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Full text of "History of the city of Spokane and Spokane country, Washington"

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WuBLlC LIBRARY 






N. W. DURHAM 



HISTORY 



OF THE 



CITY OF SPOKANE 



AND 



SPOKANE COUNTRY 

WASHINGTON 



From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time 



By N. W. DURHAM 



ILLUSTRATED 



History, as it lies at the root of all science, is also the first distinct product of man's 
spiritual nature; his earliest expressions of what can be called thought.— car/jr/e. 



VOLUME I 



SPOKANE-CHICAGO-PHILADELPHIA 

THE S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY 

1912 



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THE NEW YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 

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ASTOn, LENOX AND 

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•• •• 






PREFACE 



In the founding and building of Spokane and other cities of the Inland Empire^ 
we find abundant material for history — a history rich in distinctive local color and 
abounding in achievements which well may excite our people's pride and interest. 

For the assembling here, within the brief span of forty years, of a prosperous, 
progressive and metropolitan population, drawn from the four winds of earth and 
dwelling together in successful civic and industrial co-operation, constitutes a great 
epic achievement; and moreover, an achievement which, prior to the nineteenth cen- 
tury, had scarcely a parallel in all the world's long history. New York, founded in 
1623, possessed a population two hundred years later that only closely corresponded 
to the present population of Spokane; and so late as 1840, Philadelphia, 160 years 
after its colonization by William Penn, fell 10,000 short of Spokane's census returns 
of 1910. 

Men and women who came here with the founding of the town, are still among us 
in rugged strength and creative power ; and boys and girls who filled the first classes 
in the public school are yet young men and women. In all this, there should be found 
a brave and inspiring story, and yet a narrative that will adhere with historical 
fidelity to truth. 

To the compilation of this volume the writer has given a little more than a year 
of continuous and almost undivided effort; but now that his labor is ended, regret 
is felt that another year is lacking to impart to it somewhat of that finish which 
should be a distinct characteristic of any historic production. That this brief preface 
may not be altogether apologetic, the author may say that he has endeavored to court 
accuracy, and to give Jiis readers a volume which, while adequate in detail and com- 
prehensive in period and territory, has yet attempted to catch the spirit of the times. 
Assistance and encouragement are appreciatively acknowledged from Mrs. C. L. 
Hathaway, August Wolf, John B. Slater, Frank Johnson, H. T. Cowley, Father 
Louis J. Taelman, W. P. Winans, W. D. Vincent and J. E. Nessly; to the Spokes- 
man-Review and the Chronicle for access to their invaluable files ; and to the advisory 
board, comprising James Monaghan, James N. Glover, Mrs. W. H. Ludden, D. C. 
Corbin, Edwin T. Coman and Ben. Burgunder. 

In the fullness of time, better histories will be penned of Spokane and the In- 
land Empire. The author, however, may venture a hope that in this endeavor he has 
gathered up some historic data, and has recorded here the testimony of pioneers 
which, without his labor, might have been wholly lost or clouded to posterity. 

N. W. D. 

• • ■ 

in 



CONTENTS 



•J 



CHAPTER I 

ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF HISTORY 

FIRST MENTION OF THE SP0KANE8 BY LEWIS AND CLARK EARLY DAY SPANISH INFLU- 
ENCES JEFFERSON TO JOHN JACOB ASTOR — ADVENT OF THE FUR TRADERS, 1811" 

12 A NIOHT OF TERROR MASSACRE OF THE CREW OF THE TONQUIN A FRIGHTFUL 

REVENGE 1 



CHAPTER II 

WHITE MEN ON THE SPOKANE 

FIN N MACDONALD PROBABLY FIRST TO VIEW THE FALLS ^RACE BETWEEN ASTORIANS AND 

THE NORTHWESTERS BRITISHERS ESTABLISH SPOKANE HOUSE AMERICANS LOCATE 

AT MOUTH OF OKANOGAN A YEAR LATER AT MOUTH OF LITTLE SPOKANE MR. 

ASTOr's stock of goods — HORSEFLESH STAPLE ARTICLE OF DIET ADVENTURES OF 

ROSS COX RESCUED BY FRIENDLY SPOKANES BUFFALO WEST OF THE ROCKIES 

TRADING WITH THE INDIANS DUEL AT SPOKANE HOUSE GAY LIFE IN THE BALL 

ROOM LIFE OF PERIL AND HARDSHIP PASSING OF THE BRIGADES A MOTLEY 

CREW 9 



CHAPTER III 

BRITISH FLAG SUPPLANTS THE STARS AND STRIPES 

TAKING THE FURS DOWN THE COLUMBIA INDIAN THIEF HANGED AT MOUTH OF 

PALOUSE GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA AT WAR ASTOR BETRAYED BY HIS PART- 
NERS AT ASTORIA HIS GREAT ENTERPRISE RUINED BRITISH SEIZE ASTORIA ^EXPE- 
DITION MASSACRED ON HEADWATERS OF THE SNAKE REMARKABLE ESCAPE OF PIERRE 

DORION*8 SQUAW 21 



vi CONTENTS 

CHAPTER IV 

ODD CHARACTERS AT SPOKANE HOUSE 

INDIANS PAMIONATELY FOND OF TOBACCO HALCYON DAYS FOR THE 8POKANE8 A 

FIERY HIGHLAND SCOT TAKING AN INDIAN WIFE ^WAR NARROWLY AVERTED 

FLATHEAD GIRLS SCORN WHITE SUITORS OTHERS NOT SO FASTIDIOUS GARDENS 

PLANTED ON THE SPOKANE STRANGE INDIAN CHIEF NEAR LOON LAKE REMARK- 
ABLE CAREER OF A FREE TRADER 29 



CHAPTER V 

TRAVEL BETWEEN SPOKANE AND ASTORIA 

NAVIGATING THE COLUMBIA A CENTURY AGO FRENCH AND IROQUOIS V0YAOEUR8 

RANGING OVER THE VAST INTERIOR MELONS AND CUCUMBERS GROWN AT SPOKANE 

THE GRAND COULEE INDIAN METHOD OF HUNTING DEER HORSE-RACING IN SPO- 
KANE VALLEY DELIGHTFUL TIMES IN 1815 ICE-BOUND ON THE COLUMBIA 

SHOCKING TRAGEDY ON THE UPPER RIVER VICTIMS RESORT TO CANNIBALISM 

NORTHWEST COMPANY ABSORBED BY ITS HUDSON's BAY RIVAL 39 



CHAPTER VI 

AMUSING AND TRAGIC INCIDENTS 

DANCING WITH SPOKANE NYMPHS PETER SKENE OGDEN AND HIS INDIAN WIFE FRENCH 

THE PREVAILING LANGUAGE OF THE COUNTRY LOUIS LA LIBERTE's WOUNDED PRIDE 

THRILLING ADVENTURE WITH A GRIZZLY BEAR ROUGH LIFE OF THE FREF 

TRADERS KEEN COMPETITION FORCED RIDE WITH A SUPPLY OF TOBACCO — SPO- 
KANE WOMEN GREAT SLAVES SHOCKING DOUBLE ACT OF REVENGE 49 



CHAPTER VII 

EARLY DAY MISSIONS JN THE INLAND EMPIRE 

CRUDE MISSION EFFORTS OF CATHOLIC IROQUOIS EMBLEM OF THE CROSS ON THE CO- 
LUMBIA INDIAN PILGRIMAGE TO ST. LOUIS ARRIVAL OF REV. SAMUEL PARKER IN 

1885 HIS TRAVELS IN THE SPOKANE COUNTRY ^ARRIVAL OF WHITMAN AND SPALD- 
ING WITH THEIR BRIDES OVERLAND JOURNEY OF BELLS AND WALKER WITH THEIR 

BRIDES — ^ADVENTURES ON THE PLAINS AND IN THE MOUNTAINS ARRIVAL AT WHIT- 
MAN MISSION NEAR WALLA WALLA 61 



CONTENTS vii 

CHAPTER VIII 

FOUNDING A MISSION AMONG THE SPOKANES 

SELLS AND WALKSR MEET THE INDIANS AT CHEWELAH BIRTH OF FIRST AMERICAN 

WHITE BOT IN OLD OREGON EELLS AND WALKER FAMILIES LOCATE AT WALKER's 

PRAIRIE^ NEAR SPOKANE LIVING ON HORSE MEAT INDIAN CUSTOMS DESCRIBED 

MISSION LIFE AT TSHIMAKAIN MISSIONARIES DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED MIDWINTER 

FIRE HTMN AS SUNG BY THE SPOKANES 75 



CHAPTER IX 

MISSION LIFE AT WALKER'S PRAIRIE, CONTINUED 

SEVERE WINTER OF 1840-41 ARDUOUS JOURNEYS BY FATHER EELLS GOING TO COL- 

TILLE FOR MAIL ^DR. WHITMAN'S FAMOUS MIDWINTER RIDE DISCOVERY OF THE 

PRECIOUS METALS MOTHERS* MEETINGS SEVENTY YEARS AGO DREADFUL WINTER OP 

1846-47 NO NEW BONNETS FOR EASTER SUNDAY FIRST SHOES FOR THE CHIL- 
DREN HOW THE MISSION WOMEN MADE CHEESE INDIAN WIFE WHO WAS "a 

JEWEL OF RARE EXCELLENCE." 88 



CHAPTER X 

MISSIONS DESTROYED AND ABANDONED 

MISSIONARIES -ILL AND DISCOURAGED ^W^ITMAN MASSACRE BRINGS TERROR TO TSHI- 
MAKAIN FAITHFUL SPOKANES REMAIN LOYAL ^MISSIONARIES FLEE TO COLVILLE 

GRAPHIC REMINISCENCE OF EDWIN BELLS ^A THRILLING MOMENT SPOKANES RALLY 

TO DEFENSE OF THEIR TEACHERS CAYUSES SEND OUT LYING RUNNERS OREGON 

VOLUNTEERS COME TO ESCORT MISSIONARIES TO WILLAMETTE VALLEY PATHETIC 

FAREWELL ON THE SPOKANE "oUR HEARTS WEEP TO SEE YOU GO." 89 



CHAPTER XI 

FOUNDING THE FIRST CHURCHES AROUND SPOKANE 

FATHER EELLS RETURNS TO THE BUNCHGRASS REGION TWELVE YEARS AT WALLA 

WALLA FOUNDS WHITMAN ACADEMY SPALDING RETURNS TO THE NEZ PERCES 

BAPTIZES 253 SPOKANES ^EELLS VISITS HIS OLD FRIENDS ON THE SPOKANE DELIV- 

ER8 FIRST FOURTH OP JULY ADDRESS AT COLVILLE ORGANIZES AT COLFAX FIRST 

CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH NORTH OF SNAKE RIVER ELECTED SCHOOL SUPERIN- 
TENDENT OF WHITMAN COUNTY LIFE AS A CIRCUIT RIDER OUT OF COLFAX 

MOVES TO MEDICAL LAKE' DEDICATES CHURCH AT CHEWELAH ORGANIZES CHURCH 



viii CONTENTS 

at medical lake his work in spokane organizes church at 8prague 

his last days at tacoma tributes to his memory mission work among the 

nez perces life work of rev. h. h. spalding a devoted band general 

Howard's tribute to miss m'beth 95 



CHAPTER XII 

H. T. COWLEY TELLS OF LIFE AMONG THE SPOKANES 

BEGINS MISSION WORK WITH THE NEZ PERCES IN 1871 BECOMES AN INDEPENDENT 

TEACHER AT SPOKANE IN 1874 FAMILY LIVES ON DRIED SALMON AND VENISON 

OPENS SCHOOL IN INDIAN LODGE INDIANS HELP TO BUILD SCHOOLHOUSE AND 

DWELLING FOR MR. COWLEY EAGER TO LEARN WAYS OF CIVILIZATION SLIGHT RE- 
SPECT FOR PRIVACY GIFTS COME FROM AFAR FINDS INDIANS HONEST AND KIND 

TEACHES FIRST PUBLIC SCHOOL, WITH SIX PUPILS 107 



CHAPTER XIII 

CATHOLIC MISSIONS IN THE INLAND EMPIRE 

REV. MODEST DEMERS DESCENDS THE COLUMBIA IN 1838 MAKES A MISSION TOUR OF 

INTERIOR THE FOLLOWING YEAR ST. MARy's ESTABLISHED IN 1841 BY FATHER 

DE8MET AND OTHERS COEUR d'aLENE MISSION ESTABLISHED ON THE ST. JOE, 

1842 TRANSFERRED TO THE COEUR d'aLENE IN 1846 FATHER J08BT IN CHAROB 

ST. IGNATIUS MOVED FROM LOWER FEND d'oREILLE RIVER TO MONTANA SACRED 

HEART MISSION TRANSFERRED TO DESMET MISSION LABORS AMONG THE NEZ PER- 
CES MISSIONS IN THE COLVILLE COUNTRY PRESIDENT OF GONZAOA VISITS THK 

CALISPELS ARMY OFFICER'S DESCRIPTION OF THE OLD MISSION OF ST. IGNA- 
TIUS 113 



CHAPTER XIV 

CATHOLIC MISSIONS— CONTINUED 

FATHER DESMET JOURNEYS IN A BARK CANOE, TO THE HORSE PLAINS IN MONTANA 

RETURNS TO KALISPEL BAY AND FELLS THE FIRST TREE FOR THE MISSION DISCOV- 
ERS LIMESTONE CAVE ON LOWER PEND d'oREILLE GOES TO WILLAMETTE VALLEY 

FOR SEEDS AND IMPLEMENTS RETURNS AND ERECTS A LITTLE CHAPEL OF BOUGHS 

POETIC DESCRIPTION OF KETTLE FALLS ESTABLISHES MISSION OF ST REGIS IN 

COLVILLE VALLEY MEETS PETER SKENE OGDEN IN THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS 

EXPRESSES HIS OPINION OF THE OREGON QUESTION HOW THE CAMAS ROOT WAS PRE- 
PARED DESMET RANGES FAR, TO THE HEADWATERS OF THE COLUMBIA INTEREST- 
ING BLACKFOOT TRADITION AN INDIAN HEAVEN MISSIONARY'S REMARKABLE 

JOURNEY FROM THE ATHABASCA TO KETTLE FALLS HOW THE ARROW LAKES WERE 

NAMED 123 



CONTENTS ix 

CHAPTER XV 

CATHOLIC MISSIONS— CONCLUDED 

OVERLAND JOURNEY FROM OLD WALLA WALLA TO THE SPOKANE DESMET TAKES A 

FRIENDLY INDIAN PIPE FROM THE SPOKANE TO COLVILLE fRIP FROM SPOKANE 

TO THE COEUR d'aLENE MISSION A SUMMER ENCAMPMENT DESCRIBED TAKING 

"POT luck" with INDIANS SUPERSTITIONS OF THE COEUR d'aLENES THEY WOR- 
SHIP A WHITE man's spotted SHIRT AND BLANKET MISSION EFFORTS OF AN IRO- 
QUOIS CHIEF FATHER POINT's LABORS AMONG THIS TRIBE GOVERNOR STEVENS* 

HOSPITABLE RECEPTION AT THE OLD MISSION MISSIONARIES TAKE THE OATH OF 

ALLEGIANCE TO THE U. S. CAPTAIN m'cLELLAN AMONG THE YAKIMAS ST. MICH- 

AEL's MISSION NEAR HILLYARD FATHER CARUANA AMONG THE SPOKANES 135 



CHAPTER XVI 

GOVERNOR STEVENS' OVERLAND EXPEDITION OF 1853 



FIRST GOVERNOR CLOTHED WITH REMARKABLE POWERS ON THE SUMMIT OF THE COEUR 

d'aLENES GUEST OF CATHOLIC FATHERS AT OLD MISSION IN CAMP AT WOLf's 

LODGE GOVERNOR OBSERVES SPOKANES AT THEIR DEVOTIONS FIRST VIEW OF LABJS 

COEUR d'aLENB MARCHING DOWN THE SPOKANE VALLEY GOVERNOR VISITS THE 

VALUa INDIAN VILLAGE AT MOUTH OF HANGMAN CREEK PUZZLED BT CHIEF 

GARRY FORCED RIDE TO COLVILLE MEETS CAPT. GEORGE B. m'cLELLAN BOUNTI- 
FUL SUPPER SERVED BY MRS. MCDONALD STEAKS COOKED IN BUFFALO FAT LISTENS 

TO TALES OF ADVENTURE 149 



CHAPTER XVII 

FROM SPOKANE TO WALLA WALLA AND VANCOUVER 

M'cLELLAN PROCRASTINATES ON THE COLUMBIA AND IN THE CASCADES HAD LITTLE 



FAITH IN THE COUNTRY STEVENS ASSEMBLES HIS PARTY IN CAMP WASHINGTON- 



CHEERED BY A KEG OF COGNAC VISITS OLD MISSION ON WALKER's PRAIRIE COL- 
VILLE VALLEY SETTLERS SEEK NATURALIZATION FIELD CAPITAL NEAR SPOKANE 

FEASTING IN CAMP WASHINGTON BEEF HEAD, TEXAS FASHION ARMY OFFICERS 

SHRINK FROM WINTER SERVICE GARRY TELLS STEVENS OF INDIAN MYTHS ACROSS 

THE PALOUSE COUNTRY FINE POTATOES IN WALLA WALLA VALLEY TRIBUTE TO 

MARCUS WHITMAN DOWN THE COLUMBIA IN A CANOE GUEST AT VANCOUVER OF 

CAPTAIN BONNEVILLE 157 



X CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XVIII 

OLYMPIA, THE BACKWOODS CAPITAL, IN 1S5S 

FIVE days' hard travel FROM VANCOUVER GOVERNOR DRENCHED IN AN INDIAN" 

CANOE HEARTY PIONEER GREETING ^MRS. STEVENS* GRAPHIC PICTURE OF THE 

SQUALID LITTLE CAPITAL "wHAT A PROSPECT !" SHE BREAKS DOWN AND CRIES 

LATER LEARNED TO LOVE THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE HORSEBACK ACROSS THE 

LOVELY PRAIRIES PLEASING PICTURE OF FATHER RICARD's MISSION COLUMBIA 

LANCASTER ELECTED TO CONGRESS BUSY DAYS FOR THE GOVERNOR MENACED BY 

POLITICAL RUIN PEREMPTORY ORDER FROM JEFFERSON DAVIS STEVENS GOES BY 

SEA TO NATIONAL CAPITAL HIS ENEMIES ROUTED 167 



CHAPTER XIX 

NEGOTIATING TREATIES WITH THE INTERIOR TRIBES 

STEVENS PLUNGES INTO AN ARDUOUS TASK WALLA WALLA A GREAT COUNCIL GROUND 

GOVERNOR MEETS THERE 5,000 INDIANS IN 1855 NEZ PERCES MASS A THOUSAND 

WARRIORS A STRIKING PAGEANT HAUGHTY MESSAGE FROM THE YELLOW SERPENT 

KAMIAKEN PROUD AND SCORNFUL FEASTING, HORSE-RACING AND FOOT-RACING 

INDIAN ORATORY AND SARCASM CHIEF LAWYER EXPOSES A PLOT TO MASSACRE THE 

governor's PARTY CONSPIRACY IS THWARTED THE TREATIES EXPLAINED A 

STARTLING INCIDENT STORMY COUNCIL TREATIES CONCLUDED— CELEBRATED WITH 

A SCALP DANCE 171 



CHAPTER XX 

NEGOTIATING THE FLATHEAD TREATY IN MONTANA 

WALLA WALLA COUNCIL BREAKS UP TRAILS FILLED WITH WILD AND PICTURESQUE 

CAVALCADES GIFTS FOR THE 8POKANE8 ^STRIKlNG BORDER^ CHARACTERS PEARSON 

THE EXPRESS ^IDER— STEVENS' LITTLE PARTY MOVES EASTWARD ACROSS THE INLAND 

EMPIRE GREAT COUNCIL ON THE HELLGATE GOVERNOR STEVENS EXPLAINS THE 

TREATIES MORE INDIAN ORATORY CUTTINO THE OORDIAN KNOT "EVERY MAN 

PLEASED AND EVERY MAN SATISFIED." 189 



CHAPTER XXI 

PEACE COUNCIL WITH THE WARLIKE BLACKFEET 

couriers summon numerous tribes great council at mouth of the judith 

Nebraska's commissioner procrastinates — stevens' opening address — treaty 



CONTENTS xi 

NKOOTIATED AFTER THREE DAY CONFERENCE COATS AND MEDALS GIVEN TO THE 

CHIEFS GERMAN SONGS ROLL ACROSS THE MISSOURI HOMERIC FEAST OF BUFFALO 

RIBS AND FLAPJACKS LISTENING TO THRILLING TALES OF TRAPPER DAYS 197 



CHAPTER XXII 



TRIBES OF INTERIOR TAKE TO THE WARPATH 



irsWS TO SHAKE THE STOUTEST HEART GOVERNOR CUT OFF FROM OLYMPIA PEAR- 

SON's DESPERATE RIDE THROUGH HOSTILE COUNTRY STEVENS ADVISED TO DESCEND 

THE MISSOURI AND RETURN BY SEA REJECTS THAT COUNSEL AND BOLDLY RETURNS 

BY DIRECT ROUTE CROSSES BITTER ROOTS IN THREE FEET OF SNOW STARTLES 

INDIANS BY SUDDEN APPEARANCE IN COEUR d'aLENES FORCED MARCH TO THE 

SPOKANE ^MEETS MINERS FROM COLVILLE COUNTRY STORMY COUNCIL WITH SPO- 

KANE8 GARRY VACILLATES— STEVENS BLAMED FOR YAKIMAS OUTBREAK 8POKANE8 

CONCILIATED ^''sPOKANE INVINCIBLES'' ORGANIZED AS MILITIA COMPANY NEZ 

PERCES GIVE GOVERNOR AN ARMED ESCORT H08TILES ROUTED BY OREGON VOLUN- 
TEERS STEVENS RETURNS SAFELY TO OLYMPIA 201 



CHAPTER XXIII 

GOVERNOR STEVENS AN ARDENT INLAND EMPIRE BOOSTER 

SENliS- OPTIMISTIC REPORTS TO WASHINGTON FORESEES GREAT FUTURE FOR WALLA 

WALLA, PALOUSE, YAKIMA, SPOKANE AND OTHER REGIONS REMARKABLE FORECAST 

OF country's resources POINTS OUT VALUE OF LOGGED OFF LANDS REMARKABLE 

RIDE BY HIS 13 YEAR OLD SON CHARMED BY WESTERN MONTANA AND IDAHO PAN- 
HANDLE PREDICTS DEVELOPMENT OF MANY RICH MINES M'cLELLAN BERATES THE 

COUNTRY IS PRAISED BY JEFFERSON DAVIS, WHO WANTS TO DISCOURAGE NORTHERN 

DEVELOPMENT 218 



CHAPTER XXIV 

« 

CONFEDERATED INDIAN WAR OF 1858 

WAR FLAMES KINDLED OVER A WIDE AREA CAUSES LEADING UP TO THE OUTBREAK OF 

TRIBES NORTH OF SNAKE RIVER ^YAKIMAS REPUDIATE TREATY AND MURDER THEIR 

AGENT STEVENS BITTERLY ASSAILS COMMANDER AT FORT VANCOUVER STEPTOE's 

ILL-FATED EXPEDITION HIS CANDID PJIPORT OF THE DISASTROUS REPULSE 221 



\ 

\ 



xii CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XXV 

DETAILED ACCOUNT OF THE STEPTOE RETREAT 

INDIAN HOSTILITY A SURPRISE H08TILE8 OPEN FIRS OFFICIAL REPORT OF KILLED 

AND WOUNDED FATHER JOSET's ACCOUNT OF THE TRAGEDY ^DEVILISH INTRIGUES 

OF THE PALOUSES — ^RECOLLECTIONS OF A SURVIVOR — STEPTOE SAVED FROM ANNI- 
HILATION BY BTEZ PERCE ALLIES FAITHFUL OLD TIMOTHY MEMORIAL PARK 

MARKS THE S|TE OF STEPTOB's LAST STAND PATRIOTIC GIFT OF DAUGHTERS OF 

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION 229 



CHAPTER XXVI 

COLONEL WRIGHT'S CAMPAIGN OF REPRISAL 

WAR DEPARTMENT ACTS WITH QUICK VIGOR STRONG COMMAND SENT OUT FROM WALLA 

WALLA SAVAGES MASS FOR THE CONFLICT ARE INSOLENT AND DEFIANT BOLDLY 

ATTACK THE TROOPS ARE ROUTED WITH HEAVY LOSS NEAR MEDICAL LAKE LT. 

kip's GRAPHIC ACCOUNT OF THE BATTLE WILD FLIGHT OF THE ALLIES NEZ PER- 

CE8 CELEBRATE WITH A WAR DANCE HOSTILE8 RALLY FOR ANOTHER ATTACK FIRE 

THE PRAIRIE GRASS SCENES OF WILD CONFUSION BATTLE OF THE SPOKANE 

PLAINS 239 



CHAPTER XXVII 

WRIGHT DICTATES STERN TERMS TO THE VANQUISHED 

COMMAND BREAKS CAMP AND MOVES UP THE SPOKANE GARRY SUES FOR PEACE WRIGHT 

HANGS FIRST VICTIM CAPTURES AND KILLS VAST HERD OF INDIAN HORSES — ^RUNNER 

BRINGS LETTER FROM FATHER JOSET ^INDIAN BARNS AND GRANARIES BURNED 

CHIEF VINCENT OF THE COEUR D^ALENES BEGS FOR PEACE COMMAND MARCHES TO 

COEUR d'aLENE mission ^PEACE COUNCIL A SCENE OF BARBARIC COLOR ^INDIANS 

TERRIFIED BY APPEARANCE OF DONATl's COMET 243 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

HOW HANGMAN CREEK DERIVED ITS NAME 

WRIGHT HOLDS A COUNCIL WITH THE SPOKANES CANNY OLD COLVILLE CHIEF SPO- 
KANE CHIEFS HUMBLED KAMIAKEN ELUDES ARREST QUALCHIEN COMES IN AND 

IS PROMPTLY HANGED DIES LIKE A COWARD OWHI SHOT IN A DASH FOR LIBERTY 

SIX MORE INDIANS HANGED ON HANGMAN CREEK — SIXTEEN IN ALL ARE VICTIMS 

OF THE NOOSE REMAINS RECOVERED OF SOLDIERS WHO FELL IN STEPTOE's 

FIGHT 253 



CONTENTS xiii 

CHAPTER XXIX 

WRIGHT'S RETURN MARCH TO WALLA WALLA 

TEI.X8 THE PALOU8E8 THET ARE RASCALS AND DESERVE TO BE HUNG TREATS THEM AS 

OUTLAWS, BUT PUTS THEM ON PROBATION HANGS FOUR AS A WARNING TO THE 

OTHERS "CUTMOUTH JOHN" A CONSPICUOUS FIGURE MILITARY HONORS FOR THE 

GALLANT DEAD LIEUTENANT KIP's PREDICTION ^"tHE WAR IS CLOSED*' COLONEL 

MTRIGHT's FINAL REPORT 261 



CHAPTER XXX 

« 

REMARKABLE EARLY HISTORY OF SPOKANE COUNTY 

FIRST CREATED IN 1858 AREA OF 75^000 SQUARE MILES PUBLIC OFFICES GO BEG- 
GING OLD PINKNEY CITY THE COUNTY SEAT FIRST LEGISLATOR MURDERED BT 

INDIANS FIRST POLITICAL CONVENTION UNION SENTIMENT STRONG-»-COURT 

HOUSE OF logs; HAD BEEN A SALOON HIGH PRICES IN THE 60s GOLD DISCOVERED 

ON THE PEND d'oREILLE MILITARY POST ESTABLISHED AT FORT COLVILLE CALI- 
FORNIA VOLUNTEERS A BAD LOT GRAND MILITARY BALL AT THE FORT PIONEER 

DISTILLERY RAIDED EARLY DAY EXECUTIONS, LEGAL AND OTHERWISE 265 



CHAPTER XXXI 

INLAND EMPIRE HISTORY IN OLD LEGISLATIVE ACTS 

DISCOVERY OF GOLD ^EARLY FERRIES AND BRIDGES STEAMBOATS ON COLUMBIA AND 

SNAKE MEMORIALS FOR TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD SCHEME TO TURN PEND 

d'oREILLE RIVER INTO THE SPOKANE ARMS SENT TO MINERS GOLD HUNTERS OVER- 
RUN NEZ PERCE RESERVATION TOWN OF LEWI8TON LAID OUT CANADIAN "rECI- 

PROCITY*' MINERS CLAMOR FOR BETTER MAIL SERVICE FIRST BOOM IN THE INLAND 

EMPIRE SPOKANE COUNTY ANNEXED TO STEVENS DEALING WITH THE CHINESE 

WALLA walla's FIRST LITERARY SOCIETY JAMES MONAOHAN GRANTED BRIDGE 

FRANCHISE ON THE SPOKANE COAST MERCHANTS COMPETE WITH ST. LOUIS ORE- 
GON TRIES TO ANNEX WALLA WALLA FAMOUS OLD MULLAN ROAD PRICES OF WALLA 

WALLA PRODUCTS 279 



CHAPTER XXXII 

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY CONTINUED 

MAIL BETWEEN WALLA WALLA AND PINKNEY CITY LEGISLATURE PLEADS POVERTY 

PRAIRIE FIRES AGITATION TO ANNEX IDAHO PANHANDLE CLAMOR FOR LAND 

OFFICE AT WALLA WALLA SETTLERS COME INTO PALOU8E COUNTRY WHITMAN 



xiv CONTENTS 

COUNTY CREATED— CONDITIONS IN COLVILLE VALLEY BEGINNING OF FAMOUS LIEU 

LAND STRUGGLE ^AGITATION FOR AN OPEN RIVER EARLY DAY ROAD BUILDING 

LAWFUL FENCES DEFINED LAND OFFICE AT COLVILLE MILITARY POST AT SPO- 
KANE CREATION OF SPOKANE COUNTY FIRST APPLICATION OF THE REFEREN- 
DUM PROHIBITION STRIP ALONG THE NORTHERN PACIFIC GROWTH OF THE TER- 
RITORY MEMORIAL FOR MILITARY TELEGRAPH LINE 299 



<< 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

THE DAYS OF OLD, THE DAYS OF GOLD" 



SPOKANES SELL GOLD IN 1854 PIERCe's DISCOVERIES IN THE CLEARWATER COUNTRY 

THOUSANDS OF MINERS HASTEN TO THE NEW CAMPS JOAQUIN MILLER AN EXPRESS 

RIDER FABULOUS YIELDS IN OLD FLORENCE CAMP EX-GOVERNOR COLS's RECOL- 
LECTIONS — HIGH PRICES IN THE MINES FIRST TRIP OF STEAMER COL. WRIGHT 

RICHEST PLACES IN THE U. S. — HOW FLORENCE AND OTHER CAMPS WERE DISCOV- 
ERED FAMINE AND HARDSHIPS GOLD BY THE QUART ^REIGN OF CRIME AND TERROR 

AMAZING ESCAPE FROM THE GALLOWS LYNCHING AT LEWISTON 815 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

IMMIGRATION OF THE EARLY SEVENTIES 

ARRIVAL OF OLDTIME CALIFORNIA AND IDAHO MINERS THOMAS NEWLON ESTABLISHES 

A FERRY NEAR TRENT ^WILLIAM SPANGLe's STAGE STATION FIRST SETTLER AT 



MEDICAL LAKE M. M. COWLEY LOCATES IN SPOKANE VALLEY D. F. PERCIVAL IN 

ROCK CREEK REGION COPLEN FAMILY AT LATAH WORLD^S LARGEST MASTODON 

DISCOVERED SPOKANE's FIRST BRASS BAND 325 



CHAPTER XXXV 

EARLY SETTLEMENTS BY THE FALLS OF THE SPOKANE 

ARRIVAL OF DOWNING AND SCRANTON IN 1871 THEIR "MULEY" SAW THE FIRST INDUS- 
TRY ^RECOLLECTIONS OF ''bABE'' DOWNING ^ARRIVAL OF JAMES N. OLOVBR IN 1873 

HE BUYS OUT SCRANTON AND DOWNING ^PLATS THE FIRST TOWNSITB OIVB8 

FREDERICK POST FORTY ACRES TO START A FLOUR MILL^— ARRIVAL OF A. M. CANNON 

AND J. J. BROWNE TROOPS MOVE TO LAKE COEUR d'aLBNB FIRST PHYSICIAN^ AND 

FIRST DRUGffTORE CANNON STARTS . A BANK SPOKANs's FIRST GUN PLAT — ^HOW 

THE PIONEERS LIVED THE FIRST NEWSPAPER BUSINESS LOTS GIVEN AWAT — TRADE 

WITH THE INDIANS 329 



CONTENTS XV 

CHAPTER XXXVI 

NEZ PERCE WAR AND MASSACRES OF 1877 

8ataoe devotion to a cause josepil's love for the wallowa valley indian 

bureau vacillates first conflict with settlers fanatacism of the 

"dreamers" — Joseph's band ordered to nez percb reserve — war party pre- 

pares FOR THE CONFLICT CAMAS PRAIRIE SETTLERS ATTACKED MEN, WOMEN 

AND CHILDREN MASSACRED SHOCKING ATROCITIES SETTLERS FLEE TO PLACES OF 

REFUGE FIERCE AND SANGUINARY BATTLES WITH U. 8. TROOPS JOSEPH's REMARK- 
ABLE RUNNING CAMPAIGN SETTLERS IN SPOKANE REGION ARE TERRORIZED— TAKE 

REFUGE ON HAVERMALE ISLAND— J. N. GLOVER's RECOLLECTIONS WAR PARTY 

DANCES NIGHTLY BY THE FALLS ARRIVAL OF THE TROOPS M. M. COWLEy's REMIN- 
ISCENCES 348 



CHAPTER XXXVII 

SOME FIRST THINGS BY THE FALLS 
Spokane's first "civic center" — first white child — first boarding house, hotel 

AND restaurant FIRST LAW OFFICE, WATER SUPPLY, CHURCH, BRIDGE, TELE- 
PHONE, ETC. FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE AND FIRST FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION 

REMINISCENCES OF FRANCIS H. COOK APPEARANCE OF THE TOWN IN 1880 FIRST 

TOWN GOVERNMENT START OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT J. T. DAVIE TELLS OF 

THE FIRST BRICK KILN AND FIRST BRICK BUILDINGS HISTORY OF THE PUBLIC 

LIBRARY S55 



CHAPTER XXXVIII 

CONCISE REVIEW OF TOWN, 1874 TO 1887 

H. T. COWLEY ARRIVES WITH BAND OF NEZ PERCE HELPERS APPEARANCE OF VILLAGE 

IN 1874 INDIAN SCARE POW-WOW IN FRONT OF OLOVER's STORE FIRST SCHOOL 

DISTRICT ORGANIZED ELECTION IN OLOVEr's HOUSE FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE AND 

SUPPER NEZ PERCE INDIAN WAR ARRIVAL OF TROOPS RELIEVES THE TENSION 

BROWNE AND CANNON ARRIVE GRAND OPENING OF THE CALIFORNIA HOUSE 

CHENEY CAPTURES THE COUNTY SEAT FIRST BRICK BUILDING INCORPORATION 

OF THE TOWN CITIZENS CELEBRATE ARRIVAL OF NORTHERN PACIFIC, 1881 8PO- 

KANE's FIRST BIG FIRE RUSH TO THE COEUR d'aLENES LAST SPIKE DRIVEN IN 

N. P. CITY ACQUIRES THE WATER SYSTEM DEVELOPMENTS IN COLVILLE COUNTRY 

PIONEER STREET RAILWAY SPOKANE REGAINS COUNTY SEAT 369 



xvi CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XXXIX 

DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT OF COEUR D'ALENES 

EXISTENCE OF GOLD KNOWN IN '508 MULLAN SAW NUGGETS THERE IN VERY EARLY* 

DAY A. J. PRICHARD FIRST SYSTEMATIC PROSPECTOR HONORS DIVIDED WITH TOM 

IRWIN ^PRICHARD's STORY SCHEME TO COLONIZE COUNTY WITH "LIBERALS** 

DISCOVERY NEAR MURRAY WILD STAMPEDE OF '88 KEEN RIVALRY BETWEEN 

SPOKANE AND AMBITIOUS RIVALS FAMOUS OLD TOWN OF EAGLE M. M. COWLEY's 

RECOLLECTIONS MUSHROOM PLACER CAMPS DISCOVERY OF BUNKER HILL THAT 

FAMOUS DONKEY "DUTCH JAKE's" STORY SALE OF THE GREAT MINE OTHER 

FAMOUS GALENA STRIKES ROMANCE OF THE HERCULES CHARLES SWBBNY*S 

OPERATIONS — ^MARVELOUS RECORD OF PRODUCTION AND DIVIDENDS STRANGE STORY 

OF "dream" DAVIS 381 



CHAPTER XL 

HOW CHENEY CAPTURED THE COUNTY SEAT 

BY E. E. pehry 395 



CHAPTER XLI 

RECOLLECTIONS OF FRANK DALLAM, J. D. SHERWOOD AND 

G. B. DENNIS 

BRAVE DAYS OF NEARLY THIRTY YEARS AGO DALLAM STARTS THE REVIEW PRINTS 

FIRST NUMBER AT CHENEY HENRY VILLARd's VISIT PAUL SCHULZE RECOMMENDS 

paint hank vaughn, the desperado, comes to town scrub races in 

Browne's addition — appearance of town in 1883 — fighting fire with a 

BUCKET line PICTURESQUE STREET LIFE SQUAW FIGHTS PUBLIC SPIRIT BEFORE 

the FIRE MR. DENNIS AND HIS HIGH HAT RECOLLECTIONS OF "bLIND 

GEORGE" 399 



CHAPTER XLII 

RAPID GROWTH OF THE YOUNG CITY, 1886 TO 1889 

SLEIGH RIDES AND DANCES NEW ARLINGTON HOTEL OPENED ^EMMA ABBOTT^S COilC- 

PANY IN "BOHEMIAN GIRL*' SALE OF OLD DOMINION MINE CONTEST FOR THE 

COURTHOUSE STEAMER SPOKANE WRECKED FAIR ASSOCIATION ORGANIZED — - 

RAPID BUILDING OF RAILROADS SALE OF BUNKER HILL AND SULLIVAN REAL 

ESTATE BOOM VARIETY THEATER OPENS SPOKANE's FIRST SOCIAL CLUB BACHE- 
LOR'S BALL HOW THE CITY GREW 409 



1 



CONTENTS xvii 

CHAPTER XLIII 

THE GREAT FIRE OF AUGUST 4, 1889 

BLAZE STARTS NBAR OLD N. P. PASSENGER STATION SEEMS A TRIFLING AFFAIR WATER 

SUPPLY FAILS AND FLAMES SPREAD PEOPLE BECOME PANIC STRICKEN BUILDINGS 

BLOWN UP WITH GIANT POWDER MIGHTY SEA OP FLAME ROLLS TOWARDS THE 

RITER TERRIFIED AND MOTLEY CROWD FLEES TO NORTH SIDE THIRTY-TWO BLOCKS 

DESTROYED CITY UNDER MARTIAL LAW COURAGE QUICKLY DISPELS DESPAIR RE- 
LIEF ROLLS IN DONATIONS FAR EXCEED NEEDS OF DESTITUTE ORGY OF GREED 



FOLLOWS COUNCILMEN INDICTED FOR MISAPPROPRIATING SUPPLIES OPEN CHARGES 

OF BRIBERY IN **HAM COUNCIL** STEVE BAILEY ASSAULTS COUNCILMAN 

BETTIS 415 



CHAPTER XLIV 

EVENTS OF 1889 REVIEWED 



WASHINGTON ADMITTED TO THE UNION SPOKANe's FIRST LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION 

CITIZENS GIVE LAVISHLY TO PUBLIC ENTERPRISES A BEAUTIFUL AND IRRIDESCENT 

DREAM OUR BEGINNINGS IN ART TAe TOWN's BANKERS ITS SOCIAL "aTMOS- 

PHERe'' described by ''iADY ALBION^' RECEIVING DAYS ON THE HILL AND IN. 

Browne's addition — report of the board of trade — era of railroad build- 



ing TEN THOUSAND MEN IN SURROUNDING MINING CAMPS ORCHARDS STARTED 

ON "the gravel" RAPID EXTENSION OF STREET RAILWAYS FIFTEEN PLACES OF 

WORSHIP HARRY . HAYWARD's THEATRICAL ATTRACTIONS 421 



CHAPTER XLV 

SPOKANE IN TENTS AND ON RUNNERS 

SEVERE WINTER OF 1889-90 RAILROADS BLOCKED AND TRAINS SNOWED IN SPOKANE 

AT A LOW EBB MORALLY "DUTCH JAKe's" FAMOUS GAMBLING TENT — KILLING OF 

"big mac" LAW AND ORDER LEAGUE ORGANIZED GAMBLING HOUSES CLOSED, BUT 

REOPEN MONROE STREET BRIDGE TROUBLES TIDE LAND FIGHT SPOKANE CLUB 

FOUNDED CITY LIMITS EXTENDED SPOKANe's FIRST PROFESSIONAL BALL TEAM 

CLOUOH ELECTED MAYOR THE "SHANTYTOWN WAR** CITIZENS DEFEND THEIR 

LOTS WITH RIFLE AND REVOLVER FIRST MINING EXCHANGE ORIGIN OF HOME 

FOR THE FRIENDLESS CARPENTERS STRIKE AND CITIZENS RALLY TO COMPLETE 

EXPOSITION BUILDING WILSON DEFEATS TURNER AUDITORIUM , THEATER 

OPENED 429 



xviii CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XL VI 

NEW YEAR'S, 1891, SEES A NEW SPOKANE 

INDIAN WAB THREATENED IN OKANOGAN COUNTRY BRIBERY SENSATION AT OLYM- 

PIA CITY ELECTION MAYOR, COUNCIL AND COMMISSIONERS CLASH BOARD OF 

TRADE BECOMES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SALE OF MORNING MINE STRANGE 

CASE OF HERMAN L. CHASE BEGINNING OF ROSSLAND CAMP ^DISCOVERY OF KA8IX> 

AND SLOCAN MINES JAMES J. HILL's FIRST VISIT NEW HIGH SCHOOL OPENED^ 

Spokane's first derby — review celebrates in its new building — spirited 

SCHOOL election 4f37 



CHAPTER XLVII 

COEUR D'ALENE RIOTS OF 1892 



trouble precipitated by arrival of strike-breakers — Idaho's governor issues 
warning proclamation — deadly battle on canyon creek^ JULY 11 — strikers 

HOIST the white FLAG BLOWING UP OF FRISCO MILL MILITANT UNION FORCES 

MARCH ON WARDNER CAPTURE TOWN AND CONCENTRATORS SWEENY, CLEMENT 

AND MCAULEY COMPELLED TO SIGN AGREEMENT TO DISCHARGE NON-UNION FORCES 

LARGE NUMBERS OF NON-UNION MEN RUN OUT OF THE COUNTRY REIGN OF TERROR 

AT THE OLD MISSION MARTIAL LAW DECLARED FORERUNNER OF POPULISM STATE 

AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE OPENS AT PULLMAN DEATH OF CHIEF GARRY D. M. DRUM- 
HELLER DEFEATS JAY P. GRAVES FOR MAYOR FIRST THROUGH TRAIN OVER GREAT 

NORTHERN PISTOL BATTLE IN PACIFIC HOTEL 443 



CHAPTER XLVIII 

YEAR OF TURMOIL, GLOOM AND DISASTER 

MR. cannon's affairs BECOME INVOLVED HIS BANK FAILS OTHER BANKS CLOSE THEIR 

DOORS MENACING DEMONSTRATIONS BY UNEMPLOYED ^THREATS OF VIOLENCE 

LAW AND ORDER LEAGUE FORMED ASSISTANT POSTMASTER COMMITS SUICIDE ALLEN 

AND TURNER SENATORIAL CONTEST LEGISLATURE ADJOURNS WITHOUT ELECTING 



BEGINNING OF BEET SUGAR INDUSTRY RETRENCHMENT AT CITY HALL WHEEL 

club's FIRST RUN DESERTION AND DEATH OF COLGATE, GUIDE OF CARLIN PARTY 

MAYOR POWELL STARTS HOME INDUSTRY SENTIMENT 449 



CHAPTER XLIX 

YEAR OF COXEY ARMY AND GREAT A. R. U. STRIKE 

COXEYITES ASTIR IN SPOKANE COUNTRY NIGHT TIME ORATORY AT THE HAYMARKE 

HEADQUARTERS IN OLD M. E. CHURCH ^"cOLONEL'' DOLPHIN IN DISGRACE GREAT 



CONTENTS 

8TS1KJS PABAI«YZE8 TRAFFIC ON RAILROADS — RIOT A^T NORTHERN PACIFIC STATION 

DEPUTIX8 FIRE OYER CROWD — FIVE HUNDRED CITIZENS SWORN IN TO PRESERVE OR- 
DER DISORDERS AT SPRAOUE RISE OF THE ''SHOTOUN LEAOUE^' — POPULISTS ELECT 

MAYOR STORMY REPUBLICAN STATE CONVENTION SPOKANE^S FIRST FRUIT FAIR 

FIRST CARLOAD OF APPLES SHIPPED TWO MORE BANK FAILURES CITY IN DARK- 

NB88 LOW COST OP LIVING AMATEURS SING LIGHT OPERA 457 



CHAPTER L 

HOW SPOKANE WON THE ARMY POST 

BY E. E. PERRY 465 



CHAPTER LI 

REVIEW OF HISTORICAL EVENTS OF 1895 

JOHN L. WILSON ELECTED UNITED STATES SENATOR SCHISM IN FIRST M. E. CHURCH 

FUTILE ATTEMPT TO IMPEACH JUDGE ARTHUR LOCAL TALENT PRODUCES HOME- 
MADE OPERA WAR ON BOX-RUSTLING DEATH OF A. M. CANNON BELT REELECTED 

MAYOR SIMON OPPENHEIMER CUTS A WIDE SWATH THEODORE CU8HINO KILLS 

THOMAS KINO SUCCESSFUL SOCIETY CIRCUS COLONEL WINSTON MEETS A HIGH- 
WAYMAN COUNCIL THREATENS MAYOR WITH IMPEACHMENT FRUIT FAIR A BRIL- 

UANT SUCCESS DEATH OF F. ROCKWOOD MOORE BETTER TIMES FOR SPOKANE. .471 



CHAPTER LII 

SPOKANE REVIVED BY MINERAL WEALTH 

COEXJR d'aLENES, ROSSLAND AND SLOCAN ROLL IN RICH DIVIDENDS MAKING OF THE 

GREAT LE ROI "wiLDCATTERS" FLOURISH REPUBLIC CAMP ATTRACTS ATTENTION 

POUTICAI^ UPHEAVAL OF 1896 INFLUENTIAL REPUBLICANS BOLT FUSION OF 

DEMOCRATS, POPULISTS AND SILVER REPUBLICANS SPECTACULAR CAMPAIGN 

FUSION FORCES SWEEP STATE AND COUNTY CAUSES OF THE UPHEAVAL MAKING 

WAR ON GROUND SQUIRRELS GOOD WORK FOR FORT WRIGHT BY CONGRESSMAN 

HYDE L. H. PLATTOR KILLED BY HENRY 8EIPFERT FRUIT FAIR ENLARGED. . . .477 



CHAPTER LIII 

REVIEW OF HISTORICAL EVENTS OF 1897 

OBORQK TURNER ELECTED TO THE SENATE — DR. OLMSTED DEFEATS DR. MAC LEAN FOR 
MAYOR H. L. WILSON MINISTER TO CHILE SALE OF WAR EAGLE MINE ^DEVELOP- 
MENT OF REPUBLIC GRANBY's BEGINNINGS MRS. ARCHER's PRIZE POEM DEATH 



XX CONTENTS 



OF "death on the trail" LORD 8HOLTO DOUGLAS ARRIVES TRIBULATIONS OF 

YBRT REV. DR. DEAN RICHMOND BABBITT TOWN WIDE OPEN AGAIN ROSE CARNI- 
VAL AND PARADE PROSPERITY'S BANNERS WELL ADVANCED 481 



CHAPTER LIV 

SALE OF LE ROI MINE TO BRITISH COMPANY 

WHITTAKER WRIGHT, LONDON PROMOTER, OVERREACHES HIMSELF PEYTON INTERESTS 

SELL CONTROL TURNER INTERESTS OBJECT CONTESTS CARRIED TO THE COURTS 

JAY P. GRAVES MAKES A FORTUNE TRAGEDY OF THE GREAT EASTERN FIRE ^DEATH 

OF FRANK GANAHL, FAMOUS PIONEER LAWYER W. L. JONES AND F. C. CUSHMAN 

ELECTED TO CONGRESS FIFTH ANNUAL FRUIT FAIR NORTHERN PACIFIC SELLS 

LOW PRICED LANDS 487 



CHAPTER LV 

INLAND EMPIRE SOLDIERS IN THE PHILIPPINES 

SEVEN-TWELFTHS OF WASHINGTON'S REGIMENT COME FROM THE BAST SIDE SPOKANe's 

GREETING TO THE SIXTEENTH INFANTRY REGULARS DEPART FOR CUBA AND VOLUN- 
TEERS FOR MANILA COMPANIES A AND L ON THE FIRING LINE GENERAL KINO 

PRAISES THE SOLDIER BOYS FROM WASHINGTON AND IDAHO SEVERE LOSSES IN ACTION 

DEATHS FROM WOUNDS AND DISEASE SPOKANE RED CROSS SOCIETY CHARTERS A 

TRAIN AND BRINGS OUR BOYS HOME IN COMFORT AND STATE CHEERING THOUSANDS 

WELCOME THE YOUNG VETERANS MEMBERS OF THE SPOKANE COMPANIES 491 



CHAPTER LV; 

TWO PROGRESSIVE YEARS, 1899 AND 1900 REVIEWED 

D. C. CORBIN ESTABLISHES BEET SUGAR INDUSTRY FOSTER ELECTED SENATOR REPUBLIC 

TO THE FRONT SALE OF REPUBLIC MINE CLARK AND SWEENY IN THE COEUR 

d'aLENES HEROIC DEATH OF ENSIGN MONAGHAN SPOKANE INDUSTRIAL EXPOSI- 
TION ELKS HOLD IMPOSING CARNIVAL GREAT WAVE OF IMMIGRATION GOVERNOR 

ROGERS REELECTED REPUBLICANS CARRY REST OF TICKET WILLIAM JENNINGS 

BRYAN HERE "hOT AIR" RAILROAD BUILT TO REPUBLIC 499 



CONTENTS xxi 

CHAPTER LVII 

SECOND FIERCE LABOR WAR IN THE COEUR D'ALENES 

ONE THOUSAND UNION MINERS SEIZE A TRAIN MOVE ON WARDNER WITH RIFLES AND 

DYNAMITE BLOW UP BUNKER HILL MILL ONE UNION MAN KILLED GOVERNOR 

8TEUNENBERG CALLS FOR UNITED STATES TROOPS MARTIAL LAW ESTABLISHED 

UNIONS PUT UNDER BAN AND PERMIT SYSTEM ESTABLISHED MANY RIOTERS #LEE 

TO THE HILLS HOST OF OTHERS ARRESTED AND IMPRISONED IN "bULLPEN'' CON- 
GRESS CONDUCTS AN INVESTIGATION ^£D. BOYCE TELLS GOMPERS WESTERN FEDERA- 
TION IS NOT A TRADES UNION 508 



CHAPTER LVIII 

IMMIGRATION ROLLS INTO THE INLAND EMPIRE 

THIRTY THOUSAND NEWCOMERS ENTER THE SPOKANE GATEWAY COUNTRY COOPER- 
ATES WITH THE CITY OIL BORING CRAZE STRIKES THE PUBLIC THE KINDERGAR- 
TEN CONTEST SENSATIONAL PHASES OF RAILROAD PASS EVIL ^DR. P. S. BYRNE 

ELECTED MAYOR INTERSTATE FAIR ORGANIZED RELIGIOUS SERVICES IN "dUTCH 

JAKeV* place hill's NORTHERN SECURITIES MERGER DEATH OP GOVERNOR 

ROGERS 507 



CHAPTER LIX 

THRILLING HUNT FOR TRACY THE OUTLAW 

TEACY AND MERRILL KILL THREE GUARDS AT OREGON PENITENTIARY ESCAPE INTO 

WASHINGTON TERRORIZE CITIES AND TOWNS AROUND PUGET SOUND TRACY KILLS 

MERRILL OUTLAW APPEARS IN OUTSKIRTS OF SEATTLE KILLS SEVERAL MEN 

ESCAPES INTO THE CASCADES CROSSES THE COLUMBIA MAN HUNT TRANSFERRED 

TO THE BIG BEND DESPERADO WOUNDED AT EDDY RANCH, COMMITS SUICIDE 

NOTABLE GATHERING OF RAILROAD PRESIDENTS AT DAVENPORT AND COLFAX 

VOLUNTARY CUT IN GRAIN RATES WAR ON RAILROAD LOBBY FIGHT FOR RAIL- 



ROAD COMMISSION LAST SPIKE EXCURSION TO REPUBLIC BLACKWELL BUILDS 

COEUR d'aLENE ELECTRIC LINE N. P. SELLS TIMBER LANDS LORD SHOLTO DOUG- 
LAS* FREE BOOZE SATURNALIA 511 



CHAPTER LX 

LAST CLOUD FADES FROM THE FINANCIAL SKIES 

1908 A YEAR OP STIRRING POLITICAL INTEREST TITANIC STRUGGLE BETWEEN GOV. 

MC BRIDE AND THE RAILROADS LEVI ANKENY ELECTED U. 8. SENATOR DEATH OF 



xxii CONTENTS 

JOHN B. ALLEN SPOKANE ENTERTAINS PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT DEATH OF H. BOX.- 

STER AND S. S. OLIDDBN ORANBY PAYS ITS FIRST DIVIDEND FABULOUS PROFITS FROIC 

MINES 517 



CHAPTER LXI 

RENEWED ACTIVITY IN RAILROAD BUILDING 

D. C. CORBIN ANNOUNCES PURPOSE TO BUILD C, P. R. CONNECTION GRAVES ANDi 

BLACKWELL FINANCE ELECTRIC LINE INTO PALOUSE COUNTRY ROSSLANd's OUTPUT 

PASSES THE $25^000,000 MARK PRINCELY PROFITS OF THE COEUR d'aLENES 

MC BRIDE DOWNED IN REPUBLICAN STATE CONVENTION MEAD DEFEATS TURNKR 

FOR GOVERNOR SWEENY DEVELOPS SENATORIAL ASPIRATIONS DEATH OF COL. 

P. H. WINSTON, B. C. VAN HOUTEN AND REV. S. G. HAVERMALE DROWNING OF MISS 

LOUISE HARRIS 521 



CHAPTER LXII 

CHARLES SWEENY'S BRIEF TILT AT POLITICS 

NO MATCH FOR OLYMPIA POLITICIANS HE RETALIATES BY ELECTING PILES INLAND 

EMPIRE PROFITS DAGGETT DEFEATS ACUFF FOR MAYOR LARGE PROJECTS OF W. 



W. POWER CO. ACTIVE YEAR IN RAILROAD BUILDING JUDGE WHITSON OPENS U. 8. 

COURT IN SPOKANE DEATH OF R. WEIL, "jlM** WARDNER AND COL. W. W. D. 

TURNER INDIANS SIGN TREATY WITH THUMB MARKS 527 



CHAPTER LXIII 

"SPOKANE IS ALMOST A MODEL CITY" 

TRIBUTE OF PRAISE BY COLORADO'S GOVERNOR IN 1906 GROWTH OF CHAMBER OF 

COMMERCE PRESIDENT EARLING HERE ELECTRIC LINE EXTENDED TO HAYDEN 

LAKE J. F. SLOANE SLAIN BY HIS SON SIDNEY RENO HUTCHINSON, Y. M. C. A. 

SECRETARY, MURDERED ASSASSINATION OF GOV. STEUNENBERG FUTILE ATTEMPT 

TO IMPEACH MAYOR DAGGETT DEATH OF EX-GOVERNOR GEORGE E. COLE FOUND- 
ING OF WESTERN UNION LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY FORMER MILLIONAIRE DIES 

AT POOR FARM 531 



CHAPTER LXIV 

YEAR OF PANIC AND CLEARING HOUSE CERTIFICATES 

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CHAMPIONS STATE COLLEGE C. H. MOORE ELECTED MAYOR — 

PANIC BREAKS IN NEW YORK LOCAL BANKS ISSUE CLEARING HOUSE CERTIFICATES — 



CONTENTS xxiii 

FLURRY SOON SUBSIDES ^F. A. BI.ACKWELL BUILDS IDAHO ft WASHINGTON NORTH- 



ERN FINE TOWN OF SPIRIT LAKE SPRINGS UP IN THE WILDERNESS DEATH OF D. F. 

PERCIVAL AND THOMAS GEORGE THOMSON "rEY." LESLIE DAY COMMITS SUICIDE 

— WILD DEMONSTRATION AROUND POLICE STATION 535 



CHAPTER LXV 

ROOT-GORDON SCANDAL AROUSES THE PUBLIC 

tINISTBR RUMORS DEVELOP INTO OPEN CHARGES CHIEF JUSTICE HADLEY CALLS FOR 

BAR ASSOCIATION INQUIRY JUDGE ROOT RESIGNS GRAND JURY CALLED APPEAR- 
ANCE OF JAMBS J. HILL PROSECUTOR PUGH CHARGES HIM WITH BAD FAITH — • 

GBEAT NORTHERN REFUSES TO AID PROSECUTION GORDON ACQUITTED PASSING OF 

SUNDAY SALOON AND BOX-RUSTLING SPOKANE EQUAL SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION OR- 

GANIZBD-^MILES POINDEZTER GOES TO CONGRESS COSGROVE ELECTED GOVERNOR 

JONES DEFKATS ANKENY FOR THE SENATE NORTHERN PACIFIC'S SCHEME OF GRADE 

SEPARATION DEFEATED 150^000 CLUB FOSTERS CHILDREN'S HOME 539 



CHAPTER LXVI 

BILLY SUNDAY'S REVIVAL AND THE UNEMPLOYED 

ttlATEST RELIGIOUS MEETING IN CITY^S HISTORY TEMPERANCE WORKERS MARCH ON 

OLYMPIA CARING FOR ARMY OF IDLE MEN PRATT DEFEATS OMO FOR MAYOR 

fPOKESMAK-REVIEW CELEBRATES TWENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY EXTRAORDINARY 

RUSH FOR INDIAN LANDS FRIGHTFUL WRECK ON COEUR d'aLENE ELECTRIC LINE 

— PAN TAN DISCLOSURES NATIONAL IRRIGATION CONGRESS PRESIDENT TAFT VISITS 

INLAND EMPIRE CITY's CLASH WITH THE I. W. W. ^YEAR OF FINE GROWTH 

ORBAT NORTHERN ABSORBS THE GRAVES SYSTEM DEATH OF J. HERMAN BEARE, 

JUDGE NORMAN BUCK^ E. H. JAMIESON AND C. S. VOORHEES 54iS 



CHAPTER LXVII 

SPIRITED CONTEST OVER RAILROAD FRANCHISES 

COUNCIL DEMANDS TERMINAL RATES AND A COMMON USER CLAUSE CITIZENS DIVIDE 

AND A SPIRITED CONTEST FOLLOWS COUNCIL YIELDS AND RAILROADS WIN DIS- 
ASTROUS AVALANCHES IN COEUR d'aLENES AVALANCHE DEMOLISHES GREAT NORTH- 
ERN TRAIN MORE THAN 100 LIVES LOST ALLEN HAYNES SINKS $500,000 IN IN- 
LAND HERALD DEATH OF PROF. FRANZ MUELLER TWO HUNDRED LIVES LOST IN 

FOREST FIRES POINDEXTER ELECTED TO SENATE SPOKANE ENTERTAINS DRY FARM- 
ING CONGRESS LARGE PROJECTS OP WASHINGTON WATER POWER CO 549 



xxiv CONTENTS 

CHAPTER LXVIII 

COMMISSION FORM OF GOVERNMENT ADOPTED 

PEOPLE GROW WEARY OF FUTILE ATTEMPTS TO PATCH UP THE OLD CHARTER STUDT 

THE COMMISSION PLAN MAYOR PRATT NAMES A COMMITTEE TO FRAME NEW CHAR- 
TER CITIZENS DEMAND AN ELECTION COUNCIL TRIES DILATORY TACTICS, BITT 

YIELDS UNDER PRESSURE — FIFTEEN FREEHOLDERS CHOSEN CITIZENS TOTE FOR 

ITS PLAN OF COMMISSION GOVERNMENT THE OPPOSITION TICKET NEW CHARTER 

IS ADOPTED FIVE COMMISSIONERS ELECTED FROM A FIELD OF NINETY-THRSS 

CANDIDATES NEW GOVERNMENT INSTALLED 555 



CHAPTER LXIX 

WHICH BRINGS THIS HISTORY UP TO DATE 

FORMER POLICE CHIEF JOHN T. SULLIVAN ASSASSINATED CITY ENTERTAINS ROOSEVELT 

AND TAFT $77,481 SUBSCRIBED FOR GREATER SPOKANE PLANS AND PROJECTS 

SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE OF POPULATION MANUFACTURE OF PAPER STARTS ON LARGE 



SCALE NEW MONROE STREET BRIDGE OPENED SPOKANE CLUB OCCUPIES ITS NEW 

HOME REMARKABLE GROWTH OF INLAND CLUB "dOc" BROWN ENDS HIS LIFE 

GIPSY SMITH CONDUCTS LARGE REVIVAL 559 



CHAPTER LXX 

PIONEER CHURCHES OF SPOKANE 

CONGREGATIONALISTS AND METHODISTS EARLY IN THE FIELD FIRST SERMON TO A WHITE 

CONGREGATION PREACHED BY REV. 8. G. HAVERMALE FIRST ORGAN FROM WILLA- 
METTE VALLEY FIRST M. E. CHURCH PIONEER BAPTIST LABORS MISSION WORK 

BY THE EPISCOPALIANS REV. T. G. WATSON ORGANIZES FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 

CENTRAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH UNIVERSALISTS AND UNITARIANS ^EARLY DAY 

EASTER SERVICES CHRISTIAN HOME IN COLVILLE VALLEY IN 1854 563 



CHAPTER LXXI 

CATHOLIC INSTITUTIONS OF SPOKANE 

FIRST PLACE OP WORSHIP A SHACK, 1 5x22 FIRST CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF LOURDBS — 

FOUNDING OF THE CHURCH OP ST. JOSEPH BEGINNING OF ST. ALOY8IU8 BIRTH 

AND GROWTH OF GONZAGA COLLEGE ITS PROGRESS FROM FATHER REBMANN TO 

FATHER TAELMAN FOUNDING OF SACRED HEART HOSPITAL IN 1886 ^EDUCATIONAL 

INSTITUTIONS OF THE SISTERS OF THE HOLY NAMES ST. JOSEPh's ORPHANAGE — 

OTHER INSTITUTIONS 571 



CONTENTS XXV 

CHAPTER LXXII 

SPOKANE'S JEWISH COMMUNITY 

EARLY DAY HISTORY REVIEWED BY RABBI LEVINE SIMON BERG ESTABLISHES A STORE 

IN 1879 OTHERS WHO FOLLOWED SOON AFTER FIRST JEWESSES BY THE FALLS 

FIRST BIRTH AND FIRST DEATH FIRST DIVINE SERVICE ^RABBIS WHO HAVE SERVED 

HERE VARIOUS JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS 579 



CHAPTER LXXIII 

EARLY DAY HISTORY OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS 

FIRST SCHOOL HOUSE AT CHEWELAH IN 1869 HOW THE PIONEER SCHOOL WAS BUILT 

IN SPOKANE JAMES MONAGHAN COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT IN 1875 ONLY 

ELEVEN CHILDREN OF SCHOOL AGE IN SPOKANE DISTRICT J. J. BROWNS FIRST SU- 
PERINTENDENT OF NEW COUNTY OF SPOKANE FIRST TEACHERS' INSTITUTE RECOL- 
LECTIONS OF A PIONEER TEACHER BENJAMIN P. CHENEY ACADEMY^ AND STATE 

NORMAL AT CHENEY GROWTH BY YEARS 588 



CHAPTER LXXIV 

ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF POLICE FORCE 

E. B. HYDE TOWN MARSHAL, WILLIAM KOHLHAUFF NIGHT WATCHMAN JOE WARREN 

JOINS THE FORCE IN 1884 LOCKUP ON SITE OP AUDITORIUM WARREN CAPTURES 

BILL JACKSON, A "wiCKED CUSS" INDIANS MURDER GEORGE RUSK ON DEADMAN 

CREEK WARREN KILLS A BAD INDIAN IN PEACEFUL VALLEY WHEN "wiLD BILL" 

CRIED INDIAN LYNCHED BY CITIZENS AT CHENEY 591 



CHAPTER LXXV 

SPOKANE'S LONG FIGHT FOR JUST FREIGHT RATES 

RATES ADVANCED 100 PER CENT IN 1887 A SHARP PROTEST FIRST SUIT BY BOARD OP 

TRADE IN 1889 — SHIPPERS DIYIDED IN 1890 INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION 

HERE IN 1891 ADVENT OP JAMES J. HILL GIVEN FREE RIGHT OF WAY ^INDIGNA- 
TION OVER BROKEN PROMISES COMMISSION ORDERS REDUCTION IN CLASS RATES 

RAILROADS IGNORE THE ORDER COURTS HOLD COMMISSION CAN NOT MAKE RATES 

MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF HILL's TARIFF SHEETS A. W. DOLAND AND OTHER 

SHIPPERS GO BEFORE JUDGE HANFORD LORENZO SAWYER KNOCKS THEM OUT IN- 
DIGNANT SHIPPERS ORGANIZE BOYCOTT ^RAILROADS GRANT CONCESSIONS HEPBURN 

LAW PASSED SPOKANE RENEWS FIGHT BEFORE COMMISSION TENTATIVE DECISION 

IN 1909 FULLER DECISION IN 1910 COMPLETE DECISION IN 1911 HOW SPO- 
KANE CELEBRATED 595 



xxvi CONTENTS 

CHAPTER LXXVI 

ORIGIN AND GROWTH OF NATIONAL APPLE SHOW 

BIRTH AND DEVELOPMENT OP AN IDEA FIB8T 8HOW IN 1908 DELIGHTED THOUSANDS 

VIEW THE BEAUTIFUL EXHIBITS PRESIDENT TAFT PRESSES A GOLDEN KEY SPLEN- 
DID ENTERPRISE IN PERIL SAVED BY ENTHUIASTIC WORK GREAT FUND OF 

$60^000 RAISED IN 1911 BRILLIANT CARNIVAL FEATURES TWENTY-SEVEN VISIT- 
ING BANDS NATIONAL COUNTRY LIFE CONGRESS THIRTY-THREE PRINCESSES 

ROYALLY ENTERTAINED 605 



CHAPTER LXXVII 

genesis, growth and achievements of the 150^000 club eztraordii^ary fund- 
raising campaign for. the y. m. c. a. and the children's homb— first pianos 

in spokane ^v. h. brown called here in 1888 to tune ten instruments 

Spokane's first music store and first music teacher — history of the spokes- 
man-review — HOW the rival morning journals were consolidated— woman 
suffrage in territorial days — women serve on juries. 609 



CHAPTER LXXVIII 

D. C. CORBIN'S CAREER IN SPOKANE COUNTRY 
visits the coeur d'alenes in 1886 — meets jim wardner^ PHIL o'rourke and harry 

BAER ^ALARMINO MIXTURE OF ORE SAMPLES AND DYNAMITE BUILDS A RAILROAD 

and sells it to the NORTHERN PACIFIC COMES TO SPOKANE AND BUILDS THE 

SPOKANE PALLS & NORTHERN TRYING TIMES AFTER PANIC OF 1898 LOYALTY OF 

HIS EMPLOYES BUILDS THE SPOKANE INTERNATIONAL ESTABLISHES THE SUGAR 

BEET INDUSTRY 615 



CHAPTER LXXIX 

CITY OFFICIALS OF SPOKANE, FROM 1881 TO DATE. COMPILED BY CITY CLERK C. A. 
FLEMING 619 



CHAPTER LXXX 

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BIG BEND COUNTRY 

FUR TRADERS RANGE OVER THIS BROAD REGION ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST STOCKMEN 

TRAGIC END OF "wiLD GOOSE BILL*' — ARRIVAL OF THE SOLDIERS ^FIRST SETTLER AT 

DAVENPORT CRICKET SCOURGE OF 1882-88 CREATION OF LINCOLN AND DOUGLAS 



CONTENTS xxvu 



COUNTIES HOT AND FURIOUS COUNTY BEAT CONTEST DAVENPORT ARMS TO HOLD 

THE RECORDS INVADING "aRMT'' FROM 8PRAOUE TAKES THEM WITHOUT BLOOD- 



SHED—A COUNTY WITHOUT A TOWN COMING OF THE RAILROADS ^WHITMAN 

COUNTY REDUCED TO MAKE ADAMS AND FRANKLIN COUNTIES FIRST HOUSE IN 

RITZVILLE HISTORIC OLD AINSWORTH FASCO's EXPENSIVE BANQUET ^ADVBNT 

OF THE GREAT NORTHERN 621 



CHAPTER LXXXI 

THE PALOUSE COUNTRY— ITS SETTLEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT 

ORIGIN AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NAME GRA2ING REGION FOR INDIAN HERDS FIRST 

EXTENSIVE SETTLEMENT IN 1869 SITE OF COLFAX LOCATED IN 1870 COUNTY 

CREATED IN 1872 FIRST STORE AND SCHOOLHOU8B ^EABLY DAY GRAIN SHIPMENTS 

— PIONEERS ALARMED BY NEZ PERCE WAR SETTLERS SEEK REFUGE IN BLOCKHOUSE 

AT PALOUSE FIRST NEWSPAPER AND TELEPHONE LINES STAGE LINES AND STEAM- 
BOATS THE FIRST RAILROAD MRS. CHASERS REMINISCENCES STATE COLLEGE LO- 
CATED AT PULLMAN ITS START AND DEVELOPMENT 629 



CHAPTER LXXXII 

PIONEER WHEAT-GROWING AND FLOUR MILLING 

FIRST MILL BUILT AT FALLS ON COLVILLE RIVER^ NINETY YEARS AGO ^MISSIONARIES 

AND INDIANS WENT THERE WITH THEIR GRIST FIRST PATENT FLOUR AND FARINA 

IX THE U. S. HISTORIC OLD MILLSTONES PRESERVED ^FIRST AMERICAN MILL BUILT 

BY "judge" YANTIS OLD-TIME MILLER WORKS ON A FLYING MACHINE INVENTS 

A MACHINE CALLED "hELL ON THE GRAB" TRIP THROUGH COLVILLE VALLEY IN 

1882 6S5 



CHAPTER LXXXIII 

RAILWAY CONSTRUCTION IN THE INLAND EMPIRE 

PACIFIC RAILROAD FIRST ADVOCATED PUBLICLY IN 1834 FORECAST OF TEN MILES AN 

HOUR, AND ROUND TRIP IN THIRTY DAYS PORTAGE ROAD AT CASCADES FIRST LINE 

IN WASHINGTON NORTHERN PACIFIC STARTS CONSTRUCTION IN 1870 ^DR. BAKEr's 

FAMOUS ROAD FROM WALLA WALLA TO THE COLUMBIA LATTER-DAY CONSTRUC- 
TION OF MAIN AND BRANCH LINES 639 



xxviii CONTENTS 

CHAPTER LXXXIV 

NATIVE RACES IN THE INLAND EMPIRE 

ORIGIN AND MEANING OF "sPOKANe" INDIAN LANGUAGES LEGENDS OF THE SPOKANE 

RIVER HOW CHIEF GARRY WAS NAMED INDIAN ROCK PICTURES GAMBLING AND 

GHOST DANCING-7-GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION BY FATHER DIOMEDI STRANGE LEGEND OF 

THE COEUR d'aLENES CRUDE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS HABITS AND CUSTOMS OF THE 

NEZ PERCES A RICH AND BEAUTIFUL LANGUAGE ELOQUENT SPEECH BY AN INDIAK 

ORATOR 643 



CHAPTER LXXXV 



ORIGIN OF CERTAIN INDIAN NAMES JOAQUIN MILLER's ROMANTIC EXPLANATION OF 

THE MEANING OF IDAHO— LAKE PEND d'oREILLE ONCE KNOWN AS KALI8PELM, 
AND PRIEST LAKE AS ROOTHAN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A NOTED PIONEER WHO SERVED 



WITH GOVERNOR STEVENS DEDICATION OF MONUMENT AT CAMP WASHINGTON, 

NEAR SPOKANE KETTLE FALLS INDIANS SUFFER FROM FAMINE AND EAT PINE MOSS 

HOW PRIEST RAPIDS WERE NAMED 657 



Spokane and the Inland Empire 



CHAPTER I 

ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF HISTORY 

FIRST MENTION OF THE SPOKANES BY LEWIS AND CLARK EARLY DAY SPANISH INFLU- 
ENCES JEFFERSON TO JOHN JACOB ASTOR — ADVENT OF THE FUR TRADERS, 1811- 

12 A NIGHT OF TERROR MASSACRE OF THE CREW OF THE TONQUIN ^A FRIGHTFUL 

REVEN^GE. 

