsty captors, not one having escaped to recite
the awful tale of horror. Possibly the bodies of the victims had
been thrust into the river. Possibly the drivers had been compelled to drive their teams across the sage plains into this wild
ravine, here to be slaughtered and their bodies burned. By a
more extended search along the river and among the hills, we
might possibly have found some of the bodies of the victims,
and might have obtained some clue as to who the ill-fated The South Road Expedition
immigrants were, but even this was not practicable at the time,
and we could only hurry on with sad hearts to overtake the
train far up the river.
On the 5 th of August, we reached Hot Spring valley, having
traveled, as nearly as we could judge, about two hundred miles
along the river. On the 10th the Fort Hall party returned to
us with a supply of provisions, and on the 11th we turned our
faces towards our homes, which we judged to be eight or nine
hundred miles distant.
Before the party of five reached Fort Hall, one of them,
young Boygus, hearing that a son of Capt. Grant, commander
of Fort Hall, had recently started for Canada, via St. Louis,
concluded to leave the party and, by forced marches, endeavor
to overtake Grant, as he was anxious to return to his home in
Missouri. Boygus was brave and determined, and expecting
to meet immigrants occasionally, he sat out alone on his hazardous undertaking. We never heard of him afterwards, and his
fate has always remained a mystery. There was, perhaps,
truth in the report current afterwards that his gun and horses
were seen in the possession of an Indian at Fort Hall, and it
is most likely that he was followed by Indians from the very
moment he left his companions and slain, as many a poor fellow
has been, while all alone upon the great plains.
At Fort Hall the party of four met with a considerable train
of immigrants, with some of whom they were acquainted, who
decided to come to Oregon by way of our route. This train
closely followed our companions on their return, and reached
Hot Spring valley before our departure. Before starting on
the morning of July 11th, a small party of young men from the
immigrant train generously voluntered to accompany us and
assist in opening the road. These were: Thomas Powers,
Burges, Shaw, Carnahan, Alfred Stewart, Charles Putnam,
and two others whose names I now disremember. A Bannock
Indian, from about the head of Snake River, also joined us.
This increased our road party to twenty-one men, exclusive 40
Lindsay Applegate
of Scott and Goff, who remained to guide and otherwise assist
the immigrants on their way to Oregon.
Nothing worthy of mention occurred during our return along
the valley of the Humboldt, and not until we left the river
and proceeded westward towards Black Rock. The first night
after leaving the river we spent at the spring found by Scott
and Parker, on the 22nd of July. This we called Diamond
Spring. Reaching this point about noon, we spent several
hours in digging out a basin at the spring, which soon filled
with pure, cold water.
Fifteen miles travel the next day over a good route, brought
us at noon to the Rabbit Hole Springs. We soon improved
this spring considerably, and, at about two P. M., took up our
line of march for Black Rock, which we reached at nightfall.
After we were out two or three miles from Diamond Springs
this morning, our Bannock Indian discovered that he had left
his butcher-knife and, tying his pony to a sage-brush, started
back to the spring on a run, supposing he could easily overtake us, as we would be delayed considerably at Rabbit Hole
Springs; at any rate, he would have no trouble in following our
trail. We saw him no more, and conjectured that he must
have fallen a prey to the Diggers, who continually shadowed
us as we traveled through their country, always ready to profit
by any advantage given them.
No circumstances worthy of mention occurred on the monotonous march from Black Rock to the timbered regions of
the Cascade chain; then our labors became quite arduous.
Every day we kept guard over the horses while we worked the
road, and at night we dared not cease our vigilance, for the
Indians continually hovered about us, seeking for advantage.
By the time we had worked our way through the mountains to
the Rogue river valley, and then through the Grave Creek Hills
and Umpqua chain, we were pretty thoroughly worn out. Our
stock of provisions had grown very short, and we had to depend, to a great extent, for sustenance, upon game. Road
working, hunting, and guard duty   had taxed   our   strength The South Road Expedition
greatly, and on our arrival in the Umpqua valley, knowing that
the greatest difficulties in the way of immigrants had been
removed, we decided to proceed at once to our home in the
Willamette. There we arrived on the 3rd day of October, 1846,
having been absent three months and thirteen days. During
all this time our friends had heard nothing from us, and
realizing the dangerous character of our expedition, many believed in the news which some time before reached them, that
we had all been murdered by the Indians.
As soon as we could possibly make the arrangement, we sent
out a party with oxen and horses, to meet the immigrants and
aid them in reaching the Willamette settlements. For this
assistance we made no demand, nor did we tax them for the
use of the road, as was alleged by parties inimical to our en-
terpise. It had been the distinct understanding that the road
should be free, and the consciousness of having opened a better means of access to the country than was afforded by the
expensive and dangerous route down the Columbia, which
we had tried to our sorrow, would be ample compensation for
all our labors and hardships in opening the South road.
Of course our enterprise was opposed by that mighty monopoly, the Hudson's Bay Company, whose line of forts and trading
posts on the Columbia afford them rare opportunities for trade
with the immigrants. Many of the immigrants who followed
us during the fall of 1846 had a hard time, though not as
hard as they would likely have experienced on the other route;
and some of them, not understanding the situation fully, became
infected with the spirit of persecution,, which had its origin with
the Hudson's Bay Company, and joined in charging us with
leading the travel away from the northern route for purposes of
personal speculation. Certain members of the party were singled out to bear the burden of persecution, whereas, if any
member of the party was animated by improper motives in
seeking to open the road, all were equally guilty, as the party
was governed in all its proceedings by a majority vote of its
members. 42
Lindsay Applegate
The efforts of the Hudson's Bay Company to put down the
road, proved an eminent failure. Its superior advantages were
better and better known and appreciated every year. It never
ceased to be an important route of travel, and a large portion
of the population of our State entered by this channel. It is a
very significant fact that the great thoroughfare of today, from
the Willamette to the Siskiyou chain, and thence out through
the Lake country and on to the Humboldt, departs rarely from
the route blazed out by the road company, thirty-two years ago.
Those who are conversant with the facts, know that that portion of the route, from the Humboldt to the Lake country presents no serious obstacles in the way of the construction of a
railroad, and had the Central Pacific company located their
road on that route, from Humboldt as far as Goose lake, and
thence down Pitt river to the Sacramento valley, they would
doubtless have saved millions of money in the original cost of
the road, as well as in keeping it in order, since the snowfall
would never have been seriously in the way, even in the
severest winters.
In conclusion, I will recall the names of the road company,
with a few facts relative to their history. I regret that it is not
practicable to make this record more ample, but the company
was made up, almost to a man, of active, energetic characters,
who were not satisfied with a quiet, spiritless life, and many
of them long ago were lost to the little community, "over in
Polk," where they first settled, as they moved to other portions
of the State or went out into adjacent territories to seek their
fortunes. Under the circumstances, it has been impracticable
to learn the whereabouts of some of them, or to gather such
facts relative to their later history as would amplify and add
interest to their biographies. Perhaps few companies of men
ever performed such a campaign without repeated quarrels and
even serious altercations, but the members of the Old South
Road Company bore together the trials and privations of the
expedition with a "forgiving and forbearing" spirit, and their The South Road Expedii
mutual burdens and the dangers to which they were exposed,
continually developed and strengthened their frendship. A reunion of them, were such a thing practicable, would be a season of peculiar joy, one to be remembered by the veteran survivors with pleasure, until they, too, shall pass away into the
great unknown.
The Road Company.
Capt. Levi Scott, a native of Illinois, came to Oregon in
1844, from near Burlington, Iowa. He was in the early days
quite a prominent man in Oregon affairs. He was a member
of the State constitutional convention. Capt. Scott located
Scottsburg, on the Umpqua river. He is now over eighty years
of age, and, I believe, resides in Lane County.
