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McLoughlin and old Oregon : a chronicle Dye, Eva Emery, 1855-1947 1900

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     McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD OREGON      McLOUGHLIN
AND OLD OREGON
a chronicle
EVA   EMERY   DYE
CHICAGO
A.   C.   McCLURG   &   CO.
1900 Copyright
By A. C. McClurg & Co.
A.D.  1900
/£>
//
F s~s a- -  ■ l TO
MY   HUSBAND
WITHOUT WHOSE ENCOURAGEMENT THIS WORK WOULD
NOT  HAVE  BEEN'UNDERTAKEN
Eijts 3Sook
IS MOST AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED  Contents
Chapter Page
I.   An American on the Columbia      .... 9
II.   The Coming of the Whitmans  19
III. The Wedding of Jason Lee  32
IV. Dr. McLoughlin goes to England   ... 40
V.   The London Council  48
VI.   Rival Fur Companies  54
VII.   McLoughlin's Early History  60
VIII.   Dr. McLoughlin's Return  74
IX.   The Banquet  84
X.   Early Events at Fort Vancouver   ... 89
XL   Bachelors' Hall  97
XII.   The Brigade to California  104
XIII. Dr. McLoughlin at Home  109
XIV. At Old Champoeg        114
XV.   Christmas at Fort Vancouver  122
XVI.   Return of Jason Lee  129
XVII.   The Brigade from Fraser's River    .    .    . 134
XVIII.   Departure of the Brigade  142
XIX.   Dr. Whitman and his Cayuses  146
XX.   That Wagon  154
XXI.   A Trip to Sitka  157
XXII.   Ermatinger guards the Frontier     .   .    . 166
XXIII. An American Exploring Squadron    ... 175
XXIV. " The Star of Oregon "  187
XXV.   McKinley at Walla Walla ...... 194 Vlll
Contents
Chapter Page
XXVI. Delaware Tom  196
XXVII. The Hudson's Bay Company in California   210
XXVIII. The First Immigrants  218
XXIX. Whitman's Ride  231
XXX. A Provisional Government  237
XXXI. Whitman    returns   with   a   Thousand
People  251
XXXII. McLoughlin and the Immigrants   .   .   . 275
XXXIII. Elijah  286
XXXIV. At Sutter's Fort  294
XXXV. Death of Jason Lee   .    : -301
XXXVI. The Bear Flag at Sonoma  307
XXXVII. "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight"   .... 313
XXXVIII. Dr. McLoughlin resigns v.    . 327
XXXIX. The Whitman Massacre  334
XL. The Cayuse War  350
XLI. The Barque "Janet"  365
XLII. The Discovery of Gold        369
XLIII. The Death of Dr. McLoughlin .... 376 McLoughlin and Old Oregon
fl
AN AMERICAN ON THE   COLUMBIA
1832
SIXTY years ago, on a green terrace sloping up from
the north bank of the Columbia, not far from the
mouth of the Willamette, lay old Fort Vancouver. It
might be likened to the Dutch stockade at New Amsterdam, or to a rude stronghold of central Europe in
the middle ages, with a little village clustered under its
guns.
Fort Vancouver was fortified in primitive fashion.
There was a stout palisade of fir posts, twenty feet
high, sharpened at both ends and driven into the
ground. There were thick double-ribbed and riveted
gates in front and rear, ornamented with brass padlocks
and ponderous keys. A grim old three-storied log
tower formed a bastion at the northwest corner, bristling with portholes and cannon. Some rough-hewn
stores, magazines, and workshops were ranged inside
the enclosure, with an open court in the middle where
the Indians brought their game and peltries. Directly
opposite the main entrance stood the governor's residence, a somewhat pretentious two-story structure of
heavy timber, mortised Canadian fashion, and painted
white. Here Dr. John McLoughlin, governor of the
Hudson's Bay Company west of the Rocky Mountains, IO
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
and his chief aide Douglas, afterward knighted Sir
James, first governor of British Columbia, dispensed
hospitality after the fashion of Saxon thanes or lairds
of a Highland castle.
One autumn evening in 1832 a salute was fired at the
gates of Fort Vancouver. " Some belated trapper,"
said the traders in the hall. Guests were luxuries too
rare to be anticipated in the far-away Oregon wild.
At a word from Governor McLoughlin the porter unlocked the gate and eleven strangers entered, clad all
in leather, dripping with rain, and garnished with as
many weapons as Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest.
Dr. McLoughlin fixed a keen eye upon the wayfarers
as Bruce ushered them into the hall.
" Wyeth is my name," said the tall, wiry leader.
" Nathaniel J. Wyeth, from Boston: on a trading trip
to the Columbia."
I Bless me ! " cried the amazed McLoughlin, extending his hand. " Bless me, 't is a marvellous journey.
Few could survive it.    Welcome to Fort Vancouver."
Not since Astor's defeat in 1812 had any American
tried to trap or trade in Oregon. Unmolested for
twenty years, the British fur-traders had reared their
palisades and filled their forts with furs. That the
young republic on the Atlantic shore might stretch her
fingers westward, that a highway might be found across
the mountains —these were vague contingencies !
Despite his travel-worn garb, Dr. McLoughlin recognized an honest man in the tall, blond trader from
Yankee-land. He and his followers were assigned to
quarters among the fur-trading knights at Fort Vancouver. All winter Captain Wyeth lived at the fort,
studying methods and evolving plans for future action.
AH winter Captain Wyeth watched for a ship that never 1
AN  AMERICAN  ON  THE  COLUMBIA n
came. In March he started back on the long journey
overland to Boston. The ship had been lost at sea.
A second was despatched and the Yankee captain
reappeared on the Columbia.
Within sound of the morning guns of Fort Vancouver
Captain Wyeth set up a log fort, palisaded like that of
his rival, on the beautiful island of Wapato, at the
mouth of the Willamette River. Out of that ship, the
" May Dacre," he brought goats, sheep, pigs, chickens,
Hawaiians. The flitting forms of " the Bostons," as
the Indians called them, in their leather pantaloons and
white wool hats, was a constant menace to the occupants of the British fur fort. It brought a breath of
that old battle when Hudson's Bay and Northwesters
fought in the North. While they treated the frank and
manly Bostonian with politeness, with kindness, and
even generosity, they watched him like eagles and
shadowed him like spirits. He built Fort Hall on the
Snake; they set up Fort Boise to draw away his trade.
Did he send his men to trap or buy beaver? The
Hudson's Bay men were there before him, behind him,
around him. They put up the value of furs to a
ruinous figure. They sold Indian goods at fifty per
cent less than he could afford. Out of an annual fund
put by for the purpose they harassed him on every
hand. " Competition is war, war to the knife, fierce and
deadly," but in this case as usual, it was " concealed under
•gentlemanly foils and masks and padded gloves."
Neighborly offices passed between the forts. Governor McLoughlin sent over presents of fresh vegetables.
Wyeth paddled over on rainy nights to join the jolly
boys in Bachelors' Hall. Many and many an hour he
discussed history and government with Dr. McLoughlin.
But underlying all their intercourse was the discovery 12 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD   OREGON
of each other's plans — friendship and strategy. Wyeth
concealed his schemes. Nevertheless, whenever his
men were hauling their boats down to the water the
ever-present Hudson's Bay men were already launched
and met the Indians first.
An unprecedentedly rainy winter came upon the Columbia. Heavy mists enveloped the hills; the clouds
came down among the trees; drip, drip, drip went the
rain, surpassing the deluge of forty days and forty
nights. Soft Chinooks blew up from the sea, snow slid
down from the Cascade tips, the very Columbia conspired, creeping at dead of night into Wyeth's fort and
soaking his precious bales. In spite of calm and cool
philosophy, Captain Wyeth saw his inevitable disadvantage against the hereditary power of the Hudson's
Bay Company, with its hundreds of employes in practice for generations. Bankruptcy shook its finger in
his face. His handsome fortune and the credit of Boston
merchants were invested. Still the fish refused to tangle
themselves in his nets. The Blackfeet killed his trappers, stole his furs. Out of two hundred men, one hundred and sixty had been killed or had deserted to the
rival. Even the superstitious Indians refused to trade,
because, they said, long ago a Boston ship brought the
deadly fever that killed all the people on Wapato.
Once Wyeth referred to Dr. McLoughlin's hereditary
influence with the Indians.
"My hereditary influence?" echoed the doctor.
" Bless you, Mr. Wyeth, bless you, /had no hereditary
influence ! I made the Indians fear me. I compelled
obedience. I studied justice. I cultivated confidence.
It takes time, Mr. Wyeth, it takes time."
"True, Doctor, but you have a great corporation
behind you with unlimited capital.    Your servants have
■■i AN  AMERICAN  ON  THE  COLUMBIA
13
intermarried with the tribes to hold the trade. Our
policies are diametrically opposed. Yours is to perpetuate savagism, to keep Oregon as a game preserve, a
great English hunting park. Mine would be to fill it
with a civilized people."
" How can they get here, Mr. Wyeth? Even India
is not so far. Oregon is the very end of the world, a
whole year's voyage around Cape Horn or Good Hope.
Shut off by rock-ribbed mountains, deserts, savages, the
ocean, how can they get here ? "
" Overland from the United States," answered the
Bostonian.
Dr. McLoughlin laughed incredulously. "When you
have levelled the mountains, cultivated the desert, annihilated distance, then and not before. Besides, the
United States is too young, too sparsely settled. Look
at her miles of unoccupied Mississippi Valley. No, no,
no, Mr. Wyeth, if Oregon is ever colonized it will be by
sea, from England. We shall not live to see it, but
our children may."
The doctor's ruddy face was thoughtful. He knew
the secret of Wyeth's discontent. It pained him to feel
that Captain Wyeth attributed in any way his failure to
the company. The doctor fidgeted with his cane.
He spoke his thought.
" What more can I do for you, Mr. Wyeth — consistently with my duty to my company? Have I not
treated you kindly? Have I not given your men work
when your own plans failed? As for civilization, was I
not glad to engage your lad, Solomon Smith, to teach
our boys and girls? Did I not hail with joy your
good missionary, Jason Lee, and help to establish him
in the valley?"
Wyeth was silent.    He could find no fault with Dr.
—— 14
mcloughlin and old Oregon
McLoughlin; and yet Dr. McLoughlin had ruined
him. The doctor walked up to him. He had a very
affectionate, winning manner. McLoughlin, one of
the most urbane gentlemen in the world, moreover
really liked Captain Wyeth, and was sorry to see him
driven to the wall. He took his hand as a father
would.
" Business is business, Mr. Wyeth. I like your open,
manly way. I find you fair in contracts. I believe you
to be a gentleman and an honest man. You support
morality and encourage industry. If you — will come
over to us1—Wyeth, yourself to the fort—join us —
then I, myself, will forward your credentials to the
house in London by the next express. What say
you ? "
The sturdy Bostonian reflected, then simply answered,
" I cannot join you, Doctor."
" Then I regret that I can do nothing for you," answered the doctor, suddenly stiff and distant and yet
with sadness in his eye. " You see my duty to my
company forbids it."
Wyeth looked into the benevolent face. Slowly he
added, "But— I will sell."
So Nathaniel J. Wyeth sold to the Hudson's Bay
Company for what it was willing to give, and left the
country in defeat.
But though he left, an important man remained.
That man was Jason Lee, the missionary.
Long ago, when Lewis and Clark entered the Flathead country, the high chief looked in their pale faces
and said, " They are chilled. See how cold their cheeks
are; build fires, bring robes."
Before the blazing fires, wrapped in soft buffalo-robes,
■sum 1
AN  AMERICAN  ON  THE  COLUMBIA 15
the white men's cheeks grew red. Perspiration burst
from every pore. The robes slipped off, but the solicitous Indians kept putting them back. General Clark
then arose and spoke to the kind-hearted Flatheads of
a great people toward the rising sun. " They worship
the Great Spirit," he said. " He has made them strong
and brave and rich."
"Does he give them wigwams and much buffalo?"
asked the Flatheads.
" Yes," answered the general.
Lewis and Clark smoked the pipe of friendship and
passed on. The Nez Perc6 Flatheads talked around
their fires.    A Hudson's Bay trader came.
" Do you know about the Great Spirit? " inquired the
childlike Flatheads.
" Yes; you can learn about him at our school at Red
River."
The chief sent three sons to the distant Red River.
When they returned they taught their people a rudimentary form of worship.
A great religious movement passed among the Nez
Perce* Flatheads and on up into the Shushwap country
on the Fraser. Old traders record it in their memoirs.
By and by an American trapper came.
"Do you know about the Great Spirit?" still inquired the childlike Flatheads.
" Yes," answered the trapper, " there is a book that
tells about him."
"Where can we find the book?" insisted the Flat-
heads.
" Oh, away off in a distant city where the traders
go-"
The Indians held a council and decided to send for
the white man's wonderful book. 1
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
After a long and weary wandering two Indians entered
the frontier city of St. Louis and asked for General
Clark. There was much wa-wa (talk-talk) and inquiry
for the book. The people gathered and curiously
eyed these representatives of a tribe a thousand miles
beyond the farthest that had ever appeared in the
streets of St. Louis. Shawnees, Pawnees, Arapahoes,
Sioux, had come, but never before a Flathead, never
before anybody inquiring for a book of the Great
Spirit.
General Clark was interested in Indians, in furs, in
lands, in wars, and treaties. He banqueted these Indian
ambassadors. He sent them with his servant to see
the lions of the city. They visited cathedrals and shops
and shows, but found no book. At last, fired and disappointed, they turned back and sought the way to their
own country.
" Is it true that those Indians came all that distance
for a book of the Great Spirit?" said Catlin, the Indian
artist.
" They came for that and nothing else," said General
Clark.
A young clerk in one of the St. Louis fur-rooms wrote
to his friends in the East. It found its way into the
papers. The Macedonian cry swept like a trumpet summons through the churches.
"Who will carry the book of the Great Spirit to the
Flatheads?"
The chief luminary of the Methodist conference
answered: "I know but one man—Jason Lee."
Like the voice of God, Jason Lee heard the Nez
Perce" call — he thrilled. In a day he tore himself from
the entreaty of friends to enter upon a journey that was
not ended in a year.    With his nephew, Daniel Lee, AN  AMERICAN  ON  THE  COLUMBIA 1/
and two other assistants, he accompanied Wyeth on that
second trip in 1834. So came the missionary to the
realm of the king of the Columbia. And that tall,
angular Puritan, born just over the Canadian border,
was just the man Dr. McLoughlin wanted for his settlement at Champoeg. The doctor set his plate beside
his own, and before them all discussed the question of
location.
" You have no call to go up there among the Flat-
heads, Mr. Lee, where we cannot protect you. We have
plenty of Indians right here. Above the Falls of the
Willamette there lies a beautiful valley. Besides the
Indians there is a settlement of French Canadians, with
their Indian wives and half-breed children. Those
Canadians are your own countrymen, Mr. Lee, far from
the advantages of school and church. Then, too, I can
assist you here with my boats and my influence. Up
there in the Flathead country you will be far cut off from
a base of supplies and from communication with the
civilized world."
These arguments impressed the missionary. Of
course Dr. McLoughlin wanted his people at Champoeg
instructed. Still more he wanted the mission a dependency of the fort.
Lee went up the Willamette and found a valley fair as
the happy land of Rasselas, set between the hills. " I
will  build here,"  he said.    Out of Wyeth's ship,   the
I May Dacre," Lee unloaded his supplies, and for a trifle
engaged Indian canoe-men to transport them to the site
of the future mission.
" I warn you against these missionaries," said John
Dunn, a clerk in the Indian shop at Fort Vancouver.
II warn you. Look out for them. They are very meek
and humble now;  but the time will come when they
2  II
THE   COMING   OF THE   WHITMANS
1836
WHEN Wyeth was returning defeated to the States
he met a vision in the mountains, a beautiful
woman with golden hair and snowy brow, riding like
Joan of old to conquest, — Narcissa Whitman. With
her rode Eliza Spalding, a slender, dark-eyed devotee,
who back in the States had knelt in a lonely wayside
inn to consecrate her heart to Oregon. Two brides
were on that wonderful journey, farther than flew the
imperial eagles of Rome, to their life-work on the
Columbia.
Two brides! — there is a romance about modern
missions that the apostolic fathers never knew — two
missionary brides were the first white women to cross
the continent!
Two grooms, knights-errant, rode at their sides: Marcus Whitman, a young physician, strong, resolute, with
fire in his deep blue eyes and courage imprinted on
every feature to the tips of his auburn curls, he, too,
had heard of the Flathead messengers for the white
man's Book of the Great Spirit; Henry Spalding, a
youth long, lank, prematurely wrinkled and sharp-
featured with thought, he, too, was fired with apostolic
ardor. While yet a student in a village academy,
Henry Spalding had bent the knee and begged the
hand of Narcissa Prentice.    To him and to every other
1 20 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
suitor the beautiful girl said no, until young Dr. Whitman came riding like Lochinvar out of the West.
It was the Sabbath when Dr. Whitman reached his
native village in central New York, from his first exploring tour to the Rocky Mountains. In the midst
of the sermon, he whom they thought thousands of
miles away, walked into church, followed by two tall,
blanketed Indians.
" Marcus! " cried his mother, rising from her pew
and stretching forth her arms. " Marcus ! " echoed the
heart of a maid in the village choir. In a few days
there was a wedding at the old-fashioned house of
Judge Prentice. There was a missionary farewell at
the village church. Long after, it was a tradition in
that village that when the choir broke down in sobs,
the sweet soprano of Narcissa Whitman, the missionary
bride, carried the farewell hymn alone, like a skylark
to the sky:
H Scenes of sacred peace and pleasure,
Holy days and Sabbath bell,
Richest, brightest, sweetest treasure,
Can I say a last farewell ? |
They started. Cincinnati was a village in the woods;
Chicago, unknown; St. Louis, the end of the West.
Oregon was foreign land in 1836.
" You can never get the women through," said Cat-
lin, the Indian artist, at Pittsburg. " They will both
be kidnapped," said old trappers on the border.
" They are white squaws, white as snow," was the
word that flew from tribe to tribe as, under the convoy
of the American Fur Company, they entered the great,
wild land of the West. For miles the enraptured Indians followed in silent admiration.
" This is the end of the wagon route," said the fur- THE  COMING OF THE WHITMANS 21
traders, stopping their train of carts at Fort Laramie
on the Platte. " We always pack on mules from this
point over the mountains."
" But we must take a wagon, on account of the
women," said Dr. Whitman. " Did not Bonneville take
carts over to Green River? Did not Ashley haul a
cannon to Great Salt Lake?"
" Yes," admitted the traders, " and then Bridger tried
it, but they all gave it up — left their carts in the
mountains. Bonneville had no end of trouble — if he
had n't had a blacksmith along for constant repairs, he
never could have got through. The fact is, it is not
considered practicable."
Dr. Whitman had crossed those Alps before. If
Bonneville took a wagon across, he could. " I know
we can do it — I can almost see a road," said the dauntless doctor, with that positive assurance that always won
half his battles.
" Go ahead, then," laughed the traders. " A good
wheel route to Green River will double our profits.
We will gladly send a man with you to help explore a
way."
With the doctor's wagon and a trader's cart the little
company pushed on, leaving Fort Laramie, the last
outpost of civilized man, on the foothills at their rear.
Dr. Whitman made a wagon route his special object
of study. With now a tip-up and now a turn-over, and
now a long detour among the ragged pines, he followed
the way of the Great South Pass through the heart of
the Rocky Mountains. Mr. Spalding brought the cows;
W. H. Gray, an assistant, drove the packhorses. In
smooth mountain meadows the women rode in the
wagon; in shelving, rough defiles they mounted their
horses, cheering their husbands over this barrier ridge
J McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
of the world, supposed to forever shut the East from
the West.
The magical word flew over the mountains — hundreds of Nez Perces, Flatheads, Snakes, and Bannocks
came out to meet them.
Two Nez Perc6 chiefs went up on the heights to
escort them down. There, on the summit of the continent, the flag was unfurled. Under its starry folds,
facing the west, the little band knelt, and like Columbus took possession in the name of God.
The moment the' two brides alighted at the trader's
rendezvous on Green River, scores of Indian women
pressed to grasp their hands and kiss their cheeks. A
handful of bronzed mountaineers, so long, in the wilds
they had forgotten the looks of a white woman, pulled
off their caps in memory of their mothers.
" Thar! " said Joe Meek, an American trapper, " thar
are immigrants that the Hudson's Bay Company cannot
drive out."
" You must leave your wagon here," said everybody
at the rendezvous — everybody but the Indians. They
followed with wonder the musical chick-a-chick clattering over the rocks. They waved their arms towrard the
hills, they chattered and jabbered and put their shoulders
to the wheels.
" We can take it through," said Dr. Whitman. The
Indians went ahead and helped him hunt the road that
afterward became the great overland route to the West.
Night after night, late and tired, the doctor came
puffing into camp.
The wagon stuck in the creeks, it upset on the steep
hillsides, and then — the axle-tree broke.
" Leave it, Marcus," said Mrs. Whitman, reining up her
beautiful bay.    " Let us have no more trouble with it." THE  COMING OF THE WHITMANS 23
But no, the doctor made a cart of the back wheels
and lashed on. the fore wheels. " I shall take it through,
Narcissa, in some shape or other," he said.
" You can get it no farther," said the Hudson's Bay
men at the cottonwood stockade of Fort Hall — the
fort that Wyeth had sold to  McLoughlin.
But the doctor went ahead and swam the deep, swift
Snake. Cart and mules turned upside down and were
almost lost, but with iron grip the doctor brought them
out on the other side and safe to Fort Boise. Then all
rose up. " 'T is a crazy scheme to take the wagon on,"
they cried. "The season is late, the animals are failing, the wagon is a source of delay, the route in crossing the Blue Mountains is said to be utterly impassable
for it."
" I will send for it by and by," said the determined
missionary, stowing the battered vehicle away in a shed
at old Fort Boise under the care of Monsieur Payette,
the clerk in charge.
Over the scorched plains of the Snake, with a brigade
of Hudson's Bay traders, into the cool groves of the
Blue Mountains they rode. Tom McKay's excellent
hunters brought down for them the elk and the antelope. On the last day of August, 1836, three days
ahead of their party, Dr. and Mrs. Whitman galloped
up to the gates of old Fort Walla Walla. Heralds had
gone before, a watch was on the ramparts, the gates
were open. Monsieur Pierre Pambrun, the courtly chief
factor, assisted from her steed the pioneer of all white
women across the hills to the River of the West. That
night the wearied travellers slept in the west bastion,
full of portholes and filled with fire-arms. A great
cannon, always loaded, stood behind the door. The
water swished by the walls.    The wind howled down mcloughlin and old Oregon
the Columbia, shaking the driftwood donjon till their
voices were lost in the racket. A courier rode post to
Fort Vancouver.
"They come," said Dr. McLoughlin, " not as rivals,
not as traders, but as allies, to teach our Indians peace
and industry."
Seated in the fur-traders' boats with Chief Factor
Pambrun and his voyageurs, the Americans glided down
the Columbia, beyond the drifting sand, past the log
huts of the Walla Walla fishermen, who from point to
point stood sweeping their nets in the foaming waters,
on into the high dark dikes that shut in the tortuous
river. Here they entered an elder, grander Hudson,
lacking only castles on the cliffs to give a human touch.
But there were castles, arrested mid air from the volcanic throat of St. Helen's, in ages long gone by,
columns upon columns crowned with towers, columns
that swelled like the bastions of ancient citadels — basaltic bluffs, turreted with the pinnacles and shafts and
domes that guard this gateway of the floods.
Where the Columbia breaks through the Cascade
range they looked where never white women looked
before, on the dark foundations of the hills planted
deep in the turbulent water, and rising hundreds of
feet in the heavens. The whitecaps rolled as at sea.
A gale came up from the west, and the little boats rose
and fell like sea-gulls on the surges. Mt Hood, visible
for miles, grew to life size. St. Helen's reared her graceful, tapering cone above the distant firs. Within the
curving inlets vast amphitheatres with columnar tiers of
seats outdid the Roman Coliseum. On every headland
grim promontories frowned like forts of some Titanic
age.
The second day they reached  the foaming  Dalles. THE COMING OF THE WHITMANS
25
In three days, hark 1 the roaring cascades dashed their
billows on the rocks. From shore to shore a rapidly
declining, irregular sheet of snow-white foam slid to the
level below. Grander rose the mountains, four thousand five thousand feet on either hand, cut by livid
gashes of ravine exposing the ribs of mother earth.
Not a lip moved, not a word was spoken as the French-
Iroquois boatman stood at his post and with a skilful
dip turned the flying canoe from the point of some projecting rock, while on every side seethed and yawned
the great green caves of water. Should a heart fail or
a cheek blanch now? No, each face was as immobile
as the naked Indian on yonder rock that stood like a
statue cut in bronze spearing the passing salmon.
At the portages how the Indians wondered to see
the men helping the women over the rough places.
Why, they did not even have to carry the baggage!
Fort Vancouver was ready. The flags were flying.
Two ships lay in the river,—the " Nereid," a man-of-war
just from London and bound for the Northwest coast
with bales of Indian goods, and the barque " Columbia,"
about to sail on her return voyage with furs and peltries.
The stirring song of the voyageurs rang over the terraced plain. The stately McLoughlin and the knightly
Douglas stood on the shore to welcome these guests
whose coming would unfold a world of change. It was
an historic time. Mighty men and lovely women stood
there, who had trod a continent, bearing the cross,
farther than rode the Hun of old, farther than the
Helvetian, farther than even the Celt to the verge of
Europe. It was a scene to shine on canvas and live in
story, like the landing of the Pilgrims, like the march
of Constantine, like Augustine in England, like Paul on
the hills of Greece.    Governor McLoughlin offered his McLoughlin and old Oregon
arm  to   Mrs. Whitman, black Douglas  assisted  Mrs.
Spalding, and all passed into the fort
It was a welcome rest after the long days on the
plains and the mountains, after the camps in dust and
sand, after the suns and frost and fatigue. It seemed
like a dream to find this roomy old stronghold in the
wilderness. Primeval forests swayed and sobbed upon
the hills, primeval Indians paddled and chanted along
the streams. The long low halls, the echoing floors, the
roaring, wide-mouthed chimneys, the weapons of the
chase and elk-skin armor on the wall, all told that
-the fur-traders perpetuated a storied past.
What a change was the bounteous board from
buffalo-beef and mountain bread, —flour and water
fried in tallow. The best cooks of Canada waited on the
fur-trader. Carving was carried to perfection at Fort
Vancouver. Salmon, ducks, and geese and venison,
the choice of an epicure, was daily fare. And fruit? —
through the postern gate they walked in the garden
musky with odors of peaches and pears, slender-limbed
apple-trees broken with their golden weights, and rows
of plum and fig-trees crimsoned in the sun. Between
the neat squares the old Scotch gardener had gravelled
his walks and lined them with strawberry vines, and at
the far end stood the grape-grown summer-house where
Rae had wooed his Eloise.
But Dr. Whitman could not rest. Whatever he ought
to do, that he must do without delay.
In its great westward sweep to the sea the Columbia
narrows at the Dalles into a chasm that a fiend might
leap. Here the salmon crowded in such prodigious
numbers in their journey from the sea that from time
immemorial it had been a famous fishing spot. In the
summer season thousands  of Indians  gathered there THE COMING  OF  THE WHITMANS
27
and hung enormous baskets from the rocks. The
leaping salmon landed in the baskets in schools and
shoals, and the watchful Indians hauled up tons and
tons a day. It was like a great fair when the tribes of
the interior came down to trade for salmon at the
Dalles.
" Here," said Whitman, " is a strategic point. Here
will I locate my mission."
"No," said Dr. McLoughlin, "the Dalles Indians are
fishing Indians, treacherous and unreliable. Go up
among the hunting Indians of the Walla Walla. Do
you not know that the English troopers are recruited
from the fox-hunters of England? The Indians of the
chase are the troopers of this continent. They can do
anything."
"But  can  they  be  tamed?"   asked  Dr.  Whitman.
" The possibilities of those horse Indians cannot be
measured," answered Dr. McLoughlin. " They are in
a state of nature, uncorrupted, strong and brave and
free.    These canoe Indians are in the process of decay."
" But how can I locate so far from my base of supplies? " hesitated the missionary.
11 will send your goods in my boats for a trifle.
Every summer our brigades go up the Columbia with
supplies for the interior. Your credit shall be always
good. Our stations at Fort Walla Walla and Fort
Colvile are open to your orders."
While their husbands were gone, looking at the upper
country, Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. Spalding remained
guests at Fort Vancouver. In a day their love unlocked the hearts of Madame McLoughlin and her
stately daughter Eloise and the charming Mrs. Douglas. The trader's children crowded about the delicate
Mrs. Spalding like bees around a honeysuckle.    She 28
mcloughlin and old Oregon
could draw, she could paint, and spin and weave and
knit, and they watched her fingers with curious eagerness. Far back on the plains she had cemented a lasting friendship with the Indian women by her quick
intuition of their wants and her readiness in learning
Nez Perc6, but to Mrs. Whitman the men bowed down
as at a shrine before a golden goddess. The silken
cape that encircled her soft, white neck seemed like
the fluttering of wings, her golden hair like an aureole
of light. When she sang—forty years after, tears
leaped to the eyes of the old fur-traders at the memory
"of the prima donna of Fort Vancouver. Quickly the
children and the voyageurs caught from her lips the
plaintive, " Watchman, tell us of the night," to vie
thenceforth with their French chansons in the forest.
At Dr. McLoughlin's request Mrs. Whitman heard
his daughter recite every day. Eloise had the fresh
enthusiasm that has never been cloyed by schools or
tasks. While the girls of New England were patiently
working their samplers, this princess of the Columbia
was embroidering caps and moccasins. While the girls
of New England practised formal scales in music,
Eloise was picking up the tunes of the voyageurs, and
might often be seen in her light canoe darting across
the Columbia, singing as she went the wild songs of old
Canada.
If the missionary-brides instructed the ladies of Fort
Vancouver, they, too, were taught in the lore of lustrous
sables, silky sea-otter, thick brown mink, and soft black
beaver. Eloise could tell them that the fiery fox was a
prize in China, that the Russian would give a hundred
silver rubles for the sea-otter that the Chinook slid
down and speared as it slept on the shore, that the
dappled bearskin would line the coach of an English THE COMING OF THE WHITMANS 29
noble, that the blue fox went to the czar for a royal
cloak, and the silver gray to an Indian rajah.
" And do I care to wear the beautiful furs?" asked
Eloise. " Oh, no; you see I know how they get them.
I know how our men face winter and summer in the
lonely mountains. It is not play. My father says
hunting the beaver is the most laborious work in the
world."
Never did guests more regretted leave the halls oi
Fort Vancouver. Had it been possible they would have
been detained permanently, but winter rains were setting in, sure sign that storms were whirling around Mt.
Hood. They must re-embark for the upper country.
Many a token of beads and embroidery was placed in
their hands by the skilled ladies of the fort as Whitman
and Spalding bore away their brides to the distant
mission.
Dr. Whitman had planted his mission among the
knightly Cayuses, the imperial tribe of Oregon, who in
the long-ago ruled to the mouth of the Columbia and
whose herds now covered the plains from the foothills
of Mt. Hood to the borders of the Snake. It was on a
green spot called by the Indians Waiilatpu, the Rye-
Grass Meadow, that Whitman halted on the banks of
the Walla Walla.
Chief Factor Pambrun had ridden out with him, both
of their horses belly deep in the rye-grass, to decide
upon the location. All around lay level green prairie,
bathing its cottonwood edge in the winding river.
Away to the east the Blue Mountains were hazy along
the horizon. Far to the west were the snows of Hood,
that the Indians pointed out as the mountain near
which the White-Headed Eagle dwelt. Twenty-five
miles to the north lay Fort Walla Walla on a narrow McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
stretch of sand between the Columbia and the Walla
Walla. On the hills around grazed the beautiful spotted
horses of the Walla Walla-Cayuses. Here and there the
smoke curled up from the conical skin lodges, and
thickly gathered all around them were mounted Indians
eagerly watching the decision of the missionary. They
were clean, well-dressed, noble-looking men, those
Walla Walla-Cayuses, with their eagle eyes and fine
straight noses, men that looked well worth the efforts of
a Whitman or a Wesley. Yellow Serpent, Pio-pio-mox-
mox, was their chief, a haughty, handsome Indian fond
of dress and parade. By the side of Yellow Serpent rode
his little son, a lad of twelve years, baptized by Jason
Lee with the name of a bishop of the Methodist church,
Elijah Hedding. Already Elijah had studied a year at
the mission on the Willamette.
There were present also the Cayuse brothers of
Elijah's mother, Tauitau and Five Crows, head men in
the council, and Tiloukaikt, a great dark chief with a
voice like a brazen trumpet. As soon as the decision
was made, Chief Factor Pambrun sent out two workmen
from Fort Walla Walla and the Indians all turned in to
help build Whitman's adobe mansion.
Spalding had set up his tabernacle one hundred and
twenty-five miles to the north at Lapwai, on the Clearwater River, a few miles from the present site of
Lewiston, Idaho. Here, among the teachable Nez
Perces, the patient, persevering missionary and his
gifted wife accomplished a work that has never been
surpassed in any age among a savage people. Like
Pastor Oberlin in the hills of Alsace, Whitman and
Spalding set examples of industry, and ploughed and
planted and sowed, and shared the harvest with their
people.    For a while, wherever they travelled through THE COMING OF THE WHITMANS
31
the country, hundreds of Indians followed to see the
white men who brought the Book of the Great Spirit
and to hear them preach at night. Spalding's Indians
would sometimes spend the entire night repeating what
he had taught them in the evening. Gray-haired men
and chiefs became pupils of their own little children in
learning to read and write.
Did the presence of those women suggest a thought
to Jason Lee? No; long since he had written to the
Board to select and send him a suitable wife. Ill
THE   WEDDING   OF JASON LEE
1837
AGAIN a' salute resounded at the gates of Fort
Vancouver.
"Who the devil's come at this time o' night? " grumbled the sleepy fur-traders, turning on their couches.
The porter crawled out of his lodge in his nightcap.
To the impatient knockers outside a heavy step sounded
and a gruff voice demanded, " Who 's there ? 1
" Strangers from the States on the brig ' Diana.'"
The great key turned, the gate swung creaking on
its hinges. This time several men entered, with their
wives, followed by three fair damsels half revealed by
the light of the moon. The old porter led the shadowy
figures up to McLoughlin's door.
"Who is it?" inquired the doctor, in dressing-gown
and moccasins, holding a candle above his head. The
white locks framed an almost youthful face as he leaned,
peering into the night.
" A reinforcement to Jason Lee's mission," answered
the spokesman of the party.
"More missionaries?" laughed the doctor. "Well,
well, surely we '11 all get converted by and by. Come
in, come in." He took each hand with the grasp of
a friend, and turning led into the great dining hall,
where a log still smouldered on the hearth. THE WEDDING  OF JASON  LEE 33
" Be seated; be seated." The doctor rummaged
around, poking the log with his cane, and pushing up
a settee. " Burris, Burris ! " he called from an adjoining
door. In short order the major-domo appeared with
candles, that cast weird flickers against the windows
and the high dark ceiling.
" And so Congress is still discussing that Maine
boundary?" Dr. McLoughlin was saying, when the
butler reappeared with a steaming tray. A dusky
Kanaka (Hawaiian) poured the tea, while Burris retired to pile Indian blankets on the bunk-like beds of
the fort.
Before daylight Dr. McLoughlin called, " Money-
coon ! " An Indian rolled out of his blanket in the
barracks.
" Get the despatch-boat. Take these papers to Jason
Lee at the mission as quick as you can."
The Indian disappeared. There was a click at the
boat-house door, a gleam on the river. Forty-eight
hours later McLoughlin, glass in hand, descried two
canoes laboring up the billowy Columbia in a tempest
of wind.    " See, he even comes in a storm ! "
All turned to banter the maiden who now was to
behold her future husband. Through all that voyage
Anna Maria Pitman had kept saying to herself, " I
may not marry him;  I may not marry him."
The little company sat with Dr. McLoughlin in a
room facing the gate, when it swung back, and a tall,
broad-shouldered man past thirty approached at the
rate of seventy-five strides a minute. " See the conquering hero comes," whispered the teasing companions.
Anna Maria raised her eyes, and at a glance took in
the Yankee make-up, the Puritan face with its long,
light hair, spiritual eyes, and prominent nose. Any-
3 34 McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
where it was a face to be remembered, but to her
poetic mind a certain halo glowed about that high,
retreating forehead. Dr. McLoughlin brought them
face to face. There was a letter in Jason Lee's pocket
saying, " She has been sent out on purpose for you."
" They really took me at my word! " thought the
missionary. " Well, well, well! Though a lady should
travel the world over to become my wife, yet I cannot
marry her unless upon acquaintance I become satisfied
that such a step will be conducive to our happiness.
Judgment alone, under the influence of an enlightened
conscience, must decide this question."
A pale pink suffused Miss Pitman's neck and brow
under Jason Lee's scrutinizing gaze. They had met
before in New York City, but his recollection had
been, " She is not a lady that I should fancy for a
wife."
There may have been inward tumult, but outwardly
Jason Lee was as calm as on that thirsty day on the
plains when he stopped the cows for a cup of milk and
was surprised by a band of whooping savages. " Indians ! Indians ! " cried his comrades. But Lee quietly
had kept on till his cup was full. One round little spot
of red burned in either cheek.
It was a lovely May morning when the governor's
guests started up the Willamette. Bloom and verdure
and songs of birds, blue rippling waters and distant
peaks of snow smiled on the scene. Governor McLoughlin and the whole household of the fort accompanied them down to the water's edge. With gay
farewells and good wishes the boats shot off, bearing,
in addition to other baggage, a great Indian basket
of provisions from the bountiful larder of Fort Vancouver.    By the conniving of their companions Jason H
THE WEDDING OF JASON  LEE 35
Lee and Miss Pitman were seated last, in a boat alone,
with a crew of Indians, not one of whom could speak
a word of English.
With a bold sweep Jason Lee sent his canoe far
ahead. Anna Maria's hair rippled from her comb, her
cheek glowed, her eye sparkled. Little dappled gray
seals, with large, round, gentle eyes, swam on either
side, following the boat like mastiffs, now leaping in
the water, and now catching at some unlucky salmon as
it bumped its nose in its headlong course up stream.
At sunset the party camped in an oak orchard grove,
where now the city of Portland stretches its stately
avenues and rears its palatial homes. The next day
they encountered shoals of salmon, literally millions,
leaping and curveting and climbing the foamy falls of
the Willamette, where now the factories of Oregon
City send out their flumes and wheels. On the third
day Jason Lee and his assistants landed where the moss-
grown cottages of Champoeg dotted French Prairie.
As early as 1827 Etienne Lucier had said, " Governor, do you think this will ever become a settled,
country? "
" Yes; wherever wheat grows you may depend upon
its becoming a settled country."
" What assistance will you give me to settle on the
Willamette? I cannot face Canadian cold again. I
am getting old." Etienne Lucier had been one of
Astor's Canadians, who had never left the Oregon
country since the day when the great New Yorker's
stronghold was handed over to British traders.
McLoughlin reflected. Here was a case that might
become a precedent. It was against the rules of the
Hudson's Bay Company to dismiss servants in the
Indian  country, but by retaining them on his  books 36
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
they might cultivate the land and become a base of
.supplies for the Pacific posts.
These old voyageurs had Indian wives. They had
families growing up around them, born in Oregon and
accustomed to its genial climate. To transport them to
Canada would be not only a great expense, but a cruel
exile. To separate the men from their families — that
was not to be thought of. These French Canadians
loved their Indian wives. The children had twined
about their heartstrings. By permitting them to cultivate the fertile Willamette Dr. McLoughlin could retain
them under his control, while their influence on their
Indian relatives would maintain continued cordiality
between the races.
" What assistance will I give?" said Dr. McLoughlin.
" Seed to sow, and wheat to feed yourself and family
till crops come.    Then I will buy your surplus grain."
One after another had settled in the valley, until now
there was a prosperous colony. Jason Lee landed his
party at the entrance to this settlement, whose farmhouses were scattered back to the foothills. Rude rail
fences ran zigzag around the meadows. Wild roses
nodded in the corners and bloomed in the wheat. The
Canadians greeted the missionary with friendly welcome,
opened their doors, offered their horses. He talked
with them in their French patois, and could tell as
many stories as they of logging on the Ottawa. They
were nearly all Catholics. Jason Lee was a Protestant.
Nevertheless, they attended his preaching gladly,
though sometimes there might be a longing for the
showier Catholic forms, and chants, and candles of
childhood.
Terra-cotta colored children, some darker, some fair
and almost white, dressed in blue and scarlet, were sit-
^^r^rr^^KIBillBB THE WEDDING OF JASON  LEE 37
ting on the stiles and swinging on the lower halves of
the wide barn doors. The dogs slept in the sun, the
cocks crew, and the pigeons cooed in the airy lofts.
The barns themselves, four times as large as the houses,
were still bursting with last year's harvest. The children, true little Frenchmen, left their play to courtesy
to Jason Lee and to watch the wonderful white women.
Their mothers, in calico dresses and leggings and moccasins, with red kerchiefs crossed on their breasts,
nodded and smiled as the strangers passed. These
women, whose mothers had packed teepees and dug
camas all their lives, women who had passed their
infancy strapped on a baby-board, now scrubbed their
little cabins and managed the garden and dairy as well
as any thrifty frau among the Germans. For their
Canadian husbands they deemed no sacrifice too
great, for their children they filled the last measure of
devotion.
" Indeed," Jason Lee used to say, " these happy-go-
lucky voyageurs are fortunate in finding such capable
women to make them homes," and the Canadians themselves would have told you they were worth " half a
dozen civilized wives."
Exchanging the canoe for the saddle, the mission
party galloped across French Prairie knee-deep in
flowers.    The larks flew up and sung.
It was not a princely mansion, that humble log mission twenty by thirty, with chimney of sticks and clay.
Jason Lee had swung the broadaxe that hewed the
logs; Daniel Lee had calked the crevices with moss.
There were Indian mats on the hewn-fir floors, homemade stools and tables. The hearth was of baked clay
and ashes, the batten doors hung on leather hinges and
clicked with wooden latches.    Four small windows let McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
in the light through squares of dried deerskin set in
sashes carved by the jack-knife of Jason Lee. Just
now every door and window framed a group of copper
faces, every eye intent on the flowing garb and satin
cheeks of the strange, fair white women.
Jason Lee never talked unless he had something to
say. He simply waved his hand, bade them welcome
to the humble edifice that marked the beginning of the
capital of Oregon and Willamette University.
The rough table, with its battered tin plates and
knives and forks, had venison from the hills, bread from
their own wheat crushed in the cast-iron corn-cracker.
The cattle driven over the plains furnished butter and
cheese and cream; glossy cups of leaves heljd the strawberries that reddened on every knoll.