Clime of the West! That to the hunter's bow, 

And roving herds of savage men wert sold; — 
Their cone-roofed wigwams pierced the wintry snow^ — 

Their tasselled corn crept sparsely through the mold, 
Their bark canoes thy glorious waters clave. 
The chase their glory, and the wild their grave. 

Look up! A loftier destiny behold! 
For to thy coast the fair-haired Saxon steers. 
Rich with the spoils of Time, the lore of bards and seers. 

— Lydia H. Sigourney, 

THE known and recorded history of the Spokane country runs back a hundred 
and five years, and within that century we shall find enough of romance and 
adventure, of death and daring, of wild barbaric color and civilization's 
glory, to make a narrative that should be worth the telling. 

First mention of the Spokane Indians, the river, lake and falls, though under 
other names, is found in the journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition, begun in 
1804 and completed in 1806. These explorers, bold and indomitable, had ascended 
the Missouri, wintered on the Dakota plains among the Mandan Indians in the 
winter of 1804-5, continued their journey to the headwaters of that stream the fol- 
lowing spring, crossed over the Rocky mountains, and found their way, down the 
headwaters of the Clearwater river (by them called the Kooskooskee) to the Snake, 
which they termed the Lewis, and thence to and down the Columbia to the ocean. 
Passing there the winter of 1805-6, they started on their return the following 
spring, and when encamped near the present city of Lewiston, recorded this entry 
in their journal: 



2 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

"At this place we met with three men of a nation called the Skeet-ko-mish, who 
reside at the forks of a large river discharging itself into the Colmnbia on its east 
side to the north of the entrance of Clark's river. This river, they informed us, 
headed in a large lake in the mountains, and that the falls, below which they re- 
sided, was at no great distance from the lake. 

"These people are the same in their dress and appearance with the Chopunnish 
(the Nez Perces) though their language is entirely different. The river here called 
Clark's river is that which we have heretofore called the Flathead river (the Pend 
d'Oreille of the present day). I have thus named it in honor of my worthy friend 
and fellow traveler. Captain Clark. For this stream we know no Indian name, 
and no white man but ourselves was ever on its principal branches." 

The three Indians encountered by Lewis and Clark were evidently from the 
middle band of the Spokanes, living at a large village at the mouth of the Little 
Spokane, but Lewis and Clark obviously fell into an error in attributing to them 
the information that the Spokane discharges into the Columbia above the Pend 
d'Oreille, for the latter stream falls into the greater river at a point just north of 
the international boundary. 

Continuing, Captain Lewis wrote: "The Skeet-ko-mish nation resides in six 
villages and are about seventy miles distant from the Chopunnish nation and beyond a 
mountain which that river heads in. The Waytom lake (the Coeur d'Alene) is ten 
days around it, has two islands in it, and is seven days from the Chopunnish. The 
falls of the Lartow river a little below the lake is 150 feet, nearly perpendicular, 
or thereabouts." 

Not so very wide of the mark, considering the explorers' means of information. 
The falls, in their total descent through Spokane, drop nearly 150 feet, but it can 
scarcely be said that they are perpendicular, or even "thereabouts." 

It seems strange that so few of the names given by Lewis and Clark to Indian 
tribes and geographical points have been retained with settlement of the country. 
Clark's river has become the Pend d'Oreille below the lake, but above it is still 
called the Clark's fork. The Lewis has become the Snake, Waytom lake is lake 
Coeur d'Alene; the Skeet-ko-mish Indians the Spokanes, and the Lartow, which 
the explorers confused with the Spokane, is our own grewsome Hangman creek. 
Lartow is manifestly another spelling for the subsequent Lahtoo of General 
Wright's reports, and the Latah of legislative enactment. 

Again we return to the journals: "The falls of Clark's river, which is only 
half a day's ride from the latter, falls between 400 and 500 feet and leave a contin- 
uous spray. The roads which pass up Clark's river from the falls, and that which 
intersects it from the falls of Lartow river are hilly and bad. The Skeet-ko-mish 
reside thirty miles up this river. The Skeet-ko-mish reside also on the borders of 
Waytom lake and on two islands within the same." 

Captain Lewis's Indian informants seem to have drawn a long bow in their 
description of the falls on the Clark or Pend d'Oreille river. These are now known 
as Albani falls, and are near the town of Newport. 

It is possible that wandering and adventurous white men or half breeds may 
have found their way to the falls of the Spokane prior to the coming of Lewis and 
Clark into this country, but here we are embarking on a wide sea of conjecture. 
Early in the nineteenth century an aged Spokane woman told the early-day fur 



BIBDSBYE VIEW OF SPOKiNB 

Mount Carleton and Pend d 'Oreille range in th 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 3 

traders that she had once been far to the south^ where she heard mission bells and 
saw men plowing fields^ and it is within the range of probabilities that faint com- 
munications had been opened between the Indians of the Spokane country and the 
Spaniards in far-away California. Some color is lent to this conjecture by the 
resemblance between the saddles that were used by the Indians here a hundred 
years ago and the Spanish or Mexican saddle. Certainly the Indian cayuse ponies^ 
which roamed over the Palouse country in large bands at the time of the Lewis 
and Clark expedition^ came from Spanish . stocky for the horse was extinct on this 
continent at the time of the discovery of America. Old Indians informed the early 
for traders that the horse had been brought into this section within their own mem- 
ory, and were fond of reciting the astonishment with which they viewed the strange 
animal when their parents had taken them to see it in possession of a* neighboring 
tribe.* 

Lewis and Clark returned to the east, and for several years the government of 
the United States put forth no effort to follow up such rights of possession as it 
may have acquired by this great work of exploration. Indeed, President Jefferson, 
who conceived and executed these explorations, appears to have entertained but 
vague ideas regarding the outcome of the heroic achievement, for we find him, a 
few years later, writing to John Jacob Astor of New York, encouraging the enter- 
prise of that daring merchant, but holding out no expectation that either the flag or 
the constitution would follow him to the distant banks of the Columbia. 

"I remember well having invited your proposition on this subject (wrote Jeffer- 
son to Astor) and encouraged it with the assurance. of ^Vfry facility and protection 
which the government could propel'ly affords j d id^i^sidered, as a great public 
acquisition, the commencement of a •iMttl^n^#ti1t.lon;lth&t'* point of the western coast 
of America, and looked forward with : gratification to the time when its descendants 
should have spread themselves through thQ whpl^^l^ngth of that coast, covering it 
with free and independent Americans^Uwj^^j^jtt^D* WAii Us But By The Ties 
Op Blood And Interest, and enjoying like us the rights of self-government." 

We come now to the advent of the fur traders — to the first commerce on the 
Spokane — and the establishment a hundred years ago of rival stores by Astor's 
Pacific Fur company and the Northwest Fur company of Canada, at the con- 
finence of the Spdkane and the Little Spokane, streams, designated then as the 
Pointed Heart and the Spokane. A brief resume of the history of these companies, 
and the older Hudson's Bay company, is essential to a clear understanding of the 
stirring events that are to follow. To that end I shall quote in part from Ross 
Cox, who came to the northwest in 1812 as a clerk in the service of Mr. Astor's 
Pacific company, and in part from Irving's "Astoria," written by that great genius 
after study of the records entrusted to him by Mr. Astor, his friend. 

* Xavier Finlay, a mixed blood, when more than 80 years of age, at the time of the es- 
tsbHshment of Fort ColviUe in 1859, said to white men that he could remember when the 
first horse was brought into the country north of Snake river. Word came to the Indians 
in the Colville valley, he said, of the presence of a strange animal among the Indians in the 
Wibon Creek country, between Spokane and the Columbia, fleet as the wind, as large as an 
elk, but without horns, and docile as a deer. Moved by curiosity, a number of northern 
Indians, including his grandparents, journeyed to see this first horse in the northern country, 
and he recited how he was lifted, then a little boy, upon the back of the strange and beautiful 
creature, and shivered with fear when the sleek coat touched his little bare legs. 



4 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

The history of the Hudson's Bay company goes back to 1670^ when King Charles 
II of England granted a charter to a number of adventurous gentlemen ambitious 
to exploit the wilds of North America. Prince Rupert was made the first governor, 
and the company was allowed the exclusive privilege of establishing trading fac- 
tories on the shores of Hudson's bay itnd its tributary rivers. 

"While Canada belonged to France/' says Cox in 'Adventures on the Columbia 
River/ "the Canadian traders had advanced many hundred miles beyond lake Supe- 
rior, and established several trading posts in the heart of the interior, some of 
which the voyageurs still call by their original names, such as Fort Dauphin, Fort 
Bourbon and others. The conquest of that province opened a new source of trade 
to British enterprise; and while the officers of the Hudson's Bay company fancied 
their charter had secured them in the undisturbed possession of their monopoly, an 
active and enterprising rival was gradually encroaching on their territories, and 
imperceptibly undermining their influence with the Indians. I allude to the North- 
west Fur company of Canada, which originally consisted of a few private traders, 
but subsequently became the first commercial establishment in British America. 

"Its first members were British and Canadian merchants. Their clerks were 
chiefly younger branches of respectable Scottish families, who entered the service 
as apprentices for seven years, for which period they were allowed one hundred 
pounds and suitable clothing. At the expiration of their apprenticeship they were 
placed on yearly salaries, varying from 80 to 160 pounds, and according to their 
talents were ultimately provided for as partners. 

"This system, by creating an identity of interest, produced a spirit of emulation 
among the clerks admirably calculated to promote the general good; for as each 
individual was led to expect that the period for his election to the proprietary de- 
pended on his own exertions, every nerve was strained to attain the long-desired 
object of his wishes. 

"Courage was an indispensable qualification, not merely for the casual en- 
counters with the Indians, but to intimidate any competitor in trade with whom he 
might happen to come in collision. Success was looked upon as the great criterion 
of a trader's cleverness; and provided he obtained for his outfit of merchandise 
what was considered a good return of furs, the partners never stopped to inquire 
about the means by which they were acquired. 

"The Hudson's Bay company, on the contrary, presented no such inducements 
to extra exertion on the part of its officers. Each individual had a fixed salary, 
without any prospect of becoming a proprietor; and some of them, whose courage 
was undoubted, when challenged to single combat by a Northwester, refused, alleg- 
ing as a reason that they were engaged to trade for furs, and not to fight with fel- 
low-subjects. 

"Independently of the foregoing circumstances, the Northwest company, in 
the selection of its canoe men, or, as they were called, engages, had another great 
advantage over its chartered rival. These men were French Canadians, remarkable 
for obedience to their superiors, and whose skill in managing canoes, capability of 
enduring hardships, and facility of adapting themselves to the habits and peculiari- 
ties of the various tribes, rendered them infinitely more popular in the eyes of the 
Indians than the stubborn, unbending, matter-of-fact Orkney men. (The chief part 



WILLIAM CLARK 
Of the Lenia nnd Clnrk Expe<liti( 



\i 



'•'^'- ■ .;■ .»' t'l 



*''•••. Li 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 5 

of the boatmen^ and several of the officers of the Hudson's Bay company had been 
formerly natives of the Orkney islands.) 

"After establishing opposition trading posts adjoining the different factories 
of the Hudson's Bay company in the interior, the indefatigable Northwesters con- 
tinued their progress to the northwest and westward, and formed numerous trading 
establishments at Athabasca, Peace River, Great and Lesser Slave lakes. New 
Caledonia and the Columbia, etc., to none of which places did the officers of the 
Hudson's Bay company attempt to follow them. By these means the Northwest 
company became undisputed masters of the interior. Their influence with the na- 
tives was all-powerful, and no single trader, without incurring imminent danger 
from the Indians or encountering the risk of starvation, could attempt to penetrate 
into their territories. 

"With the interior thus inaccessible, and the confines not worth disputing, Mr. 
Astor turned his attention to the opposite side of the American continent (he had 
been operating on the Atlantic side), and accordingly made proposals to the North- 
west company to join with him in forming an establishment on the Columbia river. 
This proposition was submitted to the consideration of a general meeting of the 
wintering proprietors (the annual winter conference at Fort William, near lake Supe- 
rior) and, after some negotiations as to the details, rejected. 

"Mr. Astor therefore determined to make the attempt without their coopera- 
tion, and in the winter of 1809 he succeeded in forming an association called the 
Pacific Fur company, of which he himself was the chief proprietor. As able and 
experienced traders were necessary to insure success, he induced several of the 
gentlemen connected with the North west-«ompan7 12) qui^ that establishment and join 
in his speculation. Among these ifas'Altxandei. JlfcjE^y, an old partner, who had 
accompanied Sir Alexander Macke^ftife ^"*fiiS'*perilous jpumey across the continent 
to the Pacific ocean. I 

"It was intended in the first ihstandfeOiQ form -a ^'trading establishment at the 
entrance of the Columbia, and as nfany more subsequently on its tributary streams 
as the nature and productions of the country would admit. It was also arranged 
that a vessel laden with goods for the Indian trade should sail every year from New 
York for the Columbia, and after discharging her cargo at the establishment, take 
on board the produce of the year's trade, and thence proceed to Canton, which is 
a ready market for furs of every description. On disposing of her stock of peltries 
at the latter place, she was to return to New York, freighted with the productions 
of China. 

"The first vessel fitted out by the Pacific Fur company was the Tonquin, com- 
manded by Captain Jonathan Thome, formerly a lieutenant in the service of the 
United States. She sailed from New York in the autumn of 1810, and had on board 
fonr partners, nine clerks, with a number of mechanics and voyageurs, with a large 
and well assorted cargo for the Indian and Chinese trades. 

"Much about the same period a party under the command of Messrs. W. P. 
Hont and Donald Mackenzie left St. Louis on the Missouri, with the intention of 
proceeding as nearly as possible by Lewis and Clark's route across the continent 
to the mouth of the Columbia. This party consisted, besides the above gentlemen, 
who were partners, of three clerks and upwards of seventy men. 

"The following year, 1811, another vessel, the Beaver, of 480 tons, commanded 



6 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

by Captain Cornelius Sowles, sailed for the Columbia. She had on board one 
partner, six clerks and a number of artisans and voyageurs, with a plentiful supply 
of everything that could contribute to the comfort of the passengers and crew." 

Ross Cox came on the Beaver as one of the clerks in the service of Mr. Astor's 
company. 

It is not the purpose of this history to enter into the details of the setting up of 
the establishment at Astoria, but reference having been made to the Tonquin, the 
narrative would be incomplete without a brief recital of her tragic fate. From the 
hour she attempted to cross the Columbia river bar, "disaster followed fast upon 
disaster." Chief Mate Fox, with two American sailors and two Canadian voya- 
geurs, who were ordered out by Captain Thome in the long boat to sound the chan- 
nel, were drowned in the breakers on the 23d of March, and the gale becanae so 
menacing that the Tonquin drew off shore and waited there two days for an abate- 
ment of the tempest. 

On the 25th, the wind having moderated, a second effort was made to cross the 
bar, and again it was necessary to order five men into the long boat for the perilous 
duty of going ahead to search out the channel. Aiken, one of the officers, Weekes, 
the blacksmith. Coles, the sailmaker, and two natives from the Sandwich islands 
were selected, and they too were swept into the breakers, shouting frantically for 
the help that could not be given. Aiken and Coles were drowned with the capsizing 
of the little craft, but Weekes and the Sandwich islanders clung to the boat and 
were carried by tide and current out to sea. They succeeded in righting the boat, 
but the islanders were exhausted by cold and labor and were powerless to man the 
oars. Weekes pulled hard till daylight, and made a landing on the long beach to 
the north of Cape Disappointment on the northern shore of the Columbia. One of 
the Sandwich islanders had died in the night, and the other was so exhausted on 
reaching land that he could not take an Indian trail which appeared to lead towards 
the river. This trail Weekes followed, and a few hours' walking brought him in 
sight of the Tonquin, lying at anchor in the bay. A relief party brought in his 
Hawaiian companion and he was restored to health. 

Meanwhile the men on the Tonquin had passed a night of terror. As the long- 
boat was carried away, the ship struck repeatedly on the bar, and was swept by 
great breakers rolling in from the Pacific. She stuck upon the sands and for hours 
was deluged in the darkness, the people aboard expecting every minute to be their 
last; but with daybreak the tide and a wind from the west set her afloat and she 
was soon in safe waters under the shelter of the North cape. 

The work of choosing a site for the establishment (Astoria), erecting buildings 
to shelter the stores and supplies, and discharging cargo consumed several weeks, 
and the Tonquin did not leave the river till June 5. With 23 persons on board she 
set sail for the north, and picking up an Indian interpreter on the way, soon came 
to a harbor on Vancouver's island. Out of that harbor the Tonquin sailed never- 
more. 

Accounts of the massacre which have come down to us from Cox, Irving, Fran- 
chere and others are conflicting, but on one tragic point there is complete unanim- 
ity: saving only the Indian interpreter, every soul aboard fell a victim to savage 
treachery and fury. 

And yet the massacre could easily have been avoided, and would have been but 



MERIWETHER LEWIS 
Of the Lewis and Clark Expeditio 



L:^-J 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 7 

for the pig-headedness of Captain Thome, an irascible, contentious, stubborn indi- 
vidual who scorned all prudent counsels, and by his insolence towards the Indians 
invited the attack and frightful butchery that followed. 

No sooner the Tonquin had come to anchor than canoes filled with Indians and 
ladened vdth rich furs were seen putting off from shore, and as the natives mani- 
fested a friendly purpose, they were taken aboard with their pelts, and the business 
of bartering was taken up. As the Indians brought a large number of sea-otter 
skins, the most precious fur taken on these shores. Captain Thome saw visions of 
great profits, and began by offering trifling values. These the Indians, grown wise 
and wary by years of sharp trading with Yankee ships, scorned and rej ected, where- 
upon Captain Thorne grew sulky and began to pace his deck in moody silence. An 
Indian chief, holding a tempting sea-otter skin, dogged his footsteps and kept 
holding the treasure before the irate captain, until Thorne, in a moment of imcon- 
trollable anger snatched the pelt from the hands of the chief and with it struck 
him across the face. 

Secretly vowing revenge, the Indians went ashore, and the interpreter and Mr. 
McKay, one of the partners, warned Thorne that mischief was brewing and advised 
him to weigh anchor and sail away. These counsels were curtly rejected, the cap- 
tain affirming that he could whip three times as many savages as the whole country 
could muster, and pointed to his cannon and firearms in substantiation of his boast. 

On the following morning, while Thorne and McKay were still asleep, several 
canoe loads of Indians drew to the ship's side,. and the natives were permitted to 
come aboard. They were followed s by othere, and soon the deck was swarming 
with them in such numbers as intetfened with the Work of the crew. Thorne and 
McKay were called, and McKay urged the captain to lift anchor and sail away, 
but even then Thome was obdurate for a while, and allowed the Indians to exchange 
furs for knives. In the meaniSjne the' interpreter had observed that a number of 
the natives wore mantles, and expressed a suspicion to Thorne and McKay that 
they were secretly armed, a fear that was soon to have frightful verification, for at 
a signal by the chief, the mantles were cast aside, revealing war clubs and knives, 
and with demoniacal yells the savages began their work of death and destruction. 
As the arms were all in the cabin, the officers and crew could offer little effective 
resistance. Captain Thorne fought with savage fury, armed only with a large 
clasp knife, and killed several Indians and wounded many others before he was 
dispatched with a war club while leaning on the tiller wheel in exhaustion. Mr. 
Lewis, the clerk, though mortally wounded, fought his way to the cabin, and four 
of seven men who were aloft when the fighting started, managed to drop to the 
deck and reach the same place of refuge, the remaining three having been dispatched 
with war clubs in the same effort. 

Once in the cabin and possessed of arms, the survivors opened fire and cleared 
the ship. 

Regarding the subsequent developments we find conflicting reports. According 
to one account, wh^ some Indians approached the ship cautiously the following 
morning, the survivors opened negotiations and offered to surrender it without fur- 
ther fighting provided they be allowed to take a boat and leave unmolested. An- 
other statement says the survivors, with the exception of Lewis, the clerk, took to 



8 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

the boat under cover of darkness the night before. It is probable^ though^ that 
Lewis staid with the Tonquin to the last. 

The Indian interpreter^ who had been spared and taken ashore in one of the 
canoes^ reported that when the Indians approached the ship the next mornings only 
one man was visible^ and responding to his peaceful invitation^ they went aboard in 
large numbers. While in the height of their exultation there came a terrific explo- 
sion of the ship's magazine^ killing more than a hundred of the savages and wound- 
ing more than a hundred others. The sea was* reddened with their bloody and for 
days afterward severed members were washed upon the shore. 

The four men who escaped in the boat^ unable^ by reason of tide and current^ to 
pull out to sea, were forced to land in a small cove. Overpowered by weariness and 
loss of sleep, they fell into a deep slimaber and were captured by the infuriated 
Indians. One report says they were dispatched on the spot, but another recites that 
they were taken prisoners into the village and slowly tortured to death. The fact 
that Weekes, the man who made so gallant a fight for life in the breakers on the 
Columbia river bar, was one of the four thus murdered or tortured, deepens the 
pathos of this distressing tragedy of early days. 

That Lewis, the clerk, meditated and executed the blowing up of the Tonquin, 
first enticing aboard a great number of the natives, we may scarcely doubt. He 
possessed a melancholy nature, and on the way out from New York had voiced a 
premonition that he should die by his own hand. Irving says he refused to accom- 
pany the men who attempted escape by small boat, "being disabled by his wound, 
hopeless of escape and determined on a terrible revenge. He now declared his 
intention to remain on board of the ship until daylight, to decoy as many of the 
savages on board as possible, then to set fire to the powder magazine, and terminate 
his life by a signal act of vengeance." 



CHAPTER II 

WHITE MEN ON THE SPOKANE 

FINAN MACDONALD PROBABLY FIR8T TO VIEW THE FALLS RACE BETWEEN A8TORIAN8 AND 

THE NORTHWESTERS BRITISHERS ESTABLISH SPOKANE HOUSE AMERICANS LOCATE 

AT MOUTH OF OKANOGAN A YEAR LATER AT MOUTH OF LITTLE SPOKANE MR. 

ASTOR's STOCK OF GOODS — HORSEFLESH STAPLE ARTICLE OF DIET ADVENTURES OF 

ROSS COX RESCUED BY FRIENDLY SPOKANES BUFFALO WEST OF THE ROCKIES 

TRADING WITH THE INDIANS DUEL AT SPOKANE HOUSE GAY LIFE IN THE BALL 

ROOM LIFE OF PERIL AND HARDSHIP PASSING OF THE BRIGADES A MOTLEY CREW. 

INASMUCH as the events in the preceding chapter touched the earlier history 
of Spokane and the Inland Empire at important points^ the author has at- 
tempted to describe them with some particularity. They signalized the very 
first effort by an American citizen to establish commerce in a permanent form on 
the Columbia river and its interior tributaries, and portions of the Tonquin's cargo 
were transported to the interior in canoes and bateaux for the founding of trading 
posts at the mouth of the Okanogan and the forks of the Spokane and Little Spokane. 

We know not for a certainty the name of the first adventurous white man to 
gaze upon the wild cataracts of the Spokane, but unquestionably the distinction 
of having been one of the first goes to David Thompson, astronomer, engineer and 
naturalist in the service of the Northwest Fur company.* In his "Remarkable His- 
tory of the Hudson's Bay company," George Bryce informs us that — 

"In July, 1811, reports began to reach the traders at Astoria that a body of 
white men were building a fort far up the Columbia. This was serious news, for 
if true, it meant that the supply of furs looked for at Astoria would be cut off. 
An effort was made to find out the truth of this rumor, without success, but imme- 
diately after came definite information that the Northwest company agents were 
erecting a post at Spokane. This was none other than David Thompson, the emis- 



*T. C. Elliott of "Walla Walla, a painstaking student of northwestern history, believes 
that the Northwesters established Spokane House in 1810, and that the work was 
probably done by Finan MacDonald, one of Thompson's men. That Thompson explored the 
Pend d 'OreiUe lake and river region in 1809-10, and wintered that year at a trading post near 
the fathead Indians in Montana, and was at Spokane House in the spring of 1811. ' ' Skeet- 
fihoo was the designation given by Thompson to the Spokane river, and to the lake later known 
as the Coeur d 'Alene. ' ' Thompson was then en route by horseback to Kettle Falls, where he 
built eanoes for his descent of the Columbia. — * * David Thompson, Pathfinder, and the Colum- 
bia Kiver," an address delivered at Kettle Falls on the occasion of the centennial celebra- 
tion in 1911. 

9 



10 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

sary of the Northwest company sent to forestall the building of Astoria's fort. 
Though too late to fulfill this mission^ on July 15 , 1811^ the doughty astronomer 
and surveyor^ in his canoe manned by eight men and having the British ensign 
flying, stopped in front of the new fort. . . . After waiting for eight days, 
Thompson, having received supplies and goods from McDougall (in command at 
Astoria) started on his return journey. With him journeyed up the river David 
Stuart, who, with eight men, was proceeding on a fur and trading expedition. 
Stuart had little confidence in Thompson, and by a device succeeded in getting 
him to proceed on his journey and leave him to choose his own site for a fort. 
Going up to within 140 miles of the Spokane river, and at the junction of the 
Okanogan and Columbia, Stuart erected a temporary fort to carry on his first sea- 
son's trade." 

It seems probable that if Mr. Astor had not exposed his hand in his preliminary 
negotiations for a partnership with the Northwesters, Thompson would not have 
been dispatched to the far northwest, and the Pacific Fur company would have 
enjoyed an undisputed opportunity to seize the strategic points and thus become 
strongly entrenched well ahead of its cunning and daring rivals. 

This was not, however, Thompson's first appearance upon the upper waters of 
the ColumbU. From the same authority it is learned that — 

**In 1^9 Thompson determined on extending his explorations southward on 
the Columbia river," and that '*a short distance south of the international boundary 
he built a post in September of that year." 

Thompson returned to the east, but came back, and in July, 1811, started on a 
descent of the Columbia that was to give him the record of the first white man to 
follow that stream to its confluence with the Snake, Lewis and Clark having de- 
scended by way of the Clearwater and the Snake. At the mouth of the Spokane 
he erected a pole and tied to it a half sheet of paper, claiming the country north 
of the forks as British territory. This notice was seen by a number of Astor em- 
ployes, for Ross states that he observed it in August, "with the British flag flying 
upon it." 

Franchere has recorded a more circumstantial account of the invasion of the 
Northwesters. On June 15, ten days after the Tonquin had sailed away to de- 
struction, "some natives from up the river brought us two strange Indians, a man 
and a woman. They were not attired like the savages on the river Columbia, but 
wore long robes of dressed deerskin, with leggings and moccasins in the fashion of 
the tribes to the east of the Rocky mountains. We put questions to them in various 
Indian dialects, but they did not understand us. They showed us a letter addressed 
to 'Mr. John Stuart, Fort Estekatadene, New Caledonia.' Mr. Pillet then address- 
ing them in the Knisteneaux language, they answered, although they appeared not 
to understand it perfectly. Notwithstanding we learned from them that they had 
been sent by a Mr. Finnan McDonald, a clerk in the service of the Northwest 
company, who had a post on a river which they called Spokan; that having lost 
their way, they had followed the course of the Tacousah-Tesseh, the Indian name 
of the Columbia ; that when they arrived at the falls, the natives made them under- 
stand that there were white men at the mouth of the. river ; and not doubting that 
the person to whom the letter was addressed would be found there, they had come 
to deliver it. 



JOHN JACOB ASTOB 



T^S ^i^v v-.r. J 
PUBLIC LlSkAKf 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 11 

"We kept these messengers for some days, and having drawn from them impor- 
tant infonnation respecting the country in the interior, west of the mountains, wc 
decided to send an expedition thither, under the command of Mr. David Stuart; 
and the 15th of July was fixed for its departure." 

Here appears, perhaps for the first time in printed record, the name "Spokan," 
and these wandering natives who had found their way to the mouth of the Colum- 
bia, in all probability were of that tribe. Lewis and Clark, it will be recalled, had 
heard of the river as the Skeet-ko-mish, but an explanation of this seeming conflict 
in nomenclature is found in the fact that the Indians had no well established name 
for any of the rivers of this western country, each tribe or band applying its own 
local name to that portion of the stream flowing through its particular section. In 
this way it frequently was found that a single river bore half a dozen or even 
more appellations. 

Stuart's expedition to the interior comprised four clerks — Pillet, Ross, McLen- 
non and Montigny, and two natives from the Sandwich islands. Their three canoes 
were well ladened with provisions and goods needed for a trading establishment. 

"The place which he pitched upon for his trading post (we quote now from 
"Astoria') was a point of land about three miles in length and two in breadth, 
formed by the junction of the Oakinagan with the Columbia. The former is a 
river which has its source in a considerable lake, and the two rivers, about the 
place of their confluence, are bordered by immense prairies covered with herbage, 
but destitute of trees. The point itself was ornamented with wild flowers of every 
hue, in which innumerable humming-birds wer^ ^nqueting nearly the livelong day. 
"The situation of this point appeared tp; be well adapted for a trading post. 
The climate was salubrious, the soil fertile, (Okanogan boosters will please take 
notice) the rivers well stocked with fish, and. i^^tlv^e^ peaceable and friendly. There 
were easy communications with the Intwaor by -thfe' upper waters of the Columbia 
and the lateral streams, while the downward current of the Columbia furnished a 
highway to Astoria. 

"Availing himself, therefore, of the driftwood which had collected in quantities 
in the neighboring bends of the river, Mr. Stuart and his men set to work to erect 
a house, which in a little while was sufficiently completed for their residence; and 
thus was established the first interior post of the company." 

And thus was established the first American commerce within the broad confines ' 
of the Inland Empire. Momentous beginning, squalid though it seemed in the 
little depK>t built of driftwood from the banks of the Columbia, of a commerce and 
an industry which has now attained a magnitude far transcending the wildest flights 
of the imagination of the merchant prince who, from his office in New York had 
launched his daring enterprise and thereby contributed powerfully to the strength- 
ening of our title to this broad northwest at a time when British statesmanship and 
British enterprise were striving mightily to set their red ensign forever in these skies. 
We come now to the founding, in the summer of 1812, of Astor's trading post 
at the mouth of the Little Spokane, some ten miles northwest of the present city 
of Spokane. It will interest our present day merchants, and the public as well, 
to take a hurried inventory of that first stock of merchandise to be vended in Spo- 
kane county. As we have seen, the Northwesters had beaten the Astorians to this 
point, but as David Thompson had traveled overland from eastern Canada, and 



12 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

been deserted on the way by a large part of his expedition who had become dis- 
contented or alarmed and returned to civilization^ it is evident that he could 
not have set up much of an establishment at this site. The fact that he was 
destitute of supplies when he arrived at Astoria^ and was under the necessity of 
begging from the Americans, may be accepted as proof that he had not left much 
at his so-called post on the Spokane, probably nothing at all beyond some impedi- 
menta which he was glad to lay aside. Thompson was unaware, when he left the 
Spokane country for the mouth of the river in July, 1811, that an American estab- 
lishment had been erected there, and it is not probable, if he had had supplies ta 
leave on the Spokane, that he would have ventured empty-handed down the Colum- 
bia, living from hand to mouth. 

Mr. Astor's stock, selected especially to appeal to Indian nature, included guns 
and ammunition, spears, hatchets, knives, beaver traps, copper and brass kettles, 
white and green blankets; blue, green and red cloths; calicoes, beads, rings, thim- 
bles, hawksbells and other gewgaws. For provisions, there were beef, pork, flour, 
rice, biscuits, tea, sugar and a moderate quantity of rum and wines. 

With this cargo a large expedition left Astoria June 29, 1812, the party includ- 
ing three partners, nine clerks, fifty-five Canadians, twenty Sandwich islanders, and 
Messrs. Crooks, McClelland and R. Stuart, who, with eight men were to proceed with 
dispatches to St. Louis. It traveled in bateaux and light built canoes, the former 
carrying eight men, the latter six. The goods were packed in bales and boxes, and 
the liquids in kegs holding on an average, nine gallons. Ross Cox informs us that 
from thirty to forty of these packages were placed in each vessel, and the whole w«is 
covered by an oilcloth or tarpaulin, to preserve them from wet. Each canoe and 
barge had from six to eight men, rowing or paddling, independent of the passengers. 

Extraordinary precautions were taken to guard against attack by the thieving 
Wishram Indians at the Cascades of the Columbia, where a long portage was re- 
quired around the rough water. The expedition arrived at the foot of the portage 
on the evening of the fourth of July, and preparations were made for action. Each 
man was given a musket and forty rounds of ball cartridge, and over his clothes 
wore an elkskin shirt, reaching to the knees. It was entirely arrow proof, and at 
eighty or ninety yards could not be penetrated by a musket ball. Besides the mus- 
kets a number had daggers, short swords and pistols; "and when armed cap-a-pie,", 
says Cox, "we presented a formidable appearance." 

So formidable, in fact, that the Indians, though gathered around in numbers and 
looking enviously upon such stores of wealth, had not the hardihood to assail the 
strangers. But at midnight, when the weary voyageurs were in a sound slumber, 
and the dark mountains and forests were but faintly illumined by the dying camp- 
fires, they were suddenly aroused and thrown into frightful confusion by the report 
of a gun and the cries of Mr. Pillet, one of the clerks, that he had been shot. 
"Every one instantly seized his arms and inquired on which side was the enemy; 
but our apprehensions were quickly appeased on learning it was merely an accident. 
One of the gentlemen, in examining the musket of a Sandwich islander, to see if it 
was primed, handed it to him at full cock; and just as the islander had taken 
it, the piece went off and the contents lodged in the calf of j>oor Pillet's leg, who 
naturally enough exclaimed that he was shot. This was, however, in our p]:jesent 
circumstances, a disagreeable event, as it rendered Mr. Pillet not only incapable of 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 13 

fightings but required three or four men to carry him in a litter over the various 
portages. The wound was dressed with friar's balsam and lint^ the ball extracted^ 
the next daj^ and in about a month afterward he was able to walk/' 

At a point near The Dalles the party purchased five horses from the Indians. 
"The value of the goods we paid for each in England would not exceed &vq shil- 
lings^*' says the historian of the expedition. "As these horses were intended for the 
kettle, they were doomed to instant destruction. Our comparatively recent separation 
from the land of bread and butter caused the idea of feeding on so useful and noble 
an animal to be at first highly repugnant to our feelings ; but example^ and above 
all^ necessity^ soon conquered these little qualms of civilization^ and in a few days 
we almost brought ourselves to believe that the animal on which we fed once carried 
horns^ was divided in the hoof^ and chewed the cud." 

Horseflesh^ in fact^ was to become the staple diet at the posts on the Spokane 
and the Okanogan^ and it is recorded that eighty cayuses were consumed in a single 
winter at Spokane. 

After their association with the filthy^ fish-eatings canoe-squatting Indians 
around the mouth of the Columbia^ the party were inclined to look upon the more 
cleanly interior tribes with an approving and indulgent eye. "The Wallah- Wallahs 
were decidedly the most friendly tribe we had seen on the river. They had an air of 
open^ unsuspecting confidence in their manner that at once banished suspicion and 
ensured our friendship. There was a degree of natural politeness^ too^ evinced by them 
on entering their lodges^ which we did not see practiced by any others. We visited 
several families in the village^ and the moment we entered^ the best place was se- 
lected for us^ and a clean mat spread to sit on; while the inmates^ particularly the 
women and children, remained at a respectful distance^ without manifesting any of 
the obtrusive curiosity about our arms or clothing, by which we were so much an- 
noyed among the lower tribes." 

Mercenary immorality, we are informed, was unknown among them, in admir- 
able contrast to the oil-besmeared women on the coast. Cox found that "the females 
were distinguished by a degree of attentive kindness totally removed from the dis- 
gusting familiarity of the kilted ladies below the rapids, and equally free from an 
affection of prudery; and I believe no inducement would tempt them to commit a 
breach of chastity." 

At the junction of the Columbia and the Snake, present site of Pasco and Kenne- 
wick, the adventurers encamped for three days, while buying horses for their jour- 
neys inland. David Stuart and party then proceeded up the Columbia in their 
canoes, to the post at the mouth of the Okanogan, and Donald McKenzie and his 
party up the Snake river, to establish a trading post on its upper reaches. 

"The natives of this district," writes Cox, "are called the Pierced-nose Indians, 
but as French is the language in general use among traders in this country, owing 
to most of their workmen being Canadians, we commonly called them Les Nez 
Perch, They do not differ much from the Wallah-Wallahs in their dress or lan- 
guage, but are not so friendly, and demand higher prices for their horses. Their 
habitations are covered with large mats fixed on poles; some are square, others 
oblong, and some conical. They are of various sizes, from twenty to seventy feet 
long, and from ten to fifteen feet broad. These dwellings are pretty free from 
vermin, and are easily changed when occasion requires. 



14 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

"The women wear leathern robes which cover the shoulders, part of the arms, 
the breasts, and reach down to their legs. The men have robes nearly similar, but not 
so long, with leggings which reach up half the thigh, and are fastened to a belt round 
the waist with leather thongs. They are clean, active and smart-looking, good 
hunters and excellent horsemen. They enjoy good health, and with the exception 
of a few sore eyes, did not appear to have any disorder. They are fond of their 
children and attentive to the wants of their old people. Their saddles are made of 
dressed deerskin, stuffed with hair; the stirrups are wooden, with the bottoms 
broad and flat, and covered over with raw skin, which when dry becomes hard and 
lasts a long time. The bridles are merely ropes made out of the hair of the horses' 
tails, and are tied round their under jaw." 

After the purchase of twenty-five horses, the party proceeded up the Snake, 
some on land with the horses, but the greater part still in the canoes. In this man- 
ner they continued to the mouth of the Palouse river, where more horses were pur- 
chased, for here they were to leave the river and go overland to Spokane. The 
canoes and bateaux were stored away in a snug place and entrusted to the care of 
the chief of the village at that point, and as a reward for his oversight he was given 
a "fathom of blue cloth,'' an axe and a knife; and to his wife were given some 
strings of white and blue beads and three dozen hawkbells for her chemise de cuir. 
The village here comprised about forty mat-covered tepees. 

Some conception of the toilsome character of a journey as then made to the 
interior may be gleaned from the fact that this party, leaving Astoria June 29, took 
till August 7 to reach the mouth of the Palouse on Snake river, and the preparations 
at that point consumed eight days more, so it was not until the 15th that it took 
up the overland journey for the Spokane, under the guidance of an Indian employed 
at the Palouse village. 

The party now consisted of one proprietor, Clarke, four clerks, twenty-one 
Canadians, and six Sandwich islanders, with the Indian guide, and traversed the in- 
tervening Palouse country between the Snake and the Spokane in safety, the only 
incident of note having been the separation of Ross Cox from the brigade and his 
consequent loss and wanderings, alone, without means of mcJdng fire, and scantily 
attired, for a period of fourteen days, when he finally staggered into the camp of 
some friendly Indians on the Spokane, emaciated from hunger and hardship, and 
with feet so swollen and bleeding that he could scarcely walk. 

One report alleges that Cox, who was a red-headed and somewhat impetuous 
Irishman, persisted in lagging along the way, and having been reprimanded by 
Clarke became insubordinate, and still persisting in his refusal to keep up with the 
party, was left far behind in the hope that it would serve as a wholesome lesson. 
Cox himself offers an entirely different and quite plausible explanation — in effect 
that attracted by the beauty of the banks of a little stream where the expedition had 
made a noonday pause, he strolled along till he came to a natural arbor and lay 
down to rest. Overcome by weariness and the heat of the August sun, he fell into 
a sound slumber from which he awakened several hours later to discover that the 
party was gone and he left alone in a wild and savage land. He followed the trail 
until it was lost on rocky ground, and then climbed a high hill, but the cavalcade 
was nowhere to be seen. His only clothing was a pair of nankeen trousers, a ging- 
ham shirt and a pair of worn moccasins, and he suffered intensely at night from cold 




SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 15 

and exposure. Not having even a pistol, his only means of subsistence were wild 
berries and roots, excepting one meal at a point where a party of Indians had made 
their camp the night before and left aroimd their fire the remnants of some grouse 
upon which they had dined. In his description of his adventures. Cox seems to have 
exaggerated his experiences with wolves, bears and rattlesnakes, but for the rest 
his narrative is obviously a faithful record of his troubles. 

Rev. Samuel Parker, who was sent into this country in 1835 by the American 
Board of Foreign Missions, and traversed the Spokane country that year, makes 
light of Cox's adventures and writes him down an arrant nature faker. Describing 
the Spokane woods, Parker says: "These are the woods in which Ross Cox was lost, 
about the circumstances of which he gives a very interesting description, but which, 
so far as I have had as yet an opportunity to judge, contains far more fiction than 
truth. But his multitude of growling bears and howling wolves and alarming rattle- 
snakes, of which I have seen only one, may yet come out from their lurking places 
in hostile array." 

Cox's account of his ultimate rescue by a family of the Spokanes is so pleasingly 
descriptive of the natural kindliness of "our first citizens of Spokane," that I in- 
corporate it here: 

"On advancing a short distance into the meadow (where he had seen horses) 
the cheering sight of a small column of gracefully ascending smoke, announced my 
vicinity to human beings, and in a moment after two Indian women perceived me. 
They instantly fled to a hut which appeared at the farther end of the meadow. This 
movement made me doubt whether I had arrived among friends or enemies, but my 
apprehensions were quickly dissipated by the approach of two men, who came run- 
ning to me in the most friendly manner. On seeing the lacerated state of my feet, 
they carried me in their arms to a comfortable dwelling covered with deer skins. To 
wash and dress my torn limbs, roast some roots and boil a small salmon, seemed but 
the business of a moment. After returning thanks to that great and good Being 
in whose hands are the issues of life and death, and who had watched over my 
wandering steps, and rescued me from the many perilous dangers I encountered, I 
sat down to my salmon, of which it is needless to say, I made a hearty supper. 

*The family consisted of an elderly man and his son, with their wives and chil- 
dren. I collected from their signs that they were aware of my being lost, and that 
they, with other Indians and white men, had been out several days, scouring the 
woods and plains in search of me. I also understood from them that our party had 
arrived at their destination, which was only a few hours' march from their habitation. 
They behaved to me with affectionate solicitude, and while the old woman was care- 
fully dressing my feet, ,the men were endeavoring to make me comprehend their 
meaning. 

"As it was too late, after finishing my supper, to proceed farther that night, I 
retired to rest on a comfortable couch of buffalo and deerskins. I slept soundly, 
and the morning of the thirty-first was far advanced before I awoke. After break- 
fasting on the remainder of the salmon, I prepared to join my white friends. 

"A considerable stream, about ninety yards broad, called Coeur d'Alene river, 
flowed close to the hut. (The name invariably attached in early days to that part 
of the Spwkane flowing between the lake and the mouth of the Little Spokane.) We 
crossed the river in a canoe, after which they brought over three horses, and having 



16 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

enveloped my body in an Indian mantle of deerskin^ we mounted and set off in a 
smart trot in an easterly direction. 

"We had not proceeded more than seven miles when I felt the bad effects of hav- 
ing eaten so much salmon after so long a fast. I had a severe attack of indigestion^ 
and for two hours suffered extreme agony; and but for the great attention of the 
kind Indians^ I think it would have proved fatal. 

"About an hour after recommencing our journey, we arrived in a clear wood^ 
in which, with joy unutterable, I observed our Canadians at work hewing timber. I 
rode between the two natives. One of our men, named Francois Gardepie, who had 
been on a trading excursion, joined us on horsebadc. My deerskin robe and sun- 
burnt features completely set his powers of recognition at defiance, and he addressed 
me as an Indian. I replied in French by asking how our people were. Poor Fran- 
cois appeared electrified, exclaimed "Sainte Vierge!" and galloped into the wood 
vociferating: *0h mes amis, mes amis il est trouve! Oui, out, il est trouve!' (Oh, 
my friends, my friends, he is found! Yes, yes, he is found!) 

" 'Quif qui?' asked his comrades, 'Monsieur Cox, Monsieur Cox,' replied Fran- 
cois ; *le voilal le voila!' (There he is, there he is !) 

"Away went saws, hatchets and axes, and each man rushed forward to the 
tents where we had by this time arrived. It is needless to say that our astonishment 
and delight at my miraculous escape were mutual. The friendly Indians were lib- 
erally rewarded, the men were allowed a holiday, and every countenance bore the 
smile of joy and happiness." 

The site chosen for the Spokane post was the neck of land lying between the 
Spokane and Little Spokane rivers, a short distance above the joining of the two 
waters. Cox describes it as thinly covered with pine and other trees, and close to ' 
a trading post of the Northwest company, under the command of McMillan, one of 
their clerks, who had ten men with him. The Northwest company had two other 
posts in the interior, one about 240 miles from Spokane House, in a northeasterly 
direction, for trading with the Flatheads, the other about 200 miles north of the 
Spokane, "among a tribe called the Cootonais (Kootenais) in whose country there 
are plenty of beavers, deer, mountain sheep, and, at times, buffaloes." 

That buffalo* were to be foimd among the Kootenais, occupying as they did the 
wild and deeply wooded mountains and valleys of the upper Columbia, may be ques- 
tioned. While there is abundant testimony that buffalo had formerly roamed over 
the great plains between the Rocky mountains and the Cascades, they had become 
extinct here prior to the advent of the first white men, and the tribes living west of 
the Rocky mountains had long been under the necessity of making long hunting 
trips into the country of the Black feet for their supplies of robes and dried buffalo 
meat. In these expeditions the interior tribes, notably the Flatheads and the Coeur 
d'Alenes, had suffered frightful losses from savage attacks on their hunters by the 
Blackfeet, and a fierce and implacable feud had grown up between these tribes and 



* From the journal of Dr. George Suckley, surgeon XJ. S. A., who descended the Pend 
d 'Oreille in a canoe in the autumn of 1853, I take this interesting excerpt: ''Buffalo were 
formerly in great numbers in this valley, as attested by the number of skulls seen and by the 
reports of the inhabitants. For a number of years past none had been seen west of the 
(Rocky) mountains; but, singular to relate, a buffalo bull was killed at the mouth of the 
Pend d 'Oreille river on the day I passed it. The Indians were in great joy at this, supposing 
that the buffalo were coming back among them. 



FALLS OF THE PALOUSE 
A!" drawn by artist nitli (lovernor Stevens' Expediti 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 17 

the wild warriors of the plains. As the Blackfeet had come into contact with the 
fur traders operating east of the Rocky mountains^ and had become possessed of 
firearms and ammnnition before the establishment of trading posts west of the 
Rocky mountains^ the Indians of the Spokane country suffered a terrible disad* 
vantage in their wars^ and hence were eager to meet the western traders and ex- 
change their furs for gons and powder and ball. 

The origin of the name Flathead^ as applied by the French trappers and voyageurs 
to the superior tribe occupying the country on the western slopes of the Rockies^ is 
Teiled in mystery. It does not appear that these Indians had ever adopted the prac- 
tice of flattening the heads of their infants ; certainly they were not given to that 
custom when the white men came into the country^ a strange custom that was con- 
fined to a few tribes seated around the mouth of the Columbia. It may be the name 
was bestowed in derision or anger^ since the term *'tete plate'* or Flathead has long 
been in use among the French as a term of reproach or yiUification. Rostand em- 
ploys it in "Cyrano de Bergerac" when he causes de Bergerac, in his angry outburst 
against Le Facheux^ to exclaim: 

"Enorme, mon nez! Vil camus, sot camard, tete plate!" 

As the Northwest company had established posts among these Indians^ the 
Astor people decided to set up rival establishments^ and clerk Pillet was dispatched 
with six men to locate a post among the Kootenais^ and Famam and Cox were sent 
from Spokane House to establish one among the Flatheads. Their mission achieved^ 
the latter returned to the Spokane in time to share in the New Year's festivities^ 
which were conducted on a scale of comparative magnificence. Clarke had built a 
mug and roomy dwelling house of four rooms and a kitchen ; another commodious 
structure for the men^ and a capacious store for the furs and goods^ "the whole 
surrounded by high paling and flanked by two bastions with loopholes for musketry." 
So the party were in a position to take their ease, and the gay and care-free French- 
men enjoyed to their fullest zest the Christmas and New Year "regales." On such 
festive occasions flour and sugar were served out to the men for cakes, and a gener- 
ous allowance of rum and wine to wash down the unwonted luxuries of the day. 

**I passed the remainder of the winter at this place," run the Cox chronicles, 
"and between hunting, reading, fishing, etc., we contrived to spend the time agree- 
ably enough. We lived principally on deer, trout and carp (more probably sudcers 
or whitefish), and occasionally killed a fat horse as a substitute for beef. Custom 
had now so far reconciled us to the flesh of this animal, that we often preferred it 
to what in Europe might be regarded as luxuries. Foals or colts are not good, al- 
though a few of our men preferred them. A horse for the table should not be under 
three years nor above seven. The flesh of those which are tame, well fed and occa- 
sionally worked, is tender and firm, and the fat hard and white ; it is far superior to 
the wild horse, the flesh of which is loose and stringy, and the fat yellow and rather 
oily. We generally killed the former for our own table, and J can assure my readers 
that if they sat down to a fat rib, or a rump steak of a well fed four-year-old, with- 
out knowing the animal, they would imagine themselves regaling on a piece of prime 
ox beef. In February we took immense quantities of carp in Spokane river (the 
Little Spokane) above its junction with the Pointed Heart, and in a few weeks 
after the trout came in great abundance. 

"The Spokans we found to be a quiet, honest, inoffensive tribe; and although 

Vol i—i 



18 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

we had fortified our establishment in the manner above mentioned, we seldom closed 
the gates at night. Their country did not abound in furs, and they were rather indo- 
lent in hunting. Their chief, Illumspokanee, or the Son of the Sun, was a harmless 
old man who spent a great portion of his time between us and Mr. McMillan. We 
entered into a contract with that gentleman to abstain from giving the Indians any 
spirituous liquors, to which both parties strictly adhered. Mr. Clarke, who was an 
old trader himself, had often witnessed the baneful effects of giving ardent spirits 
to Indians, while he was in the service of the Northwest company, at all whose es- 
tablishments on the east side of the Rodcy mountains it was an almost invariable 
custom. . . . By this arrangement both parties saved themselves considerable 
trouble and expense, and kept the poor natives in a state of blissful ignorance. In 
other respects also we agreed very well with our opponent, and neither party 
evinced any of the turbulent or lawless spirit which gave so ferocious an aspect to 
the opposition of the rival companies on the east side of the mountains. 

"The great object of every Indian was to obtain a gun. Now a good gun could 
not be had under twenty beaver skins; a few short ones we gave for fifteen; and 
some idea of the profit may be formed when I state that the wholesale price of the 
gun is about one pound seven shillings, while the average value of twenty beaver 
skins is about twenty-five pounds. Two yards of cloth, which originally cost twelve 
shillings, would generally bring six or eight beavers, value eight or ten pounds; 
and so on in proportion for other articles. But they were satisfied and we had no 
cause to complain. 

"The Spokans are far superior to the Indians of the coast in cleanliness, but by 
no means equal in this respect to the Flatheads. The women are good wives and 
most affectionate mothers; .the old, cheerful and complete slaves to their families; 
the young, lively and confiding; and whether married or single, free from the vice 
of incontinence. 

"Their village was situated at the point formed by the jimction of the two rivers. 
Some houses were oblong, others conical, and were covered with mats or skins ac- 
cording to the wealth of the proprietor. Their chief riches are their horses, which 
they generally obtain in barter from the Nez Perces, in return for the goods which 
they obtain from us for their furs. Each man is therefore the founder of his own 
fortune, and their riches or poverty are generally proportioned according to their 
activity or indolence. The vice of gambling, however, is prevalent among them, 
and some are such slaves to it that they frequently lose all their horses. 

"The spot where *the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep' is about midway be- 
tween the village and the fort, and has rather a picturesque effect at a distance- 
When a man dies several horses are killed, and the skins are attached to the ends of 
long poles, which are planted in the graves. The number of horses sacrificed is 
proportioned to the wealth of the individual. Besides the horseskins, deer and 
buffalo robes, leather sKirts, blankets, pieces of blue, green and scarlet cloth, strips 
of calico, moccasins, provisions, warlike weapons, etc., are placed in and about the 
cemetery ; all of which they imagine will be more or less necessary for the deceased 
in the world of spirits. 

"As their lands axe much infested by wolves, which destroy the foals, they can 
not rear horses in such numbers as the Nez Perces, from whom they are obliged to 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 19 

purchase them annually. They never kill any for their own use, but felt no re- 
pugnance to eat the flesh at our place." 

Affairs were not altogether harmonious between the rival establishments that 
first winter on the Spokane, for Pillet, a clerk of the Astor forces, fought a duel 
with pistols with Montour, a clerk of the Northwesters. They fired at six paces — 
"both hits; one in the collar of the coat, and the other in the leg of the trousers. 
Two of their men acted as seconds, and the tailor speedily healed their wounds." 

Spokane House was the popular rendezvous for the different posts and detached 
trading parties operating all over the Inland Empire. Many a gay gathering and 
many a lively social diversion could the sentinel pines and downlooking mountains 
narrate today if they but had the power of speech. The establishment boasted a 
ball-room, and there on wintry nights, to the strains of flute and fiddle, the vivacious 
French Canadians and more stolid young Scotch chaps trod a measure with the 
copper-tinted belles of the Spokanes, the Nez Perces and other neighboring tribes. 
Forgotten then, in the entrancement of Terpsichore, were their weary marches by 
field and forest and mountain trail ; their dismal bivouacs in winter snows or summer's 
deluge. Loquacious Pierre, and mercurial Jean, and quick-tempered Louis cast away 
their memories of dreadful toil by perilous portage, or snapped their fingers at the 
thought of coming travail, when the breast-straps should cut the flesh as they tugged 
at the lines of deep-ladened bateaux dancing on the swift waters of the Columbia, 
the Spokane, the Flathead and the "Cootonai." 

In fancy we may conjure back the stirring scene: the deep ball-room, lighted by 
the great hearthfire and flaring flambeaux of pine knots; the Scotch gentlemen, 
each in the tartan of his clan ; the Americans, decked out in some treasured piece of 
bright colored raiment of the period, brought from distant New York, and the 
French Canadians in plume and sash and gaily colored capote. 

And what a contrast without, where the winter moon spread her cold beams on a 
landsca]>e of woody moimtains and snowy plains, while the dark waters of the Spo- 
kane went tearing to the mighty Oregon, and the greater river ran sullen to the sea. 

It was a hard, wild life, and few who embraced it survived to see again the 
pleasant landscapes of their boyhood homes, or hear on sunny Sabbath morning the 
deep-toned bells of worship calling across the smiling fields. 

"It is worthy of remark," observes Parker, who traversed this country in 1885, 
'that comparatively few of all those who engage in the fur business about and west 
of the Rocky mountains, ever return to their native land and their homes and friends. 
Mr. P. of Fort Walla Walla told me that to keep up their number of trappers and 
hunters in the country west of the mountains, they were under the necessity of send- 
ing out recruits annually, about one-third of the whole number. Captain W. has 
said that of more than 200 who had been in his employment in the course of three 
years, only between thirty and forty were known to be alive. From this data it 
may be seen that the life of hunters in these far western . regions averages about 
three years. And with these known facts, still hundreds and hundreds are willing 
to engage in the hunter's life and expose themselves to hardships, famine and death. 
The estimate has been made from sources of correct information, that there are 9,000 
white men in the north and in the great west, engaged in the various departments of 
trading, trapping and hunting. This number includes Americans, Britons, French- 
men and Russians." 



20 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Life at Okanogan offered none of the lively diversions that were the accompani- 
ment of a winter sojourn at Spokane House. In a letter by McGillivray^ a year 
later to a friend at Spokane^ we find a graphic pen picture of that dreary outpost of 
the company : 

"Oakinagan^ Feb., 1814. — This is a horribly dull place. Here I have been, 
since you parted from us, perfectly solus. My men, half Canadians and half Sand- 
wich islanders. The library wretched, and no chance of my own books until next 
year, when the Athabasca men cross the mountains. If you or my friends at Spokan 
do not send me a few volumes I shall absolutely die of ennui. 

"The Indians here are incontestably the most indolent rascals I ever met; and 
I assure you it requires no small degree of authority, with the few men I have, to 
keep them in order. Montignier left me on the twenty-third of December to proceed 
to Mr. McDonald at Kamloops. On his way he was attadced by the Indians at 
Okanogan lake, and robbed of a number of his horses. The natives in that quarter 
seem to entertain no great friendship for us, as this is- not their first attempt to 
trespass on our good nature. My two Canadians were out hunting at the period of 
the robbery, and the whole of my household troops merely consisted of Bonaparte, 
Washington and Caesar (three natives of Hawaii). Great names, you will say; but 
I must confess, that much as I think of the two great moderns, and highly as I re- 
spect the memory of the immortal Julius, among these thieving scoundrels 'a rose 
by any other name would smell as sweet.* The snow is between two and three feet 
deep, and my trio of Owyhee generals find a sensible difference between such 
hyperborean weather and the pleasing sunshine of their own tropical paradise. 
Poor fellows ! They are not adapted for these latitudes, and I heartily wish they 
were at home in their own sweet islands, and sporting in the 'blue summer ocean' 
that surrounds them. 

"I have not as yet made a pack of beaver. The lazy Indians won't work; and as 
for the emperor, president and dictator, they know as much about trapping as the 
monks of La Trappe. I have hitherto principally subsisted on horseflesh. I can 
not say it agrees with me, for it nearly produced a dysentery. I have had plenty of 
pork, rice, arrowroot, flour, taroroot, tea and coffee; no sugar. With such a variety 
of bonnes choses you will say I ought not to complain ; but want of society has de- 
stroyed my relish for luxuries, and the only articles I taste above par are souchong 
and molasses. 

"What a contrast between the manner I spent last year and this. In the first 
with all the pride of a newly-created subaltern, occasionally fighting the Yankees, 
a la mode du pays; and anon, sporting my silver wings before some admiring 
paysanne along the frontiers. Then what a glorious winter in Montreal, with cap- 
tured Jonathans, triumphant Britons, astonished Indians, gaping habitants, agitated 
beauties, balls, routs, dinners, suppers; parades, drums beating; colors flying, with 
all the other 'pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war.' But 'Othello's occu- 
pation's gone,' and here I am, with a shivering guard of poor islanders, buried in 
snow, sipping molasses, smoking tobacco, and masticating horseflesh. But I am sick 
of the contrast !" 

Certainly a vivid one, and made by a gentleman of evident culture and literary 
attainment. 



CHAPTER III 

BRITISH FLAG SUPPLANTS THE STARS AND STRIPES 

TJOLINO THE FURS DOWN THE COLUMBIA INDIAN THIEF HANOED AT MOUTH OF 

PAL0U8E GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA AT WAR ASTOR BETRAYED BT HIS PART* 

NERS AT ASTORIA HIS OREAT ENTERPRISE RUINED BRITISH SEIZE ASTORIA ^EXPE- 
DITION MASSACRED ON HEADWATERS OF THE SNAKE REMARKABLE ESCAPE OF PIERRE 

DORION's SQUAW. 

Ay^ tear her tattered ensign down! 

Long has it waved on high. 
And many an eye has danced to see 

That banner in the sky. 

— Oliver' Wendell Holmes, 

WITH the coming of spring, 1813, Spokane House became a scene of lively 
preparation for the springtime brigade down the Columbia to Astoria, 
or Fort George as it was soon to become by the fortunes of war, and 
the stars and stripes to be supplanted by the British flag. Leaving poor Pillet, 
who, between his accidental shooting at the Cascades, his duel on the Spokane 
and other minor untoward experiences was evidently in an unhappy frame of mind, 
to keep guard on the Spokane with four assistants, the brigade set out on the 
25th of May for the mouth of the Columbia. It had twenty-eight horses 
packed heavy with the season's catch, and reached Snake river at the mouth of the 
Palonse, or Pavilion Hver as it then was called by the French, on the thirtieth of 
May. Here the canoes were found in safety, barring a few nails which the Indians 
had extracted for their own needs, and while the brigade lay there to await repairs, 
a tragic incident occurred that was to lead, as we shall later learn, to a far more 
tragic denouement. 

During the night a thief or thieves had entered the tent in which Mr. Clarke 
slept, and stole from his garde-vin a valuable silver goblet. Hastily summoning the 
Indians of the village, Clarke told them that he had overlooked previous thefts on 
the occasion of his coming into their country, believing that his indulgence then 
would win better treatment in future; but that he was mistaken, for his lenience then 
had led to this bolder theft, and he saw that he must now deal with them in a more 
resolute manner. He accordingly announced that if the stolen property were re- 
turned he would pardon the offender, but if not, he should hang the thief if he could 
find him. 

21 



22 • SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

The chief and others expressed a willingness to aid in the recovery of the stolen 
articles^ but the day passed with no results. That night a watch was set^ and an 
Indian detected in the act of entering one of the tents. When discovered he fled to 
a canoe^ but was seized as he was stepping into it. An alarm was given^ the whole 
camp was soon routed from their slumbers^ and a search showed that several valuable 
articles were missings most of which were found in the bottom of the canoe. The 
thief refused to give any account of the other missing articles^ and as he had been 
remarkably well treated by the party, Clarke resolved, in view of this and the 
aggravated nature of the robbery, to put his threat into execution. A gallows was 
ordered erected, and the culprit's hands and feet having been bound, Clarke assem- 
bled all the Indians of the village and made a speech, declaring that the prisoner 
had violated his confidence, abused the rights of hospitality and committed an of- 
fense for which he ought to suffer death. 

The Indians assented to this proposition and repudiated the prisoner, affirming 
that he did not belong to their tribe, but was an outlaw from another village, and 
they had all been afraid of him. The thief offered the most violent resistance to his 
execution, and screamed in a frightful manner as he was launched into eternity. An 
account of the subsequent appalling revenge taken by the relatives of this Indian 
will appear in another chapter. 

Great news awaited the Spokane brigade on its arrival, June 11, 181S, at As- 
toria. "We found all our friends in good health," says Ross Cox, "but a total revolu- 
tion had taken place in the affairs of the company. Messrs. John George McTavish 
and Joseph LaRocque of the Northwest company, with two canoes and sixteen men, 
had arrived a few days before us. From these gentlemen we learned, for the first 
time, that war had been declared the year before between Great Britain and the 
United States ; and that in consequence of the strict blockade of the American pN>rt6 
by British cruisers, no vessel would venture to proceed to our remote establishment 
during the continuation of hostilities; added to which, a trading vessel which had 
touched at the Columbia in the early part of the spring, had informed our people 
that the ship Beaver was blocked up in Canton." 