John Jones, usually known as "Jack" Jones, the wag of the
south road expedition, came to Oregon from M issouri in 1843.
Since then, he has been quite a wanderer. For many years he
resided in California, and, if living, is now in Idaho, I believe.
Native State, Missouri.
John Owens crossed the plains in 1843 from Missouri. He
was, I think, a native of that State. Have no knowledge of his
Henry Boygus came from Missouri in 1843. He was a fine
looking, jovial and intelligent young man, and we were all
much attached to him. Was probably murdered by Indians,
near Fort Hall, after he left us, in 1846, to return to his home
in Missouri.    Native State, Missouri.
William Sportsman crossed the plains in 1845, from Missouri, which was, I think, his native State. He left Oregon in
1847, and I have no knowledge of his whereabouts.
Samuel Goodhue, a native of New York, came to Oregon in
1844. ^ He afterwards became a son-in-law of Davidson,
the old pioneer, and a number of years resided about Salem.
When I last heard of him, he was in Ohio.
Robert Smith came to Oregon in 1843 from Missouri. Native State, Virginia.   He now resides at the head of the Yon- 44
Lindsay Applegate
calla valley, in Douglas county. Mr. Smith is a son-in-law
of Charles Applegate, and brother to Mrs, Governor Chad-
Moses Harris, called "Black Harris," came to Oregon in
1844, from the Rocky mountains, where he had been a scout
and trapper for many years. He spoke the Snake language fluently, and was of great service to us on the plains. He returned to the States in 1847, as guide to Dr. White, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Oregon, and died in Independence, Mo.
John Scott, a son of Capt. Levi Scott, came to Oregon with
his father in 1844. He now resides near Dallas, Polk county,
William G. Parker, a native of Missouri, came to Oregon
in 1843. He resided many years in California, but is now a
resident of Lake county, Oregon, and keeps the Half-Way
House, on the road from Ashland to Linkville. Mr. Parker
is a son-in-law of Capt. Solomon Tetherton, the old mountain
man, and a brother to Mrs. Jesse Applegate.
David Goff came to Oregon from Missouri in 1845. He
resided in Polk County, Oregon, until his death, which occurred, I believe, in 1874, and was universally respected. He
was the father-in-law of Gen. J. W. Nesmith.
Benjamin F. Burch came to Oregon from his native State,
Missouri, in 1845. Mr. Burch has long been a prominent man
in Oregon affairs. He now resides at Salem, and is Superintendent of the State Penitentiary.
Jesse Applegate was born in Kentucky, and came to Oregon
in 1843. He now resides on Mount Yoncalla, in Douglas
county, Oregon.
Lindsay Applegate, also a native of Kentucky, came to
Oregon in 1843. Now a resident of Ashland, Jackson county,
With the consciousness that I have endeavored faithfully
and impartially, though briefly, to relate the history of the The South Road Expedition
South Road expedition, I close this narrative, hoping that my
effort to preserve this much of this history of the early days
may inspire other "old timers" to relate their experiences also.
I am fully aware that memory is uncertain, and that a number
of errors may have occurred in my narrative from this reason,
but I place it before the people with confidence that it is, in
the main, correct. In doing so, I ask no other reward for the
labor of the preparation, than that its perusal may cause the
people to think more kindly of the old pioneers. THE FIRST STAGE OF THE FEDERAL INDIAN
By C. F. Coan, University of New Mexico
The intermingling of the Indians and the whites in the Pacific Northwest during the three-quarters of a century from 1774
to 1849 resulted in the races gradually becoming acquainted and
the creation by the latter date of a serious Indian problem
which had to be met by armed force. From 1774 to 1811 the
contact was comparatively slight, but this was greatly increased
during the years from 1811 to 1842. By 1849 there were few
Indians in the region who were not familiar with white men.
The explorers, both along the coast and in the interior, had
no conflicts with the natives of a serious nature. The coast
traders were not so fortunate. The Nootka Sound Indians
successfully expelled the traders from Vancouver Island. Prior
to 1811, the Indians along the Pacific Coast had become ac-
• quainted with the whites and had had a number of conflicts
with them. However, no continued association had resulted
because no permanent trading post or settlement had been established. In the interior along the Columbia river, the Indians had met a few explorers but the contact was very much
less than that along the coast.
The increased intercourse which followed the date 1811 was
due to the organized effort of well established companies to
exploit the most obvious natural resources of the region.
The elimination in 1813 of the American company and in
1821 of the "Northwesters" gave the control into the hands of
the highly favored and highly organized Hudson's Bay Company.    Prior to the coming of the company, the character of
*The investigation of this subject was begun in the Seminar of Dr. Herbert
E. Bolton, University of California. Through his aid and that of Dr. J. Franklin
Jameson the documents were obtained upon which this paper is based. Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest
the Indians in a large part of the interior had been determined. Along the main ridge of the Rocky Mountains the
hostile Indians made the gathering of beaver an extremely
dangerous occupation; in the Flathead, Kutenai, Spokane,
Okanogan regions, peace was the general rule; the Snake
Valley was famous for its dangers; the Indians at the portages
of the Columbia River were at first very bothersome but they
were taught to accept the presents given them for their services, and not to commit robberies; the Wallawalla, Nez
Perces, and the Cayuse appear to have been neither so thievish
as the "portage" Indians nor so fierce as the Blackfeet and
the mountain Snake, nor so friendly as the Indians of the Flathead and the Spokane country; as for the Indians of the
eastern part of Oregon, southwestern Oregon, and the Puget
Sound country—their attitude toward the traders was little
known to the "Northwesters."
Although the North West Company established a number
of forts, and conducted "brigades" into the Snake country
the organization was not so complete as that of the Hudson's
Bay Company in the period between 1824 and 1836. It was
during this period that the company developed its trade over
the greatest extent of territory west of the Rocky Mountains.
Within the Pacific Northwest they came into contact with
a number of groups of natives not met by the early companies and increased their dealings with those already known.
The Snake expeditions met the dangerous Modoc and the
mountain Snake. The southern "brigade" passed through
southwestern Oregon where the Indians were by reputation
hostile. Forts were now established in the Puget Sound
country, where the Indians were found to be peaceable. Farther
north on Vancouver Island a strong fort was necessary to
protect the traders against unfriendly Indians.
The missionary efforts—that introduced into the region a
group of men whose main purpose in life was to help the
Indians to become a civilized, settled people through religion 48
C. F. Coan
and agriculture—were organized in 1834, 1836, 1838, and
1841, preceding the period *of the coming of the American
settlers by a few years, and at the beginning of the decline
in the quantity of beaver procured by the trappers, and the
decline in price. Both Whitman and De Smet felt that the
flood of emigrants wotild flow into the country long before
the work of teaching the Indians the ways of settled life could
be accomplished, which proved to be the case.
Before the Annexation of Texas and the Mexican Cession
there was no outlet for the frontier population so desirable as
Oregon. This resulted in an immigration across the Plains to
the Pacific Northwest between 1842 and 1847 of about seven
•thousand people. The influx of this population, and the delay
of the United States in organizing the territorial government
■of Oregon (until 1849, .resulted in the occupation of the Willamette Valley by settlers without any provision whatsoever
ibeing made if or ithe Indians. The western Indians were not
strong enough to prevent the settlement of their country. The
Indians east of the Cascade Mountains, however, were of a
different type. They refused to allow settlers to stop in the
interior; emigrants must go on to the coast. This feeling
against the settlers, and a desire to drive them out of the
country, resulted in the Whitman Massacre and the Cayuse
ilndian War. The population had arrived before the military
protection of the Federal government. This, together with
the fact that during the period of settlement, 1842-1847, there
was no government, other than a provisional one, organized
by the settlers, .resulted in a conflict over the occupation of
the land prior to the organization of the territorial government
by the United States.