In front of the mission a beautiful fir grove, historic
now, became the Sabbath temple. Thither repaired
the missionaries, with their pupils, neatly dressed in English costume. Thither came the Canadians, with their
native wives and half-caste children, all in holiday garb,
and gathering in the background came the dark Willa-
mettes, picturesque, statuesque, almost classic, with their
slender bows and belts of haiqua. The hymn of worship rang through the forest aisles. Under the umbrageous firs all knelt in prayer. The July zephyr fanned
the drooping cheek and downcast lid. Every Indian
knelt in imitation of the white men. When Jason Lee
arose every eye was fixed on his flushed face and
speaking glance. He spoke briefly, then, to the astonishment of all, walked hurriedly to his congregation,
took Miss Pitman by the hand, and led her to the front.
Daniel Lee came forward, and there, under the fragrant
firs, pronounced the solemn service of the first Anglo-
Saxon marriage on the Pacific Coast.    There was  a THE WEDDING OF JASON  LEE
39
wedding trip up the valley and across, the coast range
to the sea; there were strolls along the level beach,
clam-bakes, and surf-baths, a fashion that Oregon lovers
have followed ever since. At harvest Jason Lee was
back, wielding the cradle among the wheat, and his
comrades found that here, as on the river, the bony
Puritan outraced them all. IV
dr. McLoughlin goes to England
1838
DR. MCLOUGHLIN took pride in his handsome
Scotch son-in-law, William Glen Rae. When
the doctor found he must be going to England, he chose
Rae, the head clerk, to accompany him as far as Fort
Colvile on the Upper Columbia. Every yefar the Pacific
accounts were consolidated at Fort Colvile, to be sent
across the mountains. Who could do that so well as
the head clerk?
Everybody was out with farewells when the doctor
left that March morning in 1838. Along the Columbia
the Indians watched the progress of the White-Headed
Eagle and wondered if Douglas were as brave a chief.
They knew that those swift canoes carried letters and
papers. Once they stole them. Now they would as
soon think of stealing the snows off Mt. Hood. " Cannot the White Eagle throw his medicine beyond the
Dalles? " they said. Five days was quick time to Walla
Walla in March, but then, who could move camp with
McLoughlin? Charlefoux was at the bow. Over and
over again Charlefoux had travelled that route, the
safest guide if not the boldest. Every summer he
conducted the yearly express to Fort Garry on Lake
Winnepeg, and there turned back with the new recruits from Canada.
■HWNNI DR.  McLOUGHLIN  GOES TO  ENGLAND      41
" I will visit you when I pass," had been McLoughlin's message to Dr. Whitman, with a gift of apples, rare
as gold dollars on the Columbia.
Then a second courier brought word to the Whitman
door: "I cannot stop. Meet me at Walla Walla. We
are belated."
Dr. Whitman rode over to Fort Walla Walla, and by
the hand of the flying chief sent word to the States
of the birth of a little daughter, the first white child
born in Oregon.
Next to Vancouver, Fort Colvile was the great
Hudson's Bay fort on the Columbia. Behind that
palisade, two square towers with portholes guarded the
stores of furs. Down in the Colvile valley the traders
had a mill. Seventy miles over hill and dale the
Spokane Indians came to grind their wheat.
On a three-legged stool in the old log fort Rae
added, subtracted, divided, outfit for this post, outfit
for that, furs from this, furs from that, balance — a
king's ransom, to be divided in that Hudson's Bay
house across the sea. Oregon's wealth, three million
a year, all went to England. Down by the river, " rat-
tat-tat " the hammers flew. Skilled Canadians were
building canoes for the spring brigade. Ten days behind the doctor, Tom McKay's Shoshonie brigade set
out for its summer hunt.    And with it came Jason Lee.
The mission house on the Willamette became crowded.
Sons and daughters of the Canadian farmers were eager
for books.    Distant tribes sent for teachers.
" We must extend the work," said the missionaries.
" Some one must visit the States and lay this matter
before the churches. We must set up branch stations
all over this country." Day and night the question was
discussed.    All eyes turned to Jason Lee. 42
McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
ll!
" You only can represent us," said David Leslie.
" In greater measure than any of us, you have the
tongue, the fire, the courage, and the Lord's anointing."
There seemed a struggle in the leader's mind. If
possible, Jason Lee had grown even more gentle of late.
In his eyes strange beauty had come upon his young
wife; her presence was a constant benediction. The
Canadians felt new power in his speech, and tears
rolled down their furrowed cheeks at his exhortations
to a nobler life. In the tents of the Indians he came
and went as a brother.
But now, with hesitation quite new in the line of his
work, Jason Lee said, " Brethren, I do not see how I
can go. It is a long, long journey, the winter and
summer of two years.    Indeed, I cannot go."
" It is your duty," the brethren said. " And only
by starting with the traders in March can you hope to
reach St. Louis before the frosts of autumn."
Jason Lee groaned in spirit. " How can I leave
you?" he whispered to his bride.
" If it is your duty to go, go," the noble girl replied.
" I did not marry you to hinder, but to help you."
With the heavenly countersign, " The Lord watch
between me and thee, while we are absent one from
another," she bade him farewell. The missionary's
bride, like the women of Sparta, sent her hero forth to
return " with his shield or upon it."
With nobler sacrifice than ever entered the dreams of
ancient ascetic, Jason Lee trod love and ease beneath
his feet. In his heart he bore his bride; next his heart
there lay a memorial to Congress asking for a United
States government for Oregon.
At Fort Walla Walla, one hundred horses were
packed with Indian goods for the interior.    How easily DR. McLOUGHLIN  GOES TO  ENGLAND     43
the Indians might swoop down and capture the caravan ! But they will not — the trader is the Indian's best
friend on the lookout, however, with a loaded gun. The
brigade wound up the old trail to Whitman's. In two
years that had become a favorite halting spot for Tom
McKay.
Jason Lee and Tom McKay found the mission gardens green on the Walla Walla. Here and there irrigating ditches intersected the squares, and ran back
into the Indian fields, where, in the absence of almost
every necessary tool, the Indians had plantations of
two and three acres in wheat, peas, corn, and potatoes.
An orchard of seedling apple sprouts nodded its tender
twigs, and a grist-mill hummed across the river.
The heads of the two missions had a long conference,
and Jason Lee passed on to visit Spalding in the upper
country. The horse he rode was a gift from his pupil
Elijah, son of the great Walla Walla, Pio-pio-mox-mox.
"What are you going to do with William?" inquired
Dr. Whitman, patting the dark locks of McKay's little
son, the " Billy-boy" of Fort Vancouver.
" I am sending him to Scotland to study medicine.
He starts to-morrow to join Dr. McLoughlin at Colvile."
" Thomas, why don't you educate the boy in America?
Oregon is Uncle Sam's territory, and it won't be long
before he takes possession. Take my advice, Thomas.
Give the boy a Yankee education, make an American of
him."
"I used to think of sending him to John Jacob
Astor," said McKay, recalling the time when he himself, a lad of Billy's age, accompanied his father in a
birch canoe down the Hudson to join the Astor expedition to the Columbia.    " But I have no money.    All
I McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
my income is in London, in the hands of the Hudson's
Bay Company."
Dr. Whitman's answer was quick. " Do I not trade
with your company at Fort Vancouver? Does not my
money come from the American Board in Boston?
Send the boy to New York, where I studied. I will
pay his bills, and you can pay mine here in Oregon."
The accounts at Fort Colvile were completed. The
annual ship from London arrived at Fort Vancouver,
and a boat with special mail hastened up the Columbia
to hand McLoughlin the latest advices before he left for
England via Canada.
" Dr. McLoughlin sends word for Billy to join him
with the mail express," said Rae, homeward bound,
touching at Walla Walla. But already Billy was with
Jason Lee on the trail over the Blue Mountains bound
for the States.
Rat-tat-tat, the canoes were ready, ten, twelve of
them, and the river was booming. The snows were
melting on the mountains, soon the upper country
would be flooded. Through the timber, over old Indian
trails, the dog-sleds flew, bringing in furs from Kootenai
and Cceur-d'Alene. The patient, exemplary Flatheads
were on hand with buffalo-meat and pemmican for the
up-going brigade, and with buffalo-tongues, buffalo-
tallow and rawhide cords, buffalo-skins, and buffalo-hair
for the down brigade to Fort Vancouver. A touch of
the hand at these nerve centres, a greeting and farewell,
and the traders were scattered by thousands of miles.
One day salutes, bustle, activity; the next, the trader
strolled round his lonely post, his solitary guest the
silent Indian.
April, May, June came. A messenger panted up to
the gates of Fort Vancouver.   " Is there any way to get DR. McLOUGHLIN  GOES TO ENGLAND      45
word to Jason Lee? His wife and infant son are lying
dead at the mission."
Tears leaped to the eyes of Douglas. The calm,
steady, apparently icy Douglas had a heart like a
thermal spring, that responded to the touch of sorrow.
"I will despatch a messenger," he said.
A solitary boat set out with the details of that saddest
tragedy that comes to human life. The grief-stricken
members of the mission consigned to the tomb the
bride of Jason Lee. Under the fragrant firs where her
bridal was, the mother was laid, with her babe on her
bosom.
" I will send it on to Fort Hall," said Chief Factor
Pambrun, when the despatch was laid in his hand at
Walla Walla. At Fort Hall Ermatinger delegated
Richardson, a famous American trapper, to overtake
Lee on the plains. July, August, September — the
trapper chased an ever-receding shadow.
Far up on the Platte Jason Lee was dreaming of his
wife. By the camp-fire at night he wrote in his journal
the story of their courtship, — but he heard no hoof-
beats in the rear. It was late September, at the
Shawnee mission on the Kansas River, when a sunburnt horseman reached the palisade. " Is Rev. Jason
Lee here?"
" Yes," from the gatekeeper.
" I have a message."
Already Jason Lee was at the gate. He saw not the
people around, he saw not Billy McKay looking up
into his anxious face — he saw only a horseman with a
black-sealed packet. He took it, entered his room, and
shut the door. God alone heard the cry and saw the
heart-break in that rude room at the Shawnee mission
on the Kansas River. McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Somewhere back in the mountains, Jason Lee had
passed a train of trappers. With them rode Captain
John A. Sutter, on his way to Oregon. The gay Swiss
adventurer, with his broken English and a romance
behind him like a fairy tale, captured the hearts on
the Columbia. His contagious laugh made Fort Vancouver ring with merriment. The courtly manners of
the fortune-hunter, his kind heart and unaffected affability, won admiration, respect, and love. Without a
cent, without a prospect, with an avalanche of debt
behind him, the very magnetism of his social nature
bound friends like cords of silver.
Every one at Fort Vancouver was ready to swear by
Captain Sutter. The conservative Douglas gave him
letters of introduction to the merchants of Honolulu,
to the fur princes of Sitka, to the Spanish governor
of California. Sutter borrowed money, credit, clothes.
With a free passage on the Hudson's Bay barque " Columbia " he sailed for the Sandwich Islands. Like the
prince whose feet with fairy shoes were shod, Sutter
danced across the continent, danced into the favor of
the great English fur company, danced into the arms
of the merchants of Honolulu. Here, all on credit, he
purchased cannon, provisions, implements for his proposed rancho in California. Then, on the English brig
I Clementine," the gay captain ran up to Sitka, danced
with a Russian princess, and figured as the lion of
half a hundred banquets. Back at the Islands, still
on credit, he chartered two schooners and sailed to
California. Governor Alvarado, won by his pleasing
manners, energy, and recommendations, granted the adventurer a princely tract on the Sacramento, although
contrary to law and the latest orders from Mexico.
I Take a rancho near Monterey," said the fascinated
Alvarado. DR. McLOUGHLIN  GOES TO  ENGLAND      47
The shrewd captain knew his own interests too well
— the farther away from Spanish interference the
better.
" He will hold the American invaders in check," said
Alvarado to himself.
."I can ally the Americans with myself," said the
sagacious Captain Sutter.
Unlimited wealth seemed at his command. Up the
Sacramento his heavy-laden schooners ploughed their
way through the virgin waters. At the mouth of the
Rio de los Americanos Sutter's adobe fort was built,
on the general plan of Fort Vancouver. Forty Indians
in uniform made up the garrison. Two Indian sentinels paced ever before the gate. Twelve cannon
were mounted on the bastions, the gates were defended
by heavy artillery through portholes pierced in the
walls. Out of deer-fat, beaver, and wild grape brandy
the captain expected to make a fortune. He bought
stock and ploughed fields for wheat, and in that sleepy
lotus-land of Spain the energetic captain bade fair to
accomplish all that he desired.
When Andre" Charlefoux guided back his boat
brigade in autumn two Catholic priests came from
Canada.
" Drive away those naked Indians," cried the shocked
Blanchet at the Dalles. " Drive away those Indians,
Charlefoux."
The laughing guidesman tossed his hair.
" Holy father, you come to civilize Indian. Oregon
Indian have no clothe. If you no want to see him that
way you better turn back home."
But Blanchet stayed and became a famous bishop of
the Northwest.
-"-"^'nriiiTfl THE LONDON  COUNCIL
1838
MANY motives had brought about the journey to
London. In the first place, Dr. McLoughlin
was entitled to a leave of absence. Factors, chief
factors, and traders from the St. Lawrence to the Athabasca had taken their turns at a glimpse of the old
home in Scotland, or at the familiar hedgerows of some
English village. Dr. McLoughlin had never seen the
time when he could leave his ultramontane kingdom.
From the day he decided to move his headquarters
from the restricted grounds at old Astoria to the green,
open swell on the north bank of the Columbia, in 1824,
scores of hands had been at work building shops,
stockades, storehouses, grubbing up trees, and subduing the soil.    Then came a reason, and go he must.
Factors in the fur country had said farming was incompatible with the fur trade. From the days of
Prince Rupert till that of the Red River settlement
every bit of bread had come from England. " Can
you raise wheat on the Columbia?" asked the London
Directory.
" Oh, no," answered an old Northwester. " It's a
bad and barren land. Supplies must come across the
mountains, or be shipped around Cape Horn."
In the north-country, trappers and traders fed, like the
Chippewayans, on buffalo, whitefish, and moose. Pem-
mican hung in rawhide bags around the trading posts. THE  LONDON  COUNCIL
49
All that North was a land of fat and pemmican, — pem-
mican "straight" (uncooked), and pemmican fried,
pemmican flakes, pemmican soup, and pemmican spiced
with berries, — inviting the hungry trader to " cut and
come again." On the Columbia it was salmon, fresh
salmon, dried salmon, salt salmon.
" J The country must find provisions,' was Napoleon's
motto;  let it be ours," said Dr. McLoughlin.
He set his men to ploughing gardens. Out of the virgin mould there leaped such prodigies of grain and vegetables, such an abandon of peas and turnips and all good
things, that even five hundred inmates of the fort could
not consume it all. Now the first orchard blossomed
on the coast, the handful of wheat had become a harvest that filled the bursting granaries, and a few cattle
brought up on the schooner " Cadboro' " from California
had multiplied into herds that covered the hillsides.
The question of export came up. The doctor's
scheme widened.
" Why may not I supply those Russians at Sitka that
send half round the world for butter, beef, and flour?"
But there was trouble with the Sitkans. A long strip
of Alaska ran down the northwest coast and cut off the
Hudson's Bay lands from the sea. One day Peter
Skeen Ogden attempted to pass through the Russian
shore-strip.
" Boom! " went the Russian gunboats that guarded
the Stikine.
" I shall enter the river. I have a right to it," said
the Hudson's Bay trader.
" Then I must fire upon you," came Baron Wrangell's
answer.
Ogden stormed back to Fort Vancouver, and complaint was sent to England. The London papers were
4 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
full of " the outrage upon our traders in those distant
seas."
Four years Lord Palmerston and Count Nesselrode
had been diplomating over the privileges of that shore-
strip. Four years Dr. McLoughlin had been piling up
supplies that the Russians would have been glad to
purchase. " Let us go to Europe and settle it," wrote
the governor on the Columbia to the governor at Sitka.
To some who did not understand the doctor's statesmanship, — and he kept his secrets to himself and
Douglas,—there were other reasons for that long and
tedious trip to London.
Some said that Sir George Simpson had complained
that Dr. McLoughlin favored the Americammissionaries.
Sir George Simpson, so the Hudson's Bay gossips said,
had prepared the London Board to give the doctor
a " wigging " for the high hand he held on the Columbia; but when that stately form darkened the doors
in Fenchurch Street the king of the Columbia was
weighed at his true value,—a veritable monarch come
out of the West.
It was a stately occasion when the delegates of the
Russian American Fur Company of St. Petersburg met
the delegates of the Hudson's Bay Company in a London council and discussed matters usually relegated to
the cabinets of kings. The difficulty was adjusted.
" And now," said McLoughlin, " we want to lease that
ten-league strip of Russian seaboard."
Lord Palmerston and Parliament wondered if the
Hudson's Bay Company wanted the earth. Already it
controlled an extent of territory greater than all Europe,
— of what value could be a barren bit of shore on that
lonely northwest coast? Dr. McLoughlin knew its
value better than the Russian Directory, better than THE  LONDON  COUNCIL 51
the London Board, certainly better than the English
statesmen, who then regarded those distant realms as
vaguely as the phantom deserts in the moon. He
knew those rocky islets were rich in priceless sea-furs.
For 10,000 land-otter a year the strip was leased, and
further reciprocity contracted in furs and flour.
Other great schemes were incubated during that London visit: the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company, to
hold that inland sea for England, a plan for posts in
California just ready to drop from decaying Spanish
rule, and an out-reach to the Hawaiian Islands. In fact,
if those American missionaries had stayed over the
mountains, England held in her hand the key to commercial empire on the Pacific.
But the English visit was not all diplomacy. At
Addiscombe, the East India training-school, a happy
surprise awaited Dr. McLoughlin. His son David, the
lean, sickly lad of five years ago, appeared in the regimentals of a British officer commissioned to the East
Indies. The scarlet coat, bright buttons, and epaulets
set off a form as commanding as his own. The Indian
tint in his cheek gave bronze enough for beauty, no
more.
With pride the doctor looked upon his son. From
the cradle he had set his heart upon David, his heir.
For him he had planned education, promotion; for him
he had built an estate to hand down the name of
McLoughlin.
" I cannot' spare you, David," said the father, fondly.
11 need you on the Columbia. I am getting old. It
may be, I would pass the reins of power to you."
The youth flamed an answer back:
" What prospect have I in the service of Hudson's
Bay?    Does not Sir George bring over his favorites by
—-- 5^
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
shiploads from Scotland? Shall I become a packer, a
trapper, a leader of brigades? I have no future there.
Let me go to Afghanistan."
" Tut, tut, tut, David; I know your prospects better than you do. Great schemes are afoot. Come,
pack up."
The strong will of the father prevailed. Purchasing
his son's retirement from the army, the two bade goodbye to Dr. McLoughlin's only brother, Dr. David
McLoughlin, who had come over from Paris to see
them off. The doctors were much alike—Dr. David
McLoughlin was younger and less commanding. He
had a great name in Paris — a leading physician. Five
years ago he had received this Indian-tinted namesake
from the Columbia and had given him the best that
Paris afforded. Now that nephew had become a man
of the world, polished and courtly. When he doffed
his regimentals, he donned the ruffled linen and the
broadcloth of Parisian fashion, and sailed with his
father back across the Atlantic to Montreal.
Since the old French days when the governors-
general sat in Indian council in their elbow chairs on
the banks of the St. Lawrence, Montreal had been the
capital of Canadian fur trade. Hither, now, once a
year, Sir George Simpson, Governor of Rupert's Land,
came from his London home to superintend the company's affairs in North America.
" Trade with Russia is a hare-brained scheme," had
been Sir George's earliest thought, but on McLoughlin's
arrival a council was held at Montreal. In it spoke
the commercial life of the Dominion. The Hudson's
Bay Company and its silent partner, the beaver, practically ruled in Canada. No rival, no competitor dared
question their authority.     Puget Sound, Alaska, Cali-
^^^.^^^^.^r^r^i^^^^^^.^f^^^^^^^ THE LONDON  COUNCIL
53
fornia, Hawaii were discussed. The merchants of
Montreal had not realized there was so great an outlook from that distant land of exile.
" What are you going to do with your Emperor of
the West?" asked a chief factor after the doctor's boats
with reinforcements for new posts had passed up the
Ottawa on their way back to Fort Vancouver.
" Give him free rein," answered the sagacious Sir
George. wm
VI
RIVAL FUR   COMPANIES
1824-39
TT was time for the fall brigade and the Montreal
express. They usually came down the Columbia
together. Every year the express left Montreal in
May. With a sweep and a swing and flying paddles
they shot up the Canadian rivers and through the
Great Lakes. In July they were at Red River.
Through the torrid summer they toiled along the
great Saskatchewan. Before the autumn snows came
on the voyageurs left their boats and crossed the
Rocky Mountains, generations before a Canadian Pacific was dreamed of. There on the western slope at
the Boat Encampment stood a deserted hunting-lodge.
Twice a year the big fireplace roared and the kettle
sung. Tearing off their moccasins stained with blood
in the awful solitudes of the mountain pass, the light-
hearted voyageurs prepared to re-embark. Leathern
bags of flour and pemmican, sugar and tea, were unearthed from a cache, hidden canoes were drawn out
of the cedar brush, and, launching on the little stream,
the express soon entered the head waters of the great
Columbia.
Down, down they glided, singing as they went the
songs of Old Canada, brought generations ago from the
land of the fleur-de-lis. Down, down they glided, past
peaks of snow and tangled woody heights, past Fort
Colvile on her terrace, past park-like stretches of grove
I RIVAL FUR COMPANIES
55
and lake and meadow, past the picketed square of the
flat and sandy rock at Okanogan, through miles and
miles of Indian empire to Fort Walla Walla at the great
westward bend of the Columbia. Here they met the
Shoshonie brigade that had come overland on horses
from Fort Hall, and all together swept in state down
the Columbia to Fort Vancouver.
Vancouver? It was the emporium of the fur-trade
on the Columbia, ninety miles from the sea, a fort that,
like the castles of mediaeval Europe, was at once a
defence in time of danger, an oasis of civilization amid
surrounding barbarism, and a capital from whence its
master held baronial sway. Here for a quarter of a
century Dr. John McLoughlin ruled with the sceptre
of a czar the vast territory from Alaska to California
and from the Rocky Mountains to the ocean. Uncounted thousands of Indians obeyed his behests, feared
his displeasure. On the Upper Columbia the knightly
Cayuses laid tribute at his feet, the brave and stately
Walla Wallas, the chivalrous Okanogans, the friendly
and hospitable Nez Perces, the faithful Flatheads, and
the loyal Spokanes. Back in the mountain fastnesses
the robber Klickitats acknowledged him their chief,
along the sandy Dalles the treacherous Wascopams allowed his boats to pass in peace. Below the cascades
the industrious Molallas, the lazy Callapooias, the lying
Tillamooks, the fishermen Chinooks, and their cousins
the Clatsops all bent the knee to the White-Headed
Eagle that reigned at Vancouver. On all the waters
he sent his Canadian voyageurs, through all the woods
he despatched his trappers and traders, in and out of
the fringing northwest islands to Sitka itself his schooners plied, down through the San Joaquin and Tulare's
reedy valley his hunters set their traps, far over into 56
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
the Shoshonie country, on Salt Lake's borders, and
on the Yellowstone his brigades pitched their tents,
bringing home rich caravans of skins and mantles.
And who was this king of the Columbia in whose
will lay decrees of life and death, at whose bidding the
bloodthirsty savage laid aside the tomahawk and entered
upon the peaceful pursuits of the hunt? It was a chief
factor of the Hudson's Bay Company who had been
building on the Pacific a fur-trader's empire. Not for
nineteen years had John McLoughlin crossed the ocean
to set foot in that old Hudson's Bay house in Fen-
church Street, London; not since the wedding of the
rival fur companies in 1820, when he stood up for Canadian enterprise.
That wedding of the fur companies is historic. When
the French and English were fighting at Waterloo, two
rival fur companies were fighting in North America,
— the Hudson's Bay and the Northwest. When the
smoke of battle over there cleared away, the British
Parliament saw the smoke of battle over here and called
a halt: " Here, you rivals ! We cannot let you stain the
plains of North America with British blood. If you
must fight, turn your arms against the Americans or
the Indians, — anybody but each other. We cannot
afford to lose the few representatives We have over there
and abandon the country altogether. Be good children, make up, and King George will give you a
wedding present."
So the hoary old Hudson's Bay Company that had
slumbered for a century proposed to the young Northwest Company of Montreal, and both sent their best
men to London to discuss the marriage dowry. It was
plainly a wedding of capital and labor. The Canadian
company had nothing but her hands, her courage, and RIVAL FUR COMPANIES
57
her magnificent exploration. The London bridegroom
had the money-bags of nobles and control of the Bank
of England. In the midst of the nuptial settlement a
young Canadian doctor had startled them all with the
boldest speech that had ever rung in those conservative
warerooms. He was a study, that courageous young
doctor of locks prematurely white and flashing eye,
that free-born spirit that had breathed in liberty on
the banks of the St. Lawrence.
" My Lords and Gentlemen, I plead for better terms!
Since the days of Prince Rupert this monster monopoly
has sat supinely on the banks of Hudson's Bay and
shut out Canada from her birthright. Did we seek
extended settlement? It would drive away their game.
Did we attempt to trade in furs? They claimed the
only right. Westward, beyond the basin of Hudson's
Bay there lay an open field. To this the merchants
of Montreal sent out their traders. We scoured the
forests and threaded the streams. We sought new
tribes and won their friendship. We explored the Saskatchewan and the Athabasca. Our men it was that
traced the Mackenzie and planted the flag on the polar
Ocean, and turning back found a way across the mountains to the Pacific itself. While the Hudson's Bay
Company waited we ran. We built up posts in remotest wilds, we discovered new waterways, we established trade. When the profits began to flow in, the
Hudson's Bay Company began to rub its sleepy eyes
and claim the fruits of our toil. They claimed our trading fields and shot our traders. To obstruct our work
they threw the Red River settlement across our path,
cutting communication with Montreal and blockading
our supplies. They prohibited their settlers from selling
provisions and tried to starve us out.    They used their 58
McLOUGHLIN  AND OLD  OREGON
money to buy over our traders, and when bribes would
not suffice they shot us in the forest. Is this the condition of British subjects? No wonder we fought for our
rights. And now you ask us to * share equally' the
profits of the trade. I do not object to the union,—
God knows I regretted the war, — but ought we to give
an equal share of those profits they never raised a
finger to obtain, — nay, did all they could to discourage and destroy? What reward have we for those
years of toil and trial if we hand over the moiety
now to a rival? It is not right, it is not just, and in
behalf of the Northwest Company I contend for better
terms."
So spoke young McLoughlin, in that London ware-
room eighty years ago. The very clerks, amazed,
stopped scratching with their quill pens in the dim candle-light to listen. They watched him with breathless
interest, — the Canadian merchants proud of their champion, the British baronets and stockholders wondering
if of such stuff was made the rebels of the American
Revolution.    But he was not yet done.
" Gentlemen, if I contend for better terms for ourselves, what shall I say for our voyageurs, yours as well
as ours, who upon a pittance of seventeen pounds a
year must man our boats and pack our furs? Wading
in icy waters, cordelling canoes in rocky torrents, transforming themselves into beasts of burden at every portage, working eighteen hours out of the twenty-four, cut
off from all refinements of social and civilized life, condemned to exile and rapidly sinking to the level of
savages,—all this that the inordinate profits of their
muscles and sinews may pour wealth into the coffers of
this trade. Gentlemen, let us consider the hardships of
our employes' lives and realize that seventeen pounds RIVAL  FUR COMPANIES
59
a year is beggarly recompense for service such as
theirs."
It was a new thing for a factor in the fur company
to utter a sentiment like that. But, alas! the doctor
was too direct for a diplomat. Even the merchants of
Montreal were willing to profit by the serfdom of those
French-Canadian voyageurs and thought their philanthropic favorite had gone too far. One vote, one voice,
could not bring better terms, but one thing the doctor
could and did do. John McLoughlin never set his
name to the articles of agreement.
That speech was not forgotten. The Board admired
and yet they feared him. He was the most popular
and energetic of all the Northwest leaders. He must
be quieted, he must be honored, and more than all, the
great Northwester must have room for executive sway.
He must rule in Canada, or as far as possible from
Canada — no intermediate ground would do.
About that time the American Congress had agreed
with Parliament upon a joint occupancy of a certain
wilderness called Oregon. The very place! a sort of
Siberia, far off! Dr. John McLoughlin was delegated
with absolute power to the Columbia Department. He
knew it was a banishment, but he knew, too, that he
would be king in that realm beyond the mountains.
All that was long ago. Now, after nineteen years,
Dr. McLoughlin has been to London on business connected with the Pacific. Every year his ships have
brought their furs, every year his reports have come in,
until from nothing his returns exceed those of any other
post in the Hudson's Bay dominion. He is on his way
home now. The arrival of his boats may be calculated
almost to the hour, for Dr. McLoughlin is nothing if
not punctual. VII
McLOUGHLINS EARLY HISTORY
1839
'li
T TPON the porch of the governor's residence, one
*^ warm October day, there sat two women. Every
"morning those women were there, from the first bright
days of May until the Oregon winter began with the
rains of November. Always needle in hand, they were
embroidering the caps and scarfs and smoking-bags
that were the chief delight of the voyageur's heart.
Madame McLoughlin, the elder, had a marvellous
needle; one that might have wrought tapestries in the
olden time, so fine and soft and even was her work.
And yet, Madame's mother had been a wild little
princess on the plains of the North, wooed long and
long ago by a Hudson's Bay trader. Madame herself
had a touch of copper, that deepened with the years.
But her daughter, Eloise McLoughlin, had the creamy
tint of a Spanish donna. She had her mother's eyes,
and her mother's shining satin hair; but the form and
features were those of the Hudson's Bay governor,
— imperial, commanding, fair.
Barely twenty-one, tall, graceful, no wonder the beautiful girl was a star in that land of dusky women; no
wonder the clerks of the company competed for her
hand, and hearts were rent when she made her choice.
Indeed, how could it be otherwise in this remote corner
of the world — where the governor's daughter queened it
McLOUGHLIN'S  EARLY  HISTORY 61
it on the Columbia? Attired in London gowns, self-
poised and sensible, Eloise McLoughlin was too much
like her father to submit to the tame self-effacement of
the traders' wives. Her mother's humility pained her.
She would see her take her place as the Grande Dame,
the Lady of Fort Vancouver. But Madame herself
waived all right to such distinction. By common consent Eloise had become the Lady of that Pacific Coast.
The finest horse on the Columbia was hers; a blond
Cayuse with pinkish eyes and pinkish-yellow mane and
tail, presented to the governor by the great chief of
the Walla Wallas. And on state occasions Eloise McLoughlin came forth arrayed in waving plumes and
glittering garments, and seated on that steed rode at
her father's side, leading the brigade up the Willamette.
For very well her great father, Governor McLoughlin,
understood the influence of pomp and color on the
savage heart. The horse brigades were gay with brilliant housings; a multitude of tiny bells tinkled at
saddle skirt and bridle-rein, bright dresses stiff with
beads adorned the trappers' Indian wives, and at the
head of this barbaric pageant often sat Eloise and the
stately governor, with his long white locks blowing over
the cloak of Hudson's Bay blue. As such cavalcades
would wind up the valley in the October sun the whole
little world turned out to gaze. You would hardly have
supposed there were so many Indians in the country until
you saw them trooping in to witness the autumn brigade
to California. The silence, broken only by the heavy
trampling of the fast-walking horses and the tintinnab-
ulating bells; the succession of gleam and color left
an impress upon the red man never to be forgotten, an
impress of unmeasured wealth and splendor hidden behind those palisades at old Fort Vancouver. 62
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Eloise herself enjoyed these state occasions as a
flower enjoys the sunshine. Ever at her father's side,
taught by him, trusted by him, his companion and confidant, no wonder she repined at his long absence. The
page of Telemachus lay untouched, the page she so oft
had read at her father's knee; and, needle in hand, the
fair bride emulated her mother in patterns of silk upon
the pliant buckskin or the glossy broadcloth.
For Eloise McLoughlin was a bride; and the groom
(so old voyageurs tell me) was the handsomest man at
Fort Vancouver. Reserved, cordial, quiet, William Glen
Rae was at bottom a scholar and a thinker. Six years
had passed since he came from his ancestral home in
the Orkneys, from Edinburgh College honors. His
glance fell on the Lady of the Pacific Coast. The
course of a life was changed. No doubt it was a wise
provision on the governor's part that settled her marriage before his departure, to bind her heart with new
ties, to end the rivalries that grew more pronounced
from year to year. One young trader, who from the
time Eloise was a little girl had joked and sung and
danced to win her, was ready to fight on her wedding
day.    But the governor took him aside.
" Wait a bit, Ermatinger, wait a bit. When I come
back I will bring you the fairest lily I can find in
Canada. Then you shall have a wedding, too." Ermatinger stormed. For any other offence the governor
would have shut him up in the butter-tub — as they
called the six-by-nine donjon where refractory engages
were punished. As it was, Ermatinger betook himself
to Bachelors' Hall and was seen no more till he left with
Tom McKay's brigade for the Shoshonie, ten days
later. He had not even come back in the autumn.
But now it was said that surely he would come — to McLOUGHLIN'S EARLY HISTORY
63
meet the governor; for rumor had gone out that Frank
Ermatinger had worked himself into an excitement
waiting for his Canadian Lily.
So this morning in 1839 the mother and daughter
were stitching, stitching; fitting the pink and purple
beads into leaves and rosettes, and twining long vines of
gray and green along silken sashes. The porch ran
entirely across the front of Governor McLoughlin's
residence. It had deep-seated windows and benches at
the ends. Along fluted pillars a grapevine trailed and
tangled; a vine cut from the mother-vine of all the
mission grapes of California.
Suddenly Eloise spoke. " Mother, how can you
stitch to-day? See, my silks are knotted and my
roses spoiled." She tossed her work into the little
Indian basket at her side. Unbraiding her hair she
let it down, in a shining, shimmering cataract to the
floor.
The Madame finished a leaf before she spoke. Then
in a slow and gentle tone, " I haf the more patience,
Louice. You are like the father, not quiet." French
was the family language of the McLoughlin household.
With each other the Hudson's Bay gentlemen spoke
English; with their families and with the voyageurs,
French; with the Indians, Chinook, a trade-tongue that
grew up on the Columbia — a polyglot of Hawaiian-
English-Spanish-French-Indian.
" Mr. Douglas says my father is like Napoleon. He
can out-travel all others. He may surprise us," said
Eloise, shaking the loosened waves around her like a
camlet.
" That is what I am hoping. But so many ills happen
in a lifetime," sighed the Madame. "When one husband haf gone away and never come back again, who 64 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
can tell about another?" Eloise was sorry her mother
referred to that old sorrow.
To one that noted such trifles the Madame's hair
was growing whiter, as if a box of powder had been
spilled since the governor went away. Quite snowy
now, it floated over the back of her easy-chair. She
always wore it so, loosely, like her mother and her
grandmother before her. Her eyes kept wandering
toward the snow on Mt. Hood. Her ears strained to
catch the distant boat song; she started whenever the
great gate opened and shut.
And who had Madame McLoughlin been before her
marriage to the great doctor? Some old voyageurs
could have told you that forty years ago the Madame
had been the fairest girl in the Cumberland" District of
Manitoba. Her Scotch father sent her to school with
the nuns at Quebec. As a child she heard rumors from
the South; scattered fragments of the American Revolution when the Tories came flocking across the Canadian border. As a girl she met Alexander McKay,
who had just returned with Alexander Mackenzie from
that wonderful tour in which they, the first white men
that ever crossed the continent, had scribbled with red
ochre on Pacific rocks:
A.  MACKENZIE
ARRIVED   FROM   CANADA  BY   LAND,
JULY, 1793.
Retracing their steps, Mackenzie went to England to
be knighted Sir Alexander and crowned with fame.
McKay remained and married Margaret. Two children came to their home at Sault Ste. Marie. A dozen,
fourteen years went by. The boy became a sturdy
lad, the girl a miss of twelve, while their Scotch father McLOUGHLlN'S EARLY HISTORY
*S
was collecting peltries from Michilimackinac to Detroit in those early days before recorded history began. One summer morning, as he had done every
summer for fourteen years, Alexander McKay set out
with his brigade of furs for Montreal. That was the
last time Madame ever saw him.
For at Montreal McKay met John Jacob Astor.
Astor was starting a Pacific fur company. He had
come to Canada for men skilled in all the mysteries
of the fur trade. McKay pleased Astor — was made
a partner. He flew around Montreal engaging his
men, and by the return boats to Sault Ste. Marie sent
a good-bye to his wife, and a request to the commander of the northwest post to care for her " till his return." It was a sudden leave-taking, but not uncommon
in the ups and downs of fur-trading life. Margaret sat
day after day with her arms around her little girl —
and wept. The boy Tom had gone with his father.
How bravely he stood in the boat that summer day,
waving good-byes to his mother! In fancy she saw
their birchen barks fly down the Richelieu, up Lake
Champlain, and down the glittering Hudson. She
dreamed that they tossed in Astor's ship around Cape
Horn. Then came the war of 1812. The Americans
burnt Sault Ste. Marie, and the little house in which
Margaret's wedded life had sped so happily. Those
blue-coated soldiers waited for the annual fur brigade
due from the North; watched and waited and went
away. One afternoon a fleet of forty-seven boats,
freighted with a million dollars' worth of furs, slid down
the Sault Ste. Marie, and passed unharmed to Montreal.
She was glad they had missed the furs, — those vandals
that had burnt her house! But, to fill up the measure of disaster, word was brought by returning voya-
5 66 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLt)  OREGON
geurs that her husband had been killed by Indians on
the treacherous northwest coast!
Then the fur companies went to fighting on the
plains of Manitoba. How could Margaret know that
Tom, safe and sound, in trying to get home to her had
reached Red River just in time to take part in that
battle fought, a year and a day after Waterloo? Tom
McKay saw Governor Semple march bravely out of
Winnipeg with cocked hat and sash, pistols, and double-
barrelled fowling-piece, and his Hudson's Bay men behind him. Tom rode up with the rival Northwesters.
There was a rush and a crash, and the governor and
some others were killed. Lord Selkirk hastened over
from Scotland with a lot of Waterloo veterans, so Tom
gat himself back to the Columbia without seeing his
mother. But she? She was coming to him in unexpected fashion.
A young Canadian doctor commanded the fort — a
strange anomaly. Polished and courtly, he had left the
civilized world to bury himself in this uttermost wild.
In October, 1784, John McLoughlin was born at Riviere
du Loup on the banks of the St. Lawrence. While still
a boy his father was drowned. The widowed mother
took her children home to her father, Malcolm Fraser.
There her boys, David and John, grew up in their
grandfather's old stone mansion overlooking the St.
Lawrence just where it widens to the sea. They played
in those hills, rugged as Scotia's rock-ribbed Highlands.
They caught a military presence from the soldier grand-
sire who had brought a Highland regiment with him to
America to colonize these seignioral manors. Here
Scottish books were read and Scottish tales retold.
Here the bagpipe droned and the kilt hung in the old
colonial  closet.     The   brothers  were   sent   over-seas, MCLOUGHLIN'S  EARLY  HISTORY 67
were pursuing medical studies, when Napoleon began
to harry England. Dr. David McLoughlin went into
the wars and followed the Iron Duke until Napoleon
was caged at St. Helena. Dr. John said, " I can never
fight Napoleon — I admire him too much." He returned to Canada.
The world lay before young Dr. McLoughlin. There
was a pretty girl in Quebec. One day in spring he was
walking with her, when they came to a plank on a
muddy street. She was just ahead of the doctor when
an insolent English officer, coming in the opposite direction, crowded her off the plank. In one instant that
officer, gold lace, epaulets, and all, lay sprawling in
the mire. There was danger in store for the young
gallant, so he hied him to the Northwest, where his
uncles the Frasers were great factors of Fraser's River.
That was the whispered tale of how McLoughlin first
entered the fur trade. Birth, talent, magnificent presence brought rapid promotion, — already he was in
command of Sault Ste. Marie.
And the widow of his friend was in his keeping. As
Pythias waited for Damon, so McLoughlin had waited
for McKay. His tender heart was touched by the sorrows of one so fair. Her well-bred ways whispered
of home. No white woman could go into the Indian
country, but Margaret could go because she had Indian
blood.
Dr. McLoughlin married the widow Margaret McKay.
There was no priest at Sault Ste. Marie, that lonely
trading outpost eighty years ago. A brother chief
factor said the service. That was all; enough for a
loyal heart like John McLoughlin's.
It was not an unusual matter. From the days when
King Charles had granted a royal charter to his " well McLOUGHLIN   AND  OLD  OREGON
beloved cousin," Prince Rupert, the gentlemen " adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay" had
married the daughters of chiefs, — effecting state alliances to facilitate peace, good-will, and commerce.
From these had sprung the type to which Margaret
belonged, — fair, dark-eyed women, combining the manners and mind of the whites with the daring and pride
of the Indian. Such had been Madame McLoughlin's
early history.
" How can I know that your father not stiff at the
bottom of Lake Superior?" continued the Madame
to-day, half to Eloise and half to herself. " He capsize there once, and all but him were lost. Oh, that
lake is cold! it quickly numb and drag tfye swimmer
down! I saw them when they brought him through
the fort gate like dead man. He had beautiful golden
hair, the Indian call it sunshine; but after that it turn
white — white as snow. Before he was thirty, Louice,
men call your father old."
That incident was when Chief Factor Mackenzie was
lost and McLoughlin lived to rule Fort William. Eloise
had heard talk of the fogs and storms and flurries of
the great Canadian sea; she had heard talk of life at
Fort William, the metropolitan post of the Northwest
Company on Lake Superior, where the merchants of
Montreal used to come in summer like kings on a royal
progress. She was a baby then. She could barely
remember the journey to the Columbia; one long
picnic it was to Eloise and to David her brother, who
laughed and crowed and kicked his pink heels in his
birch-canoe cradle. He, too, was coming home now
with his father; coming from five years' study in Paris
and London.
" A penny for your thoughts, Eloise ! " McLOUGHLIN'S  EARLY HISTORY 69
It was the cheery voice of her husband, William Glen
Rae, who had stolen up the steps unobserved to the
spot where Eloise sat with her unbound hair still
rippling on the floor.
" I was thinking," she said, putting her hands in his,
— "I was thinking what a family reunion 't will be when
the express comes in! We must celebrate this year
with a real Canadian Christmas! "
" Yes," answered Rae, the shadow of a cloud flitting
over his brow, — " yes, for no one can tell where you
and I may be a year from now."
It was the governor's joke when he left: "Wait till
I get home, Eloise. Then you and Rae shall have a
wedding journey."
Rae looked for promotion, but whether to some wild
new Caledonian post on the Fraser, to the sage desert
on the Snake, or up the Columbia, he could not guess.
For six years, now, he had been head book-keeper at
Fort Vancouver. Many a document had Rae filed
away in the brick archives of the block counting-house.
To take up a new role, to control men and manage
Indians, might prove less congenial.