Himself a British subject, and holding friendly feelings towards the Northwest- 
ers, Cox states lightly and defends a transaction that at best was shameful enough 
— a too ready betrayal by old Northwesters in Mr. Astor's service, of his interests 
and property into the hands of their former masters. We quote Cox's version: 
"These unlucky and unexpected circumstances, joined to the impossibility of sus- 
taining ourselves another year in the country without fresh supplies, induced our 
proprietory to enter into negotiations with Mr. McTavish, who had been authorized 
by the Northwest company to treat with them. In a few weeks an amicable arrange- 
ment was made, by which Mr. McTavish agreed to purchase all the furs, mer- 
chandise, provisions, etc., of our company at a certain valuation, stipulating to 
provide a safe passage back to the United States, either by sea or across the conti- 
nent, for such members of it as chose to return, and at the same time offering to 
those who should wish to join the Northwest company and remain in the country 
the same terms as if they had originally been members of that company. Messrs. 
Ross, McLennon and I took advantage of these liberal proposals, and some time 
after Mr. Duncan McDougal, one of the directors, also joined the Northwest. 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 23 

The Americans, of course, preferred returning to their own country, as also did Mr. 
Gabriel Franchere and a few other Canadian clerks." 

The phrase, "to their own country," has now a half humorous ring, but there 
was no humor to the situation then. The Americans were down and out, their occu- 
pany of the Columbia River country had ended in failure, and it was known that a 
British war vessel was sailing to these shores to capture Astoria, pull down the 
American flag and take possession of the country for the British empire. 

Gabriel Franchere, has left, in his "Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest 
Coast of America," a harsher report of the perfidy of McDougal and other agents 
of Mr. Astor. The Astorians were surprised one day, late in the autumn of 1812, 
by the appearance of two canoes, bearing the British flag, and having between them 
a third canoe flying the American colors. These British canoes brought J. G. Mc- 
Tavish and Angus Bethune of the Northwest company, the vanguard to a flotilla of 
eight canoes loaded with furs under the conduct of John Stuart and McMillan. The 
American canoe bore a small party of Astorians, who had met the Northwesters 
near the Cascades, and on learning the news brought by them, had returned to the 
mouth of the Columbia. 

McTavish delivered to McDougal a letter addressed to the latter by Angus 
Shaw, his uncle, one of the partners of the Northwest company, advising him that 
the ship Isaac Todd, bearing letters of marque, had sailed from London in March 
under convoy of the British frigate Phoebe, with orders from the government to seize 
the American establishment at Astoria, which had been misrepresented to the admi- 
ralty as an important colony founded by the government of the United States. 

A little later the eight canoes came into the offing and the Northwesters, to the 
number of seventy-five men, went into camp on the beach near tlie Astor fort. Here 
was a hostile expedition, with confessed designs against the Astoria enterprise, but 
McDougal, Mr. Astor's agent on the ground, and bound by every obligation of fidel- 
ity and decency to guard his great trust, received it in friendship and even benevo- 
lence, for the Northwesters were destitute of provisions and were supplied from Mr. 
Astor 's stores while awaiting the expected arrival of a British war ship. 

The upshot of the negotiations that followed was the sale of the vast Astor in- 
terests to the rival institution at a price not exceeding one-third of its true value. 

"It was thus," lamented Franchere, "that after having passed the seas and suf- 
fered all sorts of fatigues and privations, I lost in a moment all my hopes of fortune. 
I could not help remarking that we had no right to expect such treatment on the part 
of the British government, after the assurances we had received from Mr. Jadcson, 
his majesty's charge d'affaires, previously to our departure from New York. But as 
I have just intimated, the agents of the Northwest company had exaggerated the 
importance of the factory in the eyes of the British ministry; for if the latter had 
known what it really was — a mere trading post — and that nothing but the rivalry of 
the fur traders of the Northwest company was interested in its destruction, they 
would never have taken umbrage at it, or at least would have never sent a maritime 
expedition to destroy it." 

The frigate Phoebe failed to put in appearance, but in her stead the British 
sloop-of-war Raccoon arrived on November 80. When first sighted, the North- 
westers, now in possession of Astoria, were uncertain as to her nationality, and a 
fear arose that she might bear American arms. They met this danger, though, with 



24 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

a very different spirit and resolution from that which had been exhibited by Mc- 
Dougal when facing the possibility of an appearance of a British vessel. McDougal 
went down the bay in a small boat^ under instructions to ascertain the nationality of 
the newcomer^ and to represent himself either as an American or a British subject, 
according to the flag that she might be found to fly. Meanwhile the precious furs 
stored at the fort were hastily loaded into canoes and hurried up the river to a hiding 
place in the thickets of a little entering stream. 

"From the account given in this chapter/' says Franchere^ "the reader will see 
with what facility the establishment of the Pacific Fur company could have escaped 
capture by the British force. It was only necessary to get rid of the land party of 
the Northwest company — who were completely in our power — ^then remove our ef- 
fects up the river on some small stream and await the result. The sloop-of-war ar- 
rived^ it is true; but as, in the case I suppose, she would have found nothing, she 
would have left after setting fire to our deserted houses. None of their boats would 
have dared follow us, even if the Indians had betrayed to them our lurking place. 
Those at the head of affairs had their own fortunes to seek, and thought it more 
for their interest, doubtless, to act as they did, but that will not clear them in the 
eyes of the world, and the charge of treason to Mr. Astor's interests will always be 
aittached to their acts." 

Jt seems improbable that the Indians would have betrayed the hiding place of 
the Astorians, if this expedient had been adopted. McDougal had taken as wife a 
daughter of Chief Concomly, and the aged one-eyed chieftain seems to have been 
unable to fathom the quick shiftiness of his son-in-law; for when the Raccoon ap- 
pealed in the bay, Concomly quickly assembled his warriors, marched them into the 
presence of his son-in-law, and never doubting that McDougal was loyal to his trust, 
volunteered to aid him in battle against the invader. He proposed that he should 
station his warriors in the thickets on shore, and when the "King George men" at- 
tempted a landing he would open a hot fire on them from cover. When McDougal 
declined this hostile alliance, the' old chief shook his head in sadness and disgust, 
and the assurances of his son-in-law, that the war vessel was bringing friends, was 
too much for the simple intellect of the old father-in-law. 

When Captain Black, having brought the Raccoon to anchor in front of the es- 
tablishment, saw the primitive appearance of the fort, he could scarcely believe his 
eyes. W^t had been led to believe that the Americans had built there a great and 
wealthy establishment, and all through the long voyage he and his fellow officers had 
indulged anticipations of the rich prize money that would come to them with the fall 
of Astoria. He inquired if there were not larger and more pretentious buildings 
somewhere in the vicinity, and when told that he had seen the entire establishment, 
cried out: 

"Is this the fort about which I have heard so much talking? D — ^n me, but I'd 
batter it down in two hours with a four-pounder!" 

And when he learned of the canny transaction by which the rich furs of the 
enemy had passed to a British subject, and his last expectation of prize money 
went vanishing into thin air, he grew furiously angry, and demlmded the taking of 
an inventory of the property purchased of the Americans, "with a view to ulterior 
measures in England for the recovery of the value from the Northwest company." 



• THE ,N£.'v i .] ~: 

PUBLIC lk-'sakW 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 25 

But as he cooled off the ludicrousness of the affair evidently dawned on his sense of 
hiimor^ for the "ulterior measures" were never taken. 

Less than $40^000 was allowed by the Northwest company for furs worth in 
excess of $100^000^ and goods and merchandise intended for the Indian trade were 
taken over at less than a third of their true value. The following estimate was made 
of the furs on hand and the prices paid for them compared with their real value : 

17,705 lbs. beaver parchment, valued at.$ 2.00 worth $ 5.00 

465 old coat beaver, valued at 1.66 worth 3.50 

907 land otter, valued at 50 worth 5.00 

68 sea otter, valued at .12.00 worth $45 to 60.00 

30 sea otter, valued at 5.00 worth 25.00 

Nothing was allowed for 179 mink skins worth 50 cents each; twenty-two rac- 
coons, worth 40 cents each; twenty-eight lynx, worth $2 each; eighteen fox, worth 
$1 each; one hundred and six fox, worth $1.50 each; seventy-one black bear, worth 
$4 each; and sixteen grixxly bear, worth $10 each. 

But the deed was done, and could not be cured by repining or reproaches; and 
with Astoria also went Spokane House, Okanogan and the other trading posts of 
the Astor company. Captain Black of the sloop-of-war took possession of Astoria 
in the name of his Britannic Majesty, floated the British flag above it, and re- 
diristened the place "Fort George." As this official act carried with it a claim to all 
the territory in possession of British subjects, Spokane passed under the British 
ensign, and continued British territory tiU^ tjbe^ ^aor ended, by the treaty of Ghent 
the contracting powers agreed to restore; iih^\ st&ttis ante-bellum, and surrendered 
each the territory it had acquired by conquest or occupation from the opposing 
power, when Astoria was theoretically reti^jr^pdi ta the United States, although the 
Northwest company remained there in .undiepTxt^d '|)6ssession for a number of years. 

Let us now take up the sequel to Mr. Clarke's ill-advised hanging of the Indian 
thief at the mouth of the Palouse river. 

A few months subsequent to this event, John Reed, a warm-hearted old Irish- 
man, was sent with a party to trap beaver in the country around the upper reaches 
of Snake river, consisting of four Canadians, Giles Le Clerc, Francois Landry, Jean 
Baptiste Turcot, and Andre La Chappelle, and two half breed hunters, Pierre Dorion 
and Pierre Delaunay. Pierre Dorion was a son of that French Dorion who had 
accompanied Lewis and Clark across the continent. Dorion pere had taken a Sioux 
wife, and the product of that alliance was a numerous progeny as wild and adventu- 
rous as the wild west had ever yielded. It is narrated that the Dorion family were 
participants in numerous drunken debauches, and that on one of these occasions, 
the son Pierre engaged in a rough and trmible fight on the cabin floor with his worthy 
parent, and in a drunken rage was just in the act of scalping the author of his being, 
when the elder Dorion cried out: "Oh, my son, my son. Don't do that. You are 
too honorable to take your father's scalp !" An appeal which Pierre could not resist. 

When Wilson P. Hunt, who had been entrusted with the leadership in 1810 of 
Mr. Astor 's overland expedition from Montreal to the Columbia, was strengthening 
his party at St. Louis, he employed Pierre Dorion as interpreter, and with Pierre 
on that frightful journey came his squaw and their two children. Mr. Hunt's party 



26 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

took eleven months to traverse the vast expanse between northern Missouri and the 
mouth of the Columbia^ suffered the loss of several members by drowning and desti- 
tution^ and experienced hardships^ dangers and sufferings far greater than those en- 
countered by Lewis and Clark. But through them all the Dorions came unscathed^ 
Madame Dorion^ in fact increasing the party by one en route; and when Reed was 
dispatched on this detached hunting trip^ along went Pierre and his heroic squaw. 

Irving has treated the events that followed with a graphic pen: 

"In the course of the autumn^ Reed lost one man^ Landry^ by death. Another 
one, Pierre Delaunay, who was of a sullen^ perverse disposition, left him in a moody 
fit, and was never heard of afterward. The number of his party was not, however, 
reduced by these losses, as three hunters, Robinson, Hoback and Rezner, had joined it. 

"Reed now built a house on the Snake river for their winter quarters; which 
being completed, the party set about trapping. Rezner, Le Clerc and Pierre Dorion 
went about five days' journey from the wintering house, to a part of the country 
well stocked with beaver. Here they put up a hut and proceeded to trap with great 
success. While the men were out hunting, Pierre Dorion's wife remained at home to 
dress the skins and prepare the meals. She was thus employed one evening about 
the beginning of January, cooking the supper of the hunters, when she heard foot- 
steps, and Le Clerc staggered, pale and bleeding, into the hut. He informed her 
that a party of savages had surprised them while at their traps, and had killed 
Rezner and her {lusband. He had barely strength left to give this information when 
he sank upon the ground. 

"The poor woman saw that the only chance for life was instant flight. With 
great difficulty she caught two of the horses belonging to the party. Then collecting 
her clothes and a small quantity of beaver meat and dried salmon, she packed them 
upon one of the horses and helped the wounded man to mount upon it. On the other 
horse she mounted with her two children, and hurried away from this dangerous 
neighborhood, directing her flight to Mr. Reed's establishment. On the third day 
she descried a number of Indians on horseback proceeding in an easterly direction. 
She immediately dismounted with her children, and helped Le Clerc to dismount, 
and all concealed themselves. Fortunately they escaped the sharp eyes of the 
savages, but had to proceed with the utmost caution. That night they slept without 
fire or water; she managed to keep her children warm in her arms, but before 
morning poor Le Clerc died. 

"With the dawn of day the resolute woman pursued her course, and on the fourth 
day reached the house of Mr. Reed. It was deserted, and all round were marks of 
blood and signs of a furious massacre. Not doubting that Mr. Reed and all his 
party had fallen victims, she turned in fresh horror from the spot. For two days 
she continued hurrying forward, ready to sink for want of food, but more solicitous 
about her children than herself. At length she reached a range of the Rocky moun- 
tains, near the upper part of the Walla Walla river. Here she chose a wild, lonely 
ravine as her place of winter refuge. 

"She had fortunately a buffalo robe and three deerskins; of these, and of pine 
bark and cedar branches, she constructed a rude wigwam, which she pitched beside 
a mountain spring. Having no other food, she killed the two horses and smoked 
the flesh. The skins aided to cover her hut. Here she dragged out the winter with 
no other company than her two children. Toward the middle of March her provi- 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 27 

sions were nearly exhausted. She therefore packed up the remainder^ slung it on 
her back^ and^ with her helpless little oncs^ set out again on her wanderings. Cross- 
ing the ridge of mountains^ she descended to the banks of the Walla Walla^ and 
kept along them until she arrived where that river throws itself into- the Columbia. 
She was hospitably received and entertained by the Walla Wallas, and had been 
nearly two weeks among them when two canoes passed." 

These proved to contain a party from Astoria, ascending the Columbia to Fort 
Okanogan, the occupants of which were surprised by hearing a childish voice cry 
out in French: 

"Arreiez done! arretez done!" (Stop there, stop there!) It was one of Do- 
rion's children, joyously hailing friends; and it is pleasing to add that the party 
generously rewarded the friendly Walla Wallas for their kind treatment of the 
brave widow and her children. 

Although the supposition was never actually verified, it was believed by the 
Astorians that the Reed party were massacred by relatives of the Indian hanged at 
the mouth of the Palouse. It was known that they were greatly enraged by that 
high-handed act of vengeance, and friendly Indians had frequently warned the tra- 
ders that the family and friends of the victim were threatening retaliation. 



CHAPTER IV 

ODD CHARACTERS AT SPOKANE HOUSE 

INDIANS PASSIONATELY FOND OF TOBACCO HALCYON DAYS FOR THE 8POKANES A 

FIERY HIGHLAND SCOT TAKING AN INDIAN WIFE WAR NARROWLY AVERTED 

FLATHEAD GIRLS SCORN WHITE SUITORS OTHERS NOT SO FASTIDIOUS GARDENS 

PLANTED ON THE SPOKANE STRANGE INDIAN CHIEF NEAR LOON LAKE REMARK- 

ABLE CAREER OF A FREE TRADER. 

The pipe^ with solemn interposing puff^ 

Makes half a sentence at a time enough. 

The dozing sages drop the drowsy strain^ 

Then pause and puff — and speak^ and pause again. 

— Cowper, 

AFFAIRS at Spokane House were little altered by the change of ownership, 
government and flag. The brigades came and the brigades went between the 
Spokane and the Columbia. The voyageurs tugged at the cordelle quite as 
hard as before, and the thieving Wishram Indians at the Cascades grew even more 
thievish, and attacked with growing audacity the various parties as they made the 
arduous portage. The officers and their men fared as before on dried salmon, horse 
meat, and in a pinch now and then, on stewed dog. 

Occasionally supplies ran low at Spokane House, and the Indians watched 
longingly for the coming of the brigade with new stocks of tobacco and ammunition. 
On one occasion, these commodities were entirely lacking for two months, and when 
the supplies finally arrived there was great rejoicing of savage hearts. "The whole 
tribe assembled round the fort and viewed with joy the kegs of powder and the bales 
of tobacco as they were unloaded from the horses," says Cox. "A large 
circle was formed in the courtyard, into the center of which we entered, and having 
lit the friendly calumet, smoked a few rounds to celebrate the meeting. A quantity 
of tobacco was then presented to each man, and the chief delivered an oration." 

*'My heart 13 glad to see you," he said; "my heart is ^ad to see you. We were 
a long time very hungry for tobacco, and some of our young men said you would 
never come back. They were angry and said to me, *The white men made us love 
tobacco almost as much as we love our children, and now we are starving for it. 
They brought us their wonderful guns, which we traded ir&m them; we threw by 
our arrows as useless, because we knew they were not so strong to kill the deer as 
the guns ; and now we are idle with our guns, as the white men have no fire-powder 

29 



30 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

or balls to give us^ and we have broken our arrows and almost forgotten how to nse 
them. The white men are very bad and have deceived us/ But I spoke to them and 
I said^ 'You are fools ; you have no patience. The white men's big canoes are a long 
time coming over the great lake that divides their country from ours. They told me 
on going away that they would come back, and I know they would not tell lies.' " 

Turning, then, to the assembled Indians, he continued: "Did I not tell you that 
the white men would not tell lies ? You are fools, great fools, and have no patience. 
Let us now show our joy at meeting our friends; and tomorrow let all our hunters 
go into the plains, and upon the hills, and kill birds and deer for the good white 
men." 

The red hunters kept their promise, and for several weeks following the tables 
at Spokane House were plentifully supplied with grouse, wild geese and ducks. 

These were halcyon times for the Spokanes. The fur traders had brought them 
many of the good things of civilization, and as yet few of its curses. By a compact, 
faithfully kept, between the rival establishments, intoxicants were withheld from 
these children of the forests and the plains ; the white man had not yet appropriated 
their lands, nor driven the edible game from the country. They had brought more 
comfortable raiment, beautiful ornaments of glass and brass, knives, axes and 
hatchets, the luxury of tobacco and many good things to eat. A market had been 
made for the Indians' furs, and with the goods exchanged for these peltries, the 
Spokanes bought buffalo robes from the tribes to the east, and many horses from 
their neighbors, the Nez Perces. From comparative poverty they had been lifted 
into prosperity. Small wonder then, that they idolized these "good white men," 
and dwelt with them in love and friendship. And small wonder too, that in after 
years, when the old men recalled the happy, prosperous years before General Wright 
swept into their country with "hoof and with steel" and destroyed their great bands 
of horses and burned their granaries and storehouses, "the tears ran down their 
cheeks like rain." 

One of the odd characters at Spokane House was McDonald, a tall, red-headed 
Scot from the Highlands. Until a youth he had heard no other tongue than Gaelic, 
but the educational advantages of Glasgow had given him, at one time, a pretty 
good knowledge of pure English. Then he drifted across the water to Canada, 
and added French to his vocabulary. Years of experience on the frontier had 
taught him several Indian dialects, and now at Spokane House he had fallen into a 
habit of mixing his thoughts "in a most strange and ludicrous melange." When 
angry he would swear in half a dozen tongues at once. His great height of six feet 
four, broad shoulders, bushy whiskers, and long red locks that had not felt the 
scissors for years, gave him a wild and uncouth appearance, though he was at heart 
good-natured and inoffensive, easily thrown into a passion and as easily mollified. 
He had acquired a Spokane wife and two children, and passed most of his time 
among his wife's relatives, by whom and by the Indians- generally he was respected 
and beloved. 

One day, just as the men were sitting down to dinner, a workman, followed by 
a native, burst into the dining room and urged the company to hasten to the village 
and prevent bloodshed, as McDonald was about to fight a duel with one of the 
chiefs. They ran to the Indian encampment, where McDonald was found, shifting 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 31 

a shotgun from one hand to the other, while he urged the chief to come on and fight. 

"You rascal, you dog, you toad!" he shouted; "will you fight?" 

"I will," the chief replied in temperate tones, "but you're a foolish man. A 
chief should not be passionate. I always thought the white chiefs were men." 

"I want none of your jaw. 1 say you cheated me. You're a dog! Will you 
fight?" 

"You are not wise," answered the chief. "You get angry like a woman; but I 
will fight. Let us go to the woods. Are you ready?" 

"Why, you d — d rascal," retorted McDonald, "what do you mean? I'll fight you 
here. Take your distance like a brave man, face tp face, and we'll draw lots for the 
first shot, or fire together, whichever you please." 

"You are a greater fool than I thought you were," remarked the placid Indian; 
"whoever heard of a wise warrior standing before his enemy's gun to be shot at like 
a dog. No one but a fool of a white man would do that." 

"What do you mean ?" asked McDonald ; "what way do you want to fight ?" 

"The way that all red warriors fight: Let us take our guns and go into the 
woods; you get behind one tree, and I will stand behind another, and then we shall 
see who will shoot the other first." 

"You are afraid, and you are a coward." 

"I'm not afraid, and you are a fool." 

"Come on then ; d — n my eyes if I care ! Here's at you your own way." 

They were starting for the trees when the men interfered, had the combatants 
disarmed, and induced the wild Scot to return to the fort. 

For sheer love of fighting McDonald occasionally joined the Flatheads in their 
warlike excursions into the country of the Blackfeet, on the eastern slopes of the 
Rocky mountains. The following anecdote, which was related to Cox, by several 
Indians, will show his steady courage and reckless disregard of danger: 

In the summer of 1812, at the buffalo plains, they fell in with a strong party of 
Blackfeet, and a severe contest followed. McDonald was to be seen in every direc- 
tion, in the hottest of the fire^ cheering and animating his friends; and they at 
length succeeded in driving the Blackfeet to take shelter in a thick cluster of trees, 
from whence they kept up a constant and galling fire on the Flatheads, by which a 
few were killed and several wounded. In vain he exerted all his influence to induce 
his friends to storm the trees €ind drive the enemy from his cover. The Flathead 
mode of attack was extremely foolish, and productive of no benefit ; for each warrior 
advanced opposite the spot from which the Blackfeet fired, and after exchanging a 
random shot into the trees, instantly galloped away. 

McDonald, vexed at this puerile method of fighting, offered to take the lead 
himself to dislodge the enemy ; but, with the exception of the war chief, they all re- 
fused to join him. He therefore resolved to try the effect of example, and putting 
his horse into a smart trot, rode opposite the place from whence the chief fire of the 
Blackfeet proceeded. He then dismounted, took deliberate aim at the head of a 
fellow which had just popped from behind a tree, and fired. The bullet entered the 
Blackfoot's mouth and he fell. A shower of balls instantly whizzed about McDon- 
ald and his horse; but he, undismayed, reloaded, while his friends besought him to 
retire. He covered another in the same manner, who also fell, after which he calmly 
remounted and galloped to his party uninjured. A prisoner who was subsequently 



32 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

taken said that the only two killed who had taken refuge among the trees^ were both 
shot in the head by the "big white chief/' as they term^ McDonald. 

A few years later McDonald suffered wounds in one of these forays against the 
Blackfeet from which he never quite recovered. A bullet brou^t him down^ when 
half a dozen savages rushed upon him and began hacking his skull with their toma- 
hawks. The scalping-knife was out^ and poor McDonald would soon have been dis- 
patched had not the war chief and several others of the Flatheads rushed to his re- 
lief^ and^ after killing three of the Blackf^et^ rescued their courageous ally. 

In the winter of 1814-15 occurred an incident which threatened^ for a while, to 
impair the friendly relations between the traders and the Spokanes. 'One of the 
junior clerks^ grown weary of the single state, resolved to seek an Indian wife, and 
engaged the interpreter to make inquiries in the village regarding the eligible list of 
unmarried women. A comely damsel, 17 years of age, listened approvingly to the in- 
terpreter's overtures, and the negotiations were successfully taken up with her 
mother and brothers, her father having died a few years previously. Blankets and 
kettles were presented to her principal relatives, and beads, hawkbells and other 
trifles dear to the Indian heart were distributed among the other members of the 
community. 

Then followed the delivery of the bride to her future lord and master of the 
paleface race. Her mother brought her to the gate of the fort about 9 o'clock in 
the evening, and after an apathetic and matter-of-fact parting, the young damsel 
was delivered to one of the men's wives, called "the scourer," who thoroughly cleansed 
her head and body of the paint and grease with which she had been decorated ac- 
cording to the savage idea of personal adornment. After these ablutions, she was 
passed along to the dressmaker, who cast aside her leathern chemise and decked 
her out in softer raiment of civilization. "And the following morning, when she 
appeared in her new habiliments," runs the chronicle, "we thought her one of the 
most engaging females that we had previously seen of the Spokane nation." 

For several days everything went merry as a marriage bell, and the young 
couple seemed devotedly attached to each other; but one afternoon the occupants of 
the fort were alarmed by the sudden appearance of a number of well mounted young 
warriors, who galloped into the courtyard of the fort, armed 'and apparently bent 
on serious business. The young bride, when her eye fell on the foremost horseman, 
scented trouble and promptly fled for refuge into the storeroom, where she con- 
cealed herself. 

Dismounting, the leader of the band demanded a council with the principal 
white chief, requesting, at the same time, that the other chiefs would also appear 
and listen to his complaint. These having assembled, he addressed them, in sub- 
stance as follows: 

"Three snows have passed away since the white men came from their own 
country to live among the Spokanes. When the Evil Spirit thought proper to dis- 
tress the white people by covering the water of the rivers with ice, so that they could 
not 'catch any fish, and sent snow over all the mountains and plains, by means 
whereof their horses were nearly destroyed by wolves, — when their own hunters, in 
fact, could not find an animal, did the Spokanes take advantage of their afflictions? 
Did they rob them of their horses like Sinapoil (San Poll) dogs? Did they say, 
the white men are now poor and starving; they are a great distance from their own 



MARCUS WHITMAN'S GRAVE 
Near Walla Wslla 
Sketche.l by artist with Governor Stevens 



SITE OP THE ASTOR TRADING POST, ESTABLISHED IN 1811 



OLD FOHT WALLA WALLA OLD FORT OKANOGAN 

On the CotjiiDbift Founded in 1811 bj John Jaeob Aator. 

Sketched in the 'SOs by Governor 
Stevens' Expedition 



THE N£W Vohx 

l^UHUC UBHAHy 






' - - » 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 33 

coontiy and from any assistance^ and we can easily take all their goods from them^ 
and send them away naked and hungry? No^ we never spoke or even thought of 
such bad things. The white men came cunong us with confidence^ and our hearts 
were glad to see them; they paid us for our fish^ our meat and our furs. We 
thought they were all good people^ and in particular their chiefs ; but I find we were 
wrong in so thinking." 

Here the native orator paused for a moment^ and then^ resuming^ added: "My 
relations and myself left the village several days ago for the purpose of hunting. 
We returned home this morning. Their wives and their children leaped with joy 
to meet them^ and all their hearts were glad but mine. I went to my tepee and called 
on my wife to come forth; but she did not appear. I was sorrowful and hungry^ 
and went into my brother's tepee^ where I was told that she had gone away and 
had become the wife of a white chief. She is now in your house. I come^ therefore^ 
white men^ to demand justice. I first require that my wife be delivered up to me. 
She has acted like a dog^ and I shall live no more with her ; but I shall punish her as 
she deserves. And in the next place I expect^ as you have been the cause of my 
losing her^ that you will give ample compensation for her loss." 

The interpreter was directed to explain that the grievance of the injured hus- 
band lay against the relatives of the woman^ and not against the white people; that 
if the young chief had been aware that she was married he would not have coveted 
her or taken her to his lodge ; that he was willing to give her former lord reasonable 
compensation for his loss^ but he could not deliver her to him to be punished^ and 
would not surrender her unless the husband would agree not to hurt her. 

The angry and jealous Indian refused to make any promise^ and insisted on 
the woman's restitution^ but as the traders had reason to fear that her life would be 
Uken, they refused to yield. 

The old chief next addressed the young Indian^ and his persuasions induced 
him to relinquish his claim on the young squaw^ in consideration of a gun, 100 
rotrnds of ammunition^ three blankets, two kettles, a spear, a dagger, ten fathoms of 
tobacco and a quantity of smaller articles. In return for all this wealth, he bound 
himself never to injure the girl or annoy her or her new husband. 

Notwithstanding these demands were considered exorbitant, the traders thought 
it wise to acQ^e to them rather than disturb the friendly relations which had 
hitherto existed between them and the Spokanes. 

After the Indian had been put in possession of his reward, the pipe of peace was 
ademnly smoked, perceiving which the object of all the controversy, knowing that 
it signified her safety, came out from her place of concealment and walked boldly 
by her former lord. No sign of recognition passed between them, "and neither 
anger nor regret seemed to disturb the natural serenity of his cold and swarthy 
coontenance." 

The interpreter here mentioned was none other than Pierre Michel, son of a 
reputable Canadian by an Indian mother, and a fine fellow withal. He was held in 
hig^ esteem by the Flatheads, and like the big, red-headed McDonald, had accom- 
panied this tribe on two of their war excursions against the Blackfeet, where he had 
won great fame by his courage and marksmanship. Many a trader and voyageur had 
aspired to an alliance matrimonial with these superior natives, but in every instance, 
with the sole exception of young Michel, their overtures had been rejected. Cox, 

ViLI-t 



34 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

who passed the greater part of one winter among the Flatheads, thus describes the 
success of the interpreter: 

"Michel wanted a wife, and having gained the affections of a handsome girl 
about 16 years of age, and niece to the hereditary chieftain, he made a formal pro- 
posal for her. A council was thereupon called, at which her uncle presided, to take 
Michel's offer into consideration. One young warrior loved her ardently, and had 
obtained a previous promise from her mother that she should be his. He, therefore, 
with all his relations, strongly opposed her union with Pierre, and urged his own 
claims, which had been sanctioned by her mother. The war-chief asked him if she 
had ever promised to become his wife. He replied in the negative. 

"The chief then addressed the council, and particularly the lover, in favor of 
Michel's suit, pointing out the great services he had rendered the tribe by his bra- 
very, and dwelling strongly on the policy of uniting him more firmly to their interests 
by assenting to the proposed marriage, which, he said, would forever make him as 
one of their brothers. His influence predominated, and the unsuccessful rival imme- 
diately after shook hands with Michel, and told the young woman as he could not be 
her husband, he hoped she would always regard him as her brother. This she readily 
promised to do, and so ended all opposition. 

"The happy Pierre presented a gun to her uncle, some cloth, calico and orna- 
ments to her female relatives, with a pistol and handsome dagger to the defeated 
suitor. He proceeded in the evening to the chief's lodge, where a number of her 
friends had assembled to smoke. Here she received a lecture from the old man, 
her mother and a few other ancients on her duty as a wife and mother. They 
strongly exhorted her to be chaste, obedient, industrious and silent; and when 
absent with her husband among other tribes, always to stay at home and have no 
intercourse with strange Indians. 

"She then retired with the old women to an adjoining hut, where she underwent 
an ablution, and bade adieu to her leathern chemise, the place of which was supplied 
with one of gingham, to which was added a calico and green cloth petticoat, and a 
gown of blue cloth. 

"After this was over she was conducted back to her uncle's lodge, when she re- 
ceived some further advice as to her future conduct. A procession was then formed 
by the two chiefs, and several warriors carrying blazing flambeau)i| to convey the 
bride and her husband to the fort. They began singing war-songs in praise of 
Michel's bravery, and of their triumphs over the Blackfeet. She was surrounded 
by a group of young and old women, some of whom were rejoicing and others crying. 
The men moved on first, in a slow, solemn pace, still chanting their warlike epi- 
thalamium. The women followed at a short distance; and when the whole party 
arrived in front of the fort, they formed a circle and commenced dancing and 
singing, which they kept up about twenty minutes. 

"After this the calumet of peace went round once more, and when the smoke of 
the last whiff had disappeared, Michel shook hands with his late rival, embraced 
the chiefs, and conducted his bride to his room. While I remained in the country 
they lived happily together." 

Other Indian women of the Spokane country were not so fastidious as the Flat- 
head girls about taking up domestic relations with the white men. Many of them 
were eager for such an alliance, considering that it elevated them above their 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 35 

sisters and assured them a life of less drudgery and slavish obedience to lord and 
master. Many a clerk^ xwyageur and even partner was pleased to take an Indian 
woman to his bosom^ and a gay life of extravagance some of these Indian wives 
led, to the everlasting impoverishment of their white consorts. 

The first attempt at cultivation of the soil at Spokane House was made in the 
spring of 1818, when turnips, potatoes, cabbage and other vegetables were planted 
and returned a good crop. The quantity was increased the following spring, and by 
the autumn of 1814 the post boasted of an abundance of the good things of the 
garden. . That year, also, the brigade from Astoria brought up a cock, three hens, 
three goats and three hogs, to the great astonishment of the Indians, who called the 
poultry the white men's grouse, the goats the white men's deer, and the hogs the white 
men's bear. They inquired if all such animals were tame in the white men's country, 
and when answered in the affirmative, asked, if they should catch some wild animals 
in this country, could the white men domesticate them. They were told to make the 
effort, and the traders would see what could be done, whereupon they brought in a 
young bear, which was tied in the sty with the hogs and cared for by one of the Can- 
adians, who taught him to dance, beg and play many tricks, much to the delight and 
entertainment of the Indians. 

In their trading expeditions the men from Spokane House roved widely over the 
vast interior, and some of their expeditions took them to the Kettle Falls of the Co- 
lombia, about 90 miles north of Spokane. As the basin at the foot of the falls there 
resembled a boiling caldron, the French gave It the designation "La Chaudiere" and 
the Indians living in a nearby village, "Les Chaudieres," It was remarked that 
"cleanliness could not be ranked among their virtues ; their habitations are filthy in 
the extreme, and the surrounding atmosphere is impregnated with the most noxious 
efliuvia, produced by the piscatory offals which lie scattered about their dwellings." 

About midway between Kettle Falls and Spokane House was found a small tribe 
of some fifteen families, speaking a mixed dialect akin to both the Kettle Indians 
and the Spokanes, but more closely approaching the Spokane tongue. They were 
inoffensive and received the white men with marked demonstrations of friendship. 
The chief of this tribe was described as an extraordinary being, the Indians alleging 
that he belonged to the epicene gender. He wore a woman's dress, garnished with 
beads, thimbles and small shells, and dressed his hair after the feminine fashion, 
but possessed a rough beard and masculine voice. The visitors were informed that 
be never gambled or associated with either sex, and by both men and women was 
regarded with fear and awe, who looked upon him as a being supernatural. He was 
usually attended by two or three children, to whom he paid great attention, and it 
was their chief occupation to catch his horses, of which he possessed a great number, 
collect provisions, make fires and cook his meals. When these wards attained a suit- 
able age, he gave them a portion, secured their marriage and dismissed them, after 
which he selected from the largest and poorest families the needed number of new 
recruits^ the parents offering no opposition and apparently being glad to have them 
so well placed. 

From this strange chief the visitors purchased a number of horses, and found him 
liberal and candid in his dealings. He entertained a profound scorn for falsehood, 
and if one of his wards was detected in a lie, the chief promptly dismissed him from 
his service, and under no consideration would he ever take back the delinquent. 



86 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

This chief seldom visited Spokane Honse^ but when called upon by the traders 
there, he exhibited a courteous hospitality which, they declared, was superior to 
anything they had ever met elsewhere. 

"He was communicatiye and inquisitiye and ridiculed the follies of the Indians 
in the most philosophical manner. Of these he inveighed principally against gam- 
bling, and their improvident thoughtlessness in neglecting to provide, during the 
summer and autumnal months, a sufficient quantity of dried salmon for the spring, 
which is the season of scarcity, by which neglect they have been frequently reduced 
to starvation. He had heard of McDonald's quarrel with the Indian, which he 
adduced as one of the bad effects of gambling and added, 'Had the Spokane been 
foolish enough to follow the foolish custom of your countrymen, it is probable one 
of you would have been killed about a foolish dispute arising out of a bad practice 
which every wise man should avoid.' " 

This strange but wise personage inquired minutely about the laws and customs 
of the white people, their form of government, marriages and ideas of a future state, 
and approved most of them as they were explained to him; but he could not recon- 
cile his judgment with the British law of primogeniture and the custom of dueling. 
The first he pronounced gross injustice, according there with the American idea, 
and as for the code, he thought no one but a man bereft of his sense would resort 
to a duel in settlement of real or fancied wrongs, an opinion which has since come 
to be generally shared by civilised nations. 

This stcange being was a person of unusual thrift and prevision. His lodge 
was completely covered with deerskins, and was quite waterproof; and the interior 
was neat and orderly, the floor spread over with clean mats. In one comer were 
stored his provisions, carefully preserved in leather and mat bags, and these he 
shared with a generous hand in periods of scarcity and destitution. "In fact he 
wanted nothing that could add to his happiness or comfort," remarked an observer, 
"and possessed a degree of calm contentment uncommon among savages, and which 
would put to the blush much of the philosophical wisdom of civilized man." 

We are given to a belief that the Spokane country is a new land, whose history 
and development were not brought in touch with civilization until a generation ago; 
and while this conception is in a measure true, it nevertheless is equally true that 
a hundred years ago, men who had shared in ancient wars — ^in France, in Scotland, 
in Canada and the American colonies — ^were here in commerce and adventure, and 
looked out upon the valleys, the mountains and the waters that form our pleasing 
prospect of today. 

Of these was Jacques Hoole, who, at the advanced age of 90, was still active 
as a "free trader" in the regions around Spokane House, and bartered here the 
furs taken by his skill, industry and prowess. He was a native of France, and 
when a youth served in the French army. He fought on the fatal field of Culloden, 
nearly 170 years ago, and was there wounded and taken prisoner. After an ex- 
change of prisoners he was sent to Canada, was present when the noble Wolfe 
suffered his death wound on the plains of Abraham, and helped to carry the Mar- 
quis de Montcalm into Quebec after he had received his death wound. 

Upon the conquest of Canada by the British, Jacques retired from the French 
army, married and took to farming; but on the breaking out of the war of the revo- 
lution, he left the plough and enlisted with the British arms, and from a wound 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 37 

suffered at that period he carried in his old age a slight lameness that was percep- 
tible in his long tramps by these western woods and waters. 

After the revolution^ troubles fell thick on the head of the old veteran. The 
patriot forces had destroyed his farm^ his children were disobedient and his wife 
faithless^ and he sought surcease from his sorrows in the wild life of a free trapper 
in the remote northwest. Even to the hour of his tragic death he retained much of 
the elasticity and all of the sprightly temperament of his youth and the character- 
istic volatility of the French. By the Canadians he was held in high respect^ and 
their daily salutation of "Bon jour, pere," was always acknowledged by a bow and 
a responding "Merci, merci, mon fils." ("Good mornings father;" "Thanks, thanks, 
my son/') 

While trapping beaver, in a wild and sequestered valley on the western slopes 
of the Rocky mountains, he was surprised and slain by a predatory band of Black- 
feet. His body was found by some friendly Flatheads, close by a beaver-dam. 
They had fired a bullet through his head, and in accordance with their inhuman 
custom had torn the few remaining white hairs away with the scalp. His clothes 
were left upon him, but his horses, traps and arms had been appropriated by his 
slayers. 



CHAPTER V 

TRAVEL BETWEEN SPOKANE AND ASTORIA 

NAVIGATING THE COLUMBIA A CENTURY AGO FRENCH AND IROQUOIS VOYAGEURS 

RANGING OVER THE VAST INTERIOR MELONS AND CUCUMBERS GROWN AT SPOKANE 

THE GRAND COULEE INDIAN METHOD OF HUNTING DEER HORSE-RACING IN SPO- 
KANE VALLEY DELIGHTFUL TIMES IN 1815 ICE-BOUND ON THE COLUMBIA 

SHOCKING TRAGEDY ON THE UPPER RIVER VICTIMS RESORT TO CANNIBALISM 

NORTHWEST COMPANY ABSORBED BY ITS HUDSON^S BAY RIVAL. 

IN TRANSPORTING supplies from Astoria to Spokane, or furs from this post 
to the lower Columbia, the brigades resorted in part to navigation and in part 
to pack-trains, the sharp and foaming descent of the Spokane river between the 
trading post and the Columbia making impossible the use of canoes and bateaux at 
this end of the voyage. 

A more inspiring sight it would be difficult to imagine than the passing, on some 
bright day of summer, of one of these brigades as it was swept swiftly along by 
the mighty current of the Columbia. One of the larger canoes or bateaux would 
be manned by a crew of eight or even a dozen motley voyageurs. These, with the 
Astor company and the Northwesters, were usually French Canadians, half breeds 
or Iroquois Indians ; but with the later coming of the Hudson's Bay company and 
its absorption of the Northwest, a number of Orkney island men were brought into 
the country. The positions which called for the greatest skill and dexterity were 
in bow and stern, and these men were known respectively as foreman and steersman ; 
the others as middlemen. 

The French Canadians were a joyous, kindly-hearted lot, and it was a particu- 
larly dark and depressing day when their spirits flagged or the rough music of their 
boat songs (the chansons Vavirons) were not heard rolling across the water and 
echoing back from cliff and mountain-side. When engaged in the hard service of 
working these brigades against wind and current, or portaging around the many 
obstructions in the stream, these voyageurs were most voracious eaters. Incredible 
statements are made of their gastronomic capacity; their daily allowance, it is 
said, weis ten pounds of meat to the man, or eight pounds if the ration were free 
of bone. Allowance should be made, however, for the fact that they had neither 
bread nor vegetables, and for weeks at a time their sole subsistence was meat, soup 
and occasionally tea. 

Some of the expeditions to the interior would proceed in mass to the post at 
the mouth of the Okanogan, and there break up into smaller expeditions to Spokane 

39 



40 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

House, to the Kettle falls of the Columbia, or perhaps even to the higher reaches 
of the Columbia bordering on the Arrow lakes; and once a year a brigade worked 
its way beyond the Arrow lakes to the Canoe river, and thence over the Rodty 
mountains to the headwaters of the Athabasca, down which stream they glided on 
their way to the great rendezvous of Fort William. 

Occasionally a detachment would leave the main body at the confluence of the 
Columbia and the Snake, to ascend the latter stream to outposts in the Clearwater 
regions. 

At other times the Spokane brigade would leave the Columbia forty miles above 
the mouth of the Snake, transferring the canoe lading to pack-train, and then march 
across the great plains to the Spokane. Reporting one of these expeditions, Cox 
leaves an interesting description of one of the deep coulees of the Big Bend coun- 
try, obviously Moses or Grand. 

"During this journey, which occupied five or six days, we did not meet a single 
native; and with the exception of a few stunted red cedar trees, and some juniper, 
birch and willow, the country was divested of wood. Early on the morning of 
the second day we entered a remarkable ravine, with high, bold and rocky sides, 
through which we rode upwards of twenty miles, when we were obliged to leave it 
in order to follow our direct course. The soil in this ravine is a fine, whitish col- 
ored clay, firm and hard. There is little vegetation except on the sides, where 
clusters of willow and choke-cherry are occasionally met with. While we rode 
through it we passed several small lakes, round the shores of which I picked up 
some very fine pebbles of the agate species, exceedingly hard and possessing great 
delicacy and variety of shading. The banks of the Columbia, from the falls up 
to Lewis river (the Snake) abound with pebbles of the same description ; some of 
which I brought home and had cut. They take a beautiful polish, and in the opin- 
ion of lapidaries far exceed the camelian in value. 

"The following day we passed two warm springs, one of which was so hot that 
in a short time water in a saucepan might be easily boiled over it. They were both 
highly sulphuric, but we had not time, nor indeed were we prepared to analyze 
their properties. 

"On leaving the canoes we expected to have reached Spokane on the third day; 
but in consequence of having no guide, joined to the difficulty of finding water, we 
took double the time on which we had calculated. Our provisions had failed, and 
we were about killing one of our jaded horses, when we came in sight of some lean 
deer, two of which we shot. This supply brought us to Spokane House, which 
place we reached on the 12th of May." 

Stewart, McMillan, Cox, Mackenzie and Montour passed a most pleasant sum- 
mer that year, 1815, at Spokane House. Their garden throve "like a green bay 
tree," and in addition to potatoes and other roots and esculents, experiments with 
melons and cucumbers gave gratifying results. "The Indians, who at first would 
not touch any thing which we planted, beg^n at length to have such a relish for the 
produce of the garden that we were obliged to have sentinels on the watch to pre- 
vent their continual trespasses." 

Much as the natives relished these products of the deep, rich soil of the Spokane 
country, all efforts by the traders to induce them to cultivate gardens of their own 
proved ineffective. When they were told that by these means they could insure 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 41 

an abundance of food in winter and spring and thus prevent the recurrence of 
famine, they replied that such work would interfere with their hunting and fishing, 
and moreover would discourage their squaws from collecting wild roots and fruits 
in autumn, and render them lazy. 

Several excursions were made that summer for the purpose of becoming better 
acquainted with the neighboring Indians and to acquire a closer knowledge of the 
country; and, spurred by a lively curiosity to know more about the deep coulee, 
which they had encountered while traveling across the Big Bend region, a second 
trip of exploration was made out to that vast fissure in the crust of the earth. 

"It is computed to be about eighty miles in length," runs the report of that 
excursion, "and presents all along the same rocky and precipitous sides. The path- 
ways are so steep and dangerous that even Indians in passing them are obliged to 
dismount, and loaded horses must be partly lightened. Some of the horses, by 
missing their footing, have been killed, and many severely injured in descending 
these precipices. The bottom throughout consists of the same firm, white soil, 
interspersed with small lakes. Several bold insulated rocks are scattered here and 
there throughout the ravine, some of which exceed a quarter of a mile in circum- 
ference and are partially clothed with choke-cherry and other inferior kinds of 
vegetation. 

"From small horizontal channels worn on the sides of the rocks, and which 
seemed to indicate the action of water^ we were led to imagine that this valley was 
formerly one of the channels of the Columbia, the course of which we supposed 
must have been changed by one of those extraordinary convulsions in the natural 
world, the causes of which are beyond human knowledge." 

At that time on the broad plateau between the Spokane and the Okanogan, 
hunters found, at certain seasons, numbers of small deer. Lewis and Clark had 
noted the presence of these animals and classed them as antelopes, which they 
closely resembled in form and swiftness, but the fur traders questioned the correct- 
ness of this classification, since the antlers were quite different from the horns of 
the antelope as described by naturalists. They were found in prime condition by 
early autumn, when excellent sport was had in hunting them, and their flesh was 
pronounced sweet and delicate. 

In hunting these deer the Indians had a method of their own. After a herd had 
been located, some members of the hunting party, by making a long detour, ob- 
tained a position in front of it, while those in the rear fired the dry bunch grass. 
Running before the flaming wind, the deer were intercepted by the hunters, and 
great numbers were killed with arrows. 

The wolves, too, according to the traders, had a concerted plan for preying on 
these defenseless creatures of the plains. It was declared that a band of wolves 
woold form a semi-circular line and drive a herd to the edge of the Grand coulee; 
and then, by drawing in th^ir fang^snapping cordon, would so completely hem in 
the victims as to leave them no alternative between leaping to death and destruction 
over the rocky cliffs or falling an easy prey to the ravenous band of four-footed 
hunters. 

That was a warm summer on the Spokane. During the days of mid-summer the 
temperature ranged from eighty-four to ninety-six degrees, and on the fifth of July, 
when a great horse-race was the attraction, the thermometer recorded 11 1 in the sb&de. 



42 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Horse- racing was then royal sport on the Spokane gravel plains, before baseball had 
been invented or league teams were disporting before thousands of enthusiastic 
"fans." 

The precise location of the race-course is lost in the mists of antiquity, but it 
could not have been far from the present site of the city. Rk)ss Cox locates it "on 
the plains between the Coeur d'Alene and Spokane lands," and in addition to 
speedy horses owned by these tribes other racers were there from the land of the 
Flatheads, and several had been brought down from the Colville country by the 
Chaudieres. "There were some capital heats and the betting ran high." The 
horses were ridden by their owners, and it was no uncommon sight for twenty-five 
or thirty to run in a straightaway five mile heat. "The course was a perfect plain, 
with a light gravelly bottom, and some of the rearward jockies were occasionally 
severely peppered in the face from the small pebbles thrown up by the hoofs of the 
racers in front." 

Franchere informs us that these Indians were passionately fond of horse-races, 
and bet their possessions with a recklessness that often reduced them to poverty. 
The women rode as well as the men. For bridle they used a cord of horsehair, which 
they attached around the animal's mouth. With that he was easily checked, and by 
laying a hand on his neck, was made to wheel to this side or that. The saddle was 
a cushion of stuffed deerskin, very suitable for the purpose for which it was de- 
signed, rarely hurting the horse and not fatiguing the rider so much as the Amer- 
ican saddles. The saddles for women were furnished with the antlers of a deer, 
and resembled the high pommeled saddles of the Mexican women. 

"They procure their horses from the herds of these animals which are found in 
a wild state between the northern latitudes and the gulf of Mexico, and which some 
times count a thousand or fifteen hundred in a troop," says this informant. "These 
horses come from New Mexico and are of Spanish race. We even saw some which 
had been marked by a hot iron by Spaniards. Some of our men, who had been at 
the south, told me that they had seen among the Indians, bridles, the bits of which 
were of silver. The form of the saddles used by the females proves that they have 
taken their pattern from the Spanish ones destined for the same use." 

When the first white men entered this country they found the Indians adept in 
the use of the lasso and the capturing of wild horses. 

Those were, indeed, pleasant, languorous summer days in the valley of the 
Spokane, "the most pleasant and agreeable season I enjoyed in the Indian country," 
writes Cox. "Hunting, fishing, fowling, horse-racing and fruit-gathering occupied 
the day ; while reading, music, backgammon, etc., formed the evening pleasures of 
our small but friendly mess." 

We are further informed that the heat of the day was generally moderated by 
cooling breezes. "Towards the latter end of August, and during the month of Sep- 
tember, about noon, the thermometer generally stood at eighty-six, while in the 
morning and evening it fell to thirty-five or thirty-six ;" a weather record that might 
easily be duplicated now by one of the official reports of Weather Observer Stewart. 

I-,amentably these transitory delights could not continue indefinitely in the rough 
life of a fur trader. Winter was approaching, a winter of deep discontent and dire 
hardships and privations by frozen river and wind-swept plain. 

The Spokane brigade was late that autumn (1815) in its descent of the Colum- 



STEPTOE BUTTE 
Most famous land mark in Palouxe rountry. Fori 



'^ .;f '% 



- ' 1 1 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 43 

bia to Fort George, as Astoria had now come to be known, and November was well 
advanced when Keith, Montour, Mackenzie and Cox, with fifty voyageurs and 
Rivet, the interpreter, started on the return trip to the interior. Winter set in early, 
and at the mouth of the Snake much drift ice was encountered which threatened in- 
jury or destruction to the cedar bateaux and such of the canoes as were constructed 
of birch bark. Ice jams were soon met, and the work of portaging around them, in 
the severe temperature, exhausted the men. For three days they struggled at this 
dreadful toil, the spirits of the men falling to the lowest ebb. 

After a cheerless breakfast a delegation presented itself before the tent occupied 
by the clerks and sent in word that they wished to speak to Mr. Keith, the com- 
mander, and when he appeared at the tent opening, Bazil Lucie, one of the best and 
most obedient men in the brigade respectfully asked leave to speak for his fellows. 
His comrades, he said, were reduced to the lowest degree of weakness by the unex- 
pected hardships they had encountered, and had become convinced that they could 
not by any possibility overcome the long chain of rapids and ice jams that lay before 
them. At the same time they wished it to be understood that their protest was not 
expressed in a mutinous spirit; they were willing and ready to make the last effort 
that lay within their strength, but felt themselves incapable of further endeavor. 

Mr. Keith's first feeling was of anger and indignation. The protest was so at 
variance with the customary spirit of Canadian voyageurs that he feared, for a 
moment, that he would have to deal with a dangerous degree of insubordination ; but 
when he looked upon the dejected figures of his men, and read in their faithful eyes 
the sorrow which attended their reluctant remonstrance, he realized that his mo- 
mentary anger was unworthy of a being of humane^ principles, and addressed them 
in a sympathetic spirit, assuring theBfi^that^'he^'did not find fault with their action 
and regretted that he could not {Iforii^jci "ihiim -^ With" a: more comfortable wintering 
ground. i 

For it had become apparent ijhat tb^ brigade wou^d be unable to ascend the 
Columbia to Okanogan, but would /i,^Vft*<drgo^to*wtntfer quarters on the bleak and 
wind-swept bank of the river and await the coming of spring and the breaking up 
of the ice blockade which now held them in its unrelenting grip. 

Fortunately an abundance of driftwood was near at hand, and of this some of 
the men were set at work gathering a large store, while others were occupied in 
piling the trading goods in a safe position; and yet others, with the assistance of 
the canoes, tarpaulins and sails, constructed beds and shelter for the expedition. 

This winter encampment was probably in the vicinity of Badger mountain, 
Douglas county, for the records state that about ten miles distant, in the midst of 
extensive plains there rose a high and conically shaped hill, which the traders named 
Mt. Nelson, and which, on having been climbed by Keith and one of the clerks, 
afforded a commanding viewpoint from which they looked out over "a widely ex- 
tended prospect of the great plains in their wintry clothing; their undulations 
reminded us of the ocean, when the troubled waves begin to subside after a storm." 
Vainly they strained their eyes to catch a glimpse of animate nature. "Neither 
man, nor fowl, nor cattle, nor beasts, nor creeping thing met our longing and ex- 
pectant gaze. Silent desolation reigned all around." 

We may readily believe that the time passed heavily enough. "Our traveling 
library," writes Cox, "was on too small a scale to afford much intellectual enjoy- 



44 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

ment. It only consisted of one book of hymns, two song-books, the latest edition of 
Joe Miller, and Darwin's Botanic Garden. The Canadians could not join us in the 
hymns, and we endeavored in vain to tune our pipes for profane harmony. 'Yankee 
Doodle,' the 'Frog's Courtship' and the 'Poker' were the only three that came 
within the scope of our vocal ability." 

A few men who had been sent afoot to Fort Okanogan returned early in Janu- 
ary with sixteen lean and hungry cayuses and eight of these, after a few days' rest^ 
were loaded with a part of the goods and supplies, and Mr. Keith, taking with him 
the greater number of the men, set off for the post at the mouth of the Okanogan. 

"Mackenzie and I passed six more melancholy weeks in this spot," says Cox, 
"during which period we did not see an Indian. Our time would have passed heav- 
ily enough, only that we fortunately agreed on no single subject. Episcopacy and 
Presbyterianism, with all their offshoots formed a prolific source of polemic recrea- 
tion; and when we became tired of the mitre and the kirk, we traveled back to 
Ossian and the Culdees. We argued on the immutability of the Magellanic clouds. 
We discussed the respective merits of every writer to whom the authorship of Junius 
has been attributed. We differed on the best mode of cooking a leg of muttcm ; and 
we could not agree as to the superiority of a haggis over a harico, or of Ferintosh 
over Inishowen. Plum pudding and rice each had its champion; and when he rose 
in all his strength and thought to destroy me with the plentiful variety of a Scotch 
breakfast, I at once floored him with the solid substantiality of an English dinner. 
Thus with empty stomachs and half-famished bodies, we argued on luxuries while 
we anticipated starvation. 

"Poor Mackenzie," adds Cox in a footnote. "In 1828 I received a letter from 
the Columbia announcing the melancholy intelligence that he and four of his men 
had, the preceding year, been surprised by the savages on Eraser's river, who bar- 
barously murdered the entire party." 

But spring came early and released the party from the ice-grip, for about the 
middle of February, under the genial influence of a strong Chinook wind, the Colum- 
bia opened, and on the 16th they tried once more their fortunes by water, and after 
many narrow escapes arrived at Okanogan twelve days later, "with empty stomachs 
and exhausted bodies." 

Neither Franchere nor Ross seems to have foreseen the building of a town, 
much less an imperial city, by the falls of the Spokane. The latter had his eye on 
the mouth of the Okanogan as the site of the future commercial depot of the vast 
interior. The situation there he thought "admirably adapted for a trading town. 
With a fertile soil, a healthy climate, horses in abundance for land carriage, an 
opening to the sea by the Columbia, and a communication to the interior by it and 
the Okanogan ; the rivers well stocked with fish, and the natives quiet and friendly, 
it will, in my opinion, be selected as a spot preeminently calculated for a site of a 
town, when civilization (which is at present so rapidly migrating towards the west- 
ward) crosses the Rocky mountains and reaches the Columbia." 

But "man proposes and God disposes" and the traders of a hundred years ago, 
however keen-sighted and far visioned, could not foresee the revolution that was to 
come with the locomotive and the building of a vast and intricate system of railroads, 
whose masters were to wrest the growing tonnage of the future from the rivers and 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 45 

the seas and contribute to the building of cities by sites that could not be approached 
by the light canoe and the cedar bateau of the daring voyageur. 

The brigade that came up from Fort George, spring of 1817, was the largest that 
had ever ascended the Columbia. It left that post under a salute of seven guns, 
and comprised five Scots, two Englishmen, one Irishman, thirty-six Canadians, 
twenty Iroquois Indians, two Nipissings, one Cree and three half-breeds; nine na- 
tives of the Sandwich islands, and one boy, a servant, two women and two children. 
Two barges and nine large canoes were required for the transportation of this 
party and the average lading to each boat was nearly a ton exclusive of the weight 
of passengers and crews. 

This expedition, on its way to Fort William, on lake Superior, arrived at the 
mouth of Canoe river, north of the Arrow lakes on the upper Columbia, without 
notable accident or incident. At that point, as seven of the men had become inva- 
lided, it was decided to return them to Spokane House rather than subject them 
to the hardships and dangers of the long voyage over the mountains and the vast 
plains of western Canada. Out of this action there was to develop one of the most 
horrible tragedies of which western annals contain a record. 

The best canoe was assigned the party of six Canadians and Holmes, the English 
tailor, and although only two of the men were able to work, it was thought that the 
current would carry them in three days to Kettle Falls, from whence they could 
easily reach Spokane. As the stock of provisions was limited, barely sufficient was 
assigned them for this period. They separated from their companions with gloomy 
forebodings, and some of them predicted that they would nevermore see their fam- 
ilies and friends in distant Canada. 

The current of the Columbia, now swollen by melting snow fields, carried them 
in ease and. safety to the upper Dalles or narrows. Here they disembarked, but in 
an effort to lower the canoe through the foaming waters, the line broke or was torn 
from the grasp of the weakened men, and the little craft swept away to destruction. 
As they had lacked either the providence or the strength to remove their scanty 
supply of provisions, these together with their blankets and most of their clothing, 
were carried away with the canoe, leaving them stranded on a wild and inhospitable 
shore, ill, destitute and discouraged. 

As no other course lay before them, they set out feebly on foot in an endeavor 
to follow the windings of the river to the Indian settlements far below. As the 
beaches were inundated, they had frequently to take to the wooded mountains, tear- 
ing their way along through the dense undergrowth, falling now and then from 
weariness or complete exhaustion, and one by one abandoning hope and yielding to 
the bladmess of despair. Macon, a voyageur, was first to perish under these ordeals, 
and his famished and desperate comrades, driven now to the horrors of cannibalism, 
divided his remains equally among them, and this shocking subsistence maintained 
life for a few days. Owing to the torn and swollen state of their feet, they could 
not advance more than two or three mile^ daily. Holmes, the tailor, followed Ma- 
9on; and one by one the others lay down and died until there remained only La 
Pierre and Dubois. Later La Pierre was found on the shore of upper Arrow lake, 
by some Indians in a canoe, and by them was brought down the river to Kettle Falls. 
The sole survivor declared that in self-defense he had been driven to cut the throat 
of Dubois, who, as he contended, had risen in the night and first attempted to kill 



46 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

him with a clasp-knife. He was brought to Spokane, where his conflicting stories 
created suspicion, which was later intensified by the statements made by the Indians 
who had picked him up, and he was subsequently sent to Canada for trial; but as 
the evidence against him was circumstantial, he was acquitted. 

We have traced the manner and the methods whereby the interests of the Pacific 
Fur company (the Astor enterprise) were appropriated, through treachery and 
cowardice, by the Northwest company. It now remains to narrate the events which 
later led up to the acquisition of the Northwest company by the Hudson's Bay 
people. 

At no time within the period covered by these narratives had the Hudson's Bay 
company obtained a foothold west of the Rocky mountains; but in the country east 
of the mountains the keenest and most unscrupulous rivalry had arisen between these 
conflicting adventurers. Under-handed methods were later succeeded by open war- 
fare — the taking of forts by armed attack, the besieging of others until their inmates 
perished of starvation, and other equally lawless and desperate methods. The spirit 
of that contest is well reflected in a letter, written in 1816 from a Northwest trader 
to a friend at Spokane: 

"You already know the strong opposition that came into the country, the great- 
est part of which went to Athabasca and Slave lake. You must also have heard 
of their success at the former place, having been obliged from starvation to give 
themselves up to the Northwest, although your old friend (our Mr. Clarke of Spo- 
ane House, who had gone over to the Hudson's Bay people), swore he would rather 
die than come under any obligation to our people. He lost seventeen men by famine. 
At Slave lake they were more successful; but at the different establishments they 
had in other parts of the country, they lost thirteen more by starvation. Last June 
they received a mortal blow from the Cossacks of Red river (half-breeds), of which 
affair, as I was on the spot a few days later, I shall give you a detail. You of 
course know that two of our forts were taken, and all the property, and that Cap- 
tain Cameron (a proprietor of the Northwest company) was made prisoner. The 
forts were subsequently burned. 

"Mr. A. McDonnell, who was stationed at Qu'appelle river, held his fort in de- 
fiance of them. He was threatened with destruction if he made any attempt to pass 
downward. His opponent, however, started with his men, and returns of furs and 
provisions, but those blackguard Brules (also half-breeds) fell in with them, took 
them all prisoners, and carried the property to Mr. McDonnell. No blood was shed 
on this occasion. Some time after, Mr. McDonnell, being anxious for the arrival 
of the gentlemen from the northward, sent a party of five Canadians with two carts 
loaded with provisions for us by land; and the above blackguards took upon them- 
selves to accompany them to the number of fifty. On passing by the colony, at the 
distance of two miles, they were stopped by the governor and twenty-six men well 
armed. The Brules were at that time but thirteen, including the Canadians. A 
few words arose between the governor and our men. The former ordered his men 
to fire, when two only, with much reluctance, obeyed. The fire was immediately 
returned by the Brules, when seven instantly fell. A retreat was begun by the Hud- 
son's Bay people, but out of twenty-six only four escaped. The Brules had only 
one man killed and one wounded. They took the fort, with a great quantity of arms 



k 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 47 

and ammnnition, and have sworn vengeance against every description of Hudson's 
Bay men." 

This was bad business — a degree of frenzied enterprise which comported but 
poorly vrith the British boast about law and order; but it needs to be remembered 
that there existed then in western Canada no law or authority beyond the rule of 
the fur traders and the authority which they maintained by force of arms. 

Such warfare was^ of course expensive^ and joined to the ruinous competition 
which had driven the rivals to a policy of bidding higher and higher for the produce 
of the traps^ threatened, if indefinitely continued, to bankrupt one or the other, or 

■ 

possibly both of the contesting companies. Back in Montreal and London, where 
declining dividends impressed the stockholders with the reprehensible nature of the 
conflict, an agitation soon started in the interest of peace, and negotiations were 
entered into which culminated in the purchase by the Hudson's Bay people of all 
the interests of the Northwest company, including Spokane House and other posts 
in the interior and on the Columbia. 



CHAPTER VI 

AMUSING AND TRAGIC INCIDENTS 

DANCING WITH 8POKANB NYMPHS PETER SKENE OGDBN AND HIS INDIAN WIFE FRENCH 

THE PREVAILING LANGUAGE OF THE COUNTRY LOUIS LA LIBERTe's WOUNDED PRIDE 

— THRILLING ADVENTURE WITH A GRIZZLY BEAR ROUGH LIFE OF THE FREE 

TRADERS KEEN COMPETITION FORCED RIDE WITH A SUPPLY OF TOBACCO — SPO- 
KANE WOMEN GREAT SLAVES SHOCKING DOUBLE ACT OF REVENGE. 

ROSS, who came out on the Tonquin in 1811, and made frequent trips to the 
interior, has recorded a graphic picture of Sp>okane House as it Ap- 
peared a hundred years ago: "There all the wintering parties, with 
exception of the northern district, met. There they all fitted out; it was the great 
starting point. ... At Spokane House there were handsome buildings; there 
was a ballroom even^ and no females in the land so fair to look upon as the nymphs 
of Spokane; no damsels could dance so gracefully as they, none were so attractive. 
Bot Spokane House was not celebrated for fine women only ; there were fine horses 
also. The race-ground was admired, and the pleasures of the chase often yielded 
to the pleasures of the race. Altogether Spokane House was a delightful place." 

This breathes a spirit of badinage, but relatively, as rough conditions then 
went at this and other posts, it sketches a picture that is fairly true. 

Among the notable traders who yielded to the blandishments of the Sp>okane 
ladies of that dim and distant day was Peter Skene Ogden, who took for wife a 
remarkable woman of that tribe. She bore him several children, and carried into 
a serene old age a reputation as a faithful and dutiful spouse and a kind and 
attentive mother. She followed the fortunes of her white master to the lower 
Colombia, and dwelt for many years at Fort Vancouver and Oregon City. She 
died, at the age of 86, at Lac La Hache, British Columbia. Ogden failed to 
ratify the alliance with a formal marriage, even when pressed to do so as he lay 
upon his conch of death. To the urgent solicitation of good old Dr. McLoughlin 
he made answer that if many years of public recognition of the relation and of his 
children did not constitute sufficient proof, no formal words of priest or magistrate 
could help the matter. Ogden left a valuable estate, and this irregularity invited 
a vigorous contest of his will by relatives in England, but the dispute was amicably 
compromised through the efforts of Sir George Simpson, the executor of the will. 

Ogden, who came from an influential colonial family, revealed in his boyhood 
a daring and adventurous spirit which lured him, while yet a youth, into the west- 
ern wilds. He had been for a while, in the service of John Jacob Astor as a 

V«L 1—4 

49 



50 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

clerk^ presumably at Montreal^ but a little later^ in 1811^ he attached himself, at 
the age of 17> to the Northwest company, and operated for several years in the 
wild country to the east of the Rocky mountains. He came upon the Columbia in 
1818, and two years later, by his zeal, courage and indefatigable industry, was 
made a partner in the Northwest company, and later became chief factor of the 
Hudson's Bay company. Ogden was a frequent sojourner at Spokane House, and 
was here at intervals till the post was abandonel to the elements and the use of 
the Indians of the neighborhood. 

From a manuscript in the Spokane city library, "Spokane House; History of 
an Old Trading Post," I am permitted by the author, William S. Lewis of this city, 
to make the following extracts: 

"After spending several days in lodcing for a suitable site, for his trading post, 
Clarke finally decided upon a beautiful point of land at the juncture of the Spokane 
and Little Sp>okane rivers. . . . The site selected was one of considerable 
beauty as well as commercial advantage. The Little Spokane, emerging from a 
narrow, heavily wooded valley, flows along parallel to the main river for a mile or 
so before joining it. To the east are high, bald granite hills; and to the west 
gravel benches rise, overgrown with bunch-grass and occasional pines. On the 
alluvial bottom, midway between the two rivers and a short distance from their 
juncture, the post known as Spokane House was established. . ' . . 

"A stout stockade, twelve feet high, was erected; this was flanked with two 
square bastions, each armed with a light four-pounder of brass, and with loop- 
holes cut in the upper story for use of musketry. This defense proved unnecessary, 
as the local tribe of Indians was very honest and inoffensive, and the post gates 
were seldom closed at night. The only use 'the four-pounders were ever put to 
was that of making noise for local celebrations. Within the stockade thus built, 
to make the following extracts : 

"The main trading building was an oblong structure, built of peeled logs of 
uniform size, the greater length extending north and south, and the sides facing 
the two rivers. 

"The framework of the roof, doors and windows was of hewn timbers, carefully 
fitted and fastened with wooden pegs, in place of nails, and the roof was shingled 
with shakes cut from cedars growing along the banks of the Little Spokane. 