Indian relations dn Oregon had thus reached a rather advanced stage at the time the United States took up the matter
of adopting an Indian policy and yet the Commissioner of
Indian Affairs wrote to I. I. Stevens that there was very little
information in the Indian Office, May 3, 1853, on the subject Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest      49
of Indian affairs in the newly created territory of Washington.
Lack of interest in the subject, distance from the seat of government, and the difficulty of obtaining information, must be
called in to explain this fact. It is clear that the Indians had
had extended contact with the whites, and I think it is probably
true that they had determined to eliminate the Americans from
the interior of the country.
The Administration of Joseph Lane
When the territory of Oregon was organized, March 2,
1849, the Federal government took over the management of
Indian affairs. During the term of the first governor, Joseph
Lane, recommendations were made for the removal of all the
Indians west of the Cascade Mountains to the country east
of those mountains. The few difficulties that occurred were
promptly settled.
The Act creating the territory provided that the governor
should be, ex-officio, superintendent of Indian affairs; that
the rights of the Indians and the authority of the Federal government over them should be the same as previous to the
passage of the Act; and that $10,000 be appropriated for
presents to the Indians and pay for the messengers sent to
Congress by the provisional government of Oregon.1 Of this
sum, $3000 was used for Indian purposes.2 In order that
agents be appointed, it was necessary that a provision be
made for them by an Act of Congress, but the Secretary
of the Interior could appoint sub-agents. Since Congress
did not provide for agents, the Secretary of the Interior appointed three sub-agents for Oregon Territory.3 A further
appropriation of $10,000 for Indian purposes in Oregon was
authorized by Congress, May 15, 1850.4 In urging that this
appropriation be made, the delegate from Oregon, Samuel
Thurston, stated that it was necessary that presents be made
to the Indians of the Willamette Valley to keep them quiet
until the government purchased their rights to the land.    No
i "An. Act to Establish the Territorial Government of Oregon, Aug. 14
Statutes at Large, IX, 323.
2 "Indians   in   Oregon,"   Congressional   Globe,   Mar.   22,   1850,   31   Cong.,   1
Sess., p. 582.
3 Secretary of the Interior, Annual Report, Dec. 3, 1849 (Serial 570, Doc. 5),
P- IS.
4 "An Act to Supply Deficiencies in Appropriations," May 15, 1850, Statutes
at Large, IX, 427. 50
C. F. Coan
further provision was made for the Indian service prior to the
Act of June 5, 1850, which constituted the Indian policy of
Samuel Thurston.5
Shortly after Lane's arrival, March 2, 1849, large numbers
of the Willamette Valley Indians visited him expecting presents and pay for their lands, which the settlers had promised
them when the representative of the "Great Father," the President, should arrive. The Indians were greatly disappointed to
find that there had been no provision made to pay them for
their lands, but since they were not strong enough to enforce
their demands, they could merely continue to repeat them.6
Outside the Willamette Valley, Indian troubles were successfully managed. These were more numerous than formerly
due to the steady increase in the number of whites and the
beginning of settlements along the Columbia River, in the
Puget Sound country, and in the valleys of southwestern
Lane held a council, April, 1849, with some of the interior
Indians at The Dalles for the purpose of making presents to
them and establishing friendly relations which would protect
the emigrants from attacks on their way down the Columbia,
and keep the Indians from joining the hostile Cayuse against
the settlers. The Cayuse were informed that they must either
surrender those guilty of the Whitman Massacre, or be exterminated.7 The Indians gathered at The Dalles agreed to
maintain peaceful relations with the whites, in and passing
through their country. Presents to the amount of two hundred
dollars were distributed among them. Incidentally, at this time,
Lane brought to a close a tribal war between the Wallawalla
and the Yakima Indians.8
After the meeting at The Dalles, Lane visited the Cowlitz
Indians. While there, he received word that Wallace, an
American settler, had been killed by the Snoqualmu Indians
near Fort Nisqually. A company of the regular army forces,
which had recently arrived in the territory, was immediately
5 "Indians in Oregon," op. cit., p. 583.
6 Joseph   Lane  to  the   Secretary   of  War,   Oct.   13,   1849,   C    I    A     A    R
^ov\.2:fe 5?5°  ^"f1 595,  Doc.  1), p.  156,  first paging.    The abbreviation "C   f
A., A. R.,    is used for, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Annual Report
7 Message of the Governor of Oregon Territory Transmitted to the'Legislative
Assembly, May 7,  1850, p. 2.
8 Lane to the Secretary of War, Oct. 13,
op. .cit., p. 156, first paging. Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest
stationed at Fort Steilacom,9 and an Indian sub-agent was sent
to the district, May, 1849, to obtain the surrender of the guilty
Indians. The sub-agent offered a reward for the capture of
the murderers of Wallace which caused the Snoqualmu Indians
to deliver to the military authorities several of their tribe.
These Indians were tried by a territorial court, and two of them
were found guilty and hanged. Lane believed that this punishment of the Indians for an offence against the whites had the
effect of making them fear the Americans, which was necessary
for the peace of the scattered, unprotected settlements.10
In the spring of 1850, the standing hostilities between the
war party of the Cayuse Indians and the whites was brought to
a close by the surrender of the Indians who had led the attack
upon the Waiilatpu Mission. In February, Lane received
information from the Hudson's Bay Company's post, Fort
Walla Walla, that the Indians had agreed to give up the murderers.11 Their decision may have been due to the increase in
the number of soldiers in the country. The Regiment of
Mounted Riflemen arrived in Oregon in the fall of 1849. Five
of the Cayuse Indians were taken to Oregon City for trial.
They were convicted and hanged, June 3, 1850. The Cayuse
. had thus accepted the terms of the government. The respect
for Americans was increased among the Indians of the interior, and the prestige of the Cayuse among the tribes of
upper Oregon was greatly diminished.
Lane's last important dealing with the Indians outside of
the Willamette Valley was a peace treaty with a band of one
hundred and fifty Indians in the upper Rogue River Valley.
In the spring of 1850 a party of miners, who were returning
from California, were robbed at the ferry of Rogue River.12
They requested that Lane attempt to recover the gold dust
which the Indians had stolen. Lane visited the Indians and
the peace treaty which was made provided that the Indians
should restore all stolen property, and that whites passing
through the country should not be molested.    The Indians
9 Adjutant General, Annual Report, Nov. 28, 1849 (Serial 549, Doc. 1), p. 182.
10 Lane to the Secretary of War, Oct  13,  1849, op. cit., p.  156, first paging.
11 Message of the Governor    .    .    .    , May 7, 1850, p. 3.
12 Lane, Narratives, MS.  (Bancroft Collection), p. 90. 52
C. F. Coan
were promised that any lands settled upon by newcomers
would be paid for by the government, and that an agent would
he sent among them to care for their interests. Lane gave to
each member of the band a paper, signed "Jo Lane," for the
purpose of informing the whites that these Indians had made
a peace treaty with the government.13 No further trouble
occurred in this vicinity until the fall of the following year.