The brass bell on its tripod in the centre of the
square rang for dinner. The Canadians in the field
heard it, and turned out their oxen. The Iroquois
choppers heard it, and rested their axes. The clerks
heard it, and hurried across the court to brush their
coats in Bachelors' Hall. The fur-beaters heard it, and
Went to their cabins outside the gate. Madame heard
it, and disappeared through the door to her own
apartments. Unassertive, shy, it was the custom of the
traders' wives to live secluded. Visitors at Fort Vancouver saw little of the resident women. Custom forbade their presence at the semi-military table in the 7°
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
great hall. But children playing about the court attested
the presence of mothers.
" It is worthy of notice," writes an old chronicler,
" how little of the Indian complexion is seen in these
traders' children. Generally they have fair skin, often
flaxen hair, and blue eyes."
Stealing a kiss from the cheek of his bride as she
flew away after her mother, William Rae turned and
watched the other gentlemen of the fort coming up
the semicircular flight of steps to dinner.
Most of them are well known to-day in Oregon story.
There was James Douglas, — Black Douglas they called
him, a lineal descendant of that Douglas who in days
of old was the chief support of the Scottish ^throne —
tall, dark, commanding, and, next to McLoughlin, the
ruling spirit on the Columbia. James Douglas had left
the storied hills of Lanark as a boy of sixteen to seek
his fortune with the fur-traders of Canada. He crossed
Lake Superior and came to Fort William in the reign
of McLoughlin. Fort William was then in its splendor,
a great interior mart, and chief seat of the growing
Northwest Company. Douglas was there when the reconciliation took place between the rival fur companies.
With joy he watched the late snorting Highlanders, who
had cut and carved and shot and imprisoned each
other, shaking hands under the same flag and setting
out for the uttermost forts in the same canoe. Fifteen years younger than Dr. McLoughlin, his attachment was that of a son or younger brother. Where
McLoughlin went, Douglas went When McLoughlin
was sent to the Columbia he requested the company
of his young favorite, then a lad of nineteen. Accordingly young Douglas crossed the Rockies and temporarily served at Fort St. James beyond the Fraser. MCLOUGHLIN'S EARLY  HISTORY
At Fort St. James, Chief Factor James Connolly, a
jolly Irish gentleman, held sway, and dealt out beads
and blankets to the Shushwaps for their beaver skins
and otter. Chief Factor Connolly had a daughter, who
is known in the annals of British Columbia as Lady
Douglas. She was not " Lady Douglas " then. A shy,
sweet, lovable girl, modest as the wood violet and
as fair, it is not strange that Douglas loved Nelia
Connolly. It would have been stranger if he had not.
In addition to personal beauty the blood of heroes
ran in her veins. Old chronicles are full of romance
of this pair. Once a renegade Blackfoot murdered a
Canadian and escaped. A smoke-dried, skinny old
squaw whispered through the gate in Douglas' ear:
I He haf come again. He hides in yonder camp."
Arming himself, young Douglas walked fearlessly into
the Indian camp and shot the renegade. Looking
neither to the right nor the left, he coolly walked back
to Fort St. James. The daring act awed the astonished
Shushwaps — for weeks they were silent, it seemed forgotten. But when Chief Factor Connolly went down
the Columbia with a brigade of furs, the mindful
Shushwaps roused themselves. " We must have pay,"
they said, " pay, pay, pay for the dead man." Crowding in at the fort gate one day, two hundred blackened warriors surprised and seized the Douglas and
bound him hand and foot.
Nelia Connolly in her little boudoir heard a sound of
confusion. The girl of sixteen ran out — she saw every
man of the fort tied. A burly fellow was flourishing a knife above the head of Douglas. At a glance
she read her lover's peril. Darting upon the Indian
she snatched the weapon. Turning to the chief the
brave girl cried: — 72
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
" What, you a friend of the whites and say not a word
in their behalf at such a time as this? Speak! You
know the murderer deserved to die. According to your
own laws the deed was just! It is blood for blood.
The white men are not dogs. They love their kindred
as well as you! Why should they not avenge their
murder?" Awed by the skookum tum-tum (strong
heart) of the trader's daughter the Indians fled from
the room. As the last blanket flopped through the
gate the old chief standing in the door called after
them in derisive tone: " You braves! Woman make
you run !    Go home.    Hide in leedle holes ! "
Young Douglas married the girl. Chief Factor
Connolly read the ritual and gave away the bride.
Then over the mountains Connolly went to Canada,
where shortly he became the Mayor of Montreal.
As for Douglas, he took his wife down the Columbia,
where in the then new Fort Vancouver they took up
the quarters they had occupied ever since. The gentle
Nelia had grown and ripened with the years, until the
comely young matron was only a degree less attractive
than Eloise herself. At the west end of that same
porch was the door to their sitting-room, where on any
Sabbath evening you might find Douglas with the Bible
on his knee reading to his wife and little ones. It was
a sweet home picture; one of the few, very few, to be
found the entire length of McLoughlin's kingdom.
Summer mornings found Nelia the third in that group
upon the porch, while her little daughter Cecelia in a
pink sun-bonnet played among the flower-beds at the
foot of the steps. There Douglas had scattered fine
seed, and in floral letters had sprung his little daughter's
name — " Cecelia."
There were other things besides flowers at the foot MCLOUGHLIN'S  EARLY HISTORY 73
of the steps. Facing the main entrance of the stockade
stood two eighteen-pounders and two swivels, belligerent but rusty, and piled in orderly heaps were pyramids of black cannon-balls that were never disturbed,
partly because there was no fighting; more because
Robert Bruce, the old Scotch gardener, had piled them
there, and woe betide the chick or child that presumed
to interfere with anything that Bruce had done. Bruce
was far away, now—in England with the governor;
but habit had become fixed. In all Bruce's eighteen
months of absence not even a dog had ventured to nose
the forbidden balls. Neither was the grass trodden.
They seemed still to hear the gardener's call, " Meestress
Dooglas! Meestress Dooglas! Kap the bairnies aff
the grass."
But to continue the dinner company at the fort.
Daily, besides Douglas, there was the fort physician,
Dr. Barclay; and the clerks, gay young fellows, English
and Scotch, whose friends across the sea had sufficient
influence to secure them a berth in the opulent fur
company. Not that their present salary was at all
princely, — twenty to one hundred pounds sterling a year
was the most that any received, — but clerks by promotion became traders, chief-traders, factors, and partners.
There was not one of them that did not expect to
become a chief factor or to retire at middle life to an
old-world manor on the Thames or the Dee. Some
waited years, some a lifetime, for promotions that never
came.
Rae would greet them each as they passed, — Dunn,
who wrote letters to the " London Times;" Allen, brother
to the physician of the Earl of Selkirk; Roberts, factotum ; and all the ever-changing train of voyageurs and
traders. VIII
DR. McLOUGHLINS RETURN
1839
HOMEWARD hurrying comes McLoughlin in these
October days of 1839. "Ready!" The sun
and wind burned voyageurs catch up the paddles, the
boat song strikes—
" Ma—1-brouck has gone a-fighting,
Mironton, mironton, mirontaine" —
and away they go, glittering down the Columbia.
Miles of blue waters sweep behind them before the
sunrise breakfast.
It was the doctor's ambition to have the best paddlers
in the world, and he did. Never before did there,
never again will such bold watermen ride the Columbia.
Such order, such discipline ! — not the slightest minutiae
escaped the master's eye. Monique, a stalwart Iroquois
half-breed, a strong fellow, at home in the rapids, stands
in the bow of the doctor's boat. Tawny-skinned,
stripped to the waist, and bareheaded, his long hair
streaming on the wind, with eye fixed and every muscle
tense, this side, that, swift the paddle flies as his quick
eye measures the line of safety and sends the signal
back to the steersman in the rear. It is a play of life
and death, but so skilful are those bowmen that rarely
a bark goes tum-tum-tum grazing a rock.
There was a McDonald at Fort Colvile that had a
daughter of the rich dark beauty of the Creole type. DR.  McLOUGHLIN'S RETURN
75
Smaller in figure than her Blackfoot mother, better
rounded, lithe, and willowy, Christine McDonald was the
embodiment of the grace and supple shapeliness of the
half-breed girl. The chief factor, with his long locks
flowing over his shoulders Indian fashion, was always in
the saddle, and at his side rode his fearless daughter
Christine. Handsome as her father and as daring,
astride with a serape buckled around her waist, she
followed the hounds to the fox-hunt, leaped canyons
and fallen trees, and outdid the Indians themselves in
her desperate riding.
On such a ride as this they caught sight of the Montreal express and dashed to greet McLoughlin, the chief
of chief factors. As in some glen of the Highlands,
Scotch plumes and tartans flew. Scotch Macs clasped
hands with other Macs famous in the fur trade. Demonstrative Canadians fell on one another's necks with
tears and laughter. Indian wives and children clamored
for recognition. Delighted voyageurs dandled their
terra-cotta babies on their knees with gifts of beads and
bells bought in Canadian shops for this happy hour.
Within the cedar hall there was roast turkey, sucking
pig, fresh butter and eggs, and ale. Spokanes, Koot-
enais, and Pend d'Oreilles, in all the splendor of paint
and feathers, dashed around Colvile on horseback.
Some in soft-tanned buffalo-robes peeped through the
trading gate. All night old Colvile rang. Outside the
drowsy Flatheads heard the droning of the bagpipe.
There was a hush. McDonald had taught Christine
the sword-dance. Under the rough rafters in the light
of the fire the fair barbarian advanced, invited and
evaded the supple blade that glittered round her head.
Christine's little moccasined feet twinkled like stars,
and  her  beaded  bodice  shimmered  in  the   firelight. 76
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Catching a lock of her flowing hair, she threw it across
the darting blade — it fell, severed, to the floor. Spellbound the traders watched them. The movements
grew swift and swifter, until, in the excitement, Dr.
McLoughlin thumped his cane upon the floor and
cried, " Enough, McDonald, enough! "
For hundreds of miles the Columbia has a regular
descent, broken only at long intervals by steps of rapids
and falls. One hundred, one hundred and fifty miles a
day, the fur-traders glide, pausing at nightfall to camp.
Scarcely has the first boat touched shore before the
axe is in the forest. The Canadian cook builds the
tiny pile of lighted brush into a pyramid of blazing logs.
From a sapling bent beside it the kettle v swings and
sings of supper.
On one side of the fire the voyageurs carve with
pocket-knife and hunting-knife, and never resting in
their talk gulp tea, tea, tea. On the other side the
cook has spread McLoughlin's kitchen of linen and
plate. Catharine Sinclair is that Canadian lily taking
her first flight from the Manitoba home. David's laugh
rings merrily. Bruce the gardener sips his tea. He
loves the camping life; it reminds him of military
marches and Waterloo. Two new clerks, McTavish and
Finlayson, are keeping copious journals to send home
to Scotland. There is a world of difference between
the happy-go-lucky voyageur and his more thoughtful
Scotch companion. The French-Canadian or French-
Iroquois laughs at mishaps, he rollicks and flings out the
border song. The Scotchman is grave, solemn, and watchful, the brain and nerve of the Hudson's Bay Company.
Down the Okanogan country the grass is sere.
Autumn flames. Sombre Alpine forests climb the far-
off heights.    Eastward dwell the Spokanes, the Children DR.  MCLOUGHLIN'S  RETURN
77
of the Sun, desolated once by a more than Trojan war
over a stolen Spokane bride.
At Walla Walla Chief Factor Pambrun comes down
from his tower to greet his chief; there are letters for
Dr. Whitman; the Shoshonie brigade sweeps into line
with thirty packs of the best beaver of the mountains.
The boat song rings in the narrow gorge. The Frenchmen sing in times of danger; the Iroquois are silent and
stern as death as they let fly the canoe through the hissing and curling waters like a race-horse. There were
times when Monique ran the swift and narrow Dalles ;
down the Cascades he shot with arrowy wing, but not.
to-day. Dr. McLoughlin is along and Charlefoux is
guide. Many a time McLoughlin said, " Monique is
my boldest man, but I 'd trust my life with Charlefoux."
On they speed, past Memelose, the Isle of Tombs, the
Westminster of the Indian, past Wind Mountain with its
Ulyssean tales, past Strawberry Island where the fairies
feast in June, to the wild-rushing cascades. Not a
feature escapes McLoughlin's eye. Every cliff and crag
is a familiar landmark pointing to Fort Vancouver.
Madame and Eloise need wait and embroider no
more. Like silver bells shook far away, the boat song
heralded the singers. Hood seemed to listen, the
Columbia heaved its breast of blue, the very islands
smiled with gladsome joy. Eloise touched her finger
to her lip. " That is my father's boat song, his favorite
because Napoleon was said to hum it when mounting
for battle." Again she hearkened; then starting up as
the words grew more  and more distinct —
" It is just like my father to sing Malbrouck at such
a time as this," and as she flew to the gate her own
voice joined the strain that so oft had rung in the halls
of Fort Vancouver:1
1 " Songs of Old Canada."   Malbrouck; i. e., Marlborough. 78 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Malbrouck has gone a-fighting,
Mironton, mironton, mirontaine,
Malbrouck has gone a-flghting,
But when will he return?
i
My Lady climbs her watch tower
As high as she can get;
She sees her page approaching,
All clad in sable hue.
" Ah, page, brave page, what tidings
From my true lord bring you ? "
"The news I bring, fair Lady,
Will make your tears run down ;
" Put off your rose-red dress so fine,.
And doff your satin gown.
" Monsieur Malbrouck is dead, alas !
And buried too, for aye;
" I saw four officers who bore
His mighty corse away.
r One bore his cuirass, and his friend
His shield of iron wrought;
" The third his mighty sabre bore,
And the fourth — he carried naught.
" And at the corners of his tomb
They planted rosemarie;
" And from their tops the nightingale
Rings out her carol free.
" We saw, above the laurels,
His soul fly forth amain;
" And each one fell upon his face,
And then rose up again. DR.  MCLOUGHLIN'S RETURN 79
" And so we sang the glories
For which great Malbrouck bled;
" And when the whole was ended
Each one went off to bed.
" I say no more, my Lady,
Mironton, mironton, mirontaine,
I say no more, my Lady,
As nought more can be said."
And with the coming of the express would come all
manner of news, and the renewal of contact with the
East. Letters, at least, should be in hand. Newspapers
for the entire year came in the express, — a year's edition of " Le Canadien " and the " Quebec Gazette," just
as in June the barque " Columbia " brought a file of the
" Daily London Times " of the preceding year. Packed
away in a great chest, every day the traders drew out
that date a year, two years ago, to tickle themselves
with the fancy that the post-boy called each morning!
They were at hand! " The express! The express ! !" rang through the court. Every one was
busy. Old Burris ran up the British ensign on the
flagstaff. Swinging round the last green headland
like the curve of a great wheel, the brigade shot into
view. The song rang shrilly out. From the governor's barge fluttered the triangular pennon of the
Hudson's Bay Company, with its rampant beaver and
the familiar " H. B. C." upon a field of blue.
" H. B. C." — " Here Before Christ," was Erma-
tinger's translation, and Bruce agreed. " I reeckon ye '11
find the coompany's coolers where kirkmen seeldom
git." And then there was a struggle to see who could
touch the sand first. Paddles rolled on the gunwales,
flinging the spray across the voyageurs' faces as they
shook the water from the blades. 8o
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
What rejoicing! Cannon boomed, flags waved, the
bagpipes struck up " The Campbells are coming.
Hourray! Hourray ! " Indians whooped, dogs bayed,
Frenchmen ran wild, as the whole fort turned out to
greet the arrival — and the chief. The sharp end of
the canoes gritted on the sand. Every cap flew off as
the familiar form of Dr. McLoughlin arose from the
cramped position that had grown so irksome and
stepped on shore.
Every eye rejoiced in that majestic presence. With
a harid-clasp for Rae and Douglas and a salute for the
Madame's cheek he presented her son — "I have
brought the boy home, mother." And Ermatinger
gave a shout of joy at sight of his Canadian lily, a
niece of the Madame, from Manitoba.
In the midst of greetings and tears and laughter on
all sides, Eloise, hysterical with joy, clung to her
father's arm, and all talking at once, went plodding up
the path between the fields of wheat. Behind them
toiled the Iroquois packers, rolling the heavy bales on
little trucks to the fort.
"The governor has returned with flying colors,"
remarked Clerk Roberts of the Indian shop, measuring
off a fathom of trail-rope tobacco with his arms as he
spoke.
" An' richt glad am I," responded Allen, the farm
overseer. " There 's nae better mon i' the coompany's
service. His management o' Indians amounts to genius
itsel'. Did ye notice Moneycoon an' the hunters when
he called them? The' faces lichted like the sun. An'
old Kesano, proud as a peacock wi' a feither in his hair.
The verra sicht o' him tarn's the red men."
And Bruce the gardener had come again; and Bruce
rushed to see his gardens !    Reaching England, he had DR.   MCLOUGHLIN'S RETURN
81
resigned from the Hudson Bay Company. " I '11 neiver
leeve i' the wuids again," he said. A few days later,
walking lonely in the streets of London, he came unexpectedly upon Dr. McLoughlin. The benevolent face
beamed, it touched an aching void — throwing himself
upon his knees at the doctor's feet, with tears he begged
to be taken back. Despite some obstinate disobediences
the doctor valued the old gardener, so back he came,
a fixture for life. Bruce looked eagerly, too, for his
old musket, that cherished relic of Waterloo. In half
an hour he had all the laddies in a row, with flint-locks
on their shoulders — " Heids up," " 'Taes out like sool-
diers, noo," " Mek reddy," " Tek aim," "Fire! "
David McLoughlin was like a child again. He
seemed to wake from a dream to look upon the
weather-beaten palisades, the unpainted stores resting
on blocks, the sparks flying from the forge. He strode
through his mother's sitting-room, unchanged save that
Chinese matting, the first ever used in this country,
had supplanted the native Indian mats. Just to see
how it would taste, he drew a bucket of water from the
deep well never walled, and snipped a handful of
biscuit from the bakehouse. Even the big brass bell
under its peaked roof sang the same old song, " Pumbrun ! Pumbrun ! Pumbrun ! " that it sang when
Pambrun rang it and David was a little boy. Apparently the same furs lay in the same bales in the fur-
room, the same trappers came in the same boats,
singing the same old songs that had been his cradle
lullabies. The same ship brought the same goods and
departed again on her cycle of sailing. Changes had
come to David, and he had expected changes here, but
it was like opening a story-book to a page read long
ago.
6 8*
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
It seemed to him but yesterday, when a lad of thirteen, he had set out in the traders' care for France.
They followed the old route up the Columbia. When
he saw the wild Spokanes careering across the plain,
his blood leaped as at the recognition of kindred. He
longed to mount a fiery steed and ride away with them,
far from books and school and gentlemen's clothes.
He remembered the hunter's tales of Jemmy Jock, the
half-Indian son of a Hudson's Bay trader that became
a Rob Roy among the Blackfeet. Watching the daring
riders he breathed deeply, and felt within him the stirring of savage instincts. It seemed only yesterday that
David on snowshoes reached Jasper House beyond the
head waters of the Columbia in the heart of the Rocky
Mountains. The old clerk Jasper was dead, but in his
stead Colin Fraser played the bagpipes and danced at
his shadow on the wall. How grateful seemed the
blazing hearth and opulent larder of the hermit up
there in the Alpine solitude!
That was a land of fat and pemmican. Thirty thousand bags, every bag as big as a pillow, hung in the
company's forts that year. Every bag represented the
pulverized flesh and melted marrow of two big buffaloes. David had seen pemmican down on the Columbia, salmon pemmican, but none like this — with hairs
in it an inch long! But in a wonderful manner it
stayed the hunger of the voyageur crossing sub-Arctic
snow. Never before had David seen such snow, hard
and white, compact as adamant, across which the dog-
sleds flew to Fort Edmonton on the North Saskatche- '
wan. All that North had been a realm of fairy-land
and every old post a palace. Every bullet-hole in
the gayly painted walls of Edmonton, every hack of
the tomahawk on  the battlemented  gateway,  had its n
DR.  MCLOUGHLIN'S RETURN $3
tale of tragedy and war. The rude fantasies of color
and of carving dazzled the boy, as they dazzled the
neighboring Cree, the Assiniboin, and the Blackfoot.
Five years later, how tawdry they looked ! Yes, David
had changed. Even Vancouver was not so grand as
he had thought.    The savage in him slept.
" B6-be," sang the Indian mothers in the cabins:
" Be'-be, the governor has come,
And now there's some fun,
And a great big feast to-night."
And so came the express from Montreal to Vancouver in 1839, landing Dr. John McLoughlin at
home again on the nineteenth day of October — his
fifty-fifth birthday. IX
THE BANQUET
1839
A YANKEE would have said Thanksgiving was at
hand had he peeped into the spacious kitchen
of the fort when the express came. The fort dining-
hall was a noble apartment, capable of seating five
hundred guests. A huge map of the Indian country
covered the wall. The dinner-bell rang, and the long
tables began to fill. With a wave of the hand the stately
governor seated his guests according to rank. Before
them cut-glass, and silver with the McLoughlin coat
of arms, shone side by side with modern queen's-ware
and rare old china. Dr. McLoughlin presided like a
picture out of the old colonial time, clean-shaven, fair
and rosy, with his white locks twisted into a queue at
the back. At his right sat his faithful aid, who in the
governor's absence had added new lustre to the name
of Douglas. Then came Rae and Dr. Barclay, and factors from other forts, the jolly ship's captain and mate,
trappers and traders, clerks and sailors. The heavy
doors clanged and the plank floor rang. The fire-logs
flickered in the dark old chimney, and the branching
candelabra sent out an odor of perfumed wax. There
was a clatter of cutlery. In peaked cap and ample
apron Burris marshalled his copper-colored, curly-
haired Kanakas with trenchers of venison and tureens
of brown gravies. And sauces? No one ever yet
surpassed Burris in sauces for the Chinook salmon.
These   Hudson's  Bay  gentlemen  were   a  rubicund THE BANQUET
»S
set, epicures to a degree. Mild climate, good living,
and easy nerves gave them a corpulent habit in striking contrast with the lean and wiry Yankee traders
that sometimes touched the coast.
There was once a complaint sent to Parliament that
the Hudson's Bay Company made no attempt to cultivate the soil. Dr. McLoughlin broke that old regime.
Almost from his coming there had been wheat, flour,
bread, on the Columbia, yea, even gingerbread, and
of late years apple pie ! That fruitful orchard at Fort
Vancouver had sprung from a handful of seeds dropped
into the pocket of an old ship-captain by a laughing
girl across the sea. " Take them and plant them in
your savage land," she said. The black satin vest was
packed away in a sea-chest. In airing his clothes one
day at Fort Vancouver the seeds fell out. " Bless me !
bless me ! let us start an orchard," said Dr. McLoughlin,
picking up the little triangular treasures. Another
sea-captain brought a bunch of peach-stones from
Crusoe's Island, Juan Fernandez. A little planting, a
little care, peaches.
Back of the Fort hummed the old grist-mill, the
first ever built west of the Rocky Mountains. William
Cannon, the miller, an American, crossed the mountains with Astor's men in 1810. When Astor's people
left he elected to remain with the British fur-traders.
It was in the day of beginnings, when the post lived
on salmon and wapato (the Indian potato) and were
just experimenting with apple-seeds and peach-stones.
The handful of seed-wheat brought from Canada was
increasing marvellously when Cannon said one day,
" Governor, let me build.a flour-mill."
"A mill? A flour-mill? Bless you, man, where
will you get burrs ? " 86
McLOUGHLIN   AND  OLD   OREGON
" Make them of granite from the hill back of the
fort," said Cannon.
"What power? "
" Cattle power."
" Go ahead then," was the governor's answer.
Cannon worked beneath a mighty fir that stands
to-day on the old fort plain. He made his frame of
fir, and the cogs and wheels of oak hardened by boiling
in seal-oil. He worked his burrs down from rough
granite with a cold-chisel.
"What are you making that for?" inquired Tom
McKay's little Billy as Cannon smoothed the long
main-shaft from a comely fir. Little Billy was three
quarters Indian and bright, — bright as a bluejay.
" What are you making that for ?" again piped the
watchful little interrogation point.
"A whip-handle for the governor," answered the
crusty miller, making a sharp eye at the little boy.
All was set up. The oxen were yoked, old Brandy
and Lion brought up from California in the " Cadboro'."
Wheat was put in, the whole fort came out to watch,
the main-shaft turned, and lo! it ground out flour, the
first flour on the Columbia.
Then Cannon built an old-fashioned over-shot wheel
saw-mill. Lumber began to accumulate, so that every
summer the Hudson's Bay ship left her Indian goods
and taking on lumber went over to the Sandwich Islands. In November she came back for her London
load of furs. The same ship was lying there now, furs
all laden, her officers up at the governor's banquet.
"And how is competition now, Mr. John? How is
competition now? " inquired .Dr. McLoughlin of John
Dunn just down from the northwest coast.
" Poor picking, Governor, poor picking for the Bos- THE BANQUET
87
tons. We've swept the hocean clean. Hour little
steamer watches the coast like an 'awk. She darts hup
the firths and 'auls in the furs before they hever reach
the coast. The Hamericans 'ave no business 'ere
hanyway." Dunn thrust his fork into the duck with
a savage lunge.
" Tut, tut, tut, Mr. John I" laughed the governor,
" they will come unless we 're sharp enough to head
them off."
If there was anything Dr. McLoughlin hated, it was
a Yankee skipper with rum on board. What trouble
they brought! Drunken Indians who would sell for
nothing but rum. All day the shrewd siwashes would
lie on the shore in the sun and watch for Yankee sails.
The company's men watched, too, and ran ahead to
catch the furs before the ship could anchor. When
naught but rum availed, rum was dealt to head the
Yankees off. Then the Yankee captain swore and tore
and sailed away to find another agent — fighting rum
with rum. At last the defeated Bostons almost quit
the coast. Only at long intervals a damaged whaler
ran into the cove at Esquimault. Then the forts cut
off the rum supply. The red men held their furs in
vain.
" Lum ! lum ! lum ! " plead the siwashes, spreading
rich bales of seal and beaver, shiny silver-fox, and glistening sea-otter around the forts. The traders shook their
heads. " No liquor for the Indians." The angry red
men brandished their tomahawks, but at last, subdued,
were fain to trade their furs for blankets, and soberly
set out on another hunt.
One day a new competitor came — a Boston captain
with a cargo of " Yankee notions." Right up the
Columbia he sailed, and under the very guns of Fort McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Vancouver sold out his squeaking cats and dogs and
yellow jumping-jacks to the delighted red men. Solemn
old sagamores squandered the catch of the season on
little red wagons and tin whistles.
How Dr. McLoughlin fumed! The rascally fellow
had even followed the Hudson's Bay example and married the daughter of a chief! Something must be
done. The governor despatched a messenger to intercept the Yankee captain, and if possible buy him
over, cargo, brig, and all. The scheme succeeded; captain, cargo, ship, and crew turned British, and as a chief
factor of the Hudson's Bay Company the Boston captain McNeill became the most obstinate John Bull on
the books.
The spirited recount of adventure since last the banqueters met filled hours. The candles burned low and
began to sputter. " Captain Wyeth has sent a keg of
choice smoking tobacco and a copy of Carlyle for you,"
Rae was saying.
" Just like him, just like him," commented the doctor. " Wyeth was a good fellow. I must write him
a letter. Bruce ! " The governor pulled a green bell-
tassel behind his chair. Bruce opened the door and
handed the governor his snuff-box. That was the
signal for breaking up.
All passed out to chat and smoke in Bachelors' Hall
— all but the governor. He never smoked and seldom
trusted himself with snuff—he borrowed of Bruce.
As they crossed the court, the wail of the fiddle resounded — the voyageurs danced till daylight. At
early dawn the barque " Columbia " left her moorings,
and with sails unloosed stood out into the channel. EARLY EVENTS AT FORT  VANCOUVER
1812-1829
AND had this handful of whites lived always unmolested in the heart of barbarism? Not always. There was a time, after Astor's people left,
when the Cascade Indians levied toll like the robber
barons on the Rhine, a time when sixty well-armed
men guarded every caravan, a time when the brigades
made the portage at the Dalles with a lighted match
above a loaded cannon. In a dim corner of the fur-
room there hung a chain armor worn by a Northwester in the early times. One hot night when he
took it off, the skin came with it.
Long after McLoughlin came in 1824, the river
bristled with danger. Once the Dalles Indians, the
banditti of the Columbia, united to make him pay
tribute. One dark night in 1829 their war canoes
dropped noiselessly down upon the fort. But the
sleepless watch was on the walls, the guns were set.
Chief Kesano, a friendly Multnomah, rallied his tribe
to aid the traders. All night the savages blew their
shells and beat their drums. The next morning Dr.
McLoughlin called a council. One by one the hostile
chiefs were admitted. Douglas was there, and Pambrun, and Kesano with his sub-chiefs. McLoughlin
had men concealed, ready to fire at a sign of treachery.
The chiefs were sullen when into their midst came
Colin  Fraser, a six-foot   Highlander  in  Scottish  kilt go
McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
and flowing plume and played the bagpipes. Up and
down the great council hall he strode and played an
hour while they waited for McLoughlin. " Music hath
charms." The savages were so subdued they forgot
their warlike errand. While still the piper played,
McLoughlin entered with a treaty ready drawn up
that they would never molest Vancouver. It was
signed, presents were distributed, and the hostiles
departed happy.
One night in that same year, Kesano and his people
came with shouts and blows to the postern gate, bringing Jedediah Smith, an American trapper, who had
escaped from a massacre on the Umpqua. In 1828
Jedediah led the first party that ever crossed the
Sierras into California. The Spaniards viewed them
with suspicion. Out of the hands of the Spaniards
they fell into the snares of the Indians — out of eighteen
men three only escaped to the Hudson's Bay Company
fort on the Columbia. Dr. McLoughlin was astounded.
" Stay! " he cried. " McKay! Tom McKay! This
American has been robbed, his party massacred. Take
fifty men, ride light, and go down to the Umpqua."
McKay and his Canadians crossed the Columbia that
night. Down on the Umpqua the Indians came in, suspecting nothing. Captain Tom counted out the peltries.
" There," he said, " for these I will pay you." He
handed out their value in goods. " But these with the
trappers' mark belong to the men you murdered. Look
to the murderers for payment" The enraged Umpquas
fell upon the murderers and Tom and his men galloped
out of the country. Dr. McLoughlin paid Jedediah
Smith three thousand two hundred dollars for his furs.
The grateful trapper left the Columbia to rejoin his
friends east of the mountains. EARLY EVENTS AT FORT VANCOUVER  91
In 1829, too, a Boston ship came into the Columbia
for salmon. Was it " the Bostons," as the Indians said,
or was it the first ploughing at Fort Vancouver, that
uncorked the vials of pestilence? For miles the shores
of the Columbia were dotted with villages so near that
a rifle-ball would reach from one to another. The
Willamette was filled with a numerous and powerful
people, a people that had good houses, great fisheries,
and manufactured thread and nets and cloth from the
fibre of the milkweed. The deadly fever came among
them. The simple Indian remedies failed. The jugglery of medicine men proved vain. In vain was the
general sacrifice of eagle's feathers and wooden images.
The fated Multnomahs went into their sweat-houses.
Half-suffocated in the vapor-bath, reeking with perspiration, they jumped into the cold Columbia. Barely
crept they back to the wigwam door. In three weeks
Kesano's people perished, and he had been wont to
summon five hundred warriors to the chase. At his
village, Wakanasissi, six miles below Vancouver, the
bones lay five feet high and ten rods long for years,
where the dead were piled in a ghastly open tomb.
With six solitary survivors Kesano moved his lodge to
Fort Vancouver.. Here ever after the old chief was
honored above all other Indians with a plate at a side
table in the great hall, with a feather in a silk hat and a
scarlet coat. With his large flat head, bright clear eyes
that could look one through, Roman nose, heavy jaws,
set firm lips, and hair carefully dressed, old Chief
Kesano stalked in and out, an honored pensioner at
Fort Vancouver.
That fever time ! From 1829 to 1832 thirty thousand
Indians perished in the valley of the Columbia and
Willamette.    In 1831, on the Cowlitz, the living sufficed
J 92
McLOUGHLIN  AND   OLD  OREGON
not to bury the dead, but fled to the sea-coast, leaving
their homes to the ravens and the wolves. The sun
shone fair as ever — the changeless sun of an Oregon
summer. Not a cloud, not a shower, not a wind, but
the still Egyptian lotus-sky above the changeless days.
Had the boy Bryant of New England divined this when
he wrote, —
" Lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon and hears no sound
Save his own dashings.    Yet the dead are there " ?
Forty men lay sick at Fort Vancouver, and wretched
Indians at the gates plead for " la medecine." There
was no physician but Dr. McLoughlin. His hands
were full. He, too, fell sick of the fever ahd sent his
clerks among the sufferers with pockets lined with vials
of quinine.
There was an Indian village on Wapato Island at the
mouth of the Willamette. For several weeks no one
had come from there. Chief Trader Ogden arrived at
the fort. " Go over to Wapato and see what is the
matter," said Dr. McLoughlin.
" There is something dead in Wapato," said Ogden,
as his boats neared the edge of the island. There certainly was a sickish, fetid odor in the air. The oak-
trees whispered as they passed. The gleaming alders
fluttered their nervous twigs. The willows shook their
large oblanceolate leaves with whitened under-edges.
The wood-dove mourned in a thicket of young firs.
Canoes lay idle on the beach. Nets hung on the willow
boughs. Dogs watched, birds carolled, insects hummed
and flitted, but no voice came from the village. As
Ogden strode forward he saw them lying dead everywhere, all dead but one little slave-boy to whom the
1 EARLY EVENTS AT FORT VANCOUVER  93
sweat and the river-douse had been refused. Thrown
out, the boy burned through the fever and lived.
"My legal primer says necessity knows no law,"
said the practical Ogden, lighting the funeral pyre.
Men, now living, saw the grinning skulls of that Golgotha. Dr. McLoughlin adopted the little Indian slave
and named him Benjamin Harrison, for a member of the
London Board. He was a bright, attractive child, and
became a favorite at the fort.
There was another chief, Maniquon, an old man
bereft of his people. Sometimes they could hear him
at night walking around the fort, singing a low sad song
of death. Sometimes he would tell of other days, when
he rode to the chase or fought in battle. " Eighty
snows have chilled the earth since Maniquon was born.
Maniquon has been a great warrior." The dim eye
would glitter, the withered chief would leap and brandish an imaginary tomahawk, then sink back exhausted.
" Maniquon is not a warrior now. He will never raise
his axe again. His young men have deserted his lodge.
His sons have gone down to their graves, and the squaws
will not sing of their great deeds." Leaning toward the
listener he would ask, " Who has made my people what
they are?"
" The Great Spirit, Maniquon."
The old chief would leap like a fiend and fiercely
whisper, " The white man did it; the white man did
it." Fierce old Maniquon. To the end of his days he
believed the Hudson's Bay Company poisoned the
people of Wapato to get the beautiful island for a dairy
farm. Long ago, in the ancient days of Wauna, the
Multnomahs were a mighty people. All the tribes met
them in council under the oaks and willows of Wapato.
Now herds of cattle were sent to range where Indian 94
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
kings once trod. Hogs wallowed in the sloughs or
fattened on acorns and wapato. Beneath the oaks of the
ancient council grove the herdsman built his hut, and
Sauvie, a French Canadian, was given charge of a dairy
not far from the site of the deserted village.
An old woman, Waskema, wandered like an unquiet
spirit in the valley. Here, long years before the white
man came, Waskema was wedded to Canemah the
arrow-maker. There he wrought the jewelled arrowheads of yellow jasper, red jasper, green jasper, and
pale chalcedony, or wrought out knives of translucent
obsidian carefully chipped down to a glassy edge.
C an em ah's arrows were famed from Des Chutes to Tillamook. Old Waskema had never forgiven the white
man for bringing the fatal fever that carried off her husband and sons. Among the scrofula-stricken fragments
of her race she strove to preserve the old superstitions
and the old customs, preferring the necklace of claws
and teeth and shells to even the gayest of Hudson's
Bay beads. Each year as she went up to the fisheries,
she tortured her heart with memories of the time when
first she toiled with her arrow-maker gathering baskets
of agate and jasper and carnelian along the quiet river
sands.
In 1828 there was trouble with the Clatsops at the
mouth of the Columbia. The " William and Ann," the
company's ship from London, was wrecked one dark
and stormy night on the Columbia bar. All on board
were lost. Goods destined for Fort Vancouver were
thrown out upon the beach. Dr. McLoughlin heard of
the loss of the ship and sent to demand the cargo. An
old broom was sent back in derisive answer. The surmise grew into a conviction that the Clatsops had murdered the crew as they tried to land that stormy night. EARLY EVENTS AT FORT VANCOUVER  95
The new Caledonian brigade was just in. The doctor
despatched them to Clatsop with all the swivels in the
courtyard. Boom! bang! boom! down went the
wooden huts. The frightened people ran. A few were
killed. The Clatsops had buried a quantity of the cargo
in the sands on the seashore. The Canadians dug it
out.
" Mind ye ! Mind ye ! " was McLoughlin's message.
"Ye cannot profit by disasters to vessels nor murder
white men for plunder."
Weeks passed. Peltries accumulated in the hands of
the Clatsops. Their ammunition was out, but no one
had courage to face the White-Headed Eagle at Fort
Vancouver. Dr. McLoughlin divined this and sent
Celiast down to conciliate her people. Three daughters
had Coboway, chief of the Clatsops, — Kilakota, Celiast,
and Telix, all wedded to white men. Donning her
gayest dress and spreading a blanket sail in her little
canoe, Celiast and her cousin Angelique glided down
to Clatsop.
It was a forlorn little town the Indian princess
entered. The cedar logs lay in splinters on the sod.
The salmon season had come, and all had been too busy
to restore the shattered houses. Celiast sat down with
her people on the grassy slope toward the sea. Grave
men, voluble women, little children told her the story.
I The ship was wrecked on the middle sands and the
crew all drowned one windy night in March," they said.
I The first we knew of the wreck was when the goods
were coming ashore in the morning." With a firm
belief in the innocence of her people and a promise
of kind treatment when they came to the fort, Celiast
made  matters  right and restored harmony.
About  the  same time another Boston ship entered 96 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
the Columbia, turned into the Willamette, and ran
aground at the Clackamas rapids one hundred miles
inland. The Clackamas Indians were fishing at the Falls.
Around the bend they saw the ship. " King George man
hate Boston," said the fishers. " Kill um Boston." They
left their fishing and crowded around the unfortunate
ship. There was an ominous sound in their scoffing
laughter. Already their bows were drawn to the arrowheads when a crew of boatmen hove in sight. It was
McLoughlin's men despatched from Fort Vancouver.
Tom McKay's loud voice resounded, — " The White-
Headed Eagle sends word: if you kill one Boston it
shall be the same to him as his own King George man.
Fall back." The Indians fell back, and McLoughlin's
men got out their hawsers and pulled the rash adventurer from the rocks. XI
BACHELORS  HALL
1839
BACHELORS' HALL was the gossiping place, the
clerks' quarters, a long, low, whitewashed log
structure on the east side of the court. Here, in the
central assembly room, with a rousing fire and tables
littered with pens, ink, and paper, the gentlemen often
chatted till the stroke of midnight. Hunting, fishing,
fowling, these were the sports of summer, but during
the long, rainy winter evenings Bachelors' Hall became
the nightly theatre of song and story. All grades of
employes, the aristocratic Briton, the feudal Highlander,
the restless Frenchman, the picturesque Indian, shone
in the kaleidoscopic shift of firelight. Here the gay
and brusque McLoughlin discussed religion with the
funereal, formal Douglas, or joked him on the customs
of his Scottish chiefs.
Dr. McLoughlin was a hero-worshipper — Napoleon
was his hero. That is the key to his swift flights of
travel; it explains his demand for instant and unquestioned obedience, his system of rewards and punishments, and his far-reaching schemes for power. Like
Napoleon, his frown was a terror to the culprit, his approbation the delight of his subordinates. An offender
would choose rather to flee away to the hostile Black-
feet than to feel again the blaze of that displeasure.
In Bachelors' Hall Waterloo was fought again and
again. Bruce had been an actual participant. Clerk
7 98 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Allen saw the French prisoners brought to Lanarkshire.
In his native village he saw the bonfires of tar barrels
that celebrated Wellington's victory, and he saw Napoleon's coach that was captured at Waterloo and
exhibited throughput Great Britain. Once, while dressing a wounded hand for Allen, Dr. McLoughlin became
so excited in discussing the Peace of Amiens that Allen
records in his journal, " The doctor hurt me so that
I wished Napoleon and the Peace of Amiens far
enough ! "
Well bred, well read, were the magnates of Fort Vancouver. Scholars loved their society. Many a mile
the library of standard, leather-bound, weather-stained
volumes travelled by canoe, to cheer the Ipnely traders
around their soughing fires in the northwest forest.
Scott, Burns, Shakespeare, — these were daily food.
The arrival of the American Irving's books created a
great sensation.
" How I should like to write the other side of Bonneville," cried Chief Factor Pambrun one night in Bachelors' Hall. " He came to Walla Walla. We gave him
of our best. As an officer of the United States army
we were hospitable to him, but as a rival trader we had
no favors to bestow."
Pambrun felt he had reason for resentment. Bonneville distributed presents so lavishly among the Walla-
Cayuses, and paid them so handsomely for their furs,
that he interfered with the Hudson's Bay business.
The Cayuse chiefs came to Walla Walla and demanded
better pay for beaver. Pambrun refused. " The rate
is fixed," he said. Then Tauitau threw him down and
stamped upon his breast until the chief factor cried,
" Hold ! hold ! I leave the decision to Dr. McLoughlin."
The next time Bonneville came, the Indians had been BACHELORS'   HALL
99
so instructed by the company that they fled at his
approach. Fort Walla Walla was closed against him —
not even a dog could be bought on the Columbia. The
Indians slunk away as if from a contagion. Bonneville
could not get a crew to take him down to Fort Vancouver. He had to give it up, and turning back lost
his way in the deep snows of the Blue Mountains.
Finally the Nez Perces found him and brought him
fainting to the lodge of Red Wolf on the Snake. The
Nez Perces nursed him like a brother, gave him horses
and provisions, and sent him and his men out of the
country. Then Irving wrote the " Bonneville Tales " —
commentaries on the days when the Hudson's Bay
Company ruled on the Columbia.
When Captain Wyeth was on his way to Oregon he
had fallen in with a party of Blackfeet at a mountain
rendezvous where Bonneville was and Sublette's trappers. There was a half-breed interpreter in Bonneville's
camp, Baptiste Dorion, son of the interpreter in Irving's
| Astoria." The Blackfeet greeted the whites. " We
have heard of the Americans," said the Blackfoot chief,
decorated from head to foot in eagle plumes. He
held Wyeth's hand in friendly converse when " whiz"
went a bullet from Dorion's rifle. As the chief of the
Blackfeet fell Dorion snatched his painted robe and fled.
Never a robe was bought more dearly. The outraged Blackfeet pursued the white man from that hour.
Four years later one of Wyeth's men smoked the pipe
of peace with Jemmy Jock, the Rob Roy of the Blackfeet. Even as he smoked Jemmy Jock gave the signal
and Godin fell. Upon his brow Jemmy Jock carved
Wyeth's name— " N. J. W."