"In the middle of this trading building, on each side, an opening seven feet 
high and eight feet wide was cut, forming a passage-way. Each side of this was 
built up breast high, as a counter, to protect the wares of the traders from the 
thieving propensities of the Indians. Indians desiring to trade could come into 
the building from either side, up to the log railing, behind which some of the 
clerks and men were always stationed in care of the merchandise. 

"Annexed to the trading building was a room in which the furs were stored for 
transportation to Astoria. 

"Clarke was an old and experienced Indian trader. As soon as his buildings were 
completed, he assembled the neighboring Indians, made several speeches, displayed 
his fine buildings and his wealth, and then gave a grand ball in honor of his men 
and the Indians — the first big social event in the history of our section. . . . 

"By a separate agreement (at the time the Astor interests passed to the North- 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 51 

west company) Spokane House and property was sold to the Canadians for a band 
of Indian horses^ to be delivered the following spring. 

"Under the management of the Northwest company^ Spokane House was^ for 
several years^ an important trading center^ though the post proved to be in a 
rather out of the way location^ 150 miles from the better fur regions^ furs being 
scarce in the inmiediate neighborhood^ and the local Indians being but indolent 
hunters. Gradually^ as the local fur-bearing animals were destroyed, the busi- 
ness became less and less lucrative, yet the post continued to be retained, largely 
as a matter of sentiment and personal comfort. It was the Mecca for all the fur 
traders; the climate was delightful, the Indians friendly; all the wintering par- 
ties of the district met at Sp>okane; all fitted out here — it was a great starting 
point. Trappers, after their months of solitary labor, were eager for the attrac- 
tions of the post. The buildings were unusually handsome and commodious; the 
post even boasted of a ballroom, and the graceful native dancers were in great 
demand as partners. There were many fine horses about the place, and many 
a man wagered the earnings of a year up>on the race-course. Deer were plentiful ; 
trout and other fish filled the streams ; and savory steaks of bunch-grass fed cayuses, 
a great delicacy at Spokane House, were famous throughout the Rocky moun- 
tains. . . . 

"When, March 26, 1821, the Northwest company was absorbed by the Hudson's 
Bay company, Spokane House passed to the ownership of the latter. But the fur 
trade on the lower Columbia was now on the decline, and Spokane House was aban- 
doned in 1825, and a new Hudson's Bay post established on the Columbia river, a 
short distance above Kettle Falls, called Fort Colville." 

W. P. Winans, who went to Colville in July, 1861, where he lived until 1878, says, 
in a manuscript relative to the earliest settlements in that valley : "When the war 
of 1812 forced the Astor party to sell to the Northwest Fur company in 1813, they 
abandoned one of the posts at the mouth of the Little Spokane, and located it in the 
Colville valley, about 1816. When the Hudson's Bay company, in 1821, absorbed 
tbe Northwest Fur company, they built a stockaded fort at this trading post, on 
tile south bank of the Columbia river, about a mile above Kettle Falls, and called 
it Fort Colville. 

"When the writer visited, in 1870, the location of these posts on the Spokane 
and at the mouth of the C^uinogan river, all that remained to indicate that once 
there had been buildings and people living there were the mounds made by fallen 
chimneys and the graves of the dead, although Fort Okanogan was occupied and 
maintained as a trading post for about fifty years, the last man in charge being a 
half-breed named Francis Desotel, who in 1862 abandoned it, moving the goods up 
to the Similkimeen river, about eighty miles north, and established a trading post 
there. 

"Either William Frazier or Archibald MacDonald built Fort Colville and named 
it after the then London governor of the Hudson's Bay company. It was next to 
Vancouver in importance. Here the accounts or statements from all the posts in 
the Pacific northwest were made up for transmission, via the Columbia river to 
Boat Encampment, through Athabasca pass, via Jasper House and York factory on 
Hudson Bay, and thence by ship to England. It was maintained until 1870, when 
the Hudson's Bay company moved into British territory. 



52 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

"The first time I visited Fort Colville was in August^ 1861. Then there was a 
stockade enclosing it^ abont 250 feet square and twelve or fourteen feet higfa^ in 
good repair^ with square towers or bastions at opposite comers enclosing the houses. I 
saw it again in July^ 1904. The stockade was gone^ but some of the old storeroonos 
and one of the bastions built in 1827^ and the frame dwelling houses of the chief 
trader^ built in 1868^ were standing, the property being then owned by Donald 
McDonald, son of Angus McDonald, the chief trader, who claimed it as a homestead 
in 1870. During the thirteen years I resided in Colville valley, many times I 
enjoyed the society of Mr. Angus McDonald, the chief trader, who dispensed hos- 
pitality after the manner of the Scotch lairds of his ancestral home. 

"I have an illustration in mind. A party of about fifteen of us concluded we 
would pay our respects to Mr. McDonald on New Year's day, 1864, and have a 
sleighride too. So we got a pair of bobsleds, with a big wagon box and four 
horses, and drove the fifteen miles to the Hudson's Bay company post. Mr. McDon- 
ald received us with courtly grace and abundant cheer. After the usual greetings, 
we spent a short time socially, and were about to return that afternoon, but he 
. would have none of it. We must stay to dinner and spend the night with him. We 
consented, and the dinner was served, on what he called a 'field table,' in a large 
room twenty by thirty feet. Next to the walls on the floor were spread fur robes ; 
the space left in the center was covered with white table cloths, and on this white 
field table, say ten by twenty feet, were placed the dishes with provisions. The 
thirty guests, which included our party and about as many more, being the princi- 
pal farmers of the valley, assembled around this festal board, and, reclining on the 
robes, we leisurely partook of the bountiful supply before us, and listened to our 
host relate incidents of chase or exploration, or conflict and treaty with the natives 
of the Northwest. Thus we spent some hours, retiring about midnight to our beds. 

"While he was entertaining us, at the same time there were assembled in other 
buildings of the fort, as their yearly custom was, the former employes of the com- 
pany and their families, numbering over 100, who usually spent the holiday week 
with him, having the best time in their lives in feasting, social mirth, music and 
dancing. 

"Angus McDonald came to this country in 1 840, as a clerk for the Hudson's Bay 
company, was sent to Fort Hall, and was there with Captain Grant. Was married 
in 1848 to a daughter of a Nez Perce chief. Came to Colville and took charge of 
the post about 1850, and remained with the Hudson's Bay company as long 
as they maintained trading posts in United States territory. Some of his chil- 
dren having taken up their residence in the Flathead country, he moved to that 
section, living near them the last few years of life. He died February 1st, 1889, 
over 72 years of age." 

There remain some odds and ends of anecdote and adventure, and a few frag- 
ments of historic incident, to round out the section of this volume that deals with 
the picturesque period of the fur-trader. Those were brave and daring times, a 
hundred years ago, when the British flag floated over the Inland Empire, and our 
first citizens were a medley aggregation of canny Scots and volatile French Canadians, 
of Iroquois and Spokanes, of half breeds and Sandwich islanders, with now and then 
a "mountain man," free trapper and half savage American from the Kentudcy 
frontier. 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 53 

French was the prevailing tongue^ and traces of that language are stamped 
forever on the nomenclature of our moimtains^ lakes and rivers. They are written 
on onr waters in such names as Pend d'Oreille (ear-ring)^ Coeur d'Alene (sharp- 
hearted)^ Palouse^ (a grassy region)^ Nez Perces (pierced noses) ^ and many others. 
Some of the Scotch clans were so numerously represented in the Spokane country 
that the voyageurt, in order to escape confusion of names^ resorted to distinctive 
nicknames. There were, for example, Mr. Mackenzie le rouge (the red), Mr. Mac- 
kenzie le hlanc (the white), Mr. Mackenzie le borgne (the one-eyed), Mr. Mackenzie 
le picote (the pock-marked) ; Mr. MacDonald le grand (the big), Mr. MacDonald 
le pritre (the priest), Mr. MacDonald le bras croche (the crooked arm). Ross 
Cox narrates an amusing incident growing out of this custom ; and since the leading 
character was probably the ancestor of the Liberty family whose name we have 
perpetuated in Liberty lake, the anecdote has a fitting place in a history of Spo- 
kane. 

Mr. Shaw, one of the agents, had passed many years in the interior, and was 
by the voyageurs called Monsieur Le Chat (the cat). On quitting the Indian 
country he married a Canadian lady, by whom he had several children. Some 
years after this event, one of his old foremen, Louis La Liberty, went to Montreal 
to spend the winter. He had heard of his old bourgeois' marriage and was anxious 
to see him. Mr. Shaw was walking on the Champ de Mars with a couple of officers, 
when La Libert^ spied him. He immediately ran up, and seizing him by both 
bands, exclaimed: 

"Ah, mon cher Monsieur Le Chat, comment 'vous poriess-vous?" 
"Tree bien, Louisson" 

"Ei comment se porie Madame La ChatteV 
"Bien, bien, Louisson, elle est tres bien*'* * 
"Et tous les petits Chatons?" 

("Ah, my dear Monsieur Cat, how do you do.^" "Very well, Louison." "And 
how is Madame Cat?" "Well, well, Louisson, she is very well." "And all the littlfe 
Kittens?") 

By this time Mr. Shaw, a trifle embarrassed before his fine army friends, 
thought it advisable to check La Liberty's effusiveness and with a rather brusque 
reply turned away, leaving Louisson astonished and indignant over his cool recep- 
tion. 

La Liberte, adds Cox, was an extraordinary old man ; he had several fine daugh- 
ters by an Indian wife and became father-in-law to three proprietors. He was there- 
fore proud of his connections, and feeling indignant at Mr. Shaw's supposed cavalier 
treabnent, adopted an eccentric method of manifesting his resentment. 

He ordered a coat to be made of fine green cloth, with silver buttons ; a vest of 
crimson velvet, with cameHan buttons, braided sky-blue pantaloons, Hessian boots 
with gold tassels and silver heels; a hat, feathers and silk sash. And thus accou- 
tered, with a long calumet in his right hand, and a splendidly ornamented smoking- 
bttg in his left, he proceeded to the Champ de Mars during a regimental parade, 
and observing Mr. Shaw walking in company with some ladies and gentlemen, he 
vociferated : 

"Ha, ha. Monsieur Le Chat, voyez ma veste! voila les boutons! En aves-vous 
de meme? Ha, ha. Monsieur Le Chat! regardez mes bottes; je suis ferre d' argent I 



54 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Je suis le heawp^re de Monsieur McDxnnill! Monsieur Mackenzie est man gendre; 
et je me sacre de tous les Chats, et de toutes les Chattes!" 

(Ha^ ha^ Monsieur Cat^ see my vest! There are the buttons; have you any like 
them? Ha^ ha^ Monsieur Cat^ see my boots! I am shod with silver. I am the 
father-in-law of Monsieur McDinnill; Monsieur Mackenzie is my son-in-law; and 
my curses on all the Cats, male and female!") 

Some of his friends, who previous to his leaving home observed him drinking a 
quantity of rum, followed him to the parade ground, and with much difficulty at 
length succeeded in forcing him away, while the old man every now and then lifted 
up a leg, and challenged any Shaw or officer on the gpround to show silver heels to 
his boots. 

There is reason to believe, from the abundance of testimony which comes down 
to us from early days, that the bear, and particularly the g^zzly, was far more 
formidable and ferocious a hundred years ago than at the present day. This be- 
lief is borne out by the journals of Lewis and Clark, always coldly scientific and 
judicial, as well as by the circumstantial narratives of hunters and trappers. The 
Indians looked upon the grizzly as a foe deeply to be dreaded, and no greater dis- 
tinction could come to a warrior than that won by killing one of these monsters of 
the forests, a feat which entitled the hunter ever after to wear a necklace of the 
claws of the vanquished bear. In making this statement the author is aware 
that the conclusion might seem to run counter to the careful and undoubtedly cor- 
rect opinions of Mr. W. H. Wright, the well known naturalist and author of Spo- 
kane, whose many years of first-hand study of the grizzly of the Pacific coast have 
won for him a place as supreme authority on the subject now under discussion. 
Reflection, however, makes it apparent that these seemingly contradictory state- 
ments of the nature of the grizzly bear are not necessarily incompatible. One may 
accept Mr. Wright's present day judgment and not have to reject the testimony of 
a hundred years ago. 

Before the advent into this country of the whites, the Indians possessed no more 
formidable weapons than the bow, the spear and the club. Thus lightly armed, it 
is apparent that they would approach the grizzly with exceeding caution, and he 
in turn had learned by association that man was relatively a timid being, one 
easily overcome in a struggle at close quarters; and this gave him boldness and 
aggression. Naturally, when the first white men entered the country, the grizzly 
was ready to face them and to fight, and was slow to learn caution and fear of the 
inferior guns then in use. But with the country's settlement and the appearance 
of more deadly rifles, he has been taught a different lesson. He has learned that 
the white man can kill the bear, and kill at long range. 

An adventure experienced in the spring of 1816 by a party of ten Canadians 
who had been sent from Spokane House on a trading excursion along the Pend 
d'Oreille river, was well attested by all the members at the time. The third even- 
ing after they had quitted the fort on the Spokane, while sitting around a camp- 
fire, dining on the choice bits of a deer, a half-famished bear sprang from behind 
a tree, clasped one of the startled voyageurs in his embrace, and ambled off with 
his terror-stricken burden a distance of some fifty yards. Here the Canadian was 
dropped, and a large bone of the deer from which he had been eating the meat 
was seized from his g^p. 



DR. JOHN McLOUGIILIN 
Chief factor of the Hudson's Buy Company, at Va 



r~ 






• 1 .''!,»•• 



1^11 ■ —■■—■- ..J 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 55 

As soon as the startled campers had partly recovered from the alarm occasioned 
bj this audacious act, Baptiste Le Blanc, a half-breed hunter, seized his gun and 
was about to fire when his arm was arrested by some of his companions who feared 
that a shot would kill their companion. Louisson, the kidnaped voyageur, attempted 
to escape, now that the bear had dropped him and was picking at the bone, but the 
griiily growled in anger and again seized him, this time in a more vise-like grip. 
Louisson screamed out in agony and exclaimed: 

"Tire! Tire! man cher frere, si tu m'aimes! Tire, pour V amour du bon Dieu! 
A la ate! a la iete! (Shoot, shoot, my -dear brother, if thou lovest me! Shoot, for 
the love of the good God ! At the head, at the head !") 

Le Blanc fired, and his well directed ball wounded the bear, which, in its rage 
scratched the face of Louisson, leaving marks that permanently marred his visage. 
At this juncture the men rushed in on the wounded bear and dispatched it with 
their long hunting knives. 

Scattered through the Spokane country and other regions west of the Rocky 
mountains were a number of free traders. These, as a rule, had served out their 
time with the fur companies, and preferred to continue in the country rather than 
be returned east under the terms of their contract. They generally had Indian 
families, and some of them practiced polygamy. They brought their produce to 
the company stores, to exchange for goods, or, in some cases for a money credit at 
Montreal. "From their constant exposure to the sun," says one observer, "these 
men are as irretrievably bronzed as the native Indians, from whom, owing to their 
long separation from their countrymen, they differ but little, either in their habits 
or their mode of living." 

Captain Bonneville, describing these vagrant wanderers; of the wilderness, has 
liid that "they come and go, when and wtere^ f key pfej9is6 ; proiride their own arms, 
horses and other equipnlents ; trap and trf de^ On' their 6\9ii accbunt, and dispose of 
their skins and peltries to the highest bidder. Sometimes, in a dangerous hunting 
groand, they attach themselves to the camp of*^fbfe%a^r for protection. Here 
thej come under some restrictions ; they hiHre to conform to the ordinary rules for 
trapping, and to submit to such restraints and to take part in such general duties as 
are established for the good order and safety of the camp. In return for this pro- 
tection and their camp-keeping, they are bound to dispose of all the beaver they 
lake to the trader who commands the camp, at a certain rate per skin ; or, should 
they prefer seeking a market elsewhere, they are to make him an allowance of from 
thirty to forty dollars for the whole hunt." 

Washington Irving, who gained access to the extended notes of Captain Bonne- 
▼iUcy continues with the following free transcription: 

"The wandering whites who mingle for any length of time with the savages 
hare invariably a proneness to adopt savage habitudes ; but none more so than the 
free trappers. It is a matter of vanity and ambition with them to discard every- 
thing that may bear the stamp of civilized life, and to adopt the manners, habits, 
dress, gestures, and even walk of the Indian. You can not pay a free trapper a 
greater compliment than to persuade him you have mistaken him for an Indian 
hrare; and in truth, the counterfeit is complete. His hair, suffered to attain to 
a great length, is carefully combed out, and either left to fall carelessly over his 
thoolders, or plaited neatly and tied up in otterskins or parti-colored ribbons. 



56 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

A huntiiig^shirt of ruffled calico of bright dyes^ or of ornamented leather falls to his 
knee; below which curiously fashioned leggings^ ornamented with strings^ fringes 
and a profusion of hawkbells^ reach to a costly pair of moccasins of the finest In- 
dian fabric^ richly embroidered with beads. A blanket^ of scarlet or some other 
bright color^ hangs' from his shoulders^ and is girt round his waist with a red sash, 
in which he bestows his pistols^ knife, and the stem of his Indian pipe; prepara- 
tions either for peace or war. His gun is lavishly decorated with brass tacks and 
vermilion, and provided with a fringed cover, occasionally of buckskin, ornamented 
here and there with a feather. 

"His horse, the noble minister to the pride, pleasure and profit of the moun- 
taineer is selected for his speed and spirit and prancing gait, and holds a place in 
his estimation second only to himself. He is caparisoned in the most dashing and 
fantastic style; the bridle and crupper are weightily embossed with beads and 
cockades; and head, mane and tail are interwoven with an abundance of eagle 
plumes which flutter in the wind. To complete this grotesque equipment, the proud 
animal is bestreaked and bespotted with vermilion, or with white clay, whichever 
presents the most glaring contrast to his real color." 

The Spokanes, like all other Indians of the interior, were inordinately fond, of 
tobacco, and to gratify their appetite would resort to industry when all other mo- 
tives were powerless to lure them from their habits of indolence. No business, how- 
ever trifling in importance, could be transacted until the negotiants had been indulged 
in an extended preliminary smoke. 

A party would arrive at the fort with the produce of their traps, deposit it on 
the floor and gravely squat around the heap in a circle. Thereupon the trader 
would light his long peace pipe and go through a ceremonial performance, directing 
' first his face to the east, giving a solemn pufF in that quarter, and then repeating 
the performance with his face towards the other cardinal' points of the compass. 
After a few short quick pufFs, he would then pass the pipe to the chief, who would 
go through the same ritual, after which the calumet would be handed to the Indian 
next on his right, who would give a few whifFs and then pass it along. In this way 
the pipe would pass from hand to hand imtil the tobacco burned out, when the 
trader would present the party with a quantity of tobacco for individual smoking, 
which they would generally finish before taking up the business of barter, remark- 
ing that they had been "a long time very hungry for a smoke." 

The smoking over, each man divided his skins into different lots, and made it 
known to the trader that he was ready for business, indicating his wants and that 
he was ready to trade each little pile for some particular article or articles. The 
business transacted, another smoking match followed preliminary to their departure 
for their village or encampment. The traders at Spokane House found them 
"shrewd, hard dealers, not a whit inferior to any native of Yorkshire, Scotland or 
Connaught in driving a bargain." 

At times, before the Astor posts had passed to the control of the Northwesters, 
competition was as keen between these rivals as nowadays between competing com- 
mercial travelers from Spokane, Portland and Seattle. An incident in the spring 
of 1818 will illustrate both the Indian love of tobacco and the keen rivalry then 
existing between the Astorians and the Northwesters. 

One forenoon, at 11 o'clock, Mr. Clarke at Spokane House received a letter by 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 57 

courier from Mr. Famham^ who had been dispatched a few days previously with 
a party to trade with the Flatheads in the country to the east^ informing him that he 
had fallen in with a large band of Flatheads who had a rich supply of furs^ the 
produce of their winter's efforts; that his rivals Mr. McDonald, was also on the 
ground, but that both himself and McDonald were quite out of tobacco, and 
all business was at a standstill. Famham added that the one who should get the 
first supply of tobacco would, by treating the Indians to a grand smoking feast, 
obtain their furs, and urged the utmost endeavor to expedite the sending of a 
supply. It was absolutely necessary, he said, that the tobacco be delivered to him 
that night, to prevent the Indians treating with McDonald, with whom they had 
had a longer acquaintance than with Farnham. 

The rival traders were then at the falls of the Pend d'Oreille, near the present 
town of Newport, seventy-two miles distant from Spokane House, and Mr. Clarke 
at first desp»aired of victory, considering it impossible for any horse to cover that 
distance in the limited hours of daylight that remained. He was about giving up 
the contest as hopeless when one of his clerks volunteered to make the effort if 
Clarke would aUow him to ride a noted horse of his own, called Le Bleu. The offer 
was accepted, the saddle thrown on Le Bleu, and at 12 o'clock the derk galloped 
away from Spokane House to the encouragement of cheers from the men. His 
course lay, for much the greater part of the way, the length of the valley of the 
Spokane, and the trail being in excellent condition, no difficulty was encountered 
so long as there remained a glimmer of daylight, and the rider had open country 
before him. The last ten miles of the way lay in forest, and dusk descending, the 
rider was delayed by darkness and obstructions of underbrush and fallen trees; 
but persistence triumphed, and as he came out of the woods his eye was gladdened 
by the glare of campfires along the portage. 

The thick twist was soon in the hands of Famham, word quickly ran through 
the encampment that tobacco had arrived, and in an incredibly brief time clouds 
of smoke were floating above the heads of white trader and Indian warrior. The 
Flatheads thanked Mr. Farnham for his extraordinary efforts to indulge them, and 
promised that he should have all their furs ; but to clinch the compact he suggested 
that they deposit their packages overnight in his tent, enjoy themselves meanwhile 
In unlimited free smoke, and take up the business of barter the following morning. 
This they readily accepted, and the Astorians got the last fur the day after, not- 
withstanding two of their rivals came in a few hours later with a quantity of tobac- 
co, dispatched also from Spokane House as soon as the Northwesters there had 
scented the meaning of the hurried departure of their competitors. The Canadians 
were deeply chagrined by the success of the Americans and upbraided the Flat- 
heads for having deserted them for strangers ; but the latter philosophically replied 
that since the Astorians had been the first to gratify their hungry cravings for 
tobacco, it would have been ungrateful for them not to reciprocate; and as for such 
debts as were owing from them to the Canadians, they promised faithfully to cancel 
them in future dealings. 

Le Bleu was described by an admirer at the time as "a noble animal, between 
fifteen and sixteen hands high, seven years of age, admirably btdlt, and derived his 
name from his color, which was a dappled white and sky-blue. He was also a prime 
racer, and had beaten all competitors on the turf." 



58 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Gox credits the Spokanes as "an honest, friendly tribe," adding that "they are 
g^od hunters, but somewhat indolent, fond of gambling, despotic husbands, but 
indulgent fathers. Their women are great slaves, and most submissive to marital 
authority. They did not exhibit the same indifference to the superior comforts 
of a white man's wife as that displayed by the Flathead women, and some of 'them 
consequently became partners of the voyageurs. They made excellent wives, and 
in general conducted themselves with propriety. Although the Spokane men are 
extremely jealous, and punish with severity any infidelity on the part of their 
wives, they themselves are not overscrupulous in their own conduct." 

In this connection the same authority narrates a tragic incident at Spokane 
House: "Slavish and submissive as the Spokane women are, they do not tamely 
submit to the occasional lapses of their husbands, an instance of which occurred 
in the summer of 1815, while I was at Spokane House. One of the tribe, named 
Singelsaascoghaght, (or the horse) from his gpreat swiftness and dexterity in riding, 
was a tall and rather handsome Indian. He was remarkable for his gallantries. 
His wife had for some time suspected him of carrying on an intrigue, and being con- 
stantly on the watch, she soon discovered that her suspicions were not groundless. 
The very night of the discovery, while he was in a profound sleep, she inflicted on 
him a dreadful injury, of which he died before morning. On the intelligence 
becoming public, a crowd of his relations assembled around the lodge, to whom she 
openly avowed herself as the author of his death, stating at the same time her 
reasons for committing the dreadful act; but she had scarcely finished when an 
arrow from her husband's brother quivered in her heart. Her relations instantly 
collected. Guns, arrows and tomahawks were in instant requisition, and before we 
could arrive to check the bloody conflict, two men and two women had fallen vic- 
tims. Our presence restored tranquility, and as the sufferers on each side were 
equally divided, we experienced no gpreat difficulty in bringing about a reconcilia- 
tion, and each party rested satisfied with its respective Ipss." 

By the same writer the Pointed Hearts, or, as the Canadians called them, Les 
Coeurs d'Alenes, (Hearts of Awls) ^ere described as a small tribe inhabiting the 
shores of a lake about fifty miles to the eastward of Spokane House. "Some of this 
tribe occasionally visited our fort with furs to barter, and we made a few excur- 
sions to their lands. We found them uniformly honest in their traffic, but they did 
not evince the same warmth of friendship for us as the Spokanes, and expressed no 
desire for the establishment of a trading post among them. They are in many 
respects more savage than their neighbors, and I have seen some of them often eat 
deer and other meat raw. They are also more unfeeling husbands, and frequently 
beat their wives in an unfeeling manner." 

These two tribes had been at war about twenty years before the advent of the 
white traders, arising out of an incident of a Trojan nature, but at the period of 
these writings were at peace, and intermarried and appeared to be on terms of 
perfect friendship. 

By both tribes the women were condemned to a life of great drudgery. They 
collected the firewood, carried the water, cooked the food, prepared the raiment, 
dressed the skins and gathered and dried the winter's store of roots and berries. When 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 59 

a hunter killed a deer^ he merely cut out the tongue or removed enough for a single 
meal, and on his return to the encampment dispatched his wife to carry in the 
body, she having for guidance in this task notches cut on trees by her hunter hus- 
band. The women, however, seemed quite contented in their subordinate position, 
notwithstanding its harships and their almost total lack of influence in tribal 
matters. 



Tht >EW YUhK 

iFUiJUC LiBHART 






CHAPTER VII 

EARLY DAY MISSIONS IN THE INLAND EMPIRE 

CRUDE HI88ION EFFORTS OF CATHOLIC IROQUOIS EMBLEM OF THE CROSS ON THE CO- 
LUMBIA ^INDIAN PILGRIMAGE TO ST. LOUIS ARRIVAL OF REV. SAMUEL PARKER IN 

1885 — HIS TRAVELS IN THE SPOKANE COUNTRY ^ARRIVAL OF "WHITMAN AND SPALD- 
ING WITH THEIR BRIDES OVERLAND JOURNEY OF EBLLS AND WALKER WITH THEIR 

BRIDES ^ADVENTURES ON THE PLAINS AND IN THE MOUNTAINS ARRIVAL AT WHIT- 
MAN MISSION NEAR WALLA WALLA. 

The groves were God's first temples. Ere man learn'd 

To hew the shaft and lay the architrave, 

And spread the roof ahove them^ — ere he framed 

The lofty vault, to gather and roll back 

The sound of anthems ; in the darkling wood. 

Amid the cool and silence, he knelt down. 

And offer'd to the Mightiest solemn thanks 

And supplication. 

— WilUam Cullen Bryant, 

WITH the earliest advent of the white man in this region, bringing with 
him arms, implements, food, attire and customs different from those of 
the natives ; keen curiosity was created in the Indian mind regarding the 
source of his superior civilization and gifts. Some slight efforts were made by Cap- 
tains Lewis and Ciark to enlighten the savage intellect with respect to the Bible 
uul Christianity, but the results were necessarily meager, both from the limitations 
of the aboriginal mind and an exceedingly imperfect knowledge of the Indian tongues. 
Native conception of the benefits of Christianity was chiefly if not wholly material 
rather than moral, and after these explorers had left the country, a belief arose in 
the minds of the more intelligent chiefs and head men that possession and knowledge 
of the white man's "book" would supply their people with the key to civilization and 
the mechanic arts. 

A few years after the departure of Lewis and Clark, a number of Christianized 
Iroquois Indians, who had been attached to fur trading establishments in Canada, 
loimd their way over the Rocky mountains and fraternized with some of the tribes 
inhabiting the Inland Empire, notably the Flatheads and tribes along the Columbia. 
Zealous to spread the light of the gospel, these Catholic Iroquois attempted in a crude 
way to convert the tribes to Christianity. When David Stuart, a partner in John 

61 



62 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

* 

Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur company^ was ascending the Columbia in the spring of 
1811 to establish a trading post at the mouth of the Okanogan^ he observed that 
religious services or ceremonies were being conducted by one of these Iroquois mia- 
sionaries^ and from that circumstance named the cascades at that point "Priest 
Rapids^" and Priest Rapids they remain to the present day. 

Considerable results probably attended these missionizing efforts^ for the Rever- 
end Samuel Parker^ sent out here by the American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions in 1835 to explore the country and choose sites for Protestant 
missions^ reported finding along the Columbia in eastern Washington, a number of 
Indian graves over which rudely constructed crosses had been lifted by pious hands. 
"The night of our arrival," says Parker, "a little girl, of about six or seven years 
of age, died. The morning of the 12th they buried her. Everything relating to 
the ceremony was conducted with great propriety. The grave was dug only about 
two feet deep ; and with their hands they fill up the grave after the body is deposited 
in it. A mat is laid in the grave; then the body wrapped in its blanket, with the 
child's drinking cup and spoon, made of horn; then a mat of rushes is spread over 
the whole. 

"In this instance they had prepared a cross to set up at the grave, most probably 
having been told to do so by some Iroquois Indians, a few of whom, not in the 
capacity of teachers, but as trappers in the employ of the fur companies, I saw west 
of the mountains." 

Apparently unconscious of a spirit of bigotry, and unmindful that he was sewing 
dragon seeds of discord that would bring fruits of bitter controversy between Pro- 
testant and Catholic missions, Parker added: 

"As I viewed a cross of wood made by men's hands of no avail to benefit either 
the dead or the living, and far more likely to operate as a salve to a guilty con- 
science, or a stepping stone to idolatry, than to be understood in its spiritual sense 
to refer to a crucifixion of our sins, I took this, which the Indians had prepared, and 
broke it to pieces. I then told them that we place a stone at the head and foot of 
the grave, only to mark the place; and without a murmur, they cheerfully acqui- 
esced, and adopted our custom." 

Twenty-six years after the return of Lewis and Clark, a delegation of five Nei 
Perces, two Spokanes and probably two or three Flatheads, moved by a longing to 
learn the ways of white civilization, and professing an earnest desire to acquire the 
great "book" of which these explorers had spoken, ventured across the Rocky moun- 
tains and down the Missouri river to St. Louis. There they found their old friend 
Captain LeMris, serving as Indian commissioner for the entire northwest, and to him 
made known their hearts' desire. Clark was a Catholic, and some of the Indians 
became converts to his faith, two of whom died there and received burial in conse- 
crated ground. On their return journey these red searchers for the truth experienced 
severe hardships and perils, and several of them were either killed or enslaved by 
the warlike and predatory Sioux in the land of the Dakotahs. Only a remnant of 
the delegation survived to narrate to their own people the stirring story of their 
adventures and the wondrous sights that had unrolled before their astonished vision. 

Accounts of this extraordinary pilgrimage found their way into eastern news- 
papers, and appealed to mission zeal, both Protestant and Catholic. Moved by this 
stirring incident, the mission authorities of the Methodist Episcopal church, the 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 63 

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions^ and the Catholic Order of 
Society of Jesus^ all planted vigorous missions in the Pacific northwest. The Meth- 
odists sent out the two Lees, Jason and Daniel, uncle and nephew, who, with two 
lay members, crossed the continent to found missions among the Indians east of the 
mountains. They arrived on the Columbia river in 1834, and were persuaded by 
Dr. John McLoughlin, chief factor of the Hudson's Bay company, stationed at 
Vancouver, to alter their plans and establish their mission and school in the Willa- 
mette valley. 

One year later the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions ap- 
pointed an exploring mission to the Pacific northwest, "to ascertain, by personal 
observation, the condition and character of the Indian nations and tribes, and the 
facilities for introducing the gospel and civilization among them." This society 
was supported by the Congregational, Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed churches, 
and selected for its explorers, the Rev. Samuel Parker and several other volunteers. 
They arrived at St. Louis in the spring of 1834, too late to join the annual expedi- 
tion of the American Fur company. Two members of the party took up mission 
work among the Pawnees, but Parker, having been joined in April, 1834, by Dr. 
Marcus Whitman, the two traveled to Green river, in what is now the state of Wyo- 
ming, under protection of the annual brigade of the fur company. On that stream, 
at a point known as Rendezvous, Indians from both sides of the Rocky mountains, 
together with traders and trappers from a wide expanse of country, were accus- 
tomed to assemble for trade. Information gathered at the Rendezvous, from "moun- 
tain men," white traders and Indians, convinced Parker and Whitman that various 
tribes living west of the mountains desired missions and schools. It was thereupon 
resolved that Dr. Whitman should return to the east to secure helpers, and Rev. 
Parker continue west to prepare the way. 

Upon his return to the "United States," Mr. Parker wrote and published an 
informative, entertaining account of his journeyings "beyond the Rocky mountains." 
He possessed keen powers of observation, a well trained analytical mind, and great 
capacity for enduring weariness and hardships and adapting himself to savage life 
and surroundings. In the course of his extensive travels, Parker explored the Spo- 
kane country. He had arrived at old Fort Walla Walla, on the Columbia, in the 
latter part of May, 1835. and having obtained Indian guides and two French voya- 
geurt as assistants, "concluded to take horses, and to go up through the Spokein 
country, leaving the great bend of the Columbia river to the left some fifty or sixty 
miles. . . . On Sabbath, 2 2d, we had worship as usual, and the following day 
commenced the journey for Colville." 

The little party crossed Snake river near the mouth of the Palouse, by Parker 
called the Pavilion river, ascended that stream, and passing north through the 
Palouse country, came to the lands of the "Spokeins." "We stopped for the night, 
after a ride of fifty miles, near one of these villages of Spokeins. Their language 
differs almost entirely from any tribe or nation I have yet seen." 

Father Cushing Eells, who, with the Rev. Elkanah Walker, established the first 
mission among the Spokanes, and labored with them for ten years, describes the 
Spokane language as harsh and guttural. "It makes me think of persons husking 
com," was the expression made by one person on hearing it. "In this respect," 
▼rites Myron Eells, "it is very unlike the adjoining Nez Perce, which is soft and 



64 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

musical. It is also unlike the Nez Perce in its use of prepositions, the former hav- 
ing many and the latter almost none, their places being supplied by the inflections 
of the verb." 

"A few nouns form their plural by reduplication, and some are irregular. For 
example, the word for man, skul-tu-mi-hu, becomes in the plural skul-skul-tu-mi-hn ; 
hand, kal-lish, is kil-kal-lish ; and mountain, ets-im-mo-ko, is ets-im-mo-ko-mo-ko ; 
but woman, sem-ain, is pal-pil-kwi in the plural ; and tree, sa-at-kl, is sil-a-sil. The 
plural for Indian, skai-lu, is the same, and that of boy is expressed by a numeral. 

"There are no comparatives or jspperlatives among the adjectives. If two 
horses are placed side by side, one is bad and the other is good ; but if the better of 
the two is compared with another still better it becomes bad and the latter is called 
good. 

"Phrases are very common, but not compounded according to rule. It was nec- 
essary to learn them by the power of memory, and these, in a great measure, take the 
place of grammar. In these phrases many contractions take place, and occasional 
changes of letters, evidently for the sake of euphony. 

"The language ,of the Spokanes is said to be the veritable Flathead language, 
and belongs to the Salishan family spoken by. many Indians, though not by all, be- 
tween the Pacific ocean and the Rocky mountains, extending south of the Columbia 
and north a little beyond its sources. The geography of this Salishan family covers 
the greater portion of Washington southern Idaho and much of British Columbia, 
though other families, as the Sahaptian, including the Nez Perces and Yakima, are 
also used by the Indians of the state. . . . The Spokane language seems to 
have less regularity and grammar than many others belonging to the Salishan fam- 
ily, especially those on Puget Sound." 

Parker and his little party traveled through the Spokane woods and struck the 
river about ten miles below the falls. They hallooed for a long time for the Indian 
who kept a ferry there, and after a while "two women came to the stream, and with 
uncommonly pleasant voices, together with the language of signs, the latter of 
which only I could understand, informed us that the ferryman was gone upon a 
short hunt, would return in the evening, and the next morning at sun two hours high 
he would come and take us over. I never heard voices more expressive of kindness. 
I requested them to paddle the canoe over to us, and my men would perform the 
labor ef ferrying over our baggage. They declined on account of the rapidity and 
strength of the current, the river being in full freshet. Therefore we had to en- 
camp and wait for the morning." 

Parker found "this a very pleasant, open valley, though not extensively wide." 
He visited the old trading post of the Northwest fur company, only one bastion then 
remaining standing. 

The following morning the ferryman crossed over at the appointed hour, and 
after passing the river they traversed "the valley of level alluvial soil," where it is 
about a mile and a quarter wide, and the east side especially is very fertile. 

"Here the village of the Spokeins is located, and one of their number has com- 
menced the cultivation of a small field or garden, which he has planted with pota- 
toes, peas and beans and some other vegetables, all of which were flourishing, and 
were the first I had seen springing up under Indian industry west of the mountains." 

The Spokanes appear to have attained a higher state of thrift and industry un- 



JASON LEE'S MISSION IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY 



METHODIST MISSION AT THE DAT.LF;S. FOUNDED IN 183M 









Th.^ 



/^0i^ 



>£w 









U*wt 



CHAPTER VI 

AMUSING AND TRAGIC INCIDENTS 

DAKCINO WITH SPOKANE NTMPHS PETER SKENE OODEN AND HIS INDIAN WIFE^-FRENCH 

THE PRETAILINO LANGUAGE OF THE COUNTRY LOUIS LA LIBERTe's WOUNDED PRIDE 

— THRILLING ADVENTURE WITH A GRIZZLY BEAR ROUGH LIFE OF THE FREE 

TRADERS KEEN COMPETITION FORCED RIDE WITH A SUPPLY OF TOBACCO SPO- 
KANE WOMEN GREAT SLAVES SHOCKING DOUBLm ACTiOF: REVENGE. 

ROSS, who came out on the Tonquin in 1811, and made frequent trips to the 
interior, has recorded a graphic pi^^^];le^ of Spokane House as it ap- 
peared a hundred years ago: ^ "There' all* thfe* wintering parties, with 
ezcq>tion of the northern district, met. There they all fitted out; it was the great 
starting point. ... At Spokane House there were handsome buildings; there 
was a ballroom even, and no females in the land so fair to look upon as the nymphs 
of Spokane; no damsels could dance so gracefully as they, none were so attractive. 
But Spokane House was not celebrated for fine women only ; there were fine horses 
also. The race-ground was admired, and the pleasures of the chase often yielded 
to the pleasures of the race. Altogether Spokane House was a delightful place." 

This breathes a spirit of badinage, but relatively, as rough conditions then 
went at this and other posts, it sketches a picture that is fairly true. 

Among the notable traders who yielded to the blandishments of the Spokane 
ladies of that dim and distant day was Peter Skene Ogden, who took for wife a 
remarkable woman of that tribe. She bore him several children, and carried into 
a serene old age a reputation as a faithful and dutiful spouse and a kind and 
attentive mother. She followed the fortunes of her white master to the lower 
Columbia, and dwelt for many years at Fort Vancouver and Oregon City. She 
died, at the age of 86, at Lac La Hache, British Columbia. Ogden failed to 
ratify the alliance with a formal marriage^ evpp when pressed to do so as he lay 
upon his couch of death. To the urgent solicitation of gck>d old Dr. McLoughlin 
he made answer that if many years of public recognition of the relation and of his 
children did not constitute sufficient proof, no forqifil .words of priest or magistrate 
codd help the matter. Ogden left a valuable estatfe, and this irregularity invited 
a vigorous contest of his will by relatives in England, but the dispute was amicably 
compromised through the efforts of Sir George Simpson, the executor of the will. 

Ogden, who came from an influential colonial family, revealed in his boyhood 
a daring and adventurous spirit which lured him, while yet a youth, into the west- 
cm wilds. He had been for a while, in the service of John Jacob Astor as a 

Vol 1-4 

49 



66 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

aded^ but so friendly have the natives always been, that no wars have ever occurred 
among them. It is occupied by some half dozen men with Indian families, and is 
well supplied with the useful animals and fowls common to farming establish- 
ments. The winter and summer grains, together with garden vegetables, are culti- 
vated with success and in profusion." 

This trading post or fort, then in possession of the Hudson's 'Bay company, had 
been established by the Northwest company in 1811, and had passed, with the other 
posts of the Northwesters, to the Hudson's Bay people when they absorbed the 
Northwesters. 

A§ the day after his arrival was Sunday, Parker conducted ^ services for the 
people of the fort who imderstood English, "and we worshipped the God of our lives 
who had protected us hitherto, and from different nations had collected us in a 
little group in this end of the world." 

The service over, a number of the Indians gathered about the preacher "and 
expressed great anxiety to be taught the revealed will of God." They endeavored 
to make him understand their former beliefs and practices, and affirmed that what 
they had so far learned from him appealed to them as reasonable and satisfactory. 
Parker was moved by this experience, which appealed powerfully to his intense 
religious zeal, to inveigh against the coldness of the Christian world. "How little 
of the faith, and love, and liberality of the church," he lamented, "is invested in the 
most profitable of all enterprises, the conversion of the world. Should some one 
propose the construction of a railroad from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and demon- 
strate the practicability of the measure, and show that nature has interposed no 
effectual barrier, and that it would concentrate not only ' the whole internal, but 
also the China trade, and the stoc& would produce annually a rich dividend, how 
soon would Christians engage in it." * 

It is somewhat singular that this preacher in the wilderness, 'profoundly stirred 
by mission zeal, thus casually stumbled upon the precise arguments that later were 
employed by the promoters of the Northern Pacific railroad to float the stock in 
that vast industrial enterprise. 

After a short sojourn, at Colville, Parker followed the windings of the Columbia 
to the mouth of the Okanogan. There he purchased a bateau, and employing two, 
Indians to take his horses overland to old Fort Walla Walla, descended tlie Columbia 
to Vancouver, and a few weeks later took passage in a sailing vessel, via the Sand- 
wich islands, for the Atlantic coast, arriving at his home in Ithaca, New York, on 
the 2Srd of May, "after an absence of more than two years and two months, and 
having journeyed 28,000 miles." 

His published reports enter extensively into the customs of Indian tribes, the 
geology, flora and fauna of the country, character of soil, climate, etc. From those 
reports we extract the following excerpts descriptive of the Indians of the interior 
as they existed three fourths of a century ago: 

"Proceeding north, we come to the country of the Nez Perces, which has many 
fertile parts adapted to tillage, and all of which is a fine grazing country. They 
number about 2,500. 

"The Cay uses are situated to the west of the Nez Perces, and very much 
resemble them in person, dress, habits and morals. They are equally peaceable, 
honest and hospitable to strangers," an estimate that was hardly borne out by Dr. 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 67 

Whitman's subsequent experiences. "They number more than 2,000 persons. 
Their wealth consists in horses, which are usually fine and numerous, it being no 
oncommon thing for one man to own several hundred. Their country, especially 
about the Grand Round, is uncommonly fertile, producing spontaneously camas in 
great abundance, upon which, with fish and some game, they principally subsist. 
Their anxiety to be instructed in the way of salvation is as great as that of the 
Nez Perces and Flatheads. 

"The Walla Walla Indians inhabit the country about the river of the same name, 
and range some distance below along the Columbia river. The number of per- 
sons in this tribe is about 500. In their character, employment and moral habits, 
they do not materially differ from the last named tribes. 

"The Palouse tribes are a part of the Nez Perces, and in all respects are like 
them. Their residence is along the Nez Perce river (the Snake) and up the 
Pavilion (the Palouse). They numbered about 300. The four last named tribes speak 
the same language, with a little dialectical difference. 

"Northeast of the Palouses are the Spokein nation. They number about 800 
persons, besides some small tribes adjoining them who might be coimted a part of 
their nation. Their country is very much diversified with mountains and valleys, 
prairie and woods ; and a large part is of primitive formation ; some parts are very 
fertile. They denominate themselves the children of the sun, which in their language 
is Spokein. Their main dependence for subsistence is on fishing and hunting, to- 
gether with gathering roots and berries. They have many horses, .but not so 
numerous as their neighbors farther south. 

"East of these are the Coeur d'Alene Indians, whose numbers are about 700, 
and who are characterized by civility, honesty and kindness. Their country is 
more open than the Spokeins, and equally if not better adapted to agriculture. 

"The country of the Flatheads is still farther east and southeast, and extends 
to the Rocky mountains. They are a very interesting tribe, dignified in their 
persons, noble, frank and generous in their dispositions; and have always shown 
a firm attachment to white men. They number about 800 persons, and live a 
wandering life. For subsistence they follow the buffalo upon the waters of Clark 
and Salmon rivers, and often pass over to the headwaters of the Missouri. They 
have become a small tribe by constant wars with the Blackf eet Indians ; not that 
they themselves are of a ferocious or hostile disposition. Being averse to war, 
they wish to settle upon their lands, and are only waiting to be instructed in the 
arts of civilization and in Christianity. Their country is mountainous, but inter- 
sected with pleasant, fertile valleys, large portions of which are prairie. The 
mountains are cold, but in the valleys the climate is mild. 

"The Ponderas are so nearly like the Flatheads in person, manners and char- 
acter that a particular description of them may be passed over. They number 
about 2,200, and live on the north of Clark's river, and on a lake which takes its 
name from the tribe. Their country has many fertile parts, and would soon be 
put under cultivation, if they could obtain instructors to teach them agriculture 
and to impart to them a knowledge of those things which are necessary to con- 
stitute a happy and prosperous community. Their language is 'the same as the 
Spokeins and Flatheads. 

"The Cootanies inhabit a section of country to the north of the Ponderas 



68 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

along McGillivray's river^ and they are represented as an Uncommonly interest- 
ing people. They speak a language distinct from all the tribes about them^ open 
and sonorous^ and free from gutturals^ which are common in the language of the 
surrounding tribes. They are neat in their persons and lodges^ candid and hon- 
esty and kind to each other. I could not ascertain their numbers^ but probably 
they are not oyer a thousand. 

"North of the Cootanies are the Carriers^ whose number is estimated to be 
4^000^ and south of these are the Lake Indians^ so named from their place of resi- 
dence^ which is about the Arrow lakes. They are about 500 in number. 

"At the souths and about ColviUe^ are the Kettle Falls Indians. Their num- 
ber is 560. West of these are the Sinpauelish (the San Polls) 1^000 in number, 
and below these are the Shooshaps, having a population of 575. At the west 
and northwest, next in order, are the Okanogans, numbering 1,050. Between 
Okanogan and the long rapids are detachments of Indians who appear poor, and 
wanting in that manly and active spirit which characterizes the tribes above 
named. 

"South of the long rapids, and to the confluence of Lewis' river (the Snake) 
with the Columbia, are the Yookoomans (the Yakimas), a more active people, 
numbering about 700. 

"The whole number of the above named Indians is 32,585. This is probably 
a low estimate, and in the number there are not included the Fall and La Dalle 
Indians.'' 

A general study of the Indian missions of the northwest will not be permitted 
by the scope of this history. We shall, however, enter into some detail with 
regard to mission labors among the Spokanes, and to some extent into the mis- 
sions conducted among neighboring tribes. A brief review of the events leading 
up to the establishment, in 1837-8, of the Eells and Walker mission, on Walker's 
prairie, twenty-five miles northwest of this city, will be found essential to a 
clearer understanding of the systematic effort that was made three-fourths of a 
century ago, to Christianize and civilize the various bands that then inhabited 
the region around the falls. 

It will be recalled that Dr. Marcus Whitman, who accompanied Parker to 
the Rendezvous on Green river, returned to the east to stimulate interest in their 
courageous undertaking, and secure volunteers for the contemplated mission sta- 
tions in the Pacific northwest. In this effort he was successful in a most roman- 
tic way, winning at once a bride and a mission helper in the peVson of Miss Nar- 
cissa Prentiss, who was to shaire with him the perils and the pleasures of the 
wilderness, and, eleven years after, fall with the devoted martyr before the death- 
dealing tomahawk of the treacherous Cayuses, at their Waiilatpu mission, six miles 
from the existing city of Walla Walla. 

Additional helpers were found in Rev. H. H. Spalding and wife, another bridal 
couple, and in \\\ H. Gray, secular agent of the American Board. Dr. Whit- 
man, having learned that Mr. Spalding and bride had volunteered for mission 
work among the Osage Indians, and obtained the consent of the mission board, 
set out in an effort to overtake them on their way to the land of the Osages and 
induce them to change their plans and go with him to the Pacific northwest. He 
came up with them in the deep snows of western New York. They were travel- 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 69 

ing by sleigh^ ^d Mrs. Spalding^ who was convalescent from a long illness^ was 
still unable to walk a quarter of a mile. With characteristic abruptness^ Whit- 
man called out: 

"We want you for the Oregon mission." 

"How long will the journey take.^** answered Spalding. 

"The summer of two years." 

"WTiat convoy shall we have.^" 

"The American Fur company to the divide." 

"What shall we have to live on.^" 

"Buffalo meat till we raise our own grain." 

"How shall we journey?" 

"On horseback." 

"How cross the rivers.^" 

"Swim them." 

Mr. Spalding then turned from Whitman to his bride: 

"My dear," he said, "my mind is made up ; it is not your duty to go, but we will 
leave it to you after we have prayed." 

The little party came presently to a tavern, and pausing there took a private 
room and each prayed in turn. With beaming face Mrs. Spalding emerged after 
a few minutes of prayer, and declared : 

"I have made up my mind to go." 

The husband lovingly remonstrated with her zeal, pointing out the hardships, 
the privations and perils of the way, and as he reflected upon these dangers the 
brave man broke down and cried. 

"What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart," was the bride's reply ; 
"for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of 
the Lord Jesus." 

Such was the spirit that carried these resolute men and women into the Ore- 
gon wilderness. 

And so they came into the depths of the wildest west, and never before was 
bridal journey like unto this. 

Dr. and Mrs. Whitman established their mission in the Walla Walla valley. 
The Spaldings located theirs at Lapwai, in northern Idaho. 

And still the Macedonian cry went up for more workers in the heathen land, 
and Mr. Gray returned east in 1837 to win the needed recruits. 

In a time-stained book of records at Holden, Massachusetts, one still may 
find this simple it^m: 

"March 5, 1888. Rev. Gushing Eells, of East Windsor, Conn., and Myra 
Fairbank were married by William P. Paine." 

Fired by religious zeal, the young couple had volunteered for the African 
missions of the American Board, but altered their life plans at the solicitation of 
Mr. Gray. Rev. Elkanah Walker, of North Yarmouth, Maine, and Miss Mary 
Richardson, to whom he was engaged, also abandoned their African plans to engage 
in the work in the Oregon country. • Rev. A. B. Smith, of Connecticut, and his 
wife, likewise consented to come, and the matrimonial spirit running high, Mr. 
Gray found a bride iit Miss Mary Dix, of Champlain, New York. The party 



70 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

was completed by the addition of Cornelius Rogers^ who came in, the capacity of 
assistant missionary. 

"On March 6, the day after their marriage/' many years later wrote their 
son, the Rev. Myron Eells, "Mr. and Mrs. Eells began their bridal tour, which 
was not completed for more than a year, until the last of April, 1889. Then they 
were ready to receive callers in their own home of log huts or i>ens." 

From New York, where the party had assembled, they traveled by boat and 
train to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; from Chambersburg to Pittsburg, by stage; 
and from Pittsburg to Independence, Missouri, by steamboats on the Ohio, the 
Mississippi and the Missouri. As they were strict Sabbatarians, the question of 
Sunday travel gave them deep concern, and taking counsel at Cincinnati with 
Dr. Lyman Beecher, that eminent divine dryly observed that if he were on a 
ship on the ocean, he should not jump into the sea when Saturday night came. 

At Westport, Missouri, twelve miles west of Independence, they found the 
annual expedition of the American Fur company, under which they were to have 
convoy to the Rocky mountains. Its caravan this year consisted of 200 horses 
and mules and seventeen carts that were drawn each by two mules hitched tan- 
dem. The missionaries had twenty-two horses and mules, and for a part of the 
way a wagon, taken to enable the ladies to find relief from horseback riding until 
they had grown thoroughly accustomed to that mode of travel. 

"We generally stop about two hours at noon," wrote Mrs. Eells in her diary, 
turn out the animals, get our dinners and eat; then we wash the dishes again, 
the men catch the animals and pack them. We mount our horses and are riding 
over rolling prairies, over high bluffs, through deep ravines and rivers, but 
through no woods. 

"At night, when our animals are unpacked, the gentlemen pitch our tents. We 
spread our buffalo skins first, and then a piece of oilcloth for our floor. Then we 
neatly arrange our saddles and other loose baggage around the inside of our house. 
For our chairs we fold our blankets and lay them around, leaving a circle in the cen- 
ter upon which we spread a tablecloth when we eat. In the morning we get up at 
half-past three, turn the animals out to eat ; then we get our breakfast, eat and have 
worship. After this we wash and pack our dishes, our husbands catch the animals, 
saddle the horses and pack the mules. When we are fairly on our way we have much 
the appearance of a large funeral procession. I suppose the company reaches half 
a mile." 

Buffalo meat was the staple food, but buffalo were not found that spring as early 
as had been expected, and when the supply came their flour was all but exhausted, 
barely sufficient remaining to make gravy. The change to green buffalo meat proved 
most trying, and the missionaries suffered intensely from illness, overwork and ex- 
posure. Mrs. Eells wrote in her diary. May 9: "All is hubbub and confusion. 
Camp wants to move early; horses bad to catch; dishes not packed in season. Oh, 
how much patience one needs to sustain him in this life." 

And again, on May 12: "It rains so hard that notwithstanding we have a good 
fire we can not dry our clothes at all. Obliged to sleep in our blankets wet as when 
taken from our horses. Our sheets are our partitions between us and Mr. Gray. 
When it rains they are spread over the tents. 

"13th, Sabbath. Arise this morning, put on our clothes wet as when we took 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 71 

them off^ and prepare for a long ride. I am so strongly reminded of bygone days 
that I can not refrain from weeping. 

"24th. Mr. Eells and myself hardly able to sit up^ but obliged to eat^ drink and 
work as though we were well. Think it is trying. . . . 

"Nothing but the restraining grace of God can carry us through. I trust we 
both have this grace." 

They crossed the North Fork of the Platte in boats made of willow frames, 
covered with buffalo hides. It rained here so hard that the camp was flooded^ and 
Mrs. Walker, though strong and vigorous, and ordinarily cheerful with a pleasant 
word for every one, fell to weeping as she sat on a pile of goods within the tent. In 
answer to efforts made to console her, she exclaimed, "I am thinking how comfort- 
able my father's hogs are." 

June the twenty-third brought them to the American Rendezvous, on Wind river, 
and there they remained for three weeks, surrounded by as wild and motley a com- 
pany as ever drank bad whiskey, or engaged in the savage sports of the wilderness. 
Mrs. Eells wrote, in her diary, July 5: "Captain Bridger came in about 10 o'clock 
with drums and firing, an apology for a scalp dance. After they had given Captain 
Drips' company a salute, fifteen or twenty mountain men and Indians came to our 
tent with drumming, firing and dancing. If I might make the comparison, I should 
think they looked like the emissaries of the devil worshiping their own master. They 
had the scalp of a Blackfoot Indian, which they carried for a color, all rejoicing in 
the fate of the Blackfeet in consequence of the smallpox. The dog, being frightened, 
took the trail, crossed the river, and howled so that we knew him and called him 
back. When he came back he went to each tent to see if we were all safe." 

They had been terrorized the night before by a party of drunken white men who 
came to the tent and threatened to settle accounts with Mr. Gray, with whom they 
had previously been in altercation. While Gray loaded his gun within the tent, Mr. 
Eells remonstrated with them and they went away and gave no further trouble. 

Under date of July 6 Mrs. Eells made this entry in her journal: "Last night 
twelve white men came, dressed and painted in Indian style, anH gave us a dance. 
No pen can describe the horrible scene they presented. I could not imagine that 
white men, brought up in a civilized land, can appear so much to imitate the devil." 
Hardships were endured, and dangers confronted, by the pioneer women who 
came into the Spokane country forty years after these mission brides crossed the 
Cimtinent and took up their abode near the pleasant river Spokane; but their expe- 
riences when brought in contrast with the dangers and deprivations endured by Mrs. 
Eells and Mrs. Walker, seem little more than an entertaining outing. 

At the Rendezvous flour sold for $2 a pound; sugar, tea and coffee, $1 a pint; 
calico, $5 a yard ; a shirt, $5 ; tobacco, $3 to $5 a pound ; and whiskey, $30 a gallon ; 
and yet the wild rangers of the plains and the moimtains drank whiskey and smoked 
tobacco as though they had been millionaires and the price of these indulgences were 
the normal rates going back in the United States. 

From the Rendezvous on Green river the missionaries expected to have convoy by 
a party of the Hudson's Bay company. This year, though, the American Fur com- 
pany had become vexed over some grievance at the hands of the Hudson's Bay peo- 
ple, and instead of meeting the latter at the customary gathering place on Green 
river, had selected a rendezvous 150 miles north, on a tributary of Green river. By 



72 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

a narrow chance Mr. Ermatinger^ in charge of the Hudson's Bay party, learned of 
the altered plans of his rivals and the mission party was saved from the alarming 
alternatives of returning with the American Fur caravan, of firoinc to California with 
a party of trappers, or becoming stranded in the heart of the wildest part of the 
Rocky mountains. When Mr. Ermatinger came to the Green river Rendez- 
vous, he foimd, scrawled in charcoal on the old storehouse door, this significant in- 
scription: "Come to Popoazua on Wind river, and you will find plenty trade, whis- 
key and white women." This told him the location of the mission party, and he 
hastened there to put them under the protection of his brigade. 

From this Rendezvous they started for the Oregon country on July 12. On Son- 
day, July 22, Mrs. Eells wrote: "The Indians are about our tents before we are up, 
and stay about all day. Think they are the most filthy Indians we have seen. Some 
of them have a buffalo skin around them. Mr. Walker read a sermon, and although 
they could not understand a word, they were still and paid good attention. They ap- 
peared amused with our singing." 

Thus the summer wore away, and always it was travel, travel, travel; through 
mountain passes, by rushing rivers, and on the wind swept plains of the Snake river 
desert. But even a transcontinental journey of seventy-five years ago had ending, 
and under date of Wednesday, August 29, appears this entry in Mrs. Eells' journal: 
"Rode seven hours, thirty miles; arrived at Dr. Whitman's. Met Mr. Spalding 
and wife, with Dr. Whitman and wife, anxiously awaiting our arrival. They all 
appear friendly, and treat us with great hospitality. Dr. Whitman's house is on the 
Walla Walla, twenty-five miles east of Fort Walla Walla. It is built of adobe, mud 
dried in the form of brick, only larger. I cannot describe its appearance, as I can 
not compare it with anything I ever saw. There are doors and windows, but they 
are of the roughest material, the boards being sawed by hand and put together by 
no carpenter, but by one who knows nothing about the work. There are a number 
of wheat, com and potato fields about the house, besides a garden of. melons and all 
kinds of vegetables common to a garden. There are no fences, there being no 
timber of which to make them. The furniture is very primitive; the bedsteads are 
boards nailed to the side of the house, sink-f ashion ; then some blankets and husks 
make the bed; but it is good compared with traveling accommodations." 

From the Atlantic coast the long journey had consumed 177 days; from the 
Missouri river, 129. Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. Spalding were the first white women 
to cross the Rocky mountains. Mrs. Eells and Mrs. Walker were the next to achieve 
an undertaking which well might have daunted the heart of a brave and rugged man. 
Describing the Oregon country of 1838, Rev. Myron Eells informs us that in 
the broad expanse of what are now the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and 
Montana there were only thirteen settlements: the mission station of Dr. Whitman 
at Waiilatpu in the Walla Walla valley, of Mr. Spalding at Lapwai among the Nei 
Perces, of the Methodists at The Dalles and near Salem, and the Hudson's Bay com- 
pany forts at old Fort Walla Walla on the Columbia, Colville, Fort Hall, Boise, Van- 
couver, Ni squally, Umpqua, and Okanogan, and the settlement at Astoria. Eells 
and Walker were to establish a fourteenth, on Tshimakain creek, six miles north of 
the Spokane river, and about twenty-five miles from the falls. 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 73 

When they arrived at the Whitman mission^ there were only fifty Americans in 
the country of whom thirty were connected with the missions. Great Britain and 
the United States were in controversy over ownership of the greater part of the 
Oregon conntry^ and had struck a truce under a treaty of joint occupation. It was 
even considered necessary for the missionaries to travel under passport. 



CHAPTER VIII 

FOUNDING A MISSION AMONG THE SPOKANES 

EELLS AND WALKER MEET THE INDIANS AT CHEWELAH BIRTH OF FIRST AMERICAN 

WHITE BOY IN OLD OREGON EELLS AND WALKER FAMILIES LOCATE AT WALKEr's 

PRAIRIE^ NEAR SPOKANE LIVING ON HORSE MEAT INDIAN CUSTOMS DESCRIBED 

MISSION LIFE AT TSHIMAKAIN MISSIONARIES DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED MIDWINTER 

FIRE HYMN AS SUNG BY THE SPOKANES. 

AFTER a fortnight's rest at the Whitman mission, Walker and Eells started 
northward, September 10, 1838, to explore the country preliminary to found- 
ing a mission among the Spokanes. At Chewelah they rested over the Sab- 
bath, meeting there many of the natives, and the next day pushed forward to Fort 
Colville to seek the counsel of Archibald McDonald, factor in charge of the Hudson's 
Bay establishment there, second only in impM>rtance to the greater establishment at 
Vancouver under Dr. John McLoughlin. At Colville the company grew annually 
about 4,000 bushels of wheat, and maintained there a flour mill. Com and vege- 
tables were grown there in abundance, a large herd of cattle added to the domesticity 
of the surroundings, and as the buildings were commodious, Mr. Walker exclaimed, 
as the valley scene rolled in upon their vision, "a city under a hill." 

Mr. McDonald, a worthy, intelligent Scot, received them with great kindness, an 
attitude he maintained so long as he remained in charge. He advised that the mis- 
sion be located at Tshimakain, (the plain of springs) on the Colville- Walla 
Walla road, a place combining the advantages of soil, timber, water and accessibility 
to the various bands of the Spokanes. Thither they went, and with Indian help, and 
two axes borrowed from Colville, erected two log cabins fourteen feet long and about 
twenty feet apart. As winter was approaching, they suspended their work before 
the cabins had been roofed in, and returned to Walla Walla, by way of Spalding's 
Lapwai mission. 

There they wintered with their families, and there, on December 7, 1888, was 
bom Cyrus Hamlin Walker, thought to be the first American white boy born within 
the boundaries of old Oregon. Alice, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Whitman, drowned 
in early childhood, was the first American white child born within the same boimda- 
ries. Much of their time was devoted that winter to study of the Spokane language, 
the missionaries having for their instructor the famous Nez Perce chief Lawyer, 
who understood that tongue. 

Late in February came the chief of the Spokanes, with* four men and four women, 
to assist the party in moving to their new home, and on March 5, 1839, the wedding 

75 



76 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

anniversary of both couples^ they set their faces northward on the journey to Tshi- 
makain, arriving there on March 20. 

Tents were pitched^ and a messenger dispatched to Colville for provisions, and 
with these came back an urgent invitation from Mr. McDonald for the ladies and 
baby to become his guests while their husbands were completing their cabin homes. 
The invitation was accepted, and it was the last of April when they returned and 
set up housekeeping. 

At first the houses had only earthen floors, and pine boughs served for roof. As 
the spring rains quickly penetrated this rough shelter, earth was put upon the 
boughs; and still the roofs leaked, so bearskins were spread upon the beds to keep 
dry "our first families" near Spokane. 

The luxury of a cookstove was unknown throughout the nine years' life of the mis- 
sion at Tshimakain. In lieu of window glass, cotton cloth, and later oiled deerskin, 
were used. A few years later there was much rejoicing over the receipt of a few 
panes of glass, sent in sailing vessel around the Horn by Massachusetts friends, and 
transported, with infinite care, to the distant interior. 

For nine years the mission could boast of only a single chair. Three boards, three 
feet long, were packed 150 miles,, and by driving four stakes into the ground, a table 
was constructed. Timber, riven and hewn, was used for other furniture. 

In all the Oregon country there were two flour mills, both owned by the Hud- 
son's Bay company, one at Colville, the other at Vancouver. Flour at the Whitman 
mission was worth $24 a barrel. With the harvesting of the first crop of wheat at 
Tshimakain, the grain was taken in buckskin bags to Colville for grinding. "It was 
only seventy miles distant, and they could go and return in &vt days." 

The plough was homemade, with rawhide on the singletrees in place of iron, and 
for nine years the wheat crop was cut with sickles. 

"The beef," according to Myron Eells, "neither chewed the cud nor parted the 
hoof. It was made out of the Indian pony. Cattle were very scarce. Neither love 
nor money could procure one from the Hudson's Bay company. About half a dozen 
horses were killed for beef at Dr. Whitman's during the winter of 1888-89, and for 
several years Mr. Eells was accustomed to salt one down every winter. They were 
fattened on the rich bunch-grass, and with few exceptions were eaten with a rehsh, 
even by the fastidious." 

Mrs. Eells once wrote: "I had the luxury of eating a piece of the first cow 
that was driven into the country." 

Fire was made with flint, steel and punk. Mail from the east was brought out 
twice a year in vessels of the Hudson's Bay company. That for the mission was 
sent up the Columbia to old Fort Walla Walla, and when the missionaries learned 
of its arrival there, they would "go to the postoffice," 200 miles away, the round trip 
taking two weeks. 

In January, 1 844, Mrs. Eells wrote to her sister in Massachusetts : "Your letter 
dated September, 1841, I received July, 1848, a long time, sure enough, but, as the 
Indians say, 'I am thankful to get a letter of any date.' " To the same sister she 
wrote, in April, 1847: "I have just been reading your sisterly letter of December, 
1844, and although it was written more than two years ago, yet since it is the last 
I have heard from you, it is like reviving conversation and talking of past events." 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 77 

In a letter written from the Whitman mission^ soon after their arrival there in 
the fall of 1 SS8, Mrs. Eells recorded her impressions : 

'The country is large^ and there are comparatively few inhabitants in it. The 
Hudson's Bay company has a number of trading posts^ which are generally about 
300 miles apart. Mr. Spalding and Dr. Whitman have each a station about 125 
miles apart. The Methodists have two stations — one 150 miles^ and the other 400 
miles from here. Besides these settlements^ there are no others in this great territory. 
Of course the people of each settlement must raise their own provisions^ make their 
own furniture^ farming utensils, houses and bams. Everything of cloth is brought 
from some foreign port. There is nothing yet to make cloth of^ and if there were, 
there is no way to manufacture it. Had I known there is not a spinning wheel in 
this whole country, I should have been exceedingly anxious to have one sent with 
my other things. There are Very few sheep here, and more have been sent for from 
California. Dr. Whitman has raised a little flax, though not much, for want of 
seed. 

"There never having been any white women here before the missionaries, there 
has been no call for anything but Indian articles of trade. The men wear striped 
cotton or calico shirts, sleep in Indian blankets and buffalo skins, and of course 
have had no need for white cotton cloth, and have none. 

"Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. Spalding have obtained some earthern dishes, but think 
it doubtful whether we can have any others until we order them from England, or 
the States. Perhaps you will wonder what we shall eat with. We have the dishes 
we used on the way, which we have divided so that we shall each have a tin dish 
and a spoon, each a knife, fork and plate. We must be contented with what books 
we have until ours come around Cape Horn. 