Thus, the governor, in his ex-officio duties as the superintendent of Indian affairs, succeeded in establishing and maintaining amicable relations between the races. No policy was
adopted further than that involved in making peace treaties
with the Indians, in giving presents to them, and in prompt
punishment for offences committed by the Indians against the
A statement of the complaints of the Indians living in the
Willamette Valley was made by Lane in a report to the government, April 9, 1849. The Indians stated that the whites
had taken their lands, brought sickness among them, and killed
off the game. In return, they had received only promises that
the government would pay them for their lands. In order to
remove these causes for dissatisfaction, Lane recommended that
the government buy their lands, and locate them out of the
settlements. No suggestion was made as to where or how
they should be rem6ved, but the opinion held by Lane was,
that there was no longer a place for them in the Willamette
Lane recommended in his message to the legislative assembly of Oregon Territory, July 17, 1849, that they memorialize Congress for the removal of the Willamette Valley
Indians. He stated that the Indians whom he had visited in
the valley, as well as in other parts, were well disposed toward
the whites and desirous of selling their rights to the land;
and that the Indians of the Willamette Valley should be removed to some district remote from the settlements, because
the destruction of the roots, grasses, and game by the settlers in
the valley forced the Indians either to steal or starve.15
13 Victor, The Early Indian Wars of Oregon, p. 269.
14 Lane to the Secretary of War, April 9, 1849, Message from the President
. . in answer to a resolution of the Senate, calling for further information
in relation to the formation of a state government in California; ana also, in
Oregon, May 22, 1850 (Serial 561, Doc. 52), p. 5.
15 Message of Governor Lane, July 17, 1849, Ibid., p. 7. Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest
Following the recommendation of the governor, the legislative assembly memorialized Congress, July 20, 1849, for the
purchase of the Indians' rights to the land; and for the removal of the Indians from the district needed for settlement,
namely: the Willamette Valley. The memorial also stated
that the Indians had been promised payment for their lands,
and that it was the custom of the government to pay the Indians
prior to the settlement of a region. Three reasons were given
for the need of removing the Indians from the settlements:
the absence of a large number of the men of the valley, who
had gone to the California mines; the moral and civil interests
of the communities; and the necessity of some humane provision for these Indians by the government, in some place
remote from the settlements, since they were no longer able
to take care of themselves, and were degenerating through contact with the whites. The conclusion was that the Indians
should be colonized in some region distant from the growing
population of the Willamette Valley.16
For the Indian service in Oregon, Lane suggested the establishment of two agencies: one for the Puget Sound region,
and one for the Grande Ronde Valley in upper Oregon; and
two sub-agencies; one in the Umpqua Valley, and one near
Fort Hall. This plan would have placed representatives of
the Indian bureau along the emigrant trail in the interior of
Oregon, as well as in the Puget Sound country, and the valley
south of the Willamette Valley.17
The Congressional Policy of the Act of June 5, 1850
While Lane was dealing with the Indians in Oregon and
making recommendations for the future treatment of the
Indians, Samuel Thurston, the delegate to Congress from
Oregon, was planning to have all the Indians west of the
Cascade Mountains moved to the country east of those mountains. The Secretary of the Interior, December 3, 1849, urged
Congress to make an appropriation for the conduct of Indian
affairs in Oregon, and to authorize the appointment of a num-
16 Memorial of the legislature of Oregon praying for the extinguishment of
the Indian title   .    .    .    July 20, 1849  (Serial 592, Doc. 5), p. 1.
17 Lane to the Secretary of War, Oct.  13,  1849, op. cit., p.  161, first paging. 54
C. F. Coan
ber of agents,18 but Thurston was evidently not satisfied with
only more appropriations and more agents. During the early
part of 1850, he wrote:
The Committee on Indian Affairs in the Senate have the
subject of extinguishing the Indian title to lands in Oregon
before them, and have promised me to report a bill soon for
the extinguishment of their title to all of that part of Oregon
lying west of the Cascade Mountains, and for the removal of
the Indians east of those mountains. I am in hopes that it
will pass Congress in the course of next summer, and all the
country at present and for some time to come, needed for
settlement, will be thrown open to the immigrant and thus the
first pre-requisite step will have been taken preparatory to the
final disposition of the soil.19
It was, thus, planned to extinguish the Indian title before
donating lands to settlers.
The Act of Congress of June 5, 1850, provided for the
negotiation of treaties, and the reorganization of the Indian
services, in Oregon. Three commissioners were to be appointed with the authority to treat with the Indians west of
the Cascade Mountains; for their lands, and for their removal
to lands east of those mountains. An appropriation of $20,-
000 was authorized to pay the expenses of the commission.
The law also provided for the extension of the laws regulating
trade and intercourse with the Indians east of the Rocky
Mountains to the Indians in Oregon; the creation of the office
of superintendent of Indian affairs of Oregon, thus separating
these duties from the duties of the office of governor; and
the appointment of three agents.20 It was understood that
three sub-agents would be appointed as formerly. Thurston
stated that this act provided for the efficent management of
the Indians and made it certain that there would not be the
least trouble with them in the future.21
Nineteen treaties were made with the Indians of the region
west of the Cascade Mountains in 1851. The officials found
that the Indians would not agree to move to eastern Oregon.
18 The Secretary of the  Interior,  Annual Report, Dec.  3,   1849   (Serial 570,
Doc. 5), p.  is- J
19 T. T. Johnson, California and Oregon, p. 266.
20 "An Act Authorizing the Negotiation of Treaties   .    .    .," June 5,   1850,
Statutes at Large, IX, 437.
21 Johnson, op. cit., Appendix, p. 332. Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest
The officers, then adopted the plan of allowing them reservations of a part of their tribal lands. This course did not carry
out the plan of removing the Indians from the settlements.
The result was, that the treaties were not ratified. In 1853,
the problem of providing for the Indians and extinguishing
the Indian title was not any nearer a solution than in 1850.
The early policy was a complete failure. During these years
conflicts became more numerous as the settlements spread to
the regions north and south of the Willamette Valley.
The following instructions were issued to John P. Gaines,
Alonzo A. Skinner, and Beverly S. Allen, October 15, 1850,
who had been appointed, under the Act of June 5, 1850, as
commissioners to treat with the Indians of western Oregon.
They were instructed to purchase; first, the lands of the
Willamette Valley, and then the others west of the Cascade
Mountains; to treat with the tribes separately; to gain the
consent of the Indians to move to lands in eastern Oregon;
and to pay for the lands a nominal price in five per cent
annuities in the form of beneficial objects and provisions for
Six treaties were made by these commissioners in April and
May, 1851, prior to the receipt of information that the treaty
commission had been abolished by an Act of Congress, February 27, 1851.
The Santiam and the Tualatin band of the Kalapuya tribe
were treated with by the commissioners at Champoeg, Oregon,
April 16 and 19, 1851. They agreed to cede their lands lying
along both sides of the Willamette River, south of Oregon City.
The Indians were approached early in the negotiations on the
subject of removal to eastern Oregon, but they firmly refused
to agree to such a plan. Their reasons were: that they did
not wish to leave the graves and lands of their forefathers
where they wished to be buried; and that the country east of
the Cascade Mountains was an unknown land to them, where
they would starve due to their ignorance of the foods in that
region. The commissioners finally agreed to allow these
Indians certain lands in the foothills on each side of the
Willamette  Valley.     In  justification  of this  action,   it  was
22 The   Acting   Commissioner  of   Indian   Affairs   to   Gaines,   Oct.
C. I. A., A. R., Nov. 27, 1850 (Serial 595, Doc. 1), p. 146. 56
C. F. Coa*
stated that the Indian laborers were indispensable to the settlements on account of the scarcity of workmen.23
Two bands of the Molala Indians, and the Yamhill and
Lakmiut bands of the Kalapuya tribe, made four treaties with
the commissioners, May 14, 1851. The Indians refused to
move east of the Cascade Mountains and demanded cash payment for their lands. The upper and lower Molala agreed to
accept as pay for their lands, the sum of $42,000, in twenty
annual installments, one third of each payment to be in cash,
and two thirds in goods. The Indians were to be allowed
reservations of a part of the cessions of lands which they
made. In the case of the Yamhill band, they were advised to
move west of the Coast Range since their lands had been so
completely occupied by settlers that it would be impossible to
provide a reservation of sufficient size, of their tribal lands,
to support them.24
The policy concerning the western Indians of Oregon as
formulated by Thurston was not followed in the treaties of
the commissioners. In the place of the Thurston policy, they
adopted a plan of their own, which allowed the Indians to
remain in the Willamette Valley. They urged that the treaties
should be ratified on the grounds that the treaties procured
a valuable territory and justly compensated the Indians.25
These treaties were not ratified. The delegate from Oregon,
at the time that they came before the Senate was Joseph Lane.