" The Indian has a double nature," said Dr. McLoughlin, — " one peaceable and friendly, one savage and dia-
J ioo McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
bolical. Somebody has stirred up the devil with the
Blackfeet."
When Jason Lee was on his journey back to the
States, the first steamboat on Missouri waters ran up
from St. Louis to purchase furs. Somewhere, in the
present Montana, an Indian stole a blanket that had
belonged to a man who died of smallpox. The Blackfeet died like flies. Beyond the Missouri the smallpox
flew, far up among the Sarcies and Assiniboins, on, up
through Alaska to the borders of the Arctic. For
years the bones of the Blackfeet lay unburied on the
Yellowstone, and to this day decaying lodges of skeletons are found along the Yukon.
" And now, Tom, what is the latest tripk of Jemmy
Jock?"asked Dr. McLoughlin, who always delighted in
his stepson's tales.
"'Twas on the Yellowstone," said Tom. " One night
I gave strict orders to the Canadians on watch to keep
a good lookout. They did so, rifle in hand. Jemmy
Jock, dressed as a Canadian, entered the camp unobserved, walked up to the watchman, and said in French,
' I have received orders that the horses shall be turned
out to graze.' Supposing the order was from me, he let
the horses out. In no time we heard the whoop of the
Blackfeet as they mounted our stock and rode away."
It used to be a favorite escapade for Jemmy Jock to
steal into a hostile camp, and over the very shoulders
of the foe to watch the game of chance. Quietly he
walked among them, taking what he wanted, and cutting the hopples of their horses. A gift of wampum
dropped, a cap with his feather, and a distant whoop,
alone revealed that Jemmy Jock and his Blackfeet had
paid them an evening visit. Sometimes in lonely mountain trails the trappers found letters set up on sticks by BACHELORS'  HALL
the joking Jemmy Jock to tell them that he had camped
there, to give a useful hint or to lead them into a trap.
The Americans offered $500 for his head.
" Jemmy Jock plays no more tricks," said Ermatinger.
"What?"
" Smallpox."
Even hundreds of miles away this carried a shudder
to Fort Vancouver.
Dr. Barclay was the new physician; one of the old
Scotch Barclays, a Shetlander, born in a manse beside
the ocean whose seven foot thick walls had been in the
family for hundreds of years. He studied at Glasgow,
took his diploma at the London College of Physicians
and Surgeons, and went to the Arctic.
" Tell us of your Arctic life," said Dr. McLoughlin in
Bachelors' Hall.
The cheek of the young physician flushed as he told
of Arctic adventure. Nothing could exceed the interest
of an Arctic tale to these servants of the Hudson's Bay
Company. Had they not promised to find the Northwest Passage, — Hearne, Ross, Parry, Back — the company claimed them all, and Franklin wintered at their
northern posts. Clerk Allen of Vancouver had dined
with Franklin the day before he sailed for Hudson's
Bay. Rae had a younger brother destined yet to win
renown in the icy North.
Old days in Canada were discussed. "Furs, man?"
Dr. McLoughlin used to say, — " Lord bless you, man,
furs are worth more than mines. While the Spaniard
was ransacking Mexico and Peru, France and England
were trapping skins, and they made more out of it.
Furs led the Russian hunter across Siberia, furs led
him along the isles to Sitka. Furs opened Pacific trade.
At Nootka Sound Captain Cook's men exchanged trin- io2 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
kets for otter-skins for their own use and comfort, but
when they reached the ports of China the merchants
offered such incredible sums for that accidental stock
of furs that they all wanted to give up exploration and
turn traders. Cook's men introduced the sea-otter to
England. Furs led to the exploration of North America. The first white men on the Great Lakes, the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Columbia, and the waters of
the North, were fur-traders." When McLoughlin got
started, he was a famous story-teller.
"Once, our magazines were full of unsalable bearskins. One of our chief factors selected a set of fine
large skins, had them dressed in silver with the king's
arms, and presented them to a royal duke. His lordship put them into his state coach and drove to court.
In a fortnight every earl in England was scrambling
after bear-skins." With long whiffs at their pipes they
listened.    McLoughlin knew the fur trade like a book.
" The Russian Empress Catharine set the fashion for
sables — now we have miles of traps, baited with meat
and mice. England alone consumes one hundred thousand Hudson's Bay sables a year. But the beaver! I
heard old gray-beards tell in my boyhood, that when a
Parisian hatter set the fashion, all the young men of
Canada left their seigniories and took to the woods.
Their farms went back to forests. Du Luth left Montreal with eight hundred men at one time. Nobody
knows how far they did go, but when they came back
with their fur-filled boats they lived like kings, they
dressed in lace, and wore the sword, and made Montreal
a pandemonium with their drunken revels.
" Lord bless you, man, the markets of France were
glutted, the ships would take no more, every warehouse
in Montreal was packed, and still the brigades came BACHELORS'   HALL
103
paddling down the St. Lawrence. They stacked the
bales in empty squares; some became damaged. At
last, to get rid of so much beaver, they built great bonfires, and thousands of pounds were burnt in the streets
of Montreal. That was about the time the Americans
were hanging witches at Salem and the French were
fighting the Inquisition at Quebec. Nobody ploughed
the fields in Canada, there was almost a famine, but
those men who ranged the woods could never bring
themselves to settle down on their farms again. They became wild, and cared for nothing but adventure. They
settled in the woods, and their children are our Iroquois
voyageurs of to-day. You '11 not find a full blood
among them — their grandfathers were the Frenchmen
of that old fur-time ! " XII
THE BRIGADE   TO   CALIFORNIA
1839
DR. McLOUGHLIN had much to do in gathering
up the threads of routine. " Where is our Spanish brigade?" he asked.
" Ready equipped at Scappoose Point," answered
Michel La Framboise.    " We start to-morrow."
There was always bustle when a brigade set out.
At daylight two hundred horses were pawing at Scappoose Point just across the western end of Wapato.
Tom McKay had a ranch there, rich in sleek horses
and cattle, and oceans of grass. A string of boats came
down from the fort with a jolly picnic party to give the
trappers a send-off. The cottonwoods were yellow on
Wapato, sprinkling with gold the old council ground of
the Multnomahs. October russet dotted the Scappoose
hills. The Cascade Mountains lay in banks of crimson
against the sunrise. The ladies from the fort leaped to
their saddles tinkling with tiny bells. The gentlemen
rode at their sides, gay as Charles's cavaliers, with lovelocks round their faces.
As usual, Dr. McLoughlin took the lead on his Bucephalus. Madame rode Le Bleu, a dappled white and
sky blue, that in her day had galloped seventy-two
miles in eight hours, to carry the tobacco, the sine qua
non of an Indian trade. David mounted Le Gris de
Galeaux like a Cossack. Rae and Eloise followed on
Guenillon and the snowy Blond, all favorite horses at THE  BRIGADE TO  CALIFORNIA
io5
Fort Vancouver. Ermatinger with his Bardolphian
nose cut a laughable figure on Le petit Rouge by the
side of his fair bride Catherine on Gardepie.
After the gentry came La Framboise at the head of
his long array of French trappers in scarlet belts and
Canadian caps, with their picturesque Indian families,
the plumes of men and women dancing and waving in
the wind, brilliant as a hawking party in the days of
mediaeval song.
Michel La Framboise had been a famous voyageur,
one of the picked few sent out by John Jacob Astor.
He could flip his canoe over the choppy waves where
no one else would dare to go. Now, every autumn after
the harvest was over, he led the horse brigade to the
Spanish country.
The trappers always travelled with their families; the
mother bestrode the family horse, with its high-pommelled Mexican saddle; the children jogged along on
their Cayuse ponies and slept until night, when down
they slid, full of glee, gathering flowers, shooting their
little arrows, and listening to tales of grizzly bears and
Blackfeet.
La Framboise was proud of his half-breed wife,
Angelique, his Grande Dame, in her bloomers of beaded
blue broadcloth; Angelique was proud of the pretty
white pappoose that dangled from her pommel, asleep
in its little miau of beads and ribbon. Close behind
came the children, with elfin locks and flashing eyes,
with one hand whipping their horses to make the bells
go " zing-zing-zing," with the other hugging tight the
buckskin dollies with blue bead eyes and complexions
chalked to the whiteness of the charming missionary
women.
The Indian boys brought up the rear, lashing their
J io6
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
unruly packhorses heavily laden with camp equipage
and Indian goods. All were in fine feather; the capering steeds, the crisp air, the scintillant sun, the tuneful
meadow lark, harmonized completely with the bursts of
song and gay and lively laughter.
The Willamette was carpeted with green from the
early autumn rain. Scarlet-flaming thickets of vine
maple glowed along the watercourses. Every hill-slope
was a bank of burning ash. The cavaliers were armed
to the teeth; from every belt depended a leathern fire-
bag with pipe, tobacco, knife, and flint and steel. There
were hunters in that brigade, rough as the grizzlies they
hunted; hunters keen as the deer, suspicious as the elk;
hunters that read like a book the language of tracks.
Leaning over their horses' necks, they could discern the
delicate tread of the silver fox, the pointed print of the
mink, and the otter's heavy trail. With whip-stock in
hand La Framboise points — "A bear passed last week,"
" An elk yesterday," " A deer this morning." In a
moment a deer tosses its antlers, sniffs the wind, then
bounds with slender, nervous limbs into the thickest
shade.
A brisk morning ride over the Scappoose hills and
down into the Tualitan plains was followed by a picnic
dinner around a gypsy fire, then McLoughlin dismissed
the trappers into the Indian country.
The parting cavalcades looked at each other from
their curveting steeds. " Beware on the Umpqua,"
called the doctor. " If the new men get the fever give
them plenty of broth and quinine." Again he turned
with a parting word and gesture: " Look out for the
Rogue-Rivers; they '11 steal the very beaver out of your
traps."
With gay farewells the fort people galloped back to THE  BRIGADE TO  CALIFORNIA
107
the crossing at Wapato. The California brigade followed along the winding trail to the south. La Framboise always touched at La Bonte's, a solitary garden
spot in miles and miles of prairie. " How much land
do you own, mon frere La Bonte?"
" Begin in the morning," the old trapper was wont to
say, — " begin in the morning on a Cayuse horse. Go
west till the sun is very high, then go south till it is
around toward the west, and then back to the river;
that is my manor."
And, too, there was always a stop at Champoeg,—
every man at Champoeg was " mon frere " or " mon
cousin " to La Framboise. Beside his wide hearth for
many and many a year La Chapelle loved to sit and tell
of the days when he, too, was bourgeois, and Madame
his wife was the grandest dame that ever bestrode a
pony. And for the thousandth time the good dame
brought out the dresses stiff with beads that were worn
in that gay time when the Monsieur led the hunt to the
head waters of the Willamette.
The head waters of the Willamette was a royal
beaver republic. There the little colonies cut down
whole forests, built up wonderful dams and bridges,
scooped out lakes, and piled up islands. With their
long sharp teeth they cut up the timber and shaped
their houses, plastering them neatly with their broad,
flat tails. They had rooms in their houses and dining-
halls and neat doorways, these deft little builders, more
cunning than the fox, more industrious than the bee,
more patient than the spider, more skilful than the
Indian. " The beaver can talk," says the Indian. " We
have heard them talk. We have seen them sit in council on the lazy ones. We have seen the old chief beat
them and drive them off." io8
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Two hundred miles south of the Columbia, La Framboise descended from a high ridge of mountains down to
a little plantation on the banks of the Umpqua, the
fortalice of old Fort Umpqua. Carronades peeped
from the donjon tower. Tom McKay built it after that
disaster to the American trappers — sometimes they
called it Fort McKay. Here a solitary white man ruled
the Umpqua. Jules Gagnier was a Frenchman, the son
of an honorable and wealthy family in Montreal. In
vain they made efforts to reclaim him from his wanderings and his Indian wife. Hither, twice every year, La
Framboise came, twenty miles off his trail, to bring
Gagnier Indian goods and to carry away his beaver.
Here, summer and winter, year in and year out, the
jolly, genial Frenchman traded with his red friends and
cultivated his little patch of garden. Such were the
first white men who broke the way for pioneers on the
northwest coast.
La Framboise's brigade wound along gorges and
canyons, through the Rogue River valley with its orchards of sunlit manzanita and hillsides of gnarled madrono and chinquapin, into the Switzerland of America,
where Mt. McLoughlin on the summit of the Cascades
was the most conspicuous landmark on the southern
trail. One more pull — over the Siskiyous — and they
have crossed the Spanish border. As a rule the
brigades started early, to avoid the snows of Shasta,
where once they lost the whole of their furs and three
hundred horses. All day long, for days and days, the
triple peaks of Shasta watched them winding down the
Sacramento. La Framboise set his traps. Sutter's
men began to look with unfriendly eye upon the intruders from the Columbia, but the Hudson's Bay
Company had a permit from the Spanish Governor
Alvarado. XIII
DR. McLOUGHLIN AT HOME
1839
ELOISE at the door was stitching as usual. Little
Cecelia on a cricket at her feet was untangling
the many-colored skeins of silk.
In the doctor's room they were discussing the Russian question. Now and then she could distinguish a
phrase: "along the coast," "ten leagues," "a lease,"
" ten thousand otter-skins." Somehow, half-dreamily
putting two and two together, Eloise understood that
the company had leased the Russian strip over which
they fought five years ago. She knew that scores of
Canadians had come to man the new posts on the Russian strip.
" Now,' daughter, you and Rae shall take your
bridal trip." Dr. McLoughlin came out on the veranda and laid his hand on the thick, glossy braids
of Eloise.
"Where? To Canada?" asked Eloise, with a quick
glance toward her husband, who, pulling at the grapevines, seemed absorbed in thought.
" Worse yet, to rainy Stikine," said Rae, looking
away from his wife.
" Tut, tut, tut, my son. Don't quarrel with your
promotion," said Dr.   McLoughlin.    "The  most  dan- McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
gerous post in the service is the most important just
now."
" I am satisfied," explained Rae, " but Eloise — I
hate to expose her." It was the old fear, — a white
woman in an Indian country.
" William," said Eloise, rising like a queen, " do you
not think I shall be safe if you are there ? Do not
hesitate if my father thinks it best. Perhaps you can
do more than any other toward reducing that district
to order. They send only the most trusted men to
posts like that."
" Spoken like McLoughlin's daughter," said Douglas,
coming through the door. " These Hudson's Bay girls
inherit heroic blood." The words were bpth a compliment to Eloise and a tribute to his own brave wife,
who at that moment approached from the other end
of the long veranda.
So during that winter preparations were made for
the trip in the early spring. Arrangements for the
lease were yet to be perfected, so an opportunity offered
for Rae and Eloise to accompany Douglas to Sitka
before settling to the dangers of dreary Stikine. Rae
carefully completed his accounts to hand over to Du-
gald McTavish, his successor in the head-clerkship.
Douglas looked after sundries for the new forts. Mrs.
Douglas assisted Eloise in overhauling her boxes of
London dresses preparatory to meeting the Russian
grandees at  Sitka castle.
How did they dress when Eloise was young? Van-
dyck puffs and wing bretelles, everything just as it is
now, was in fashion sixty years ago. Noah's ark, a
massive cedar chest bound with copper and lined with
zinc, was hauled out of a capacious closet of the
governor's residence.    Noah's ark came from over the DR.   McLOUGHLIN  AT  HOME in
sea, packed full of carefully folded and perfumed
dresses of made-up silk from the hands of London
dressmakers. Everything lovely was in that old cedar
chest,—T< silken hose and satin shoon," Indian shawls
and Canton crepes, brocades and French embroidery,
old-time ruffs and stomachers and caps, velvet cloaks
and Parisian bonnets, odds and ends of chemisettes and
under-sleeves, silken-fringed bretelles, and even the tie
of her father's old peruke that he used to wear in the
dance at Montreal. Ten or twelve breadths were in
the skirts of those dresses; neat-fitting bodices ran
down to a point; all sorts of bell sleeves flared like
the cups of convolvuli. If there was anything the
fur-magnates were proud of, it was their daughters,
and they had the money wherewith to gratify that
pride.
All winter the axe of the Iroquois chopper rang
in the woods; all winter the little saw-mill hummed.
Roderick Finlayson had been put in charge of the
new grist-mill. At the end of the week, Saturday
night, he walked home to the fort, five miles, in the
heavy winter rain. It was late. The gate was locked.
The new clerk beat on the wall.    Bruce looked out.
" Ye 're brakin' the rooles a-coomin' this time o'
nicht," said the crusty old gatekeeper, letting him in.
The quick ear of Dr. McLoughlin caught the sound.
Finlayson was summoned.
"Why are you out contrary to regulations? Are
you not aware that clerks must be inside the fort at
ten o'clock? I am afraid we shall have to discipline
you young gentlemen from the East."
Finlayson explained, some accident at the mill.
I And," he added, " after my work was done I had to
walk five miles, sir." ii2 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
" Yes, yes, I know all about that," said the doctor.
Finlayson was only eighteen. When Dr. McLoughlin
saw the boy, cold, wet, and hungry, whose only crime
was zeal in doing his duty, he spoke kindly, and turning
to Douglas said, "You had better let him have a horse,
James." Finlayson bowed his thanks and walked away.
" A horse," cried Dr. McLoughlin after him, " a horse;
but mind ye, no saddle; ye must furnish your own
saddle."
Monday morning Finlayson selected a spirited horse
and bought a good saddle with Mexican spurs and gay
trappings. Saturday night came again. The dashing
cavalier, seeing the gate open, reined his prancing
steed within the palisade. "Who the vdevil is that
daring to break the rules of the establishment by coming into the square in that fashion ?" roared Dr. McLoughlin, levelling his spectacles.
" Roderick Finlayson, at your honor's service," answered the gay young clerk, reining up before the
governor.
"Dismount, sir," cried the governor in a tone of.
thunder. " Do you suppose the court is a parade
ground? Do you suppose we want half-broken colts
in the presence of these women and children? This
is a private square, sir, and not a public horseyard.
Baptiste, take the horse. Young man, you may walk
hereafter." So poor Finlayson had to wade through
the mud the rest of the winter.
Discipline was strict at Fort Vancouver. In the
semi-military life idleness was unknown. For weeks
the Canadian voyageurs, laid up for the winter, thwacked
with the flails in the barns, thrashing out the harvest
of Canadian peas. All winter the ploughs followed the
furrows.    " Mind  ye  make   them  straight,"   said  the DR.  McLOUGHLIN  AT  HOME
"3
doctor. The straightest furrows ever drawn at Fort
Vancouver were by the unerring eye of the Iroquois,
perfect as a surveyor's line. Spades dug in the ditches.
When nothing else offered, decayed pickets in the palisade were pulled out and replaced with fresh ones
from the forest. XIV
AT OLD   CHAMPOEG
1839
WINTER rains followed the departure of the
brigade to California, — the still, steady rain of
Oregon, that falls straight down. The grass revives,
buds swell, moss runs rampant. One morning Dr.
McLoughlin watched the sun swinging his" chariot of
light above Mt. Hood. " 'T is like the suns of Napoleon, propitious," he said.    " Charlefoux ! "
" Oui, oui, sire," answered the guide.
" Let us get to Champoeg before the next rain."
I Oui, oui, sire."
Sometimes in summer Dr. McLoughlin took Madame
to visit Champoeg and the mission. His fleet of canoes
brought beds, bedding, tea, coffee, sugar, bread, cakes
and wine, a numerous suite, and a cook. He camped
beside the mission, and took a lively interest in its
work. I The doctor's urbanity, intelligence, and excellence of character made his visits very agreeable,"
say the old chronicles.
To-day he sped with only his Iroquois. At the Falls
of the Willamette, where the blue sea tide came up
to the foaming cataract, he made a portage. Dr.
McLoughlin had a house there, two of them, holding
the claim to the site of a future city that he dreamed
of. Forty miles from the Columbia the shrill " Rouli,
roulant, ma boule roulant" rang over French Prairie. AT OLD  CHAMPOEG 115
Wherever the Frenchman's heel has danced from
polar snows to San Diego, the Frenchman's oar has
cut each lake and stream to this favorite song of the
forest, —
" Rouli, roulant, ma boule roulant,
Eti roulant ma boule roulant,
En roulant ma boule."
The deep rich orotund " roll, rolling " from the chests
of the canoe-men rang an endless round that sixty
years ago made Oregon waters vocal. The moon had
risen over the tree-tops. The deep, swift river slid like
a dream between her umbrageous banks. The gentle
dip of the oars broke the water into a million diamonds,
trailing behind in a wake of silver. As they neared the
landing at Champoeg the song was answered from the
shore — even the tiniest child could sing "Rouli, rou-
lant" The voyageurs gave a last repeat to the ever-
repeating chorus as they leaped into the water and
dragged the boats upon the shore. Many a night in the
marshy muskegs of the North had they presented their
shoulders to carry Dr. McLoughlin dry shod to shore.
While Charlefoux pitched the tents Dr. McLoughlin
strode rapidly up the bank toward the mossy-roofed
houses of old Champoeg. The barns loomed duskily.
From every parchment window there came a glow of
firelight, sparkles danced over the chimney-tops like
fireflies in the dark. There was a smell of southernwood and sweet marjoram as the governor climbed
the stiles and crossed the pole-picketed gardens. The
long-horned Spanish cattle were lowing around the
well-sweeps in the neighboring corrals.
" Felicite," the doctor called. He had halted in the
mossy porch of a double log house. Etienne Lucier's
charming daughter sprang out with a glad laugh.    The n6
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
governor kissed her on the cheek. " That's a good
girl. Tell your mother to bring on the gingerbread,"
he said, as she led him into an immense room with a
huge fireplace occupying the entire opposite end.
It was a sight for gods and red men when the pompous governor, six feet three in his moccasins, entered
the low-raftered room and threw off his ample blue
cloth cloak on a leathern chair before the fire. His
obsequious vassals, the father and sons, bowed down to
the chair-tops, quite overcome by the honor of his
visit. The children courtesied from their corners. If
King George himself had entered, the good dame could
not have felt more flattered. A horde of slaves were
summoned. The heavy fir table was loaderj with fruits
of the hoe and the hunt, hams of venison, and wheaten
cakes. Of nothing were the Canadians more proud
than of their wives' skill in bread-making. Under the
tuition of the Methodist mission, the women of Champoeg vied with one another in this useful art. Nearly
every time the bateaux went down to Fort Vancouver
some Canadian carried to Dr. McLoughlin a sample of
his wife's baking, neatly browned and rolled in a towel.
And to every one the encouraging governor said,
" Bless me! Bless me! The best bread this side of
London " — a compliment the proud housewife stored
ever after in her heart.
"' Ee eat no more tan te sparrow," urged the host,
pressing upon the distinguished guest the Madame's
choicest dried huckleberries. The slaves in their buckskin dresses peeped and peered until their dusky mistress " shooed " them back into the shadow.
Reverence fails to express the depth of feeling these
Champoeg settlers entertained for the indulgent Hudson's Bay governor.    He, together with the gentlemen AT OLD  CHAMPOEG 117
at the fort, constituted the noblesse of the forest, linking
the red men with the London nobles. No less was it a
bond of kinship that Dr. McLoughlin was Canadian-
born and spoke provincial French. Almost fabulous
tales were told of his power, his wealth, his benevolence.
Some to this day regard him a saint not yet canonized
on the books of the clergy. This was partly Dr.
McLoughlin's natural philanthropy, partly his habit of
reading prayers to his people and lecturing on their
morals.
" Eh? begosh ! Eef mon 'ave more nor one wife de hoi
dogtor will 'ang eem," whispered the voyageurs.
McLoughlin donned his bright chintz dressing-gown.
His feet were on the fender. His clean-cut face looked
almost classic in the firelight as he watched the hurrying slaves clearing out the room for a dance. Indian
slavery was no exotic in Oregon; it had grown into
Champoeg with its Indian wives and aboriginal traditions. Back of every manse their cabins straggled like
quarters of the blacks in Georgia. Every autumn still
the Klamaths came over the Calapooias, bringing their
captives to trade for ponies and three-point blankets.
Five blankets would purchase a boy, fifteen a girl.
Beads, blankets, and guns would buy a wife, some captive princess from Rogue River or the Shasta land.
Even as they jostled one another in futile haste to move
tables and settees, up the back path through the onion
bed came the toot-a-toot-toot of Andre's squeaking fiddle. Never a voyageur was there who could not make
his own fiddle and draw from it, too, the good old tunes
his father brought from France when the fleur-de-lis
flew over Quebec. In short order, neighbors of every
complexion were treading the night away in honor of
the guest.    The fire burned low and the moon was pale n8 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
when the governor was escorted back to his camp.
The dark boats tied to the shore rocked idly on the
glassy Willamette.
The bell in its frame on Father Blanchet's new chapel
rang in the Sabbath. In every direction the habitants
were wending their moccasined steps to the house of
worship. Last night's dancers brought their numerous
children packed three and four in a bunch on horseback. Graceful young half-breeds on their Cayuse
ponies came loping in with a long and easy swing.
Some sweethearts sat in pairs upon the sturdy little
steeds. Everywhere the gayest garbs brightened the
picturesque prairie.
White-headed Dr. McLoughlin, in his, blue cloth
cloak adorned with double rows of silver-gilt buttons,
stood on the steps with a hearty hand-shake for each
father and son and a cordial kiss for each wife and
daughter. No wonder he stole their hearts away, this
gallant governor of early Oregon! Among those
weather-beaten faces were some of the first white men
that ever crossed the continent; faithful Canadians, who
in 1792 paddled and poled that homespun old baronet,
Sir Alexander Mackenzie, from Montreal to the Fraser;
men who came with Lewis and Clarke; and Astor's
trappers, who had drifted into the old Northwest before
the war of 1812. In the fur-service they had grown
gray. Now with their native wives and half-breed children they had come to a halt in the incomparable valley
whose fruitful acres invited repose.
They seated themselves quietly on the rough benches,
the men on one side, the women on the other, devoutly
kneeling and crossing themselves as Father Blanchet
went through the Catholic service. There was a rattling  of beads   as  toil-stiffened   fingers   counted    the AT OLD  CHAMPOEG 119
rosary. Weather-cracked voices joined in the canticles
learned long ago on the banks of the St. Lawrence.
Liberal as he was in religious matters, Dr. McLoughlin felt a peculiar home feeling in that rude little church
with its tawdry pictures of the saints and its candles
before the Virgin. It carried him back to his native
hamlet at Riviere du Loup among the maples of Canada.
These old servants were indeed his brethren. He loved
them as he loved the memory of his mother and the
pictures of childhood. After mass the children lingered for a word of recognition, the old men loitered to
consult about private affairs and recount losses and trials
to the patriarchal governor, who took a personal interest in every one of them. Whatever he told them to
do, that they did. Obedience is one of the first virtues
of the French Canadian, learned long ago at the foot of
Mother Church. If they were industrious he praised
them, and let them have whatever they needed from the
stores at Fort Vancouver. If they were shiftless and
wasted the harvest season in horse-racing and idle
games, he came down with denunciations that frightened
them back into rectitude. Hearts stood still like a
whipped school-boy's when they heard Dr. McLoughlin's
loud voice bidding them, " Go to work! Go to work!
Go to work! " There were no written laws; the governor settled their disputes arbitrarily. Whatever he
said, that was law in the valley Willamette.
They were a careless, thoughtless, happy people,
these Canadian farmers of old Champoeg, quiet, simple-
hearted, free from fear and envy, temperate, — for the
governor allowed no ale in the valley, —honest, for there
was nothing to steal. Free from cares of Church and
State, no political issue troubled them, no church
schism.    There were few books and less English.    Their
K i2o McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
great galas were weddings. A wedding lasted a week
at old Champoeg. Everybody far and near came and
danced, danced till they wore out their moccasins, then
pulled them off and danced in their stockings.
" Don't 'e recollect? I danced at your wedding," was
the open sesame to almost any favor. Long winter
evenings were spent around the ample hearths, while the
rain went drip, drip, drip outside, recounting over and
over their boyhood days in Montreal, dog-sled tours to
Athabasca, and canoe-brigades on the Saskatchewan.
Covering the fire, for coals were precious and not to be
lost, they retired to sleep without locks on their doors
or ambition in their hearts.
In a solitary cabin across the river from Champoeg
there dwelt a lonely Tennesseean. He had come from
California with a herd of Spanish horses only to find
French Prairie blazoned with his name:
"BEWARE   OF EWING YOUNG THE  BANDIT."
In wrath he tore the placards down. " Who dares,"
he cried, " who dares insult an honest man! "
The timid Canadians avoided the tainted stranger.
Their doors were shut. In need of clothing, he sent a
pack of beaver down to Fort Vancouver. Dr. McLoughlin declined the beaver, but sent a gift of food
and clothes to the supposed bandit. In a towering
rage Ewing Young hired Indians and a canoe and
journeyed to Fort Vancouver.
" Before you arrived, sir," exclaimed Dr. McLoughlin
in the hot, explosive interview, " before you arrived I
had warnings of you. Our schooner ' Cadboro'' returning from Monterey brought word from the governor of
California that Ewing Young, journeying to this country, was chief of a gang of banditti, — horse-thieves, sir; AT OLD  CHAMPOEG
that is the word he used. As head of a great company
trading to California, what can I do in face of such a
charge and from such a source?"
" Do?" cried Young, white with rage, "why, give a
fellow-man a chance. Demand the proof. I myself
will probe this thing to the bottom, if I have to go to
Monterey to do it."
In view of this indignation and this stout denial,
Dr. McLoughlin himself began to be half convinced of
Ewing Young's innocence. Letters of inquiry in time
brought back a retraction of the charge. " Not Ewing
Young himself, but some of his followers," the Spanish
governor explained.
Nevertheless the outraged Tennesseean could not forget the insult. At his ranch in the valley he continued
to nurse his wrath and his herds of horses. Hate, hate,
hate of the Hudson's Bay Company and distrust of its
every move became the keynote of the life of Ewing
Young. He talked it to every American that entered
the valley; with Jason Lee he wafted a breath of it to
Boston and to Congress. CHRISTMAS AT FORT  VANCOUVER
i839
TPVECEMBER arrived. Basil's Christmas fires kept
-*—* up incessant roaring. The rafters of the provision house creaked under the weight of birds picked
smooth and white. The high-backed settees took on a
knowing air as Dr. McLoughlin walked through the
kitchen. The tin and copperware winked on the wall.
Even the kitchen had Christmas  greens.
Burris set all his Kanakas in a whirl. Some turned
the plovers on the spit. Some set the quails on the
gridiron. Burris kept an eye on the sun-dial, and every
now and then took a sly nip of ale behind the buttery
door. With a thump of the rolling-pin he announced
the Christmas dinner. Fat goose, cranes, swans, so fat
they swam in grease, plum-duff crowned with holly,
ducks, showing the rich red after the knife, and baked
quails, white to the bone, 7- these the Oregon epicures
ate for Christmas dinner in 1839.
The tables were removed, and the governor in flowing
peruke and ruffled waistcoat led the dance with Madame.
The hall blazed in greenery. The tall central posts
were wound with the holly-leaved Oregon grape, the
Christmas candles were wreathed in ivy. A Yule-log of
fir beaded with globules of resin snapped and sparkled.
Scotch clerks and English kissed the pretty girls beneath
the mistletoe, plucking each time a pale gray berry from
the bough. CHRISTMAS AT FORT VANCOUVER        123
And who were the pretty girls ? Eloise, of course, and
Catharine — the Canadian Lily. Six weeks Ermatinger
duly courted her; and then they were married. From
the mouth of the Columbia there came the handsome
Birnie girls, whose father, James Birnie, a genial, jolly
Aberdeen Scotchman, kept the only hostelry from Vancouver to the sea and from Sitka to San Francisco.
Old Astoria, renamed Fort George, had been abandoned; but after the Clatsop trouble Dr. McLoughlin
had sent Birnie there to keep a lookout for passing
ships. Here he cultivated a little garden, did a little
Indian trading in salted salmon and sea-otter skins, kept
a weather eye out on the bar over which at long
intervals a ship came into the river. Astor's old post
was burned; only the scarified and blackened chimney
stood among the ruins that were overrun with brier and
honeysuckle. The latchstring of Birnie's log house on
the hillside was out to the trapper, the trader, the
Indian, and the sailor. More than one old missionary
has paid tribute to the housekeeping virtues of his
pretty wife, the daughter of a Hudson's Bay trader in
the north country. Her blazing hearth, clean-scrubbed
fir floor, and neat pine table of snowy whiteness, offered
cheer and comfort to all the early wanderers who came
I the plains across or the Horn around." Sole Saxon
of the forest, Birnie's flag was first to welcome the
incoming ship, and last to wave a farewell from the
shore.
Chief Factor Pambrun, the Unas tyee (little chief)
that held in check the upper tribes, sent down his fair
Maria, the pride of Walla Walla. Pambrun himself
was a blond with thin light curls. This in his child
developed into peach-bloom red and white, blue eyes,
and  the   midnight  hair  of her mother rolling in her :l
124 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
father's curls. Very well Miss Maria remembered the
urbanity of that accomplished Captain Bonneville who
came riding so gayly over the mountains, and then —
rode back again. With his feet under Astor's table in
New York City, he told Irving a pretty tale of " Pam-
brun's attractive wife and her singularly beautiful
children."
The chief factor's daughter had seldom passed beyond the stockade of Walla Walla except to the neighboring mission, where she became the favorite pupil of
Mrs. Whitman. The good Chief Factor Pambrun himself was a great friend to Dr. Whitman, — more than
once he called the Indians to task for some act of
discourtesy to the devoted missionary. There was a
young American at Whitman's, Cornelius Rogers, an
enthusiastic missionary, and the finest Indian linguist
in the upper country, who madly lost his heart to the
curly-haired daughter of the chief factor. Maria was
a beautiful singer. Rogers taught her music. Her
visits to the mission became events in his life — she
seemed a child of joy and beauty. The pensive, studious young missionary watched her from afar as she
rode with her father after the fox-hounds, like Christine
of Colvile, like Eloise of Fort Vancouver.
This feudal life of the Hudson's Bay Company reproduced in the western wilds the feudal age of Europe.
The chief of nearly every post had a beautiful daughter
who sat behind her casement window, harp in hand,
and sang the songs of France. Many of the chief
factors took pride in the education and companionship
of their children, the nearest links to the Saxon world
from which they came. The sons were sent abroad to
be educated; some of them are influential chief factors
in the North to-day.    The girls were sent to Red River CHRISTMAS  AT FORT VANCOUVER
125
or Montreal. Even Maria had once started for Montreal. It was during one of her father's long absences
that the fur-traders were sometimes obliged to make.
An uncle sent for the little girl to come to Montreal
for her education. For her child's good Mrs. Pambrun
consigned her weeping little daughter to the care of the
east-bound brigade. Somewhere in the north country,
on Rainy Lake, Lake of the Woods, or contiguous
waters, the little girl lay sleeping in the bottom of the
canoe. Suddenly she heard a well-known voice, her
father's voice, crying his orders. Up popped the curly
head. The west-bound brigade was flying past them
toward the sunset.    " Papa," she screamed.
" Why, Maria, is that you? " exclaimed the astonished
chief factor.    "Where in the world are you going? "
" They are sending me to school at Montreal."
" I guess not. Come," said the chief factor, holding
out his arms. With one leap the lovely child cleared
the intervening space and nestled her head on her
father's bosom with a little cry of joy. From that
hour they had never been separated.
Poesy and song found its way into those old forts;
it was no rare thing to find a chief factor's daughter
far better instructed than many an Enid or Elaine of
Tennysonian song. The clerks went wild over these
beautiful girls, so fair in contrast with their dusky surroundings. Cornelius Rogers, the missionary, went to
the chief factor.
"Marry her? Marry my daughter?" ejaculated the
chief factor. " With all my heart, young man, with all
my heart.    I shall be proud to call you my son-in-law."
But Maria's blue eyes flashed, " Father, I do not
care to marry, and when I do I prefer a Hudson's
Bay man." i26 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
" Do not urge your suit now—time will do wonders,"
said the chief factor to the impatient American. But
that Rogers should marry his daughter became the
chief wish of the factor's life. He discussed it with
Dr. Whitman, he consulted Dr. McLoughlin; he made
a will bequeathing a thousand pounds sterling to
Cornelius Rogers.
Every autumn of her life Maria Pambrun had walked
the ramparts of Fort Walla Walla, watching for the
Montreal express. Somehow, in her romantic little
heart, she believed that a knight would come out of that
north from some castle beside a distant sea, and then
— then — Day after day she sat there and dreamed,
beading the moccasins in her lap. Along trie northern
wall rolled the wild Columbia, sucking in the lesser
Walla Walla in its mighty sweep to the sea. Eastward,
the Blue Mountains purpled in the sun. The bunch-
grass prairies were covered with horses. Close around
the fort lay the ever drifting, shifting, changing sands
of the peninsula, darkening the sky in summer and
sweeping in gales at night. And now, with such dreams
in her head, she had come down to Christmas at Fort
Vancouver.
At this Christmas festivity, Douglas and his wife
Nelia, Rae and Eloise, Maria and the clerks, and the
Birnie girls and Victoire, the daughter of La Bonte
from the valley, all whirled in the dance together. Dr.
Barclay lifted his eyes to the unexpected beauty of
Maria Pambrun " in her kirtle green and a rosebud
in her hair." She danced with David McLoughlin.
David's long black locks had a careless grace; he had
his father's fine, straight nose, and his mother's square-
set mouth; there was a ring on his finger and a sword
at his belt.    Dr. Barclay's eyes followed the pair with CHRISTMAS  AT  FORT  VANCOUVER        127
a strange surprise, and David — cared for no one
yet.
" Ah, I beg your pardon." It was unusual for David
to do an awkward thing, but he trod on Bruce's toes,
and Bruce had corns. Snuff-box in hand, the old
Scotch warder reposed from the care of the flags, the
guns, the garden, and the gate, sleepily watching the
weaving dancers and thinking — of Waterloo, perhaps.
Burris, portly and rubicund, resplendent in a huge roll
of colored neckerchief and horn spectacles astride his
nose, slipped out again—to take a nip of ale behind
the buttery door.
To be the governor's guest at Christmas was no light
honor. , Monique and Charlefoux were there in their
gayest dress, fine green cloth coats and silver buttons,
crimson caps and golden tassels, cutting pirouettes and
pigeon wings, stamping in the noisy rigadoon, and heeling it and toeing it on air. Tom McKay alone made
no change in dress. With the free, frank manners of the
Scot and the grace and affability of the Frenchman, he
came in his hunting outfit. Scorning the effeminate
foppery of the Canadians, he wore as usual his leathern
belt, from which depended the powder-flask, the bullet-
pouch, and the long scabbard that concealed the swordlike hunting-knife. Tall, dark, powerful, Tom McKay
acknowledged no master save McLoughlin. No other
man could do what McKay did at Fort Vancouver or
on the trail. His name was a terror in the mountains.
The Indians believed this Hudson's Bay cousin of theirs
bore a charmed life; the whites knew him to be an unerring shot. But with all his fierceness Tom McKay
had the gentle heart of a woman.
Past midnight the dance, half Highland with a dash
of Indian, ceased, and the dancers disappeared.    Old 128 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Burris returned in his peaked nightcap and carefully
bore away the last brand of the Yule-log to light the
next year's Christmas fire. And he took a nip of ale
behind the buttery door.
From Christmas to New Year's, feudal hospitality
reigned at Fort Vancouver. The servants' rations were
doubled, and they danced more madly. On New Year's
every employe put on his best and mounted the flight
of steps to the governor's door. Madame and her
daughter stood at the heaped and laden tables, and with
gracious air dispensed English candies, cakes, and coffee
to the governor's guests.
Far away in the dim recesses of the Oregon woods an
altar was reared that Christmas night. BeYore a green
bower lit with candles and hung with garlands stood the
Jesuit Father, De Smet, among the Flatheads. A hundred lodge-fires burned, a thousand red men slept. At
a signal gun the Indians rose. The midnight mass, the
mystery, the swinging censers, the decorated altar, the
solemn ceremonial awed the savage heart. Indian
voices chanted the Kyrie Eleison and the Te Deum,
Indian fingers signed the cross and took the beads.
The baptismal rite was read with the rising sun. The
neophytes knelt with fluttering hearts. " Receive this
white garment," said the smooth-shaven priest. " Receive this burning taper." The red hand received it
from the white, robed in a flowing sleeve. One by one
the untutored red men retired, proud of the white vestment and deeply impressed with the Black Gown's
method of making medicine.
So ended the Oregon Christmas of 1839.
a*™** XVI
RETURN OF JASON LEE
1840
THE grizzlies were waking up from thefr winter
naps and the drumming of the partridge in the
woods gave token of returning spring. A thousand
crystal streams leaped from the glaciers of Mt. Hood.
In March Bruce was out with a scythe, laying low
the thick swaths of grass. On every hillside the scarlet
currant invited the gay little Nootka humming-bird to
sip its hidden sweets. In March, too, Chief Factor
Douglas and Finlayson, and Chief Trader Rae and
Eloise, embarked, along with fifty Canadian assistants,
to man the new forts on the Russian strip.
Often had Eloise seen the fur-ships come and go,
often had she watched the brigades, dimly remembering
the time when, as a little child, she came down the
Columbia; but to-day, for the first time, she was really
bent on a journey. Dr. McLoughlin held his daughter's
hand, while tears ran down his cheeks. Her mother sat
wailing on the shore.
Dr. McLoughlin turned to Rae. " My son, to you I
intrust my child. Never betray that trust." Then the
disciplinarian came uppermost. " You are going to a
dangerous post, William. With Indians, firmness and
management can do everything. Avoid offence. Soothe
irritation. Deal honestly. Be kind, be patient, be just,
9 13°
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
but remember Napoleon's motto, ' Be master.' In a
subject country always expect an attack. Look for it.
Prepare for it. Crush it. Trust nothing to chance."
In these few words Dr. McLoughlin outlined his own
life policy with the Indian.
David lingered at his sister's side, but to Eloise, today, more than father or mother or brother was the tall
young Scot whose fortune henceforth was hers. The
barque spread her wings, and with fluttering farewells,
sped like a sea-gull out of sight.
During the winter there had been great excitement
at old Wascopam, by the Dalles. Daniel Lee had
preached to the fishing Indians until a thousand fell on
their knees to Christ. Now, in early spring, Daniel
Lee followed down along the Columbia to the sea,
preaching as he went.    He reached a Chinook village.
Naked little pot-bellied, bow-legged Chinook children,
with wedge-shaped heads and goggle-eyes, were rolling
in the sand. No white man ever looked upon the queer
little Chinook children without a shudder — there was
something so elfish, so impish, so almost inhuman in
the distorted little faces. As soon as a baby was born
it was swaddled in moss, its poor little forehead was
pressed down with, cedar bark and tightly corded to a
board. The child cried all the time — presently it
stopped; sensibility seemed deadened. The swelled
cheeks and bulging black eyes reminded one of a
mouse choked in a trap. The pitiful little attempts to
smile under the frightful pressure resulted in grimaces,
funnier than Palmer Cox's funniest brownies; but to the
end of life, all subjected to this cruel practice had the
most aristocratic and flattest of heads.