"The Indians are numerous, but they live a wandering life. They live upon 
game, fish and roots, which are found in many different places. They have no houses, 
but live in lodges made of sticks set in a circle in the ground, and drawn together 
at the top and fastened with a string, leaving a place at the top for the smoke to 
pass out. Over this frame they throw skins, grass, willows and the like, which make 
their covering. They build their fire upon the ground, in the center, around which 
they live and sleep. They generally have one kettle, in which they boil their fish, 
meat, com and potatoes, if they have any. None of them have com and potatoes ex- 
cept what they get from some of the above-named settlements. Not many of them, 
have any dishes, knives or forks or spoons of any kind. They eat standing, with the 
kettle in the middle, their hands supplying the place of all dishes. They will often 
perform a long journey for a knife or blanket. . . . 

"They have learned of Mr. Spalding and Dr. Whitman some scripture history 
and some hymns, which they sing. They have not yet had much time to teach them, 
being obliged to do most of their work. It is true the Indians help them some, but 
they cannot be depended upon. They are here today, and tomorrow they are some- 
where else. Besides, if they think you are depending on them, they will not work 
unless they are driven to it by hunger. Some of them are beginning to sow little 
patches of corn, wheat and potatoes for themselves ; this the men have done and are 
proud of it; but if a man works for us, they call him a slave and a fool. Three or 
four have given evidence of a change of heart. 

"We feel that we are a small band of missionaries in a heathen land, far re- 



78 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

moved from the luxuries and many of the comforts of life, and we feel more keenly 
the absence of civilized and Christian society." 

Mr. Eells, under date of February 25, 1840, wrote of their labors amon^ the 
Spokanes: "We are advancing slowly in the acquisition of the language, though as 
yet our knowledge of it is very limited. . . . The Flathead (Spokane) and the 
Nez Perce languages are distinct. Their philological construction is wholly unlike. 
We have not been able to find any one word common to both languages. 

"Taking this place (Tshimakain) as the center of a circle whose radius shall not 
exceed sixty miles, it will include a population of near 2,000 souls, nine-tenths of 
whom rarely, if ever, leave the above specified ground for a length of time, unless 
it be for a few weeks in the spring. There are five or six bands, each of which has 
particular lands which they call theirs, and where they pass a portion of each year. 
So far as I can learn, they are somewhat regular in their removings. 

"In April a large nmnber meet in one plain to dig a root called popo. In May 
they returned to this place, and after remaining a few weeks, moved to a large camas 
plain, ten miles from us. The camas is their most substantial root. It remains good 
from May till the next March. In June, salmon begin to go up the Spokane river, 
which passes within six miles of our house. At first a barrier was constructed near 
some falls, ten miles from this place, and perhaps fifteen miles from the camas 
grounds. At that place salmon were taken only during high water, and then not in 
large quantities, as the barrier extended only part of the way across the river. While 
the men and boys were employed at the salmon, the women were digging and prepar- 
ing camas, and daily horses passed between the two places, loaded both ways, so 
that all could share in both kinds of food. As the water fell another barrier was built 
farther down, extending across the entire river; and when completed, men, women 
and children made a general move to the place. If I judged correctly, I saw there 
at one time near 1,000 persons, and the number was rapidly increasing. From 400 
to 800 salmon were taken in a day, weighing variously from ten to forty pounds 
apiece. 

"When they ceased to take salmon, about the first of August, they returned to 
the camas ground, where they remained till October, and then began to make prepa- 
rations for taking the poor salmon as they went down the river. During this month 
they were very much scattered, though not very remote from each other. In No- 
vember they went to their wintering places. 

"From March to November, our congregations varied from 30 to 100, 
not more than one half of whom usually remained with us during the week. 
They often came ten, fifteen, and sometimes thirty miles on Saturday, and returned 
again on Monday. Since November nearly 200 have remained with us almost con- 
stantly. In addition to those just mentioned, there have been frequent visitors from 
neighboring bands, coming in various numbers, from three or four to sixty at a time. 
They usually spend two or three weeks and then return. 

"We have habitually conducted worship with them morning and evening, when we 
read a portion of scriptures, and, so far as we are able, explain it, sing and pray. 
On the Sabbath we have had three services. While the weather continued warm, 
the place for worship was under some pine trees; but as it became cold, a house 
was prepared for entirely by the people, expressly for worship. It resembled some- 
what in form the roof of a house in New England, making the angle at the top 



KEV. ELKANAH WALKEH 



BEV. GUSHING EELLS MBS. MTBA P. EELL8 

PB0TE8TANT MISSIONARIES ON WAUIEB'S PRAIRIE 













T 



It '>»V< 



I N 



^* f iOnj 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 79 

much smaller than that of most modem houses. The frame is made of poles four or 
five inches in diameter^ and covered with rush mats. Most of the Indian houses here 
are made in the same way. 

"For want of a thorough acquaintance with the language^ much of the instruc- 
tion communicated has related to scriptural history^ though I think we have not 
failed to give them some correct ideas respecting the character of God^ the fallen 
state of man^ the doctrine of the atonement and regeneration^ and the necessity of 
repentance and faith in Christ to secure salvation. It is strictly true that they must 
have *line upon line ;' every new idea must, be repeated many times. The nearer our 
teaching approaches to Sabbath school insVrtiction^ appropriate for small children^ 
the better it is understood. This people are slow to believe that the religion we teach 
extends farther than to the external conduct. Tbey^ wisir to believe that to abstain 
from gross sin and attend to a form of wors||j^fti'aBrCHat is irecessary to fit them for 
heaven." 

In this respect, the Spokane attitude towards the life religious was not altogether 
at variance with that entertained by some good people of the present day. 

Throughout the journals, diaries and correspondence of the missionaries at 
Tshimakain, at Lapwai and at Waiilatpu, one finds abounding evidence, that in an 
excess of zeal and a severe application of "the New England conscience," these devout 
men and women had keyed too high their expectations of savage response to theo- 
logical refinements and subtleties. Because the Pentecostal fire could not flame in the 
Indian breast, they grieved and lamented. Often their way seemed dark, their life 
work a failure, their missions, perhaps, a mistake. So late as October, 1847, Mrs. 
Eells wrote: "We have been here almost nine years, and have not been permitted to 
hear the cries of one penitent, or the songs of one redeemed soul. We often ask our- 
selves the question, 'Why is it?' Yet we labor on, hoping and waiting, and expect- 
ing that the seed, though long buried, will spring up and bear fruit. We feel in- 
creasingly interested in the work, and though we do not see the immediate fruit of 
our labor, we can not find it in our hearts to leave our people. We can not say that 
they have j>ersecuted us so that we should be authorized 'to flee to another city.' 
They listen to the word respectfully, but it appears to produce no saving effect." 

Two months after the writing of this letter. Dr. and Mrs. Whitman, their as- 
sistant, Mr. Rogers, and eleven others, chiefly immigrants stopping at Waiilatpu, 
were massacred by treacherous Cayuses, the little m^sion band at Tshimakain took 
asylum at Fort Colville, and, a few months later", acting under the insistent advice of 
the Oregon authorities, abandoned their statiOA- for'e^er, and under military escort, 
found refuge and new homes in tiie Willamette valley;; Thus ended, in despair and 
darkness, a decade of faithful, earnest pffQrt,-and to th^e distressed and disappointed 
missionaries it well may have seemed * that' atf tlieir good seed of ten years' sowing 
had fallen upon stony ground. But many years later we find Governor Stevens, 
Lieutenant Wilkes of the United States navy. General O. O. Howard and others 
giving testimony to the enduring and beneficial results of the mission among the 
Spokanes. 

Returning to the EeUs journal, we learn that in November, 1839, a school 
was opened, at first with but thirty pupils, but grown by April following to more 
than eighty. That first year at Tshimakain brought incessant toil and countless 
privations. Cabins were made habitable, ground was broken and prepared for 



80 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

garden and wheat fields fences built to protect the crops from the Indian horses, 
long journeys were made to Fort Colville on the north and old Fort Walla Walla 
on the south; and superimposed upon all this and much more was the real work 
of the mission, the preaching and the teaching, the study of the difficult Spokane 
language, and the imparting of agricultural and manual instruction to such of 
the natives as were willing to deceive it. 

"My opinion," said Father Eells at that period, "is that our chief efforts 
should be with the children," a method adopted afterward by government, and 
found, after many years of experience, to return disappointing results, owing 
to the disposition of the adults to ridicule the young people on their return from 
Carlisle, Forest Grove and Salem, and shame them back to the blanket and the 
tepee. And yet, after three-fourths of a century of experiment and testing, it 
cannot be said that a better plan offers than that recommended by Mr. Eells! 

The mission work went on, with trials and tribulations. "On the morning 
of January 11, 1840," wrote Mr. Eells, "we met with a heavy loss. While en- 
gaged in family worship our house took fire, and being mostly lined with rush 
mats, and having no inside doors except cloths hung up, the flame spread so 
rapidly that it went through every part of the building before an article was re- 
moved. After the first flash had passed such things as were in boxes were mostly 
saved. But before anything was taken out the greater part of the more valuable 
property which the house contained was nearly destroyed, such as library, writ- 
ing desk, clock, watch, two beds and bedding, much personal clothing, a quantity 
of Indian goods, tinware, riding and pack saddles, traveling apparatus, etc. Our 
food was mostly saved. The walls of the house, built of rough logs, were not 
essentially injured, except in being badly charred upon the inside." 

In the face of this disaster, the spirits of the mission workers must have 
fallen correspondingly to the zero temperature without, for the thermometer reg- 
istered eight below. But there was a silver lining even to this dark cloud of mis- 
fortune; for the Indians responded to the alarm with commendable promptness 
and energy, constituting themselves the first volunteer fire brigade in the Spokane 
country, and exhibiting admirable honesty in restoring small articles which might 
easily have been concealed from the owners. And Mr. McDonald, in charge at 
Colville, with characteristic goodness, dispatched, without asking, four men from 
his fort who soon made the burned house habitable, and with them came also two 
gentlemen from that post, Messrs. McLean and McPherson. With the tempera- 
ture ten below zero, and a foot of snow over the country, the six volunteers 
camped on the ground, an exhibition of kindness and fortitude that was deeply 
appreciated. "This is but a specimen of the unvaried kindness shown us by the 
gentlemen of the company with which we have had no particular intercourse or 
connection," said Father Eells. 

Writing at this date of mission results, Mr. Eells said: "During the past 
winter nearly 250 Indians have been encamped by us. If we judge correctly, 
there has been a marked increase in the knowledge of Divine Truth. This is 
especially true of the chief mentioned in the Herald by the name of Big Head. 
It has been a rather general impression among the best-informed Indians that 
thieves, gamblers. Sabbath-breakers and such like will go to a place of misery 
when they die, but that such as are not guilty of open vices, and attend to a form 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 



81 



of worship will go above. We have labored much to correct this and kindred 
errors^ and unless we greatly mistake^ our labor has not been in vain. The lan- 
guage of the chief is: 'I formerly thought my heart was good^ but I now see it 
is not. We are full of all manner of wickedness — are covered up in our sins. 
They hold us like strong cords. One thing must be done. Our hearts must be 
changed, or we shall go below when we die.' " 

In the school instruction was given in reading, spelling, arithmetic and music, 
the pupils, both young and old, showing quick aptitude in numbers and mani- 
festing a passionate love for music. From the fur traders the Spokanes had 
picked up a number of lewd songs, and the missionaries tried to supplant these 
with hymns and sacred songs. They began with the doxology, and the Indian 
voice showed sufficient compass to sing it in three octaves in F. Then Mr. Eells 
composed the following hymn, words and music, and it proved popular, the natives 
clinging to it many years after the mission had been abandoned and their instruc- 
tors had taken up new homes in Oregon. Mr. McLean of the Hudson's Bay com- 
pany heard Indians singing it in the heart of the Rocky mountains. 




Lam - a - lem, on - a - we Je 
Thanks . . . thee .... Je 



ho 
ho 



vah, 
vah, 




Kain - pe - la, 
We 



tas ka - leel. Rait - si - ah 
not . \ . . dead, We ... all 




■^^ 



wheel, 
live. 



Kain 
We 



pe 



la 




Vol I— e 



CHAPTER IX 

MISSION LIFE AT WALKER'S PRAIRIE, CONTINUED 

8ETERE WINTER OF 1840-41 ARDUOUS JOURNEYS BY FATHER EELLS GOING TO COL- 

VILLE FOR MAIL DR. WHITMAN'S FAMOUS MIDWINTER RIDE DISCOVERY OF THE 

PRECIOUS METALS MOTHERS* MEETINGS SEVENTY YEARS AGO DREADFUL WINTER OF 

1846-47 NO NEW BONNETS FOR EASTER SUNDAY FIRST SHOES FOR THE CHIL- 
DREN — HOW THE MISSION WOMEN MADE CHEESE INDIAN WIFE WHO WAS "a 

JEWEL OF RARE EXCELLENCE." 

SO SEVERE was the winter of 1840-41 that only fifty Indians remained at 
the mission, and the attendance at the school fell to eleven. But another 
school, maintained at a point Bye miles from the mission, and attended almost 
daily hy some one from the mission, had an attendance of twenty-two. In the last 
analysis Indian nature is not essentially different from white nature; is charmed 
by novelty, and the mind grows dull by tedious repetition; and though the sdiool 
was continued, it never afterward numbered more than fifteen. 

With that indefatigable zeal and energy which attended him throughout a 
long life of intense religious endeavor, Mr. Eells traveled, in the year ending 
March 1, 1841, 1,200 miles on horseback, work which took him from home fifty- 
seven days. Teaching Indians at other points required 400 miles additional travel 
and twenty-three days more absence from home. He has left an interesting ac- 
count, in the Walla Walla Watchman of March 27, 1885, of one trip made to 
Fort Colville with mail. "With our limited facilities, the annual autumnal passage 
of the brigade of the Hudson's Bay company from east of the mountains down the 
Columbia was an important event. Its arrival at Fort Colville was to be pre- 
pared for. Thus an opportunity was afforded for the conveyance of letters to 
Vancouver, and thence via the Sandwich islands to Boston. I had written and 
arranged with an Indian to accompany and assist me in conveying the mails, and 
in conveying supplies from the fort. In vain I looked for the arrival, according 
to promise, of the needed helper. The morning hours passed. The idea of not 
forwarding what I had prepared was unendurable. On a riding horse, with pack 
mule carrying tent, bedding, food, I started. The moon was at its full. After a 
ride of forty miles I camped. Seasonably the next morning I was traveling. The 
distance, thirty miles to the post, was passed. The boats had not arrived. My 
mail was left, and I returned twenty miles. 

"The fifty miles for the next day should be commenced early, as the last fifteen 
miles were darkened with timber. The moon would not rise till more than two 

83 



84 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

hours after sunset^ and it was cloudy. With such facts in mind I encamped. I 
slept^ I awoke; my first thou^t was, it is daylight. The moon was concealed 
behind the clouds. Hurriedly I struck tent, saddled^ packed and was off. After 
riding an indefinite length of time the location of the moon was discernible. Judg- 
ing thus, it was not far from midnight. After a nocturnal ride of ten miles, I 
lay down again and slept without fear of being benighted in dark timber. The 
distance traveled was 140 miles; length of time, a little in excess of two days 
and a half, with object attained and mail taken to postoffice." 

To enter into the long-standing Whitman controversy is not within the pur- 
view of this history.* Respecting Dr. Whitman's memorable mid-winter ride across 
the continent volumes have been written — to show that its object was patriotic, to 
wrest the Oregon country from impending British ownership; and, on the other 
hand, to prove that his controlling motive was prevention of abandonment of the 
Oregon missions by the American Board, and the part he played politically had 
little or no bearing in saving Oregon to the United States. But since Eells and 
Walker were called into counsel with Whitman, and went to Walla Walla at his 
summons, regard for at least approximate completeness of the Tshimakain record 
requires the publication here of an affidavit made by Mr. Eells^ before a notary 
public at Spokane, August 23, 1883, in part as follows: 

"September, 1842, a letter written by Dr. Whitman, addressed to Rev. Messrs. 
E. Walker and C. Eells, at Tshimakain, reached its destination and was received 
by the persons to whom it was written. By the contents of ^aid letter, a meeting 
of the Oregon mission of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mis- 
sions was invited to be held at Waiilatpu. The object of said meeting, as stated 
in the letter named, was to approve of a purpose formed by Dr. Whitman, that 
he go east on behalf of Oregon as related to the United States. In the judgment 
of Mr. Walker and myself, that object was foreign to our assigned work. With 
troubled thoughts we anticipated the proposed meeting. 

"On the following day, Wednesday, we started, and on Saturday afternoon 
camped on the Touchet, at the ford near the MuUan bridge. We were pleased 
with the prospect of enjoying a period of rest, reflection and prayer — needful 
preparation for the antagonism of opposing ideas. We never moved camp on 
the Lord's day. On Monday morning we arrived at Waiilatpu, and met there 
the two resident families of Dr. Whitman and Mr. Gray. Rev. H. H. Spalding 
was there. All the male members of the mission were thus together. 

"In the discussion the opinion of Mr. Walker and myself remained unchanged. 
The purpose of Dr. Whitman was fixed. In his estimation, the saving of Oregon 
to the United States was of paramount importance, and he would make the attempt 



* A resolution adopted by the legislature of Washington territory, in October, 1869, as- 
serted that Dr. Whitman, "knowing the vast resources and mineral wealth of Oregon terfi- 
tory, and the intention of the government of the United States to dispose of the same for 
a trivial consideration, to the government of Great Britain, from not being aware of th« 
immense value . . . did, in the dead of winter, at his own private expense, cross the 
continent amid the snows of the Rocky mountains and the bleakness of the intervening plains, 
inhabited by savage Indians, and reached Washington City and informed the government of 
the United States of the great value of said territory, and thereby prevented the sale and 
loss of said territory to the United States.'' 




T8HIMAKAIX, A9 SKETCHED BY GRAY, 1843 



TSHIMAKAIN, AS SKETCHED BY ARTIST WITH OOVERNOR 

STEVENS' EXPEDITrOX, 1S53 



THE hi* V;, 









i t / 



*3 



L ■ 



UK 



'^* 



^ * J 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 85 

to do so^ even if he had to withdraw from the mission in order to accomplish his 
purpose. 

"In reply to considerations intended to hold Dr. Whitman to his assigned 

work^ he said^ 'I am not expatriated by becoming a missionary.' The idea of his 

« 

withdrawal could not be entertained; therefore to retain him in the mission a vote 
to approve of his making the perilous endeavor prevailed. He had a cherished 
object for the accomplishment of which he desired consultation with Rev. David 
Greene, secretary of correspondence with the mission at Boston, Mass., but I 
have no recollection that it was named in the meeting. A part of two days was 
spent in consultation. Record of the date and acts of the meeting was made. 
The book containing the same was in the keeping, j2£-<i'^-^^^^°^A" family. At the 
ume of their massacre, November 29, 1847, it ditftj^pJfeJtSd.**^' \ , 

Long before the purpose or the results of -Dr. Whfnnam*s journey had been 
called into question. Father Eells wrote an extended statement for publication in 
the Missionary Herald of December, 1 866 : 

"The Hudson's Bay company," he said, . "was aware at an early date of the 
existence of mineral deposits in that portion of Oregon claimed both by England 
and the United States." 

Some of its men had early discovered the extensive lead outcroppings, on 
the shore of Kootenai lake in southern British Columbia, which in after years 
were to be located, under the mineral law, as the famous Bluebell mine. 

"If I remember correctly," continues Mr. Eells, "I had not been long in this 
country before the statement was made that gold had been found on the Colum- 
bia river, taken to England, made into a watch seal, brought back here, and worn 
by a gentleman connected with the Hudson's Bay company." That the existence 
of gold in the country east of the Cascade mountains was known to representa- 
tives of the fur company long prior to the discovery of that metal at Sutter's 
mill in California, can scarcely be doubted, but for obvious prudential reasons it 
was not to the interest of the Hudson's Bay company to exploit the important 
fact. 

"In those early days," testifies Mr. Eells, "Dr. Whitman made in my hearing 
the following statement: 'There is no doubt that this country abounds in the 
precious metals.' In the autumn or early winter of 1 S^S a German botanist was 
traveling with employes of the Hudson's Baj.t^ttfpify, and having had some 
knowledge of mining operations in Germany, h^ ex|]ii»issed to his fellow travelers 
the opinion that precious metals existed in a designated locality. They replied, 
'We know such to be the case from actual investiflu^en:*"' 'But while the resources 
of the country were measurably appreciated, special -effort was made to produce 
the impression that the country was of small value, and that much of it was 
worthless. 

"Previous to 1848, Mrs. McDonald, at Fort Colville, had a collection of min- 
eral specimens, a iK)rtion of which she presented to Mrs. Eells. These were shown 
to Dr. Whitman on his return in 1848. 

"An unyielding purpose was formed by Dr. Whitman to go east. The mission 
was called together to consider whether or not its approval could be given to 
the proposed undertaking. Mr. Walker and myself were decidedly opposed, and 
wc yielded only when it became evident that he would go, even if he had to become 



86 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

disconnected from the mission in order to do so. According to the understanding of 
the members of the mission the single object of Dr. Whitman in attempting to 
cross the continent in the winter of 1842-3^ amid mighty peril and sufferings 
was to make a desperate effort to save this country to the United States." 

They had mothers* meetings^ and a "Columbia Maternal association^" here 
in the Inland Empire^ back in 1838. It was organized soon after the arrival of 
Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Eells at the Whitman mission^ with six members. By 
1842 seven others had joined it^ including the wives of two members of the Hud- 
son's Bay company. 

"Sensible of the evils that beset the young mind in a heathen land (so ran the 
preamble) and confident that no arm but God's can secure our children or those 
committed to our care from the dangers that surround them and bring them early 
into the fold of Christ and fit them for usefulness here and glory hereafter^ we^ 
the subscribers^ agree to form ourselves into an association for the purpose of 
adopting such rules as are best calculated to assist us in the right performance of 
our maternal duties." 

Climatically the mission was not well located at Walker's prairie. The crops 
at Tshimakain suffered from frosts^ and the winters were longer and more severe 
than at more favored spots in the valley of the Spokane. That of 1846-7 was 
particularly rigorous. 

"The past winter has been the most severe in the memory of the oldest In- 
dians/' wrote Mrs. Eells: "The snow began to fall about the middle of November; 
about the middle of December it was not far from two feet deep, and it continued 
to increase to the first of March. For more than five months the earth was clothed 
in a robe of white; for more than three months we were literally buried in snow; 
all the west side of our house was banked to the roof, and would have been dark 
only that the snow was shoveled from the windows." 

Mission work among the Indians was practically suspended that dreary win- 
ter. The meeting house was closed from the 17th of January to the last Sunday 
in March, and even then Mr. Eells went on snowshoes to open it. It was so cold 
the first of March that the air cut like a knife, and even at that late date in win- 
ter the missionaries found it hard to keep comfortable in their cabin homes, not- 
withstanding fuel was abundant and they heaped high the supply on the broad 
fireplaces. 

"From the middle of December till well into April men, women and children 
traveled on snowshoes. With great difficulty Mr. Walker and Mr. Eells fed their 
horses and cattle, but by economizing in feeding they saved all their horses but 
one, though twelve of their cattle died of starvation. "We have, however," wrote 
Mrs. Eells, "had an abundance of the necessaries of life, and more of its luxuries 
than has sometimes fallen to our lot." Measured by present day standards of 
luxurious living, few indeed must have been their luxuries that winter at Tshima- 
kain. 

The Indians suffered heavy losses of live stock. Notwithstanding the men 
and women spent a great part of their time clearing away snow so that their ani- 
mals could get at the frozen bunch-grass, nearly all their horses died before the 
last of January. With the beginning of winter the Spokane chief had seventy 
horses and thirty cattle. But with the tardy coming of spring he had lost every 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 87 

horse and aU but two of his cattle. "The Indians generally had from one to ten 
horses^" wrote Mrs. Eells^ "bnt all alike are now on foot. I do not know of 
half a dozen live ones in all this region belonging to the Indians. They had 
nearly forty cattle which they had obtained through our instrumentality; there 
are only three or four left. A band of sixteen cattle belonging to the Bay Indians 
was sent to the Spokane river to winter ; only one of them now is alive. 

"At ColviUe the Hudson's Bay company had 270 horses; by April only three 
were alive. Every one of another band of eighty horses belonging to a single 
man is dead. The horses of the Indians in that region^ and also of the Bay Indians 
further north, are all dead. At ColviUe some of the cattle froze to death stand- 
mg. 

At Tshimakain they took little heed of the New York or Paris fashions; and 
there were no new bonnets for Easter Sunday. About that time, acknowledging 
the gift of a shawl which had been sent around the Horn by eastern friends, Mrs. 
Eells wrote: "Mrs. Walker and I had each our red merino shawls that we wore 
in the States (nine years previous) and our plaids are pretty good, though they 
have been washed several times, and we concluded to send the shawl to Mrs. Whit- 
man, as we were pretty sure she had none. She has since sent back many thanks, 
as she was destitute." Think upon this heroic act of self-abnegation, ye pampered 
sisters of the twentieth century; think of this when all the world seems dark and 
dreary under that last summer's creation in Parisian millinery. 

That same box of Massachusetts luxuries brought several pairs of shoes for 
the children, the very first their youthful eyes had ever fallen upon. They had 
always worn moccasins, and in winter were obliged to stay in the house or have 
wet feet. 

"Edwin and Myron think very much of the books sent them last fall," wrote 
the faithful mother with grateful heart. "I think they learn books very well, but 
thej can never know the noble, exhilarating feeling there is connected with going 
to worship in a good meeting-house, where they can understand what is said, or 
to a good school with others of their own age. But I have no doubt the Lord will 
take care of them if we do our duty." Oh, that severe New England training 
of five and seventy years ago ! Has it forever vanished from our midst ? Have 
ife grown into better things, with all the wealth of luxury and ^ ease that came 
with the locomotive and the electric wire, or have we fallen upon degenerate days, 
tbat the confidences of this time-stained journal, penned, oh, so long ago, at 
lonely Tshimakain, sound quaint and peculiar to ears grown wiser in the brilliant 
light of the twentieth century f 

But those Mission mothers were practical withal. "Last year and the year 
before we had milk, so that we made a few small cheeses. Just to prove how neces- 
sity can invent new ways when the old ones are not at hand, I will tell you how we 
went to work. At first, I believe, Mrs. McDonald of Fort ColviUe, gave us a little 
itnnct, but we cquld bring no curd with it. Then Dr. Whitman gave us a little 
beefs rennet, but we succeeded no better with it. At last Mrs. Walker thought 
that perhaps young deer's rennet would do, so after a while an Indian brought us 
one which we tried, and it did well. But perhaps you will say. Why did you not 
ba?e calves* rennet? Because a general feeling has prevailed that calves should 
not be killed. 



88 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

"Now for the cheese basket and tong^^ and something to dress it with. The 
first named utensil we did without. We succeeded in getting a two-gallon keg 
sawed in two^ which served for hoops^ and at first we pressed with stones and bags 
of musket balls. Last year Mrs. Walker made herself a lever which saved her 
strength some^ but I did not try anything new." 

This Mrs. McDonald^ who goes into history as a charter member of the Colum- 
bia Maternal association, collector of mineral specimens and assistant in the first 
cheese-making establishment in the Inland Empire, was an Indian woman, but 
according to Mr. Eells, "a jewel of rare excellence, intelligent, and her numerous 
children were a living testimony to her maternal efficiency." 



CHAPTER X 

MISSIONS DESTROYED AND ABANDONED 

MISSIONARIES ILL AND DISCOURAGED ^WHITMAN MASSACRE BRINGS TERROR TO T8HI- 

MAKAIN FAITHFUL SPOKANES REMAIN LOTAL ^MISSIONARIES FLEE TO COLTILLE ■ 

GRAPHIC REMINISCENCE OF EDWIN EELLS A THRILLING MOMENT SPOKANES RALLY 

TO DEFENSE OF THEIR TEACHERS CAYUSES SEND OUT LYING RUNNERS OREGON 

VOLUNTEERS COME TO ESCORT MISSIONARIES TO WILLAMETTE VALLEY PATHETIC 

FAREWELL ON THE SPOKANE "oUR HEARTS WEEP TO SEE YOU GO/^ 

THE long hard winter of 1846-47 left the mission colony depressed in spirit 
and some of them bodily ill. It had been particularly trying to Mrs. Eells. 
They were discouraged^ and frankly confessed that their work had been dis- 
appointing in results. Indian interest, both in church and school, had fallen off, 
and reactionary spirits among the Spokanes taunted the teachers, and challenged 
them to point out what benefits they had brought to the Indians. A few remained 
faithful, and in a way zealous, but not one had shown sufficient change of heart, ac- 
cording to the severe theological tests of the times, to warrant his admission to the 
chnrch or to become a partaker of the sacrament. 

Before the Whitman massacre in November, 1847, abandonment of the Spokane 
mission had practically been agreed upon. The Methodists were closing their Ore- 
gon missions, and Dr. Whitman bought their establishment at The Dalles. It was 
plamied that Spalding should give up his work among the Nez Perces at Lapwai and 
join WTiitman at Waiilatpu. Walker was to go from to Tshimakain to The Dalles ; 
and Eells was to move to Dr. Whitman's, and engage in winter work for the benefit 
of the whites, many of whom were now settling in Oregon, while his summers were 
to be given up to itinerating work among the Indians. But man proposes and God 
disposes. Mr. Walker's ill health detained him at Tshimakain, and it seemed im- 
prudent for Mr. Eells to leave him alone among the Spokanes. And for some rea- 
son Spalding lingered, too, at Lapwai, and thus several lives were saved from the 
frightful fate that befell Dr. and Mrs. Whitman. 

After the massacre, futile efforts were made by the Cayuse Indians to induce 
the Spokanes to slay their teachers at Tshimakain. A number of Indians from the 
Spokane country had gone down into the Willamette valley and taken employment 
uiider the white settlers. The Cayuses sent false reports to the Spokanes that the 
white people in Oregon, in^ retaliation for the Whitman massacre, had killed sixty of 
these Indians from the Spokane region. Mr. Eells went to the chief of the Spokanes 
and gave him assurance that the report was false. "Believe not the message," he 
declared ; "it is not the way the Americans do." 

89 



90 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

"Avoid being out after dark/' counseled the chief. "I and my people are friendly, 
but some lurking Cayuses may try to kill you and throw suspicion on us. Make the 
door fast; place a strong shutter over the window. If there is a call for admittance^ 
delay; make inquiry. By the dialect of the person at the door you will know from 
what band he comes — whether from those well or evil disposed." 

It was a time to try the souls of the bravest, but the faithful Spokanes remained 
stanch, and the missionaries had faith in their loyalty. 

"Soon after the massacre," says Myron Eells in his biography of Father EqIIs, 
"the government of Oregon raised volunteers, chiefly in the Willamette valley, who 
chastised the Cayuses, built Fort Waters at Dr. Whitman's station, and drove the 
Indians out of their own country nearly half way to Tshimakain. This brought the 
enemy so near that there seemed to be more danger than before, and Mr. Walker 
went to Fort Colville about the first of March to consult with Mr. Lewes, in charge 
there, as to their safety." 

"Remain quiet at the mission as long as you can," replied Lewes. "If you become 
convinced of real danger, come to my fort, and I will protect you equally with myself 
and family." 

Confronted with the possibility of losing their teachers, the Spokanes now ex- 
hibited the most earnest evidences of friendship. They were ready, they aflirmed, 
to go to war with the Cayuses. 

"But the hostile camp was now only about sixty miles from Tshimakain," says 
Myron Eells, "and it began to seem unsafe to stay any longer. Mr. Walker and Mrs. 
Eells were constitutionally timid and wished to leave. Mrs. Walker had strong nerves, 
but her six children made her cautious. She was on an even poise. Mr. Eells was 
not satisfied that there was danger enough to render it necessary to move; but he 
alone anchored the fourteen persons there, and the responsibility was too great. It 
was decided to leave for Fort Colville. So happy were the timid ones at this, that 
notwithstanding that it rained when they started, and their first camp was in the 
snow, and they did not reach Colville until the fourth day, yet the move was made 
without a murmur. The next week Messrs. Walker and Eells and Edwin Eells, then 
six years old, returned to Tshimakain to look after what was left." 

Edwin Eells, in a recent article in the Sunday Spokesman-Review, tells^ in 
graphic reminiscence of that return to the abandoned mission : 

"On the Sabbath following our arrival at our now desolate home, about 4 o'clock 
in the afternoon, while sitting quietly in our house, we heard an unusual noise. My 
father went to the door and listened. He shut it quickly, fastened it and went into 
the back yard, where we mounted a table standing there, from which we could lock 
over the picket fort fence that surrounded us, and listened. 

"Off in the woods, a mile away, were Indians coming, heralding their approach 
with the Indian warwhoop. Nearer and nearer, and louder and louder came the 
soimd. The cold chills ran down my back. I felt as though my hair was standing 
up under my cap, and I said: 'Father, father, what is it? What is it?' He was too 
intent to answer me. 

"At length they came out into the open prairie, half a mile distant. There were 
a score of them or more, with faces painted, feathers in their hair, bows and arrows 
in their hands, riding bareback and yelling like mad. After a few minutes of intense 
suspense, my father recognized the horses and some of the Indians aa belonging to 



GRAVE OP MISSIONARY SPALDING, AT SPALDING, IDAHO 



IHUL-fLiC LlBKAK'/l 



I 

^*p'— - — - 










( r f 



^J^^KAR 



t ■'u* 



Tic U> S ( , 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 91 

our own friendly band. His fears for our immediate safety were allayed, but he 
was intensely excited and apprehensive. 

''After dashing wildly about the prairie and giving all the variations of the 
warwhoop, they formed a half circle and made a bee line for the houses, reaching 
Mr. Walker's first, where all stopped suddenly, with an ear-splitting shriek. Mr. 
Walker, who was sitting in his house with a half breed Indian, was paralyzed with 
terror. My father and I went down to his house, distant, perhaps, 100 yards, to 
meet them. On the way he led me by the hand, and being very much excited, walked 
so fast that I had to trot to keep up with him. I said, 'Father, what makes you 
walk so fast }' Again he did not reply. 

"The old chief's son was at the head of the band. His story was that one of 
their people, while hunting horses the day before, had visited a camp of the Cayuses 
and found some of them gone, he could not learn where. He suspected it was to 
Tshimakain. Upon his way home he came upon fresh horse tracks, which so 
strengthened his suspicions that he walked all night and till noon that day to tell 
the old chief, who, with a part of the band, '^as campjed about twenty-five miles from 
home, near the Spokane Falls. *" 

"The chief immediately said, 'Young men, catch your horses and run to Tshima- 
kain and protect your teachers,' not knowing that we had moved away. That night 
onr horses were secured and put under lock and key, a guard was kept all night, 
with fires burning, and the next morning, with an escort of twenty men, we rode 
three miles across the ferry on our way back to the fort. They did this to show the 
enemy, if any were lurking about, that we were protected. After entering the tim- 
ber they began to scatter, returning through the woods by separate trails, and thus 
our guard gradually diminished till we arrived at the fort, one or two only accom- 
panying us all the way. . . . 

"During the next ten weeks Mr. Eells was almost continually in the saddle, and 
traveled about 1,400 miles, visiting all the Spokane Indian bands, most of whom 
maintained friendly relations, and none of whom became hostile. He always traveled 
alone, except when accompanied by trusty Indians. Being a man of peace, he never 
carried any TveaponS. With a horse that could outrun any Indian horse in the coun- 
try, and a mule that could scent an Indian half a mile or more tethered close by, he 
often slept alone in some out of the way place under a friendly bush. His quiet 
courage and strict integrity won the respect and confidence of the Indians, and en- 
abled him to hold them all in check and prevent bloodshed. 

**With their right hands reverently placed on his pocket testament and in his 
presence, the chiefs and head men of the several bands made solemn promises of 
fealty to the whites which they faithfully kept." 

The Whitman massacre had thrown the whole country into a furor of alarming 
apprehensions. The dreadful news, carried quickly into the scattered settlements, 
from French Prairie in the Willamette valley to the fur trading outposts in British 
Columbia, struck alarm to the minds of the bravest men and terror to the hearts of 
timid women and children. Every rifle in the Oregon country was cleaned and 
oiled for the general savage warfare that seemed impending, and the door of every 
remote cabin was doubly barricaded. 

Mischievous and murderous minded Cayuse Indians had put out their runners, 
with lying reports calculated to inflame the tribes of the interior, and to allay these 



92 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

disturbing influences^ Father Eells was in the saddle^ weeks at a time, going every- 
where over the interior, serene, courageous, self-possessed. And this at a time when 
even the fur traders suffered from attacks of "nerves," for at Fort Colville Factor 
Lewes kept his place guarded, night and day. 

News of the massacre at Waiilatpu roused the fighting spirit of the Oregon set- 
tlers, and a volunteer regiment, commanded by Colonel H'. A. G. Lee, marched out 
of the Willamette valley, ascended the Columbia river to the interior, and invaded 
the country of the hostiles. But their elusive foe, thoroughly alarmed at this formid- 
able appearance of bitter and resolute avengers, scattered to the winds, and little 
punishment could be inflicted. May 28 two Indians brought letters to the refugees 
at Fort Colville, one from Colonel Lee informing the missionaries that his forces had 
dispersed and chased the flying Cayuses across Snake river, and adding: 

"When we found that it was not expedient to pursue the flying Indians further, 
we halted. The question was asked : Shall we go back to the Willamette and leave 
the two mission families of Rev. Messrs. Walker and Eells? That could not be 
thought of. They could not look Americans in the face and say: *We have left two 
missionary families in the Indian country in these times.' Volunteers were asked 
for to bring away those families and sixty responded. Major Joseph Magone was 
placed in charge." 

A letter from Major Magone stated that he would be at Tshimakain with his 
forces on Sunday, May 28 (the same day that the messengers arrived at Colville 
with these dispatches), to give them military escort to the Willamette settlements. 

After consulting among themselves and with Factor Lewes, a verdict was reached 
for abandonment of the mission, and early the next morning Walker, Eells and a son 
of Mr. Lewes were in the saddle for Tshimakain, where they arrived before sunset, 
a ride of 70 miles. The Spokanes were reluctant to lose their teachers, and pro- 
tested, with fine spirit, that they would protect the white families, and if need be, 
were ready to make war on. the Cayuses. When reminded that the presence of the 
missionaries might involve them in serious troubles, they answered that they were 
ready to accept the risk and one Indian, opening his blanket, declared, with fine 
imagery, that they would protect the missionaries even as a mother protected her 
child. To the last the Spokanes remonstrated against the contemplated separation, 
and seeing that further conference could be of no profit, the party returned to Col- 
ville. By noon of Thursday all were ready, and bidding goodbye to their kind hosts 
and protectors at Fort Colville, they sorrowfully faced the south and reached the vi- 
cinity of Tshimakain on Saturday. Lacking the heart to encounter again the plead- 
ing eyes and voices of the Spokanes, they changed their plan of remaining there 
over Sunday, and crossed the Spokane and observed the Sabbath on the south bank 
of the stream. 

"The groves were God's first temples," in the Spokane country. Our mission 
workers could not wait for the rearing even of four plain walls, much less for 
"fretted vault," and swelling organ tones. Many a time and oft they spoke God's 
word in the beautiful cathedral of nature, beneath the vast dome of heaven, while 
their wild and uncouth congregations gathered attentively around, in the shade of 
the pillared pines. Fitting theme for the hand and brush of genius was that fare- 
well service, on a Sabbath morning in early June, on the bank of the brimming Spo- 
kane, with the women and children seated on bales of household goods, and the 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 93 

Oregon volunteers^ stained by week^ of campaigning through the Indian country^ 
some seated on logs^ others half -reclining on the turf, and others yet with folded 
arms, standing soldierly erect. 

As the quiet Sunday wore away, many sorrowing Indians gathered in. "We do 
not know when we shall hear you again," said Qual-qual-a-hive-tsa ; "will you not say 
a serrice for us ?" And for scripture text the preacher took, "The people departed, 
sorrowing most of all that they might see our face no more." 

And so, after more than nine years of rough home-building among the Spokanes, 
they went away from beautiful Tshimakain, birthplace of five of the Walker chil- 
dren and of Edwin and Myron Eells. Few of them were ever to look again upon 
that mountain vale. And yet, "there is a clinging to the land of one's birth," and in 
memory of the place, Mrs. Mary Walker, "Grandma Walker" she became in later 
years to all the people of the countryside, wrote these lines for her children: 

Tshimakain. Oh, how fine. 
Fruits and flowers abounding; 
And the breeze through the trees, 
Life and health conferring 

And the rill near the hill. 
With its sparkling water; 
Lowing herds and prancing steeds 
Around it used to gather. 

And the Sabbath was so quiet, 
And the log-house chapel. 
Where the Indians used to gather 
In their robes and blankets. 

Now it stands, alas, forsaken: 
No one with the Bible 
Comes to teach the tawny Skailu* 
Of Kai-ko-len-so-tin.f 

Other spots on earth may be 
To other hearts as dear; 
But not to me; the reason why. 
It was* the place that bore me." 

That first week of the exodus took them to Dr. Whitman's mission. Two faith- 
ful Spokanes went with them to the crossing of Snake river, and, parting, one of 
thera said: "Our hearts weep to see you go, but wc are reconciled." The second 
week brought them to The Dalles. There the cavalcade divided, Mr. Eells, with his 
domestic animals, going with the troops overland through the Cascade mountains 
by way of Barlow pass, the others descending the Columbia in boats and going up 
the Willamette to Oregon City at the falls. 



• People, 
t God. 



94 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

"The missions of the American Board in Oregon were broken up," says Myron 
Bells in the biography of his father. "Could they be resumed? The only mission 
in regard to which there was any hope was that, among the Spokanes. Hoping 
that the way would open for their return, Messrs. Walker and Eells did not sever 
their connection with the Board for ^ve years. 

"The Indians were very anxious to have them return, and in 1851 journeyed 
four hundred and fifty miles to Oregon City to obtain teachers. Dr. Dart, superin- 
tendent of Indian affairs, did what he could to aid them, but after thoroughly 
weighing the matter neither Mr. Walker nor Mr. Eells could feel it his duty to 
return; for, first, there was no adequate protection at Tshimakain; and, second, 
the cost of resuming and sustaining operations was very great, owing largely to the 
high prices resulting from the discovery of gold in California. . . . Hence in 
1855 their connection as missionaries with the Board was formally dissolved. 

"The Indians had been left by their teachers, and the question was. Would 
they return to their former practices? Instead of retrogression came advance. 
If not members of the visible church — and not one had been thought fit for church 
membership — some showed that they were members of the invisible one. Several, 
as if divinely called, took position as leaders and teachers. There were public 
Sabbath services and daily worship in their lodges. If the head man were absent, 
another took his place. If the praying men were all away, the praying women 
took their places." 

Annually some of the Spokanes went to the Willamette valley for work, and 
each year they pleaded for the return of the missionaries. Yielding, at last, to 
their importuning, Mr. Walker resolved to pay them a visit, in company with 
Indian Superintendent Dart. The two started for the Spokane country, but Dart 
was called back, and Walker deemed it best to return with him. 

"Notwithstanding all the commotion about Tshimakain in the spring of 1848, the 
wheat had been sown in hope that it might be needed," adds Father Eells' biog- 
rapher. "When the missionaries left in June, Mr. Eells gave the Indians the two 
sickles, and they were instructed to cut it when it was ripe and put it in the bam, 
and if the missionaries did not return before the snow should fall, they might 
thresh and eat it. It was harvested, but the chief said it must be kept for the 
use of their teachers on their return. It was used in time of need for seed, but 
was replaced. When they expected Mr. Walker to visit them, they carried it to 
Colville and had it ground, and brought it back for the use of the party." 

In 1861, the government having established a military post at Fort Colville 
and placed Major Lugenbeel in command, that officer, who served also as Indian 
agent, said to Mr. Eells: "Those Indians of yours are the best Indians I ever 
saw. I wish you would go back and resume missionary operations among them." 



CHAPTER XI 

FOUNDING THE FIRST CHURCHES AROUND SPOKANE 

FATHSR SELLS RETURNS TO THE BUNCHGRA88 REGION TWELVE YEARS AT WALLA 

WALLA FOUNDS WHITMAN ACADEMY — SPALDING RETURNS TO THE NEZ PERCES 

■ 

baptizes 253 8pokane8 eells visits his old friends on the spokane ^deliv- 
ers first fourth of july address at colville^-organizes at colfax first 
congregational church north of snake river elected school superin- 
tendent of whitman county life as a circuit rider out of colfax 

moves to medical lake dedicates church at chewelah organizes church 

at medical lake his work in spokane organizes church at 8prague 

his last days at tacoma tributes to his memory mission work among the 

nez perces life work of rev. h. h. spalding a devoted band general 

Howard's tribute to miss m'beth. 

Near yonder copse, where once the garden smiled, 
And still where many a garden flower grows wild. 
There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose. 
The village preacher's modest mansion rose. 
A man he was to all the country dear, 
And passing rich with forty pounds a year. 

— Oliver Goldsmith, 

FATHER EELLS was never content with life in the Willamette valley 
or on Puget Sound. The call of the bunch-grass country came strong and 
persistent. He yielded to its subtle power, and in 1860 went to Walla 
Walla, where he lived for twelve years, preaching, teaching and laboring inces- 
santly for Whitman academy, an institution of his founding as an enduring me- 
morial to the murdered missionary. In 1862 he went back to Tshimakain, his 
first visit since the abandonment of the mission. He held services on a Sabbath, 
attended by many Indians who gathered in from the surrounding country to greet 
thdp old teacher. 

While he lived at Walla Walla, a number of Spokanes came down to that val- 
ley every year to work for farmers. Many of these frequently attended the Con- 
gregational church, and, remaining for Sunday school, were gathered into a class 
and taught in their own tongue. At times this class had twenty-five to thirty-five 
members. 

At Tshimakain the missionaries had given the Indians a tract filled with Bible 

95 



96 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

• 

pictures. This they had treasured through the years. To aid them in remem- 
brance of dates^ the missionaries had prepared a simple chronological charts a 
short line marking a year^ one a little longer a decade^ and a long line a centary. 
By this means the time was illustrated^ from the creation to the deluge^ the deluge to 
the Christian era^ and from the days of Christ to the present. They treasured this 
simple chart for nearly thirty years. One Sunday in 1868, at Walla Walla, after 
a number of them had attended Sunday school, they followed Mr. Eells to his 
home, and presenting this old paper, A-ma-mel-i-kan uttered the single word, 
"tem-e-walsh" — it is worn out. They were given a new one. 

Mr. Eells moved from Walla Walla to Puget Sound in 1872, and the Spokanes, 
still seeking religious instruction, appealed to Missionary H. H. Spalding, who 
had resumed his work among the Nez Perces. Spalding went among them in 1873 
and baptized 258, a mission from which he probably derived peculiar gratifica- 
tion growing out of his intense and unreasoning aversion to the Catholics. Under a 
new Indian policy adopted in President Grant's administration, of turning over 
Indian educational work to various religious denominations, the Spokanes were 
assigned in 1871 to the Colville agency, which chanced to fall under Catholic con- 
trol. Naturally the Catholic missionaries were eager to extend the influence of 
the church of Rome, and this action by Spalding thwarted their plans. 

But the lure of the sun-bright interior remained strong in the heart of Father 
Eells. When James N. Glover, in 1878, brought his sawmill from Salem, Oregon, 
to Spokane, he employed as millwright Deacon J. J. MacFarland of that place. 
MacFarland attended, next year, the meeting of the Congregational Association 
of Oregon and Washington, at Olympia, and there narrated to Father Eells his 
observations made while erecting the mill on the Spokane; how the Indians en- 
camped by the falls had daily called the people together for worship, and main- 
tained double services on Sunday. It was like a bugle call to the stout-hearted old mis- 
sionary, and packing food and bedding on his favorite horse Le Bleu (how the old 
French names lingered in the land, for Le Bleu was a favorite horse name among 
the trappers a century ago) he set out in July, 1874, to cross the Cascade moun- 
tains. Alternately riding and walking to rest his horse, he traversed the state, 
going by way of Walla Walla and Colfax. Coming to the Spokane, he saw an 
Indian camp across the river. "Do you know me?" he called out across the water. 
"Yes, yes ; it's Mr. Leels !*' answered the glad voice of the Indians. 

News of the return of their old friend and teacher ran over the country, and 
it was arranged that he should hold services at Chewelah the following Sunday. 
That was a busy day for Mr. Eells, for within six hours he conducted two services 
for the natives and two more for the white settlers. From Chewelah he went to 
Colville to consult Indian Agent J. A. Simms. Then back to the Spokane river, 
where two more services were held, and then a trip to the little settlement by the 
falls to meet and counsel with Rev. H. T. Cowley, who was taking up independent 
missionary work among the natives there. 

The next summer Mr. Eells revisited the Spokane country and held twenty- 
four services with his former wards. One Sunday he and Mr. Cowley adminis- 
tered the sacrament to sixty communicants before a congregation of 860. "I 
made note," he remarked, "of the propriety of language used in prayer." 

He returned to the Puget Sound country, but the summer of 1876 found him 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 97 

back in the interior^ giving his Sundays to the white people in the vicinity of Col- 
Tille^ and most of his week days to the Spokanes at various places. During nine- 
teen weeks of this summer he held forty services with the Indians and forty more 
with the whites. He delivered^ too^ the address at the first fourth of July celebra- 
tion held at Colville. "As it was the Centennial year^" says his son^ Myron Eells^ 
"the oration was expected to be largely an historical sketch of the valley. Partly 
from public records^ partly from the reminiscences of early settlers, and partly 
from his own recollection, it was prepared. One man, John A. Simms, Indian 
agent, was present, who had been present when he delivered the first similar address 
in the Walla Walla valley sixteen years before." 

The coontry was now filling with settlers, in anticipation of the coming of 
the Northern Pacific railroad, and Mr. Eells was impressed with the opportunity 
here presented for home mission work. 

"True," writes his biographer, "the country was not thickly settled. Spokane 
had in 1874, when he first visited it after it had been laid out as a town (though 
he had visited the place thirty or more years before) only two women; and for 
many years afterward had in Cheney a strong rival, and in 1880 could boast of 
only about a hundred people. The entire district (eastern Washington north of 
Snake river) had only 2,434 population. There was no railroad. Not until 1888 
was the last spike on the Northern Pacific driven. But there was a certainty that 
it would be built through that region ; hence a few had gone there, among them 
quite a number of Dr. Eells' old acquaintances in the Walla Walla valley. 

"In the early days he often spoke of the rich Palouse country, and so he turned 
bis steps in 1877 to its center, Colfax. August 9, 1874, while passing from Col- 
rille to Skokomish, he had preached his first sermon there, the first preaching from 
a Congregational minister in that town." 

At Colfax, on Sunday, July 8, 1877, assisted by Rev. Dr. Atkinson of Oregon, 
be organized the first Congregational church north of Snake river, ten persons 
entering into the organization. For four years he was pastor of that pioneer 
cburch. 

As Mrs. Eells was in failing health, it was deemed unwise at first to bring her 
to Colfax, but in the spring of 1878 he thought it best for her to be more closely 
associated with him in his labors, and it was planned that she should join him 
there, plans that were not to be carried to execution, for in May this faithful and 
devoted "mother in Israel," who had come as a bride nearly forty years before 
to lonely Tshimakain, was seized with her last illness. August 9, 1878, at the age 
of 78, she passed to her great reward. Funeral services were held at Skokomish, 
and the funeral sermon was preached by her son. Rev. Myron Eells, as there was 
no other minister within thirty miles. 

"Before her death," this son has written, "plans had been made for a church 
building at Colfax. At first the proposition was made to the church that if it 
wonld allow other churches to use the building half the time, they would cooperate 
in building it. In accordance with that plan subscriptions were made. But to 
Dr. Eells this was injudicious. He believed that the Congregational church would 
have to do the greater part of the work, and would have the church but half the 
tune. After consultation the plan was abandoned. Then Dr. Eells said that he 
would give as much as all the members for the erection of a building not to exceed 

Vd. 1—7 



98 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

a thousand dollars. J. A. Perkins gave $500^ the rest $500. It was a great effort, 
and some had to borrow money. When finished the cost was over $2^000. The 
money was all furnished by the churchy then increased to thirteen members, and 
its pastor, except about fifty dollars." 

It was a small band, "but those charter members were a host," testified the 
pastor. "They were influential and highly esteemed. They were small in num- 
ber, but earnest, active, efficient." 

Besides his $500 to the church building, Mr. Eells paid $100 for the lots, $100 
for the organ, $311 for the bell, and for hymn books, bibles and incidentals enougii 
more to swell his total gift to $1,600. The building, 30 by 60 feet, was dedi- 
cated September 7, 1879. Dr. Eells offered the dedicatory prayer, and it was 
dedicated free of debt. And this^ in brief, was the beginning of Plymouth church, 
Colfax. 

At the election of 1878 Mr. Eells was elected school superintendent of WTiit- 
man county, having then an area considerably larger than that of Connecticut. 
He qualified reluctantly, and findipg his double duties a severe tax upon his strength, 
resigned the office June 1, 1879, and a successor was appointed, but failed to 
qualify, and Mr. Eells served out the term of two years. The following quota- 
tion from his own chronicles will illustrate pioneer conditions in Whitman county: 

"Monday morning left Colfax; rode perhaps seven miles; was at a school in 
Spring valley soon after nine o'clock. Hobbled my horse and let him graze out- 
side, and spent the forenoon in school. At 12 o'clock I rode on and ate a cold 
lunch in the saddle. After a little more than an hour's ride, arrived at a school 
in Thousand Springs Valley. Remained till the close of school. I then rode on; 
ate my supper as I had done my lunch. When it was becoming a little dark, I 
arrived at the residence of aged persons who, I thought, would entertain me. It 
was raining. I knocked at the door; there was no response. There was a rude 
stable constructed of rails and straw. I went to that; there was no feed there. I 
had taken the precaution to carry a small portion of grain on my horse. I now 
gave that to him. I had not plcuined to camp; consequently my bedding was 
short. The flooring of the stable was the ground. I lay down; slept some of the 
time, and some of the time I did not. In the morning the rain had ceased falling. 
My horse needed grass. I went out and lay down, making a pillow of my arm, 
and added somewhat to my sleep. Had a cold breakfast of such food as I had with 
me. Had traveled thirty-five miles the day before. In due time I passed on. 
At half-past 8 I was near the schoolhouse that I wished to visit. It was a large 
school, and there was an unusual number of large scholars. I spent the entire 
forenoon in that school, my horse outside hobbled and grazing. 

"At the close of the school I rode on to the school at Colton, and was there 
seasonablv for the afternoon session, and remained there until near the close of 
the afternoon. As I had failed the night before to find entertainment, I now 
planned to be in season. I had several miles to ride. I rode down the valley 
called Union Flat. While passing, I took out dry bread, dismounted, dipped it 
in the water and then got in the saddle. It speedily softened. Seasonably I 
arrived at the residence of Mrs. H. B. Heald. I said to her, *Will you allow me 
to leave tomorrow morning before breakfast.^' — for I had some ten miles to ride 
to go to the next school. *I think we can give you an early breakfast,' was the 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 99 

reply. She arose at five o'clock the next morning and gave me my breakfast so 
early that I was at the school house as soon as the teacher arrived. I spent the 
forenoon in that school and then returned to Colfax." 

Churches grew slowly in pioneer days. When Mr. Eells^ after a four year 
pastorate at Colfax^ resigned in July, 1881, that church had but twenty-eight 
members; and it was yet the largest church north of Snake river. The Rev. J. T. 
Marsh was his successor in Plymouth church. 

While Mr. Eells was at Colfax his labors extended far beyond the radius of 
his congregation there. He was, in effect, a "circuit rider" over much the greater 
part of that four years, preaching at Lone Pine, Almota, Steptoe Butte, Marshall, 
Colville and other places. Special work, says his biographer, was done also at 
Dayton, Chewelah, Cheney, Spokane Falls and Medical Lake, and he counseled 
largely in the organization of most of the earlier churches of eastern Washington. 
His was a wide stage of action, extending from the Canadian boundary on the 
north, to the Oregon line near Walla Walla; but he was 'gifted with extraordinary 
vigor and vitality, and his "little jaunts" over eastern Washington at this period 
of its development, even though made by a man who had attained the scriptural 
allotment of three score and ten, brought little of hardship to one who in his 
younger, days had shared the hard, rough life of traders and trappers, and lived 
for weeks at a time on Indian fare. 

Upon leaving Colfax, Mr. Eells, thinking the waters of Medical Lake would 
benefit his health, took up his residence there and, as his strength permitted, en- 
gaged in general missionary work. But Medical Lake was off the railroad, and 
finding that his work could be better conducted from Cheney, he removed to that 
town in April, 1882, and built himself a small dwelling house. "For nearly a 
vear and a half," says his son, "his time was spent in a round of labors in nine 
different places in three counties : Lone Pine in Whitman county ; Cheney, Sprague, 
Spangle, Medical Lake and near Cottonwood Springs in Spokane county ; Chewelah, 
Fort Colville and Colville town in Stevens county. Then followed a year in the 
cast for Whitman college, after which he still made his home at Cheney, nomi- 
nally, though really it was everywhere throughout the region." 

"I have been away from home sixteen nights (he wrote in July, 1885), at 
home twelve. I am weary in my work, but not tired of it." Again in October: 
"After an absence of fifteen days on a preaching tour I returned. I have con- 
ducted preaching services at each of nine different places." After a trip to Colfax, 
he wrote, September 11, 1885: "A boy, judged to be about ten years old, rode 
twenty-five miles to get a pair of shoes for his sister to wear to service." 

In October, 1886, he returned to Medical Lake, where he remained a year 
and a half, his preaching places at that period being Medical Lake, Pleasant 
Prairie, Half Moon Prairie, Meadow Lake and Cheney, with an occasional visit 
to Chewelah and Colville. 

In 1892 a church was erected at Chewelah, and notwithstanding Father Eells 
was then living west of the Cascade mountains, the people there felt that none 
could grace so well the occasion of the dedication. Fifty-four years to a day, after 
he first camped on the site of the town, he offered prayer in this new church. 
'Tt may be a weakness for me, an old man, to go so far, four hundred and fifty 
miles and back, to accept the invitation," he wrote of this journey, "but if anybody 



707072 



100 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

else had camped on that spot> and held services there fifty-four years previous, 
perhaps he would have the same weakness." 

A gift of a bell for this church was his last important act for any church. He 
bought it in New York, and paid for it a few days before his death. Said the Rev. 
H. L. Hallock at his funeral: "Its first tones in eastern Washington will ring out a 
tender requiem — nay, rather a glorious tone of rejoicing for the work he has ac- 
complished, and the crown of life he has gone to wear on high." 

Writing years after of his work at Cheney, his son, the Rev. Myron Eells, said: 
"Previous to 1881, Deacon G. R. Andrus, whose home was near Cheney, had held a 
Sabbath school near that place, which was afterward moved to the town. The 
question then was, 'Can a church be organized!^' It was done February 20, 1881, 
by Dr. Eells, in a hotel over a barroom, with nine members, three males and six 
females, and was the first church of any denomination in the place. He was its 
pastor until the ordination of the Rev. F. T. Clarke the next winter. 

"The next question ' was to erect a building. Dr. Eells prepared a sub 
scription paper and headed it with $500. Others subscribed. It was a strug- 
gle, yet it was carried forward. A contract was made for $1,500. The first $500 
were easily paid; the Church Building Society had promised to furnish the 
last $500 ; the second payment was the hard work. ' The day on which the payment 
was to be made was one of anxiety. Deacon Andrus went about the place trying to 
obtain assistance. About noon he and Dr. Eells met to see the result of their united 
effort. There was no lack. It seemed wonderful. That afternoon he left for Lone 
Pine and camped by a tree at night. As he sat by the tree and thought of the day's 
work and the progress that had been made in regard to the church edifice, his heart 
overflowed with gratitude." 

To this church Mr. Eells also gave a bell, and in all his gifts to the Cheney 
church aggregated $1,100. The bell cracked in 1884, and he had it sent back to the 
factory at West Troy, paying $50 for freight and exchange for a new bell. 

After he had left eastern Washington he wrote in his journal: "August 27, 1888: 
I pray much for the divine approval of my work at Cheney and Medical Lake. Feb- 
ruary 25, 1891: Have been to Tacoma to pay interest money on a note against the 
Congregational church at Cheney." 

Of Father EellsMater work at Spokane his son has written: "Dr. Eells first 
visited this place in 1874, when but two white women were in it. He afterwards 
preached there at times. A church was organized May 22, 1879, and their next 
great step was to erect a building. They were then worshiping in a schoolhouse, 
26 by 40 feet, and thought that a church of the same size would be larg^ enough. 
Dr. Eells advised them to make it ten feet longer, and promised them $200. It was 
built the same size as the one at Cheney, 30 by 50, at a cost of $2,000. Afterwards 
he gave this church a bell, then some books, and some more money, amounting to 
$500 in all. At its dedication, December 20, 1881, the day after the one at Chenej 
was dedicated, he offered the dedicatory prayer, Dr. Atkinson preaching the ser- 
mon. He counseled it through troublous times in 1882-88, and for a short time in 
1888 was its pastor." 

Such was the beginning of Westminster Congregational church of Spokane, and 
among its memorial windows is one with this inscription: 



The ^£w I'onK 
PUfaUC LiSRAK 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 101 

Gushing Eblls, 
Always abounding in good works. 

When Mr. Eells learned that with the construction of the Northern Pacific a 
town was to be started at Sprague^ his memory ran back to many interesting incidents 
associated with that site. There the mission families had encamped^ tha^ rainy 
spring in 1839^ when on their way from the Whitman mission to Tshimakain; and 
there, while they were detained by the kick of a horse suffered by Mr. Walker, he 
had walked to a slight eminence overlooking the present town and engaged in medi- 
tation and prayer. It was a convenient camping place on his journeys from Tshima- 
kain to the Whitman mission and old Fort Walla Walla on the Columbia, and there 
the mission families, on their way to the annual conference at Waiilatpu had passed 
two Sundays in rest and religious service. It seemed to him that a spot thus enshrined 
in the deeper emotions of his heart extended to him a special call to duty and action, 
and accordingly he responded to that call, and there, on April 14, 1881, in the din- 
ing-room of the hotel, he conducted the first protestant services ever held in the 
town. On June 18, 1882, he organized a Congregational church there with five 
members and became its pastor, serving the little congregation for two years. At 
his own expense he built, the same year, a union Sunday school on a lot owned by 
himself. Out of his private purse came, too, the purchase price of the church bell, 
and the lot for the parsonage was his contribution. In all his gifts to this church 
totaled more than $750. 

With his resignation of the pastorate at Medical Lake ended the active life work 
of Father Eells. On leaving that place. May. 19^ 1988, he wrote in his journal: 

"This afternoon I leave Medical Lake. Marked kindness has been shown me by 
predous friends. Inexpressible sorrow and anguish have been experienced by the 
words and acts of others. I think it is not unlikely their conduct is largely attribu- 
table to ignorance and erroneous belief. Doubtles9*I am sensitive." 

Moved by the infirmities of advancing age, he retired to the home of his son Ed- 
win on the Puyallup Indian reservation near Tacoma. But again and again his 
heart went out to his churches in eastern Washington, and under date of August 19, 
1889, is found this entry in his journal: 

"I have ordered an 800 pound bell to be forwarded to Rev. David Wirt at Medi- 
cal Lake." And again: 

"October 19, 1889: In my dreams and waking moments I am at Medical Lake." 

On Saturday, February 11, 189S, he wrote the last entry in his journal, that 
journal which, for fifty-five years of active life, he had maintained, with almost daily 
regularity. With unerring premonition of the approaching change, he wrote, "My 
feelings impress me with the nearing close of my mortal life" The next day was 
Sunday, and he rode to church from his son's house in Tacoma, participating in 
some of the services at the First Congregational church. On the way home he suf- 
fered a severe chill, but went out after dinner to feed his old horse, Le Blond, but 
fell in the effort and was unable to rise. He was carried to his bed with pneumonia, 
but a seeming change appearing for the better he rose on Wednesday and wrote a 
little. That night he grew worse and a physician was summoned. The dying mis- 
sionary watched the passing hours until after midnight of the sixteenth, his birthday, 
when he directed his granddaughter to write in his journal: "Eighty-three years 



102 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

ago today I commenced this mortal life." His last words were some directions re- 
garding his faithful horse, and about half-past two his eyes closed forever in death. 
The body was taken to Seattle and laid to rest by the grave of his wife. 

Memorial services were held at Walla Walla, where the principal address was 
spoken by the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, assisted by President J. F. Eaton and Mrs. 
N. F. Cobleigh of Whitman college, and Dr. A. J. Anderson, a former president. 
At Colfax, where the chief address was delivered by the Rev. H. P. James, Dr. F. 
M. Bunnell also voicing a fitting tribute. At Medical Lake, where expressions 
were made by Mr. and Mrs. B. S. Dudley, Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Gilkey, and the Rev. 
F. V. Hoyt. At Skokomish, in the first church of the town, of which he once had 
been pastor, memorial services were conducted by his son; and at Ravenswood, near 
Chicago, a memorial address was made by the Rev. Marcus Whitman Montgomery, 
with stereopticon views by Dr. J. E. Roy. 

Speaking of the death of this truly great and good man. Dr. F. B. Cherrington, 
pastor of Westminster church in Spokane, said: that a hero was one who had an 
opportunity and proved equal to it; but Dr. Eells had an opportunity and im- 
proved it. 

The Rev. L. H. Hallock, his Tacoma pastor, said: "At the dawn of his eighty- 
third birthday was translated from earth to heaven. Dr. Gushing Eells, one of God's 
noblemen; pioneer missionary, friend of humanity, founder of Whitman college, and 
judged by the test of long and unwearied service, entitled as much as any man to the 
Master's greeting, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of 
thy Lord/ Good Father Eells died with the respect of all who knew him. He died 
in peace to meet the reward of an honored and faithful servant." 

The Occidental Congregationalist: "A company of our legislators, sitting in 
committee at Olympia, debated whether they should tax church property. One of 
them asked why it should be favored. He was reminded that there lay, not many 
miles from him, the mortal remains of a Christian patriarch. Father Eells of 
venerable memory, through whose efforts and those of his colleague, Marcus Whit- 
man, this very state in which the legislators sat had been saved to him and to Amer- 
ica. On the day that rounded eighty-three years of life. Gushing Eells left Washing- 
ton for another home. On the day after his death, a legislative committee of the 
state of Washington, who owed their property and their Christian nurture to him, 
determined to favor the churches because of his work. And if ever a question was 
squarely answered, it was answered when a gentleman from Tacoma instanced the 
life of Gushing Eells as the reason why Washington owes something to the Christian 
missionary, the Christian church and the Christian's God." 

Dr. Lyman Abbott wrote in the Christian Union: "A man of great and beautiful 
character, of imsurpassed consecration, and one to whom the republic of the United 
States owes a far greater debt than to many who have occupied a far more con- 
spicuous place in history." 

Measured by interest aroused, numbers converted, and sustained results, the 
Nez Perce missions at Lapwai and Kamiah were the most successful of all Protestant 
efforts to evangelize the native races of the Pacific northwest. The reader will 
recall that with Marcus Whitman and his bride came the Rev. H. H. Spalding 
and bride, crossing the Rocky mountains in 1836, the young wives the first women 
to traverse the American continent; and that the Spaldings answered the call of 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 103 

the Nez Perces, the most numerous and extensive of all the Indian tribes of the 
interior, and established a mission and school among them at Lapwai. The school 
opened with 100 pupils, old and young, and three years after the attendance had 
grown to 150 children and as many adults. Mr. Spalding reported that the more 
devout Nea Perces frequently spent the entire night pondering over what they 
had learned the day before. Two years later these Indians gathered in assem- 
blages of from 1,000 to 2,000 for religious instruction. 

They eagerly sought instruction in agriculture, and some of them would barter 
their guns, dearest (possession of the Indian heart, for hoes and spades. Nearly 
a hundred families planted fields around Mr. Spalding s, who reported in 1838 that 
his own field yielded 2,000 bushels of potatoes, besides a good crop of wheat and 
other products. 