It is not probable that they had his support, because the
treaties did not provide for the removal of the Willamette
Valley Indians which he had recommended when governor of
Oregon. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs did not oppose
their ratification nor did he advise it. He stated that the
treaties contained, "Novel provisions the practical operation
of which could not be foreseen."26
23 The Treaty. Commissioners .to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, April
19, 1851, C. I. A., A. R., Nov. 27, 1851   (Serial 636, Doc. 2), p. 467.
24 Ibid., p. 469.
25 Ibid., p. 471.
26 The Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Annual Report, Nov. 27, 1851 (Serial
636, Doc. 2), p. 271.    There exists:
"A copy of a treaty (April 16, 1851), negotiated by Gaines, Skinner, and
Allen at Champoeg with subordinate chiefs of the Santiam band of the Callapooya
Indians, with a journal of the proceedings.    Treaty 5 pp.; Journal 62 pp.
"A copy of a treaty (April 19, 1851), negotiated by Gaines, Skinner, and
Allen at Champoeg with the Twalty band of Callapooya Indians.    7 pp.
No treaties were found dated May 14, 1851, which were made by the commissioners with the Molala and bands of the Kalapuya Indians. Letter from Dr.
J. Franklin Jameson, Feb. 23, 1917. Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest       57
Anson Dart was appointed to the office of superintendent
of Indian affairs, which was created by the Act of June 5,
1850. He continued the policy of holding councils with the
Indians of the interior, which White and Lane had adopted.
The Act which abolished the office of the treaty commissioners,
February 27^ 1851, transferred the duties of the commission
to the superintendent of Indian affairs.    In the summer of
1851, he made thirteen treaties with the Indians of western
Oregon, in which he allowed the same terms that had been
included in the treaties made by the commissioners, namely:
a reservation of a part of each cession for the Indians making
the sale, and payments in cash and beneficial objects.
The superintendent of Indian affairs for Oregon was instructed to pay special attention to the work of civilizing the
Indians. This was to be accomplished through the encouragement of agriculture among the Indians, cooperation between
the missionaries and the Indian service, the suppression of the
whiskey trade, and the prevention of wars among the Indian
tribes. In commenting on the general Indian situation the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs wrote: "The rapid increase
of our population, its onward march from the Missouri frontier
westward, and from the Pacific east, steadily lessening and
closing up the intervening space, renders it certain that there
remains to the red man but one alternative—early civilization
or gradual extinction."27
Anson Dart held three councils in June, 1851, with the
Indians of upper Oregon. He had promised some of the
Wasco, Klikitat, and Cascade Indians in the fall of 1850 that
he would visit them. These Indians had become alarmed on
account of the rumor that the western Indians were to be
moved into their country, and the beginning of settlements,
along the Columbia River. Another source of trouble in the
upper Oregon country was the unfriendly relations which existed between the Nez Perces and the Shoshoni. At the council
with the Columbia River Indians at The Dalles, June 5, 1851,
27 The  Commissioner of  Indian   Affairs  to   Anson   Dart,   July  20,   1850,  in
C. I. A., A. R., Nov. 27, 1850 (Serial 595, Doc. 1), p. 149. 58
C. F. Coan
the subjects discussed were the removal of the western Indians
into eastern Oregon, and pay for the lands taken by the settlers.
The Indians objected to having the western Indians brought
into their country on the grounds that the western Indians
would bring disease among them, and that their customs were
different. Dart quieted their fears on this score by informing them that the government would not force the removal of
the Willamette Valley Indians, who had refused to leave their
native lands. As to pay for their lands, the superintendent
promised them that they would be paid for their rights to
the land. The second council was held in the Walla Walla
Valley with the Cayuse Indians, June 20, 1851. Expressions
of friendship were exchanged, and arrangements were made
for the establishment of an agency on the Umatilla River.
The third council was held with the Nez Perces, June 27,
1851. The superintendent feasted the Indians who expressed
themselves as friendly towards the whites.28 The Nez Perces
agreed to postpone their attack upon the Shoshoni.29 The
plan of holding councils with the Indians of upper Oregon
preserved the peace of that part of the territory fairly well, as
long as there were few settlers in the region.
Upon returning from the interior, Anson Dart continued
the work of making treaties with the Indians west of the
Cascade Mountains. He submitted a report and thirteen treaties, November 7, 1851. These were received by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, January 10, 1852, and sent to the
Senate, by the President, August 3, 1852, where they were
read and ordered printed. These treaties were not ratified.
They may be divided into three groups, as follows: the Tansey
Point treaties, which included ten of the thirteen, the two
treaties made at Port Or ford, and the one with the Clackamas
The Tansey Point treaties were made with ten small bands
of the Chinook Indians, numbering in all about 320 Indians.
The territory ceded stretched along the Pacific Coast from
28 Dart to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Oct. 3, 1851, in C. I. A., A. R.
Nov. 27, 1851   (Serial 636, Doc. 2), p. 479.
29 Bancroft, History of Oregon, II, 217, note.
30 Interior Department, Indian Affairs Office, "Anson Dart submits 13
treaties negotiated with Indians of Oregon, also his report relative thereto," Nov.
7, 1851, Archives. (Photostat copies of the report and five of the treaties are in
the Bancroft Collection), Appendix A.
[The references refer to the page numbers of the photostat copies in the
Bancroft Collection.] Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest
Shoalwater Bay to Tillamook Bay, a distance of one hundred
miles, and extended back from the coast about sixty miles.
The treaty with the Lower Band of Chinook was made at
Tansey Point, August 9, 1851, by Anson Dart, H. H. Spalding,
and J. L. Parrish. These Indians ceded a small area on the
north side of the entrance to the Columbia River, and reserved
for their own use lands that they were occupying at the time,
which reserve was to continue during the lifetime of the
Indians signing the treaty. It was also provided that Washington Hall should be removed from the reservation. As pay