" Great canoe! Great canoe! " cried the Indians.
The  Chinook  chief, his  copper  highness   Chenamus, RETURN  OF JASON  LEE
I31
rose from his rush mat at the door of his cedar house
and looked out. Sure enough, a ship was crossing the
bar. He wrapped his rat-skin toga around him, put on
a conical bear-grass hat, slipped a scalping-knife into
his sheath, and called his runners. They launched the
royal canoe that lifted her prow like the beak of a
Roman galley, and Daniel Lee, Chenamus, and his
two squaws were off. With a monotonous " Ho-ha-ho-
ha-ho-ha," to keep time, the Indian crew sent the cedar
barque like a wherry through the water.
Safely the mate in the masthead cried his orders,
safely the sailor hanging far over sounded the misty
breakers, safely the good ship crossed the bar. The
little canoe touched, her side, then all clambered up,
just as the Indians had clambered into the Boston ship
of discovery forty-eight years before (1792). Pressing
his nephew to his bosom, the ever-directing, guiding,
energetic Jason Lee lingered but a moment, then chartering the crew and canoe of King Chenamus, set out
for the mission, to make arrangements for the reception
of his unexpectedly large reinforcement.
All that time Dr. McLoughlin was toiling abroad for
the aggrandizement of England on the Pacific, Jason
Lee, the missionary, was lecturing in the States. He
woke up Congress, suggested that a mile square of land
be offered to immigrants. He stirred the entire country.
Through him Caleb Cushing, of Newburyport, conceived the idea of trading in the Columbia. In response to his call for men and money, the Methodist
Board granted $40,000, and a mission colony of fifty-
three persons, ministers, mechanics, farmers, and teachers, sailed out on that ship " Lausanne " from New York
harbor. At Honolulu, Jason Lee arranged a treaty of
commerce with the king of the Sandwich Islands. 132
McLOUGHLIN  AND OLD  OREGON
Fifty miles an Indian runner sped to Fort Vancouver.
Back came McLoughlin's compliments in the schooner
" Cadboro'," bringing milk and vegetables, a bag of
fresh bread, and a tub of Sauvie's fresh-churned butter.
The " Lausanne" anchored at Vancouver with the
largest company of missionaries that had ever left an
American port. Dr. McLoughlin came on board —his
momentary surprise at their numbers passed, as with
the courtesy for which he was famous he invited them
all to the hospitalities of the fort.
" Pest take it all! " grumbled the clerks. " The
governor goes too far when he turns us out of our
comfortable bunks to make room for these Americans."
The same day four ragged boys carrie down the
Columbia in a canoe. " Well! well! well! " ejaculated
Dr. McLoughlin, unprepared for this second accession.
" And where do you come from ? "
"From the States, across the plains," answered the
boys.
" At this time of year? And where did you winter,
pray? "
" Among the Indians."
" They are certainly runaways," said the missionaries.
" No," said the boys, " we heard Jason Lee's first
lecture when he reached the States, and we resolved to
meet him here and grow up with the country."
With very round eyes the benevolent doctor sent
them to the dairy to get some bread and milk.
" It won't be long before others will follow in their
footsteps," said Josiah Parrish, the mission blacksmith.
" Tut, tut, tut! " laughed the doctor, waving his arm
with grandiloquent air. " For all coming time we and
our children will have uninterrupted possession of this
country." RETURN OF JASON  LEE
*33
" Before we die we shall see Yankees coming across
the mountains with their teams and families," insisted
the missionary.
" As well might they undertake to go to the moon,"
laughed Dr. McLoughlin, in his genial way, feeling that
he had the best of the argument. XVII
THE BRIGADE FROM ERASER'S RIVER
JASON LEE sped up the Willamette. All night he
rowed, watching the fires of wigwams' on the shore
where naked savages passed between him and the light.
"He be faster nor Dogtor Magloglin," said the Canadians,
as he galloped through Champoeg. The children were
at play, the dogs slept in the sun. He heard as of old
the crowing cocks and the cooing pigeons in the barn
lofts; again he waded knee-deep in flowers, again the
larks flew up and sang. He arrived at the mission unannounced, opened the door of his own room, and
paused upon its threshold. There hung the dresses of
his wife, her books, her portrait, everything just as he
left it two years ago. Through the wind-swayed muslin
curtain he saw her garden in the rear, blooming just the
same.
"Ah, God, why did they leave it so to break my
heart? It seemed so long ago. Now it is but yesterday."
" Do not weep. She is gone from you entirely," said
David Leslie, hurriedly followed by the tearful household. With an effort in their presence Jason Lee suppressed his grief.
" Public duty will not wait upon my sorrow. We
must make place for a great reinforcement. Here is
the list."    Jason Lee  passed  the  day  in  action,   but ■»
THE  BRIGADE  FROM  FRASER'S  RIVER     135
night found him kneeling in the dewy grass under the
firs.
Again Jason Lee came toiling down the Willamette.
As he neared Vancouver he saw the people watching,
he heard the cry, " The brigade! the brigade! "
The flag of the traders' barge, with its legend " Pro
pelle cutem," " A skin for a skin," fluttered down the
Columbia. Every canoe shook out its beaver-painted
bannerol. The boatmen in full song rose and fell
with the heavy sweep. Jason Lee paused with the rest
to watch the glittering pageant. These were the golden
days of Fort Vancouver, when wealth poured in on
every passing tide. Nearer came the swish of waves
and the measured rap of the paddles on the sides of
the canoes; nearer came the slender vessels, laden,
heaped, and sunk to the gunwales writh their precious
freights of furs.
With only less eclat, it was a repetition of the splendid
panorama of the governor's return eight months before.
Again the bastions roared a welcome; even the mission
ship caught the enthusiasm, and waved her flags and
fired her guns. The fort gates opened to receive not
knights in armor clad, but the brigade of gay and happy
trappers with their winter's catch of skins.
Dr. McLoughlin, with an eye to business, lingered a
moment. Clerk Roberts called, " Pack in the bales,
pack in the bales." The voyageurs leaped to the task
and trundled up the furs.
Chief Factor Ogden, homely and kind, passed on up
to the fort with Dr. McLoughlin and the other factors of
his fleet. His good wife Julia and his daughter Sarah
Julia followed at a distance with Archibald MeKinley, a
tall, red-headed Highlander, second in command at
Fort St. James.    All the way down the zigzag rivers of 136 McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
the North MeKinley had sailed and sung with Sarah
Julia.
" Mons. Pete," as the voyageurs called Peter Skeen
Ogden, was of the Ogdens of Ogdensburg and the
Skeens of Skeensboro. Away back sometime his
ancestors had founded those cities in New York, but
when the Revolution broke out the Tory Ogdens crossed
the border, — " saved so as by fire." Peter Skeen was
born in Canada. As a lad he returned to what would
have been his native State and entered the service of
John Jacob Astor. Astor sent him to Astoria, on the
far Pacific. He reached there just in time to find the
post in the hands of the British. Of course Ogden became British again. He it was that explored the Yellowstone, the Utah and Shoshonie countries, made his
winter rendezvous at Ogden's Hole in the Bear River
Mountains, paddled his canoes on Great Salt Lake,
and discovered Ogden's River, that Fremont renamed
the Humboldt. He raided the beaver dams of Colorado,
and following Jedediah Smith over the Sierras, trapped
on the Sacramento. He it was that built the first forts
to the north, stirred up the trouble with the Russians,
and now ruled Fort St. James, the capital of all that
region from the Fraser to the Russian border.
" Here, August." He handed one his wet moccasins,
who flew away to hang them up to dry. Little Cecelia
balanced on her arm the pretty feathered pouch that
contained " Mons. Pete's " shot Little Benjamin proudly
bore the beautiful embroidered sheath that held " Mons.
Pete's" big hunting-knife. Sarah Julia fled past her
father into the arms of Mrs. Douglas. The women withdrew into the Douglas apartments.
" I don't want to get married," cried Sarah Julia,
throwing off her sun-hat and bursting into tears.
m^ttitmr THE BRIGADE  FROM  FRASER'S RIVER
137
" She too young," said Princess Julia, her mother.
" She fifteen summer."
" I want to stay with my mother," sobbed Sarah Julia.
"Who want to marry you, my child?" inquired Mrs.
Douglas, slipping her arm around the sobbing girl.
" Monsieur MeKinley. He say he leave the service I
do not."
" He can wait," suggested Mrs. Douglas.
" No, he will go with my father."
" And where is your father going? "
"To Canada when the brigade go."
Mrs. Douglas understood. Lifting the tear-stained
face, she said: " My dear, your father do not like to
undertake a journey and leave you unsettled. If anything should happen to him, what would become of you?
Mr. MeKinley may be chief factor some day. Have
you seen him much?"
"Every day—every evening — at Fort St. Jame —
my father — taught— me," came between the sobs.
"When he gone — Mons. MeKinley taught me till I
read and write.    We have read books together."
" And do you care for him?"
"Ye — s," Sarah Julia admitted, still tearful, "but
how can I leave so good a mother?"
And she had a good mother. Princess Julia made
the fortune of Peter Skeen Ogden. Long ago he went
into the Flathead country and was drawn into a quarrel.
The chief sent for him. " What! " cried the impulsive
Ogden. " Do you demand my life for a paltry pony? "
Ripping open his shirt and pointing to his breast — " Do
you think you sent for an old woman?    Fire ! "
"The Flathead never killed a white man," calmly
answered the Indian chief.
A council was in session; in the council sat the chief's 138
McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
Ilif
daughter. She ruled the council; she demanded restitution for the stolen pony, and Ogden had to pay it, —
but he saw the power of that Indian girl and resolved
to win her. She proved to be a high-priced maiden —
Ogden sent fifty ponies before there came any sign of
acquiescence. Then the chief's daughter came out and
mounted the last one — that was the wedding. He
called her Princess Julia. There was a great feast consummating the nuptials of the son of Isaac Ogden of
Montreal, Chief Justice of Canada, to the daughter of
the chief of the polite and unobtrusive Flatheads.
This marriage was distinctly a business transaction,
a state alliance. Ogden married the chief's daughter
for her influence, but in time he valued her far more for
personal bravery, for distinguished talents, and undying
devotion. With the form of an Indian squaw Princess
Julia had the head of a statesman. One day there
came a little pappoose to Ogden's tent — he named her
Sarah after his mother in Montreal, and Julia after his
Flathead spouse. Mrs. Ogden had much finery about
her pappoose-cradle, — embroidered coverlets, bird-
wings, and hoops of bells that jingled as they rode.
Once a party of American trappers came near the
Ogden camp and began selling liquor to the Indians to
get away their furs. In the hostile state of feeling that
ensued there was a stampede among the horses. Along
with a packhorse loaded with furs Mrs. Ogden's Cayuse
pony dashed away into the hostile camp with Sarah
Julia hanging to the saddle.
"The prize is ours by the laws of war," said the
Americans. At that instant Princess Julia ran into
their midst, clasped her child, leaped upon her pony,
and leaning down seized the halter of the packhorse.
" Shoot her, shoot the damned squaw," was the cry. THE  BRIGADE  FROM  FRASER'S  RIVER    139
" Stop ! She's a brave woman ! Let her go," cried
the captain, as Princess Julia and her baby galloped
out of camp.
As long as she lived Mrs. Ogden retained her influence over the Flatheads, and her services secured her
husband's rapid promotion among the fur-traders.
On both father and mother's side she was related to all
the great chiefs of the Northwest, making it safe for
them to travel where no one else would dare to go.
Once at Salt Lake the trappers were away. The faithful Julia, mistress of the lodge, heard the dreadful
war-whoop and ran out to secure the horses. Like a
Scythian horde the enemy came dashing down upon the
defenceless camp. Gathering up the halter straps, Princess Julia turned — and faced the hawk's eye and the
Roman nose of a Crow. The war-bonnet of eagle
plumes trailed in his hair.
" Ah!" said the feathered chief, leaping from his
horse, " is that you, my sister, that is camped here?
Let your horses eat; we will not trouble them ; " and the
rascals of the mountain, deadly as the Blackfeet, passed
like the whirlwind.
Many a time she kept the Indians from going to
trade with the Americans. " Bring the furs to me," she
said.
Never was the wife of the chief factor idle. Into
her husband's work she threw the full ardor of her
nature. When the strong, swift Snake was at its highest
notch and no horse could cross it, she tied a rope about
her waist and towed to the other shore a raft of priceless furs. Once in March she swam the Snake for a
goose for her sick child. When she returned to camp,
there was a necklace of ice around her neck where she
held her head above the water.    What the Hudson's 140
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Bay Company owes to Indian women cannot be told.
In a few cases they acted as spies, to shield the wrongdoing of their own people, but as a rule they became
faithful allies of their white partners, persuading the
Indians to bring in their trade and settling many a
difficulty to the satisfaction of both parties.
Dr. McLoughlin introduced Mr. Ogden to Jason
Lee. " By my faith, it's not a bad thing to have a
minister here just now," exclaimed the chief factor.
"Never before these later days.have I heard of sermons
or prayers either in a Hudson's Bay fort. But remember, my friend," said Ogden, with an impressive
shake of the finger, " remember, gunpowder is stronger
than prayers."
Jason Lee was astonished at the effeminate voice of
Peter Skeen Ogden, a voice so out of harmony with
the hunter's rough external make-up.
Chief Justice Isaac Ogden was the greatest lawyer in
Canada, and Peter Skeen, too, had been destined for
the bar, — but that voice! As a boy in Montreal he
pored over the yellow tomes. He set them back on his
father's bookshelf. " I can never plead in this falsetto,
father. The very clerks would snicker in their sleeves."
So that harsh, squeaking, unmanageable voice drove
Peter Skeen Ogden into the fur trade. Instead of devoting his life to tracing the seigniorial subdivisions
of Canadian property, the son of the chief justice
became a Nimrod of that primitive age fast slipping
into fable. So long had Ogden been among the
Indians that his manners resembled theirs. There was
the same wild, unsettled, watchful expression of the
eye, the same gesticulation in conversation. Never did
he use a word when a sign, a contortion of face or body,
would indicate his thought.
	 THE BRIGADE FROM FRASER'S RIVER
" Let me introduce you to my kloochman (wife),"
continued Ogden, in the same squeaky voice. " She's
the best moccasin-maker this side of Winnipeg, Mr.
Lee, — not so handsome as some, but I tell you she 's
a goddess. And to-morrow I want you to marry this
young man to my daughter," turning toward MeKinley.
Sarah Julia had yielded to her fate.
" It was due to the company," Mrs. Douglas said.
That was a great consideration. Everything was due
to the company. And Peter Skeen himself, — he
would not have the company lose a promising young
man for want of a bride, even if that bride were to be
his own daughter and the groom a much less desirable
man than Archibald MeKinley.
These Hudson's Bay men, living in the vast solitudes,
seeing, hearing, knowing little but the fur trade, naturally looked up to "the company" as the one great
power next to England's queen. Its interests were
their life. Their devotion to it became a mania. As
contrasted with Indian wigwams, their substantial log
posts took on palatial splendors, their governors were
kings, their chief factors high nobles, and their daughters fit consorts for the best-bred young gentlemen the
company could employ.
The gentlemen from the various posts assembled
at Fort Vancouver viewed with apprehension the host
of missionaries within their domain. Right there in
Bachelors' Hall Jason Lee made appointments to
stations at the Dalles, Puget Sound, the Falls of the
Willamette, and at Clatsop-by-the-Sea. Dr. McLoughlin, a model host, with boats, provisions, and packhorses,
was there to speed the parting guest. But before they
separated Sarah Julia became the bride of Archibald
MeKinley. XVIII
DEPARTURE   OF THE BRIGADE
1840
JULY brought the shining days of Oregon summer,
beginning with twilight two hours after midnight
and ending again in twilight. The clerks were fitting
the brigades for their return to the interior. Indian
goods were packed for transportation. The blacksmiths were preparing axes, horseshoes, bridle-bits,
beaver traps. The newly gummed boats were lying at
the shore. The freshet had reached its climax, and the
governor came out to set up his graduated, painted pole
to note the number of feet. Old Waskema, the squaw,
watched from under her shaggy brows and said: " The
flood is over. It will stop now. The White-Headed
Eagle has set out his stick to  stop the river's rise."
The Indians looked with awe upon the old crone.
Sure enough, the river did cease to rise. " She talks
with the dead at night. She understands the white
man's magic." In their eyes old Waskema was wise as
the chiefs at Fort Vancouver.
The voyageurs were dressing for the launch, devoting
an unconscionable amount of time to the decoration of
their legs. The fringed buckskin trousers were tied
with beaded garters and knots of gaudy ribbon. From
their silken sashes hung fire-pouches like ladies' reti- DEPARTURE  OF  THE  BRIGADE
143
cules, with pendent tails embroidered with beads and
silk.
" My canoe is my castle," laughed the electric-eyed
Monique, strutting in the bow of his boat under a bonnet
like the headpiece of a drum-major.
At ten o'clock Dr. McLoughlin summoned them in to
take the parting cup of good-fellowship. Some songs,
some tears, and repeated hand-shakes wafted the half-
wild, Arab-like voyageurs upon the wave.
" Good-bye ! Bon voyage ! " The New Caledonian
brigade shot gracefully into the current. All the up-
river boats fell in. The cannon boomed, the trading
guns sent back a parting salute. The boat song struck,
and Sarah Julia turned in a paroxysm of tears from the
last, fond look of her Indian mother. No more she
travelled up  the zigzag rivers  of the north.
The brigade bore straight toward the base of Mt.
Hood. No mountain in the world looms like Hood
beside the Columbia. Although twenty-five miles away,
it appears to approaching boats to rest on the broad
water,  and towers pyramidal into the clouds.
The brigade turned to the left and was lost amid the
hills. At Okanogan they transferred to horses, and to
boats again on the upper Fraser. It was a thrilling
sight when the caravans of two hundred and fifty and
three hundred horses, laden with merchandise, wound
through the pack-trails of the North. Merrily, as amid
the lochs and bens of their home across the sea, the
hardy Highlanders sent the skirl of bagpipes screaming
from hill to hill. At old Fort Kamloops the rout and
revel rang, as the trading brigades drove through the
gates and hung their saddles on the wall.
Fort St. James, 540 North, on a peninsula in Stuart's
Lake, was Ogden's castle.    Here the humorous, eccen- 144
McLOUGHLIN AND OLD OREGON
trie, law-defying chief factor ruled absolute among the
red men and sent his dog-sleds over the snow to still
more northern forts. Every April he left St. James, with
his family and retinue, for the summer trip to Fort Vancouver, reaching home again in late September. This
time, however, the chief factor bade his brigade adieu
in the warm and fertile Flathead country, and turned
his face toward the Rockies.
Ogden carried a breeze across the Rockies.
" What does Dr. McLoughlin mean by encouraging so
many missionaries ? What does he mean, I say ? " exclaimed Sir George Simpson, the most arbitrary Hudson's Bay governor since the days of Prince Rupert.
" I '11 checkmate this American move if T have to depopulate Red River."
Sir George recognized the resources of Dr. McLough-
Tin — he did him the honor to overestimate them.
Despatching his agent, he made this promise to the
prosperous farmers of the Red River valley:
" To the head of every family emigrating to the Oregon country we will give ten pounds sterling in advance,
goods for the journey, horses and provisions at the forts
en route, and on the arrival at Puget Sound the company will furnish houses, barns, fenced fields, fifteen
cows, fifty sheep, oxen, horses, farming implements, and
seed. On the other hand, the farmers shall deliver to
the company one-half of the crops yearly for five years
and one-half the increase of the flocks at the end of five
years."
In the chilly autumn nights the farmers talked it
over.
" Not every day does such a fortune fall into our laps.
Charlefoux says it rains and the grass is green all
winter.    Never is there a thunder, never a lightning, DEPARTURE OF  THE  BRIGADE
Let
145
us go," they
never a blizzard, drought  or  ha
said.
So twenty-three families of eighty persons altogether
agreed to accept Sir George's offer, and meet at rendezvous the following June on the White Horse Plain
west of Fort Garry.
^ XIX
DR.   WHITMAN AND HIS  CAYUSES
1837-39
"pvR. WHITMAN'S Indians were proud of their little
■*-"^ farms. He bought them ploughs. The first
time they broke ground for planting, a strange sickness
broke out among the Cayuses. They were filled with
consternation. Dr. Whitman attended from lodge to
lodge. When over-eating and unnecessary exposure
brought on a relapse, "This medicine bad, bad, bad,"
they cried.    "Go bring the tew-at doctors."
The wife of the oldest chief fell sick and came near
dying. Umtippe cried in a rage, " Whitman, my wife
die to-night, I kill you! " Dr. Whitman was nearly
sick with the excitement and care of them all.
Umtippe sent for the great Walla Walla tetiu-at. He
came. He muttered and mumbled and waved his
wand and pronounced her well. Umtippe gave him
a horse and two blankets. The next day she was the
same again. " He bad, bad, bad," cried Umtippe.
" Ought to be killed."
All through April the Cayuses groaned in their
teepees. Umtippe himself was stricken and sent for
Dr. Whitman. The doctor thought he would die;
fortunately the medicine relieved him. Just then the
Cayuse war chief died in the hands of the great Walla
Walla tew-at. The same day Umtippe's younger brother
rode to Walla Walla, arrived at twilight, and shot the
I DR.  WHITMAN AND  HIS CAYUSES
147
tew-at dead. That is Indian fashion. The medicine
man is responsible.
Sticcas, a sub-chief, fell sick and came to the mission
for care and treatment. Late at night Mrs. Whitman
sat by the sick Indian with her seven weeks' baby on
her lap, writing to her mother. Utterly worn out, Dr.
Whitman had thrown himself down to sleep. Sticcas
was the most enlightened man of his tribe, but because
he was not well in a moment he became restless and
uneasy. He rolled in his sleep and muttered, "The
tew-ats, the tew-ats, send for the tew-ats"
In a few days he was better; soon he was well. When
the warm Chinook blew in the May all the Cayuses
recovered.    Then great was the fame of Dr. Whitman.
That baby born at the Whitman mission was named
for two grandmothers — Alice Clarissa. Her advent
created great excitement among the Cayuses. The
whole tribe of the Walla Wallas moved their teepees
nearer. Far away to the buffalo country the tidings
flew, up among the Nez Percys and to the distant Flat-
heads. The next day after she was born Chief Tilou-
kaikt called at the mission.
" Ugh-ugh! " he grunted, at sight of her ladyship.
"Ugh-ugh! fall to pieces! Tecast! tecastf" he cried,
dropping his buckskin robe and waving his arms so
wildly that Mrs. Whitman thought something must be
the matter.
The old chief knelt down and poked the baby's
clothes with his big red fingers to see if under the
dainty flannels there might not be indeed a hidden
tecast (baby-board).
Pio-pio-mox-mox came, and Five Crows and Elijah,
all worshippers at the shrine of the little white child.
Five   Crows   remained  a  long  time,  smoking   in  the 148 McLOUGHLIN AND OLD  OREGON
Indian room and asking strange questions of Dr. Whitman.
The house became such a highway for every passing
band that Dr. Whitman had to put up a stockade fence
to keep them out. Sheets had to be hung to keep
them from peeping through the windows and keyholes
and crevices. They dug the moss out of the chinks to
get a little glimpse of the mysterious chamber within,
so much they wondered at this respectful care of a white
wife in childbirth, when their own women at such a time
were turned out of the lodge to live or die alone.
Every day the chiefs and headmen came to marvel at
the baby that was not lashed to a tecast and j yet did not
fall to pieces. Indian women thronged the house continually to get a glimpse of the little stranger.
" She Cayuse temi, Cayuse girl," said Tiloukaikt,
" born on Cayuse land."
" Yes, yes," laughed Dr. Whitman, " she is a Cayuse
girl."
" Ugh-ugh ! " grunted Tiloukaikt. " I not live long.
I give all my land to her."
How she stole their hearts away, that little Cayuse
girl! Every day she saw the dark faces around her.
By and by she began to prattle in the Cayuse tongue.
" Ugh-ugh! Cayuse girl talk Cayuse." They were
wild with joy. The chiefs would sit for hours teaching
her Cayuse words.
Dr. McLoughlin sent up an orphan Indian girl to
assist Mrs. Whitman. She became the baby's nurse.
Mrs. Whitman's kitchen was full of little Indian children
morning and night, learning to read and write and sing.
At one year little Alice's size and strength astonished
the Indians. She was as large and active as Indian
babies two years old. DR. WHITMAN  AND  HIS CAYUSES 149
" Because she was never tied to a tecast" said the
Indians.
" Because she has better food and better care," said
Mrs. Whitman. How she pitied the poor Indian women,
struggling along with burdens greater than they could
bear and a little baby tied on top of all. No wonder
they did not thrive when the overworked mother herself
was ready to sink with exhaustion. And the little
graves — it was shocking how many died from pure
neglect.
In those days it was a familiar sight to see Dr.
Whitman riding from plantation to plantation with little
Alice on the horse before him. She was fair as her
mother, and her flossy hair hung in silky yellow curls.
Mrs. Pambrun sent a present of a rocking-chair to Mrs.
Whitman and a little chair for Alice. Like a fairy
queen the little girl sat in her chair in the Indian school,
beating time with her tiny hands and singing the Nez
Perce" hymns. Her readiness to learn amazed them,
but not more than the aptness of the Cayuse children
amazed Mrs. Whitman.
" They are good-looking, quite handsome children,"
said Mrs. Whitman. "To sit at a little distance and
hear them sing one would not think he was in a
heathen land."
Sometimes Mrs. Whitman took baby Alice and went
to Tauitau's lodge to help them sing. It was a compound lodge, — several lodges together, made into a
long hall of skins and rush mats, with a fire in the centre.
Here Dr. Whitman talked to the Indians and Mrs.
Whitman sang with little Alice on her lap. In the old
New York days Dr. Whitman could not sing, but here
he discovered a new talent, and in rich tenor, led the
Indian chorus. r
150
McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
The Oregon Indians moved with the seasons. When
the wapato lay ripe under the last drip of winter rain,
the women went waist deep into the marshes to dig this
Indian potato. When the summer sun killed the stem
of the star-flowered camas down to the ground, they
dug in the prairies. Before the spring freshet subsided
the salmon came sliding up the streams; while yet
their opaline hues were glancing on the wave, the ripening berries called the squaw-mothers to the hills and
the hunter to the buffalo beyond the Snake. September brought the salmon back to the sea, roots again
filled the smoky October. So the Indian had his
fishing trip to the Columbia, his summer Residence in
the mountain, his autumn camp on the prairie, and his
winter home in some sheltered hollow contiguous to
water, fuel, and winter pasture. For a time these roving
habits threatened to render nugatory every effort of
Dr. Whitman to settle the Indians on farms of their
own, where he could superintend their education.
" Come, Narcissa," said the doctor one day, " let us
go a little while and live with the Indians in their own
lodges. It will give us better access to their language
and more opportunities for instruction."
So one January morning the doctor and Mrs. Whitman mounted their horses, and taking little Alice before
them, rode fifty miles over the sun-dried plain to the
Cayuse camp on the Tucannon. The Indians received
them with delight and entertained them in the best
lodge. Mrs. Whitman conversed with the women, the
doctor mingled with the warriors. The little children
lay around on the ground, with their elfin locks in their
eyes, listening to every word and drinking in the beauty
of the flossy-haired little Alice. Every morning at
dawn, every evening at twilight, the song of worship ■B
DR.  WHITMAN  AND  HIS  CAYUSES
151
arose. At midday the doctor addressed the attentive
throng. Again at evening, with the moon shining in
full splendor, the dark, eager faces gathered around the
great fire in the open air. With a shawl around her
shoulders and a handkerchief on her head, Mrs. Whitman sat in the door of her tent facing the fire in the
foreground, with little Alice asleep in her arms. The
air was clear and cold, but the cheeks of Alice were
never so rosy. Now the doctor related the parable of
the rich man and Lazarus, anon it was the tale of the
Crucifixion. Sobs and cries burst from the Indians,
women buried their faces in their hair. Almost as
weird a scene as on that night in Calvary, was enacted
on the banks of the lonely Tucannon.
Sometimes the missionary dwelt on their own sinful
lives, their hearts, " deceitful above all things and
desperately wicked." Then their faces grew stern and
they drew back.
"Don't, don't, don't tell us that. That talk is bad,
bad, bad. Now give us some good talk. Tell us about
the Bible country."
In summer the squaws had filled hundreds of rush-
bags with dried roots, and berries, and salmon pemmican, that they had worked hard to pulverize on the
rocks in the sun. They buried them at night in
caches, and went to the hills with the hunters to chase
the deer. While they were gone other tribes came
down and robbed their salmon caches — those cellars
where their winter stores lay hid — and great suffering
resulted.
" Ah, my poor people," said the sympathetic doctor,
11 see some of your discomforts. Some of these days
I shall have you all off the ground, out of the smoke,
living in nice comfortable houses of wood.    And you 152
McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
must all have farms, so you need not depend on the
precarious living of roots and fish."
And they treasured these things in their hearts.
"Margaret, where is Alice Clarissa?" said Mrs.
Whitman to the Indian nurse one day in June after her
second birthday. Never could the fond mother bear
the child out of her sight.
" I go see," said nurse Margaret. The Hawaiian
servant also went out and returned. " There are two
cups in the river," he said.
" How did they get there?" asked Mrs. Whitman,
imperiously.
" Let them be," said the doctor, " and get them out
to-morrow."
"How did they get there?" insisted Mrs. Whitman,
" and what cups are they?"
As in a dream she recalled a glimpse of the curly-
haired sprite — " Mamma, supper is most ready. Let
Alice get some water." Going up to the table she took
two cups, hers and Margaret's and disappeared. Like
a shadow it passed across her mind, passed away and
made no impression. Mrs. Whitman did not recollect
it until she reached the river brink where the child had
fallen in. No Alice could be seen. Turning toward
the house, they saw an old Indian preparing to enter
the river. They stopped to see him swim under the
water.
" She is found," he cried, holding aloft the lifeless
form.
Mrs. Whitman ran, but the doctor passed her and
snatched the baby to his arms. The precious life had
taken flight.
Four days they kept her. " Then," says Mrs. Whitman, " when she began to melt away like wax and her DR.  WHITMAN  AND  HIS CAYUSES
153
visage changed, I felt it a great privilege that I could
put her in so safe and quiet and desirable a resting-
place as the grave. Although her grave is in sight
every time I step out of the door, yet my thoughts
seldom wander there. I look above, where her joys are
perfect."
In a home-made casket the stricken parents and the
weeping Indians consigned to her grave the golden-
haired Cayuse temi, the light of the Whitman mission. XX
THAT  WAGON
1840
CHIEF YELLOW SERPENT, old Pio-pio-mox-
mox, sat on a buffalo-robe at the door of his tent,
smoking his calumet and watching the horses. Far out
as the eye could see the hills were covered with horses,
coal black, cream white, spotted white and roan and
bay, Cayuse horses, well-knit, deep and wide at the
shoulders, broad-loined, fleet-footed. At the slightest
hint of danger the wild beauties would lift their heads
with a shrill neigh, dart in air their light heels, and
speed with horizontal manes and tails across the hills.
The young men had gone to hunt the buffalo far
away. Out in the meadows the Indian women, with
long crooked sticks, were busily digging the camas, the
queen root of the Columbia, and tossing the bulbs into
baskets slung on their backs. Some were baking them
into figs to pack away for winter use. Others pulled the
conical kouse, the biscuit root, to bake into sweet little
cakes for the winter's bouillon.
As the old chief sat there he heard a sound unlike
the hum of insects or the whir of grouse. 'T was not
the bleating of the kid nor the plaintive call of the
fawn. Far out beyond this city of conical teepees
something was following the horse-trail through the
grass.
Yellow Serpent turned and bent his eye upon the
approaching wonder.    Some of his people were gather- THAT WAGON 155
ing around a vehicle that rolled on the grass. Yellow
Serpent stood up. " Chick-a-chick," said the Indians,
imitating the phenomenal sound. " Horse canoe,"
cried Yellow Serpent. Round and round the Indians
walked and gave it up. Yellow Serpent bent and
peered and touched it with a stick. The horse canoe
paused for a moment, then rolled on over the grass to
Whitman's mission.    It was that wagon.
Beaver had grown scarce in the mountains. Jo
Meek, the American trapper, and his "pard" had decided to settle in the Willamette valley. They went to
Fort Boise and got Whitman's old wagon. Into it they
packed their Indian wives and babies, and drove by a
recently discovered trail over the Blue Mountains to
Waiilatpu. Dr. Whitman and his wife came out to
meet them. These trappers they had met in the mountains seemed like old friends.
"'Twar a hard trip over the mountings," said Jo
Meek. " Back thar on the plain the sage-brush war
over the mules' backs and the flippers a'most cut off
the axletrees. I war a'most sorry we undertook to
bring the wagin."
" Oh, no," said Dr. Whitman, " you will never regret
it. You have broken the road. When others see that
one wagon has passed they too will pass, and in a few
years the valley will be full of our people." A Delaware standing by heard these words, and told the Indians.    Like wild-fire it flew from mouth to mouth.
Dr. Whitman killed the fatted hog for his trapper
friends and they had a feast. Jo Meek left his little
half-breed daughter Helen Mar to be educated at the
mission. "How did you get that famous name?"
asked Mrs. Whitman, smoothing the tangled locks of
the little girl. i56
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
" Waal," he answered, with a twinkle in his eye, " we
war reading the ' Scottish Chiefs' in the mountings
when the little gal came, so I named her Helen Mar."
The trappers passed on and took up farms west of the
Willamette, where their descendants live to this day.
Soon after, the famous Captain Bridger sent his little
Nez Perce" daughter Mary Ann to the Whitman school.
On his first journey Dr. Whitman had cut an Indian
arrow from the back of Bridger, a feat of surgery that
gave him great fame in the mountains.
At the Indian camp a little half-breed Spanish boy
abandoned by his Cayuse mother lay in a hole in the
ground. The Indian children were amusing themselves
lighting sticks in the camp-fire and burning spots on
his little bare body. An old squaw passed by heavily
laden, with her lord's saddles and bridles and blankets;
with a jerk that might have dislocated the infant's arm,
she snatched him away from his tormentors, tossed him
on top of her burden, and running across the Walla
Walla on the teetering foot-log laid him down at the
door of the mission. So now the Whitmans had three
adopted half-breed children to take the place of the
flossy-haired Alice. XXI
A  TRIP TO SITKA
1840
WHEN Douglas and his crew and Rae and Eloise
left Vancouver that March morning in 1840,
they slid down the Columbia to the confluence of the
Cowlitz. Entering this river, milky with volcanic ash
from St. Helen's, they soon came to its headwaters and
crossed overland on horses to Puget Sound. All the
storied beauty of Scottish lakes, Italian skies, and Isles
of Greece seemed centred here, on these unsung shores
that commemorate the name and fame of Lieutenant
Peter Puget. Here the little black " Beaver," the first
steamer on Pacific waters, took them out on their
northern journey.
For miles and miles, interlacing the northwest coast,
rocky islands, like the summits of submerged mountains, hold their green fringes down to the sea. In
serried rank, the Douglas spruce — " the tree of
Turner's dreams," the king of conifers, the great timber-tree of the world — stands monarch of the hills.
Once, twice, thrice, they ran up rivers where Hudson's
Bay forts held subject the clans of red men. " Reports
from these posts form the most agreeable part of my
library," McLoughlin was wont to say.
One evening the little " Beaver" rounded a rocky
point and, quite unexpectedly, the Bay of Sitka burst
into view. Beside Mt. Edgecumbe it lay, dimpling in
the sunset. A few Russian ships lay at anchor in the
Norse-like fiord close under the guns of Sitka Castle. i5«
McLOUGHLIN AND OLD  OREGON
On either side of the bay, precipitous walls of rock
dipped into the emerald waters and waved their plumes
of pine-trees far above. As soon as word went up to
headquarters, a salute rang from the brazen guns, and
Governor Etholine, in his gig, ran out to greet his
English guests. Only three weeks since, Adolphus
Etholine had arrived from Kronstadt, bringing with
him a blond bride from Helsingfors. The events of
the London council were fresh in Etholine's mind, as
he greeted the envoys of the potentate on the Columbia.
On a high rock overlooking the Indian village of
Sitka old Count Baranoff had built a castle, — built it
strong, of heavy hewn cedar, pierced by copper bolts,
— and on the terrace, commanding land and water, he
planted his batteries of a hundred cannon. At the top
he ran up a lighthouse tower, that flashed the first
beacon ray on Pacific waters. Above it waved the
Russian flag and the eagles of the czar. For twenty
years the bearded old Baranoff ruled Alaska, and despatched home shipload after shipload of furs, that sold
for fabulous sums in the markets of Russia. The count
was a shrewd old tyrant, bold, enterprising, with a heart
of stone, nerves of steel, and a frame of iron. Under his
vigorous rule, seals, sea-lions, beaver, and sea-otter perished by millions, and the overworked Alaskans dwindled away to a few sad-faced, cringing slaves.
When Astor sent his expedition to Oregon in 1810,
Baranoff was in the prime of his power, alternating days
of toil with nights of revelling on raw rum and fiery
vodhka. Setting out the foaming camp-kettles, he
would sing and shout like an old Norse viking, " Drink,
children, drink," till every serf and slave in Sitka Castle
lay sprawling on the floor.
But he was a great manager.     Sea-furs and walrus A TRIP  TO  SITKA
159
ivory were to be had for the taking, so that when the
Russian-American fur-ships came home, nobles and
princes and the czar himself took shares in the stock,
and dreamed of one day controlling, not only Alaska,
but the entire coast of California.
One day Baranoff died. The Directory at St. Petersburg sent out Baron von Wrangell, and now the
baron's successor, Adolphus Etholine, a young admiral
of noble birth, had come to live in viceregal splendor
in the stronghold that guarded the strip of shore, the
tundra moors and mountains of rainy Alaska, The
business had greatly fallen off, yet Etholine was able
to despatch every year to St. Petersburg peltry valued
at half a million silver roubles, and his returning ships,
commanded by officers of the imperial navy, brought
back the luxuries of Italy, Spain, and France. Could
plain old Baranoff have looked in upon their mirrors
and carpets and curtains and candelabra, he would have
torn his beard in Russian rage and sworn a big round
oath at these degenerate days.
At dawn Governor Etholine and several officers
assisted Chief Factor Douglas and his companions to
disembark. Sitka was a dirty village, full of drunken
Indians, reeking with all imaginable smells, through
which they hastened to the steep flight of steps leading
up to the castle.
Etholine's drawing-rooms, with portraits of the czars,
decorated walls, damask-draped windows, waxed floors,
and heavy carved furniture, quite surprised the Hudson's Bay officials, who, in their plain quarters at Vancouver, had studied comfort rather than display. Here
was a fur company that certainly had no greater income
than their own, yet everywhere were signs of extravagant display and costly living. 160 McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
" Perhaps they need it to reconcile them to this awe-
inspiring, silent Sitkan land," thought Douglas, as he
mentally counted the cost.
Through parted curtains, Etholine's petite child wife
entered; like a fairy she approached the stately daughter of the magnate on the Columbia. She spoke in
French. Thanks to her father and " Telemachus,"
Eloise had a fluent command of French. There were
other ladies, maids and companions, and, yes, there
really was a princess, Madame Racheff, who had renounced the gayeties of the Russian court to accompany
her husband to the far Pacific exile.
Long they lingered at the state breakfast in the
resounding banquet-hall. What unexpected viands!
Wines from France and fruits from Spain, hyperborean
pickles and caviare, flanking and interlarding long
arrays of sauces and chevreuil. There were toasts and
jokes and laughter, not so wild, perhaps, as in the old
Baranoff days, but enough to prove that the Russian
and English fur companies were no longer at war.
"By the way," exclaimed Etholine, "the Russians
came near appropriating the Columbia long before
you fellows took it."
" How is that? " inquired Chief Factor Douglas.
" It was in 1802 that the Directory met at St. Petersburg to consider the post at Sitka. Some complaints
had reached them against Count Baranoff. It was a
ticklish thing to deal with Baranoff—he was autocrat
here. In general, they left him to his own way.
But Prince von D. said, 'We ought to extend the
business.'
"' We need a better base of supplies/ said Baron X.
" ■ What we really need is to send a responsible man
to look after Baranoff,' added Count T. A TRIP TO SITKA
161
"' Why not take lands farther south and start an
agricultural colony?' suggested Baron von Resanoff.
" Everybody stared at the young baron who had
come up for the first time to take his seat in the Directory. He returned the stare with the additional suggestion, 'Why not make the Columbia a base of
supplies for Sitka?'
" After a good deal of talking it was decided to send
Von Resanoff himself as the Russian Imperial Inspector
of Alaska. 1805-6 found him at Sitka, laying plans
with Baranoff, one of which was to expel American
traders from the North Pacific. All too numerous had
become those Boston skippers on this northwest coast.
Frequent complaints had been made to the American
president that his people were selling fire-arms to our
Indians, but all to no purpose. Von Resanoff said it
was an outrage, and we were justified in using force.
Supplies went low at Sitka that winter. No ship came.
No flour, no fish, not even seal blubber for the garrison
could be bought or caught. Just then, when all the
cannon were loaded to sweep the Yankee skippers
from the sea, a little Rhode Island ship sailed into
Sitka harbor.
"' Shall we expel these American traders from the
North Pacific?'   said Von Resanoff.
"' For the love of God, no,' cried Baranoff. l That
little ship is our saviour.'
" Into the starving garrison the Yankee captain
brought bread and beef, and raised the famine siege
at Sitka Castle. Baranoff bought that little ship, the
'Juno,' that saved their lives, and sent her down the
coast to cruise for supplies. Von Resanoff sailed with
her, trying to find the Columbia, to plant a Russian
colony.    Those exploring Americans, Lewis and Clark, were just leaving their winter post at Clatsop, but Von
Resanoff knew nothing of that. The whole coast might
have been ours, but he could not get across the bar.
Beastly river, the Columbia. Tried it three days and
gave it up and went on down to California. There he
found supplies, and fell in love with the Spanish commandant's charming daughter, Dona Conception.
" The matter was brought before the commandant
— would he give to the baron the hand of his daughter
as a seal to the compact for future supplies to Sitka?
" Don Arguello, the commandante, considered and
consented, but a dreadful lion lay in the way! Von
Resanoff was a Greek Catholic, the donna a Roman
Catholic. Von Resanoff laughed at the lion: * I '11 go
to St. Petersburg. I '11 beg the consent of the czar
himself; then to Madrid, and doubt not, I '11 conciliate
the King of Spain.'
"They parted with tears. Far out from shore his
handkerchief fluttered farewell. But alas ! in his haste
to cross Siberia, Von Resanoff fell from his horse and
broke his neck. The girl is down there yet, somewhere.
But England forestalled Russia on the Columbia."