For many years after the missionaries had withdrawn to the Willamette valley, 
the Nez Perces remained without white instructors, but immigrants, gold hunters, 
Indian agents and traders reported that the Christianizing influences of the mis- 
sionaries remained. One third of the Nez Perces were found to be maintaining 
family worship, and public services were continued under the faithful preaching 
of Timothy. They possessed hymn books in their own beautiful language, and 
read from the gospel of Matthew, also in their own tongue — books that had been 
printed in mission days on the first printing press to be set up and operated west 
of the Rocky mountains. This equipment of the "art preservative of all arts" 
had come as a donation from the Rev. H. Bingham's church at Honolulu, and with it, 
in 1839, had come E. O. Hall, a printer from the Sandwich islands, induced to 
make the long voyage and journey to the interior of the American continent by 
the invalidism of his wife. The Halls remained at Lapwai till the spring of 
1840, when they returned to the Sandwich islands. 

So well had many of the Nez Perces kept up their knowledge of reading and 
writing that they were able, at the great council at Walla Walla in 1855, as re- 
ported by General Joel Palmer and others, to take notes of the proceedings and 
make copies of the treaties there negotiated by Governor Stevens. 

After the vigorous and successful Wright campaign of 1858, the country east 
of the Cascade mountains was declared open by military proclamation, in 1859, 
to white settlement, and soon thereafter Mr. Spalding, who, through all the wait- 
ing years down in the Willamette valley, had cherished a purpose to return to 
his first field of endeavor, came back to the Nez Perce country and resumed his 
mission labors. "Although Mr. Spalding had been absent from the tribe many 
years," repjorted Indian Agent J. W. Anderson, "yet they retained all the forms 
of worship which had been taught them. Many of them have prayers night and 

* 

morning in their lodges. Not having any suitable schoolhouse, I permitted Mr. 
Spalding to open his school in my ofHce shortly after his arrival, and from that 
time till he was compelled to discontinue the school from severe sickness, the school 
was crowded, not only with children, but with old men and women, some of whom 
were compelled to use glasses to assist the sight. Some of the old men would remain 
tiU bedtime engaged in transcribing into their language portions of scripture trans- 
lated by Mr. Spalding." 

Judge Alexander Smith, of the first judicial district of Idaho, wrote about 



104 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

that time^ for publication in a San Francisco ne^spaper^ the following interesting 
account of services held at Lewiston by Mr. Spalding: 

"On Sunday last I had the pleasure of attending church at Uiis place^ condactcd 
in Nez Perce by Rev. H. H. Spalding. The governor, federal and county officers 
and citizens of Lewiston were mostly present. The scene was deeply solemn and 
interesting; the breathless silence, the earnest, devout attention of that great con- 
gregation (even the small children) to the words of their much loved pastor; the 
spirit, the sweet melody of their singing; the readiness with which they tamed to 
hymns and chapters, and read with Mr. Spalding the lesions from their testaments 
which Mr. Spalding had translated and printed twenty years before; the earnest, 
pathetic voices of the native Christians whom Mr. Spalding called upon to pray — 
all, all deeply and solemnly impressed that large congregation of white spectators, 
even to tears. It were better a thousand times over, if the government would do 
away with its policy that is so insufficiently carried out, and only lend its aid to 
a few such men as Mr. Spalding, whose whole heart is in the business, who has but 
one desire, to civilize and Christianize the Indians." 

In his able work, "Indian Missions," the Rev. Myron Eells blames "govern- 
mental policy and officers, the Indian ring and others," for hostile interference with 
Mr. Spalding's later work among the Nez Perces. ''Some of the time he was on the 
outskirts, some of the time in the Walla Walla region, and sometimes elsewhere; 
yet all of the time he was aiming to do one thing, notwithstanding the opposition 
of those who so often defeated him," a judgment which needs to be tempered by the 
statement of fact that Mr. Spalding, as often is the case with men of intense 
'zeal and resolution of purpose, was temperamentally unfortunate and not infre- 
quently bitter and undiplomatic in his relations with others. 

"It was not until he went in person to Washington, in the winter of 1870-71," 
adds Eells, ''that he obtained an order freely to return to his field. He reentered 
it in the fall of 1871, and for three years worked with unabating zeal, and during 
this time he was allowed to gather in the harvest." 

He lies buried at Lapwai, death calling him to his long reward on Aug^t 8, 
1874. Large part- of the last year of his life was devoted to mission work among 
the Spokanes. Of these he baptized nearly 700 in the last three years of his life. 

"Perhaps," said the Oregonian of August 22, 1874, "it is to his influence more 
than to any other cause, that the Nez Perces are indebted for the distinction they 
enjoy of being regarded as the most intelligent and the least savage of all our Indian 
tribes. Amid the grateful remembrance of those who came in after him to enjoy 
the blessings his sacrifices purchased, he rests from his labors, and his works do 
follow him." 

In the closing years of his mission Mr. Spalding drew around him a most devoted, 
earnest band of Christian workers, including our Spokane pioneer, H. T. Cowley and 
wife, and Miss S. L. McBeth, who came from the Choctaw mission to take employ- 
ment under government as a teacher among the Nez Perces. Of this remarkable 
woman General O. O. Howard, who visited her when passing through the country 
with his command in pursuit of Chief Joseph and his hostile band, wrote in the 
Chicago Advance of June 14, 1877: 

"In a small house having two or three rooms, I found Miss McBeth living by 
herself. She is such an invalid from partial paralysis, that she can not walk from 



SPOKA.NE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 105 

house to honse^ so I was sure to find her at home. The candle gave us a dim 
light, so that I could scarcely make out how she looked as she gave me her hand 
and welcomed me to Kamiah. The next time I saw her by day, showed me a pale 
intellectual face, above a slight frame. How could this face and frame seek this 
far-off region ? Little by little the mystery is solved. Her soul has been fully con* 
secrated to Christ, and He has, as she believes, sent her upon a special mission to 
the Indians. Her work seems simple, just like the Master's in some respects. For 
example, she gathers her disciples around her, a few at a time, and having herself 
learned their language, so as to understand them and to speak passably, she instructs 
them and makes teachers of these disciples. 

"There is the lounge and the chair, there the cook stove and the table, there, 
in another room, the little cabinet organ, and a few benches. So is everything about 
this Utile teacher, the simplest in style and work. The only Nez Perces books thus 
far are the gospel of Matthew, translated by Mr. Spalding, and the gospel of John, 
by James Reuben, the Indian assistant teacher, who was aided in the translation 
by tibe Rev. Mr. Ainslie. It is evident these must be largely used in this woric of 
instruction. I hear that the Indian department is afraid that Miss McBeth is 
teaching theology and orders her back to the rudiments. Certainly not theology in 
the way of 'isms' of any kind, I am ready to affirm. I told her to call it 'theophily,' 
if a high-sounding name was needed for God's love. For as Jonah, the sub-chief, 
brokenly said, 'It makes Indians stop buying and selling wives; stop gambling and 
horse-racing for money; stop getting drunk and running about; stop all time lazy 
and make them all time work.' It is filling this charming little village with houses, 
and though she can not visit them, her pupils' houses are becoming neat and cleanly. 
The wife is becoming industrious within doors, sews, knits and cooks. The fences 
are up, the fields are planted. Oh, that men could see that this faithful teaching 
has the speedy effect to change the heart of the individual man ; then all the fruits 
of civilization begin to follow." 

In the chapter next following, the narrative of the Rev. H. T. Cowley's removal 
from the Nez Perce reservation, to take up independent mission work among the 
Spokanes, will conclude our review of Protestant missions in the Inland Empire. 



CHAPTER XII 

H. T. COWLEY TELLS OF LIFE AMONG THE SPOKA.NES 

BEGINS MISSION WORK WITH THE NEZ PERCE8 IN 1871 BECOMES AN INDEPENDENT 

TEACHER AT SPOKANE IN 1874 FAMILY LIVES ON DRIED SALMON AND VENISON 

OPENS SCHOOL IN INDIAN LODGE INDIANS HELP TO BUILD SCHOOLHOU8E AND 

DWELLING FOR MR. COWLEY ^EAGER TO LEARN WAYS OF CIVILIZATION SLIGHT RE- 
SPECT FOR PRIVACY GIFTS COME FROM AFAR FINDS INDIANS HONEST AND KIND 

TEACHES FIRST PUBLIC SCHOOL, WITH SIX PUPILS. 



T 



HE appended tabulation^ compiled by Captain Thomas W. Symons, U. S, en- 
gineer corps^ shows the variant spelling of the name Spokane : 



Spokan .Official Transfer Papers Pacific Fur company to Northwest 

Fur company. 

Spokan Ross Cox. 

Spokane War Department Map 1838. 

Spokane Commodore Wilkes. 

Spokein Rev. S. Parker. This writer, who visited the country in 1 886, 

says: "The name of this nation is generally written Spo- 
kan, sometimes Spokane. I called them Spokans, but they 
corrected my pronunciation and said 'Spokein' and this 
they repeated several times, until I was convinced that to 
give their name a correct pronunciation, it should be writ- 
ten Spokein." 

Spokan Greenhow. 

Spokain McVickar. 

Spokan Nath. J. Wyeth's report, 1889. 

Spokane Robertson. 

Spokane Thornton. 

Spokane A. Ross. 

Spokan Franchere. 

Spokan Irving. 

Spokan Nat. Railroad Memoirs. 

Spokan Armstrong. 

Spokan , .St. John. 

Spokane Pacific Railroad Report. 

Spokane MuUan. 

Spoken Robertson & Crawford. 

107 



108 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Perhaps no one here has more intimate knowledge of Indian life and character 
than that possessed by H. T. Cowley. Mr. Cowley went amon^ the Ne« Perces in 
1871 as missionary and teacher, and in 1874 transferred his labors to the land of 
the Spokanes. With these he maintained the relation of "guide, counsellor and 
friend" for a period of eight years, preaching in their lodges, teaching in a rough 
building constructed largely by their efforts, and for a while subsisting, himself 
and family, on their rough fare of dried salmon and lean venison. 

While a student at Oberlin college, Mr. Cowley met and married Mrs. Cowley, 
and under the rules was thereby disbarred from the completion of his course. He 
went then to Antioch as teacher and student, and was graduated from that college. 
A year later he went to Auburn Theological seminary and was graduated from that 
institution. After two years' service among the Protestant Nez Perces at Kamiah, 
Idaho, differences having come up between the Indian agent and the missionaries, 
he resigned and took up his residence at the new settlement of Mt. Idaho, on Camas 
prairie. 

"A year or so later," said Mr. Cowley, "the Spokane Indians sent down a delega- 
tion to petition me to come among them and establish a school and church at the 
falls of the Spokane. They expressed an earnest desire for the white man's en- 
lightenment, and undertook to provide a house for my family, a school building for 
their own people, and the necessary food supplies for my support. I was urged 
to take this step by the pioneer missionary, H. H. Spalding, then teaching and 
preaching at Lapwai. Mr. Spalding had preached to the Spokanes in the summer 
of 1873, and intended to return with me in 1874, but was taken ill and died that 
summer. He now lies buried at Lapwai. 

"I arrived here in June, 1874, in company with six young Nez Perces, who had 
been my helpers at Kamiah, one of them a son of Chief Lawyer. The Lawyers were 
a remarkable family. A daughter, Lucy, was a very attractive young woman, and 
could readily have made an alliance with any one of several white suitors. One of 
the army officers at Fort Lapwai formed a deep attachment for her, and asked her 
hand in marriage, but she declined the offer and remained single to her death. She 
spoke English well and was a very intelligent woman. Lawyer's two sons became 
Presbyterian preachers. Archie, the younger, was as fine a young man as you 
would see anywhere. He possessed a splendid form, the Indian physiognomy was 
not pronounced in him, and he had a bearing of great dignity. 

"After I had looked over the field at Spokane, I returned to Mt. Idaho for my 
family, and we arrived here in the middle of October, traveling by wagon. Living 
at the falls then were J. N. Glover, his partner, C. F. Yeaton, and a man named 
Kizer. On our way up from Mt. Idaho, we overtook William Pool, a carpenter, 
and his family, who were coming to locate at Spokane. Mr. Pool helped me to 
build my house and the Indian schoolhouse. 

"My first dwelling was at a point which is now on Sixth avenue, between Divi- 
sion and Browne. We built the schoolhouse on Sixth between Division and Pine. 
The dwelling was of logs, two rooms below and a large attic above, and we later 
added a leanto kitchen. We could not find mortar or clay for chinking, and as a 
substitute used a quantity of pine moss, which the Indian squaws brought from the 
woods beyond Hangman creek. The logs used in this structure had previously gone 
into a half completed building down near Howard street and the river. Someone 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 109 

had started a house there^ which had never been completed^ and Mr. Glover had 
sold it to the Indians. Enochs a Spokane sub-chief/ who had been instrumental in 
my coming here^ took his team and hauled the logs up to the building site. There 
were here, at that time, about 250 or 300 Indians, who had been living in scattered 
encampments but later assembled in the vicinity of Pine street in order to be near 
the school. Enoch had fenced in about 180 acres; his north line was about where 
Third avenue now lies, his south line was the cli£f, his west line Howard street and 
the east line ran near Pine. 

"The schoolhouse was a box structure, 20 by 30, built of lumber bought 
at Glover's mill. There was some dissatisfaction over the refusal by Mr. Glover 
to donate the lumber, the Indians alleging that his predecessors, who had located 
here in 1871, had promised, in an informal treaty, to give them all the lumber they 
might require for their own uses, and they contended that Mr. Glover ought to 
consider himself bound to carry out that agreement. They finally agreed to pay 
for the lumber in furs and grain, but Mr. Glover had considerable difficulty in col- 
lecting, and I believe he never was fully compensated for that lumber. The In- 
dians had very crude ideas about contracts and debts. They could barter furs for 
goods, but beyond that could not grasp the white man's contracts and agreements. 
They were as ignorant as children. In the same way Mr. Pool, the carpenter, was 
to have three horses for his labor, and we had considerable difficulty in getting them. 
"Before the building was erected, I opened school in a large Indian lodge, about 
eighty feet long, covered with Indian matting, canvas, sheeting and a few buffalo 
robes. Some of the Indians, but not all, had robes enough for lodges. Buffalo 
robes were generally used for bedding, and were spread upon a rough mattress of 
pine boughs and moss, or of tall rye grass and rushes from the swamps. I fre- 
quently slept in their tents in winter. On cold nights they would keep a fire going 
and some of these lodges were quite comfortable. 

"The young men carried the lumber on their backs all the way from the saw- 
mill down on the river bank, and the building was not completed until March. . A 
stove was brought from Walla Walla. 

"When it was completed, old and young gathered in and filled the place to its 
capacity. Enoch himself would come occasionally and spend the day, taking in- 
struction. I never saw a people so eager to learn the ways of civilization. I first 
tau^t them the letters and figures. I had a blackboard and some crayons and drew 
IHctures of animals and familiar articles. Pointing to one of these, I would get 
the Indian word for it and write it down, and then the corresponding English word. 
Considering the difficulties we had to contend with, they made very rapid progress. 
They wanted to start the lessons at daylight and keep up the instruction until dark. 
"My family then comprised Mrs. Cowley, Edith, aged seven, now Mrs. E. C. 
StiUman, living on the old homestead at Sixth and Division ; Fred W., aged five, after- 
ward drowned in Loon lake ; Grace, aged three, who died at the time of the death of her 
mother in 1900; Agnes, aged one, now Mrs. J. L. Paine, living in the Wellington 
apartments at Stevens and Sixth. Cazenovia, born here in June, 1876, is now Mrs. 
A. K. Smythe of Portland; and Arthur W., born here in 1878, is an architect of 
this city. 

"I was long of the belief that my daughter was the first white child born in 
Spokane, but recently my attention has been directed to historical authority which 



110 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

credits that distinction to the little daughter of a family named Bassett^ and I think 
that claim is correct. The Bassetts had moved from Spokane to the Four Lakes 
country before my arrival here, and their little daughter was drowned at that place. 

**In looking back over those eventful years, I marvel now that I ventured so 
much in bringing my family here and taking up my work independent of any sup- 
port beyond the meager help promised by the Indians. They had agreed to provide 
a house and provisions, but were unable to carry out their promise. I came here 
with just $13 in gold dust, given to me by Mrs. H. H. Spalding after the death of 
her husband. I acted on religious faith, trusting that the Lord would provide for 
my family, and in this trust I was not disappointed. 

"The Indians brought us a little dried salmon and some lean venison, and 
Enoch, who had a cow, brought us a bucket of milk daily. Our first substantial 
supplies came from settlers at Spangle — a wagonload of potatoes, carrots, cabbages, 
turnips and onions, and half of a young hog. In some way, without any effort on 
my part, an account of my work got into the newspapers, and it must have appealed 
to public sentiment, for it was not long till we were receiving boxes of provisions, 
clothing and bedding from Walla Walla, Lewiston, Portland and even Cazenovia, 
New York, so that we suffered no hardships, and experienced no siduiess. 

"The Indians made as free with our house as their own lodges. They would 
crowd into the living room on winter days or nights and unceremoniously stretch 
themselves before the open fire, never appearing to realize that they were shutting 
off the heat from the members of my family. They were like children, yet we 
enjoyed the experience, and every day was filled with work. 

"Good friends at Portland were also active in another way. After I had been 
working in this independent manner for several months, I was surprised and grati- 
fied to learn that through the Rev. Dr. Lindsley, pastor of the First Presbyterian 
church in Portland, influence had been successfully exerted to secure me a commis- 
sion from the Indian department, as teacher for the Spokanes at a yearly salary 
of $1,000. Some time prior to that, the government had adopted a new policy in re- 
spect to Indian education, of recognizing both Catholic and Protestant organizations, 
and transferring to them educational work which had previously been carried on by 
the war department. As the Spokanes were chiefly Protestants under the influence of 
Fathers Eells and Walker, at Walker's prairie, northwest of Spokane, I was di- 
rected to report to the Nez Perce agent at Lapwai, the Nez Perces also being 
chiefly ' Protestants. 

"We used the schoolhouse as a church, but before it was built I held religious 
services in their lodges. When I first came here in June, the young Indians cut 
down a number of cottonwood trees, dug holes and formed a sort of amphitheatre, 
which they covered over with poles and boughs, and in that arbor I preached to a 
large congregation. 

"I found Indian nature totally different from what I had conceived it to be in 
my youth. In general they were just as reliable as white people, honest and re- 
gardful of their word. In my entire experience I lost only two articles by theft — 
a halter and a watermelon. They returned the halter, and the Indian who took the 
watermelon stood up in church and made open confession. I felt as safe among 
them as among the same number of whites. Once you get their confidence, they are 
loyal to the core. The Spokanes were as industrious as you could expect a people 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 111 

to be in their state. They foresaw the coining of the changed conditions growing 
out of the settlement of their country^ and took to the cultivation of the soil and 
raising of cattle^ and wanted schoolhouses and churches. I endeavored^ from the 
beginnings to impress upon them that the Northern Pacific^ when completed^ would 
bring settlers and their only hope was to take up land and learn the ways of the 
white man. There was no other hope for them as a race, but they foupd it very 
difficult to give up the tribal relation, and did not want to take up land in severalty. 
"When General O. O. Howard and Governor Ferry met them here in council 
in 1881, on the prairie in what is now Dennis & Bradley's addition, and announced 
that they must take land in severalty, or be placed on a reservation west of the 
Columbia, they were indignant and said: 'What right have you to dictate to us? 
This is our country and we will not leave it!' Garry, who could speak English 
qoite well, voiced the protest, and it was heeded. The government did not care to 
repeat the blunder made in 1877, with the Nez Perces. 

"Soon after I came Mr. Glover, Mr. Yeaton, L. M. Swift, an attorney, and my- 
self held a school election. Glover, Yeaton and I elected ourselves directors and 
Swift, clerk, and I was employed as teacher. I had to go to Colville to get a 
teacher's certificate. 

"As my house was the only available place, we opened there the first school in 
January, 1875, with six pupils: Edith, Fred and Grace Cowley, two children of 
Mr. and Mrs. Pool, girls, and a little daughter of Mr. Yeaton. I soon discovered 
that I could not keep up teaching in connection with my other work and turned the 
school over to Mrs. Swift, and she removed it to her residence, a log house between 
Third and Fourth avenues and Bernard and Browne streets, and she completed 
there the three months' term in March. 

"About 1876, Rev. S. G. Havermale, who had come here in 1875, started a pri- 
vate school in the hall over Glover's store. He had expectations of building up a 
Methodist educational institution, and wanted to combine his school with the pub- 
lic school, but it was found that this could not be done under the law." 

After Mr. Cowley gave up his work as missionary and teacher, he engaged for 
awhile in journalism. C. B. Carlisle had come here from Portland in 1881, under 
financial encouragement from J. N. Glover, J. J. Browne, and A. M. Cannon, and 
founded the weekly Chronicle. Later Carlisle sold to C. B. Hopkins, Lucien Kellogg, 
and Hiram Allen, brother of Senator John B. Allen of Walla Walla. They in turn 
sold to a newspaper man named Woodbury, who came here from the Cincinnati 
Commercial Gazette, and a little later Woodbury sold the paper to Mr. Cowley, in 
the spring of 1883, who held it till 1887. Encouraged by the boom growing out of 
the discovery and development of the Coeur d'Alene mines, Mr. Cowley raised the 
Chronicle to a daily in July, 1884, but gave it up in the fall and ran it as a weekly 
until 1886, when it became a permanent daily. 



CHAPTER XIII 

CATHOLIC MISSIONS IN THE INLAND EMPIRE 

BET. MODEST DEMER8 DESCENDS THE COLUMBIA IN 1838 ^MAKES A MISSION TOUR OF 

INTERIOR THE FOLLOWING YEAR ST. MARY^S ESTABLISHED IN 1841 BY FATHER 

DE8MET AND OTHERS COEUR d'aLENE MISSION ESTABLISHED ON THE ST. JOE^ 

1842 — TRANSFERRED TO THE COEUR D^ALENE IN 1846 FATHER JOSET IN CHARGE 

— ST. IGNATIUS MOVED FROM LOWER FEND D^OREILLE RIVER TO MONTANA SACRED 

HEART MISSION TRANSFERRED TO DESMET MISSION LABORS AMONG THE NEZ PER- 

CE8 — MISSIONS IN THE COLVILLE COUNTRY PRESIDENT OF GONZAGA VISITS THE 

CALI8PEL8 — ARMY OFFICER'S DESCRIPTION OF THE OLD MISSION OF ST. IGNATIUS. 

A parish priest was of the pilgrim train, 
An awful^ reverend and religious man. 
His eyes diffused a venerable grace, 
And charity itself was in* his face. 
Rich was his soul, though his attire was poor, 
. (As God hath clothed his own ambassador). 
For such, on earth, his blessed Redeemer bore. 
Of sixty years he seemed; and well might last 
To sixty more, but that he lived too fast; 
Refined himself to soul, to curb the sense, 
And made almost a sin of abstinence. 

— Dryden, 

IN THE history of the Catholic missions of the Inland Empire we possess 
a deathless story of absorbing interest and inspiration; a record of dangers 
braved, privations borne and hardships endured under the sacred banner of 
the church. So long as history shall be read, that long will survive and be held in 
honored remembrance the names and deeds of such devoted priests as Blanchet 
and Demers, De Smet and Joset, Hoecken, Mengarini, Point, Ravalli. 

Historic evidence sustains the belief that the sacred emblem of the cross was 
lifted on these Pacific shores by Spanish explorers, and possibly by Spanish priests. 
Writing from Cowlitz, in western Washington, under date of February, 1844, the 
apostolical missionary J. B. Z. Bolduc said that even then he found ruins of birch 
edifices, "constructed for the purpose of drawing the savage nations to the knowl- 
edge of the gospel;" and among the natives, relics had been found attesting this 
fact. "A certain tribe had possessed for ages a brazen crucifix, bearing the ap- 

Vol. J—* 

113 



114 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

pearance of great antiquity; when^ how^ and by whom it was brought thither, none 
can attest." 

Although the officers, clerks and employes of the fur companies that operated 
in these regions over the first half of the past century were of the Catholic faith, 
no organized effort was made to establish missions in the Pacific northwest until 
the year 1834. By that time an extensive colony of former servants of the Hud- 
son's Bay company had settled on French prairie, in the Willamette valley of Ore- 
gon, and application was made to Dr. Provencher, vicar apostolic of Hudson Bay, 
for a clergyman for their service. But means of communication were slow, events 
moved leisurely in those distant days, and their prayers were not fully answered 
until 1888. The Rev. Modest Demers came as far west as the Canadian Red River 
settlement in 1837, and arranged with the fur company for himself and a fellow 
laborer to pass into Oregon the following year. According to an outline sketch of 
Oregon territory and its missions, which later prefaced the published letters of 
Father De Smet, Rev. F. N. Blanchet "left Canada at the appointed time, and joined 
his companion at Red River, whence they both started on the 10th of July, and 
after a perilous journey of between 4,000 and 5,000 miles, and the loss of twelve 
of their fellow travelers in the rapids of the Columbia river, they arrived at Fort 
Vancouver the 24th of November the same year. . . On seeing Uie mission- 

aries at length among them, the Canadians wept for joy, and the savages assembled 
from a distance of 100 miles to behold the black gowns, of whom so much had been 
said." 

After several months of mission work west of the Cascade mountains. Father 
Demers ascended the Columbia in July, 1839, visiting Walla Walla, Okanogan 
and Fort Colville, "baptizing all the children that were brought to him in Uie course 
of his journey." He was the first ordained priest to spread \he Catholic faith in 
the Inland Empire. His journey to Uie interior consumed three months, and he 
returned in October to Fort Vancouver. The following year Father Demers re- 
peated his journey of 1839, again visiting Walla Walla, Okanogan and Colville. 

We quote now from a manuscript in possession of August Wolf, prepared with 
the sanction of Gonzaga college: 

"In response to solicitations (from the Indians to the bishop of St. Louis) Fa- 
thers Peter J. DeSmet, Gregory Mengarini and Nicholas Point, accompanied by 
Brothers Specht, Huet and Claessens, set out for the Rocky mountains in 1841. 
Arrived in the Flathead country, they founded, September 24, the first mission 
of St. Mary's, in the Bitter Root valley, not far from the site of the present town 
of Stevensville, Montana. The fathers lived among the Indians, instructing them 
and administering the sacraments, and conforming themselves to the customs of 
the savages. They learned their language, and lived as the savages did, on roots 
and berries, and the products of the fisheries and the chase. In Uie course of time 
they erected a church and residence, and cultivated the land, striving at first, with- 
out much success, to induce their wild neophytes to imitate them in ag^'cultural 
matters. However, the Flatheads, as well as many of the neighboring tribes, re- 
sponded to the call of salvation, and a great number were baptized and came to 
worship at the mission. The history of subsequent missions was somewhat similar, 
except in later years the school became an important feature. 

"On various occasions the faUiers at St. Mary's received visits from members 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 115 

of tribes on both sides of the mountains^ and the Coeur d'Alenes in particular begged 
that a mission might be given them also. Their wish was granted in the autumn 
of 1842^ when Father Nicholas Point and Brother Huet built a residence on the 
St. Joe river^ a sluggish stream that empties into Lake Coeur d'Alene. This was the 
beginning of the famous Cdeur d'Alene mission^ now at Desmet, Idaho. 

"In 1848 Fathers Peter DeVos and Andrew Hoecken, with four lay brothers, 
Among them Brother J. B. McGean, arrived at St. Mary's from St. Louis, and 
shortly afterward, in 1844, Father Joseph Joset and Father Zerbinati came from 
the same place, with Brother Vincent Magri. They made a welcome addition to 
the little band of missionaries and soon found employment. Father Hoecken, after 
visiting the Sacred Heart mission on the St. Joe, was detailed to found a mission 
among the Calispels, near Lake Pend d'Oreille. In the summer of 1844 he located 
the first St. Ignatius mission on Clark's fork, some sixty miles below Sand Point. 
This was the third mission founded. Father Joset, in the meantime, joined Father 
Point at the Coeur d'Alene mission, while Father DeVos and Father Zerbinati 
remained with Father Mengarini at St. Mary's. Meanwhile Father DeSmet, su- 
perior of the missions, had traveled to Europe to obtain recruits. He was well 
received everywhere, and his holiness. Pope Gregory XVI, proposed to make him 
bishop of the new diocese to be erected in Oregon. He managed, however, to trans- 
fer this burden to the shoulders of the Rev. Father F. N. Blanchet 

"In 1845 Father Nobili and Father Ravalli were called to active service. The 
former was sent to found a mission in New Caledonia (in northern British Colum- 
bia). Father Ravalli was ordered to found a mission in the Colville valley, and 
built the first chapel there, on a hill between the fishery at Kettle Falls and Fort 
Colville. This chapel was named St. Paul's. After a few months, however, he 
was called to St. Mary's on the death of Father Zerbinati. Here he remained till 
1850, when that mission was closed for sixteen years. 

"In 1846 the mission on the St. Joe was transferred to the Coeur d'Alene river 
on account of the floods. The new mission, which is now known as the "Old Mis- 
sion," was placed in charge of Father Joset, who a little later became superior of 
the Rocky mountains when Father DeSmet was called away from the mountains 
by other duties. Father DeSmet took with him Father Point, who had been re- 
called by his superiors to Canada. The two fathers parted after crossing the 
Rocky mountains, and Father Point remained among the Blackfeet, to instruct 
them during the winter of 1846-47. The order recalling Father Point had been 
issued from Paris in 1848, but did not reach him until the end of 1846. Such were 
the means of communication in those days. ... 

"In 1850 Father Joset was sent to close old St. Mary's, on account of the bad 
disposition shown by the Indians, under the influence of some white men who had 
lately come among them. Father Mengarini was sent down to the Willamette, and 
later on to California, while Father Ravalli took charge of the mission on the 
Coeur d'Alene river, and Father Joset,. after visiting Father Hoecken at St. Igna- 
tius, established himself in 1851 in Colville valley. Here he remained with Father 
Vercmysse till 1858. Father Ravalli, in the meantime, was drawing up plans and 
commencing to build the wonderful church at the old Coeur d'Alene mission, which 
to this day wins the admiration of visitors- — a church built without nails, planned 



116 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

by a genius^ and put up by skilled workmen^ assisted by savages in the midst of 
the wilderness. . . . 

"We must now return to the mountains and rapidly sketch the progress of the 
missions there to the present day. When Father Congiato was made superior of 
both missions in 1854^ the Kalispel mission of St. Ignatius was moved from the 
banks of the Pend d'Oreille to Mission valley in the Flathead country^ some twenty 
miles east of Flathead lake. Here was founded the present St. Ignatius mission, 
which exists to this day^ one of the most striking evidences of missionary enter- 
prise in the country. The present church and residence^ and the houses of the 
Sisters of Providence and of the Ursuline Sisters are buildings no one would expect 
to find on an Indian reservation. 

"In 1858 Father Ravalli replaced Father Joset at Colville^ and Father Joset 
returned to his beloved Coeur d'Alenes. The Colville mission was closed the fol- 
lowing year, and Father Ravalli was transferred to St. Ignatius. . . . 

"In 1866 old St Mary's mission was reopened, and the general superior. Fa- 
ther Giorda, worn out with his labors, retired there to recuperate, leaving Father 
Urban Grass! as vice-superior to look after the missions for the next three years. 
He again resumed his work in 1869, and remained in office till June, 1877, when 
Father Cataldo took his place. Father Joseph Bandiui afterward became superior 
at St. Mary's, and later on Father Guidi. Father Jerome D'Aste was the last 
missionary to reside at the place, for it was closed in 1891, and the Indians were 
transferred to St. Ignatius on the Jocko reservation. At St. Mary's died Father 
Ravalli, on October 2, 1884. A monument was erected to him by friends and ad- 
mirers, and some forty miles north of Missoula, a station on the Northern Pacific 
railroad was named after him. He had retired to St. Mary's at its reopening in 
1866. 

"In Idaho the old Sacred Heart mission on the Coeur d*Alene river flourished for 
a long time under Father Joset, later on assisted by Father Caruana and others. 
In 1879 it was transferred to Desmet, Idaho (on the Coeur d'Alene reservation), 
where it now stands. Here Father Caruana, who has labored for over forty years 
among the Indians, still displays his great zeal and energy. This, perhaps, has 
been the most successful of the Rocky Mountain missions, and today the well-kept 
farms and the devout bearing of the Indians is remarked by all who visit them. 
The history of the DeSmet mission might well occupy us, did space allow. Here 
the first novitiate of the moimtains was established. Here Father Joset died, in 
1899, at the ripe old age of ninety. He had passed seventy years in religion, and 
fifty-six among the Indians. He was the last of the old missionaries who had 
labored with Fathers DeSmet, Point, Hoecken and Giorda. 

"In 1865 our fathers were asked to take charge of the mission among the Nez 
Perce Indians in Idaho. At an early period these Indians had fallen under Pro- 
testant influence, but many nevertheless wished for the 'Black Robes.' In 1866 
Father Cataldo left the Coeur d'Alene mission, to visit Lewiston, and met some of 
the Indians there. Next year, being appointed to take charge of Lewiston and the 
Indians, he built a small church and a small residence there. In 1868 he built a 
small log church on the Clearwater river, and in 1869 remodeled the old chief's 
house as a chapel and a school for the Indians. In 1870 he was recalled to the 
old Coeur d'Alene mission, but was charged to visit the Nez Perces from time to 



VIEW OF COLVILLE, WASHINGTON 









y 






*.c»T *« 




->•- N f 




L« .♦vX 



^ -^'^ ■^'^ 1 iONJ 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 117 

time* In 1872 we find him back in Lewiston^ where he worked with great energy^ 
and in 1874 was able to build a church for the Indians at Slickpoo^ where the first 
mass was said the same year. In 1875 Father Morville arrived from Italy and 
wintered at old Coeur d'Alene with Father Cataldo^ but the following year he took 
up his residence at Slickpoo with Brother Carfagno. Father Gazzoli joined them in 
1877, the year of the Nea Perce war. Thus the mission of St. Joseph's was founded, 
and today one-third of the Indians are Catholic. Lewiston is now a thriving parish. 
"In 1865 the mission of St. Paul's in Colville was reopened. Father Joset had 
there commenced to build the church of the Immaculate Conception, near Fort Col- 
ville, for the benefit of the soldiers. This was completed in 1 865 by Father Menet- 
rey and Brother Campopiana. Father Grassi now thought to choose a new site 
for a mission between St. Paul's and this church, and bought land from a Canadian 
for this purpose. Here some modest cabins were erected which served as a residence 
from 1869 to 1878, when Fathers Jacob Vanzina, Joseph Guidi and Paschal Tosi, 
with Brothers Gaspard Ochiena, Lucian D'Agestino and Achilles Carfagno com- 
menced to build the present mission of St. 'Frdncrs Regis. Here the cornerstone of 
the commodious chapel was blessed in- 1878 by Fathers Diomedi and Vanzina. A 
year later it was completely destroyed by fire and has since been replaced by the 
present excellent building. 

"The Kettle Falls Indians were not the only ones to be visited from Colville, 
for our fathers used to make excursions among the Semitakan, the Chelans, We- 
natchees and Okanogans. Father DeRoug6 commenced a permanent mission among 
these latter in 1885. Previously Father Urban Grassi had traveled among them 
and lived with them in their tepees, instructing them in Christian morals and doc- 
trine. But with the coming of Father DeRoug^ great strides were made. He has 
built a church and school, and done great work in spite of exceptional difiiculties. 

"About this time the parish of Yakima came into the hands of our fathers. This 
is the largest and most progressive town between Spokane and Seattle, and the parish 
is increasing in proportion to the growth of the community. The Indians on the 
Yakima reservation, who until two years ago had also a resident priest, are now 
attended from North Yakima. 

"In Oregon there is the parish at Pendleton, and the mission to the Umatilla 
Indians attached to it." 

Such, in outline, is the history of Catholic missions in the broad region around 
Spokane, running back over a period of seventy years, told without embellishment, 
and, from neccessity of brevity, expressing little of the inspiration that brought 
the pioneer fathers into a land of savage wildness, or the faith that sustained 
them through a thousand perils by land and sea. Happily these have come down 
to us in the published letters of Father DeSmet, letters which reveal, as the preface 
from another's pen has said, "the manners and customs of the North American In- 
dians — their traditions, their superstitions, their docility in admitting the maxims of 
the gospel," and "described with a freshness of coloring, and an exactness of detail, 
that will render them invaluable not only to our own times, but especially to pos- 
terity." In the language of this preface, "He travels through those vast and un- 
explored deserts, not merely as a missionary, filled with the zeal which characterized 
the apostles of the primitive society to which he belongs (the Jesuits) but with the 
eye of a poet, and an imagination glowing with a bright yet calm enthusiasm. Hence 



118 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

the exquisite descriptions of scenery^ of incidents^ of events; descriptions which 
breathe the spirit of a mind imbned with the loftiest conceptions of nature^ and 
chastened with the sacred influences of faith/' 

As we have seen^ Father DeSmet^ after crossing the plains and threading the 
winding defiles of the Rocky mountains^ in 1841, established the mother mission 
of St. Mary's, near the site of the present town of Stevensville, in Montana. Im- 
pressed with the vastness of the field, he went then to Europe to arouse interest 
and win support for the poor and struggling missions of the Rocky mountains; and 
from that long journey and voyage we find him returning by sea and crossing the 
troubled Columbia river bar in July, 1844, successful and elated, and eager to 
plunge into the deep solitudes of the interior and greet again his savage friends 
from whom he had parted two years before. Duties in the Willamette valley de- 
tained him several months, but these accomplished, he set out, in the beginning of 
February, 1845, for the interior. He ascended the Columbia in a canoe to old Fort 
Walla Walla, and taking the broad and well-worn trail of the Indians and the fur 
traders, traversed the Walla Walla valley, passed through the Palouse country, and 
crossing the Spokane valley, passed on to St. Ignatius mission on the lower Pend 
d'Oreille river where he was greeted by Father Adrian Hoecken. This mission 
stood on the east bank of the Pend d'Oreille, seven miles below the present town of 
Usk. By reason of frequent flooding from high water, it was abandoned in 1854, 
and a new site chosen on the Flathead reservation in western Montana. 

Although the priests could give these Indians but occasional visitations after the 
removal of the mission, the Kalispels have continued devout in the Catholic faith. 
With rejoicing they greeted Father Taelman at the Christmas holidays of 1911, 
when consideration for his old friends among them prompted the busy president of 
Gonzaga to venture again into the wintry wilderness. Again in January, 1912, 
Father Taelman was summoned by Chief Massalah to \he bedside of a dying girl. 
"My people," spoke Massalah, at the funeral, "we are grieved today at the loss of 
our dear one ; but God has his way. This world is a valley of tears. We are now 
poor and suffering, but if we are true to God, there is a country above where we 
shall all meet again." 

Dr. George Suckley, assistant surgeon U. S. A., who accompanied Governor 
Stevens across the continent in 1853, and under direction of that official made a 
remarkable canoe voyage from Fort Owen in Montana, to Vancouver, descending 
the Bitter Root, Clark's Fork and Columbia, visited St. Ignatius on that voyage. 
He has left, in his official report, a most entertaining description of the mission: 

"I walked up to the door of the mission house, knocked and entered. I was met 
by the reverend superior of the mission. Father Hoecken, who, in a truly benevolent 
and pleasing manner, said : 'Walk in, you are welcome ; we are glad to see the face 
of a white man.' I introduced myself and the men, and stated that I had come all 
the way from St. Mary's by water, after a voyage of twenty-five days ; that I was 
out of provisions and tired. He bade us welcome, had our things brought up from 
the boat, an excellent dinner prepared for us, and a nice room to sleep in, and treated 
us with the cordiality and kindness of a Christian and a gentleman. In these kind- 
nesses the Reverend Father Menetrey and the lay brother, Mr. Magean, cordially 
took part — all uniting in their endeavors to make us comfortable and feel at home. 

"From the Reverend Mr. Hoecken I have the following particulars concerning 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 119 

the mission and the condition of the inhabitants in its vicinity: The mission was 
established nine years ago (in 1844), the whole country at that time being a vast 
wilderness. Its inhabitants were the Kalispelms. They lived mostly from the 
Kallspebn or Pend d'Oreille lake, down the Clark river to this point; they speak 
nearly the same language as the Flathead or Salish Indians. Another mission (St. 
Mary's) was at the same time opened among the last mentioned tribe. . . . 

"There are two lay brethren attached to the mission. One of these, Brother 
Francis, is a perfect jack of all trades. He is by turns a carpenter, blacksmith, 
gnnsmith, and tinman — in each of which he is a good workman. The other. Brother 
Magean, superintends the farming operations. They both worked hard in bringing 
the mission to its present state of perfection, building successively a windmill, 
blacksmith and carpenter's shops, barns, cowsheds, etc., besides an excellent chapel, 
in addition to a large dwelling-house of hewn timbers for the missionaries. 

"The church is quite large, and is tastefully and even beautifully decorated. I 
was shown the handsomely carved and gilded altar, the statue of 'Our Mother,' 
brazen crosses and rich bronzed fonts, work, which, at sight appears so well executed 
as to lead one to suppose that they all must have been imported. But no, they are 
the result of the patient labor and ingenuity of the devoted missionaries, and work 
which is at the same time rich, substantial and beautiful. 

"Works of ornament are not their only deeds. A grindstone, hewn out of the 
native rock, and moulded by the same hand which made the chisel which wrought 
it; tinware, a blacksmith's shop, bellows, ploughshares, bricks for their chimneys, 
their own tobacco pipes, turned out of wood and lined with tin — all have been made 
by their industry. In household economy they are not excelled. They make their 
own soap, candles, vinegar, etc., and it is both interesting and amusing to listen to 
didr account of their plans, shifts and turns in overcoming obstacles at their first 
attempts, their repeated failures, and their final triumphs. 

"The mission farm consists of about 160 acres of cleared land. Spring wheat, 
barley, onions, cabbages, parisnips, peas, beets, potatoes and carrots are its principal 
products. The Indians are especially fond of carrots. Father Hoecken says that 
if the children see carrots growing they must eat some. Says he, 'I must shut my 
ejts to the theft, because they cannot, cannot, resist the temptation.' An3rthing else 
than carrots the little creatures respect. The Indians are very fond of peas and 
cabbage, but beets, and particularly onions, they dislike.* The other productions of 
the farm are cattle, hogs, poultry, butter and cheese. 

"Around the mission buildings are the houses of the natives. They are built of 
logs and hewn timber, and are sixteen in number. There are, also, quite a number 
of mat and skin lodges. Although the tribe is emphatically a wandering tribe, yet 
the mission and its vicinity are lodced upon as headquarters." 

Passing to a description of the Indians and the uplifting work of the missionaries, 
Dr. Suckley reported : 

"They came among these Indians about nine years ago, and found them to be 
a poor, miserable, half-starved race, with an insufficiency of food and nearly naked, 
Uying upon fish, camas and other roots, and, at the last extremity, upon the pine-tree 
ODoss. Unlike the Indians east of the mountains, they had no idea of a future state 
or a Great Spirit ; neither had they any idea of a soul. They considered themselves 
to be animals, nearly allied to the beaver, but greater than the beaver — and why ? 



120 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Because, they said, 'the beaver builds houses like us, and he is very cunning too ; 
but we can catch the beaver, and he can not catch us — therefore we are greater thao 
he.' They thought when they died that was the last of them. While thus ignorant, 
it was not uncommon for them to bury the very old and very young alive, because, 
they said, 'these cannot take care of themselves, and we can not take care of them, 
and they had better die.' 

"Of the soul they had no conception. In the beginning the priests were obliged 
to depend upon the imperfect translations of half-breed interpreters. The word 
'soul' was singularly translated to the Indians, by one of these telling them that 
they had a gut that never rotted, and that this was their living principle or soul. 
The chief of the tribe was converted, and was baptized Loyola; the mass of the 
tribe followed their leader. They now almost all pray, have devotional exercisrs 
in their families, and seem in a fair way for further advancement. 

"To show you the good sense, benevolence and foresight of the priests, I will 
relate a short cgnversation I had with Father Hoecken, who is the superior of the 
mission and has been among the people from the first. Says he, 'Doctor, you will 
scarcely believe it; surrounded by water as we are, we often have difficulty in getting 
fish even for our Friday dinner.* I replied, jokingly, 'I suppose. Father, that the 
Indians find no difficulty in observing a fast on Friday.' He answered immediately: 
*I never spoke to them about it; it would not do. Poor creatures, they fast too much 
as it is, and it is not necessary for them to fast more.' 

"The people look up to the father, and love him. They say that if the father 
should go away, they would die. Before the advent of the missionaries, the in- 
habitants, although totally destitute of religious ideas, still believed that evil and 
bad luck emanated from a fabulous old woman or sorceress. They were great be- 
lievers in charms, or medicine. Every man had his peculiar medicine or charm, 
which was his deity, so to speak ; and of it they expected good or ill. With some it 
would be the mouse ; with others, the deer, buffalo, elk, salmon, bear, etc. ; and which- 
ever it Was, the savage would carry a portion of it constantly by him. The tail of 
a mouse, or the fur, hoof, claw, feather, fin or scale of whatever it might be, became 
the amulet. When a young man grew up he was not yet considered a man until he 
had discovered his medicine. His father would send him to the top of a high moun- 
tain in the neighborhood of the present mission. Here he was obliged to remain 
without food until he had dreamed of an animal; the first one so dreamed about be- 
coming his medicine for life. Of course anxiety, fatigue, cold and fasting would 
render his sleep troubled and replete with dreams. In a short time he would have 
dreamed of ^hat he wanted, and return to his home a man. . . . 

"At the mission they have a small mill, by which the Indians grind their wheat. 
The mill is turned by hand, and will grind but three bushels a day." 

A discovery made near the mission by Dr. Suckley indicates the comparatively 
recent activity of a volcano in the Inland Empire: "A few inches below the surface 
of the earth can be found the ashes and cineritious deposit of a volcano. The 
stratum is about one-third of an inch thick. As you proceed in a north-northeasterly 
direction, it becomes thicker and thicker. Hence we may infer that the crater was 
in that direction, and probably can now be found. The inhabitants have never seen 
it. They do not travel from curiosity, and the direction is among mountains from the 
very door of the mission. In the tribe there are men and women still living who 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 121 

reBaember the eruption. They say that it came on during the afternoon and night> 
during which it rained cinders and fire. The Indians supposed that the sun had 
burned up^ and that there was an end of all things. The next mornings when the 
sun arose^ they were so delighted as to have a great dance and a feast." 

At St Ignatius mission Dr. Suckley learned that there was an abimdance of 
lead ore on the Kootenai river. Black lead had been found at St. Mary's and gold 
an Hell Gate river, while copper and silver were said to exist in the mountains north; 
"The loud^ deep-sounding reports, like the explosions of heavy pieces of ord- 
nance, occasionally heard in the Rocky mountains, and spoken of by Lewis and 
Clark in their narrative, are now and then heard. They never occur except during 
the coldest winters. The old trappers thought that these noises were produced by 
the bursting of silver mines. Their opinion in such a matter is of but little importance 
to my mind." These detonations he attributed to volcanic eruptions, to the break- 
ing away of heavy ice masses, or to landslides. 

Continuing his descent of the Clark's fork. Lake Pend d*Oreille and the river of 
the same name. Dr. Suckley, three days after leaving St. Ignatius, arrived at old 
Fort ColviUe on the Columbia, where he was kindly entertained by Angus McDonald, 
in charge of that post of the Hudson's Bay company. 

"Near the fort (continues his report to Governor Stevens) is the mission, of St. 
Paul, established among the Kettle Falls Indians, on the left bank of the Columbia, 
about one mile from the Kettle Falls. I visited the mission establishment three 
times during my stay at Fort ColviUe. It is superintended by the Reverend Father 
Joset, assisted by one other priest and a lay brother. Father Joset received me very 
kindly. He is a Swiss, and very gentlemanly and agreeable in his manners. To him 
I am indebted for much valuable information concerning this part of the country. 
The mission establishment consists of a chapel, a dwelling-house and several other 
buildings. There is no farm attached to it. The Indians have sufficient to eat 
which they obtain from other sources. There is, consequently, no necessity requir- 
ing the missionaries to cultivate land, as they can obtain all they want for their own 
nse from the Hudson's Bay company. 

"The Kettle Falls Indians call themselves Squeer-yer-pe. The chief of this 
tribe is caUed Pierre Jean. He, with most of his followers, live in their lodges 
around the mission. The number of souls in this band is about 350. During the 
summer season the Indians from all the surrounding country congregate at this 
place to catch salmon. There are then about 1000 at the falls. The Squeer-yer-pe 
name for the Kettle Falls is Schwan-ate-koo, or deep-sounding water. Here the 
Colombia pitches over a ledge of rocks, making a fall of about fifteen feet perpen- 
dicnlar. The Indians sow a little wheat and plant some^ potatoes, of which they 
are very fond; but their principal subsistence is the everlasting salmon. They 
come up annually in great numbers, on their way to the headwaters of the Columbia. 
The Indians kill hundreds of thousands of these fish by spearing them. The myriads 
of salmon that ascend the rivers of the Pacific coast are almost incredible. In many 
places the water appears alive with them, and the shores are thickly lined with the 
dead and dying fish. This, according to De Smet, is particularly noticed on the small 
lakes of the upper Columbia, in the vicinity of Martin's rapids." 

Just before his arrival at St. Ignatius, Dr. Suckley, reduced to the point of 
famine, lodged one night with a band of Pend d'Oreilles. "Our provisions are out/' 



122 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

says his journal^ "the ground is covered with snow^ and the sky obscured by doiids. 
The weather is excessively cold. Our tent is wet^ as indeed it has been for a nveek 
or more. Our robes and some of our blankets are in the same condition; and^ on 
the whole^ our situation is quite uncomfortable. Under these circumstances I con> 
eluded to lodge all night with the Indians. Our hungry stomachs were quite willing 
to partake of any hospitality they might offer in the shape of food. With these 
feelings I entered the lodge of All-ol-Sturgh^ the head of the encampment. The 
other lodges are principally occupied by his children and grand-children. They 
provided us with dried camas and berries^ also a piece of raw tallow^ which tasted 
very good. Shortly after our entrance AD-ol-Sturgh rang a little bell; directly the 
lodge was filled with inhabitants of the camp^ men^ women and childrm^ who im- 
mediately got upon their knees and repeated^ or rather chanted^ a long prayer^ in 
their own language^ to the Creator. The repetition of a few pious sentences^ an 
invocation, and a hymn, closed the exercises. In these the squaws took as active 
a part as the men. The promptness, fervency and earnestness all showed, was 
pleasing to contemplate. These prayers, etc., have been taught them by their kind 
missionary and friend, the much-loved Father Hoecken (S. J.). The participation 
of the squaws in the exercises, and the apparent footing of equality between them 
and the men, so much unlike their condition in other savage tribes, appear remark- 
able." 



CHAPTER XIV 

CATHOLIC MISSIONS— CONTINUED 

JTATHER DB8MET JOURNEYS IN A BARK CANOE^ TO THE HORSE PLAINS IN MONTANA 

RETURNS TO KALI8PBL BAY AND FELLS THE FIRST TREE FOR THE MISSION ^DISCOV- 
ERS LIMESTONE CATE ON LOWER PEND d'oRBILLE GOES TO WILLAMETTE VALLEY 

FOR SEEDS AND IMPLEMENTS RETURNS AND ERECTS A LITTLE CHAPEL OF BOUGHS 

— POETIC DESCRIPTION OF KETTLE FALLS ESTABLISHES MISSION OF ST. REGIS IN 

COLYILLE VALLEY MEETS PETER SKENE OGDEN IN THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS 

EXPRESSES HIS OPINION OF THE OREGON QUESTION HOW THE CAMAS ROOT WAS PRE- 
PARED DE8MET RANGES FAR^ TO THE HEADWATERS OF THE COLUMBIA ^INTEREST- 
ING BLACKFOOT TRADITION AN INDIAN HEAVEN ^MISSIONARY'S REMARKABLE 

JOURNEY FROM THE ATHABASCA TO KETTLE FALLS HOW THE ARROW LAKES WERE 

NAMED. 

PAUSING a few days at St. Ignatius for rest and recuperation^ Father De 
Smet voyaged in a bark canoe about 120 miles from St. Ignatius to the 
Horse plains in Montana^ where he was "among his dear Flatheads and 
Pcnd d'Oreilles of the mountains during the Paschal time^ 1845, and had the great 
consolation of finding them replete with zeal and fervor in fulfilling the duties of 
troe children of prayer. The solemn feast of Easter/' says he in a letter to Bishop 
John Hughes of New York, "all the Flatheads at St. Mary's devoutly approached 
tbe most blessed sacrament during my mass ; and about 800 Pend d'Oreilles, (the 
greater number adults) belonging to the station of St. Francis Borgia, presented 
themselves at the baptismal font. How consoling it is to pour the regenerating 
water of baptism on the furrowed and scarified brows of these desert warriors, — 
to behold these children of the plains and forests emerging from that profound ig- 
norance and superstition in which they have been for so many ages deeply and 
<iarkly enveloped ; to see them embrace the faith and all its sacred practices with an 
eagerness, an attention, a zeal, worthy the pristine Christians !" 

Sixteen days of laborious work with paddle and pole had been required to take 
the missionary from St. Ignatius to the mission in Montana. Returning with the 
corrent, the long and devious way was covered in four. "On returning to the bay, 
(DeSmet always referred to St. Ignatius as Kalispel Bay) accompanied by Rev. 
Father Hoecken and several chiefs, my first care was to exanune the lands belong- 
ing to this portion of the tribe of Kalispels, and select a fit site for erecting the new 
' establishment of St. Ignatius. We found a vast and beautiful prairie, three miles 
in extent, surrounded by cedar and pine, in the neighborhood of the cavern of New 

123 



124 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Manresa, and its quarries^ and a fall of water of more than 200 feet^ presentiii^ 
every advantage for the erection of mills. I felled the first tree, and after having 
taken all necessary measures to expedite the work, I departed for Walla Walla, 
where I embarked in a small boat and descended the Columbia as far as Fort Van- 
couver." 

The significance of De Smet's mention of "the cavern of New Manresa" becomes 
more apparent on recalling that he was of the Society of Jesus, and that Ignatius 
Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, while undergoing austerities, passed a year in 
a cave near the town of Manresa in northeastern Spain. Limestone abounds along 
the lower Pend d'Oreille, and a remarkable cavern, probably that which the nois- 
sionaries located near St. Ignatius, is one of the natural wonders of that region. 

DeSmet's purpose in returning to the Willamette was to secure ploughs, spades, 
pickaxes, scythes and carpenters' tools for the new missions in the interior, and a 
few weeks later we find him bringing a pack-train of eleven animals, ladened with 
these implements, over the Indian trail which penetrates a pass in the Cascade moun- 
tains by the bas^ of Mount Hood, a trail that even then had been put to extensive 
use by the immigration that was pouring into Oregon, and which has passed into 
history as the Barlow road. For companions he had "the good Brother McGean, 
and two metis or mongrels," and the little party encountered many difficulties from 
the melting snows which sent a thousand rills and torrents rushing down the 
mountainsides into the narrow valleys. The missionary noted, as have thousands 
since him who have traveled over this historic route, the extensive groves of rho- 
dodendron, which at that season "displays all its strength and beauty. It rises," 
says the missionary author, "to the height of fifteen or twenty feet, and entire 
groves are formed by thousands of these shrubs, whose clustering branches entwine 
themselves in beautiful green arches, adorned with innumerable bouquets of splendid 
flowers, varying their hues from the pure white, to the deepened tint of the crim- 
soned rose." 

He noted, too, traces of the distress and hardships suffered by pioneers who had 
struggled through these mountain defiles while on the last stage of their long over- 
land journey to Oregon, for his "path was strewed with the whitened bones of horses 
and oxen, melancholy testimonies of the miseries endured by other travelers through 
these regions." Twenty days were required to pass, in this way, from the Wil- 
lamette to Walla Walla, a journey now made by railroad train in half as manv 
hours. 

"About the middle of July," runs the DeSmet narrative, "I arrived safely with 
all my effects at the Bay of Kalispels (the mission of St. Ignatius). In my absence 
the number of neophytes had considerably increased. On the feast of the Ascen- 
sion, Father Hoecken had the happiness of baptizing more than 100 adults. Since 
my departure in the spring, our little colony has built four houses, prepared con- 
structing materials for a small church, and enclosed a field of 300 acres. More than 
400 Kalispels, computing adults and children, have been baptized. They are all 
animated with fervor and zeal; they make use of the hatchet and plow, being re- 
solved to abandon an itinerant life for a permanent abode. The beautiful falls of 
the Columbia, called the Chaudieres, in the vicinity of Fort Colville, are distant two 
days' journey from our new residence of St. Ignatius." 

These falls are now known as the Kettle Falls of the Columbia. Thither 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 125 

went Father DeSmet to celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius^ and he found 800 or 900 
Indians assembled for the salmon fishing. "Within the last four ye&rs" he con- 
tinoes, "omsiderable numbers of these Indians were visited by the 'black gowns^' 
who administered the sacrament of baptism. I was received by my dear Indians 
with filial joy and tenderness. I caused my little chapel of boughs to be placed on 
an eminence in the midst of the Indians' huts^ where it might not inaptly be com- 
pared to the pelican of the wilderness^ surrounded by her yoimg^ seeking with 
avidity the divine word^ and sheltering themselves under the protection of their 
fostering mother. I gave three instructions daily; the Indians assisted at them with 
great assiduity and attention. ... 

"More than 100 children were presented for baptism, and eleven old men, borne 
to me on skins, seemed only waiting regenerating waters, to depart home and repose 
in the bosom of their divine Savior. ... A solemn mass was celebrated, during 
which the Indians chanted canticles in praise of God. The ceremonies of baptism 
foUowed, and all terminated in the most perfect order, to the great delight and 
gratification of the savages. It was indeed a most imposing spectacle; all around 
contributed to heighten the effect. The noble and gigantic rock, the distant roar 
of the cataracts breaking in on the religious silence of that solitude, situated on an 
eminence overlooking the powerful Oregon river, and on the spot where the im- 
petuous waters, freeing themselves from their limits, rush in fury and dash over a 
pile of rocks, casting upwards a thousand jets d'eau, whose transparent columns 
reflect, in varied colors, the rays of the dazzling sun!" 

Gathered at the falls, besides the Chaudieres or Kettle Indians, were several 
San Foils and Spokanes, the latter tribe termed by Father DeSmet the Zingomenes, 
a varied spelling of "Sinkomans," a name given the Spokanes by some of their 
neighboring tribes. 

"I gave the name of St. Paul to the Shuyelphi nation,*' adds DeSmet, "and placed 
nnder the care of St. Peter the tribe inhabiting the shores of the great Columbia 
lakes, whither Father Hoecken is about to repair, to continue instructing and baptiz- 
ing their adults. My presence among the Indians did not interrupt their fine and 
abundant fishery. An enormous basket was fastened to a projecting rock, and the 
finest fish of the Columbia, as if by fascination, cast themselves by dozens into the 
snare. Seven or eight times during the day, these baskets were examined, and 
each time were found to contain about 250 salmon. The Indians, meanwhile, were 
seen on every projecting rock, piercing the fish with the greatest dexterity. . . . 
"I left Chaudiere or Kettle Falls August 4th, accompanied by several of the 
nation of the Crees, to examine the lands they have selected for the site of a village. 
The ground is rich and well suited for all agricultural purposes. Several buildings 
were commenced ; I gave the name of St. Francis Regis to this new station, where 
a great number of the mixed race and beaver hunters have resolved to settle with 
their families." 

This mission is in the Colville valley, about seven miles from the present 
town of Colville. Thwaites, who edited a more recent edition of DeSmet's letters, 
says that on the missionary's next visit to St. Regis he found settled there about 
seventy half breeds, and adds that "the station does not appear to have been con- 
tinuous, but to have been reestablished after the Indian wars. Later it became a 



126 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

flourishing mission^ with schools for boys and girls, and was frequently visited bj 
Spokane and Colville Indians from the neighboring reservations." 

From St. Francis Regis Father DeSmet^set out, August 9, on a circuitous journey 
into the country of the Kootenays, in eastern British Columbia. As the roads were 
inundated by a great freshet, he resolved to return to Lake Pend d'Oreille and 
ascend the Clark or Flathead river, cross country by trail, and strike the Kootenai 
river near the border between Idaho and Montana. This river, known to the fur 
traders as the McGillivray, the missionary designated the Flatbow (Arc-a-plat^ and 
the Kootenay tribe he gave the same designation. On this journey, in the depths 
of the forest, he had the good fortune to meet Peter Skene Ogden, famous explorer, 
adventurer and chief factor of the Hudson's Bay company. 

"As we approached the forests, several horsemen issued forth in tattered gar- 
ments. The foremost gentleman saluted me by name, with all the familiarity of 
an old acquaintance. I returned the gracious salutation, desiring to know whom I 
had the honor of addressing. A small river separated us, and with a smile he said : 
'Wait until I reach the opposite shore, and then you will recognize me.' He is not 
a beaver hunter, said I to myself; yet under this tattered garb and slouched hat, I 
could not easily descry one of the principal members of the Hon. Hudson's Bay 
company, the worthy and respectable Mr. Ogden. I had the honor and good fortune 
of making a voyage with him, and in his own barge, from Colville to Fort Van- 
couver, in 1842, and no one could desire more agreeable society. It would be nec- 
essary for you to traverse the desert, to feel yourself insulated, remote from brethren, 
friends, to conceive the consolation and joy of such a rencounter." 

Ogden, who had been on a voyage to England, had returned in April, accom- 
panied by two British officers- — Captain Henry J. Warre, nephew and aide-de-camp 
of Sir R. Downer Jackson, commanding the British forces in America, and Lieu- 
tenant M. Vavasour of the British engineer corps. They had a commission, says 
Thwaites, from the government, perhaps not as extensive as is reported by DeSmet, 
but doubtless ample in case of war. They were also secretly commissioned by the 
Hudson's Bay company to report on Dr. McLoughlin's attitude in regard to the 
American settlers, and their adverse account was answered by him in detail, after 
his resignation. 

According to DeSmet, "It was neither curiosity nor pleasure that induced these 
two officers to cross so many desolate regions, and hasten their course towards the 
mouth of the Columbia. They were invested with orders from their government 
to take possession of Cape Disappointment (at the mouth of the Columbia), to 
hoist the English standard, and erect a fortress for the purpose of securing the 
entrance of the river in case of war." 

At this period the long-standing boundary dispute between the United States 
and Great Britain had approached a crisis. Public sentiment was inflamed against 
England, and newspapers and politicians clamored for a vigorous and exacting policy 
by our state department. In the presidential campaign of 1844, the catch phrase, 
"Fifty- four-forty or fight," had served as a political slogan for the winning party, 
expressive of a popular desire that the government of the United States should 
treat with England on no other basis than fixing the international boundary on that 
line of latitude, giving to the stars and stripes the greater part of the present 
province of British Columbia. But, as was aptly said a little later, we didn't get 



THE OLD MISSION ON THE COEUR D'ALENE RIVER BUILT BY THE 
JESUITS NEARLY SEVENTY YEARS AGO 



r*" 



THl ^£w Y'^ir^K 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 127 

54-40^ and we didn't fight. DeSmet evidently regarded the attitude of the United 
States as large part bluster^ for he remarked at the time: 

"In the Oregon question John Bnll^ without much talk^ attains his end, and 
secures the most important part of this country; whereas Uncle Sam displodes a 
ToUey of words, inveighs and storms." It wasn't nearly so bad as that, for the 
treaty of 1846 really gave Uncle Sam "the most important part of the country," al- 
tboogh the award threw to Britain the rich and beautiful province of British Colum- 
bia. 

DeSmet described the country between Lake Pend d'Oreille and the Kootenai 
as one of dense forests, the trail much obstructed by fallen trees, "morasses, fright- 
ful sloughs, from which the poor horses with much difficulty extricate themselves; 
bat having finally surmounted all these obstacles, we contemplate from an eminence 
a smiling and accessible valley, whose mellow and abundant verdure is nourished by 
two lovely lakes, where the graceful river of the Arcs-a-plats winds in such fan- 
tastic beauty that it serves to make the weary traveler not only forget his past 
dangers, but amply compensates him for the fatigues of a long and tiresome journey." 
Of the subsistence of the Kootenai Indians he wrote: "These lakes and morasses, 
formed in the spring, are filled with fish; they remain there, enclosed as 
in a natural reservoir, for the use of the inhabitants. The fish swarm in 
such abundance that the Indians have no other labor than to take them from the 
water and prepare them for the boiler. Such an existence is, however, precarious; 
the savages, who are not of a provident natujre, ar^ oblig[ed;to go afterwards in quest 
of roots, grains, berries and fruits ; sucji a8,^t)ie. thorny bush which b^rs a sweet, 
pleasant blackberry; the rosebuds, mountain cherry, cormier.or service berry, vari- 
ous sorts of gooseberries and currants of excellgi^t flavor ; raspberries, the hawthorn 
berry, the wappato (sagittafolia) a verg^ nwirishing, inilbous root; the bitter root, 
whose appellation sufficiently denotes its peculiar quality, is, however, very healthy ; 
it grows in light, dry, sandy soil, as also the caious or biscuit root. The former is 
of a thin and cylindrical form ; the latter, though farinaceous and insipid, is a sub- 
stitute for bread; it resembles a small, white radish; the watery potato, oval and 
greenish, is prepared like our ordinary potato, but greatly inferior to it; the sweet 
onion, which bears a lovely flower resembling the tulip. Strawberries are common 
and delicious. . . . 

"I can not pass over in silence the camash root (the camas) and the peculiar man- 
ner in which it is prepared. It is abundant, and, I may say, the queen root of this 
dime. It is a small, white, vapid onion, when removed from the earth, but becomes 
black and sweet when prepared for food. The women arm themselves with long, 
crooked sticks, to go in search of the camash. After having procured a certain 
quantity of these roots, by dint of long and painful labor, they make an excavation 
in the earth, from twelve to fifteen inches deep, and of proportional diameter to 
contain the roots. They cover the bottom with closely cemented pavement, which 
they make red hot by means of a fire. After having carefully withdrawn all the 
coals, they cover the stones with grass and wet hay ; then place a layer of camash, 
another of wet hay, a third of bark overlaid with mold, whereon is kept a glowing 
fire for fifty, sixty, and sometimes seventy hours. The camash thus acquires a 
consistency equal to that of the jujube. It is sometimes made into loaves of vari- 



128 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

ous dimensions. It is excellent, especially when boiled with meat; if kept dry, it 
can be preserved a long time." 

Throughout the forested sections of the Spokane country the Indian, when re- 
duced to famine in spring-time, resorted to pine moss. M. M. Cowley informed the 
editor that he often saw the Spd^anes make use of this poor substitute, after he 
came into the valley in 1872. DeSmet thus describes its use: "It is a parasite of 
the pine, a tree common in these latitudes, and hangs from its boughs in great 
quantities. It appears more suitable for mattresses, than for the sustenance of 
human life. When they have procured a great quantity, they pidc out all hetero- 
geneous substance, and prepare it as they do the camash; it becomes compact^ and 
is, in my opinion, a most miserable food, which, in a brief space, reduces those who 
live on it to a pitiable state of emaciation." 

Over a period of nearly two years we find this intrepid missionary ranging the 
vast wilderness around the sources of the Columbia, the Missouri, the Saskatchewan 
and the Athabasca, at times bearing the gospel and the cross to the very sources of 
the great river of the west. "The tradition of man's creation and future immor- 
tality," he writes from the "Fort of the Mountains," October 80, 1845, "exists among 
most of the Indian tribes; I have had the opportunity of visiting and questioning 
them on the subject. Those who live by fishery, suppose their Heaven to be full 
of lakes and rivers, abounding in fish, whose enchanted shores and verdant islands 
produce fruits of every kind." 