for the cession, the Indians were to receive an annuity of
$2,000 for ten years, $400 of which was to be in money and
the remainder in clothing, food, tools, cooking utensils, tobacco,
soap, and ammunition.31
The Wheelappa band of Chinook Indians were treated with
August 9, 1851, by Anson Dart and his assistants at Tansey
Point. The region ceded lay between the Pacific at Shoalwater
Bay and the Cowlitz Valley, and between lands claimed by
the Chehalis Indians on the north and the Chinook tribes that
bordered the Columbia River on the south. The treaty provided
that the region ceded should be a reservation for the Chinook
and Chehalis Indians, in case the majority of these Indians
agreed to move to this location within a year. In consideration
for accepting this central reservation, it was agreed that the
government would establish an agency, manual labor school,
blacksmith shop, and a farm on this reserve. The Indians were
to receive an annuity of $300 for ten years. Of this sum, $150
was to be in money and the rest in goods. This treaty included
the lands of the Quille-que-oqua band of Chinook and must be
counted as two to account for the ten stated to have been made
with the bands of the Chinook Indians.32
Concerning these two bands, Dart said that only two males,
and several females and children remained of the bands. The
cession extended twenty miles along the coast and forty miles
into the interior.   At this time there was no white man located
31 Ibid., pp.  16 ff.
32 Ibid., pp. 19 ff. ,     . 60
C. F. Coan
on the purchase. As for the general reservation, the provision
was made to satisfy some of the citizens of Oregon. Dart had
not the slightest expectation that any of the Indians would leave
their accustomed places and take up a residence on the reservation within the year required by the treaty. At the expiration
of that time the area would become a part of the public domain,
in case the Indians refused to occupy it.33
The Waukikum band of Chinook Indians made a treaty at
Tansey Point, August 8, 1851, with Anson Dart, in which they
ceded lands lying along the north bank of the Columbia River,
between the cessions of the Lower Band of Chinook and the
Konniack Indians, and overlapping that of the Wheelappa
band of Chinook. The reservations consisted of their places
of residence at the time the treaty was made. An annuity of
$700 for ten years was to be paid in the following manner:
$100 in cash, and the remainder in goods.34
The Konniack band of Chinook Indians concluded a treaty
with Anson Dart, August 8, 1851, at Tansey Point. The
cession made by these Indians lay in two parts; one on the
north side of the Columbia River which included the western
part of the Cowlitz Valley, and one on the south side of the
Columbia, west and south of that river. A reservation was
made of the lands occupied by these Indians at Oak Point.
The compensation for these lands was an annuity for ten years
of $1,050, of which $150 was to be money, while the rest
was to be goods.35
The information concerning the other eight treaties made by
Anson Dart is limited to his report on the treaties. No trace
of these treaties could be found in the Indian Office Archives:
The Klatskania band of Chinook Indians formerly had occupied the lands claimed by the Kooniack south of the Columbia. At the time the treaties were made, they claimed a
region south of the Konniack cession, that is, the land lying
to the north and west of the mouth of the Willamette River.
There were only three men and five women remaining of a
33 Ibid., p. 9-
34 Ibid^ pp. 21 ff.
35 Ibid., pp. 24 ff. Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest
band that in former times, according to Dart, had forced
tribute from the Indians and the whites who passed up or
down the Columbia River, it being impossible for the Hudson's
Bay Company to pass with less than sixty armed men. They
ceded their lands, but the terms of the treaty are not available.36
The Kathlamet band of Chinook Indians ceded a region
along the south side of the Columbia. The cession had a
frontage on the Columbia of forty miles from Ah-pin-pin Point
and extended into the interior about twenty miles. Astoria was
located on this purchase. The reservations consisted of two
small islands in the Columbia River.37
Wallooska, the only survivor of a band of Chinook Indians
formerly of some importance ceded lands lying between those
claimed by the Kathlamet and those ceded by the Clatsop,
including the valley of the Lewis and Clark River.38
The Clatsop band of Chinook, at first, refused to sell unless
the ships and mills were removed from the country. Later
they agreed to cede their lands if they were allowed two reservations of about one hundred square miles each, but finally
they accepted a reservation at Point Adams which was three
and one half miles in length, two miles wide at the north end,
and one mile wide at the southern end. They complained of
the injustice of the government in not paying them for their
lands. The cession was said to contain five hundred thousand
The Tillamook band of Chinook Indians ceded the region
south of the Clatsop cession, the Tillamook Bay country. The
superintendent of Indian affairs stated that there were no
settlers in this region at the time the treaty was made, that
the lands were good, and that it would, no doubt, be rapidly
The two treaties made with the Port Orford Indians seem
to have ceded the area between the Rogue River and the
Coquille River. Dart stated that the Coquille Indians, who
had murdered T'Vault's party, lived north of the Coquille
36 Ibid., p. 11.
37 Ibid., p. 10.
38 Ibid., p. 10.
39 Ibid., p. 2.
40 Ibid., p. 12. 62
C. F. Coan
River and were not included in the treaties made at Port
Orford. The Indians had had very little intercourse with the
whites, and had very little knowledge of the value of goods
or money, but it was believed that they would carry out the
provisions of the treaty in every particular. About five hundred Indians were included in these treaties. Dart stated that
it was important that these treaties should be made because
the region would be rapidly settled due to the location near
the gold mines, the agricultural advantages, the cedar forests,
and the good harbors.41
The treaty with the Clackamas Indians provided for the
cession of lands lying along the south side of the Columbia
River and east of the Willamette River. It included the valleys
of the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers. This treaty was considered the most important of those made by Anson Dart, because the region was in the most thickly settled part of Oregon.
There were twenty mills operating in this region in the fall of
1851. The town of Milwaukee was located on the cession.
At the beginning of the negotiations, the Indians made unreasonable demands but finally agreed to accept the terms offered
by the superintendent.42
Three causes for objection to the thirteen treaties were
mentioned by Dart. In the treaty with the Lower Band of
the Chinook, the removal of Washington Hall, which the
Indians demanded, was considered a possible objection. To
this, Dart held that the removal of an obnoxious whiskey
dealer was hardly a valid cause for non-ratification. The second objection was the reservation at Point Adams desired by
the Clatsop band of Chinook Indians where two or three
settlers had claims. The superintendent stated that the Indians
refused to sell this region and he thought that they were entitled to the district as a home. The third reason for non-
ratification was the informality in the negotiation of the Clackamas treaty, having been made by Dart acting alone. H. H.
Spalding and Beverly S. Allen had been designated by the Act
41 Ibid., pp.  13 f.
42 Ibid., pp.  13 f. Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest
of February 17, 1851, to serve with Dart in making treaties.
Spalding had been removed and his successor had not been
authorized to assist in making treaties, and Beverly S. Allen
had declined the office.43
Probably the reasons for the non-ratification of the treaties
were other than the objections raised to them by Dart. The
fact that in most cases they were made with insignificant bands
was probably the strongest objection to them. They did not
carry out the Indian policy of Lane and Thurston, which
planned for the removal of the western Indians to lands east
of the Cascade Mountains, but gave reservations of the tribal
lands. There also seems to have been objection to the amount
of annuities allowed the Chinook bands.
Dart stated that the plan for the removal of the western
Indians to lands east of the Cascade Mountains as provided
for in the Act of June 5, 1850, had been found impossible by
the treaty commissioners, Gaines, Skinner, and Allen, although
they had made every effort to obtain the consent of the
Willamette Valley Indians to the plan. The superintendent
believed that the Indians were more industrious than other
Indians of the United States. He stated that they did.the
boating on the rivers, made all the rails for fencing, and did
the greater part of the labor on the farms, and worked for
lower wages than it was possible to obtain white laborers. For
these reasons he thought that it was 'better not to remove them.
The Indians treated with by Dart recognized the power of
the government to exterminate them, but they said that they
would suffer this rather than leave the graves of their band.
It was this attachment to their native region that caused the
superintendent to believe that the central reservation scheme
was impractical.44
The Indians would not accept annuities unless they were
paid within ten years. They said that unless they were paid
soon that the whites would have the lands for nothing. They
believed that their bands would become extinct within ten
43 Ibid., pp. 7 ff-
44 Ibid., pp. 7 f. 64
C. F. Coan
years. Contrary to instructions, the treaties provided for part
of the annuities to be paid in cash. This the Indians demanded.
Dart stated that money or clothing in excess of the yearly
needs of the Indians would be worse than thrown away. In
the case of the Chinook bands clothing was provided for
every adult of each band. Flour was provided to give a little
variety to their fish diet which Dart thought the cause of some
of the sickness among them. Tools and utensils were included in the annuities to assist them in living and working.
In every case, the entire band was present at the time the
treaty was made, and every man, woman, and child was made
to understand the terms of the treaty. There was, therefore,
no chance for the complaint that only a portion of the band
was present and a party to the treaty. The Indians, in every
case, were satisfied with the conditions of the treaty.45
No more treaties were made during Dart's term of office.