After breakfast the gentkmen went away to attend
to their commission. Lady Etholine and the Princess
Racheff led Eloise out on the promenade around the
castle. Below them lay the low, square, rough-hewn
huts of the half-breed Sitkans. Yonder' were the
officers' homes, three-storied, lemon-yellow houses with
iron-red roofs and stained-glass windows. The green
roof of the bishop's house shone in the sun, and the
green dome of the Greek church, surmounted by its
oriental spire. Behind the castle, the princess pointed
to the living green flanks of Vestova, where the Muscovites held their summer picnics. A TRIP TO  SITKA 163
"All the year round the glaciers glitter on those
heights beyond," she said. " And you can read, at
night. You can read all night in these Sitkan summers. The midnight sun just dips behind Edgecumbe,
and before twilight is gone the dawn is here."
Edgecumbe rose like a snowy cone beyond the
island-studded harbor. A fleet of skin bidarkas moved
in and out among the ships. The steamer " Alexander," from Okhotsk, was landing the mail from St.
Petersburg, whereat the princess flew away for letters.
"And do you like it here?" asked Eloise of the
dainty Lady Etholine.
" One always likes the home of the honeymoon,"
answered the bride of Etholine. | My husband says
the grandest scenery of the world lies along this coast.
I love to fancy this is Naples, with its cliffs by the sea
and its lava cone. It lay like this long ago before the
Romans built their villas on its shores."
"And do you think some Virgil yet may write an
iEneid here?" asked Eloise, smiling.
"Who knows? Baranoff would be a worthy hero.
They tell great tales of him in his battles with the
Sitkans. Some dark tales, too. When at night I hear
the roar of the sea-lions and the pitiful cry of the seals,
I tell Adolphus it sounds like the moans of all the dead
Alaskans."
Governor Etholine and his lady were model hosts.
Sumptuous dinners and courtly balls followed each
other in swift succession. At sunrise the reveille
sounded, at sunset the drums beat, and the great light
blazed in the tower. The heavy Muscovite padlocks
were turned in the gates, and all night the sentinels
paced the promenade, guarding the life and treasure of
Sitka Castle. 164
McLOUGHLIN  AND OLD  OREGON
Meanwhile Douglas and Etholine were discussing
provisions and boundaries and tariffs for the Indian
trade. Douglas took part in all the gayeties of the fort;
at the same time he criticised them in private.
" It is not our way of doing things," he said to Rae.
" These Russians are squandering all they make. What
folly to appoint naval officers to the command ! They
know nothing of the business, yet draw pay from both
the fur company and the government. Look at these
establishments crowded with idle officers and men,
fifteen vessels afloat, and thousands spent every year
on provisions for Sitka alone. You never saw such a
lazy crew around Vancouver — the doctor would n't
have it."
Too soon the week rolled by. The ten-league transfer was made according to the London agreement, and
exchanges concluded in grain and furs. Farewells were
quickly said, salutes Were fired, and the little " Beaver "
sped down the coast to the sandy flats of Fort Stikine.
On the self-same spot where a few years ago the Russian
gunboats had threatened Ogden, lay a Russian brig of
thirty-two guns, ready to hand the redout over to
Douglas and the English. As Rae marched out with
his detachment of eighteen Canadians the Russian
officer drew back.
" What! hold this fort with eighteen men! I required fifty, and you can do with no less."
" Other forts we rule with twenty men, and we can
hold Stikine," said Rae, setting his lips in the firm way
habitual to him.
At the mouth of the Stikine River, on a strip of sand
that was an island at high tide, stood the old Russian
redout, St. Dionysius, near the present Fort Wrangell.
Over the log fort Rae hung out the English flag and the IP
A TRIP TO  SITKA
165
Hudson's Bay pennant, and with his wife and eighteen
Canadians saw the Russian brig set sail for Sitka,
and the "Beaver" and Douglas depart to build Fort
Takou.
Scarcely had the Russians disappeared when the
Indians began hostilities. It was not a pleasant outlook, on that bank of sand scarce large enough to hold
the fort, with only the rising and falling tide to break
the monotonous days.
In the inner gallery a watchman paced, ever on the
outlook, with a loaded swivel above the gate. In the
bastions eight nine-pound guns and an armory of
Hudson's Bay flintlocks lay ready for action. The
Wood-boats plied back and forth with musketoons on
their gunwales.
Here, there, everywhere, rolled the smoke from
savage camps. Canoes came over with beaver, beaver,
beaver, until the fort was packed with beaver, but all
the pay they would take was drink, making night
hideous with their orgies. Years after Eloise spoke
of this time with a shudder. Once, at midnight, the
savages attempted to scale the stockade and take the
fort. A thousand bidarkas came down from the north
and shot their arrows at Fort Stikine. The brave girl
stood by her husband's side, beating them back with
the carronades.
In autumn the "Beaver " passed as she gathered in her
furs, but no one came when the dark and rainy winter
sent the waterfalls tumbling down the mountains and
swept the white foam out to sea.
Meanwhile events were occurring at Fort Vancouver
that led Dr. McLoughlin to recall Rae to take charge of
another important post XXII
ERMATINGER   GUARDS THE FRONTIER
/CONSUMPTION was eating away the vitals of Tom
^-^ McKay. This was not strange, in view of the
winter bivouacs on the Missouri, the dog-sled journeys
to Colvile, the fights and.flights at Okanogan long ago,
the days of wet moccasins and nights of damp blankets,
the weeks of sand-dust and alkali along the Shoshonie.
His brigade was handed over to Ermatinger. *
" Tom will spend the winter in California," said Dr.
McLoughlin.
There were reasons for despatching Ermatinger to
the Shoshonie. More and more St. Louis trappers were
crossing the Rockies and disputing grounds with the
Hudson's Bay Company and the Blackfeet.
" This opposition must be frozen out," said Dr. McLoughlin. " We must fight fire with fire," said Douglas.
So Ermatinger rushed over the twisted aromatic sagebrush of the upper country, snuffing the air for rivals.
Witty, skilful, affable, he was the trump card, and they
played it.
How kind Ermatinger was, how insinuating! How
hospitably he received a rival camp ! — inspecting their
outfit from the corner of his eye. He knew to a skin
how much the Americans carried. He counted every
gun, and reckoned up the value of the goods. How
trickily he misled  them! — worse than  Jemmy Jock. ERMATINGER GUARDS THE  FRONTIER    167
How deftly he planted the seeds of discontent! — " Your
leader pays you ha beggarly rate; hour men would never
put hup with it." How he fomented disputes, how disinterestedly he conveyed word to the Indians, how he
played on their superstitions! —"These Bostons bring
trouble. If you deal with the Bostons we shall sell you
no more smoke-smoke. These Bostons hare swindlers.
They charge ten dollars for scarlet that just falls to
pieces. We charge honly thirty-two shillings for cloth
that will last a lifetime."
But when the missionaries came Ermatinger was in
his glory. Gray, Walker, Eells, Griffin, Munger, and
their wives, all passed under his convoy. " Surely
there is no danger in missionaries," he said; " they
come not to trap nor to trade nor to make settlements,
they come only to teach the Indians." Ermatinger
flew around among his men. " Company to-night.
Company to-night. Put hon your best faces, boys.
Serve up the supper hon has clean ha mat has you can
find, Baptiste. Let them see that we live on civilized
fare.    More cakes, Gabriel, plenty of fried cakes."
The quick Canadians, trained to obey, turned camp
over at his call. Cook Gabriel, blowzy at the fire,
dropped ball after ball of flour and water dough into
the boiling tallow, stirring it afar off with a pointed
pole to avoid the blistering heat.
Skipping out to meet his guests, the little man
bowed profoundly —" Come, ladies hand gentlemen, let
me hintroduce you to the chairs hand tables hand
hedibles."
There was something almost homelike in Ermatin-
ger's companionable camp, with regiments of buffalo ribs
propped up before the blaze on dress parade, and savory
fumes of fleece meat; bubbling in the kettles.    There 168 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
had been a great hunt; even now the buffalo runners
were restless in the camp, the hills east of the Snake
were black with shaggy herds, and their deep-mouthed
bellowings rolled like thunder far away. Some of the
Canadians were still busy with hatchets, cracking the
marrow-bones, to lay bare the rolls of trappers' butter
contained within; others had cleaned the intestines,
turned them inside out, and tucked them full of strips
of salted and peppered tenderloin, and beside the ribs
these long, brown festoons of trappers' sausage snapped
and crackled with their juicy contents.
The missionaries, young men just out of the seminaries, and their rosy-cheeked brides, sat down on the
Indian mats spread on the grass. Ermatinger kept up
incessant chatter.
" I 'm 'ungry 's a grizzly. Pour the coffee, Baptiste.
Notice hany trappers this side hof the Rockies? 'Elp
yourselves, 'elp yourselves. Don't stand hon ceremony.
To-day hit his buffalo 'umps hand marrow-bones, tomorrow hit may be mice. We starve when we must, but
when we 'ave plenty we heat the best first, for fear hof
being scalped by han Injun before we 've henjoyed it."
On their brushwood beds the wandering missionaries
slept in this early Oregon time. The wolves howled
them to sleep every evening, howled them awake every
morning; all the night long the wolves bayed at the
moon as she rode in a cloudless sky. Under their
heads they hid the meat for pillows, to keep it away
from the wolves — evert then some sly old guy-back
would come in the night and pull it out.
" Harise ! Harise ! Harise ! " was Ermatinger's daylight call. " Hi '11 be 'anged hif the wolves 'ave n 't
grown so bold hand saucy they 've come to the fire to
warm themselves! " ERMATINGER GUARDS THE FRONTIER
There they sat, three great gray wolves, with noses
pointing to the fire. One touch, over they toppled,
dead, set up by this joking hunter in the night to
frighten the tenderfeet from over the Rockies!
" Hi '11 be 'anged if the dogs 'ave n't heaten my moccasins," was the next discovery. Perhaps the remnant of
a cap chewed out of recognition lay under a tent edge.
More than likely one leg of a pair of buckskin pantaloons was all that was left of somebody's apparel.
The missionaries laughed, laughed, laughed as at
holiday. How could they look for guile when all went
merry as a marriage-bell under the lead of this good-
humored, winsome host? To Ermatinger they confided
their plans and acted on his advice. He slapped them
on the shoulders, lounged round their tent doors, and
sat in their secret councils. He penetrated their inmost
hearts, warned them against trespassing the regulations of the great company.
"What are the regulations of the company?" asked
the incoming missionaries.
" Hamericans must not trade with Hinjuns, they must
confine themselves to hagriculture hand mission work,
hand keep to the south side hof the Columbia," was the
answer, impressed like a solemn law. And he tricked
them, tricked them out of their tame cattle for long-
horned Mexican heifers that needed to be caught with
a lasso and held for milking, tricked them out of their
gentle American horses for wild Indian ponies. Even
at Whitman's he tried his wiles.
" You live too plainly. You dress too plainly.
Splendor wins the Hinjuns. You must put hon more
style hand get all the hinfluence possible. The Hameri-
can Board agrees to give you your living; that living
must not be mean."    Then the tempter passed, leaving McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
a worry in the heart of Dr. and Mrs. Whitman, for
to some extent they knew his words were true.
Sometimes the conversation fell on politics. Then
Ermatinger fired:
" If the Hunited States tries to drive hus from the
country the Hudson's Bay Company will harm 'er height
'undred mixed bloods, and with their knowledge hof the
mountain fastnesses we can 'old Horegon hagainst the
world. Ham hi not ha marvellously proper man to go
a-soldiering? " The little man drew himself up, and
his big nose shone. Of course everybody laughed,
"It is only Ermatinger."
Even Dr. McLoughlin would laugh, " Bow-wow-wow!
It's only Ermatinger."
" Ho, no, this country can never be settled," said
Ermatinger, slyly taking the missionaries through the
most difficult goat-trails over the mountains. " 'Ow
could wagons hever get through these jungles? " Over
sharp-cut rocks he led them, through dense woods, and
over mountain patches of snow where never man or
beast had trod before.
Long since, the Indians had revealed to Dr. Whitman
wide, comfortable trails that the company had hoped
to keep secret. But Ermatinger, leading the new-comers a thorny chase, laughed, laughed, laughed because
he had fooled the missionaries.
" Be silent, exclusive, secret," said the company,
" lest the furry folk be frightened away. We shall be
undone if colonies of people supplant our colonies of
beaver. Mill-dams break up beaver-dams; they never
flourish in the same water."
"Why have you never taught the Indians agriculture?" inquired Dr. Whitman.
" Hoh, beaver is hour business. Why meddle writh
the plough?"  was Ermatinger's careless answer, ERMATINGER GUARDS THE  FRONTIER    171
" How came the Spokanes, then, to plant and
plough? "
"The Spokanes 'ave planted for twenty years.
Hastor's men built Spokane House hand made ha little
garden. The Hinjuns watched them, tasted their vegetables. When they left the squaws saved the seed hand
tried their 'and hat gardens."
" Does n't that prove that all the Indians want is a
chance — that they are ready to take up civilization?"
Dr. Whitman was standing by that historic wagon with
his foot on the hub.
Ermatinger knocked the ashes from his ever-burning
pipe with an impatient snap.
" Yes, too ready, if anything. We don't want 'em civilized— we want'em to catch skins. That is why the
company gets along better with the Injun than you
Hamericans do — we leave 'im to 'is own ways. You
try to change 'im. All along your border states you
say,' 'ere, take a farm and settle down like white folks, or
get hout.'    That's no way to get halong with Hinjuns."
" Exactly." Never before had Dr. Whitman grasped
so clearly the difference of the two policies. Then
began the nervous walk in which he indulged when
under the pressure of exciting thought. "It's here in
a nutshell, Ermatinger. The fur-hunter meets the
Indian half-way, he intermarries, he perpetuates barbarism. The American brings the rifle, the axe, the home.
For the beaver-dam and buffalo-range he substitutes
the plough, the mill, the school, the railroad, the city."
Ever after Dr. Whitman seemed to hear a voice
soughing in the wind like the worried ghost of the great
company: " Away! away ! You must not civilize our
Indians. Away! away! Your mills, your ploughs and
schools and shops must not frighten our beaver."
m
-f -
i	 172 McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
Silence brooded over Oregon, the silence of the
grave. England looked upon the great fur preserve as
a waste, a desert where a few wild beasts gained a
scanty living. As the fur-traders tramped the forest
they knew of coal, but they never told it; they knew of
marble and iron, but they kept it secret; voyageurs discovered ledges of gold, but were enjoined to silence;
the Indian was not more quiescent. To publish to the
world these vast savannas and belts of a greater Britain
would bring in people, and people frighten away the
game. So Oregon slept behind her battlements, waiting
for the prince at whose magic kiss the gates should
fall, the forest.trails expand, and her thousand industries
leap to life.
In November again Monique's brigade glanced like a
shadow down the River of the West.
"Time? time?" he called at Fort Colvile. Chief
Factor McDonald gave him the time. Monique scribbled it on his orders.
" Time? time? " he called at Walla Walla.
"Time? time?" at Fort Vancouver.
Dr. McLoughlin looked at his watch. " Five minutes
past ten o'clock in the morning." Monique scribbled
it on his papers and passed them in.
Dr. McLoughlin looked over the record in the quiet
of his office. With drooping head the Iroquois stood
like a weary race-horse. Dr. McLoughlin came to the
Colvile paper.
" You scoundrel, you ! " he cried, leaping to his feet.
" You have run every cascade this side of Colvile ! "
Up flew his cane, but Monique dodged and darted
through the door. The proud Indian had reached the
goal that Kennedy missed, the fastest time ever made
from Colvile to Fort Vancouver. ta
ERMATINGER GUARDS THE FRONTIER    173
When December rains were beating on the hills,
James Douglas and Tom McKay took a run on the
Hudson's Bay Company barque Cowlitz down to Monterey. The company's ships had become frequent
visitors at that southern port, buying up sea-otter and
paying a handsome fee for the privilege.
On New Year's day they anchored. The warders of
the old Spanish castle on the coast were not backward
in collecting customs.
With lifted beaver Douglas returned their civilities.
"No, not sea-otter to-day, thank you, gentlemen; we
wish to see the governor."
With a shade of disappointment the Spanish officials
conducted the Hudson's Bay ambassador to the home"
of Alvarado. It was an unpretentious mansion, luxurious only in windows overlooking the sea, windows
upon windows in those. California days when glass was
worth its weight in solid silver. The common people
had no glass, only wooden shutters and outdoor
verandas, that were the actual living rooms.
When La Framboise came home from the Spanish
land he had brought this word from' Captain Sutter:
" The Hudson's Bay Company need not come down
here to trap any more. I have engaged these grounds."
No attention was paid to it. In autumn La Framboise
set out as usual. Now Douglas, in the presence of
Alvarado, after the usual salutations, inquired, —
" Did you authorize Captain Sutter to order our
brigade to leave the Sacramento?"
" Captain Sutter was authorized to act for the government, not in one hostile way, but merely to request
the withdrawal of your partie on account of the new
settlements," said the Governor Alvarado.
"Very  well,  then,"  replied  the  haughty  Douglas, 174
McLOUGHLIN  AND OLD OREGON
" when your wishes shall be officially communicated
they shall be followed to the letter. For the present I
suppose the old agreement stands."
" Certano, Signor, certano," answered Alvarado, somewhat puzzled, somewhat flattered.
Douglas found it hard to bend the knee and sue for
favors from this southern potentate, but he did it. In
the end his courtliness quite undermined the gallant
Captain Sutter.
In the bay of Saint Francisco the fur company wished
to establish a post to capture the Spanish trade —
perhaps the Spanish state.
" Certano, certano, Signor, by payment of suitable
duties."
" And we want sheep to stock our farms."    v
" Certano, certano" said Alvarado.
All Douglas wished and more he got, — a post ort
the bay, trappers' rights renewed, and five thousand
sheep from the old missions, three thousand to be
driven overland, and two thousand to be brought by
sea.
Tom McKay, tall, dark, long-haired, standing hat in
hand, had been a silent auditor. As negotiations progressed mutual esteem mounted high and higher.
With fluttering flags of Spain and England at the mast
Douglas dined and wined the Spanish grandees on his
ship. He lent the impoverished Californians powder to
fire a salute from the old castle and departed amid a
shower of, " A Dios ! A Dios!" leaving McKay to
recruit his health and superintend the sheep brigade. XXIII
AN AMERICAN EXPLORING SQUADRON
1841
THE New Year of 1841 opened a new act in the
drama on the Columbia. In his lonely cabin on
the Willamette, Ewing Young, the Tennesseean, lay
dead. Outside, his herds grazed on the hillsides, without a visible heir. The little handful of Americans,
scarce thirty-six all told, gathered at his funeral.
Jason Lee deeply felt the situation. No law, no court,
no government, nothing from the Spanish land to Sitka,
but the arbitrary will of Dr. John McLoughlin. " He
is a good man," said Jason Lee, " but the one man power
is not American."
They carried the Tennesseean out and buried him
under the oaks on his ranch, and then returned to
discuss the disposition of his property.
" We must have some sort of organization," said
Jason Lee. " We must draft a constitution and frame
a code of laws."
The committee sat, with pens in hand, when, presto!
change! an American exploring squadron came sailing into the Oregon waters bearing the banners of
Uncle Sam.
The  Hudson's Bay Company on the Columbia had
paid little attention to the young republic at the east,
they sometimes forgot there was a United States; but^
this sudden  apparition  startled  them  with  its  possibilities.     Conciliatory,  urbane,   troubled,   the   doctor 176 McLOUGHLIN AND OLD  OREGON
and Douglas visited the American commodore on
shipboard. The halyards were manned, salutes were
fired, the flags of both nations flew at the international
banquet where the two governments met on the disputed Columbia.
" Come right over to the fort," was the doctor's
cordial invitation. " Rooms, boats, guides, whatever
you need is at your service."
Commodore Wilkes set up his tents outside the British stronghold, but like all others who passed that way,
he, too, was enchanted with this old feudal host and
hospitality. Like Whitman, he viewed the fields and
farms, like Sutter he tasted the wine and heard the
song, like Lee he ascended the charming Willamette.
Under the roof of the new mission hovuse George
Abernethy, . the mission steward, entertained the
commodore.
"Do you advise us to establish a government? " he
asked.
" Not yet," said the commodore; " wait. The British
interest already feels itself threatened by the presence
of this exploring squadron. Any action on your part
may precipitate trouble, in which case you are too few
and too far away to be properly supported. Wait
till your numbers augment."
" Dr. McLoughlin's wine has affected his judgment,"
said the men of the mission.
In the purple twilight, Commodore Wilkes walked in
the fields of wheat. The crescent moon hung over
Mt. Hood. " A lovely land," he murmured; " charming
by day, enchanting by night. Tell me, what do you
Americans think of the Hudson's Bay Company?"
"The Hudson's Bay Company is Great Britain's
instrumentality for securing Oregon," was the answer. AN AMERICAN  EXPLORING SQUADRON    177
" But," urged the commodore, " the missionaries
have received untold favors from the Hudson's Bay
Company, and if they are gentlemen, it is their duty to
return them."
The missionary faced about in the commodore's
path. "Return them? Certainly. I will exchange
favors with Dr. McLoughlin or any other man or
set of men, but / will not sell country for it."
Wilkes was almost angry with this blunt missionary.
Presently he inquired, " What was that bleating I heard
at sunset — flocks of the mission? "
" It is the company's sheep brigade, being driven
overland from California, to stock the country on the
Sound.     That is part of the plan for holding Oregon."
Eloise stood at Vancouver's gate as the sheep passed
by. Already she had been summoned from Stikine,
and Rae had been sent to the South. California had a
new meaning for her now; even the shepherds might
bring a message from her husband at the company's
new post on the bay of Saint Francisco. As the bleating of sheep died out in the west the beaver-painted
bannerols of Ogden's brigade came fluttering in from
the east. Among the gayly decked voyageurs the quick
eye of Eloise noted the drooping curls of her old playfellow, Maria Pambrun.
" Maria is an obedient girl," Chief Factor Pambrun
had been saying six weeks before, as he rode with
Cornelius Rogers on the flowery meads of Walla Walla,
— it was the old topic, the marriage of his daughter, —
" and skilled in housewifery."
At that moment the half-wild Cayuse pony lost the
rope from his mouth and ran and surged, throwing
Pambrun over the high-pommelled Mexican saddle.    In 178 McLOUGHLIN   AND  OLD  OREGON
a moment Rogers knelt by his side. Indians came running to the rescue, and carried the injured officer home
to the fort. Dr. Whitman was summoned, but in vain.
Four agonized days the piteous appeal resounded,—
" O Doctor, Doctor, give me something to kill me
quick! "
Then Pambrun's strength failed. All was hushed
save the labored breathing and the lapping waters on
the northern wall.
" Cornelius." Cornelius Rogers bent to support the
dying head. "Cornelius — I — give — you — my —
watch — and — my — gun."
The sobs of Maria and her mother were all that
broke the death-bed silence.
" Cornelius — in — secretary — find — will — made —
in — your — favor — Take — care —-of— my —
family."
With falling tears Cornelius Rogers smoothed the
clammy brow. " Yes, yes, dearest friend. I will see
to everything." A look of peace settled on the ashen
face.
Pale as death Maria Pambrun sat on the bed with
one of her father's hands pressed close in both of hers.
The other hand Madame, her mother, pressed close to
her heart. The chief factor fixed his glazing eye upon
his child — ,v. ./MM
" Maria — darling — marry — Mr. — Rogers."
The anguished girl dropped her head upon her bosom
— the chief factor interpreted it as a sign of assent.
" God — bless — "
" He is dead," said Dr. Whitman, bending low to
catch the last pulse.
Maria Pambrun slid from her perch on the bedside.
With uplifted face and hands clenched in her wild dis- AN   AMERICAN   EXPLORING   SQUADRON    179
ordered curls she gave a shriek, the terrible death-wail
that has rung for ages in the tents of the dead. The
Indians waiting outside caught it up, till it rolled in one
long reverberation over the plains of Walla Walla. It
reached the home of Mrs. Whitman before her husband
did, and she knew the good Chief Factor Pambrun had
gone to rest.
They buried him there in the drifting sand. Ogden's
brigade came by and Rogers accompanied the mourning family down to Fort Vancouver, whither they had
been summoned by Dr. McLoughlin.
" I cannot marry him," sobbed Maria Pambrun, hiding her face on the shoulder of Eloise. Dr. McLoughlin
looked on in compassion. The face of Cornelius Rogers
was paler than Maria's, set as marble.
" I will not ask it," said Rogers. He heard the din
in the court as the doomed man hears the hammer of
the executioner. " I will not take advantage of her
helpless situation. Let the will be void. I return the
property, but the watch I would like to • keep as a
memento of my dead friend."
His own voice sounded far away and dead. Maria
ceased her sobs and breathless waited — she only heard
a departing step and the shutting of a door. When she
looked up Rogers was gone. Dr. McLoughlin stood
there, looking at the closed door. The arm of Eloise
was still about her waist, and the sun through the grapevine cast checkered shadows on the Chinese matting.
" That is an honorable man," said Dr. McLoughlin,
picking up the torn fragments of the will at his feet.
" He is worthy of an excellent wife. But remember,
Maria, you and your mother and the younger children
can have a home here as long as you live. I adopt
you all." 180 McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD OREGON
Maria had scarcely time to murmur her thanks when
a shuffling was heard outside.
" Boston ship at Fort George, laden with liquor,"
announced a Frenchman, hat in hand, suddenly breaking up the tableau in the doctor's office. Dr. McLoughlin went out. In ten hours he stepped from his
barge on the sands at Astoria. The " Thomas H.
Perkins" looked up grimly, demoniacally, from the
water.
" How many barrels on board?" demanded Dr. McLoughlin of the captain. "What is it worth? I will
take the whole cargo." And in the end Dr. McLoughlin chartered the ship itself, to put a stop to the
business.
" It's cheaper to buy ' blue ruin' out of hand than
to deal with a riot of drunken savages," was the doctor's
explanation to the inquiries of Commodore Wilkes. The
liquor was stored in the basement of the governor's
house, where it lay untouched for years.
Commodore Wilkes sent exploring parties all over
the country. Everywhere the Indians fell into convulsions of laughter at the useless labors of these lunatic
scientists, who came squinting around at rocks and soil
and hills and stars, and never once asked for beaver.
Did the geologist use his hammer — " Ho ! ho ! ho ! no
kernel in that nut! Indian know better than that! "
Did the botanist creep along picking flowers like precious
gems — "He! he! he! see the grass man?" All
flowers were grass to the Indian.
" Come over and see us celebrate the Fourth of July,
Doctor. We have the finest warship in the navy there,"
said Commodore Wilkes, setting out for that portion of
his squadron anchored in the Sound.
" Tut, tut, tut!    Ask me to celebrate the Fourth of AN  AMERICAN  EXPLORING SQUADRON     181
July ? " laughed the doctor. " I have business over that
way and may run down to look at your ships."
A few days later Dr. McLoughlin went over to the
Sound, arriving, however, a day too late for the celebration. At this moment, while the doctor was gone, the
Rupert's governor, Sir George Simpson, came sweeping down the Columbia with his retinue of fancy voyageurs and his buglers and bagpipers on his journey
around the world. Douglas did the honors of the
fort.
Sir George had been head of the old Hudson's Bay
Company before the coalition, and, naturally, had never
acquired perfect confidence in this independent northwester who never took the trouble to cross the
mountains to his annual council at Norway House on
Winnipeg.
" Ah! " was Sir George's mental comment as he took
off his tall felt chimney-pot hat and scratched the bald
spot on top of his head. " Last year McLoughlin
entertained the missionaries. This year I find him
hobnobbing with Americans in their gunboats on the
Sound."
Everything encouraged Sir George's suspicions. He
was angry on account of the squadron, angry on account
of Dr. McLoughlin's courteous hospitality to it, angry
on account of the banquet to which the Americans were
invited on the doctor's return to the fort. Sir George,
in narrow-waisted, swallow-tailed coat, occupied the
chair of honor. There was an aristocratic scantness to
the tight-fitting sleeves; a corresponding fulness to the
immaculate puffed and ruffled shirt-front above the
waistcoat of salmon-colored satin. Behind his chair
the pipers played. Dr. McLoughlin kept up the conversation.    Under the rim of his  gold-bowed  glasses 182 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Sir George eyed the commodore from an immeasurable
distance of formality and reserve. His temper cast a
damper on the festive scene, despite the magnificent
table garnished with venison and rosemary, grouse and
salmon and cygnets.
"The dinner was a funeral," said the clerks that
night.
" It was like a feast of feudal times," said Commodore
Wilkes.
"Those Americans are spies," said Sir George, reproving the doctor in private.
" You are not to encourage Americans in any way,"
said Sir George, in the positive tone bred of years of command. "The United States will never possess more
than a nominal jurisdiction west of the Roeky Mountains, nor, if you do your duty, will it long possess even
that. You make a great mistake in assisting these
missionaries. Let them take care of themselves, refuse
them favors, drive them out of the country as soon as
possible."
" But," interposed the doctor, standing up beside Sir
George — he could look down upon him like a little
boy—"what excuse can we have for driving them out
of the country? They are peaceable, industrious, helpful to the Indian. By the terms of our treaty with
the United States they have as good right here as we
have."
" The Hudson's Bay Company was not chartered to
educate the Indian," curtly responded Sir George,
hitching up the wires of his glasses in a few once curly
locks behind his ears. " That is no part of our business.
I would not give them even a spade to till the soil.
We want furs, not farms. We must tolerate nothing
that interferes with our business." IP
AN  AMERICAN  EXPLORING  SQUADRON    183
" Sir George prays only to mammon," was a well-
known saying in the upper country.
The doctor kept his temper. Better than any one
else west of the mountains he understood the policy
of his company, and never had that company a more
brilliantly cold and calculating manager than Sir George
Simpson.
" By your management already you have lost us all
that country south of the Columbia," continued Sir
George.
"/lost that country?" cried Dr. McLoughlin, bristling at this unexpected charge. " England never
claimed it. The company never expected to hold it.
The Joint Occupancy Treaty was in itself official notice
to that effect. As for these missionaries — when they
come bringing passports signed by the Secretary of
War, dare I treat them like Yankee skippers or overland traders?"
Sir George by his John Bull obstinacy was fast driving the doctor into an American advocate.
He saw his error, and with the quick diplomacy for
which he was noted Sir George grasped the angry
doctor's hand.
"I beg your pardon, Chief Factor McLoughlin — I
beg your pardon. Your situation is indeed a complicated one. I shall take immediate measures to press
this Oregon question to an issue. England cannot
afford to lose this territory."
How he pressed this question is hidden in the English archives. A few days later Sir George left with
Douglas to inspect the northwest coast and visit
Sitka.
When Ogden went back up the Columbia he took
with him  Cornelius Rogers to the Whitman mission, McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
and his son-in-law, Archibald MeKinley, whose young
wife, Sarah Julia, the first woman of white blood born
on the Snake, was destined now to become mistress of
the driftwood fort at Walla Walla.
Failing to secure the hand of Maria Pambrun, Mr.
Rogers became discouraged over the work of the mission. He, who never before could see an obstacle, began to say, I Religious truth can never be taught in
the Indian tongue. They have no words for spiritual
thought. How can the Indian unacquainted with law
be made to understand a broken moral law?"
"This reasoning is delusive," said Dr. Whitman.
" The Indian knows the right and wrong. That is the
basis of all moral law."
Nevertheless Cornelius Rogers left the mission and
settled in the Willamette valley.
Before a year had rolled away there was another
wedding at Fort Vancouver. The bride was Maria
Pambrun, still in mourning — the groom was Dr.
Barclay.
One October morning, after Sir George's return from
Sitka, a mist hid the Columbia from view, but up the
terraced plain rang the familiar
" Sur la feuille ron —don don don" of the voyageurs.
Far back on the Saskatchewan, months before, Sir
George had passed a lengthened cavalcade toiling westward under the broiling sun of a northern July, And
now those bronzed, determined men, those women and
children have crossed the Assiniboian plains in oxcarts and wagons, and scaled the mountains on pack-
horses; they have arrived to claim Sir George's
promise.
Sir George paled slightly under the doctor's questioning glance. AN  AMERICAN  EXPLORING SQUADRON    185
" No doubt it is those half-breeds of Red River," he
said. " Possession is nine points of the law, and actual
possession is now conclusive in our favor. You must
help me meet them."
" Certainly," said the doctor.
The leaders and headmen of the Red River immigrants came up to the fort. The people camped on
the plain below. Sir George Simpson, Dr. McLoughlin, and James Douglas met them in the hall. Sir
George knew he had to face an ordeal, and nerved himself with a glass of wine. He saw the hope on every
face — and shattered it at a glance.
" I am sorry to tell you that we cannot fulfil our
agreement," began Sir George, hesitating at the disagreeable truth. " We have neither horses nor barns
nor fields for you, and you are at liberty to go where
you please. You may go with the California trappers
and we will give you an outfit as we give others. If
you locate south of the Columbia we will help you
none. If you go to the Cowlitz we will help you some.
To those who will go to the Sound we will fulfil our
agreement."
For a moment the Red River immigrants were struck
dumb with amazement. Then wrath arose, some oaths
escaped. Sir George with utmost coolness declared
the interview at an end. Dr. McLoughlin was greatly
distressed at the plight of the poor people who had
sold their homes and travelled to a wilderness two thousand miles away, on the strength of such great expectations. He followed them out to their encampment, and
in every way helped them to their destination with food,
clothing, boats, and horses. Slowly, wearily, disheartened, heaping imprecations on the company's head,
they toiled over to the woods on Puget Sound.    After 186 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
a winter of ineffable suffering most of them moved to
the Willamette valley, where their descendants still live,
loyal citizens of the United States.
From that hour the coolness increased between Sir
George and the doctor. Sir George was angry because Dr. McLoughlin was not prepared to furnish
houses, barns, and fenced fields to all these people.
The doctor was astonished that such a promise had
ever been made.
" I will go back," said James Sinclair, the leader of
the northern immigrants, " and I will tell the Red River
people this latest fraud of Sir George Simpson's. It
is not enough that the company has throttled that
colony in its cradle; it is not enough that they have
subordinated every interest there to the fur trade; it is
not enough that they have frustrated every effort at
traffic by enormous freights and jealous regulations
until they have driven our best men over the border into
the United States, but now they must needs practice on
the credulity of those who remain and rob us of our last
little all."
When next Sir George went back to Red River he
fled by night from the threatened rebellion, and he
disarmed the leader, James Sinclair, by despatching
him to the Columbia— promoted at once to the honors
and emoluments of a chief factorship. XXIV
"THE STAR  OF OREGON"
1841
THERE was an animated discussion among the
Canadians in the court at Fort Vancouver.
"What is it, Baptiste?" inquired Dr. McLoughlin.
" Begosh! Dat w'at we not know, Dogtor. Dey
say hit be for ferry-boat, but Antoine, 'ere, sir, 'e tink
hit for be keel of a schooner."
" What looks like the keel of a schooner?" inquired
the doctor.
" Dat boat, w'at de Hamericans buil' hon de islan'.
Dey 'ave borrow w'ip-saw an' tools on de mission.
Dey buy hall hour hoi' Dutch 'arness-rope an' want
more."
"Who are they?" persisted the doctor, with sudden
interest.
" Josef Gale, 'e ees de boss. Felix 'At'way, 'e ees
de 'ead builter.    Dere be five hall togedder."
" Joseph Gale ! Hathaway ! Joseph Gale ! Hathaway ! " exclaimed the doctor, excitedly turning toward
the office where the head-clerk sat. " The very men!
The very men! They were mad because we had a
monopoly on cattle. They tried to get passage on the
' Cadboro '' to buy cattle in California. I refused to let
them go, but offered to help them settle. They appeared to agree and got supplies. Let me see, McTavish, let me see what Gale and Hathaway have bought." 188 McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
He began turning over the yellow leaves. " Here is
their bill: Draw-rope, Draw-rope, Bagging, Draw-rope,
Sails and rigging as I live! Gale is a renegade sea-
captain, Hathaway a deserter from the ' Convoy.' I 've
no love for Hathaway; he's the rascal that built a house
on my island at the Falls. I sent him word, but he
paid no attention to it."
Dr. McLoughlin reappeared in the yard.
" Dere be one of dose mon now, Dogtor," said Baptiste, pointing to a young man just entering the gate.
" And what do you want now, Mr. Woods, what do
you want now?" Dr. McLoughlin abruptly inquired,
walking toward the young man. Sir George's rebukes
had temporarily affected the doctor's urbanity to
Americans.
" Why, Governor, some of us fellows are trying to
build a schooner to go to California to get some cattle.
If you will trust us for chains and anchors and rigging,
we can pay you by and by."
"How? how? how, I'd like to know, — how, sir?"
cried the doctor.
" In furs and wheat, sir," answered the American.
" A schooner to go to California on this iron-bound
coast? Tut, tut, tut! You'll all be drowned, and I'll
not be party to such a transaction. You had better
settle in the valley, as I told you, and take up farms.
I '11 lend you all the seed you want, but chains and
anchors don't grow in this climate."
"But, Doctor, cattle — "
" Tut, tut, tut! " impatiently the doctor waved the
petitioner away. " A hare-brained scheme! a harebrained scheme! Who ever heard of a trapper-sailor ?
You 've no idea of the danger you venture into. No
slipshod schooner can live on this rock-bound coast."
L
-• ■ ■&
THE  STAR OF OREGON"
189
"And you won't advance supplies, sir?" asked the
young man, whitening.
"Didn't I tell you it was a hare-brained scheme?
Why, boy, don't you know that without papers you are
liable to be captured as a pirate, and how do I know
you do not intend to become one?" said the doctor,
looking very fierce and nodding his head.
" Well, Doctor," shouted the enraged Yankee, " you
may keep your paltry rigging. You carry matters with
a high hand now, but it won't last always. Remember,
sir, I have an uncle in the States, that, rich as you
are, is able to buy your great company out and
several more such. He '11 come along here some
day when you ain't thinking of him and send you all
packing."
"Tut, tut, tut!" cried the doctor, reddening. "I
am glad to hear so rich a man as your uncle is coming
to this country. Who is it, Mr. Wood? What is his
name, Mr. Wood? I should like to know him, Mr.
Wood."
" Why, they call him Uncle Sam, and he's liable to
come out here looking after us fellows most any day,"
retorted the angry American, making a bee-line for the
gate.
"The persistency of these Americans is amazing,"
said the doctor, as he watched the retreating figure.
" If I tell my Canadians to stop, they stop, but these
Americans keep right on."
And the Americans did keep on. On Wapato Island
they found material fit for a keel and a frame of swamp
white oak. They grubbed up red fir roots for knees,
put up beams of red fir timber, and *planked their boat
with cedar dressed by hand. Parrish, the mission blacksmith, made the spikes and irons. 190 McLOUGHLIN  AND OLD  OREGON
When Commodore Wilkes went up the Willamette he
saw the unfinished craft.
" Yes, we 've got so far," said Gale, " but Dr.
McLoughlin refuses to sell us supplies.    Can you?"
" I cannot sell to you," said the commodore. " I am
not in the trading business, but I could give you cordage and anchor out of my ship-stores in case of distress.
I '11 interview Dr. McLoughlin when I get back."
" They are making a coffin for themselves," said the
doctor, when Wilkes approached him on the subject.
"Now there is Gale. He has been in our employ for
several years as a hunter and trapper. Now what does
he or the rest of them know about managing or navigating a vessel at sea? "
" I have tested Gale's knowledge. He is an old
sailor, and I have given him papers," said Commodore
Wilkes.
"You have?" exclaimed the amazed doctor. "But
do you think that vessel is strong enough to make the
voyage to San Francisco ? "
" It's stout enough to double Cape Horn," said
Wilkes. " Gale knows what he is about and Hathaway
worked in a shipyard in the States. If you have such
things as they need you will oblige me by letting them
have them. If they are not able to pay, charge it up
to me. I shall need considerable cordage and canvas
myself."
" Oh, well, well," exclaimed the doctor, " they can
have whatever they want." So the store was thrown
open, and the delighted Americans hastened to get all
they needed before Commodore Wilkes got out of the
country. The commodore gave them a flag, an ensign,
a compass, an anchor, and a hawser one hundred and
forty fathoms long, and a log-line and glasses. 'THE STAR OF  OREGON"
191
The little schooner, clinker-built on the clipper model,
painted black with a white ribbon running from stem
to stern, was in the eyes of her builders the cutest
little craft that ever sat upon the water. With flying
sails she dropped down the. Willamette, and for pure
buncombe crept up to Fort Vancouver. The little
clipper ran so close to the barque " Vancouver " that
it nearly touched her side.
" Helm-a-lee! " cried Captain Gale.
As she spun around on her keel the stars and stripes
were flung in the face of the British tars and they read
on her side in full-face letters, " The Star of Oregon."
Dr. McLoughlin was absent. Gale sent word to
Douglas:
James Douglas, Esq.:
Sir, — I am now on my way to California. If you have
any letters or commands that you wish to send to Mr. Rae,
residing there, I will with pleasure take them to him.
Yours, Joseph Gale.
" Talk of their getting to California — that's all braggadocio," said Douglas, as he penned the answer.
Mr. Joseph Gale:
Sir, — As the schooner " Cadborough " will leave for that
port soop, we will not trouble you in that particular.
Yours, etc., J. Douglas.
Again at old Fort George (Astoria) the daring little
crew unfurled the stars and stripes for Birnie and his
men to see.
" Oh, ho!" cried the British tars, " as soon as you
see the Pacific your hearts will fail and you '11 all be
back again."
 — 192
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
=
11 '11 go to Davy Jones's locker first," cried Gale,
spreading his sheets to the wind.
Gale had a quadrant epitome and a nautical almanac that some one had brought to the country.
He set out with his crew of four and a little Indian boy,
not one of whom knew the compass. After giving his
men a few lessons in steering in a seaway and by compass, they crossed the bar, and just at sunset, September
12, 1842, turned their faces to the south. The wind
freshened to a tempest, the little barque skipped like a
stormy petrel on the surface of the sea, the crew fell
seasick, and for thirty-six hours the dauntless captain
stood at the helm and steered his flying ship.
On the fifth day the little " Star " shot through the
portals of the Golden Gate, and just as the sun went
down dropped anchor abreast of the old Prsesidio.
Not the Spaniards when they found the new world felt
prouder than the youthful crew of the little ship.
I Oregon, Oregon," mused an officer in port when
the little " Star" touched Yerba Buena the next day.
" I '11 be hanged if there's any port by that name on
any of our charts."
"Are there letters for me?" asked Rae, amazed at
the sight of the little craft.
I No letters," said Gale;
by and by on the ' Cadboro'.1
too swift."
The boys sold the little " Star" for three hundred
and fifty cows. They trimmed up a Cottonwood tree
and ran up the stars and stripes. Under it forty-
two Americans gathered to emigrate to Oregon. The
next season the boys came back, bringing with their
settlers three thousand head of sheep, six hundred
head  of horses,  and  twelve  hundred   and  fifty  head
'they '11 come creeping in
This delivery is a trifle THE STAR OF OREGON'
i93
of  cattle,  forever   breaking   the stock   monopoly  in
Oregon.
The little " Star," the first ship ever built on the
coast, remained in the South, where she ran on the
Sacramento in- the days of gold. But Joseph Gale
never parted with the dear old flag that floated from
her masthead. He made it into a canopy, under which
he slept, and was buried with it around his coffin. XXV
McKINLEY AT  WALLA   WALLA
1841
SOON after Archibald MeKinley took charge at
Walla Walla, a younger brother of Elijah, rambling around the place, came upon a pile of birch
seasoned for pack-saddles.