Much of this trying and perilous period he passed among the fierce and blood- 
thirsty Bladcfeet. "I encamped (he writes in the same letter) on the banks of two 
lakes to the east of the Rocky mountains, which the Blackfeet call the Lake of 
Men and the Lake of Women. According to their traditions, from the first of these 
issued a band of young men, handsome and vigorous, but poor and naked. From 
the second, an equal number of ingenious and industrious young women, who con- 
structed and made themselves clothing. They lived a long time, separate and un- 
known to each other, until the great Manitou Wizakeschak, or the old man (still in- 
voked by the Blackfeet) visited them; he taught them to slay animals in the chase, 
but they were yet ignorant of the art of dressing skins. Wizakeschak conducted 
them to the dwelling of the yoimg women, who received their guests with dances 
and cries of joy. Shoes, leggins, shirts and robes, garnished with porcupine quills, 
were presented them. Each young woman selected her guest, and presented him 
with a dish of seeds and roots ; the men, desiring to contribute to the entertainment, 
sought the chase and returned loaded with game. The women liked the meat, and 
admired the streng^th, skill and bravery of the hunters. The men were equally 
delighted with the beauty of their trappings, and admired the industry of the women. 
Both parties began to think they were necessary to each other, and Wizakeschak 
presided at the solemn compact in which it was agreed that the men should become 
the protectors of the women, and provide all necessaries for their support; whilst 
all other family cares should devolve upon the women." 

DeSmet drolly adds that "the Blackfeet squaws often bitterly complain of the 
astonishing folly of their mothers in accepting such a proposition; declaring, if the 
compact were yet to be made, they would arrange it in a very different manner. 

"The Blackfoot heaven is a country of sandy hills, which they call Espatchekie, 
whither the soul goes after death, and where they will find again all the animals 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 129 

tfaey have killed^ and all the horses they have stolen. The buffalo^ hind and stag 
abound there. In speaking of the departed^ a Blackfoot never says such a one is 
dead, but 'Espatchekie etake,' — to the Sand hills he is gone." 

Is it only coincidence that the Japanese have a tradition closely resembling the 
Blackfoot myth of the origin of the family relation? 

A year later, in 1 846, Father DeSmet is found traversing the expansive prairies 
that now support the thriving cities of Calgary and Edmonton. With prophetic 
vision he thus writes of the potential resources of the broad region lying between 
Walla Walla and Edmonton: 

"Are these vast and innumerable fields of hay forever destined to be consumed 
by fire, or perish in the autumnal snows ? How long shall these superb forests be the 
haunts of wild beasts? And these inexhaustible quarries, these abimdant mines of 
coal, lead, sulphur, iron, copper and saltpetre — can it be that they are doomed to 
remain forever inactive? Not so — the day will come when some laboring hand will 
give them value: a strong, active and enterprising people are destined to fill this 
spacious void. — The wild beasts will, ere long, give place to our domestic animals; 
flocks and herds will graze in the beautiful meadows that border the numberless 
moontains, hills, valleys and plains of this extensive region." 

In letters from "Boat Encampment on the Columbia," May 10, 1846, and "St. 
Paul's Station near Colville," May 29, 1846, the missionary gives us a lively, cheer- 
ful and at times humorous narrative of a remarkable journey he had just completed, 
by way of the historic route of the fur traders, from the headwaters of the Atha- 
basca to navigable water on the Columbia. Boat Encampment is at the extreme 
northern point of the upper big bend of the Columbia, where the Canoe and Little 
Canoe enter the larger river. At this point, in 1809, David Thompson, explorer 
and astronomer for the Northwestern Fur company, paused to build canoes for his 
descent of the Columbia, the first white man to explore the great river from that 
point to the mouth of Snake river. It was long a noted stopping place on the 
apper Columbia, where horses or snowshoes were exchanged for canoes or bateaux, 
or navigation ended and the land journey began, as the case might be. 

"We had now (says DeSmet) seventy miles to travel on snowshoes, in order 
to reach the Boat Encampment on the banks of the Columbia. We proposed to ac- 
complish this in two days and a half. The most worthy and excellent Messrs. 
Rowan and Harriot, whose kindness at the Rocky mountain house and Fort Au- 
gustas I shall ever acknowledge, were of opinion that it was absolutely impossible 
for me to accomplish the journey. However, I thought I could remedy the incon- 
renience of my surplus stock, by a vigorous fast of thirty days, which I cheerfully 
wuierwent. I found myself much lighter, indeed, and started off somewhat en- 
couraged over snow sixteen feet deep. We went in single file, — alternately ascend- 
ing and descending — sometimes across plains piled up with avalanches — sometimes 
over lakes and rapids buried deeply under the snow, — now on the side of a deep 
OHHmtain — ^then across a forest of cypress trees, of which we could only see the tops. 
I can not tell you the number of my summersets. I continually found myself em- 
barrassed by my snowshoes, or entangled in some branch of a tree. When falling, I 
spread my arms before me, as one naturally would do, to break the violence of the 
fall ; and upon deep snow the danger is not great, — though I was often half buried. 



130 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

when I required the assistance of my companions^ which was always attended 
with great kindness and good humor." 

In this manner thirty miles were made the first day^ and the party encamped 
near the summit. "Some pine trees were cut down and stripped of their branches^ 
and these being laid on the snow^ furnished us with a bed^ whilst a fire was lighted 
on a floor of green logs." Every one who has traveled primitively in these north- 
western solitudes^ and has carried to the toil a genuine love of nature, can appre- 
ciate the missionary's revery: 

"To sleep thus — under the beautiful canopy of the. starry heavens — in the midst 
of lofty and steep mountains — among sweet murmuring rills and roaring torrents — 
may appear strange to you, and to all lovers of rooms rendered comfortable by 
stoves and feathers; but you may think differently after having come and breathed 
the pure air of the mountains, where in return, coughs and colds are unknown. Come 
and make a trial, and you will say that it is easy to forget the fatigues of a long 
march, and find contentment and joy, even upon the spread branches of pines, on 
which, after the Indian fashion, we extended ourselves and slept, wrapped up in 
buffalo robes." 

Only a soul imbued with a profound and abiding love of nature, and sustained by 
deep faith in God's infinite wisdom and mercy, could express sentiments so beautiful 
and lofty after enduring the dreadful hardships that befell Father DeSmet the 
day following: 

"At the foot of the mountain an obstacle of a new kind presented itself. All 
the barriers of snow, the innumerable banks, which had stopped the water of the 
streams, lakes and torrents, were broken up during the night, and swelled consider- 
ably the great Portage river (the Little Canoe). It meanders so remarkably in this 
straight valley, down which we traveled for a day and a half, that we were com- 
pelled to cross it not less than forty times, with the water frequently up to our 
shoulders. So great is its impetuosity, that we were obliged mutually to support 
ourselves, to prevent being carried away by the current. We marched in our wet 
clothes during the rest of our sad route. The long soaking, joined to my great fa- 
tigue, swelled my limbs. All the nails of my feet came off, and the blood stained 
my moccasins. Four times I found my strength gone, and I certainly should have 
perished in that frightful region, if the courage and strength of my companions had 
not roused and aided me in my distress." 

DeSmet describes an interesting custom. His party came over the Portage in 
May, and "saw Maypoles all along the old encampments. Each traveler who 
passes there for the first time selects his own. A young Canadian, with much kind- 
ness, dedicated one to me, which was at least 120 feet in height, and which reared 
its lofty head above all the neighboring trees. Did I deserve it.'* He stripped it of 
all its branches, only leaving at the top a little crown; at the bottom my name and 
the date of the transit were written." . . . 

"After so many labors and dangers," continues the missionary, "we deserved 
a repast. Happily, we foimd at the Encampment all the ingredients that were 
necessary for a feast — a bag of flour, a large ham, part of a reindeer, cheese, sugar 
and tea in abundance, which the gentlemen of the English company had charitably 
left behind. While some were employed refitting the barge, others prepared the 
dinner; and in about an hour we found ourselves snugly seated and stretched out 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 131 

around the kettles and roasts^ laughing and joking about the summersets on the 
mountains^ and the accidents on the Portage. I need not tell you that they de- 
scribed me as the most clumsy and awkward traveler in the band." 

From St. Paul's station, near Colville, Father DeSmet penned a continuation 
of this interesting narrative. After the feast which he has just described, the 
party launched the barge and shot rapidly down the swollen current of the Colum- 
bia, "Guided by an expert Iroquois pilot, and aided with ten oars, the boat darted 
over the boisterous surface" of Martin's rapids, and at sunset they were at the 
Dalle of the Dead, where "the waters are <5ompressed between a range of perpen- 
dicular rocks, presenting innumerable crags, fissures and cliffs, through which the 
Columbia leaps with irresistible impetuosity, forming, as it dashes along, frightful 
whirlpools, where every passing object is swallowed and disappears." . By means 
of two long ropes, the barge was lowered through this frightful trough, and the 
party encamped for the night at its foot. For details of the tragic incident which 
imparted to this stretch of the river a name so sad and shocking, the reader is di- 
rected to the chapter wherein an account is given by Ross Cox of the disastrous 
fate which befell a party that turned back from the mouth of the Canoe river in 
1817. 

May 11 the party resumed its voyage at early dawn, and that evening encamped 
at the entrance to Upper Arrow lake (an extended dilation of the Columbia river). 
"This beautiful sheet of crystalline water, whilst the rising sun was tinting the 
tops of a thousand hills around, came most refreshing to the eye. It is about thirty 
miles long, by four or ^ve wide. Its borders are embellished by overhanging preci- 
pices and majestic peaks, which, rearing their white heads above the clouds, look 
down like venerable monarchs of the desert upon the great forests of pines and 
cedar surrounding the lake. The two highest peaks are called St. Peter and St. 
Paul." 

Here the father found twenty Indian families, belonging to the mission of St. 
Paul, encamped on the shore of the lake, and gladly accepted their pressing invi- 
tation to visit them. "It was the meeting of a father with his children, after ten 
months of absence and dangers," wrote the priest, adding a belief that "the joy 
was mutually sincere. The greater part of the tribe had been converted the past 
Tear at Kettle Falls. These families were absent at that time. I passed, there- 
fore, several days among them, to instruct them in the duties and practices of 
religion. They then received baptism, with all the marks of sincere piety and 
gratitude. Gregory, the name of their chief, who had not ceased to exhort his 
people by word and example, had the happiness to receive baptism in 1838, from 
the hands of the Rev. Mr., now Archbishop, Blanchet. The worthy and respectable 
chief was now at the height of his joy, in seeing at last all his children brought 
under the standard of Jesus Christ. The tribe of these lake Indians are a part of 
the Kettle Fall nation. They are very poor, and subsist principally on fish and 
wild roots. As soon as we shall have more means at our disposal, we will supply 
them with implements of husbandry and with various seeds and roots, which, I 
have no doubt, will thrive well in their country." 

With no desire to draw invidious comparison, but as a direct historical state- 
ment, the fact is conspicuous that the Catholic missionaries adopted and main- 
tained, from the beginning, a theory and an attitude differing fundamentally from 



132 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

those which controlled and animated the Protestants. Freely and almost without 
reserve^ they admitted into full communion their Indian conyerts^ dispensing;, with 
unstinted hand the sacraments of the Roman churchy and carefully avoiding an 
appearance of patronage or an air of superiority. Better had it been if Whitman, 
Spalding, Walker and Eells had been less exacting in theological standards (as 
distinct from morals) ; had relaxed their austere New England doctrines, and 
adopted towards their untutored wards a bearing of closer brotherhood, instead 
of maintaining^ down to the very close of their missions, a policy of holding them 
under probation or tutelage. As the years rolled by, and the Cayuses saw them- 
selves permanently denied full conununion, a spirit of sullen resentment developed; 
and the belief intensified that they were being exploited in a conunercial spirit, 
and the missionaries were only fore-runners of an inmiigration that threatened the 
very existence of the Indian tribes. 

Explanatory of the origin of the name, Arrow lake, the author recalls the put- 
ting forward, a few years ago, by a contributor to a Spokane newspaper, of an 
erroneous theory that the first white men to pass through that region heard an 
Indian legend^ that the Great Spirit, while hunting one day, had emptied into these 
lakes his quiver of gigantic arrows ; and in substantiation of this fantastic idea, huge 
shafts of the forest, stripped clean of limbs and silvered with years of weather, 
imbedded in the lake bottpm and leaning at a sharp angle above the surface of the 
water, were shown in proof of the truth of the legend. Father DeSmet gives the 
true origin of the name: 

"We passed under a perpendicular rock, where we beheld an innumerable num- 
ber of arrows sticking out of the fissures. The Indians, when they ascend the 
lake, have a custom of lodging each an arrow into these crevices." 

In his "Fur Hunters," Alexander Ross writes of rude paintings in red upon a 
smooth and perpendicular rock on the shore of the lower lake. Against these paint- 
ings, says that author, Indians passing below in their canoes shot arrows in a 
spirit of defiance against a neighboring warring tribe. From the make of these 
arrows the natives could tell what tribes had recently passied. 

Passing through the Arrow lakes, and floating on the swift current of the Col- 
umbia, the missionary came to the Little Dalles. "Our barge was in great danger 
in the Dalle, some miles above Colville," he writes. "I had left it, to go on foot, 
to avoid the dangerous passage. The young boatmen, notwithstanding my remon- 
strances, thought they could pass in safety. A whirlpool suddenly arrested their 
course, and threatened to bury them beneath its angry waters. Their redoubled 
efforts proved ineffectual, — I saw them borne on with an irresistible force to the 
engulfing center-— the bow of the boat descended already into the abyss and filled. 
I was on my knees upon the rock which overhung this frightful spectacle, sur- 
rounded by several Indians; — we implored the aid of heaven in favor of our poor 
comrades — they seemed to be evidently lost — when the whirlpool fiUed, and threw 
them from its bosom, as it reluctantly yielded up the prey which it had so tena- 
ciously held. We all gave heartfelt thanks to Almighty God for having delivered 
them from a danger so imminent." 

At this point in his narrative the missionary digresses into a comprehensive 
description of the surrounding country: "The mouth of the river McGillivray, or 
Flatbow (the Kootenai of the present day), is near the outlet of the lower lake. 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 133 

It presents a beautiful situation for the establishment of a future reduction or 
mission, and I have already marked out a site for the construction of a church. 
About twenty miles lower we passed the Flathead or Clark's river (the Pend 
d'Oreille), which contributes largely to the Columbia. These two beautiful riyers 
deriye a great portion of their waters from the same chain of the Rocky mountains 
from which a great number of the forks of the Saskatchewan and of the Missouri 
are supplied. For a distance of about thirty miles from their jimction with the 
Columbia, are they obstructed with insurmountable falls and rapids. Among the 
many lakes connected with the Flathead riyer, three are very conspicuous, and 
measure from thirty to forty miles in lengthy and from four to six in width. The 
Flathead lake receiyes a large and beautiful stream, extending upwards of a hun- 
dred miles in a northwestern direction, through a most delightful Talley, and is 
supplied by considerable torrents, coming from a great cluster of mountains, con- 
nected immediately with the main chain, in which a great number of lakes lie em- 
bedded. Clark's fork passes through Lake Kalispel. Lake Roothan is situated in 
the Pend d'Ordlle and Flatbow mountains, and discharges itself by the Black- 
Gown riyer into the Clark, twenty miles below Kalispel lake." 

Lake Roothan finds frequent mention in Governor Stevens' reports as lake 
"Rootham," and is so printed on old government maps. It is now known as Priest 
lake, and the "Black-Gown river" of DeSmet is the Priest river of the present day. 
The lake was named by the Jesuits in honor of the then father general of their order. 
"Towards the end of the month of May," continues the narrative, "I arrived at 
Fort Colville. I found the nation of Shuyelphi or Kettle Fall already baptized 
by the Rev. Father Hoecken, who had continued to instruct them after my depart- 
ure in the month of August last year. They had built, to my great surprise, a 
small frame church, so much the more beautiful and agreeable to my eyes, as being 
their first attempt at architecture, and the exclusive work of the Indians. With a 
laudable pride they conducted me, as in triumph, to the humble and new temple of 
the Lord, and in favor of that good people, and for their perseverance in the faith, 
I there offered the august sacrifice of the altar. 

"The arrival of the good Father Nobili at Colville filled us with great joy and 
consolation. He had made missionary excursions over the greatest portion of New 
Caledonia. Everywhere the Indian tribes received him with open arms, and took 
great care to bring their little children to be baptized. Having made a retreat of 
eight days in the Reduction of St. Ignatius, and after a month of repose and prep- 
aration for a second expedition, he returned with renewed zeal and fervor to his 
dear Caledonians, accompanied by several laborers, and supplied with a dozen 
horses, loaded with implements of agriculture and carpentry. 

"Father Nobili and myself were most hospitably entertained during our stay 
at Fort Colville. The kindness of the Honorable Mr. Lewes and family I shall 
never forget. Truly and deservedly has Commodore Wilkes stated, 'That the lib- 
erality and hospitality of all the gentlemen of the Honorable Hudson's Bay com- 
pany are proverbial.' " 



CHAPTER XV 

CATHOLIC MISSIONS— CONCLUDED 

OVERLAND JOURNEY FROM OLD WALLA WALLA TO THE SPOKANE DE8MET TAKES A 

FRIENDLY INDIAN PIPE FROM THE SPOKANE TO COLVILLE TRIP FROM SPOKANE 

TO THE COEUR d'aLENE MISSION A SUMMER ENCAMPMENT DESCRIBED TAKING 

"pOT luck" with INDIANS SUPERSTITIONS OF THE COEUR d'aLENES THEY WOR' 

SHIP A WHITE man's SPOTTED SHIRT AND BLANKET*— MISSION EFFORTS OF AN IRO- 
QUOIS CHIEF FATHER POINT's LABORS AMONG THIS TRIBE GOVERNOR STEVENS* 

HOSPITABLE RECEPTION AT THE OLD MISSION MISSIONARIES TAKE THE OATH OF 

ALLEGIANCE TO THE U. S. CAPTAIN m'cLELLAN AMONG THE YAKIMAS ST. MICH- 

AEl's mission near HILLYARD FATHER CARUANA AMONG THE SPOKANES. 

FROM Colville DeSmet descended the Columbia in one of the barges of the 
Hudson's Bay company, stopping at Fort Okanogan, where, he adminis- 
tered baptism to forty-three persons. From Vancouver he set out in July 
on a return to the interior, and under date of July 26, 1846, in a letter from St. 
Ignatius, on the lower Pend d'Oreille river, thus records the incidents of an over- 
land journey from old Walla Walla on the Columbia: 

'The eighth day after my departure from Fort Vancouver, I landed safely at 
Walla Walla, with the goods destined for the different missions. In a few days 
all was ready, and having thanked the good and kind-hearted Mr. McBean, the 
superintendent of the fort, who had rendered me every assistance in his power, 
we soon found ourselves on the way to the mountains, leading a band of pack mules 
and horses over a sandy, dry plain, covered with bunch-grass and wormwood." 

In fair weather this William B. McBean could be kind and hospitable to a degree ; 
but when, in his defense, all is said that may be said, the distressing fact remains 
that he behaved badly when begged for succor and defense by survivors of the 
Whitman massacre. Thwaites, editor of "The Jesuit Relations and Allied Docu- 
ments," says that McBean was an educated half-breed, who succeeded Archibald 
McKinley at Fort Walla Walla in 1845. "He attained an unpleasant notoriety in 
connection with the Whitman massacre, because of his Catholic proclivities, and 
his tardiness in aiding the survivors; but most of the charges against him were 
unfounded. In New Caledonia he had a reputation for being despotic and wily, 
also somewhat fanatical in religious matters." 

With all the deep ardor of a lover of nature. Father DeSmet enjoyed his life 
on the trail — afloat on rushing mountain river, by campfire beneath the solemn 
pines, or out upon the free and starlit prairie. "We encamped for the night," re- 

135 



136 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

sumes his narrative, "in a beautiful little meadow, watered by the Walla Walla 
river, where we found abundance of grass for our animals. These were soon un- 
loaded and left free to graze at leisure. We next made a fire, put on the camp 
kettle, stretched the bed, consisting of a buffalo robe, and smoked together the 
friendly Indian pipe, whilst supper was preparing. We found ourselves at home 
•and perfectly at ease in less than a quarter of an hour. The evening was clear 
and beautiful — not a cloud — our sleep, sound and refreshing, prepared us for an 
early start at dawn of day." 

Here was a spectacle — a priest of God puffing at an Indian pipe and unblush- 
ingly proclaiming the enjoyment of it — that would have scandalized the zealous 
Parker, forerunner of Whitman and Spalding in the lone land where rolls the Ore- 
gon. Parker detested the incense of the pipe, inveighed against its use by trapper 
and Indian, and often gravely admonished the Indians against this sin. Like 
DeSmet, he was brave, and zealous, and a lover of wild nature too; but unlike 
DeSmet, he seemed not to know when to unbend, or when to look with indolgent 
*eye on a practice which had long been dear to the Indian heart. 

"The Aext day," continues DeSmet, "we found about a dozen Indian lodges, 
callec^he Palooses, a portion of the Sapetan (Sahaptin) or Nez Perce tribe. We 
procured^rom the Indians here some fresh salmon, for which we made them ample 
return in powder and lead. But as the grass was withered and scanty, and the pil- 
fering dispositions of these Indians rather doubtful, we resolved on proceeding 
eight or ten miles farther, and encamped late in the evening on the Pavilion river 
(now the Palouse). 

"On the fifth day of our departure from Walla Walla, we reached the Spokane 
river, and found a good fording for our animals. You will see with pleasure the 
chart I have made of' the headwaters of this river, which, though beautiful and 
interesting, is yet, like all the other rivers in Oregon, almost an imbroken succes- 
sion of rapids, falls and cascades, and of course ill-adapted in its present conditicHi 
to the purposes of navigation. The two upper valleys of the Coeur d'Alene are 
beautiful, and of a rich mold. They are watered by two deep forks, running into 
the Coeur d'Alene lake, a fine sheet of water, of about thirty miles in length by 
four or ^Ye broad, from which the river Spokane derives its source. I called the 
two upper forks the St. Joseph's and the St. Ignatius. They are formed by in- 
numerable torrents, descending from the Pointed Heart mountains, a chain of the 
Rocky mountains. The two upper valleys are about sixty or eighty miles long, and 
four or eight miles broad. I counted upwards of forty little lakes in them. The 
whole neighborhood of the Spokane river affords very abundant grazing, and in 
many sections is tolerably well timbered with pines of different species." 

DeSmet probably followed the old Indian trail leading from the Walla Walla 
valley to Colville, which crossed the Spokane about twenty miles below the falls, 
and passed through the Tshimakain valley, now Walker's prairie, where Eells and 
Walker maintained their Protestant mission from 1889 to 1848. "On leaving the 
river," he says, "we ascended by a steep Indian path. A few miles ride across a 
pine forest brings you to a beautiful valley leading to Colville, agreeably diversified 
by plains and forests, hemmed in by high wooded mountains, and by huge pic- 
turesque rocks towering their lofty heads over all the rest. Fountains and rivulets 
are here very numerous. After about thirty miles we arrived at the foot of the 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 137 

Kalispel mountain^ in the neighborhood of St. Francis Regis^ where already about 
seventy metis or halfbreeds have collected to settle permanently." 

From St. Ignatius^ under date of July 25, 1846, Father DeSmet wrote to Mrs. 
S. Parmentier, a Brooklyn woman who had made a liberal donation for the support 
of his missions. "I am indeed ashamed," he begins, "at not having been able sooner 
to answer the letters which yon had the kindness to write me on the 2d of Septem- 
ber and the 7th of December, 1 844." Evidently the mail service was no better for 
the Catholic missionaries than it had been for the Protestants, who regarded as one 
of their chief hardships the long delays involved in communication with eastern 
friends. Father DeSmet explained that this lady's letters "reached the Rocky 
mountains only the year after, while I was engaged in a distant mission among the 
Indians, so that I received them only in the month of July, 1846. ... I have 
given directions to the Indians of these different tribes to recite, every week, the 
Rosary for one of their great benefactresses, meaning yourself. Now, you can 
not but be aware, that, among the Indians, the beads are recited in each family, 
so that I am already assured, and I have the consolation of saying to you, that 
many thousand pairs of beads have already been offered up to God and his august 
mother for you. Those good Indians — ^those children of the forest — so dear to 
my heart, will continue to display their gratitude till I tell them to cease, and that 
will not be very soon. . . . How happy should I be, my dear, excellent Madam, 
could I give you to understand how great, how sweet, how enrapturing, is their 
devotion to the august mother of God. The name of Mary, which, pronounced in 
the Indian language, is something so sweet and endearing, delights and charms 
them. 

"The usual place of residence of the Kalispels — that in which the reduction of 
St Ignatius is now established — is an extensive prairie, called the Bay of the Kal- 
ispels, thirty or forty miles above the mouth of Clark or Flathead river. A beau- 
tiful grotto exists in the neighborhood of the mission, which I have named the 
grotto of Manresa, in honor of our Holy Founder. It is very large, and might, 
at small expense, be fitted up for a church. May the Indians gather in crowds 
into this new Manresa, and after the example of their patron, St. Ignatius, be 
penetrated with a feeling sense of heavenly things, and inflamed with the love of 
God. 

"I shall always remember with pleasure the winter of 1844-45, which I had 
the happiness of spending among these good Indians. The place for wintering 
was well chosen, picturesque, agreeable and convenient. The camp was placed 
near a beautiful waterfall, caused by Clark's river being blocked up by an immense 
rock, through which' the waters, forcing narrow passages, precipitate themselves. 
A dense and interminable forest protected us from the north winds, and a countless 
number of dead trees, standing on all sides, furnished us with abundant fuel for 
oar fires during the inclement season. We were encircled by ranges of lofty moun- 
tains, whose snowclad summits reflected in the sun, their brightness on all the 
surrounding country." From this description, it seems probable that the rendez- 
vous just described was at Albani Falls, near the present town of Newport. 

"The place for wintering being determined, the first care of the Indians was 
to erect the house of prayer. While the men cut down saplings, the women brought 
bark and mats to cover them. In two days this humble house of the Lord was 



138 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

completed — humble and poor, indeed, but truly the house of prayer, to which pure, 
simple, innocent souls repaired, to offer to the Great Spirit their vows, and the 
tribute of their affections. . . . 

"The great festival of Christmas, the day on which the little band was to be 
added to the number of the true children of God, will never be effaced from the 
memory of our good Indians. The manner in which we celebrated midnight mass, 
may give you an idea of our festival. The signal for rising, which was to be given 
a few minutes before midnight, was the firing of a pistol, announcing to the In- 
dians that the house of prayer would soon be open. This was followed by a gen- 
eral discharge of guns, in honor of the birth of the infant Savior, and 800 voices 
rose spontaneously from the midst of the forest, and entoned in the language of the 
Pend d'Oreilles, the beautiful canticle: 'Du Dieu puiuant tout annonce la gloire/ 
— 'The Almighty's glory all things proclaim.' In a moment a multitude of adorers 
were seen wending their way to the humble temple of the Lord — resembling, in- 
deed, the manger in which the Messiah was born. On that night, which all at once 
became bright as day, they experienced, I know not what, that which made them 
exclaini aloud, *0h, God, I give Thee my heart.' 

"On the eve the church was embellished with garlands and wreaths of green 
boughs, forming, as it were, a frame for the images which represent the affecting 
mysteries of Christmas night. The interior was ornamented with pine branches. 
The altar was neatly decorated, bespangled with stars of various brightness, and 
covered with a profusion of ribbons — things exceedingly attractive to the eye of an 
Indian. At midnight I celebrated a solemn mass, the Indians sang several canticles 
suitable to the occasion. That peace announced in the first verse of the Angelic 
hymn, 'The Gloria — Peace on earth to men of good will,' was, I venture to say, 
literally fulfilled to the Indians of the forest. 

"A grand banquet, according to Indian custom, followed the first mass. Some 
choice pieces of the animals slain in the chase had been set apart for the occasion. 
I ordered half a sack of flour and a large boiler of sweetened coffee to be added. 
The union, the contentment, the joy, and charity, which pervaded the whole as- 
sembly, might well be compared to the agape of the primitive Christians." 

"Fathers Mengarini and Serbinati (the last-mentioned father has since died), had 
the consolation to see the whole tribe of the Flatheads, among whom they had been 
laboring, approach the holy table on this day. Twelve young Indians, taught by 
Father Mengarini, performed, with accuracy, several pieces of music during the 
midnight mass. Fathers Point and Joset had, also, the consolation of admitting 
for the first time, nearly the entire tribe of the Coeur d'Alenes, on this auspicious 
day, to the Holy Communion. The Christmas of 1844 was, therefore, a great and 
glorious day in the Rocky mountains. 

"I will close this already lengthy letter with a few words more concerning the 
Pends d'Oreilles of the Bay. Early in the spring of 1845, they began to build 
upon the spot selected for the Reduction of St. Ignatius, and to open fields. On 
Ascension day of the same year, Father Hoecken administered baptism to upwards 
of a hundred adults. At my last visit, which I paid them in July last, they had 
already put up fourteen log houses, besides a large barn, had the timbers prepared 
for a church, and had upwards of 300 acres in grain, enclosed by a substantial 
fence. The whole village, men, women and children, had worked most cheerfully. 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 139 

I counted thirty head of horned cattle — ^the sqaaws had learned to milk the cows 
and chum ; they had a few hogs, and some domestic fowls. The number of Chris- 
tians had doubled since Christmas^ 1844." 

August^ 1846^ found DeSmet at St. Mary's mission in Montana^ describing, in 
A letter of August 10, a journey from St. Ignatius mission by way of the Colville 
country and the Spokane valley, to the mission of the Sacred Heart on the Coeur 
d'Alene river. "We had beautiful weather, and a path remarkably free from 
those obstructions so annoying to travelers in the mountains. Towards the middle 
of our day's journey, we reached a beautiful lake surrounded by hills, and a thick 
forest of larch (tamarack). I have named it the Lake DeNef, as a token of grati- 
tude towards one of the greatest benefactors of the mission. It discharges itself 
through a narrow passage, forming a beautiful rapid called the Toumhout-torrent, 
at the termination of which it joins its limpid waters to those of the river Spo- 
kane." In the opinion of Thwaites, who edited a revised volume of DeSmet's cor- 
respondence, this was the present Blake's lake in northern Spokane county, ."which 
discharges by the West Branch into Little Spokane river." 

The missionary forded the Spokane river, just below the main falls, and fol- 
lowed up the south bank to Lake Coeur d'Alene. "A few words descriptive of our 
encampments during wet weather may not be out of place," says his narrative of 
this journey. "The tent erected in haste — saddles, bridles, baggage, etc., thrown 
into some sheltered spot — large heaps of larch branches or brushwood are cut 
down and spread over the spot of ground destined for our repose — provision of as 
much dry wood as can be collected is now brought forth for the whole night; on 
this occasion we made a fire large enough to roast an ox. These preparations com- 
pleted, our meal (dinner and supper the same time), consisting of flour, camash 
roots, and some buifalo tallow, is thrown into a large kettle nearly filled with 
water. The great heat requiring the cook to stand at a respectable distance from 
the fire, a long pole serves as a ladle to stir about the contents until the mixture 
has acquired the proper density, when a vigorous attack is made upon it after a 
singular fashion indeed. On the present occasion we were six in number, trusting 
to a single spoon, but necessity soon supplied the deficiency. Two of the company 
used pieces of bark ; two others strips of leather ; and the fifth, a small turtle shell." 

As the missionary's compagnons du voyage were natives — two Kalispels and 
three Coeur d'Alenes, it may be surmised that they graciously awarded the single 
spoon to the blackrobe. "Grace being said," continues the father, "a circle is formed 
round the kettle, and the instruments plunge and replunge into it with as much 
regularity and address as a number of smiths' hammers plying at the anvils; a few 
moments, and the contents of the large kettle are gone, leaving not a vestige be- 
hind. We found this repast delicious, thanks to our keen appetites. Making due 
allowance for the taste of others, I confess I have never enjoyed a feast more 
heartily than such as I have now described, prepared in the open air, after the 
Indian fashion. All the refined inventions of the art culinary, as sauces, pickles, 
preserves, pies, etc., designed to quicken or restore weak appetites, are here utterly 
useless. Loss of appetite, which among the wealthy forms the reigning complaint, 
furnishing abundant employment to apothecaries and doctors, is here unheard of. 
n these patients would have the courage to abandon for a time their high living, 
and traverse the wilds of this region on horseback, breakfasting at daybreak and 



140 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

dining at sunset^ after a ride of forty miles^ I venture to predict that they ynH not 
need any refined incitements to relish as I did a simple dish prepared by the In- 
dians." 

The scene here described with such good humor and sounds practical philosophy 
lay in our beautiful valley of the Spokane; and the dietary truths so pleasingly 
advanced by the pioneer of the gospel and the cross^ are as sound today as two- 
thirds of a century ago. Now^ as then^ health and the zest of keen appetite may 
be had for the seeking in our mountain vales and by our wooded waters; but the 
tribe of apothecaries and the clan of physicians flourish in our midst. 

"Having dried our blankets^ and said night prayers^ our repose was not l^s 
sound for having fared so simply^ or lain upon a rough couch of brushwood," the 
good father adds contentedly. 

At the Coeur d'Alene mission DeSmet was cordially received by Fathers Joset 
and Point. All the Coeur d'Alenes of the neighborhood came to welcome him. 
"The fervor and piety of these poor Indians filled me with great joy and consola- 
tion/' remarks the missionary, "especially when I considered how great the change 
wrought in them since their conversion to Christianity. . . . Previous to their 
conversion, these Indians were shunned by the other tribes, on account, it is said, 
of their great power in juggling and other idolatrous practices. ... A single 
instance will serve to give you some idea of the objects of their worship, and the 
facility with which they adopt their manitous or divinities. They related to me 
that the first white man they saw in their country wore a calico shirt, spotted all 
over with black and white, which to them appeared like the smallpox; he also wore 
a white coverlet. The Coeur d'Alenes imagined that the spotted shirt was the 
great manitou himself — ^the great master of that alarming disease, the smallpox — 
and that the white coverlet was the great manitou of the snow; that if they could 
obtain possession of these, and pay them divine honors, their nation would never 
afterwards be visited by that dreadful scourge; and their winter hunts be rendered 
successful by an abundant fall of snow. They accordingly offered him, in exchange 
for these, several of their best horses. The bargain was eagerly closed by the 
white man. The spotted shirt and the white coverlet became thenceforward, ob- 
jects of great veneration for many years. On grand solemnities the two manitous 
were carried in procession to a lofty eminence, usually consecrated to the perform- 
ance of their superstitious rites. They were then respectfully spread on the grass: 
the great medicine pipe offered to them, with as much veneration as it is customary 
with the Indians, in presenting it to the sun, the fire, the earth and the water. The 
whole band of jugglers, or medicine men, then entoned canticles of adoration to 
them. The service was generally terminated with a grand dance, in which the 
performers exhibited the most hideous contortions and extravagant gestures, accom- 
panied with a most unearthly howling." 

Father Nicholas Point, who labored long among the Coeur d'Alenes, is authority 
that this tribe was partly converted to Christianity, about the year 18S0, by an 
Iroquois chief called Ignatius. They had heard, in an imperfect way from the fur 
traders, that in the faith of the white man there was but one God, who had an 
invisible place called heaven as abode of good people after death, and an invisible 
place of torment called hell, where the wicked spirits were consigned. That God's 
son in heaven, beholding all men running in the road to the bad place, descended 



PETEB JOHN DE 8MET 
The great apoatle of tbe Indians 



' . 



~ '-'7 



.\ 



:^ ^' -- •-.. V.AKY 



I 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 141 

to earth to point them to the good road, but that in order to effect this, it was 
required that he die upon the cross. 

"One evening," says Father Point, in an extended letter recording the details 
of the conversion of the Coeur d'Alenes, "all the families, who were dispersed in 
different directions, for fishing, for hunting, and for gathering roots, assembled 
upon the ground of an old chief called Ignatius, to see the author of this news. 
R^^dless of fatigue, they prolonged their sitting to the silence of the night, and 
listened to aU the details of the glorious message." 

While the tribe halted between two opinions;, hesitating whether they should 
abandon their old beliefs and accept the doctrine of the white men, a death-inflict- 
ing disease came among them, probably small-pox, and at the moment it raged with 
greatest violence, one of the dying, afterwards called Stephen, ani\punced that he 
had heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Cast down thy idols; adore Jesus Christ, 
and thou shalt be cured." 

"The dying man," says Father Point, "believed the word and was cured. He 
went about the camp and related what had taken place: all the sick who heard him 
imitated his example, and recovered their health. I have this fact from the mouth 
of the savages who heard the voice from heaven, and the same has been confirmed 
by eye-witnesses." 

However, remarks Father Point, as neither constancy nor reflection is to be 
found in the savage, the gpreater part of the Coeur d'Alenes relapsed into idolatry^ 
hastened in this reactionary tendency by the influence of the medicine men. 

"Such," says Father Point, "was pretty nearly the condition of the people 
when Providence sent among them the Rev. Father DeSmet. His visit disposed 
them so much in favor of the Blackgowns, tha.t it was determmed I should be sent 
to their aid. Three months after, that is, at th^ •<*lo^ '6f thei hunting expeditions 
of the autumn of 1842, I left St. Mary's to »pllidfei;ti^-iie^'c8riverts under the pro- 
tection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus." 

Father Point arrived among the Coeur (JAleneaTflle'fir^t Friday in November, 
and on the first Friday in December, lifted,*witn' chant and prayer, the cross on 
the shore of a lake where the savages had gathered for fishing. As the first mission 
of the Sacred Heart was reared on the banks of the St. Joseph river, this lake was 
probably the Coeur d*Alene, or Chatcolet lake adjacent to the mouth of the St. 
Joseph. Soon these Indians "spoke no more of their assemblies of imposters, their 
diabolical visions, nor superstitious ceremonies, which had before been so common; 
and most important of all, gambling, which had always occupied a great portion 
of their time, was two weeks afterwards abandoned; the conjugal bond, which for 
centuries, perhaps, had known among them neither unity nor indissolubility, was 
brought back to its primitive character; and a beautiful sight was presented by 
the medicine men themselves, who, with their own hands, did justice to the wretched 
instruments hell had used to deceive them. During the long nights of that period 
it will not be necessary to tell how many sacrifices were made of feathers, wolves* 
tails, stags' feet, deer's hoofs, wooden images, etc." 

With the advent of early spring the Indians assembled at the chosen site for 
the mission, and with enthusiasm and industry set about the building of a village, 
formed upon' the ancient plans in Paraguay, under which each one contributed ac- 



142 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

cording to his strength and industry. Trees were felled for cabins, roads opened, 
a church erected and the public fields enclosed, broken and planted. 

From the 9th of September to the date of this letter, a period of six months, 
"not one single fault which can be called serious," adds Father Point, "has been 
committed in the village of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; and a great many who 
reproached themselves with light failings, cease not to make public confession in 
terms of grief. I have seen husbands come after their wives, and mothers after 
their daughters, not to excuse the accusations they had made, but to acknowledge 
that their want of patience and humility were the cause of the failings of others. 

"It is worthy of remark that of all the adults who had not yet received baptism, 
and all who united to prepare for their first communion, not one was judged un- 
worthy to receive the sacraments. Their simplicity, piety, charity, and especially 
their faith, were admirable. And truly all these virtues were necessary for these 
good old men, who, for the sake of learning their prayers, had to become the 
scholars of their children, and for the children to enable them to do violence to 
their natural vivacity, while they slowly communicated to their old parents and 
grandparents, a part of what they had learned; and the chiefs would rise at the 
dawn of day, and sometimes in the middle of the night, to exhort their people to 
weep over their sins." 

Father Point has left us an affectionate description of the sacrament of the 
holy communion, conferred in the little church in the wilderness by the venerable 
Father Joset, whose labors have entered so extensively into the early history of 
the Catholic church in Spokane: 

"The church was small; it measured in length fifty feet, and in breadth twenty- 
four. It was indeed poor, but from every part of the wall and ceiling, were sus- 
pended rich festoons of leaves. While the stars were still shining in the firmament, 
the chant, Lauda Sion, was heard. But who sung that divine canticle.^ The sav- 
ages who lately addressed their prayers only to the animals of their mountains. 
. . . It was Father Joset who had the happiness to distribute to them the bread 
of life — a happiness so much the more felt, as he had just arrived among them. 
Before they approached the holy table, he addressed them a few words; but the 
tender piety apparent in all at the moment of communicating, made him fear to 
spoil the work of God by adding more words of his own, and he left them to their 
own devotion." 

As repeated floods in the St. Joseph river showed that the first site of the mis- 
sion had been unfortunately chosen, the church and village of Sacred Heart were 
moved in 1846 to a more salubrious spot on the Coeur d'Alene river. 

VISITED BY GOVERNOR STEVENS 

When Governor Isaac I. Stevens came into this country in 1853, in the three 
fold capacity of governor of Washington territory, Indian commissioner to treat 
with various tribes between Dakota and Puget Sound, and searcher out of north- 
ern routes for a transcontinental railroad, he visited this beautiful mission. Late 
on an October evening with Antoine Plant for guide, he came to the mission door 
and sought hospitality of the fathers then in charge. "The mission," said Stevens 
in his official report to the secretary of war, "is beautifully located upon a hill 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 143 

overlookiiig extensive prairies stretching to the east and west toward the Coeur 
d'Alene mountains and the Columbia river. About 100 acres of the eastern prairie 
adjoining the mission are enclosed and under cultivation^ furnishing employment 
to thirty or forty Indians — men^ women and children. I observed two ploughing, 
which they executed skilfully; others were sowing wheat, and others digging po- 
tatoes. 

"Pere Gazzoli received me with the most pleasing hospitality. Associated with 
him are Pere Ravalli, now absent to secure supplies, and Brothers Charles Huett 
and Maginn. The latter, however, is a lay brother, attached to the Pend d'Oreille 
mission, who is here at this time to assist in harvesting. 

"Towards evening I witnessed the burial of an Indian chief. The funeral serv- 
ices were conducted after the Catholic form, and I was struck with the harmonious 
voices of the Indian choristers, and with their solemn observance of the ceremonies. 
"The mission is composed of buildings enclosing a square. Some of them are 
quite old, but the bam is large and new. The church stands a little distance fron\ 
the rest, and does much credit to those who erected it. It is constructed on a plan 
designed by Pere Ravalli, and is of the Roman demi-style of architecture. Pulleys 
and ropes were the only mechanical aids in the construction. Pere Ravalli is quite 
an architect, and drew up many designs before the one selected was adopted. In 
his room, which I was kindly given to occupy, was his library. I observed that it 
contained several standard works on architecture. The church was not completed, 
although sufficiently so for the performance of services within. The interior is 
prettily arranged. The altar is supported by two massive timbers of pine which 
are about four feet in diameter. We were informed that in erecting these pillars, 
an Indian who was holding one of them became frightened and let it fall, fortu- 
nately without injury to any one. The priests live in a self-denying manner, and the 
^;ood effects of their influence over the Indians around them are plainly manifest. 

"There is quite a village of Indians near the mission. They have some half 
doxen log-houses, but most of them live in lodges. 

"While awaiting the arrival of the train, I was enabled more particularly to 
observe the manner in which the affairs of the mission were conducted. Brother 
Charles has charge of the buildings and attends to the indoor work, cooks, makes 
butter and cheese, issues provisions, and pays the Indians for their work, which 
pajment is made in tickets bearing a certain value, 'good for so many potatoes or 
so much wheat,' etc. By this management the Indians are able to procure their 
subsistence in the summer by hunting and fishing, and have tickets in store for liv- 
ing during the winter. They are well contented, and I was pleased to observe 
habits of industry growing upon them. In the barn we saw their operations of 
threshing: four boys rode as many mules abreast around in a circle, being followed 
by two girls with flails, who appeared to be perfectly at home in their business. 
One half of the bam is reserved for their crops, while the other is arranged for 
cattle. Their stock at present consists of twenty cows, eight pairs of oxen and 
ninety pigs, which are driven to pasture upon the prairie by Indians boys daily. 
I noticed an Indian woman milking, and was surprised to see her use both hands, 
something rarely seen among the Indians. We afterwards visited the field — a large 
fire was burning, and around it sat Indians roasting and eating potatoes. There 



144 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

appeared to be a great scarcity of proper implements^ and in digging potatoes I 
noticed that many had nothing better than sharpened sticks." 

Governor Stevens remarked that Brother Maginn declared himself to be^ like 
many other naturalized citizens, a good democrat, inquired who was president of 
the United States, and appeared to be much pleased when informed that he was a 
democrat. 

Two years later, in June, 1855, Governor Stevens revisited this mission. "We 
were received in the most hospitable and cordial manner, and remained there the 
next day," says his official report. "To show something of the privations which 
the missionaries have to undergo, I will remaik that Father Ravalli, in his recent 
trip from The Dalles, had the assistance of only two Indians and an Indian boy 
in bringing up a train of twenty-two pack animals. He was obliged to see per- 
sonaUy to the packing of each one of his animals, doing most of the piannal labor 
himself, and could not get off (though he commenced at early dawn) until towards 
ten o'clock in the morning." 

On the occasion of the governor's first visit to the mission, the Indians were 
caUed in from the fields, and he addressed them, saying: 

"I am glad to see you and find that you are under such good direction. I have 
come four times as far as you go to hunt buffalo, and have come with directions 
from the Great Father to see you, to talk to you, and to do all I can for your wel- 
fare. I see cultivated fields, a church, houses, cattle, and the fruits of the earth, 
the work of your own hands. The Great Father will be delighted to hear this, and 
will certainly assist you. Go on, and every family will have a house, and a patch 
of ground, and every one will be well clothed. I have had talks with the Black- 
feet, who promise to make peace with all the Indian tribes. Listen to the good 
father and to the good brothers who labor for your good." 

That evening the governor had a long conversation with the father and brothers, 
and on leaving the next morning he made glad the heart of Brother Charles by 
presenting him a number of lariats for use in raising the timbers of the uncom- 
pleted church. 

On the occasion of the governor's second visit to the mission, in June, 1855, 
the fathers and lay brothers took the oath of allegiance to the government of the 
United States, and signed naturalization papers. Stevens remarked that they 
seemed much pleased with the idea of becoming American citizens. 

IN THE YAKIMA VALLEY 

Captain George B. McClellan,' when traveling down the Yakima in 1858, visited 
the mission in that valley, and George Gibbs, a member of his expedition, has left 
us this description : "The mission, which, in summer, is maintained in the Ahtanum 
valley, is transferred (with the moving of the Indians in winter) into that of the 
main river. There are two priests attached to this mission, belonging to the order 
of the Oblats, Fathers Pandozy and d'Harbomey. The stations are small log 
buildings, divided into a chapel and lodging room, with a corral for horses and a 
spot of enclosed garden ground adjoining the one at Ahtanum. The fathers in- 
formed us that they found the Yakimas not very teachable, and that they had 
accomplished little except as peacemakers; the Indians were lazy and cultivated 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 145 

the ground with but little regularity^ some years not planting at all. They did not 
believe that a resident farmer would be of use. The Indians, however, say, and 
justly, that they have no tools, and but little inducement to labor, their country 
affording other subsistence, and the toil of planting with their own rude imple- 
ments not being compensated by the results. With proper encouragement, and 
assistance in breaking up the ground, they would doubtless do more. It is probably 
an object with the missionaries to discourage secular residents, who might divide 
their own influence over the natives. 

"The courteous attention of these gentlemen to the officers of the expedition 
requires acknowledgment. They furnished all the information in their power re- 
specting the country, secured good guides to the parties, and acted as interpreters 
with the Indians. Father Pandozy, in particular, is familiarly acquainted with the 
Yakima tongue. Kamiaken is the only one of the three brothers who has adopted 
even the forms of Catholicism, and he refuses to be baptized, because he would be 
compelled to put away his surplus wives, of whom he has several." 

Gibbs states that a number of Yakimas professed to have a remedy for small- 
pox. "Father Pandozy, one of the missionaries, informed me that he believed it 
to be the root of a species of iris. He had once tasted it, and it acted as a violent 
emetic. The Spokanes have also another and different specific. It is known to 
but few persons, having been gradually forgotten since the former visitation. Re- 
cently, when it broke out in one of the Spokane villages, an old woman, who was 
blind, described it to her daughter^ and directed her to proceed towards Kamiaken's 
country, and that if she encountered none in her way, to get from him some of 
whidi he used. The girl, however, did find the herb and returned with it. The 
mother prepared the medicine, and the smallpox was stayed, but not until it had 
nearly destroyed the village. We were not successful in obtaining specimens of this 
plant, but Father Pandozy kindly promised to save some when opportimity offered. 
In regard to this disease, the greatest scourge of the red man, it has passed through 
this region more than once, and was probably the first severe blow which fell upon 
the Oregon tribes. Its appearance seems to have been before any direct intercourse 
took place with the whites, and it may have found its way northward from Cali- 
fornia. Captains Lewis and Clark conjectured, from the relations of the Indians, 
and the apparent age of individuals marked with it, that it had prevailed about 
thirty years before their arrival. It also spread with great virulence in 1848. From 
the other, and no less sure, destroyer of the coast tribes, the venereal, the Yakimas, 
and generally the Indians east of the mountains, are, as yet, exempt. Spirituous ' 
liquors have never been introduced into their country, at least beyond the neigh- 
borhood of The Dalles." 

ST. Michael's MISSION near spokane 

From a manuscript in the Spokane public library, written by one of the resi- 
dents at Gonzaga college, we extract the following: 

In the '60s St. Michael's mission to the Indians was founded on Peone prairie, 
nine miles northeast of Spokane. Baptiste • Peone was the chief. In 1 863 he 
became a Catholic, and from that time till the winter of 1866, when Father Cataldo 
made the first attempt to establish a permanent mission on the prairie, the converted 

Vol I— 10 



146 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND- EMPIRE 

chief's home was the stopping place of the missionaries on their periodical visits 
to the Spokane Indians. Father Cataldo having been assigned to work among them, 
his first care was to procure a chapel wherein to hold services, but they opp>osed 
him, and declared that in the absence of the head chief they could not assume the 
responsibility of granting his request. But as the chief was not to return for some 
time, the Father told the Indians that he would erect a'chap>el, and then if they did 
not desire to have it, he would totally destroy it at the end of three months. With 
some murmurings they assented to this proposition, and forthwith Father Cataldo 
erected a log structure, about two miles from the present St. Michael's mission. 
When the three months had elapsed, nearly all of the Indians had become Catholic, 
and when Father Cataldo expressed a willingness to destroy the chapel as he had 
promised, the new converts, of a different mind now, strongly objected, one of the 
chiefs boldly declaring that if the head chief did not like what had been done in 
his absence, he could go elsewhere; and as for the Father's leaving, they would 
only consent to that upon the terms that another be sent in his place. 

For some time after the foundation of this mission, it was very hard to get 
fathers to go there, as so much other work was to be done, and as a consequence 
the Indians grew dissatisfied and went to the Protestant faith. 

In 1878 the mission was moved to the present site, about three miles from 
Hillyard, and a priest sent there to officiate regularly. There were about 600 in 
the Spokane tribe at that time, and of these the Catholics numbered one half. 

The Indians of this section used to gather together and do their hunting by 
driving the game onto Peone prairie, there killing and portioning it. In the fall 
they would assemble and start out for deer, the hunt taking about a month. An 
Indian was placed at a deer trail, and if there were not enough Indians, they would 
build a fire in the trail and put some moccasins on the fire to drive the deer back. 
After a few days the Indians would start towards the prairie, driving the deer 
before them, and when they reached the prairie there was great feasting and re- 
joicing if the hunt had been a profitable one. 

The Indians did their fishing at the mouth of the Little Spokane. They would 
make two nets, one considerably higher than the other, and stretch these across the 
river, the higher net above the lower. The fish which they were after, known as 
the s'chiluize in Indian, never went backwards; they were caught in the space 
between the two nets, and at the end of the season were dried and preserved for 
food during the winter. 

At the beginning of the Nez Perce Indian war. Chief Joseph sent messengers to 
Seltis, then chief of the Coeur d'Alenes, asking him to join in the war against the 
whites. Seltis refused point blank, and furthermore took steps to protect the 
whites in the neighborhood of the Coeur d'Alene tribe. Joseph's men had raided 
some of the settlements in the Palouse country, and Seltis, hearing of this outrage, 
immediately gathered together his men and set out to recapture the towns that 
were said to be raided, and then sent for the whites that had taken refuge in some 
of the neighboring settlements to return to their farms and towns, and he would pro- 
tect them and see that no harm came to them. The Colfax people, soon after this 
magnanimous act of Seltis, asked him and his men to come to Colfax and a banquet 
would be given in his honor. But the old chief politely refused, as he feared that fire- 
water would be flowing, and it would not be good for his men to attend. The chief 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 147 

was also great in other ways, as he had been invited to Washington several times 
by the presidents of that day, but he always refused, as he thought it prudent to 
stay with and protect his tribe from the ravages of the unscrupulous. 

St. Michael's is no longer used to teach the Indian, but as an adjunct to Gon- 
zaga it furnishes a portion of the farm produce used by that institution, and gives 
a quiet resting place for the tired and overworked fathers and scholastics. 

The site was on a slight rise above Chief Peone's camp, and overlooking it so 
that nearly all parts of the prairie could be seen. There was no water at the site, 
bat the Indians furnished all the necessaries of life, even while they were at outs 
irith the rest of the whites. The priests never suflfered for the lack of anything. 
Two structures were erected side by side, one of them a small residence for the 
priest, and the other a chapel where services were held. These buildings were 
destroyed a few years ago by fire caught from a surrounding field. The old grave- 
yard to the east of the mission site still remains, and the graves of the Indians may 
be seen. The practice of buryifig above the ground was not followed after the 
advent of the mission, and all the graves were marked with crosses, which may be 
seen today. The graves are enclosed in little log huts, with six or eight buried in 
each enclosure. 

Rev. Joseph M. Caruana, S. J., came in 1862. "In September, 1862," said he, 
"I baptized seventeen Indian children on the very spot where now is located the 
Xorthern Pacific depot, then occupied by a large Indian camp fishing for white 
salmon. The whole country, on both sides of the river, was covered with Indian 
tepees and bands of cayuses." In 1864 Father Caruana made the acquaintance of 
James Mona^han, at his ferry down the river, and about the same time of another 
white man, Camille Lanctau, who had been running a ferry for two or three years, 
seven miles below the falls. 

"About 1866," adds Father Caruana, "was built the first store in the Spokane 
valley, at what we now call Spokane bridge. Of course that store was started and 
kfpt by white people. It was also the nearest postoffice we had. Our previous 
postoffice was in Walla Walla." 

For a continuation of the early-day labors of Catholic missionaries and priests 
the reader is directed to the chapter on "Catholic Institutions of Spokane." 



Xi L i'L'A ','o-'f'. 


PUbUC LidKARY 


A»T«N, Ltl»*X 1 


fi^^tH Kov>NOArt«Ht J 



k. 



±1 r^—j \ . *. ' t 



CHAPTER XVI 

GOVERNOR STEVENS' OVERLAND EXPEDITION OF 1858 

FIfiST GOVERNOR CLOTHED WITH REMARKABLE POWERS ON THE SUMMIT OF THE COEUR 

d'aLENES GUEST OF CATHOLIC FATHERS AT OLD MISSION IN CAMP AT WOLf's 

LODGE QOYERNOR OBSERVES SPOKA^ES AT THEIR DEVOTIONS FIRST VIEW OF LAKE 

COEUR D^ALENE — -MARCHING DOWN THE SPOKANE VALLEY GOVERNOR VISITS THE 

FALLS ^INDIAN VILLAGE AT MOUTH OF HANGMAN CREEK PUZZLED BT CHIEF 

OARRT FORCED RIDE TO COLVILLE MEETS CAPT. GEORGE B. m'cLELLAN BOUNTI- 
FUL SUPPER SERVED BY MRS. m'dONALD STEAKS COOKED IN BUFFALO FAT LISTENS 

TO TALES OF ADVENTURE. 

His life was gentle; and the elements 

So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up^ 

And say to all the world, "Thia was a man !" 

— Shakespeare. 

CROSSING the country from St. Paul to Puget Sound, to assume office at 
Olympia, Isaac I. Stevens, first goveirnor of the infant territory, looked 
upon the troubled waters at Spokane, October 17, 1853. This region showed 
then little change from the appearance it presented to the fur traders of the rival 
Astor and Northwest companies, nearly fifty, years before. The old regime of 
the Hudson's Bay company had all but disappeared, the Protestant tnissionaries 
had left the country ^ve years before, but Catholic missions still flourished, and 
onder their tutelage and the still prevailing influences of the Protestant workers, 
the Indians had come noticeably under the sway of civilization and peace; the. 
indnstrious had grown prosperous, and some of them men of relative wealth. 

Wide and far-sweeping was the domain over which this brave, energetic and able 
soldier came to rule, comprising the area now embraced within the boundaries of 
Washington state, and including as well the Panhandle of northern Idaho and a 
Urge section of western Montana, sweeping eastward to the summits of the Rocky 
mountains. 

One better fitted, by temperament, education and training, or by knowledge of 
hnnum nature, refined or savage, to fill the new office and meet its grave and per- 
plexing duties. President Pierce could scarce have found if he had searched the 
heart and soul of every strong and able American, north or south. Nearly sixty 
years have drifted by since Stevens came into the ultimate west; the young terri- 
tory has grown rich, populous and sovereign ; but a greater man than Isaac Ingalls 

149 



150 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Stevens it has yet to produce. Had he not fallen in one of the early battles of the 
civil war^ his genius might have swept him to the head of the Union forces ; for in 
bold resolution^ in leadership of men^ and ability to grapple with dangers and diffi- 
culties, he, showed himself vastly the superior of Captain George B. McClellan when, 
side by side, they played their parts on the broad stage of the Pacific northwest. But 
Stevens was to fall in early action, and McClellan to command the Union armies, 
and temporize on the Potomac as he had procrastinated on the Columbia. 

Stevens came clothed with remarkable powers. Additional to his governorship, 
he commanded a large and thoroughly equipped expedition to search out passes and 
routes for a railroad from the Mississippi to Puget Sound, and was empowered to 
negotiate treaties with Indian tribes between the Dakotahs and the Pacific. 

"It is difficult," says the son. Hazard Stevens, in his 'Life of General Isaac I. 
Stevens,* "to realize the magnitude of the task here outlined. It was to traverse 
and explore a domain 2,000 miles in length by 250 in breadth, stretching from 
the Mississippi river to the Pacific ocean, across 1,000 miles of arid plains 
and two great mountain ranges, a region almost unexplored, and infested by pow- 
erful tribes of predatory and warlike savages; to determine the navigability of the 
two great rivers, the Missouri and the Columbia, which intersect the region; to 
locate by reconnoissance and to survey a practicable railroad route; to examine the 
mountain passes and determine the depth of winter snow in them; to collect all 
possible information on the geology, climate, flora and fauna, as well as the topog- 
raphy, of the region traversed; and finally to treat with the Indians on the route, 
cultivate their friendship, and collect information as to their languages, numbers, 
customs, traditions and history; and all this, including the work of preparation 
and organization, to be accomplished in a single season." 

After months of scientific labor, Stevens and his party attained, on a fair Octo- 
l?er day, the summit of the Coeur d*Alene mountains, and from those clear heights 
the governor looked down upon a large part of his imperial domain. In his official 
reports he has left a description of that scene: 

"Upon awakening this morning we were surprised to be greeted by one of the 
loveliest days imaginable. The sky was clear, and the air as soft and balmy as a 
morn in summer. After striking camp, we ascended to the highest point of the 
ridge, about one mile and a half from camp. Here we made a long halt, enjoying the 
magnificent view spread open to us, which, I venture to say, can scarcely be sur- 
passed in any country. Far distant in the east the peaks of the Rocky mountains 
loom up into view, stretched out to a great length, while the Flathead lake and the 
valley thence to the Blackfoot pass was plainly visible. Nearly the entire range of 
the Coeur d'Alene mountains, clothed with evergreen forests, with here and there 
an open summit covered with grass; numerous valleys intersecting the country for 
miles around ; courses of many streams, marked by the ascending fog, all conduced to 
render the view fascinating in the greatest degree to the beholder. The mountains 
were covered with luxuriant coarse grass. Seated on this point, Mr. Stanley was 
enabled to transfer this beautiful panorama to his sketch-book. 

"Descending the peak to the general level of the ridge, we continued on for 
nearly six miles, when the descent commenced, and in less than three miles we 
passed down a very steep descent and gained the base of the mountains, which we 
estimated rose 3,500 feet above it. This brought us into a valley filled with gigantic 



OOVKKNOK 8TKVEX8 GOVERXOE^STEVEXS 

As a young army officer 



HAZARD STEVENS 

The Governor's hod, who, as f 

bov of thirteen, tvitiiessed 

the tp-eat council at 

Walla Walla 



FRANCIS J. D. WOLFF 






»* 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 151 

cedars. The larch^ spruce and vine maple are found in today's march in large 
qaantities^ the latter giving a pleasing variety to the forest growth. About four 
o'clock we encamped on the bank of the stream, which here grows much wider." 

The expedition was now on the headwaters of the south fork of the Coeur 
d'Alene river, and descending that valley, the governor, guided by Antoine Plant 
of the Spokane valley, drew rein late that evening at the hospitable doors of the 
Catholic mission. 

Under the vigilant eye of Governor Stevens this extensive government expe- 
dition had traversed the wide prairies of the Dakotahs, crossed over the Rocky moun- 
tains, and descended into our beautiful Inland Empire, without encountering serious 
mishap. Perhaps a better conception of the character of the expedition and the 
military rigor of its government en route will be obtained from the following orders 
which were issued early in the campaign by Governor Stevens: 

**The most careful attention to animals is enjoined upon all persons engaged in 
this expedition, and will be rigidly enforced. The animals must not go beyond a 
walk, except in case of necessity; and each mounted man must walk some four or 
five miles each day to rest his animal, unless it be impracticable, in consequence of 
bis duties. At halts, men must dismount. 

"On the march the train will keep together as much as possible; the speed of 
the wagons will be regulated by Governor Stevens* ambulance or wagon, or by the 
instrument wagon. The acting quartermaster will regulate the pace of the lead- 
ing team in such a manner that all other teams can keep up without forcing the 
moles. No person except guides, or those having permission, will precede the train 
by more than one-fourth of a mile, or go further from it than that distance, unless 
in case of necessity, or for the performance of some duty." 

Camp regulations were embodied in the following order : 

1. There is no such thing as an escort to this expedition. Each man is 
escorted by every other man. The chiefs of the scientific corps will, equally with 
the officers of the army, act as officers of the guard. It is confidently believed that 
every member of the expedition will cheerfully do his duty in promoting all the ob- 
jects of the expedition, sharing its toils of every description. 

2. Each man of the expedition will habitually go armed. The chief of each 
party and detachment will rigidly inspect arms each morning and evening. Ex- 
cept in extraordinary cases there shall be no march on Sunday. On that day thert 
will be a thorough inspection of persons and things. Clothes should be washed and 
mended, and, if water can be found, each man will be required to bathe his whole 
person. This course is taken to secure health. 

3. The Indian country will be reached in ten days. There is no danger to be 
apprehended, except from the- want of vigilance of guards, and the carelessness of 
single men. The chief of a party or detachment will inspect the guard from time 
to time in the night, and report every case of inattention to duty. 

4. It will be the habitual rule of each member of the scientific corps to take 
charge of his own horse, and to take from and place in the wagon his own personal 
ba^^ge. As private servants are not allowed, the necessity of this rule will be 
apparent. There are exceptional cases, however, as the chief of a party, or where 
great labor has to be performed. 

5. There will be no firing of any description, either in camp or on the march, 



152 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

except by the hunters and guides^ and certain members of the scientific corps, 
without permission of the chief of the expedition, or, in case of detachments^ of the 
officer in charge of the detachment*. 

Leaving the Coeur d'Alene mission on the morning of October 15, the expeciition 
encamped ''in a beautiful prairie, called the Wolf's Lodge, with good grass." Here 
the governor met a party of 100 Spokanes, with 300 horses on their way to hunt 
buffalo on the plains beyond the Rocky mountains. 

"Towards sundo¥m this evening," wrote Stevens, "I was greatly interested in 
observing our friends, the Spokanes, at their devotions. A bell rang, and the whole 
band gathered in and around a large lodge for evening prayers. There was some- 
thing solemn and pathetic in the evening psalm resounding through the forests 
around us. This shows what good results can flow from the labor of devoted mis- 
sionaries; for the Spokanes had had no religious instruction for the last five years. 
As I went down the river, and met band after band of the Spokanes, I invariably 
found the same regard for religious services. Afterwards they came around my 
camp-fire and we had a talk. They tell me that six days since Governor Ogden (of 
the Hudson's Bay company) and three gentlemen, with some soldiers, left Walla 
Walla for Colville to meet me. Garry, they say, is at his farm, four miles from the 
Spokane House. I spoke to them also with reference to being on friendly terms 
with the Coeur d'Alenes." 

With quick and prophetic eye Governor Stevens took notice of the opportuni- 
ties for future settlement: ''The country through which we have passed today, 
though obstructed with fallen timber, and rolling, and at times broken in surface, 
was arable, and reminded me of a great deal of country that I have seen in New 
England, where there are now productive farms." 

He was of Massachusetts birth, seventh in descent from the first settler at 
Andover, and having been brought up from infancy amid New England sur- 
roundings, where hard-willed men had struggled with adverse nature and come off 
victorious from the combat, had developed a peculiar faculty for comprehending, 
almost within a glance, the future productive possibilities of a broad region which 
then lay wild and savagely beautiful. He had developed, too, a system of gath- 
ering information by questioning occasional settlers, trappers and missionaries, as 
chance gave him the desired opportunity. He was ever ready for a "talk" with 
chief or head man, and often, after a day of the severest travel, would eagerly sit up 
half the night or more to draw out the conversational powers of his frontier host. 
From the good fathers and brothers at the Coeur d'Alene mission he learned that 
"the country intermediate between this and Clark's fork on the Pend d'Oreille lake 
is arable, well-watered, and not much intersected by spurs or ridges." 

Soon after leaving camp on the morning of the sixteenth the party came in view 
of lake Coeur d'Alene, shinmiering below them in the mellow October sunlight, and 
eleven miles from camp "struck it near its western extremity." Stevens described 
the lake as "a beautiful sheet of water surrounded by picturesque hills mostly 
covered with wood. Its shape is irregular, unlike that given it upon the maps. Its 
waters are received from the Coeur d'Alene river, which runs through it. Below 
the lake the river is not easily navigable, there being many rapids, and in numerous 
instances it widens greatly and runs sluggishly through a shallow channel. Above 
the lake I am informed by the missionaries that it is navigable nearly to the mis- 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 153 

sion. Upon the eastern side appears a range of hills, along the eastern base of which 
I think the road from the mission to Walla Walla passes." 

Leaving the lake, at the site of the present city of Coeur d'Alene, the expedition 
followed down the Spokane river on its northern bank, passing a camp of Coeur 
d'Alenes occupied with their trout fisheries. 

When Governor Stevens entered the country, the Spokane river, from the lake 
to the mouth of the Little Spokane, still bore the fur traders' designation, the 
Coenr d'Alene, and the Spokane valley was called the Coeur d'Alene prairie. The 
broad region sweeping westward from the falls to the Columbia, bearing the present 
day designation of the Big Bend country, was then termed the Spokane plains. 

Passing on down the valley, the party "witnessed a touching sight, a daughter 
administering to her dying father;" and still keeping through open woods, "on a 
most excellent road, in two miles further came to the Coeur d'Alene prairie, a 
beautiful tract of land containing several hundred square miles. Trap rock, pro- 
jecting above the surface of the ground, borders the river as we enter the prairie." 
Continuing on, they met a half breed, Francis Finlay, on his way from his home 
at Colville to the Bitter Root valley with his family, "among whom we saw his 
pretty half-breed daughter." They impressed the governor as being well dressed 
and presenting "a very respectable appearance." 

Three miles before reaching the night's encampment, they met a party of Spo- 
kaues who informed them that Chief Garry was at his farm and was holding there 
»me of the horses that had been left with him by Lieutenant Saxton, who had come 
in from the Columbia river to join the main expedition in the interior. 

Leaving camp, the governor, accompanied by Antoine the guide, Osgood and 
the artist Stanley, "turned from the trail to visit the falls of the Coeur d'Alene 
river (the Spokane), while Lavette took the train ahead on the trail to the Spokane 
House. There are two principal falls," reported Stevens, "one of twenty feet 
and the other of from ten to twelve feet ; in the latter there being a perpendicular 
faU of seven or eight feet ; for a quarter of a mile the descent is rapid, over a rough 
bed of rocks, and in this distance we estimate a fall of 90 to 100 feet," rather an 
onder-estimate, both of the main falls and of the total descent of the river. 