He had promised the Indians of the upper Umpqua and the
upper Rogue River Valley that he would treat with them but
this was indefinitely postponed on account of the lack of
money.46 In the latter part of October, 1852, Dart was informed by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs that the treaties
had been practically rejected by the Senate, and he was instructed to make no more treaties until the general policy of
the government should be determined.47 In his annual report
for 1851 the Commissioner recommended larger appropriations
and an assistant commissioner of Indian affairs for the Pacific
Coast region. He did not commit himself on the question of
the ratification of the treaties.48 In his report for 1852, he
assumed that the policy adopted in the treaties had been
abandoned by the government. Thus, by December, 1852, the
Federal government, the people, and the Indian officials, considered that the treaties had been finally rejected. Dart had
complained in his reports that he was unable to explain to the
Indians the delay in the fulfilling of the treaties,  and that
45 Ibid., pp. 4 f. Bancroft stated that the Clackamas Indians were to receive
an annuity of $2,500 for ten years, $500 in cash and the remainder in food and
clothing. The Chinook Indians were allowed $91,300 in ten annual installments in
clothing, provisions, and other articles; and reservations were set aside at Clatsop
Point, Woody and Cathlamet Islands, and Shoalwater Bay. The Port Orford
treaties made in September, 1851, provided that the Indians should receive $28,500
in ten annual installments of supplies.   Bancroft, History of Oregon, II, 217.
46 Dart to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Sept. 23, 1852, C. I. A. A. R.
Nov. 30,  1852   (Serial 658, Doc.   1), p.  446.
47 Bancroft, History of Oregon, II, 245.
48 The Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Annual Report, Nov. 30, 1852 (Serial
658, Doc. 1), p. 301. Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest
the Indian situation was made more serious by the postponement of ratification.49
In 1854, conjectures were made in the Senate as to why the
treaties had not been ratified. It was stated that it might
have been due to the large appropriations which were required
under them. Houston stated that the treaties contained ob-
jectional provisions, that they were made with insignificant
tribes, and that there was no apparent restriction in several of
the treaties.50 There may be some obscurity about the exact
terms of some of the treaties, and some difficulty in determining the exact reasons for their non-ratification, but of this we
are certain—the plan of Thurston for the removal of the
Indians west of the Cascade Moutains to lands east of those
mountains ended in complete failure, which was- due to the
absurdity of the plan. To have moved the western Indians
into eastern Oregon would have meant to have exterminated
Oregon Superintendency,  D. 3/52
Anson Dart
Oregon City Nov. 7, 1851, Submits 13 treaties negotiated with
Indians of Oregon. Also his report
relative thereto.
Informal inquiry made at Senate
shows that treaties were received
there from President Aug. 3/52,
read and ordered printed, and there
all trace is lost.    (Never ratified.)
April 1888
Reed. Jany. 10, 1852
49 Dart to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Sept. 23,  1852,
A. R., Nov. 30, 1852  (Serial 658, Doc. 1, p. 447).
50 "Indian Appropriation Bill," Congressional Globe, Mar. 24, 1854, 33 Cong.
1 Sess., p. 744. 66
C. F. Coan
Copy sent with treaties to Sec. of
Int 21 Aug 1852
Office of the Superintendent of Indian Affairs
Oregon City O. T. November 7th 1851.
Hon. L. Lea
Commissioner of Indian Affairs
You have herewith, thirteen Indian Treaties; which cede to
the United States more than Six Million acres of land, lying
upon both sides of the Columbia River, upon the Willamette
River; and upon the Pacific Coast—west of the Cascade range
of Mountains in Oregon. The Treaties concluded at Tansey-
Point (near the mouth of the Columbia) cover a tract of
over one hundred miles on the Pacific, running back along
the Columbia about sixty miles; the country was owned by ten
small Tribes of Chinook Indians, numbering in all, about
three hundred and twenty souls. The Clatsops, who were
the first treated with; interposed many objections to parting
with their country upon any terms; they made many long
and loud complaints, at the injustice done them by the Government; who they said had taken possession of their lands
without paying them, had allowed the white people—many
years since—to occupy and buy and sell their country, for
which they had received no equivalent; pointing to instances
where farms had been sold for from two to six thousand
dollars, upon which lands the whites were making "much
money." Their first demands of the Government notwithstanding their anxiety to get their pay—were very unreasonable. They assured me that they would not "talk" until I
would stop the ships from coming into the Columbia, and
destroy two sawmills in the Southern part of their country;
which by their noise had "frightened the fish away!" Being
assured of the impossibility  of having their demands com- Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest
plied with; and after much talk in Council, they concluded
to waive these demands, provided they could be permitted to
have two Reservations of about ten miles square each: this
being objected to in like emphatic manner: the Indians held
a consultation with neighboring Tribes which lasted two days,
and finally agreed to one Reservation, which should cover
their Burying grounds and Lodges at Point-Adams—making
a tract three and a half miles in length—two miles wide at
the north end, and one mile at the lower or south end. As
this tract had three claimants or settlers upon it, large offers
were made the Indians to place the title to all in the United
States, this they steadily declined; leaving no alternative, but
to allow this Reservation or not treat with them for the
balance of their landSj being about five hundred thousand
acres. That part of their lands known as "Clatsop Plains"
is an open level country with a very rich soil; nearly or quite
every acre of which is claimed and occupied by white people.
The balance of the purchase is timbered land, chiefly of the
heaviest kind, (Although it is called "timbered land" there are
some Prairies of small extent on both sides of the Columbia,)
the soil is of excellent quality for farming purposes, and from
its very advantageous situation upon the Columbia River, and
Pacific Ocean affording superior facilities for exporting its
timber, and the products of the Farmer, it cannot but prove
of immense value to the United .States, this too at a day I
think, by no means far distant. The timber alluded to, is
mostly a species of Fir, growing immensely large and tall.
There are upon this purchase two never-failing mill streams
sufficiently large for any mill or manufacturing purpose,
besides these are large Springs and Springbrooks in every part
of the Country west of the Cascade Moutains.
In relation to the Conditions of the Treaties made, it is
necessary to inform you, that the habits and customs of these
fishing Indians are unlike those of any other part of our
domain.   It is characteristic with them to be industrious.   Al- C. F. Coan
most without exception, I have found them anxious to get
employment at common labour and willing too, to work at
prices, much below that demanded by the whites. The Indians
make all the rails used in fencing, and at this time do the
greater part of the labour in farming. They also do all the
boating upon the rivers: In consideration therefore of their
usefulness as labourers in the settlements, it was believed to
be far better for the Country that they should not be removed
from the settled portion of Oregon if it were possible to do so.
As alluded to in the Act of Congress of June 5th 1850, Let
me here remark that the Treaty Commissioners, appointed
under this act, used their best exertions to persuade all, or
either of the bands in the Valley of the Willamette; to remove
east of the Mountains; but without success.
The poor Indians are fully aware of the rapidity with which,
as a people, they are wasting away, on this account they could
not be persuaded to fix a time, beyond ten years to receive all
of their money and pay for their lands, saying that they should
not live beyond that period. They are fully sensible of the
power of the government, admit that they can be killed and
exterminated, but say that they cannot be driven far from the
homes and graves of their Fathers. They further told me that
if compensation for their lands was much longer withheld, the
whites would have the lands for nothing,
Believing as I do, that the food used by these Indians (being
almost entirely fish) tends much towards shortening their
lives, I cannot but admit that there is great probability that
only a few years will pass e're they will all lie side by side
with their Fathers and Braves,—the tribe* or tribes extinct.