" Put that down," demanded the clerk.
" The wood is ours," retorted the boy, defiantly tucking it under his blanket.
The clerk stepped out and struck the lad. Swelling
with rage, the little savage fled through the gate to his
father's lodge. Archibald MeKinley was busily sorting
and matching furs, when he caught sight of the Walla
Walla chieftain and a dozen warriors filing into the
court. There was something grim in the old chiefs
lofty look.
"What will you have this fine day?" inquired the
politic trader, advancing and shaking hands.
"Him" roared Yellow Serpent, shaking an ominous
finger at the clerk. " Big Boston say ' Indian strike
white man, whip him. White man strike Indian, whip
him.'" The chief's attendants advanced and seized the
clerk.
"What does this mean?" inquired the chief trader.
The Indian deigned no reply.    One drew out a lash.
" Stop ! " cried MeKinley, wheeling through the door
of the Indian shop and returning with a copper keg of McKINLEY AT WALLA WALLA
i95
gunpowder. Knocking out the head and crossing a flint
and steel — "Touch him and I'll fire," said MeKinley,
with determined look, yet trembling with excitement.
Pio-pio-mox-mox threw up his hands. His men
loosed their hold and fled precipitately. The old chief,
with eye on the powder, backed out after them.
In that hour old traditions passed away. At one
bound MeKinley became a " great big brave of the
skookum   tum-tum" (strong heart).
" How long, sir," roared Dr. McLoughlin, when next
the clerk appeared at Fort Vancouver, — " how long,
sir, do you suppose we could hold this country, with
our feeble forces, if you are going to get into a row
with every boy over a paltry whip-handle ? " XXVI
DELAWARE  TOM
1841-5
WHEN the Cayuse Indians dashed on their fleet
ponies through the Grande Ronde, they often
noted a smoke curling on the Blue Mountains, and said,
" There is the lodge of Delaware Tom."
It was in a mountain pocket, rich in trout and beaver.
Occasional herds of elk wandered into its green plateau,
and the salmon of the Columbia ascended into the little
mountain lake. Here, in a lodge of deerskin, with his
Nez Perce wife, dwelt Tom Hill, an educated Delaware
Indian, once a student at Dartmouth, now an independent trapper in the mountains. His knowledge of
English made him valuable to the white man. For
several years he was employed as an express between
the trading posts of Bent, Laramie, and St. Vrain. No
runner could surpass him, no obstacle lay in his way
as he took his swift courses over mountain height
or foaming rapid. Alone, without a horse or a dog,
he first came to Oregon, into the Grande Ronde where
the Nez Perces were digging camas.
Indians as well as white people are conservative to
strangers. Gradually the Delaware worked into their
confidence. He heard that white men had penetrated
even here.
" I know the white man," he said. " He came to the
Delawares a welcome guest.    We invited him to the
mmmmmim ■"%
DELAWARE  TOM 197
best lodge, seated him on the best robe, smoked with
him the calumet. He came again and killed off all our
game. A third time he came and took our lands. So
it will be with you. We are but dogs, to be driven
from his path. I have come step by step across from
tribe to tribe and watched the Americans. They begin
by sending missionaries, who say all men are brethren,
you must live in harmony. When you live in harmony
then they want to buy a little piece of land. Then
more come, and more and more, until they have occupied all the land."
The Nez Percys began to be deeply interested in this
strange Indian who had seen so much. The Cayuses
came around and the Walla Wallas listened.
" I am acquainted with missionaries," said Delaware
Tom. " It is only a way of making property. There
is nothing in religion only to make money. You can
see that Look how they are selling everything they
raise on your own lands. You cannot get anything
from them without paying for it, not so much as a piece
of meat when you are hungry."
The Nez Perces invited Delaware Tom to go with
them and visit Spalding's mission at Lapwai. Mr.
Spalding was very busy attending to the wants of his
people and paid no attention to a single stranger. It
piqued the pride of Delaware Tom.
" See," he said, " if these were true men of God, they
would supply every one of you with food and clothing.
God gives you all things free of charge. The Indian
shares his wealth; the white man gets it all for
himself."
They took him to visit the school.
" I know schools," said Delaware Tom. " White men
have books to describe great scenes of the West,    We 198 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
have the scenes themselves. White men measure
mountains. Does the Indian measure a mountain that
he  can climb? "
Mr. Spalding had been explaining the use of the
compass.
" What care we for the compass?" scoffed Delaware
Tom. " We follow the stars. The trail leads to the
hunt. The shores guide our canoes. The green leaves
tell us when it is spring; the yellow, when to pitch our
winter teepees. White men have the locomotive —
what need, when our own fleet feet out-travel the
horse? The missionary teaches you to weave cloth.
Has not the buffalo spun a robe for you? The white
man tears up the soil, it becomes full of worms and
weeds. He makes a garden. Are not your meadows
full of camas, your rivers full of fish, your father's hillsides stocked with game? Who would obstruct the
streams with bridges? Does not the beaver build
bridges  enough   for  you?"
This talk drove the Nez Perces into a frenzy of
excitement. Tom Hill would gallop down from the
mountains, talk around a few days, then go back for
weeks of solitary hunting. He refused to wear anything made of cloth; day in and day out his squaw
sat beating the buffalo skin to make it soft and pliant
for the couch of her lord. Mr. Spalding heard of the
Delaware's instructions and warned his people against
them. But the Indians looked up to Tom Hill as a
mighty tyee, learned in the secrets of the white man.
A few left the main tribe and camped with the Delaware on the mountain. The Nez Perce" chiefs only
laughed, and went on cultivating their farms and
gardens.
Mr. Spalding went to the mountains for material to m
DELAWARE TOM 199
build a mill. The childish Indians saw him rolling
down the stones. It annoyed them that these inventive
white people could find uses for even the stones on the
hills.
" Bad, bad, bad," said the disciples of Tom Hill.
" Mr. Spalding, we going to kill you."
" Oh, no," carelessly responded the missionary, rolling away at his stone.
" Yes, we are."
" Oh, no; you would n't do that. What would you
gain by it? If you do I have many friends over the
mountains who will come and destroy you all and take
your wives and children and horses."
This awful prospect quieted the discontents. Some
spoke with MeKinley at Fort Walla Walla.
"What say you? Shall we drive these missionaries
away from our lands?"
"You are braves," said MeKinley, "and there are
many of you. It would be easy to kill two men and
two women and a few little children. Go quickly and
do it, if you wish. But, remember, if you do, I shall
have you punished."
Delaware Tom and a few Nez Perces came down into
the Walla Walla valley to visit Dr. Whitman. For
a long time the doctor had heard rumors of the Delaware and had formed an unfavorable impression of
the supposed renegade. Quite surprised, then, was
he when an attractive Indian of prepossessing appearance approached him with excellent English and in
a cordial manner said, " I am glad to meet you, Dr.
Whitman."
The black locks two and one-half feet long were
dressed with uncommon care. The eager, flashing eye
was lit with intelligence.    Dr. Whitman had heard that 200 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
the Delaware was vain of his learning and approached
him through that medium.
" Ah, Mr. Hill, I am pleased to welcome you to our
mission. I am told you are a student of Dartmouth — a
great institution."
Pleased, flattered, the Indian became easy and talkative, revealing a surprising acquaintance with the
politics of Europe and America. He dwelt on his
school-life, describing again and again the walks and
groves of Dartmouth.
" Why do you leave civilized life for the precarious
life of the wilderness? " inquired Dr. Whitman.
" For reasons found in the nature of my race,"
answered the Delaware. " Never again shall I visit
the States or any other part of the earth torn and
spoiled by the slaves of agriculture. The pines of
the Connecticut look on an age of decay. Only the
Indian is strong and free. I shall live and die an
Indian."
"What do you mean by strong and free?" inquired
the doctor, curious to investigate this riddle.
" I mean the white men are too many. Population is
increased to an unnatural extent. They crowd one
another. That necessitates laws, it curtails liberty.
There is no freedom among the whites. You break a
law, they lock you in a jail or hang you on a tree.
They have laws to punish murder. My own arrow can
do it better."
The Delaware began to speak of his own tribe — a
certain scintillant gleam began to coruscate in his eye
as he dwelt on the wrongs of his people. Dr. Whitman
wisely cut off the discussion by announcing a feast in
honor of his guest.
An immense kettle of mush — cornmeal cooked in
HfrW-r DELAWARE TOM
m
tallow — was set in the centre of the school-room. The
principal chiefs of the neighborhood, Pio-pio-mox-mox,
Five Crows, Tauitau, and Tiloukaikt came in and sat
down on the floor. The tallow dips were lighted and
Mrs. Whitman brought in the tea. The Indians dipped
in sugar, four, five, six teaspoonfuls to a cup. They
ate without a word, sipping noisily, as Indians do; now
Dr. Whitman and now a chief dipping his big wooden
spoon into the kettle. Other Indians came in, until
every bench in the school-room was crowded. At last
the Hawaiian servant carried the kettle away, and for
two hours Tom Hill spoke eloquently in the Cayuse
tongue on the benefits of education.
" I like Dr. Whitman better than Spalding," he said
to the Nez Perces on reaching home. " He asked me
into his house sometimes."
But spite of all, Tom Hill did the mischief with the
Cayuses.    Pointing to the mission house —■
" See," he said, " big house, big barn, big mill, grain,
all out of Cayuse land. All belongs to you." Pointing
to their graves he affectionately asked, " Where are all
your principal men who were alive when these pretended teachers of God came among you ? Is not Dr.
Whitman a great medicine to let your people die in that
fashion?" Mr. Spalding wrote to a friend: " God has
interposed in a wonderful manner to prevent this
calumny from taking effect upon Dr. Whitman."
At a joint meeting of the missions the question was
debated whether danger from that source had not become so great that duty required them to leave. But
on their knees Dr. and Mrs. Whitman resolved to commit themselves anew to the work.
" God does not understand Injun language," was the
next report from the  oracle in  the  Blue  Mountains. 202 McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
The distressed Nez Percys were shocked. Of all known
tribes they were most inclined to prayer.
Dr. Whitman wrote to a friend in the valley: " The
question of worship or no worship is now before the
minds of our people as urged by Tom Hill, a Delaware
Indian. I am in hopes we can turn his influence to the
best account, not only in regard to religion, but in
regard to the intercourse of the whites with Indians, as
he is well acquainted with the border history."
Delaware Tom visited Fort Walla Walla. From the
corner of his eye he scrutinized every lock and barricade.
" Since these skin buyers have come we can do nothing without their guns and ammunition," he said.
The Delaware visited the Willamette and shook his
head at the signs of white men. He came to Fort
Vancouver—Dr. McLoughlin kicked him from the
gate. The Delaware picked himself up and gave one
look. Dr. McLoughlin never forgot those eyes, —
strange eyes, wonderful eyes, glittering, scintillating
with inward fire. Back in the Blue Mountains the
Delaware ground his teeth.
" Why do not all Indians band together and fight
for the independence of their native land? We are
like the partridge wounded by the hunter. They have
given us guns until now we have forgotten the use of
the arrow. They alone have the secret of gunpowder.
Could we plant the powder and make it grow, could
we gather shot like pebbles on the shore, we might be
free.    Now we are slaves."
Walking nearer and shaking his finger in the solemn
faces of his auditors — "White men bring diseases.
Look at the Willamettes, dying year by year; yet once,
like you, they were brave and free and rich and jnde-
L m
DELAWARE TOM
203
pendent. Look at the Blackfeet, fleeing to the mountains to escape the contagion of white men." Slowly
and yet more solemnly spoke the Delaware: "Disease
will come to you and you will die, and they will take
the land. I have warned you. Beware. Have nothing to do with white men. They scorn us. They kick
us from their gates.    We are but dogs."
Again the Delaware spoke: "They judge us by the
border Indian degraded by the vices of white men.
They call us drunken. Who brought the fire-water?
We drank from the rill and the spring. They say the
Indian fights. Has the white man never fought? The
savage red man burns his enemy at the stake. Did
the enlightened white man never burn his kindred, even
helpless women, at the stake?    I have read it."
Some one ventured to remark, " Dr. Whitman is
good to Indians." The Delaware blazed. He leaped
from the ground and strode back and forth, talking and
gesticulating to the Indians that squatted before the
camp-fire.
"A white man good to the Indian? Never. It is
not in the race. Do I not know? Did they not come
to my home on the Susquehanna? Did not the white
man want a little land to till and we let him have it?
And did not more white men come, and more and more,
until the Delawares were driven west and west, and no
longer had any home? Does not Whitman say this
land belongs to the Americans? Is he not encouraging immigrants to come this way? In a little while
they will come in a great tide, and the poor Indian
may slink like a dog away."
The Delaware raised his hand — "Never let the
Americans settle on your lands."
" NEVER," said the Cayuses, " never, never/' 204
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
For a long time Tiloukaikt had shown good evidence
of conversion. He longed for the beautiful and mysterious rite of baptism. But Dr. Whitman put him off.
"Too many wives, Tiloukaikt, too many wives. God
says one man, one wife."
" Ugh-ugh ! " said Tiloukaikt. "Ugh-ugh ! " echoed
the Indians.    Then he went away and stayed for weeks.
" He has talked enough about your bad hearts,"
said a priest at Walla Walla. " He ought to have
baptized you long ago."
One day Tiloukaikt rode to the mission on his
spotted Cayuse, opened the door, walked in, and sat
down on the mat before the fire. "Well, Tiloukaikt,
are you going to put away your wives?" asked Dr.
Whitman. The Indian continued gazing into the bed
of driftwood. He spread his taper fingers before the
blaze. His hands were smaller and more shapely than
the squaws' who dug the camas.
" Cannot — cannot," said the savage, slowly shaking
his head. "One old wife — no work any more, old,
old. She mother of sons, tall sons," gesturing high
above his head. " I take care her. One young wife
— she strong. She take care me. Three wives —
dig camas, tan robe, pick berry, pack salmon, take
care all."
"You can be married to one and take care of the
rest until they find husbands," suggested Dr. Whitman.
" Ugh-ugh-ugh!" grunted the old chief, shaking
his head again and again. "Much squaw—much
camas."
" Must be white men," said Five Crows at the lodge
that night. " One wife, wood house, big plantation,
cattle."
Tiloukaikt wrinkled his vinegar face,    On Sundays
Sfr'imrr- DELAWARE TOM
205
the Indians came to the mission for ten and fifteen
miles around, except a few to watch the lodges. Sometimes hundreds met after the buffalo hunt. Tiloukaikt
stayed away.
" It was good when we knew nothing but to eat,
drink, and sleep. Now it is bad, bad, bad," growled
Tiloukaikt, poking around the hoes and shovels in the
lodge. "Prayers no bring guns and blankets. Me no
pray for nothing."
He kicked every implement of civilization out of his
lodge. He trampled up his garden in a rage. He
struck the bread out of the women's hands — bread
they had learned to bake at Mrs. Whitman's. " Bad,
bad, bad. Lazy squaw, get kouse, camas, salmon,"
raising his frightful double-thonged whip, " Go."
Jason Lee had said, " My Indians are so anxious for
civilized food that they will even dig up potatoes after
they are planted and eat them." Tiloukaikt kicked the
potatoes into the river.
The old chief watched Mrs. Whitman with jealous
eye. " Doct' Whit'n, why you take you wife where
you go? Why not go alone? See, I leave my wives,
they work, pack fish, camas, skins. Why you treat her
so like big chief?"
" It is good for her to go with me," said Dr. Whitman, i" We are one. Wives are given us for companions."
" Ugh-ugh ! " growled Tiloukaikt. " That was Adam.
God made him wife from rib. These wives not our rib.
These not one with us."
In a wretched little hut constructed by herself a pretty-
young squaw lay dying in childbirth. Dr. Whitman
heard of it, snatched his surgical case, hastened to the
spot McLOUGHLIN  AND OLD  OREGON
" Te-he-he-he," tittered the Indians. " Squaw-doctor!
squaw-doctor ! squaw-doctor !    Te-he-he-he ! "
Year after year Dr. Whitman went quietly on in his
work of mercy, but his Christ-like forbearance seemed
lost upon the savage.
" Ha knock-down with a club would hinduce more
respect," said Ermatinger.
" It takes time, time," said Dr. Whitman. " Civilization is not the work of a day."
Above his squaw, above his pony, the Cayuse prized
his gun. He ornamented the rough flint from a London smithy with streaks of red ochre and studded
it with brass nails. He slid it into a mink-skin case
and slept with it over his heart. To him that old
gun brought food and furs and security vfrom the
hated Blackfeet. And the greatest hero in Indian
eyes was the finest shot. That youth that could
bring down the eagle on the wing was in the line of
chieftainship.
Tom McKay had an old-fashioned rifle heavily
ornamented with silver. Ermatinger called it " ha
gingerbread gun."
When McKay came up the Walla Walla with his
favorite gun, the clans followed him like sheep. The
Indians believed he bore a magic life. They trusted
and admired his coolness and bravery. None but he
would have dared to trounce the impudent chieftain at
the Dalles, none but Tom could have killed a boastful
Walla Walla and escaped the Avenger of Blood. At
one hundred paces he could drive a dozen balls through
a Spanish dollar or knock off a duck's head at one hundred and twenty yards. " I always shoot a bear in the
mouth to save the skin," he said.
Dr. Whitman seldom touched a gun, only now and DELAWARE TOM
207
then to shoot a pony in his corral for horse-steak.
The grouse and the gray hare looked in his face and
laughed.
" Te-he-he-he ! " laughed the Indians. " Doct' Whit'n,
he put up he gun so — shut he eye so — go bang.
Poolalik (the rabbit) — nibble — nibble — nibble just 'e
same."
" Dr. Whitman, you are too indulgent with your
Indians," said MeKinley at the fort. " Indians cannot
be controlled except by fear. You must learn to use
your gun."
" Doct' Whit 'n," said Tiloukaikt, " I am mad at
you. Before you came we fought each other, killed
each other, enjoyed it. Before you came the spot
where Walla Walla stands was red with blood. You
have taught us that it is wrong, and we have in a great
measure ceased. So I am mad at you, Doct' Whit 'n.
I am mad at you."
The young chief Elijah had shot up into the teens
straight as a fir and beautifully fashioned as the Apollo
Belvedere of Canova. Those who remember him best
say he had the face of a Roman, at times lively and
laughing, at times solemn, even sad. When he looked
upon the scrofula-smitten children of the Willamette his
dark, luminous eyes spoke volumes. As a lad he played
among them in his embroidered tunic of deerskin and
his little band of eagle plumes. His small, swift feet
outsped them in the race, his shapely hands outshot
them with the bow. " He is very bright," they said at
the mission. Sometimes the boy boasted: " My father
and my father's father were chiefs. My mother is a
sister of chiefs, and I am a chief."
At seventeen, in his war-cap of eagle feathers and his
robe wrought in porcupine, the young chief Elijah was 208
McLOUGHLIN AND OLD OREGON
every inch an Indian king. Already he had been sent
to Spirit Hill in the Grande Ronde to learn his destiny;
already he led the braves in the buffalo hunt.
In October the Walla Walla-Cayuses came home
from the summer hunt laden with spoils of buffalo-beef
and hides. The nights were cold and the driftwood
fires blazed merrily.
Walking there in the soft twilight with the hum of
the lighted lodges around him, Elijah heard the gossip
of the Indian village. Here it was the whisper about
his uncle, Five Crows, who wanted a white wife. A
year ago he had asked the missionaries for one; he had
been down to Vancouver to negotiate, and at last dismissing his five present wives he had gone in great
state of fine horses and blankets to Fort Walla Walla to
propose to Chief Factor Pambrun for the hand of the
lovely Maria. To his astonishment, the suit was rejected with a kick, and the discomfited chief returned
home and married a Modoc slave to the great scandal
of the tribe.
Here the talk was of some trouble at the mission.
The Cayuse horses had broken into the mission field
and damaged the growing grain. When Dr. Whitman
reproved the Indians, Tiloukaikt said: "It is not your
grain, it is ours. The land is all ours, and the water
and the fuel."
One threw mud on him and pulled his ears, one
snapped a gun at him, and another aimed an axe that
the doctor dodged.
" What Indians did that? " demanded Elijah, turning
sharply.
" The ones that talk so much with Delaware Tom,"
was the answer.
" And did not Dr. Whitman punish them ? " IP
DELAWARE TOM
209
" No, but Mr. MeKinley heard of it and made them
beg his pardon."
Elijah passed on frowning. " That renegade Delaware will get us into trouble yet. I wish he would go
back to his own people. Why need we fear the whites ?
Is not my father a very great chief? "
14 XXVII
THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY IN
CALIFORNIA
1841
TN wintry mist and flying cloud, Dr. McLoughlin and
■** Sir George Simpson, on board the Hudson's Bay
barque " Cowlitz," dropped down the Columbia on the
way to California, and with them went Eloise Rae to
her husband. Following the swells toward the whitened
strand, the ship entered the Golden Gate, still quiet in
the age before commerce discovered that auriferous
highway. The little square Prsesidio, with its Mexican
flag, was fast asleep. Horses and cattle dotted the hills
around the bay. There was a handful of houses at
Yerba Buena cove, and, yes, there was Rae, glass in
hand, watching for the ship to bring his bride. It was
on the last day of 1841 that Dr. McLoughlin, Sir
George, and Eloise landed on the sand-dunes where in
a few short years should rise the magic city of San
Francisco.
The New Year's holiday was quietly spent, then followed diplomatic visits to the Spanish grandees. It
was a radiant morning when they set out across the
bay to Sonoma, the home of General Mariano Guada-
loupe Vallejo, the Prince of Northern California.
" Their castanets do not click together," the Spaniards said of Sutter and Vallejo. But they were far
enough apart.    In California, as in Oregon, these old w
HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY IN  CALIFORNIA   211
feudal chieftains counted their land by leagues instead
of sections. Before 1836 Vallejo had been commandant at Sonoma, where the old mission stood. Now,
since the confiscation of missions Sonoma belonged
to Vallejo as chief of the colonial army. It was his
strong arm, more than anything else, that had seated
his nephew, Alvarado, in the governor's chair at
Monterey.
Vallejo's house was the finest on the coast. Eight
thousand cattle bore his brand on the hills; his leagues
of wheat yielded eight hundred fanegas for every eight
sown. Indian serfs without number tilled his lands
and toiled in his house.
Vallejo sent mounted horsemen to bring in his
guests. As Dr. McLoughlin, Sir George, and Rae and
Eloise galloped under the arched gateway, his retainers
fired a salute under the Spanish flag. Vallejo's young
brother, Don Salvador, led the way in jingling spurs
and serape. The handsome general came out in his
dark-blue broadcloth cloak, the senora bowed in her
silken gown and spangled satin shoes, and a star like a
coronet in her hair.
Everything had an old-world air, — gilded mirrors,
square old Spanish sofas, even the spindle-legged
pianoforte, the only one in California. The carpets
were made by Indians of Mexico. Vallejo, and his
nephew, Alvarado, had collected the only libraries west
of the Rockies. The senora sparkled at dinner, and
the senora's charming daughters. Indian servants sped
to and fro with frijoles and tortillas, olives, stewed beef
with red pepper, and onions and native wines.
General Vallejo, of old Castilian stock, born in California, foresaw the building of a great commonwealth.
All the world knew that Spanish rule was trembling in 212 McLOUGHLIN AND OLD OREGON
the balance. To Vallejo's feet France, Russia, England
sent suitors, as if in his hand lay the disposal of this
fair Pacific province.
Naturally the conversation turned on the future of
the country, its independence of Mexico, whether
feasible, and could it be maintained by the few whites
then in California, the idea of a French protectorate,
the extension of the Russian claims to this free and
lovely land, and Sir George's suggestion in a quiet
way that England could make it to Vallejo's advantage
to favor the queen. Vallejo was used to this — had he
not a hand full of propositions? With due Spanish
etiquette he listened to all, entertained all, drew out
the various phases of advantage, yet held himself
uncompromised.
Evening brought on the fandango. Don Salvador
and his troopers played the guitar, the Alcalde paddled
over the bay with the fierce, fat little commandant of
the Prsesidio, round as an apple dumpling. One or
two padres, not loath to taste the general's wine,
dropped in on their way to San Dolores. The people
at Vancouver were dancers, but even they had never
seemed to so melt into the liquid poetry of Terpsichore
as did these sinuous Spaniards.
" Let this not be the last of your visits," said General
Vallejo, as his guests departed after a round of festivity,
" When these pretty senoritas are married there will be
whole weeks of fandango and bull-fights, and no end of
drinking sweet wines." In truth, the California days
promised to be far from depressing.
A few days later Eloise sat in the Hudson's Bay
House at Yerba Buena, when a jingling cavalier rode
up to the door. He seemed a typical Spaniard, in
broad-brimmed sombrero, with silken cord and tassel,
«&*fes== HUDSON'S  BAY  COMPANY IN  CALIFORNIA    213
profusions of lace and embroidery and buttons, and
pantaloons split on the side and laced to the ankle. A
long sword was thrust into the right boot of untanned
deerskin, a silken sash drooped at the side. Eloise
looked for the fierce mustachios and piercing eyes of a
Spaniard, and beheld — Ermatinger !
With lifted sombrero and laughing face he called,
"Are Sir George and the doctor here?"
" They sailed five days ago for Monterey, sir," answered Eloise.
"And Rae?"
" Is with them.    Where is your brigade?" she asked.
" Camped with La Framboise beside the old mission," and with a jingle he was gone, galloping down
the trail to Monterey.
It was the work of a moment for Eloise and her
maids to saddle, and set out for the first time to meet
the California brigade from the other end of the route.
They heard the Spanish women singing and thrumming
guitars in the whitewashed adobes on the scattered
farms. Now and then they passed a gilded and painted
horseman, in steeple-crowned sombrero and fiery ser-
ape, flying to the race-track. Eloise hastened on over
the sandy hills covered with dwarf oak and strawberry
trees, past San Dolores walled in with skulls of slaughtered cattle, scarce noting the mouldering pile where once
the Indian converts carded wool, and wove blankets and
cloth with home-made looms. A few Indians lingered,
still chanting canticles traced by the early fathers in
the great choir books of sheepskin. She scarce noted
the narrow windows deep set in the wall, or the gaping
roofs whence the lazy Californians had stolen the tiles
for their farmhouses on the bay. Her heart thrilled as
children's will when all at once the full brigade burst
—-—— McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
into view, — La Framboise in his Hudson's Bay buttons,
Angelique as of old on her beaded palfrey, and all the
long line of bearded men and butternut-colored belles
like some far caravan on Arabian hills. Around the
camp, fisher, beaver, and marten were stretched to dry,
and through the door of a gypsy tent she caught a
glimpse of Catharine Ermatinger lying on a couch of
skins.
" Where have they all been to-day ?" asked Eloise.
" On dress parade to Sonoma," she said.
So much they had to tell.
" Yes, my husband saw Captain Sutter and he is very
angry," said Catharine. " He and the Americans think
Sir George and Dr. McLoughlin are down here not only
to monopolize the trade but to get possession of California. Do you know that Captain Sutter has bought
the Russian post at Bodega Bay for $30,000? " added
Catharine.
" Why," exclaimed Eloise, " the Russians offered that
to the Hudson's Bay Company when we were at Sitka
and Douglas thought the price too high."
" Money is no obstacle to Captain Sutter," said
Catharine. " He has bought the post and hauled its
cannon down to his fort on the Sacramento."
" Catharine, are you not afraid here? " asked Eloise.
"Why should I be, with our people all around? "
"Because," answered Eloise, "they told us at Sonoma the mountains are full of banditti. When the
missions broke up some of the Indian converts became
servants, but the bolder ones fled to the mountains.
They hate their Spanish oppressors and come down to
steal their horses and cattle. Once they tried to kidnap Senora Vallejo's beautiful sister, but she was rescued.    Now the Spanish lancers go out, and when they HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY  IN  CALIFORNIA   215
come to a strange village they spear down men, women,
and children.    I have heard them tell it."
Catharine shuddered.
" The Spaniards hunt them like cattle," continued
Eloise. " The story is told that one governor drilled
a company of Indians as soldiers; they became so proficient the governor became alarmed and ordered them
all to be shot! "
" It is not strange these California Indians have that
hunted, haunted look. Whenever we approach they
flee away and hide," said Catharine, thinking of the
flitting shadows of the Shasta route.
" England has no rival on this coast but the Russians," said Sir George as he sailed to Monterey.
"Now Mexico owes to British subjects a debt of more
than fifty millions of dollars. By assuming a share of
this debt on condition of being put in possession of
California — "
Sir George looked what he did not say. Dr.
McLoughlin was silent.    He too had his dreams.
Again the warders of the old Spanish castle at
Monterey looked out and saw a Hudson's Bay barque
approaching the shore.
Governor Alvarado, " grown in four years from a thin
and spare conspirator into a plump and punchy lover
of singing, dancing, and feasting," as Sir George expressed it, also beheld them from his balcony. The " A
Dios! " of Douglas still rang in his ear, but the doubloons had long since gone from his pockets.
Whatever Monterey could afford was shown to the
doctor and Rae and Sir George.    Whatever trade was IJii
216 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
was silent. He was jealous of his own seat at the
head of Spanish power; he was even jealous of his
Uncle Vallejo at Sonoma, with whom he divided the
province.
" Monterey is the kitchen to Santa Barbara's parlor,"
said Sir George, after they doubled Point Conception
and landed at the latter village. Evidently Sir George
was not satisfied with Alvarado. They were enchanted
with the lovely dons and donas of Santa Barbara, rich,
even in that day, in linen and lace and damask and
satin. At the Spanish mission they were served by a
middle-aged nun in black.
" Dona Conception, a famous lady hereabouts," said
the padres, as she passed from the room with a plate
of cakes.
"What! Dona Conception who would have been
the bride of Baron von Resanoff? " asked Sir George,
who had just been to Sitka.
" The same," said the padres. " He never came, so
she devotes herself to the instruction of the young and
the consolation of the sick."
" What! " exclaimed Sir George. " Is she not aware
that Von Resanoff is dead? "
" Dead ?" shrieked the nun in black at the open
door.
" Yes, my lady, he fell from his horse and was killed
at Krasnoyarsk on his road to Europe more than thirty-
five years ago."
And the nun who had mourned her lover for thirty-
five years went away and wept in a cell of the mission
at Santa Barbara.
Rae returned with Ermatinger to Yerba Buena. The
doctor and Sir George sailed away to interview the king
of the Sandwich Islands.    Kamehameha III. made the
^^ HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY IN  CALIFORNIA   217
same promises he had given to Jason Lee, and presented Sir George with a feather mantle for Lady
Simpson. Dr. McLoughlin returned to the Columbia,
and Sir George went on across Siberia in his journey
around the world. F
XXVIII
THE FIRST IMMIGRANTS
1842
TT was September, 1842. Dr. Whitman was talking
-*■ Cayuse at the top of his voice, directing his Indians,
when he caught sight of a small pack-train. " 'T is
early for the Shoshonie brigade." Shading his eyes to
scan more closely — " No, there 's not a red belt nor a
Canadian cap among them. They are not trappers.
They are not Indians."
I Why, Marcus, see those women! They must be
immigrants ! " cried Mrs. Whitman at the door. With
three bounds Dr. Whitman cleared garden, field, and
irrigating ditch. Mrs. Whitman flew to greet these
women who had followed her to the farthest West.
Fifty men, a dozen women, with children in their arms,
sat upon their jaded horses.
"Where are your wagons?" was Dr. Whitman's first
inquiry.
" Broke them up for pack-saddles on Green River.
The rest are at Fort Hall. The Hudson's Bay agent
told us no wagon could cross the Blue Mountains."
" Left your wagons? All a mistake, all a mistake.
Come in, come in," said Dr. Whitman, hurriedly, helping the women down.    " Any accidents by the way? " .
" None, barring that our two lawyers here were
captured by the Indians and we had to buy them back THE  FIRST  IMMIGRANTS 219
again with tobacco. The rest of us were sharp enough
to keep out of their clutches." Everybody laughed at
the expense of the lawyers.
" Hasten, Sticcas; bring corn and flour for these
people."    The obedient Cayuse started for the mill.
" Roll up some melons, Aps." The Walla Walla
backed into the melon-patch, his eye still on the doctor
helping down the women. This deference was a strange
mystery;  Indian women bundled off alone.
Mrs. Whitman escorted them to the house. How
gladly their tired eyes took in the poppy garden and
the curtained windows. " A house! a house! How
good it is to see a house! " they cried, wiping away an
involuntary tear. " We have lived so long in tents we
have almost forgotten what homes are like." They
glanced from room to room, — Indian matting, handmade chairs, a table covered with white —" Can we
ever realize the preciousness  of home again!"
Dr. Whitman called, " Bring bread, Narcissa. The
men will camp in the field." Mrs. Whitman gathered
up the loaves of a fresh baking, the first bread the
travellers had seen since leaving Fort Laramie on the
Platte. In fact, Mrs. Whitman's pantry was swept.
Her hoarded jars of yellow butter went with the rest,
and Dr. McLoughlin's latest gift of apples, and the
pickled tongues from Colvile — nothing was too good
for the doctor's fellow-countrymen. Some one suggested pay.
"Pay?" echoed the doctor. "This is not an inn.
You are my guests to-day." Dr. Whitman was all in a
fever.    " What of immigrants ? " he asked.
"They are talking of Oregon all along the border,"
answered one. " These came this year, more will try it
next," said another. 220 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Ever since the Red River immigration Dr. Whitman
had been uneasy. At a glance he had penetrated Sir
George's design in the English race for occupation.
"What is Congress doing? Is the boundary settled? Will government extend its arm over us soon?"
These and a thousand other queries fell from the lips
of the energetic doctor. " Oregon don't count in politics so long's the nigger question's on the boards,"
answered one of the lawyers. " I believe Webster was
talking of trading it for a codfishery when we left," he
added by way of a joke.
Oregon was no joke to Dr. Whitman. Setting his
lips firmly and looking the speaker in the eye — " Do
you think it possible for me to cross the mountains at
this time of year, Mr. Lovejoy ? "
" I think you can if you start immediately," replied
the lawyer.
Again that studied, anxious look that had led Mrs.
Whitman so often to say, " Marcus, you are a bundle of
thoughts." He spoke again: "You see, Mr. Lovejoy,
I have adopted Oregon as my country, the Indians as
my field of labor. But there will be a great immigration next year. Some one must superintend it. There
can never be any great influx of settlers to this country
until they learn to bring their wagons. Such a wagon
train, safely carried through, will lay the foundation for
speedy settlement. If it fails, it will discourage any
further attempt for years to come. Meanwhile, Oregon will be lost. My idea is to go back, meet these
immigrants, pilot them through, and, if possible, go to
Washington and present the needs of a military road
across the continent. In that matter you could be of
great help to me.    Will you accompany me? "
The question was unexpected; the lawyer requested
. mm
THE FIRST IMMIGRANTS 221
time. The next day he brought his decision, — " I will
accompany you." Aged men, yet living (1899), say
that in answer to their responses concerning Congress,
he kept saying, as if talking to himself, "I'll do it;
I '11 go, I '11 go to Washington."
This was no sudden impulse. " This vast and fertile
country belongs to us," Dr. Whitman was wont to say.
" Congress had delayed too long, while England gains
a foothold. Bring in people, build houses, plough up
the soil, and Oregon is ours."
There was another reason for going. A letter had
been*brought from the American Board at Boston:
" The Indians are so intractable that we have decided
to discontinue the mission."
" Discontinue the mission! " That would be taking
the heart out of Dr. Whitman. " Have I toiled here
six years to abandon the field at last? It must not be.
Why, these Indians have their little farms in every
direction, and are every year extending them farther.
Is that nothing in six years? Suppose they are unruly
at times,—what else can be expected of wild, untamed
Cayuses? Men are not civilized in a day. And is
not this on the highway of all future immigration?
The very gateway and the key?"
An Indian courier flew over the hills to Lapwai, another to Tschimikain, near the present Spokane, where
Walker and Eells had built a station. In the little
library at Whitman's they met for consultation. In
an agony of grief Mrs. Whitman begged their intervention. Even imperious little Helen Mar stamped
and cried.
"You must not go," said Spalding.
"No man can live upon the plains in winter," said
Walker. 222 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
" You will be lost in the mountains; you will perish
in the snows," said Eells.
" My first duty is to my country. I am not expatriated by becoming a missionary," said Whitman,
rising before them.
" Doctor, Doctor, it is madness. Even the trappers
remain in camp until the snows are gone. Think of
the famished wolves on that wintry waste; think of the
frozen streams, the lack of food, the howling storms,
the hostile tribes that will cut you off. Doctor, three
thousand miles — "
" Say no more," cried the hero of that winter ride,
closing his eyes and shaking his hand at the speaker.
" I am ready, not to be bound only, but to die at Jerusalem, or in the snows of the Rocky Mountains, for the
name of the Lord Jesus or my country. I must go,
even if I sever with the mission."
Who could stand against the will of Whitman! He
bore down every objection, just as six years before he
bore down every objection to his coming on a mission
to the Indians. Through her tears Narcissa Whitman
smiled. " He is right. He is right. Let him go," she
said. Reluctantly, seeing that he would go anyway,
they gave consent. Like Samson of old, he snapped
the withes that bound him and passed from their
control.
" It will never do to let the Hudson's Bay Company
know what I am after," said Whitman in a lower tone,
as if the very walls might hear and tell the message.
" Delegate me to Boston.    I '11 take care of the rest."
There was a day of hurried preparation. There was
a ride to Fort Walla Walla to purchase certain necessaries. " I am going to Boston on business, Mr.
MeKinley.    I  would   like  to  leave  my wife   in  your IP
THE FIRST IMMIGRANTS 223
care. I have sent to the Willamette for Mr. Geiger to
assist in the mission.    He will be here shortly."
A wish from Dr. Whitman was a command with the
chief factor. The warmest friendship subsisted between
the two. His young wife, Sarah Julia, had become Mrs.
Whitman's most intimate friend, neighbor, and pupil.
There was little sleep that night at Waiilatpu. With
tears silently falling Mrs. Whitman put the last stitch in
the buckskin garments. The food, the axe, the rifle, the
medicine, horses, — all were ready. Spalding and the
rest had departed for their stations.
" The board may dismiss me, but I shall do what I
can to save Oregon to my country," was Dr. Whitman's
parting word.
With a single companion, Lovejoy, the lawyer, the
intrepid doctor undertook a journey that well might
daunt a less courageous heart.
What apprehensions surged through the soul of Mrs.
Whitman as she turned from the farewell at the gate!
She heard the hoof-beats die on the sod — the riders
melted into the tawny shadow of the grass. She reentered the lonely home; she paced from room to
room. " Why do you cry?" said Mary Ann Bridger.
"Will father be home to-morrow? " said Helen Mar.
Dr. Whitman set out on his famous ride October 3,
1842. . In eleven days he reached Fort Hall. The
Indians were returning from buffalo-hunting. Once,
twice, thrice, the doctor sent letters to his wife. Each
day she wrote a line to him, hoping for an opportunity
to send it.    Let us make a few extracts:
Oct. 4, 1842. My dear Husband,—The line you sent me
to-day by Aps did me great good. . . . Night and day shall
my prayers ascend in your behalf, and the cause in which 224 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
you have sacrificed the endearments of home at the risk of
your life.
Oct. 5. In arranging the cupboard to-day I found that
you had not taken the compass as you had designed. . . .
1th. My dear Husband, — I got dreadfully frightened last
night. About midnight I was awakened by some one trying
to open my bedroom door. I raised my head and listened
awhile. Soon the latch was raised, and the door opened a
little. I sprang from bed and closed the door again, but the
ruffian pushed, and I pushed and tried to latch it, but could
not. Finally he gained upon me until he opened the door
again, and, as I supposed, disengaged his blanket (at the same
time I calling John) and ran as for his life. The east dining-
room door was open. I thought it was locked. I fastened
the door, lit a candle, and went to bed, trembling and cold,
but could not rest until I had called John, the" Hawaiian servant, to bring his bed and sleep in the kitchen. Had he, the
intruder, persisted I do not know what I should have done. I
did not think of the war-club, but I thought of the poker.
Chief Trader MeKinley, at Walla Walla, heard of the
attempt to break into Mrs. Whitman's room. Without
delay he sent a runner saying, " Come to us. We will
fix you a comfortable room. It is not safe for a woman
to be there alone."
Oct. 12. My dear Husband, — I am now at Walla Walla.
I could not refuse, as Mr. MeKinley came on purpose to take
me in the wagon. The Indians did not like my leaving very
well, seemed to regret the cause. I felt strongly to prefer to
stay there if it could be considered prudent.
Oct. 22. My dear Husband, — The word is given that the
Express is arriving, and I hasten to write you my farewell,
praying earnestly that we may be permitted to meet again and
spend many years together. . . . Indeed, much as I shall, and K
THE FIRST IMMIGRANTS 32$
do, want to see you, I prefer that you stay just as long as it is
necessary to accomplish all your heart's desire respecting the
interests of this country, so dear to us both — our home.
Dr. McLoughlin sent me a keg of fresh apples from Fort
Vancouver, and ever since we have been enjoying apple pies.
The Indians that met you beyond Grande Ronde appeared
very happy to say they had seen you, and to hear something
about your plans for returning, from yourself. Sticcas really
mourns about you, that he did not come and see you before
you left. I believe it is a great comfort to them to see me
left behind. They tell me they are waiting to see where I
go, before they decide where to go for the winter.
Almost three long weeks have passed since we exchanged
the parting kiss, and many, many long weeks are yet to come
before we shall be permitted, if ever, in this world, to greet
each other again. ... I follow you night and day, and shall
through the whole journey, in my imagination and my prayers.
My heart is as your heart in this matter. I confidently
believe you will be blessed in the object of your visit to the
States.
Read this letter, my husband, and then give it to my
mother. Perhaps she would like once more to take a peep
into one of the secret chambers of her daughter's heart. . . .
Narcissa.
Even while Mrs. Whitman was writing, the Cayuses
were fishing in the Walla Walla. Dr. Whitman had
just thrashed, and the straw lay in a pile by the mill.
They built a fire to roast their fish. That night, while
the careless Cayuses slept, the sparks crept from straw
to straw until they reached the pile. At midnight the
flames of the burning mill cast a lurid glare on the walls
of Whitman mission.
It was enough. " I dare not go back," she said.
The Methodist mission sent an invitation for Mrs.
15 ***
226
McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD OREGON
Whitman to come down to the Dalles, so, when the
Montreal express came singing by, she embarked with
a heavy heart, full of foreboding.
The weather-beaten voyageurs recognized the prima
donna of Fort Vancouver. They heard the story of her
flight. Was it the delicate sympathy of those brawny
Canadians that prompted the thought? The song she
taught them six years ago thrilled with pathetic melody
the evening air: —
" Watchman, tell us of the night,
What its signs of promise are,
Traveller, on yon mountain height,
See that glory-beaming star.
Watchman, does its beauteous ray
Aught of joy or hope foretell ?     v
Traveller, yes, it brings the day,
Promised day of Israel."
A solitary star twinkled above the cliffs that rose perpendicularly on either hand.    The music reverberated
cathedral or gilded choir rang out that old hymn as on
that night in the Dalles of the Columbia.
The mission at the Dalles received Mrs. Whitman as
a sister. After the solitary life at Waiilatpu, it was like
a home-coming to see again white men, white women,
white children. She noted not the tall Indians passing
and repassing and peering in at the windows; her soul
was with the rider on the plains.
The flight of Mrs. Whitman, and a rumor that the
Indians were coming down " to kill off the Bostons,"
created a panic in the Willamette valley. The handful
of settlers loaded their guns and barricaded their doors.
Scarcely a month had Dr. Whitman been on his way
when an Indian subagent, who had come with the immi- THE FIRST IMMIGRANTS
227
grants, invited Tom McKay to go up with him to quiet
the Indians. Cornelius Rogers accompanied them.
Chief Trader MeKinley joined them at Fort Walla
Walla. They rode out to Waiilatpu — it was deserted.
The charred mill lay on the river bank. One hundred
miles northeast they galloped through a beautiful,
undulating country, to the lodge of Red Wolf on the
Snake.
" See my trees," said the chief. By a creek at his
door grew a tiny orchard, planted by his own hands.
Mr. Spalding had presented the sets that blossomed
into the first fruit raised by an Oregon Indian. Following the great Nez Perce" trails that terraced the hillsides
for hundreds of miles, they spied across the Clearwater
River a low, irregular roof, with wings, sheltering an
establishment of eleven fireplaces. It was Spalding's
mission at Lapwai.   v
In the schoolroom two hundred children were busy
with books and pens, printing like copper-plate in the
Nez Perce" tongue. In the weaving and spinning room,
Nez Perce" girls were knitting and making cloth. In the
kitchen, Nez Perce" women were cooking and sewing
and shelling peas. In the fields one chief had just
harvested one hundred and seventy-six bushels of
beans, one hundred bushels of corn, and four hundred
bushels of potatoes. Forty others had raised grain,
eight had ploughs. Several exhibited with pride a
few cows, some pigs and sheep and  poultry.
Early in the morning the Indian children ran to the
mission, and without being called, began teaching one
another, and continued so until dark. The chiefs governed the school; taking the books home at night,
every lodge became a schoolroom.
" Yonder sits my most promising pupil and our first 228
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
convert, Chief Joseph," said Mr. Spalding. "The one
beside him is the Cayuse chief, Five Crows, — they are
half-brothers on the mother's side. Three winters now
Five Crows has driven his herds over here and attended
our school. That one with the hawk's nose is Lawyer,
my teacher. With his aid I have been able to translate
the four gospels and many hymns into Nez Perce. We
have a printing-press now, the first one west of the
Rocky Mountains."
A little boy sat on Chief Joseph's knee, the image of
his father, even to the band of feathers in his hair.
Every day the child came to school with his father at
the mission. Who then dreamed that little Joseph
would one day lead our troops a bloody chase of a
thousand miles, twice crossing the Rockies, fighting
pitched battles from point to point, retiring each time in
masterly retreat with his women and wounded, until his
name should be written in the scroll of great military
leaders?
"Have you no trouble with the Indians?" inquired
the agent. "We are agitated with strange rumors in
the valley."
" Yes, we have trouble," was Spalding's answer. " A
renegade Delaware has been exciting their fears. Indians are children, and easily influenced. Just now
they are excited over Dr. Whitman's going to the States.
They have been told that he will bring back an army of
immigrants to take their lands."
It was decided to summon a council on the plains at
Lapwai. Twenty-two chiefs responded. Dark-eyed,
long-haired men and women poured thickly over the
hills. Silently, stoically, the Indians listened, until an
old chief, father of the famous two that journeyed to St.
Louis, tottered to his feet. IP
THE  FIRST  IMMIGRANTS 229
" I speak to-day," he said. " To-morrow I die. I am
the oldest of the tribe, was high chief when Lewis and
Clark came to this country. They visited me, honored
me with their friendship. I showed my wounds received
in bloody battle with the Snakes. They told me it was
not good, it was better to be at peace, gave me a flag of
truce. I held it up high. We met and talked,.but never
fought again. Clark pointed to this day. We have
long waited. Sent our sons to Red River to school to
prepare for it. Two of them sleep with their fathers.
One is here, can be ears and mouth and pen for us. I
say no more. I am quickly tired. I am glad I live to
see you and this day.    I shall soon be quiet in death."
He ceased. The Nez Perces were moved as by a
wind. The instructions of forty years were voiced by
that old chief. The memory of Lewis and Clark was a
potent spell. Distrust of the Americans gave place to
confidence. Ellice, the old man's educated son, was
that day elected High Chief of the Nez Perces nation.
Among those who accompanied the subagent up
from the Willamette valley was Baptiste Dorion, a half-
breed interpreter, the same Dorion that shot the Black-
foot chief and stole his painted robe. Dorion's mother,
the heroine of Irving's " Astoria," had brought him as
a child over the Blue Mountains to the camp of Pio-
pio-mox-mox, the Yellow Serpent. He came now to
visit his benefactor.
The Walla Walla-Cayuses were preparing the ground
for winter wheat. Dorion's ever restless eye, " the lurking home of plots and conspiracies," fell upon their rude
husbandry.
"Why do you make farms and build houses? It is
no use," said Dorion. " Dr. Whitman will come in
the summer and bring an army.    Then the whites will 230
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
destroy everything, take your lands and kill you, or
make you slaves."
Dorion returned to the valley, but the words of
Dorion flew from lip to lip. The young men grew wild
for war.    " Let us rush to the Willamette," they cried.
"Be cautious," counselled the old men. " The season
is late. The trail around Mt. Hood is deep with snow.
Let us wait — see. We do not wish to go to war, but if
the Bostons come to take away our lands we will fight
to the last drop of blood. Yellow Serpent is a wise and
careful chief. Let us send him to talk with the White-
Headed Eagle at Fort Vancouver."
Directly after his return with the subagent, to the
Willamette, Cornelius Rogers went up the valley to wed
the daughter of David Leslie at the old Methodist mission. The bridal party came down the laughing river.
A thousand rainbows danced that February morning,
when the bride and groom were landing at Willamette
Falls. And at that moment, while friends waited with
congratulations, the boat veered into the current. Re-
sistlessly it tore the rope away from the Indians on
shore. Only inanimate rocks answered the despairing
shriek, as Cornelius Rogers and his bride and her sisters
swept over the Falls and into the yawning gulf together.
The cruel waters whirled and hissed and curled, but the
seething maelstrom never gave up its dead. s
XXIX
WHITMAN'S RIDE
1842
CARCE an hour had Dr. Whitman ridden from his
door at Waiilatpu when the Cayuses fiercely gathered and barred his progress.
" Back, go back," they cried.    " You cannot go."
" You promised to build houses."
" You promised fences."
" You promised a saw-mill."
"You promised sheep."
"You promised cattle."
On every side arose the clamor recounting every improvement the doctor had ever suggested. When the
doctor said, " We will do so and so," the Indians construed it into a promise, and to the Indian a promise is
a sacred thing.
" Yes, yes, yes, my boys," said the doctor, pleased at
this sudden recollection, yet impatient to be off. " I '11
do it. I am going now to see about it. Look for me
back; meet me at Fort Hall when the corn is ripe."
Still they delayed and detained him, — they feared he
was leaving entirely. After repeated assurances and
promises they let go his bridle-rein and regretfully
watched his departure.
To avoid the hostile Sioux, to strike a warmer clime,
and to gain the trail of the Mexican traders, Dr. Whitman turned south by way of Fort Wintee, Salt Lake, 232
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Taos, and Santa Fe. A Siberian winter set in. Stormed
in on the mountains, imprisoned in dark defiles for
days, feeding their horses on cottonwood bark, yet on,
still on. The multitudinous cry of coyotes followed on
their track. Blizzards obscured the winter trail, the
guide lost his way in the darkened air; their steps
must be retraced, but whither? Even the morning
trail was lost in the blinding drift. There in the wild
mountain, with the wintry tempest howling loud and
louder, all seemed lost. Dr. Whitman threw himself
upon his knees and committed his wife, his mission, and
his cause to God. The half-frozen mule began to prick
his ears, and turning about led them back to the morning fire. After days of weary waiting the wind lulled,
the sun broke through the dun clouds, andvthrough the
dazzling snow the travellers broke a path to Grand
River. Here again the sides were frozen. A black
current dashed down the middle.
" Danger. Cannot cross," said the Indian guide in
the sign language of his race.
Dr. Whitman set his lips as Washington did that
night on the Delaware, and rode to the edge of the ice.
He tried to force the animal in, but he sat back on his
haunches.
" Push," commanded the doctor.
Lovejoy and the guide pushed. Down, down they
went, the doctor and the horse, completely out of sight,
then rising like Poseidon on the foam, they battled with
the current. Sweeping far below they reached the
other shore, and the doctor leaped upon the ice. With
his master's aid the dripping steed clambered after.
Lovejoy and the guide followed with the packhorses,
and all soon melted their coats of icy mail before a
blazing bonfire.    Another month of cold and hunger, .
WHITMAN'S  RIDE 233
of mule-meat and dog-flesh, took them over the Sierra
Madres to Taos in New Mexico. Rest, supplies, then
a final charge conquered the main ramparts of the
Rockies. Safe on the plains beyond, the exultant missionary could no longer restrain his impatience to reach
Bent's Fort on the Arkansas. Leaving Lovejoy and
the guide to follow, he set on ahead. Bleak Arctic
wind rolled down upon the rider in his lonely saddle.
Again he was lost, bewildered, and Indians directed
him down the river to the Fort. Lovejoy followed him
and gave up at Bent's Fort, but Whitman pushed on,
until one cold February morning he stood in the streets
of St. Louis surrounded by mountaineers entreating
him to tell the story of his winter trip.
" Not now; I cannot stay, I must get to Washington."
Stopping not even to change his clothes, with frostbitten ears and feet and fingers, with the very flesh
of him burnt with cold, the heroic Whitman paused
not till he stood in the presence of Daniel Webster.
In his shaggy great buffalo-coat and hood and fur
leggings and moccasins, he was certainly a curiosity.
Daniel Webster looked at him with those historic lion's
eyes and said: " You are too late. The treaty has been
signed."
"So I heard in St. Louis, but Oregon — "
" Lies untouched," said Webster, with unmoved countenance, still curiously eying the  man in the shaggy
great-coat.
" Then I am not too late," said Whitman, " not too
late to tell you that Oregon is a treasure worth our
holding, a land of broad rivers and fertile valleys."
Webster was tired. The " intricacies and complexities and perplexities" of this boundary question had
worried him for years.    New England was dissatisfied 234
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
with his settlement of the Maine boundary, the west
was howling about his Ashburton Treaty. Senator
Linn had introduced a call for information as to why
Oregon had not been included in this last treaty.
Fifteen days ago Linn's bill was carried in the upper
and lost in the lower House — and now here comes this
Oregon man to reopen the whole discussion.
Webster was not a foe to Oregon, but had he not
heard, time and again, that the Americans must be
crazy to think of trying to cross unbroken wastes of
desert and impassable mountains to occupy a country fit
only for the beaver, the bear,-and the savage? Had not
the " London Examiner " said the whole territory in dispute was not worth twenty thousand pounds to either
power? Had not the Senator from South Carolina just
said in the Senate that he would not give a pinch of
snuff for the whole territory? That he thanked God
for his mercy in placing the Rocky Mountains there to
keep the people back? With all this in mind Webster
was inclined to misinterpret that rapid utterance and
that positive tone.
" You are an enthusiast, Mr. Whitman; you certainly
are an enthusiast. Sir George Simpson says wagons
can never get over the Rocky Mountains, and he must
know. He has traversed those wilds from his youth.
Besides, the country is good for nothing, the papers are
full of it."
I All from English reprints," added the doctor,
quickly. "The Hudson's Bay Company has flooded
Great Britain with such reports to keep the land
to themselves. It is to their interest to keep it a
wilderness."
Secretary Webster endeavored to change the subject.
" How did you get to Oregon, Mr, Whitman?" pi
WHITMAN'S  RIDE 235
" With two women and a wagon across the Rocky
Mountains."
" How did you return? "
" On horseback over the snow."
An hour they talked, but the subject was ever the
same, — Oregon, the paradise by the sea.
" I want the President and Cabinet to hear what you
have said to me," said the* great statesman, visibly impressed with the heroic effort of Dr. Whitman.
They were called together, and Dr. Whitman spent
an evening answering their questions on Oregon, its
importance and its resources.
President Tyler listened attentively. " Dr. Whitman," he said, " your frozen limbs and leather breeches
attest your sincerity. Can emigrants cross the mountains in wagons? "
" My own wagon went across."
" Is there likely to be an emigration this year? "
" They are already gathering on the frontier. I am
publishing a pamphlet to help it on. I came to the
States for that express purpose."
" Very well," answered the President. " Go ahead
with your wagons. This question can rest till we see
if you get them through."
" That is all I ask," said Whitman, rising.
Promising to forward to his old school friend, the
Secretary of War, a synopsis of a bill for a line of posts
to Oregon, he hastened away.
Twenty years before, Senator Benton had urged the
occupation of the Columbia. " Mere adventurers may
enter upon it as ./Eneas entered upon the Tiber, and as
our forefathers came upon the Potomac, the Delaware,
and the Hudson, and renew the phenomenon of individuals laying the foundation of future empire," 236
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Now Benton said, " Thirty thousand rifles in the
valley of the Columbia is our surest ground of title."
" What are you here for, leaving your post? " gruffly
inquired the Secretary of the American Board, eying
his shaggy visitor as Dr. Whitman entered the office in
Boston.
" I came on business to Washington," answered the
doctor, unabashed.
" Opening up new territories to settlement is not a
part of our business," was the Secretary's comment
on his scheme to pilot emigrants over the mountains.
" Here, take some money and get some decent clothes;
then we '11 talk."
" Marcus came to father's house in sorry vplight," says
his sister Harriet in a letter to this author. " He had
been so chilled in coming over the mountains that he
was suffering all the time. He was the grandest man in
overcoming difficulties and executing the most improbable things.    Yet his heart was tender as a woman's."
By order of Congress Senator Benton's son-in-law,
John Charles Fremont, was despatched to accompany
the proposed immigration. When the first grass sprung
the emigrants crossed the border with their rifles on
their shoulders. Already the long train of wagons was
far out on the Platte when Dr. Whitman joined them in
May, so far out that Fremont barely caught up and
followedfill their wake to Oregon.
Long after Webster remarked to a friend, " It is safe
to assert that our country owes it to Dr. Whitman and
his associate missionaries that all the territory west of
the Rocky Mountains and north of the Columbia is not
now owned by England and held by the Hudson's Bay
Company."
L
	 XXX
A PROVISIONAL   GOVERNMENT
5843
CAPTAIN COUCH, sent out by the Cushings of
Newburyport, opened trade with the Sandwich
Islands and sailed his brig up the Willamette. American sentiment began to crystallize. The handful of
settlers had long looked with jealous eye on the commercial aristocracy of the Columbia. Now, hither into
their midst came the democratic corner grocery, with
its tea and flour and Yankee notions, with its free discussions, long-spun yarns, and political caucus.
The immigrants of 1842, winding over the pack-trails
of Mt. Hood, were soon ensconced on the dry-goods
box and nail-keg. "Is not the country ours?" they
said. "Did not an American discover the river? Did
not Lewis and Clark explore it? Did not John Jacob
Astor found Astoria at the mouth of the river? Did
not England admit all this when she restored Astoria
after the war? "    So they argued.
As early as 1829 Dr. McLoughlin had taken a claim
at the Falls of the Willamette, the town-site of the
future Oregon City. " I may want it for a home in
my old age," he said, thinking of that future far-away
time when he might be too old to serve the Hudson's
Bay Company. Already some adventurous American
had jumped his claim to a mill-site on an island at the
Falls.    Now the immigrants had come, the doctor sur- 11
238 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
veyed his claim and offered lots for sale. The pot began to boil.
" What right has Dr. McLoughlin to this town-site? "
asked the jealous immigrants. " He is head of a
foreign monopoly and he does n't live here. There is
no question that he is holding this town-site and water-
power for the Hudson's Bay Company."
" Fur that matter," chimed in a mountaineer, " ther
ain't a town-site er water-power in all the valley wher
the company ain't built a shed an' sent a man to hold
it daown."
" Yes, and if they dared they would set up a great
'No thoroughfare' board to keep us immigrants out,"
added another. " Were it not for that Joint Occupancy Treaty, a settler would have no more right to
enter Oregon than to trespass on the lawn of a private
gentleman in Middlesex, England. The company
designs to hold Oregon, as it holds all British North
America, like a vast estate, exclusively in the interests
of the fur trade."
" Don't be too hard on the company," suggested
one of the more conservative. " We live here under its
protection and in comfort."
"We live here! " exclaimed a tall, gaunt.man astride
the counter. " Yes, as the lamb lives with the lion, to
be swallered up. Under their protection? Yes, because our own country refuses to give it. Like a great
octopus the Hudson's Bay Company has us in its claws.
No private trader has ever ben able to compete with
this 'ere monopoly. They claim every fish in the
stream, every beaver in the dam. Look at Wyeth,
Bonneville, and the trappers that venture to cross the
Rockies — defeated every time."
" I move that we draw up a petition to Congress to
]—~ -   | «%
A PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT
239
protect American interests in Oregon," said Robert
Shortess, a native of Ohio. " This salmon-skin aristocracy has ruled the country long enough."
" 'T will do no good," said a missionary. " Uncle
Sam is dozing while England takes the country. We
have sent petitions by the yard,—Jason Lee took one,
Wyeth wrote a memorial, we sent one by Farnham, we
have begged and plead, and prayed, but Congress pays
no attention. She is too much engrossed in the nigger
business to notice an obscure little settlement on the
northwest coast."
Nevertheless Shortess and Abernethy, the mission
steward, did draw up a document bristling with charges
against the Hudson's Bay Company and despatched it
to the States. Dr. McLoughlin heard of it — it cut him
to the heart.
The people in the valley feared the restless chiefs
beyond the mountains. Their own Indians began to
mutter, " These Bostons are driving off our game and
destroying our camas-fields."
The woods were full of painted faces. Tomahawks
and scalping-knives glittered in the grass. The whites
had scorned these valley Indians; now a secret dread
took hold of every heart. Outlying ranchers came in
with frightened whispers —
" The Clackamas Indians are on the move."
" The Molallas are defiant."
"The Klickitats are collecting back of Tualati Plains."
A Calapooia chief crossed the Willamette, shaking
his finger toward the settlement by the Falls. " Never
will I return till I bring back a force to drive out these
Bostons."
" Should these Injuns combine, we are lost," said the
settlers. 240 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
" Dr. McLoughlin will not help us on account of that
memorial to Congress. There 's no ammunition except
in the stockade at Fort Vancouver."
" We are without defence," said the settlers. " We
cannot wait for Congress, we must organize."
"But how? " queried the timid.   " The French Cana-
tdians of Champoeg will oppose. They are not afraid
of Injuns. They will stand by the company, and they
are more than we in number."
"We must find a basis of common interest,—how
about wolves ? "
Wolves? How they laughed and cried around the
mission ! With what long howls they struck the midnight hour beside the Falls! What multitudinous
reveilles rang along the valley at the first red streak of
dawn! How the fine bark of puppies staccatoed the
hoarse bass of big gray grenadiers! How they ran
down herds of elk and horses and cattle! How they
dined on pigs and poultry and calves!
" Yes," was the unanimous response; " let us call a
wolf meeting! "
So, on the first Monday of March, 1843, every
American that could muster a boat landed at old
Champoeg at ten o'clock in the morning. They
proceeded at once to the house of Joseph Gervais.
Telix, faithful housewife, had scrubbed her floor and
swept her hearth and hied her away to plant her
onion bed.
The long-haired Canadians, indulging in their favorite
vice of smoking, discussed the bears and wolves and
panthers with these astute Americans. For fifteen
years these Frenchmen had depended each on his own
old rusty trade-gun, and the wolves were bad as ever.
Every night the good wife heard the squawking in her
jaal IP
A PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT
241
chicken-coop, and the farmer ran out bare-legged at
the squealing of his pigs. But these Americans — one
loss was enough to set loose relentless war against the
" varmints."
" How is it, fellow-citizens," cried the ringing voice
of an immigrant when bounties had been fixed upon the
scalps of wolves, " how is it with you and me and our
children? Have we any organization upon which we
can rely for mutual protection? Is there any power or
influence in the country sufficient to protect us, and
all we hold dear, from the worse than wild beasts that
threaten and occasionally destroy our cattle ? Who in
our midst is authorized to call us together to protect
our own and the lives of our families ? True, the alarm
may be given, as in a recent case, and we may run who
feel alarmed and shoot off our guns, while our enemy
may be robbing our property, ravishing our wives, and
burning the houses over our defenceless families. Common sense, prudence, and justice to ourselves, demand
that we act consistently with the principles with which we
commenced. We have mutually and unitedly agreed
to defend and protect our cattle and domestic animals;
now, fellow-citizens, I move that a committee be appointed to consider the civil and military protection of
this colony, and that said committee consist of twelve
persons."
Canadian and American, the ayes were unanimous.
The founders of Rome were suckled by a wolf. Out
of a wolf meeting grew the government of Oregon.
May came. Knee-deep in flowers, the delegates
gathered again at old Champoeg. The larks flew up
and sang. The Canadians made big eyes at one another. " The old regime is good enough," they said.
" Wait until the sovereignty is decided."
16 242
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
The Americans groaned in spirit. Some opponent
unknown had passed from house to house in old Champoeg and said to the Canadians, "Vote no, vote no,
vote no to everything." The Canadians were out in
force — hope flickered against hope that some of them
might favor American institutions.
They stood in the open air. The river ran by and
laughed, as when the red man held his councils on the
bluff.    The report of the committee was read.
" Shall we accept the report? " said the chairman.
" No ! " thundered the Canadians as one man.
The hearts of the Americans thumped against their
ribs. Confusion prevailed. The eye of the Secretary
measured the crowd — "We can risk it; let us divide
and count!"
Scarce had the second passed when Jo Meek the
trapper stepped forward with stentorian call: " Who 's
for a divide? All in favor of the report and organization, follow me! "
The lines marched apart, swayed a moment, hesitated
at deadlock—then — after a moment of heart-throbs —
two Canadians crossed to the American side. Fifty-
two against fifty!
" Three cheers for freedom! " again rang out the
trappers' call. A shout went up that summoned the
dusky dames to their doors a mile back on French
Prairie. The river ran by and laughed, but Oregon
was not the same.
" These Americans fatten on politics," said the clerks
at Fort Vancouver. " Why, it was as good as ' Punch
and Judy' to see the fun go on. And they were so
solemn and earnest about it, too."
The Canadians looked on and wondered. Dr. McLoughlin could hardly realize that out of these appar- A  PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT 243
ently trivial proceedings had arisen the fabric of a
State, that the infant settlement had donned the toga
virilis.
Dr. McLoughlin was walking in the garden at Fort
Vancouver, musing upon the troubled state of affairs.
The stronger grew the American colony the weaker
seemed his influence over the Indians. The last returns of each brigade grew less and less. The beaver
were disappearing. Added to this, a contest between
England and the United States seemed imminent, in
which a single misstep on his part might precipitate a
bloody war. The usually erect form was bent. A
light breeze dallied with his hair. A footstep at his
side attracted his attention. He turned and faced the
stalwart form of Yellow Serpent. The Walla Walla's
long black hair rippled over his beaded buckskin.
The eagle-plumes in his head-band gave a regal touch
to the haughty face.
" Ah, my son! " said Dr. McLoughlin, " I am glad
to see you here.    What news from the Walla Walla? "
"Bad news, my father. My people are full of fears.
I have come a long journey to show you my heart.
Dorion says Dr. Whitman will bring white men to take
our lands and kill us all."
"Tut, tut, tut! Why does the naughty Dorion
frighten my people? The white men will do no harm.
They are your friends. They come to help you, to
teach you."
Yellow Serpent was even taller than Dr. McLoughlin.
Approaching him closely he bent forward and looked
him eagerly in the eye.
"Will Boston man fight King George man?"
"Certainly not," answered the doctor; "we are at
peace." 244 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
"What for then you strengthen your stockade?" said
the Indian, majestically waving his hand toward the
wall. " What for another big gun? What for big ship
guarding you all winter?"
" Our stockades were old. We renew them often,"
answered the doctor. " The ship was a visitor, not a
defender."
The Indian went on: —
" We hear Boston man making laws. Getting ready
to become great people. Dr. Whitman will bring many,
many people. He say this America land. He take
all our land. Poor Indian will have no horses, no land,
no home by and by."
"You must do as Dr. Whitman tells you," said
McLoughlin. " Build homes on your "land. Cultivate your ground, and you can keep it like white
people."
" My people fear King George man and Boston man
join together and kill all Indian." Again that bent
face, that eager, searching, flashing look.
Dr. McLoughlin saw the real trouble in Yellow Serpent's soul. Truly he had shown his heart. Stepping
toward him and taking the Indian's two hands in his
own the benevolent doctor said: " My son, is this what
troubles you ? Go home and fear no more. No white
man will harm- you. Dr. Whitman is your true friend.
He will not see you injured. If any American should
make war on you the Hudson's Bay Company would
never join them. Have we not been your friends for
thirty years? Do you think we could bring our hearts
to harm our brothers? Go home and work in your
little gardens as Dr. Whitman taught you. Drive the
wicked Dorion away. He will bring my children into
trouble." A  PROVISIONAL  GOVERNMENT
245
" I will tell your words," said Yellow Serpent, turning
away.
But though Dr. McLoughlin had quieted the chief,
he himself was not quieted. In considerable mental
distress he dismissed the friendly chief and retired to
his office.    An hour later Douglas entered.
" What have you written? " inquired Douglas, as the
doctor looked up.
" I have written to the Hudson's Bay Company that
if they would not lose the country they must protect
their rights here; that immigrants hostile to British
interests are coming in, made more hostile by the *
publication of Irving's 'Astoria' and 'Bonneville,' —
these immigrants really fear we will set Indians upon
them; that by kindness we are striving to overcome
this prejudice; that, however, we have enemies here
trying to make trouble, — threats have been made
against Fort Vancouver, and really, the people have
been encouraged to make an attack, by public prints
in the United States, stating that British subjects ought
not to be allowed to remain in Oregon;* that there
is no dependence in the servants about the fort to
do sentry duty beyond a few nights, nor are there
officers enough to be put upon guard, without deranging the whole business; that our forces are not
sufficient in case of attack, and that in the dry season
the fort could easily be burned. So I have asked for
a government vessel to protect Fort Vancouver. The
great question with me is, how to keep the peace till
the sovereignty is decided. I think that covers the
case."
" I think so," said Douglas. The chief and his second always consulted each other and always agreed.
The  letter  went   by  express  to   Canada  and  on  to 246 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
London. Dr. McLoughlin mounted more guns and
waited for a reply.
A Catholic priest from the upper country brought
word to Fort Vancouver: "The Indians say they are
not mad at the King George men, only at the Bostons,
because they take their lands."
" Very well, then," said the irritated doctor. " Let
the Americans take care of themselves."
" The Indians of the interior are endeavoring to
form a coalition for the purpose of destroying all the
Boston people," wrote the missionaries from the Dalles
to the Indian subagent. " They construe the language
you used last autumn into threats. The wicked Dorion
has told them that ships are coming into the river with
troops."
" I must go up there again at all hazards, and
meet those Walla Walla-Cayuses," said the subagent.
He engaged twelve Frenchmen to accompany the
expedition, but when the day came every one sent
word, " We have decided not to go."
Not to be daunted, the subagent set out with four
companions from the Methodist mission. At Champoeg Dr. McLoughlin's long boat met him with a
despatch,—"I entreat you not to undertake such a
dangerous expedition. In all probability you and your
party will be cut off."    But the subagent went on.
At the Falls a second runner met him with a second
letter from Dr. McLoughlin. " I advised my Frenchmen to have nothing to do with this quarrel. Keep
quiet, keep quiet.    The excitement will soon subside."
Madame and Mrs. Douglas were at their embroidery
when they heard loud voices in the fort: " Is it true
that you refuse to grant supplies to the Americans who
signed that memorial?" A PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT
247
" I have not refused supplies to the signers, but the
authors need expect no more favors from me," answered
Dr. McLoughlin, in a tone that made the household
tremble.
" Then, as we had nothing to do with it, you can let
us have Indian goods on the credit of the United
States for our journey up the Columbia, can you not? "
persisted the subagent.
"I am astonished that you think of going up there
among those excited Indians," roared the doctor, looking hard at the venturesome four. Dr. McLoughlin's
usual tone was low and slow. This thunderous key he
sometimes used to his servants in reproof or command,
never before to Americans.
" Not all the people of the valley signed that paper,
Dr. McLoughlin. Not all of them approved of it. It
was puerile and childish. I shall tell the commissioner
of Indian affairs in my next report that if any one not
connected with the fur company had been at half the
pains and expense that you have been to to establish a
claim at the Willamette Falls, there would have been
few to object. Under the Joint Occupancy Treaty you
have as good a right as they."
This statement quite mollified the doctor's wrath.
" I thought my character as an honest man was beyond
suspicion, but when I heard of those charges, — well,
really, really, the citizens themselves are the best judges
if I have injured them or not."
The governor seized a pen and hastily scribbled
some orders.
" Here, Roberts! McTavish! Let the gentlemen
have whatever they want. God bless you, gentlemen,
God bless you.    May your errand succeed."
Mrs. Whitman joined them at the Dalles.    Rogers, 248 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
beloved of the Indians, Rogers without whom Mrs.
Whitman felt the meeting could not be held, was
dead.
The Indians were watching for the subagent and
the subagent was watching for the Indians. Each
expected to see an enemy. When three or four whites
entered their midst unarmed, their fears gave way to
wonder.
" Yes; Yellow Serpent was right," they said. " We
were mistaken." Ever since the chief's return they had
been working on their little plantations. Corn, peas,
and wheat were peeping through the mould.
" I actually found the Indians suffering more from
fear of the whites than the whites from fear of the
Indians," was the subagent's report on his return.
The Walla Walla meadows were purple with camas,
the plains a moquette of multicolored, phlox. The
Cayuses were camped along the base of the Blue
Mountains. Three thousand Walla Wallas were camped
on the Umatilla. A thousand Nez Perces came down
from the North on their best horses. The mounted
Cayuses and Walla Wallas rode forth to meet their
guests in sham battle. In front of Dr. Whitman's the
entire plain was a glittering cavalcade of prancing
horses and plumed warriors, gay as when the monarchs
of old met on the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Elijah,
Tauitau, Five Crows in splendid array led their several
bands.
Yellow Serpent sounded the war whistle. Chief
Joseph answered with the Indian bugle. The spirited
chargers dashed as in deadly combat, imitating a recent
battle with the Blackfeet. There was a rush and a roar,
a whirl and confusion, and shouts and flying foam, as
the savage cavalry swept the plain.    Even the chiefs
h— «■»
A PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT
249
began to fear an actual battle, when Spalding, from
Lapwai, said, " Let us retire to the doctor's house for
worship."
Chief Ellice rose on the back of his splendid charger,
waved his hand over the dark mass, and all was still.
The horses, gay with scarlet belts and head-dresses
and tassels, were led away. The trampling of many feet
resounded in the mission house. Like a vision Narcissa
Whitman glided into the dark assembly. The fair brow,
the golden hair, the clinging dress, riveted every eye.
When they sang her clear soprano soared like a bird
above the Nez Perce chorus. Ever since her return
there had been a constant stream of Indian women,
calling with little gifts to show their love.
The next day the chiefs in paint and plume assembled at the Council.
"You have heard a talk of war," said the subagent.
" We are come among you to assure you there is no
war. We come to regulate your intercourse with white
people. If you lay aside your quarrels, cultivate your
lands, and receive good laws, you may become a great
and happy people.
" Hear! hear! hear!" cried the Walla Walla-
Cayuses.
All that day and the next the chiefs discussed the
laws.    "And do you accept them? " said the agent.
" Ay," said all the Indians.
At this point excitement rose to fever heat.
"Who shall be our High Chief?"
Some said Tauitau. In former time Tauitau had been
head sachem of the Cayuse nation, but after his attack
on Chief Factor Pambrun that officer had broken up his
power, encouraged his young men to insubordination,
and had advanced the influence of the younger brother, 250
McLOUGHLIN AND  OLD  OREGON
Five Crows. Tauitau wore a rosary and a crucifix and
there was a blue cross embroidered on his moccasions.
" He is a Catholic. We do not follow his worship,"
roared Tiloukaikt.
" I cannot accept the chieftainship," said Tauitau.
" I have tried to control our young men in former time,
but I am left alone to weep."
Some mentioned Five Crows. " He is a strong heart,"
said one.    " He will not change," said another.
" Our hearts go toward him with a rush," cried all the
people.
Five Crows, the most ambitious chief of all the Indian
country, did not respond at once. He only bowed
his head and wept. By inheritance the chieftainship
belonged to Tauitau, now by election it was his.
The wind blew the tempting fragrance of a barbecued
ox toward the scene of deliberation. A fat hog hung
hissing over a pit of fire, and the hungry throng soon
gathered around a feast on the flowery field. The
sharp teeth of the Walla Walla-Cayuses and their Nez
Perce brethren made quick work of the savory menu.
Chief Ellice brought out the Nez Perce peace pipe,
three feet long with a bowl like a porringer, and laid
upon it a coal. The chiefs puffed first, and then the
whites. As each one drew a whiff he spoke, — Five
Crows, Ellice, Tauitau, Yellow Serpent, — one by one,
as the fragrant aroma curled up by the still Walla
Walla. One by one they took each other's hands —
and went out from the council and faced their antelope-
footed horses homeward. Late at night the fires still
smouldered, but where the nations camped that day
only one solitary old Indian remained to boil up the
feet of the barbecued ox for his next day's dinner.
■"HfrrtfcW ■K,
XXXI
WHITMAN RETURNS   WITH A
THOUSAND PEOPLE
1843
" r I TRAVEL, travel, travel, — nothing else will take
-L you to the end of your journey. Nothing is
wise that does not help you along. Nothing is good
for you that causes a moment's delay." The commanding voice and clear-cut face of Dr. Whitman
passed from wagon to wagon of that great procession
on the plains.
Back, far back as the eye could reach the line
extended, a thousand souls, one hundred and twenty
wagons drawn by oxen, and following in the rear
fifteen hundred loose horses and cattle trampled up the
dust. Like the Greek anabasis, like the exodus of
Israel, like the migrations of northern Europe, this
little army of emigrants broke all previous record, as
they toiled on westward two thousand miles in one
unresting march. At every dawn the bugle woke the
night encampment. At every dusk the tents were set
and supper fires were kindled. Old rocking-chairs
were brought out; Grandams knit by the cheerful
blaze and babies toddled in the grass. Under the
mellow moon the old men met in council, and young
men and maids tripped the toe to " Pretty Betty Martin " on the velvety plains of the Platte.   Many a lover's 252
McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
vow was plighted in that westward march from Missouri to the sea. Hunters swept in from the buffalo-
raid and scouts reported the trail of Indians. Future
senators, governors, generals, divines, and judges were
in that train; founders of cities and carvers of empire.
Burnett, a brisk lawyer, good-looking and affable, became the first governor of California; William Gilpin,
the first governor of Colorado. Nesmith sat in the
national Senate; McCarver, the founder of Burlington,
Iowa, became the founder of Sacramento, California, of
Tacoma, Washington, and missed by only ten miles
the metropolis of Oregon. Journeying leisurely in the
rear, by a somewhat different route, came Lieutenant
Fremont with fourteen government wagons, following
the emigrants out to Oregon.
Here, there, everywhere, Dr. Whitman attended the
sick, encouraged the weary, and counselled with the
pilot over the safety of the route. He was patient with
complaints. " The best of men and women, when
fatigued and anxious by the way, will be jealous of
their rights," he said. For them he sought the smoothest route, the shallowest ford, the most cooling pastures
for their fainting cattle.
Men were in that train who had inherited a hearty
hatred of the British, men whose fathers had fought in
the Revolution, and to whom 1812 was fresh in memory.
Burnett, the lawyer, struck a responsive chord when
he cried: " Let us drive out those British usurpers,
let us defend Oregon from the British lion. Posterity
will honor us for placing the fairest portion of our land
under the stars and stripes."
Along the Big Blue in the sweet June weather,
ferrying the Platte in their wagon-box boats in the July
sun, sighting the Rockies in August, they camped and Hi
WHITMAN  RETURNS
*53
marched and marched and camped toward the sunset.
In the buffalo country the Indians peeped like blackbirds over the hills and disappeared. In September,
dashing across a cut-off, Dr. Whitman reached Fort
Hall three days before the train. Thither to his great
joy he found his faithful Cayuses had packed a quantity
of provisions on their plump little ponies. There they
were, riding and swaying andi swinging, clinging with
their legs under the ponies' bellies and waving their
arms in greeting—the poetry of Delsarte before Delsarte
was heard of.
We can well imagine Dr. Whitman's first words,
"My wife?" and the answer, "Watching for you," in
Indian pantomime. Something of the May-feast he
may have learned and of the burned mill as he shook
hands with his red retainers.
Against the crackling sage-brush the dust-covered
train came rolling in.
"What are you going to Oregon for? You cannot
get the wagons through," said Captain Grant, the
Hudson's Bay factor at Fort Hall. " 'T is a physical
impossibility. A small immigration passed through
here last year. I told them as I tell you, wagons never
have passed, never can pass through the Snake country
and the Blue Mountains. They believed me, left their
wagons, bought pack animals, and got through safely.
My advice to you is the same, get pack animals and
go through, but I advise you to go to California. The
route is shorter and safer, and there is the better
country."
" Can't get the wagons through," was the word that
passed from lip to lip.
" No," said Captain Grant; " there you see the ones
abandoned last year." 254 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD  OREGON
Sure enough, there in a corner of the stockade stood
five battered old wagons left by the venturesome party
last year. Along with them were ploughs and other
implements that could not be packed on horses. At
this apparent proof the men looked solemn. The
women began to cry.
" Both the Snake and the Columbia are deep, swift
rivers," continued Captain Grant; " no company has
ever attempted their passage but with a loss of life.
Besides, several Indian tribes in the middle regions
have combined to prevent your passage. Why, the
Willamette is a thousand miles from here. The distance is so great that winter will overtake you before
you reach the Cascades. I am astonished that you
ever scaled the Rockies, but the Blue Mountains are
much more formidable. From here to the Blue Mountains the plain is a cut-rock desert — without water.
The Snake River runs at the bottom of a deep canyon —
if you have read Irving's ' Astoria' you remember
how Hunt's party wandered along the brink, and yet
almost died of thirst because they could not reach the
water. There is absolutely no food to be had — unless
you eat gophers and ground-hogs you will die of famine.
I would n't undertake it; the short cut to California is
much safer."
Groups stood here and there, talking in great excitement, when Dr. Whitman returned from his conversation with the Cayuses.
" What! Can't get the wagons through ! " exclaimed
Dr. Whitman. "That's all bosh. My wagon went
through three years ago, and where one went a hundred
can. Bring the wagons by all means. You '11 need
them. There's a great demand. What can farmers do
without wagons ? — and most of you are farmers.   Here, WHITMAN  RETURNS 255
my friend, sell me that light dearborn and I'11 prove
what I say. My Cayuses are here, they know the trails;
they are the safest guides in the world."
Six months had passed since that gallant company
crossed the border with their rifles on their shoulders,
headed for the end of the West.
" The Sioux will oppose you." " Look out for the
Crows." " Beware of the Blackfeet," had been the
warning from point to point. No foe had troubled them.
They had forded many a rushing stream, had followed
the wagon route of two women round and round and
over the Rockies. As to Dr. Whitman, some of them
had heard his bugle-call along the border, some had
read his pamphlet as far away as Texas. More had
heard of the previous immigration, for Oregon was in
the air, and the settlers of the then isolated Missouri
believed that their crops might find a better market by
the seaboard. Of Whitman they knew nothing. All
they saw was an immigrant, like themselves, who had
almost recklessly exposed himself in hunting fords for
their wagons and cattle. His past they knew not, his
future not, nor his plans; he spoke seldom, and to the
point, and always hopefully. He was worried, perhaps,
with the expense of that winter ride, that the Board
would not meet and he must. He was anxious, perhaps,
for futurefood for that army. Flour at Fort Hall was
selling at mountain prices, —- a dollar a pint, forty dollars
a barrel, or four cows a hundred weight. The immigrants had spent thousands of dollars for provisions at
Laramie and Fort Hall — he knew they were short of
money. If worst came to worst they had their cattle,
perhaps the mission plantations had raised enough to
last them down to Fort Vancouver. These cogitations
the immigrants saw not, but they did see an American. 256 McLOUGHLIN  AND  OLD OREGON
His positive manner, his honest face gave them confidence.
" He has led us right so far," they said. " He has
been over the road. He lives here. These Injuns know
him. They have come to meet him. We will follow
Dr. Whitman."
As the groups closed round their leader again, Captain
Grant expostulated.
" You Americans are running an awful risk. There's
not a particle of pasturage on the Snake; your cattle
will all die. All I have seen convinces me 'tis a beggarly country. The buffalo starves there, even the
wolves are so thin you can count their ribs. As for
wagons, the pack-trails are of sharp, cut rock, and
narrow and steep. You will be stranded in some
lonely gorge, if you persist in this attempt to take
them through the tangled woods and rocky cliffs and
canyons of the Blue Mountains. But I wash my hands
of your destruction."
It was not the last effort of the Hudson's Bay Company to divert immigration away from Oregon.
Dr. Whitman gave the whole of the provisions brought
by the Cayuses to the immigrants, reserving only scraps
and bones for himself, and with a body-guard of axemen and his trusty Indians, set on ahead. He tacked
up notices at every difficult place, and set up guide-
poles in the dusty desert. Night by night tents were
set at oases of buffalo-grass, and the Indian guides by
day became night guards and herders. The Snake was
forded at Salmon Falls, then over the future battleground of the Chief-Joseph-Nez-Perce-War, through the
deep sand and tough sage, thirteen miles a day, they
came to the Burnt River canyon. On every side lay
tangled heaps of burnt and fallen trees, but with the WHITMAN  RETURNS 257
genius of a Caesar Whitman led his battalions in the
centre of the river-bed for twenty-five miles. Over
the rough hills, on the first of October, the main body
of the immigration entered the Grande Ronde valley.
Hundreds of Indian women were digging and drying the
camas. A second party of Cayuses, on their plump
little horses adorned with streamers, came out to meet
them with a feast of bread and berries and elk meat.
In their long-laced leggings, and deerskin jackets, and
flying hair, the Cayuses welcomed Dr. Whitman with a
thousand extravagant antics, circling about and about,
and flinging themselves over and under their ponies like
circus boys-
The Indians offered their native roots. The white
people gingerly touched the bulbous camas. It flaked
off like an onion. " Better than licorice," sa