When an Indian is sick, his only food is Salmon, which he must
eat, or nothing, and I have observed that few—very few, ever
recover from Sickness. Owing to their wretched food in Such
Cases, I was induced to include in their annuities, Flour and
Bread: and to protect them from storms & inclement weather
I  stipulated   Clothing  sufficient  for  every  adult,  male  and Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest
female in all of the several tribes treated with.
You will observe that besides furnishing each band with provisions, which will go far towards their yearly subsistence,
there are many useful farming tools and cooking utensils.
I am convinced that money or goods given to the Indians of
the Pacific, beyond what is absolutely necessary for their subsistence from year to year,—is worse than thrown away. I
would however here remark, that in every case with the bands
treated with, they are well satisfied with the Compensation to
be given them as well as with all the Conditions and Stipulations of their Several Treaties.
It may not be uninteresting to inform you, that during each
treaty concluded with the thirteen tribes, the entire band was
present, men, women and children, and all were made to fully
understand the importance and the conditions of the contract
entered into. In most cases they were extremely anxious one
and all to sign their names (make their mark) upon the Treaty.
In several cases every man living of the band, did sign, make
his mark. I mention this to show you that a difficulty often
arising in Indian Treaties, may not be looked for here. I
allude to the many cases that have occurred, where loud complaints arise after a Treaty was concluded—that the greater
part of the Tribe, were not parties to, or consulted during the
The lower band of Chinook Indians, which is the largest of
that tribe; have their head-quarters at what is called Chinook
point—on the Columbia; and occupy at present, the country
on the north side of that river directly opposite that of the
Clatsops: As late as the year 1820 this point was the rendezvous
of the most powerful Nation upon the Pacific Coast; now
wasted to a few over three hundred souls.
In going to council with this band, a difficulty arose which
they assured me must be settled, before they were ready to
"talk." They stated that one Washington Hall, a white man,
had laid claim to the ground covering their whole Village he 70
C. F. Coan
had degraded himself by marrying one of their slaves:—was
very obnoxious to all the band; sought every means to drive
them from their possessions, and had particularly annoyed
them by fencing up all the fresh water and entirely excluding
them from it, in short had done many acts, which compelled
them to demand his removal as a first consideration; and we
were obliged to agree to this requirement, or abandon negotiations with them.
In continuing this subject I would here remark, that the
removal of Hall, and the Clatsop Reservation, seem to be the
only grounds for objections raised against the ratification of
these treaties: I should be sorry then, if a Whiskey trader
upon one side of the river; and the influence of two or three
settlers on a point of land which the Indians refused to sell,
upon the other,—should interfere with their ratification.
The next treaty I would speak of in detail, is the one concluded with the remnant bands of Wheelappas and Quilleque-
oquas. The only males living of which tribes, are the two
signers to the treaty; there are however several females—
women and children yet living.
The tract of country purchased of them is situated on what
is known as "Shoal-water Bay" upon the Pacific having about
twenty miles of Coast and running back inland about forty
miles—bounded on the north by the country owned by the
Chehales Indians—on the east by the lands of the Cowlitz
band,—and on the south by the lower band of Chinooks. This
purchase is known to embrace a tract, equal in fertility of soil,
and quality of timber, to any portion of Oregon. It has extensive and beautiful groves of the Fir and Cedar, with small
Prairies interspersed; there are also large tracts of what is
called "hard wood bottoms". The surface is gently undulating and mill streams and fine brooks abound throughout the
You will perceive that this tract is set apart as an Indian
country, or Reserve Provided all the neighboring bands shall, Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest
within one year consent to occupy it, and give up their temporary rights of possession; This was not done at the suggestion of the Indians, but to gratify a large number of our own
people, who believed these small bands on, and adjacent to the
Coast (should suitable provision be made) could be persuaded
to live together as one band or tribe. But in my opinion, there
is not the least prospect that a single band will leave their
present homes; in which case the country will be open for settlement within one year;—at the present time there is not a
white man residing upon the purchase.
Wallooska is the only male survivor of a tribe, once of some
note. The tract purchased of him, joining the Clatsops on
the east is mainly valuable for its immense forests of and
variety of choice timber, the southern part is very hilly almost
mountainous—yet everywhere covered with the timber described. Lewis and Clarke's river (where these travellers wintered) is a superior mill stream, there are others—smaller
streams in different parts all valuable for milling or agricultural purposes. It is equally true of this, as of the other purchases, that the soil is good and has every indication of being
susceptible of high cultivation.
The Kathlamet band of Chinooks, cede a valuable body of
land to the United States—extending from Ah-pin-pin point
forty miles along the south side of the Columbia—running
back (south) about twenty miles. Astoria and Fort George
are upon this tract. Dense forests of various kinds of valuable
timber, with small Prairies and many mill streams—are the
principal features of the Country. The great growth of timber
and underbrush here, rendered it extremely difficult for me
to examine as much of the tract as I desired, but I informed
myself very particularly from those who had made personal
inspection of it—this band reserve from sale two small Islands
in the Columbia.
The treaty with the Tillamooks secures a valuable country
resembling the Clatsop Plains—and is directly south of that 72
C. F. Coan
tract, it is very even and regular along the Coast, but approaching the Mountains, it is uneven and hilly. Tillamook Bay
affords a fine harbor, with sufficient depth of water on the bar
for vessels drawing twelve feet of water; There are no less
than five considerable streams putting into the bay; the valley
of one of which extends fifty miles along the stream, making
richest of bottom lands. Much of this purchase is open country and as far as known, without settlers. Travellers all
concur in representing it as offering equal inducements to settlers with any portion of Oregon.
The lands ceded by the Waukikam and Konniack bands of
Chinooks is everywhere densely covered with timber, and has
many very valuable mill-powers upon it; that part lying upon,
and for two or three miles back from the Columbia, is very
hilly with many bluffs and deep ravines. The balance is moderately rolling, and susceptible of cultivation. The Cowlitz
river near the east side of the tract is sufficiently large for
Steamboats to the rapids fifteen miles up from the Columbia,
at the rapids it is a series of falls suitable for Milling purposes
which extend many miles interior.
The country ceded by the Konniack's upon the South side of
the Columbia is composed of flat lands adjacent to this river,
with deep, rich soil, then gradually rolling, but good farming
land extends to the bounds of the Klatskania's a distance of
about twenty miles. These lands were once owned by the
Klatskania's above mentioned, and as an instance to show the
rapidity with which the Indian upon these shores is passing away, I will relate, that this tribe was, at the first settlement
of the Hudson's Bay Company in Oregon, so warlike and
formidable that the Company's men dare not pass their possessions along the river, in less numbers than sixty armed
men: and then often at considerable loss of life and always at
great hazard. The Indians were in the habit of enforcing
tribute upon all the neighboring tribes who passed in the river,
and disputed the right of any persons to pass them except upon Federal Indian Relations Pacific Northwest      73
these conditions. The tribe is now reduced to three men and
five women. The face and character of their country is very
similar to that previously purchased along the river, (of the
The two treaties made at Port Orford upon the Pacific
embrace a valuable tract of Country, not only on account of
the great value of its timber, but having two good harbors
upon the Pacific, viz, at Port Orford and mouth of the
Coquille river,—in addition to the harbor at Coquille that
river is navigable for large Steamboats seventy miles interior.
The bottom lands along this stream are from ten to twenty
miles in width, and I think in fertility of Soil are not surpassed in the United States; the whole tract will be rapidly
settled first, on account of its proximity to the gold-mines,
again its inducements in an agricultural point, of view, and
thirdly on account of the easy access to its almost interminable
forests of Cedar. The total number of Indians living upon
this tract is ascertained to be about five Hundred souls, have
had very little intercourse with the whites, and live in an almost
entirely denuded state; they have no idea whatever of the
value of money or many articles of use and value among other
tribes; yet it is believed that they will in every particular,
scrupulously adhere