One mile below the falls, at the mouth of Hangman creek, the governor found a 
small Indian village whose inhabitants were catching salmon. He "noticed one 
large woman^ who seemed to pride herself upon her person, which she took pains to 
set off in the most becoming manner, by means of a blanket wrapped around her." 
The road from Hangman creek to Spokane House, at the mouth of the Little 
Spokane, was described as passing over "a sandy prairie interspersed with groves 
of pine. Crossing a dividing ridge with high and steep banks, we came into the 
prairie in which the Spokane House is situated, in which were two Spokane villages. 
We inquired for Garry, and I sent him a request that he would visit me at my camp. 
The train we found a mile below the junction, across the Spokane. The Indians 
indicating a good camp some distance beyond, we moved on eight and a half miles to 
it, which we reached half an hour before sundown. Here there was good grass and 
plenty of water, and we soon made up a large campfire." • 

After arranging matters in camp, the governor observed, after nightfall, a fire 
down the river, "and strolling down to the place came upon a camp of Spokane 
Indians, and found them engaged in religious services, which I was glad of the 



154 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

opportunity to witness. I'here were three or four men, as many women, and half 
a dozen children. Their exercises were: 1, address; 2, Lord's prayer; 3, psalms; 
4, benediction; and were conducted with great solemnity." 

In its work of exploring routes for a transcontinental railroad, the United States 
government had adopted the plan applied more than forty years before by John 
Jacob Astor in his bold 'enterprise of founding on the northwest coast of America 
his Pacific Fur company, namely, of sending one expedition overland and a second 
by sea, around Cape Horn and into the Columbia river. On Governor Stevens' 
request, command of the water expedition had been entrusted to Captain George 
B. McClellan. "As the route was new and comparatively unexplored," says Stevens, 
"it was determined to organize the whole command into two divisions — the eastern 
division being under my immediate direction, and the western division under Captain 
George B. McClellan, of the corps of engineers, who was ordered to report to me, 
and whose field of duty is best shown by the following extract from the general 
instructions: *A second party will proceed at once to Puget Sound and explore the 
passes of the Cascade range, meeting the eastern party between that range and the 
Rocky mountains, as may be arranged by Governor Stevens.' " 

Stevens had reason to believe that McClellan's party was somewhere in the 
interior, and his object now was to consolidate the two parties and plan out the fur- 
ther work of exploration. Garry and a number of other Spokanes came in that even- 
ing and "gave rumors of a large party having arrived opposite Colville ; also of a 
small party having gone from Walla Walla to Colville." There was also a repwrt of 
the arrival of a party, at Walla Walla from the mountains. The governor was further 
informed that an old man had just come from the Yakima valley in four days, bring- 
ing news of a party operating in that vicinity, towards Colville. "I can not learn," 
wrote Stevens, "whether the party is under Captain McClellan or one of his officers. 
The Indians confirm the intelligence given by the Cayuse Indians at the Coeur 
d'Alene mission, that thirty wagons have crossed the Cascades by the military road, 
but rumors vary as to their success in getting through." 

The governor was puzzled by Chief Garry's apparent lack of candor. "Garry," 
he wrote from the field, "was educated by the Hudson's Bay company at Red river, 
where he lived four years, with six other Indians from this vicinity, all of whom 
are now dead. He speaks English and French well, and we have had a long con- 
versation this evening; but he is not frank, and I do not understand him." Stevens' 
first measure of the Spokane chief squares with the judgment of James N. Glover, 
who considered him "an old skulker." In justice, however, to the memory of the 
aged chieftain, who lies buried in Greenwood cemetery, we add that Stevens later 
readjusted his first estimate and learned to place much confidence in Garry's sin- 
cerity and ability. The chief was then cultivating an extensive field ; he had learned 
farming from Elkanah Walker, the protestant missionary who labored among the 
Spokanes for nearly ten years, and had a good crop of wheat when Governor Stev- 
ens came into his country, and was going to Colville the next day to have some of 
it ground at the old Hudson's Bay mill. ' 

Stevens resolved to push on to Colville, and at half past eight the next morn- 
ing broke camp and started north. On the way there they were joined by an old 
Indian from the Yakima country, who had been directed by Garry to meet the gov- 
ernor and impart further information concerning the party of white men he had 



i. 









L 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND E^IPIRE 155 

seen beyond the Columbia river. The old man stated that a large party had reaehea 
the bank of the river opposite Colville the day before. "I was satisfied from his 
accounts," says Stevens, "that the party was McClellan's, and accordingly deter- 
mined on going to Colville tonight. Antoine has horses half way. We rested until 
2 o'clock and then set out, Antoine and myself pushing ahead of the train. We 
met Antoine's family encamped in a fine prairie, with whom Antoine remained, send- 
ing his brother-in-law on with us as a guide." 

At a point twenty-eight miles from Colville the governor was told that he could 
not complete the journey that day, as it was growing late and parts of the road 
were bad, "but being determined to do so we pushed on and reached Brown's at 
5:45, who informed us that the distance to Colville was eighteen miles. After par- 
taking of some bread and milk, we resumed the road with the same animals, dash- 
ing off at full speed, going eight or nine miles an hour most of the way, and reached 
Colville at nine o'clock. Mr. McDonald, the trader in charge, gave me a most 
hospitable reception and addressed a note to McClellan, who had just gone to his 
camp near by, informing him of my arrival. McClellan came up immediately, and 
though I was fairly worn out with the severity of the ride, we sat up till one 
o'clock. At 11 we sat down to a nice supper prepared by Mrs. McDonald and 
regaled ourselves with steaks cooked in buffalo fat, giving them the flavor of buf- 
falo meat. I retired exhausted with the fatigues of the day." 

"During our stay at Colville," wrote Stevens, "we visited McDonald's camp. 
Near it there is a mission, under Fere Lewis, whom we visited. The Indians about 
the mission are well disposed and religious. In the evening we listened to the 
thrilling stories and exciting legends of McDonald, with which his memory seems to 
be weU stored. He says intelligence had reached him through the Blackfeet of 
the coming of my party ; that the Blackfeet gave most singular accounts of every- 
thing connected with us. For instance, they Said ' that our horses had claws like 
the grizzly bear ; they climbed up the *steep rocks and held on by their claws ; that 
their necks were like the new moon ; and that their neighing was like the sound of 
distant thunder. McDonald has, of course, given a free translation of the reports 
made by Indians. 

"We listened to his accounts of his own thrilling adventures of his mountain life, 
and a description of an encounter with a party of Blackfeet is well worth relating. 
At the head of a party of three or four men he was met by a band of these Indians, 
who showed evidences of hostility. By signs he requested the chief of the Black- 
feet to advance and meet him, both being unarmed. When the chief assented and 
met him half way between the two parties, McDonald caught him by the hair of 
the head, and, holding him firmly, exacted from the remaining Indians promises to 
give up their arms, which they accordingly did, and passed on peacably. He has 
lived here many years, and is an upright, intelligent, manly and energetic man." 



CHAPTER XVII 

FROM SPOKANE TO WALLA WALLA AND VANCOUVER 

m'cLELLAN procrastinates on the COLUMBIA AND IN THE CASCADES HAD LITTLE 

FAITH IN THE COUNTRY STEVENS ASSEMBLES HIS PARTY IN CAMP WASHINGTON 

CHEERED BY A KEQ OF COGNAC VISITS OLD MISSION ON WALKER's PRAIRIE COL- 

VILLE VALLEY SETTLERS SEEK NATURALIZATION FIELD CAPITAL NEAR SPOKANE 

FEASTING IN CAMP WASHINGTON BEEF HEAD, TEXAS FASHION ARMY OFFICERS 

SHRINK FROM WINTER SERVICE GARRY TELLS STEVENS OF INDIAN MYTHS ACROSS 

THE PALOUSE COUNTRY FINE POTATOES IN WALLA WALLA VALLEY TRIBUTE TO 

MARCUS WHITMAN DOWN THE COLUMBIA IN A CANOE GUEST AT VANCOUVER OF 

CAPTAIN BONNEVILLE. 

McCLELLAN had been only measurably successful with his end of the work. 
He had arrived at Vancouver, on the Columbia on the 27th of June, but 
with characteristic disinclination to move until every detail of equipment 
and preparation was worked out, he did not put his party in motion till July 18, 
and then to find, before he had penetrated the Cascade mountains a great distance, 
that his thoroughness of preparation was but a handicap, as he had organized a 
larger exi>edition than he could expeditiously move through a tangled and broken 
mountain region. Unable to penetrate the western slopes of the Cascades with his 
unwieldly expedition, he directed his efforts east of the Cascades, where the country 
was more open, and by means of detachments had gleaned a pretty fair knowledge 
of the passes as far north as the Methow. McClellan's report on the character of 
the prairie country between the Columbia river and Spokane was based on long 
range observation. From the summit of a high ridge separating the waters of the 
Yakima and the Wenatchee he obtained a view which he described most drearily: 

"That portion of the Cascade range which crosses the Columbia sinks into an 
elevated plateau, which extends as far as the limit of vision to the eastward; this 
is the Spokane Plain. On it we could see no indication of water, not a single tree ; 
and except on the mountain spur, not one spot of verdure. It was of a dead, yel- 
lowish hue, with large clouds of black blending into the yellowish tinge, and 
appeared to be a sage desert, with a scanty growth of dry bunch-grass, and fre- 
<iuent outcroppings of basalt." 

"McClellan, as appears from his report," says Hazard Stevens in the biography 
of his father, "took a decidedly unfavorable opinion of the country, and of a rail- 
road route across the Cascades. He declared in substance that the Columbia river 
pass was the only one worth considering, that there was no pass whatever north of 

157 



158 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

it except the Snoqualmie pass^ and gave it as his firm and settled opinion that the 
snow in winter was from twenty to twenty-five feet deep in that pass. 

"His examination of the pass was a very hasty and cursory one, with no other 
instruments than a compass and a barometer, and extended only three miles across 
the summit. His only information as to the depth of winter snow was the reports 
of Indians, and the marks of snow on the trees, or what he took to be such. Thus 
the most important point, the real problem of the field of exploration entrusted to 
him, namely, the existence and character of the Cascade passes, he failed to deter- 
mine. He failed utterly to respond to Governor Stevens* earnest an3 manly exhor- 
tation, *We must not be frightened with long tunnels, or enormous snows, but set 
ourselves to work to overcome them.' He manifested the same dilatoriness in prep- 
aration and moving, the same timidity in action, the same magnifying of difficulties, 
that later marked and ruined his career as an army commander. 

"Two railroads now cross the range which he examined — the Northern Pacific, 
by a pass just south of the Snoqualmie and north of the Nahchess, the very place of 
which McClellan reported that *there certainly is none between this (the Snoqual- 
mie) and the Nahchess pass ;' and the Great Northern, by a pass at the head of the 
Wenatchee or Pisquouse river, of which stream he declared, 'It appears certain that 
there can be no pass at its head for a road.' The snows he so much exaggerated 
have proved no obstacle, and in fact have actually caused less trouble and obstruc- 
tion in these passes than in the Columbia pass itself." 

Since the foregoing was written, Snoqualmie pass has been appropriated by 
the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, and R. E. Strahorn's North Coast system 
has found an excellent pass farther to the south, and following closely, in fact, the 
line of march followed by McClellan between Vancouver and the valley of the 
Yakima. 

Hazard Stevens adds that one of the lines of the Northern Pacific (the Mullan 
branch from Missoula) now crosses the Coeur d'Alene pass on Governor Stevens* 
route, to the vicinity of the mission, running thence south of Coeur d'Alene lake to 
Spokane. 

Describing the valley of the Columbia, McClellan wrote: 

"Through a valley of about a mile in breadth, in. which not a tree is to be seen 
and seldom even a bush, and which is bordered by steep walls of trap, lava and 
sandstone, often arranged in a succession of high plateaux or steps, the deep blue 
water of the Columbia flows with a rapid, powerful current. It is the only lifelike 
object in the desert." "The character of the valley is much the same as far as Fort 
Okinakane. It occasionally widens out slightly, again it is narrowed by the moun- 
tains pressing in. Sometimes the trail passes over the lower bottom, at others ele- 
vated and extensive terraces, and in a few places over dangerous points in the 
mountains." 

McClellan measured the stream just above the mouth of the Wenatchee, (then 
called the Pisquouse) and found it 371 yards wide in September. Fifteen miles 
further up it was 829 yards wide. 

"It will be seen," reported Stevens, "that though a very fine examination had 
been made of the eastern slope of the Cascades, no line had been run by Captain 
McClellan to Puget Sound, and I deemed it of the greatest consequence to carry 
through such a line, so that we could speak with positiveness and certainty of the 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 159 

grades on the western sides^ and the other facts bearing upon the question of rail- 
road practicability. Captain McClellan was of opinion that it was possible to 
carry such a line through at this season of the year^ although he apprehended that 
some difSculty might be found from the presence of snow/' 

Governor Stevens resolved to assemble the whole party in a camp south of the 
Spokane river^ and "then to arrange parties so as to move to the Sound and the 
lower Columbia river in such a way as would give the best additional knowledge of 
the country." Chief Garry, having come in with his wheat, was dispatched with a 
letter to Lieutenant Donelson relative to the place of rendezvous. Stevens decided 
to remain at Colville another day, and to leave October 20 for the concentration 
camp, "a valley south of the Spokane river, some ten or twelve miles south of the 
Spokane House. This spot," explained Stevens, "is only a short distance off the trail 
leading from Walker and Eells' mission to Walla Walla." 

When the party moved off the following morning, Trader McDonald presented 
the governor with "a keg of cognac to cheer the hearts of the members of all par- 
ties, and obliged us also to take a supply of port wine." On the way to the evening 
camp they passed McDonald's grist mill "on Mill river, the only one in the neigh- 
borhood." McDonald kept them company, and that night they enjoyed a "glorious 
supper of smoking steaks and hot cakes, and the stories added to the relish with 
which it was eaten." McDonald was a born raconteur, and as they sat around the 
flaring campfire charmed them "with a recital of his thrilling adventures, and 
expressed much regret that the expected arrival of the Hudson's Bay express from 
Canada obliged him to return the next morning." 

From Stevens* journal: October 22. — We got off early, and at Brown's stopped 
to purchase horses, and succeeded in obtaining two, one for McClellan and the 
other for myself. McDonald accompanied me some distance further, when, bid- 
ding each other adieu, I pushed ahead, and reaching a small stream I found that 
MeClellan's party had taken the left bank, and that the captain, who came up 
afterwards with Mr. Stanley, had gone on to join them. We took the right, and 
thus avoided a bad crossing in which MeClellan's party became involved. We 
encamped upon the borders of the stream. Our train is now larger and more 
heavily laden than before, in consequence of the increased supplies. Today we 
have thirteen packs. At night we killed a cow, purchased of Brown, and we 
still have an ox in reserve, to be killed when we meet Donelson. I may say here 
that two pounds of beef and half pound of flour per man is not too much for a 
day's allowance. 

October 23. — Snow is falling this morning, and it has cleaned our beef ad- 
mirably. I received a note from McClellan, just after starting out, saying that in 
consequence of yesterday's difficulty with the train he thought that he had better 
remain with his own train. He afterwards, at my request, joined me, leaving the 
train under the charge of Duncan. We journeyed but ten miles, encamping near 
where we had seen Antoine's family in going to Colville. The snow ceased falling 
about noon, with five inches ujK)n the ground. It is light, and we think it will 
disappear in a few days. The Indians inform me that we shall not probably find 
it south of the Coeur d'Alene river ; and from their statements it would seem that 
this river is a dividing line as regards climate. 

October 24. — We started this morning with the intention of reaching the 



160 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

appointed place of meeting tonight. McClellan^ Minter, Osgood^ Stanley and my- 
self pushed ahead, and at noon we reached the old Chemakane mission, so called 
from a spring of that name near by. The mission was occupied by Messrs. Walker 
and Eells, but in 1849, in consequence of the Cayuse difficulties, it was abandoned. 
These gentlemen labored ardently for the good of the Indians. Walker was a good 
farmer and taught them agriculture, and by them his name is now mentioned with 
great respect. The house occupied by Walker is still standing, but that of Eells 
has been burned down. The site of the mission is hve miles from the Spokane 
river, in an extensive open valley, well watered and very rich. Here we met Garry 
and some 200 Spokanes. Garry has forwarded the letter to Donelson, but had 
received no intelligence of his arrival in the Coeur d'Alene plain. We therefore 
concluded to encamp here, and tomorrow McClellan and myself are to accompiany 
Garry to the Spokane House. The route by Walker and Eells* mission to Colville 
united with that taken by us twelve or fourteen miles from the mission. It is a 
better route, affording good grazing during the whole distance. The Colville or 
Slawntehus and Chemakane valleys have productive soil, and are from one to three 
miles wide, and bordered by low hills, covered with larch, pine and spruce, having 
also a productive soil, which gradually become broken and lower towards the south. 
In the evening the Indians clustered around our fire, and manifested much pleasure 
in our treatment of them. Gibbs was indefatigable in collecting information in 
regard to these Indians. I have now seen a great deal of Garry and am much 
pleased with him. Beneath a quiet exterior he shows himself to be a man of judg- 
ment, forecast and great reliability, and I could see in my interview with his band 
the ascendency he possesses over them. Near the mission lives Solomon Pelter, a 
settler, who, by Garry's permission, has taken up his abode in this valley. I told 
Pelter, in reply to his request to be permitted to remain here, that though I had no 
power to authorize him, yet I could see no objection to his so doing; that I looked 
with favor upon it, and requested him to have an eye to the interests of the 
Indians. 

"I should have mentioned, in its proper place, that in Colville valley there is a 
line of settlements twenty-eight miles long. The settlers are persons formerly con- 
nected with the Hudson's Bay company, and they are anxious to become naturalized, 
and have the lands they now occupy transferred to themselves. I informed them 
that I could only express my hopes that their case would be met by the passage of 
a special act. They are extensive farmers and raise a great deal of wheat." 

Governor Stevens and Captain McClellan, guided by Chief Garry, went on to 
Spokane House the following morning. Garry's family they found occupying a 
comfortable lodge, and Garry informed them that he always had on hand flour, 
sugar and coffee, with which he could make his friends comfortable. "We then 
went to our new camp south of the Spokane, which had been established while we 
were visiting Garry's place. From the Chemakane mission the train left the river, 
and passing through a rolling country covered with open pine woods, in ^ve miles 
reached the SpK)kane, and crossing it by a good and winding ford, ascended the 
plain, and in six miles, the first two of which was through open pine, reached Camp 
Washington." 

To Secretary W. H. Gilstrap of the State Historical society I am indebted for 
interesting details regarding the location, after a lapse of fifty years, of the site of 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 161 

Camp Washington. A distant relative of the secretary, Owen B. Gilstrap, informed 
him that in plowing he had unearthed an old musket, a rusted sword and other 
warlike implements, and expressed a belief that his homestead, near Four Mound 
prairie, had been the scene of an Indian battle. Secretary Gilstrap replied that 
while the find was a most interesting one, it could hardly mark a battleground, 
for the site lay north of Wright's line of fighting in the war of 1858, and history 
afforded no evidence of any other engagement between whites and Indians in that 
Ticinity. 

Secretary Gilstrap surmised that the relics might have connection with Gov- 
ernor Stevens* movements in this section, and a rereading of the official reports 
seemed to confirm his belief. He discovered in the governor's reports a detailed 
description of his operations in the Spokane country in 1853, and learned that 
the party, after leaving the Spokane House, at the junction of the Spokane and 
Little SpK>kane rivers, had traveled six miles and halted at a spot which afforded 
good grass and water. The old route was followed, and at a distance of six 
miles a glade was found in the pine woods; in it a spring which formed a little 
lake of two acres, and surrounded by a small meadow. No other spot in the 
vicinity met the description, but Mr. Gilstrap, in the true spirit of historical re- 
search, was careful not to jump at a conclusion, and induced "Curly Jim/' an aged 
Spokane who was a youth when Stevens entered this country, to accompany him 
to the scene. The aged Indian retained a keen recollection of the incidents de- 
scribed by Stevens, and pointed out the exact site of historic Camp Washington. 

"I believe the people of Spokane county can justly make the claim that within 
their borders was consummated the organization of the new conunonwealth," said Mr. 
Gilstrap in a recent conversation with the author; "and in a sense 
this historic site of Camp Washington was the first capital of the territory. 
For here Governor Stevens relinquished his duties as explorer and searcher out 
of routes for future railroads, and entered upon his duties under the president's 
commission as governor." 

Mr. Gilstrap has also an interesting explanation of the origin of the name "Four 
Mound." At a point not distant from Stevens* camp four large natural stone monu- 
ments stand out against the, surrounding landscape, and on the largest of these Indian 
hands erected nearly a century ago four cairns of broken rock. These remain today. 
Aged Indians preserve a tradition that Camp Washington was a rendezvous for 
trappers and traders prior to the coming of Governor Stevens. From time imme- 
morial the place had been a natural gathering place by reason of the advantages 
which prompted Stevens to choose it for his camp' — its abundance of grass and 
water; and while it was six miles distant from the trading post at Spokane House, 
it appears that the traders frequently transported a part of their wares there 
and exchanged them for furs brought in by Indian hunters. Even today the old 
Indian trails, worn deep in places by the passing of many feet, are still in evi- 
dence, having survived the winter snows and summer rains of more than half a 
century. 

When Governor Stevens entered the new territory of Washington, the Hudson's 
Bay company still maintained trading posts at Colville, Walla Walla, Vancouver 
and Steilacoom, near Tacoma, but its oldtime autocratic $way was tottering to a 
fall. It still asserted extensive though ill defined rights, and its officers were most 



162 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

anxious to cultivate the friendship and good will of the first governor. With far- 
seeing political vision^ Stevens anticipated the seductive influences that would be 
extended towards himself and other members of the expedition, and in his instruc- 
tions to Captain McClellan and others was explicit and emphatic: 

"I am exceedingly desirous (he wrote) that no exertion should be spared to have 
means of our own for our expedition, and shall much prefer to be in condition to 
extend aid than to be obliged to receive aid from others. Whilst we will gratefully 
receive aid from the company in case of necessity, let it be our determination to 
have within ourselves the means of the most complete efficacy. I am more and more 
convinced that in our operations we should be self-dependent, and whilst we ex- 
change courtesies and hospitalities with the Hudson's Bay company, the people 
and the Indians of the Territory should see that we have all the elements of success 
in our hands. The Indians must look to us for protection and counsel. They must 
see that we are their true friends, and be taught not to look, as they have been 
accustomed to, to the Hudson's Bay company. I am so impressed with this fact 
that I wish no Indian presents to be procured from British posts. I am determined, 
in my intercourse with the Indians, to break up the ascendency of the Hudson's 
Bay company, and permit no authority or sanction to come between the Indians 
and the officers of this government." 

For ^ve days the expedition remained in Camp Washington, making arrange- 
ments to move westward. Lieutenant Donelson came in with his detachment on 
the 28th, "and soon we all sat down to a fine supper prepared for the occasion," 
wrote Governor Stevens. "All the members of the expedition were in fine spirits; 
our table was spread under a canopy, and ufN)n it a great variety of dishes ap- 
peared — roasted beef, bouilli, steaks, and abundance of hot bread, coffee, sugar, and 
our friend McDonald's good cheer." Probably so great a feast had not been spread 
in the country since the regale days of forty years agone, when trader, trapper and 
voyageur cheered their hearts with creature comforts on some great feast day of 
the church of Rome. 

"But the best dish," adds Stevens, "was a beef's head cooked by friend Minter 
in Texas fashion. It was placed in a hole in the ground, on a layer of hot stones, 
with moss and leaves around it to protect it from the dirt, and then covered up. 
There it remained for some ^ve. or six hours, when removing it from the place where 
it was deposited, the skin came off without difficulty, and it presented a very tempt- 
ing dish, and was enjoyed by every member of the party." 

The question now confronting Governor Stevens was, were the animals in fit 
condition for severe wbrk in the Cascade mountains.^ He was deeply concerned 
with the importance of running a survey through the Snoqualmie pass (Sno-qual- 
mop he wrote it in his reports), but "was unwilling, after so much labor and fatigue, 
to assign the gentlemen to duty, when they did not have confidence in their means, 
unless it was a case of imperative necessity." 

Accordingly he resolved to leave the matter to their judgment, and while both 
McClellan and Donelson "were ready cheerfully to conform to any direction, they 
did not desire to go upon the duty ; and accordingly, somewhat reluctantly, I deter- 
mined to send the whole party to the Walla Walla, thence to The Dalles and Van- 
couver, and thence to Olympia, making carefully a survey of the country on the route. 

"I will here observe," says Stevens in mild criticism, "that all the gentlemen 



h'AI.I^ OF HPOKANK AS SKETCHED BY AX ARTIST WITH 
GOVERX08 STEVENS. 18:'i3 



SPOKANE FALLS IN THE EARLY '80s— L. W. RIMA IN THE tORE(iR0lIND 



UPPER SPOKANE FALLS, INSl 



PUSLiC L13KAHY1 






' "^^£ >£:'vV y,;^u 



— — — ^^'^UA f jg,,| 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 163 

were too much influenced in their judgment by the belief that snows would fall 
early and deep in the Sno-qual-moo pass^ and on the route from the Coeur d'Alene, 
under the base of the Bitter Root, to the Walla Walla. The little fall of snow 
which I have mentioned — although in snow countries it is simply an incident of the 
faU, haying nothing to do with betokening the approach of winter, but rather indi- 
cating, if anything, a late winter — ^had not been appreciated, and was thought to 
indicate that winter was already upon us. The necessary instructions were sent 
accordingly. I sent word by an Indian expressman to Lieutenant Arnold at Col- 
?ille, informing him of the arrangements, and also letters to Lieutenant Mullan 
and Mr. Tinkham, at Fort Owen; for I was now satisfied, from what I had gath- 
ered upon the route, that Mr. Tinkham would find great difficulty in moving over 
the southern Nez Perce trail to Fort Walla Walla in December. The fall of snow 
varies exceedingly at short distances apart on the Bitter Root mountains, as I then 
had reason to believe, and as was afterwards demonstrated. I still desired that 
Lieutenant Donelson should go up the Coeur d'Alene, although all* the other parties 
went on the direct route, but he did not desire to do this. And I will again observe, 
that had I possessed at Camp Washington information which I gained in six days 
afterwards at Walla Walla, I should have pushed the party over the Cascades in 
the present condition of the animals ; but Captain McClellan was entitled to weight 
in his judgment of the route, it being upon the special field of his examination." 

Leaving Camp Washington, the expedition traveled in a southerly direction 
^hroogh the Palouse country. They came, on the second day, to a chain of small 
akes, abounding in wild fowl. "We saw in one of these lakes,*' wrote Stevens, 
'surrounded by ducks and geese, a pair of white swans, which remained to challenge 
our admiration after their companions had been frightened away by our approach.*' 
"Garry assures us," added the governor, "that there is a remarkable lake called 
En-chush-chesh-she-luxum, or Never Freezing Water, about thirty miles to the east 
of this place. It is much largier than any of the lakes just mentioned, and so com- 
pletely surrounded by high and precipitous rocks that it is impossible to descend 
to the water. It is said never to freeze, even in the most severe winters. The In- 

« 

I ians believe that it is inhabited by buffalo, elk, deer and* all other kinds of game, 
which they say may be seen in the clear, transparent element." 

Garry also narrated a superstition respecting a point of painted rock in 
Pcnd d'Oreille lake, near a place then occupied by Michael Ogden. He assured 
GoTemor Stevens that the Indians never dared to venture by the mystic point, 
f^^prehending that such act of sacrilege, as related in their legends, would be re- 
sented by the Great Spirit, who would cause a terrific commotion in the waters and 
caase them to be swallowed up in frightful waves. The painted rocks were said to 
be very high, and to "contain effigies of men and beasts, and other characters, made, 
as the Indians believe, by a race of men who preceded them as inhabitants of the 
land." Similar painted rocks exist at the upper end of lake Chelan. 

On the afternoon of November 1 the expedition arrived at the junction of the 
Paloose and the Snake, and crossing Snake river, pitched camp on its southern 
bank. Chief Wi-ti-my-hoy-she, of a band of Palouse Indians encamped near the 
mouth of the Palouse, exhibited a medal of Thomas Jefferson, dated 1801, given to 
his grandfather, he said, by Captains LcMris and Clark when they passed through 
th** country in 1 805. 



164 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Governor Stevens was unable to visit the falls of the Palonse, but inserted in 
his official report, the following description, supplied him by Stanley, the artist, 
who had seen them in 1847: 

"The Palouse river (Stevens spelled it Peluse) flows over three steppes, each of 
which is estimated to have an ascent of a thousand feet. The falls descend from 
the middle of the lower of these steppes. There is no timber along the course of 
this stream, and but few willow or other bushes ; yet the soil is fertile and the grass 
nutritious and abundant even in winter. The fall of water, which is about thirty 
feet wide, can not be seen from any distant point, for flowing through a fissure in 
the basaltic rocks, portions of which tower above in jagged pinnacles, it suddenly 
descends some 125 feet into a narrow basin, and thence flows rapidly away through 
a deep canyon. The distance from the falls to Snake river is about nine miles. 
The valley widens considerably for about half a mile from the mouth of the Palouse. 
The home of the Palouse Indians is near this junction, where they devote much of 
their time to salmon fishing. The salmon ascend to the falls, but these Indians 
have a legend which tells of the wickedness of the Indians higher up the country, 
and how the Great Spirit, in his displeasure, placed the falls as a barrier to the 
further ascent of the salmon." 

From the crossing of Snake river the governor pushed rapidly to old Fort Walla 
Walla, on the Columbia. The country between the Snake and Walla Walla rivers 
he described as "high rolling prairies. On the road I traveled," he added, "the 
grass was uniformly good, but on leaving the Snake the first water was the Touchet, 
twenty-seven and one half miles distant. This was the longest march we had 
accomplished without water after leaving Fort Benton, perhaps the longest between 
the Mississippi and the Columbia. Captain McClellan, by a slight change of direc- 
tion, striking the Touchet higher up, and crossing the Walla .Walla valley by a more 
central line, found good water and camps at less than twenty miles apart" 

At Fort Walla Walla the governor was the g^est of Factor Pembrum of the 
Hudson's Bay company. He remained in the Walla Walla country till November 
8, and on the fourth and fifth rode through the valley. 

November 4. — We started on the trip through this valley, riding upon our 
horses. Arriving at the Hudson Bay farm, we exchanged them for fresh ones, send- 
ing back to Walla Walla (on the Columbia) the old ones by an Indian. This farm 
is eighteen miles from Walla Walla, and is a fine tract of land, well adapted to 
grazing or cultivation. It is naturally bounded by streams, and is equivalent to a 
mile square. There is the richest grass we have seen since leaving St. Mary's. Two 
herders tend their animals, and a small house is erected for their accommodation. 
From this we went to McBane's house, a retired factor of the company, from whence 
we had a fine view of the southern portion of the valley, which is watered by many 
tributaries from the Blue mountains. The land here is very fertile. McBane 
was in charge of Fort Walla Walla during the Cayuse difficulties. Thirty miles 
from Walla Walla, and near McBane's, lives Father Chirouse, a missionary of the 
Catholic order, who, with two laymen, exercises his influence among the surrounding 
tribes. A party of immigrants, who had lost nearly all their animals, are shel- 
tered here at this time. From Chirouse and McBane I learned that the inmiigrants 
frequently cast wishful eyes upon the valley, but having made no arrangements 
with the Indians, thev are unable to settle there. 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 165 

November 5. — We remained with Mr. McBane over nighty and returned to the 
fort by way of the Whitman mission^ now occupied by Bumford and Brooke. They 
were harvesting, and I saw as fine potatoes as ever I beheld — many weighing two 
pounds, and one weighing five and a half. Their carrots and beets, too, were of 
extraordinary size. Mr. Whitman must have done a great deal of good for the 
Indians. His mission is situated upon a fine tract of land, and he had erected a 
saw and grist mill. It is said that his death was brought about by the false reports 
of a troublesome half-breed, who reported having heard Mrs. Whitman say to her 
husband, when speaking of the Indians: "We will get rid of them some day.*' 
From Bum ford's to the mouth of the Touchet are many farms, mostly occupied by 
the retired employes of the Hudson's Bay company. On our return we met Pu-pu- 
mox-mox, the Walla Walla chief, known and respected far and wide. He possesses 
not so much intelligence and energy as Garry, but he has some gifts of which the 
latter is deprived. He is of dignified manner and well qualified to manage men. 
He owns over 2,000 horses, besides many cattle, and has a farm near that of the 
Hudson's Bay company. On the occurrence of the Cayuse war he was invited to 
join them, but steadily refused. After their destruction of the mission he was asked 
to share the spoils, and again refused. They then taunted him vrith being afraid of 
the whites, to which he replied: "I am not afraid of the whites, nor am I afraid 
of the Cayuse. I defy your whole band. I will plant my three lodges on the border 
of my own territory, at the mouth of the Touchet, and there I will meet you if you 
dare to attack me." He accordingly moved his lodges to this point and remained 
there three or four weeks. Stanley (the artist) was on his way from Walker and 
Eells* mission to Whitman's mission, and, indeed, was actually within three miles 
of the mission when he learned of the terrible tragedy which had been enacted 
there, and the information was brought to him by an Indian of Pu-Pu-mox-mox's 
band. Pu-pu-mox-mox has saved up a large amount of money (probably as much as 
to .000), still he is generous, and frequently gives an ox and other articles of value 
to his neighbors. Some of his people having made a contract to ferry the immi- 
grants across the river who crossed the Cascades this year, and then having refused 
to execute it, he compelled them to carry it out faithfully, and, mounting his horse, 
he thrashed them until they complied. He has the air of a substantial farmer. 

From the Walla Walla valley Governor Stevens continued down the Columbia 
in a canoe, carefully examining the principal rapids between the mouth of the Walla 
Walla and the Cascades, and from the best examination which he was able to make, 
''became at once convinced that the river was probably navigable for steamers, or 
at all events worthy of being experimentally tested." 

The night of November 14 he passed at the Cascades, meeting there "several 
gentlemen — men who had crossed the plains, and who had made farms in several 
states and in Oregon or Washington — who had carefully examined the Yakima coun- 
try for new locations, and who impressed me with the importance of it as an 
agricultural and grazing country." The new governor's faith, sympathy and even 
affection for the pioneers stand out in clear expression in his official reports and 
private correspondence. Of them he said in one of his reports: 

"They have crossed the mountains, and made the long distance from the valley 
of the Mississippi to their homes on the Pacific; they have done so frequently, hav- 
ing to cut out roads as they went, and knowing little of the difficulties before them. 



166 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

They are therefore men of observation, of experience, of enterprise, and men who 
at home had, by industry and frugality, secured a competence and the respect of 
their neighbors; for it must be known that our innnigrants travel in parties, and 
those f^ together who were acquaintances at home, because they mutually confide in 
each other. I was struck with the high qualities of the frontier people, and soon 
learned how to confide in them and gather information from them." 

As an example in contrast, we offer an extract from a letter from Captain George 
B. McClellan to Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, of date September 18, 1858: 

"But the result, of my short experience in this country has been that not the 
slightest faith or confidence is to be placed in information derived from the inhabi- 
tants of the territory; in every instance when I have acted upon information thus 
obtained, I have been altogether deceived and misled." 

From the Cascades Governor Stevens continued his canoe voyage to Vancouver, 
where he remained from the seventeenth to the nineteenth as the g^est of Captain 
Bonneville, made famous by the genius of Washing^n Irving, and where he also 
became acquainted with the officers of the Hudson's Bay company. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

OLYMPIA, THE BACKWOODS CAPITAL, IN 1853. 

riTK days' hard travel from VANCOUVER GOVERNOR DRENCHED IN AN INDIAN 

CANOE HKARTT PIONEER GREETING MRS. STEVENS' GRAPHIC PICTURE OF THE 

SQUALID LITTLE CAPITAL ^"WHAT A PROSPECT !" SHE BREAKS DOWN AND CRIES 

LATER LBARNED TO LOVE THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE HORSEBACK ACROSS THE 

LOVELY PRAIRIES PLEASING PICTURE OF FATHER RICARD^S MISSION COLUMBIA 

LANCASTER ELECTED TO CONGRESS BUSY DAYS FOR THE GOVERNOR MENACED BY 

POUTICAL RUIN PEREMPTORY ORDER FROM JEFFERSON DAVIS STEVENS GOES BY 

SEA TO NATIONAL CAPITAL HIS ENEMIES ROUTED. 

"Not stones, nor wood, nor the art of artisans make a state; but where men are 
who know how to take care of themselves, there are cities and walls." 

— Attributed to Alcaeus hy Aristides. 

FIVE days of the hardest sort of travel it took the first governor of Washing- 
ton to go from Vancouver to Olympia, cramped up for the greater part of the 
time in an Indian * canoe, and drenched by the cold November rains; but 
Stevens facetiously dismisses the incident by "advising voyageurs in the interior, 
when they get suddenly into the rains west of the Cascades, to take off their buck- 
ikin underclothing." He neglected the precaution, "and among the many agree- 
abilities of this trip up the Cowlitz was to have the underclothing of buckskin wet 
entirely throng^." And buckskin possesses a strong retentive affinity for moisture. 

Bnt a warm and hearty pioneer greeting awaited him at Olympia, and when, a 
few days later, he delivered a lecture descriptive of his long overland journey and 
the feasibility of building a railroad from St. Paul to Puget Sound, the whole town 
torned out and greeted enthusiastically his confident predictions that they would live 
to hear the locomotive's whistle echoing amid the wooded hills of that primeval wil- 
derness. 

Looking backward over the vista of sixty years, one marvels that congress pos- 
sessed the prescience then to found an embryo commonwealth in this remote and 
sparsely settled region. There were fewer than 5,000 inhabitants in all the terri- 
tory's wide expanse, from the Pacific to the summits of the Rocky mountains. 
Olympia, the capital, was a dreary, rain-drenched mudhole, and the future cities of 
Spokane, Seattle, Tacoma, WaUa Walla and Yakima had either no existence on the 
^ap) or were, at best, a few shacks and cabins hastily thrown up against the win- 
ter's rains and snows. Mrs. Stevens, who came to Olympia two years after, and, 

167 



168 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

who, as wife of the governor was the social leader of her husband's vast political do- 
main, has recorded graphically her impressions of the squalid little capital: 

"At night we were told, on ascending a hill. There is Olympia !' Below us, in 
the deep mud, were a few low, wooden houses, at the head of Puget Sound. My heart 
sank, for the first time in my life, at the prospect. After ploughing through the 
mud, we stopped at the principal hotel, to stay until our house was ready for us. 
As we went upstairs there were a number of people standing about to see the gover- 
nor and his family. I was very much annoyed at their staring and their remarks, 
which they made audibly, and hastened to get in some private room, where I could 
make mysplf better prepared for an inspection. Being out in rains for many days 
had not improved our appearance or clothes. But there seemed no rest for the 
weary. Upon being ushered into the public parlor, I found people from far and 
near had been invited to inspect us. The room was full. The sick child was cross 
and took no notice of anything that was said to her. One of the women saying* aloud, 
*What a cross brat that is,' I could stand it no longer, but opened a door and went 
into a large dancing hall, and soon after, when the governor came to look me up, I 
was breaking my heart over the forlorn situation I found myself in — cold, wet, un- 
comfortable, no fire, shaking with chills. What a prospect !" 

But the mistress of the capital soon found fire, and more cheering and refined 
greetings, and quickly learned to catch her husband's brave and sympathetic spirit 
Many of the people called on her, and she found them pleasant and agreeable. "Many 
of them were well educated and interesting young ladies, who had come here with 
their husbands, government officials, and who had given up their city homes to live 
in this unknown land, surrounded by Indians and dense forests." 

Mrs. Stevens dwelt there for three years, and learned to love the country round- 
about. "There was a pleasant company of officers, with their wives, stationed 
at Steilacoom, twenty miles from Olympia, with whom I became acquainted, and had 
visits from and visited. Naval ships came up Puget Soilnd, with agreeable officers 
on board. I had a horse to ride on horseback across the lovely prairies. . . . 
About two miles down there was a Catholic mission, a large dark house or monastery, 
surrounded by cultivated land, a large garden in front filled with flowers, bordered 
on one side, next the water, with immense bushes of wall flowers in full bloom; the 
fragrance, resembling the sweet English violet, filling the air with its delicious odor. 
Father Ricard, the venerable head of this house, was from Paris. He had lived in 
this place more than twenty years. He had with him Father Blanchet (later of be- 
loved memory in our own inland region), a short, thickset man, who managed every- 
thing pertaining to the temporal comfort of the mission. Under him were servants, 
who were employed in various ways, baking, cooking, digging and planting. Their 
fruit was excellent and a great rarity, as there was but one more orchard in the 
whole country. There was a large number of Flatheads settled about them, who 
had been taught to count their beads, say prayers, and were good Catholics in all 
outward observances ; chanted the morning and evening prayers, which they sang in 
their own language in a low, sweet strain, which, the first time I heard it, sitting in 
my boat at sunset, was impressive and solemn. We went often to visit Father Ricard, 
who was a highly educated man, who seemed to enjoy having some one to converse 
with him in his own language. He said the Canadians used such bad French." 
' A proclamation by the governor, published soon after his arrival at Olympia in 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 169 

November, 1853, designated January 30 as election day to choose a delegate to con- 
gress, and members of the legislature, and summoning that body to meet in the 
capital on the twenty-eighth of February. Columbia Lancaster, a lawyer, was 
elected delegate, and the legislature having assembled on the appointed day. Gover- 
nor Stevens, in his first message, recommended the adoption of a code of laws and 
organization of the country east of the Cascades into counties. On his recommen- 
dation, the legislature memorialized congress for a surveyor general and a land 
office, for more rapid surveys of public lands, for amendment of the land laws so 
that single women would have the same footing as married ones, for a grant of lands 
for a university, for improved mail service, and for a wagon road from Puget Sound 
to Walla Walla. 

Busy days were these for the governor, filled with absorbing duties and official 
cares. In an Indian canoe he had explored the shores of Puget Sound, and not- 
withstanding the congressional appropriation for railroad surveys and exploration 
had become exhausted, he drove forward that important work with his usual intelli- 
gence and vigor, and thereby incurred grave peril of political ruin. To provide the 
necessary funds for the immediate and pressing needs of the survey, he drew on 
Corcoran & Riggs, government bankers at Washington, for $16,000, and these drafts 
were dishonored. Jefferson Davis, secretary of war, was in deep sympathy with the 
pro-slavery party in congress, which neglected no intrigue to discourage and prevent 
the building of a northern line of railroad. 

About that time the political situation was explained to Stevens in a letter from 
his old friend Halleck, then stationed in California. "The pro-slavery extension 
party," pointed out Halleck, "will work very hard against the North Pacific states, 
which must of necessity remain free.'* Halleck added that a vigorous conspiracy 
was then fomenting in California. "The first branch of this project was to call a 
new convention in California, dividing it into two states, making the. southern one 
a slave state, with San Diego as the port and terminus of a railroad through Texas. 
Circulars and letters to that effect were sent to pro-slavery men in California, and 
the attempt made to divide the state, but it failed. The next move was to acquire 
Lower California and parts of Sonora and Chihuahua, making Guaymas the termi- 
nus, and the newly acqmred territory slave states. ... If the territory is ac- 
quired, it will be a slave territory, and a most tremendous effort will be made to run 
a railroad, if not the railroad, from Texas to Guaymas, with a branch to San 
Francisco." 

Corroborative of these warnings, the governor received a curt and peremptory 
order from Secretary Davis, disapproving his arrangements and ordering him to 
suspend his winter operations. This critical situation he met with a quick resolu- 
tion to hasten to the national capital and thwart the cunning schemes of southern 
politicians, and to justify his apparent desertion of territorial duties, the legislature 
readily passed a joint resolution that "no disadvantage would result to the terri- 
tory should the governor visit Washington, if, in his judgment, the interests of the 
Northern Pacific Railroad survey could thereby be promoted." 

Leaving Olympia March 26, the governor went by way of the Cowlitz river to 
the Columbia, and took steamer for San Francisco, arriving there early in 
April. Taking the isthmus route, he was in New York in May, and proceeding 
promptly to Washington, presented before the department a report so thorough and 



170 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

convincing that Secretary Davis was moved to submit to congress an estimate to 
cover the deficiency. The necessary appropriation was made^ and the protested 
drafts honored. Of this incident General Hmit afterwards wrote: 

"I followed him in the thorough work he made of the Northern Pacific Railway 
survey — of his row with Jeff Davis for overrunning in his expenditures the amount 
assigned him^ and so preventing Jeff's designs of defeating that road. In 1854 I 
had^ at Fort Monroe^ occasion to describe your father to old Major Holmes^ a class- 
mate of Jeff. He went to Washington^ and on his return told me^ 'Your friend 
Stevens is ruined. Davis refuses to recommend to congress to make good tiie ex- 
penditures as contrary to orders. It will ruin Stevens.' 'Wait awhile/ said I; 'I 
see by the last Union that Stevens has just arrived, en route to Washington, at 
Panama. He will leave Jeff nowhere.' Soon after he arrived in Washington, was 
followed by an appropriation covering all his bills, and so Jeff failed all round." 



CHAPTER XIX 

NEGOTIATING TREATIES WITH THE INTERIOR TRIBES 

rrETEXS PLUNGES INTO AN ARDUOUS TASK WALLA WALLA A CHRSAT COUNCIL OSOUND 

GOVERNOR MEETS THERE 5^000 INDIANS IN 1855 NEZ PERCES MASS A THOUSAND 

WARRIORS A STRIKING PAGEANT HAUGHTY MESSAGE FROM THE YELLOW SERPENT 

KAMIAKEN PROUD AND SCORNFUL FEASTING^ HORSE-RACING AND FOOT-RACING 

INDIAN ORATORY AND SARCASM CHIEF LAWYER EXPOSES A PLOT TO MASSACRE THE 

governor's party CONSPIRACY IS THWARTED THE TREATIES EXPLAINED A 

STARTLING INCIDENT STORMY COUNCIL TREATIES CONCLUDED CELEBRATED WITH 

A SCALP DANCE. 

"The passions are the only orators that always persuade ; they are^ as it were^ a 
natural art^ the rules of which are infallible; and the simplest man with passion is 
more persuasive than the most eloquent without it." 

— La Rochefoucauld, 

CONGRESS had enacted the donation land act, which held out to jsettlers 
the enticing offer of 320 acres to a single man, 320 acres each to married 
man and wife, who would cross the plains and mountains and found homes in 
Oregon. No serious attempt had been made to establish treaty rights with the 
possessing Indians, who, finding themselves ignored and their property rights dis- 
r^rded, and noting the swelling stream of white immigration, grew startled, 
iospicious, alarmed and restless. This native discontent was fast deepening into 
indignation and anger, and throughout the interior bolder spirits were advocating 
a widespread uprising and war of extermination before it should become forever 
too late to roll back the white invaders. 

To face and solve this difficult problem, to allay the Indians' grievance and 
patch up tardy treaties with the tribes both east and west of the Cascade moun- 
tains, was the delicate and difficult duty laid by government upon the governor of 
the young territory of Washing^n. Returning from the national capital, Stevens 
promptly plunged into this arduous undertaking, and having first established trea- 
ties with the Indians in the Puget Sound country, we find him, in the early months 
of 1855, inviting two great councils with the tribes between the Cascade and the 
Rocky mountains. 

Indian Agents A. J. Bolon and R. H. Lansdale were sent that spring among 
the powerful tribes of the Inland Empire, to point out to the chiefs the advan- 
tages that would accrue to their people by entering peaceably into just and liberal 

171 



172 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

treaty relations with the government, and on the suggestion of Kamiaken, head 
chief of the Yakimas, the Walla Walla valley was selected for the council ground. 
"There of old/' said Kamiaken, **is the place where we held our councils with 
the neighboring tribes, and we will hold this council there now." 

Preparatory to the assembling of the tribes, a large quantity of merchandise 
and provisions was taken up the Columbia in keelboats to Walla Walla, and a 
party of twenty-five men was organized at The Dalles, in eastern Oregon, and with 
packtrain, mules, riding animals and provisions, sent to the council ground to pre- 
pare for the coming of the redmen, and afterwards to accompany Governor Stevens 
to the scene of another great council, to be held near the site of the present city of 
Missoula, Montana. 

"The Walla Walla council, like the Black foot," says Hazard Stevens, "was 
conceived and planned exclusively by Governor Stevens. He alone impressed 
the necessity of them upon the government, and obtained the requisite authority. 
The work of collecting the Indians was- done chiefly by his agents, and it was not 
until he learned from Doty that the Indians had agreed to attend, and that the 
council was assured, that he invited Superintendent Palmer (of Oregon) to take 
part in it as joint commissioner with himself for such tribes as lived partly in 
both territories. This fact he caused to be entered on the joint record of the 
council." 

Leaving the governor's office in charge of Secretary of State Mason, Governor 
Stevens set out from Olympia early in May for the W^alla Walla valley. The 
route taken by his party lay across country to Cowlitz landing, where canoes were 
taken down the Cowlitz to the Columbia; thence by steamboat to Vancouver, and 
thence by steamboats and portage to The Dalles, where the United States main- 
tained a military post of two companies of the Fourth infantry, under Major 
G. J. Rains, and where Superintendent Joel Palmer of the Oregon agencies awaited 
liis coming. 

"The outlook for effecting a treaty was deemed unfavorable by all," says Hazard 
Stevens. ^'Governor Stevens was warned by Father Ricard, of the Yakima mis- 
sion, that the Indians were plotting to cut off the white chiefs who might attempt 
to hold a council. The Snake Indians had attacked and massacred parties of 
white immigrants recently, and Major Rains was under orders to send a force 
on the immigrant road to protect them." 

But the governor was determined to carry out the arrangements, for he fore- 
saw that retreat at this critical moment, after the council had been agreed upon, 
the Indians invited to the rendezvous, and gifts assembled on the ground, would 
involve a fatal show of weakness and in all probability prove the very means to 
precipitate the threatened uprising. After supper he discussed the situation for 
two hours with Major Rains, and persuaded that officer to give him a small detach- 
ment of forty soldiers. "I remarked," he wrote in his diary, "that the services 
of a small force in checking insolence would be as good as 200 men subsequently. 
We deemed it necessary to maintain our dignity and that of our government at 
the council, and we would seize any person, whether white man or Indian, who 
behaved in an improper manner. There were unquestionably a great many mal- 
contents in each tribe. A few determined spirits, if not controlled, might embolden 
all not well disposed, and defeat the negotiations. Should this spirit be shown. 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 173 

uwx must be seized ; the well affected would then govern in the deliberations^ and 
I anticipated little or no difficulty in negotiating. I then alluded to my determina- 
tion to call out the militia of the territory should I find^ on reaching the council 
ground^ that any plan of hostilities was being matured. 

''So doubtful did General Palmer consider the whole matter, that it was only 
the circumstance of a military force being dispatched which determined him to 
send to the treaty ground presents to the Indians. He stated to me that he had 
concluded to send up no goods; but, the escort having been ordered, he would send 
up his goods." 

History, I believe, will sustain the opinion that in tense dramatic interest, in 
wealth of savage staging and barbaric color, and in ultimate influence alike upon 
the white man and his red brother, the Walla Walla council stands out in bold 
relief, the most important, the most striking historic event in the Inland Empire, 
if not within the entire Pacific northwest. Five thousand Indians gathered there — 
2,000 warriors sat in council, and the proceedings were enlivened by fierce 
native eloquence and haughty flights of bitter irony and biting wit. Tribe found 
itself arrayed against tribe, and faction set against faction; some counseled peace, 
some boldly stood for unrelenting war; and some there were who carried on auda- 
ciously their angry plot to sound the dreadful tocsin by massacreing on this council 
ground the governor's party and his little soldier escort of forty men. 

The council ground lay on the right bank of Mill creek, six miles from the 
Whitman mission, and within the present limits of the city of Walla Walla. "The 
valley," says the governor's biographer, "was almost a perfect level, covered 
with the greatest profusion of waving bunch-grass and flowers, amidst which grazed 
namerous bands of beautiful, sleek mustangs, and herds of long-horned Spanish 
cattie belonging to the Indians, and was intersected every half mile by a clear, 
rapid, sparkling stream, whose course could be easily traced in the distance by its 
fringe of willows and tall cotton woods. Now every foot of this rich valley is un- 
der cultivation, a' dozen grist mills run their wheels by these streams, and the very 
treaty ground is the center of the thriving town of Walla Walla." A city it has 
grown since that was penned, with 20,000 people dwelling together in culture, 
prosperity and wealth. 

Towards evening of May 21 came the governor and his party upon the scene, 
drenched by the soaking rains through which they had ridden since early mom, 
but cheered by the sight of barbaric comfort that met their eager eye. Hazard 
Stevens, who, then a boy of 13, rode with his father to the council ground, thus 
describes the historic scene: 

"The camp was found pitched, and everything in readiness for the council. 
A wall tent, with a large arbor of poles and boughs in front, stood on level, open 
ground, a short distance from the creek and facing the Blue mountains, all ready 
for the governor. This was also to serve as the council chamber, and ample clear 
space was left for the Indians to assemble and seat themselves on the ground in 
front of the arbor. A little farther in front, and nearer the creek, were ranged 
the tents of the rest of the party, a stout log house to safely hold the supplies and 
Indian goods, and a large arbor to serve as a banqueting hall for distinguished 
chiefs, so that, as in civil lands, gastronomy might aid diplomacy. A large herd of 
beef cattle and a pile of potatoes, purchased of Messrs. Lloyd Brooke, Bumford & 



174 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Noble, traders and stock-raisers, who were occupying the site of the Whitman 
mission, and ample stores of sugar, coffee, bacon and flour, furnished the materials 
for the feasts." 

Previous to the arrival of the Indians, the following program was adopted: 

1. Governor Stevens to preside. 

2. Each superintendent to be sole commissioner for the Indians within his 
jurisdiction. 

3. Both to act jointly for tribes common to both Oregon and Washingrton, each 
to appoint an agent and commissary for them, and goods and provisions to be 
distributed to them in proportion to the number under the respective jurisdictions. 

4. Separate records to be kept, to be carefully compared and certified jointly 
as far as related to tribes of both Territories. 

5. To keep a public table for the chiefs. 

The following officers were appointed for the joint treaties: 

Washing^n: Commissioner, Governor Isaac I. Stevens; secretary, James Doty; 
commissary, R. H. Crosby ; agent, R. H. Lansdale ; interpreters, William Craig and 
N. Raymond. 

Oregon: Commissioner, Joel Palmer; secretary, William C. McKay; com- 
missary, N. Olney; agent, R. R. Thompson; interpreters, Matthew Danpher and 
John Flette. 

As additional interpreters Governor Stevens appointed A. D. Pambrun, John 
Whitford, James Coxie and Patrick McKensie. 

Lieutenant Gracie and his little command from The Dalles arrived on the 2Sd, 
and with the lieutenant, as guest, came Lieutenant Kip, who was to participate in 
the Wright campaign in the Spokane country two years later and record in enter- 
taining style his experiences in a little book called "Army Life on the Pacific." 
For their comfort the governor had pitched a tent, while the soldiers threw up 
rough shelters of boughs, covered with canvas pack-covers. The two officers dined 
Mrith the governor, "off a table constructed from split pine logs," says Kip, "smoothed 
off, but not very smooth." 

Now all was ready for the Indian hosts. First came the Nez Perces, men, 
women and children, 2,500 in all, the greater part of the tribe, for the occasion 
was deemed one of high moment and perhaps of enduring significance to them 
and their descendants for untold generations. Dear to the Indian heart is studied 
ceremonial, and learning of the approach of the barbaric cavalcade, the commis- 
sioners drew up their little party on a knoll which commanded a fine view of 
the wide and flower spangled valley. In token of Nez Perce friendship through- 
out the Cayuse war that followed the Whitman massacre of 1847, the officers in 
that campaign had presented the tribe with a large American flag.^ This they bore 
aloft in the soft May sunshine, and sent ahead of their advancing hosts to be 
planted upon the knoll. 

"Soon their cavalcade came in sight," says an observer of this stirring scene,* 
"a thousand warriors mounted on fine horses and riding at a gallop, two abreast, 
naked to the breechclout, their faces colored with white, red and yellow paint 
in fanciful designs, and decked with plumes and feathers and trinkets fluttering 
in the sunshine. The ponies were even more gaudily arrayed, many of them selected 



* Hazard Stevens. 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 175 

for their singular color and markings^ and many painted in vivid colors contrast- 
ing with their natural skins — crimson slashed in broad stripes across white^ yellow 
or white against black or bay ; and with their free and wild action^ the thin buffalo 
line tied around the lower jaw, — ^the only bridle, almost invisible — the naked riders, 
seated as though grown to their backs, presented the very picture of the fabled 
centaurs. Halting and forming a long line across the prairie, they again advanced 
at a gallop still nearer, then halted, while the head chief. Lawyer, and two other 
chiefs rode slowly forward to the knoll, dismounted and shook hands with the com- 
missioners, and then took post in rear of them. The other chiefs, twenty-five in 
number, then rode forward, and went through the same ceremony. Then came 
charging on at full gallop in single file the cavalcade of braves, breaking succes- 
si?ely from one flank of the line, firing their guns, brandishing their shields, beat- 
ing their drums, and yelling their warwhoops, and dashed in a wide circle around 
the little party on the knoll, now charging up as though to overwhelm it, now wheel- 
ing back, redoubling their wild action and fierce yells in frenzied excitement. At 
length they all dismounted and took their stations in rear of the chiefs. Then 
a number of young braves, forming a ring, while others beat their drums, enter- 
tained the commissioners with their dances, after which the Indians remounted and 
filed off to the place designated for their camps. This was on a small stream 
flowing parallel to Mill creek, on the same side with and over half a mile from 
the council camp. The chiefs accompanied the governor to his tent and arbor, 
smoked the pipe of peace, and had an informal talk." 

As the Indians came to the council on invitation of the commissioners, they 
were regarded as guests of the government, and rations were issued to the Nez 
Perces and some other petty tribes then on the ground — one and a half pounds of 
beef, two pounds of potatoes, and a half pound of corn to each person. 

Xext to arrive were the Cayuses, Walla Wallas and Umatillas. Without pomp 
or pageantry they encamped on the opposite side of Mill creek, at a point more 
than a mile removed from the whites. An intervening fringe of leaf trees com- 
pletely concealed them from view. As head chief of the Walla Wallas and Uma- 
tillas, the aged Pu-pu-mox-mox, or Yellow Serpent, exerted autocratic sway over 
his own people, and was a personage of marked influence with neighboring tribes. 
He was a thrifty soul, and by trade Mdth the immigrants passing through his do- 
mains en route to the Willamette valley, had acquired a large sum in coin. His 
herds ran into the thousands. Notwithstanding his son had been murdered by 
California gold miners, he had always maintained friendly relations with the whites, 
although the loss of his son still rankled in his breast, and as he had grown some- 
what childish, malcontents were striving, by frequent reference to that outrage, 
to inflame his mind and induce him to join in a war of extermination. 

The day after their arrival, the Nez Perce chiefs and head men, to the number 
of more than thirty, came over to dine with the commissioners. Seated upon the 
ground, in two long parallel lines, they quite filled the arbor. They brought vora-; 
cious appetites to the banquet, and Governor Stevens and Commissioner Palmer, 
▼ho had graciously assumed the office of carvers, discovered that they had bur- 
dened themselves with a strenuous task. At length, their arms wearied by the work 
and the perspiration dropping from their faces, they were glad to yield the honors 
to two husky packers. "The table for the chiefs was kept up during the council, 



176 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

and every day was well attended^ but it was not again graced by the presence of 
the commissioners." 

An envoy from Pu-pu-mox-mox, the Yellow Serpent, brought the haughty and 
ominous message that the Yakimas, Cayuses and Walla Wallas would accept no 
provisions from the commissioners; that they would bring their own, and it was 
their desire that the Young Chief, Lawyer, Kamiaken and himself, head chiefs of 
the Cayuses, Nez Perces, Yakimas and Walla Wallas respectively, shoold do all 
the talking for the Indians at the council. Refusing to accept any tobacco for 
his chief, the messenger was overheard to mutter as he rode disdainfully away, 
"You will find out by and by why we won't take provisions." 

Father Chirouse of the Catholic mission among the Walla Wallas, and Father 
Pandosy of the Yakima mission, came in to attend the council, and reported that 
with the exception of Kamiaken these Indians were generally well disposed towards 
the whites. This chief had been heard to say, "If Governor Stevens speaks hard, 
I will speak hard, too." Other Indians had said that Kamiaken would come to the 
council with his young men, "but with powder and ball." When invited to the 
council by the governor's secretary, Mr. Doty, he had scornfully rejected the 
tendered presents, declaring that he "had never accepted anything from the whites, 
not even to the value of a grain of wheat, without paying for it, and that he did 
not wish to purchase the presents." Speaking of this noted chief. Governor Stevens 
said: "He is a peculiar man, reminding me of the panther and the grizzly bear. 
His countenance has an extraordinary play, one moment in frowns, the next in 
smiles, flashing with light, and black as Erebus, the same instant. His pantomime 
is great, and his gesticulation much and expressive. He talks mostly in his face, 
and with his hands and arms." 

Rumors ran over the great encampment that these tribes had allied to oppose 
a treaty, and fears were expressed that an attempt to open the council would be 
the signal for a warlike outbreak. 

The next day a body of 400 mounted Cayuses and Walla Wallas, armed and 
in full gala dress, and yelling like demons, rode furiously thrice around the Nez 
Perces camp, and soon thereafter Young Chief, accompanied by his principal sub- 
chiefs, rode up to the governor's tent, but dismounted on invitation with apparent 
reluctance, and shook hands with a cold and forbidding demeanor, refused to 
smoke, and remained but a few moments. "The haughty carriage of these chiefs," 
wrote Stevens in his journal, "and their manly character have, for the first time, in 
my Indian experience, realized the descriptions of the writers of fiction." 

Head Chief Garry of the Spokanes attended the council, but only as an ob- 
server. It had been found impossible to assemble the Spokanes at a point so dis- 
tant from their country, within the brief time that offered, and Governor Stevens 
proposed a separate treaty with them, later on his return from the Missouri. 

A messenger sent to invite the Palouses to the council returned with a single 
chief of that tribe, who said that his people took little interest and would not 
come. 

Sunday, May 27, Governor Stevens made this entry in his journal: "There 
was service in the Nez Perce camp and in the Nez Perce language, Timothy bdng 
the preacher. The commissioners attended. The sermon was on the ten com- 
mandments. Timothy has a natural and graceful delivery, and his words were 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 177 

rq)eated by a prompter. The Nez Perces have evidently profited much from the 
labor of Mr. Spalding, who was with them ten years, and their whole deport- 
ment throughout the service was devout." 

The next day came the Yakimas. Agent Bolon and an interpreter went out 
to meet them, and returned bringing Kamiaken and the Yellow Serpent. The 
latter affected to be grieved and indignant over reports that he was unfriendly 
to the whites, and declared his purpose to face the commissioners and ask why 
such slanders had been circulated against him. Soon thereafter, in company with 
Kamiaken, Owhi and Skloom, Yakima chiefs, rode into camp, dismounted and 
shook hands in apparent friendship, but in the smoke that followed in the arbor 
thev used their own tobacco exclusively, declining that tendered them by the com- 
missioners. 

Governor Stevens formally opened the council in the afternoon of May 29, 1855. 
Two thousand Indians, more than half of them Nez Perces, were present, seated 
on the ground in semi-circular rows forty deep, one behind the other. Facing them, 
under the arbor in front of the tent, sat the commissioners, secretaries^ interpreters 
and Indian agents. Timothy, chief and preacher of the Nez Perces, assisted by 
several of his young men who had been taught to read and write by the missionary 
Spalding, were provided a table beneath the arbor and kept their own records for 
that great and powerful tribe. 

Beyond a silent, solemn smoking of the peace pipe, the appointment and swear- 
ing in of two interpreters for each tribe, and some brief preliminary remarks, little 
was accomplished the first day. Before adjourning to ten o'clock the next morning 
Governor Stevens repeated the offer of provisions for the various tribes, suggesting 
that two oxen be taken to each camp and slaughtered for its use. 

"We have plenty of cattle," replied Young Chief of the Cayuses. "They are 
close to our camp. We have already killed three and have plenty of provisions. 

General Palmer to the interpreter : "Say to the Yakimas, 'You have come a long 
way; you may not have provisions. If you want any, we have them, and you are 
welcome.* *' 

"Kamiaken is supplied at our camp," was the quick interjection of Young Chief 
of the Cayuses, who declined, too, to dine at the table of the commissioners ; but 
Pu-pu-mox-mox (the Yellow Serpent) and the great war chief Kamiaken were more 
friendly in demeanor, dining with the commissioners and remaining afterwards a 
long time in their tent, smoking and talking in a friendly way. 

May 30 and 31 were devoted to a careful explanation by Governor Stevens of 
the two treaties that were under consideration. "There were to be two reserva- 
tions," says his son Hazard Stevens — one in the Nez Perce country of 3,000,000 
acres, on the north side of Snake river, embracing both the Kooskooskia (Clearwater) 
and Salmon rivers, including a large extent of good arable land, with fine fisheries, 
^^t grounds, timber and mill sites, and was for the accommodation of the Cayuses, 
"alia Wallas, Umatillas and Spokanes, as well as the Nez Perces. 

"The other embraced a large and fertile tract on the upper waters of the Ya- 
fcima. and was for the Yakimas, Klickitats, Palouses and kindred bands. 

"The reservations were to belong to the Indians, and no white man should come 
^n them without their consent. An agent, With school teachers, mechanics and 
fanners, would take charge of each resen'ation, and instruct them in agriculture. 



178 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

trades^ etc.; grist and saw mills were to be built; the head chiefs were to receive an 
annuity of $500 each, in order that they might devote their whole time to their 
people; and annuities in clothing, tools and useful articles were to be given for 
twenty years, after which they were to be self-supporting. 

"The advantages of the reservations were dwelt upon. They embraced some 
of the best land in the country, and were large enough to afford each family a farm 
to itself, besides grazing for all their stock ; they contained good fisheries, abundance 
of roots and berries, and considerable game. They were near enough to the great 
roads for trade with the immigrants, yet far enough from them to be undisturbed 
by travelers. By having so many tribes on one reservation, the agent could better 
look after them, and could accomplish more with the same means at his disposal. 

"The staple argument held out was the superior advantages of civilization, and 
the absolute necessity of their adopting the habits and mode of life of the white 
man in order to escape extinction. Governor Stevens also exorted them to treat 
for the sake of the example upon their inveterate enemies, the Blackf eet ; that thereby 
they would prove themselves firm friends of the whites, and that he would then take 
delegations from each tribe with his party and proceed to the Blackfoot country, 
and make a lasting treaty of peace, so that they could ever after hunt the buffalo 
in safety, and trade horses with the Indians east of the Rocky mountains." 

Young Chief of the Cayuses began to show an apparent yielding. On the third 
day of the council he dined, for the first time, with the other head chiefs at the gov- 
ernor's table, and that evening sent word that his young men had grown weary of 
the close confinement of the long sessions, and as they desired a holiday, he asked 
that the next day be given up to diversion, and no coYmcil be held until Saturday. 
The commissioners, pleased at this Indication of a more tractable spirit, cheerfully 
assented to the idea. 

There were now assembled on the ground, according to Lieutenant Kip, "about 
5,000 Indians, including squaws and children;" and their encampment and 
lodges, scattered over the valley for more than a mile, presented "a wild and fantas- 
tic appearance." The holiday was given over to feasting, horse-racing and 
foot-racing. Despite all missionary efforts to break up the gambling evil, that 
passion still ran high in the Indian breast, and fierce gaming attended these council 
races. "The usual course was a long one, sometimes two miles out and back," says 
Hazard Stevens. "Oftentimes thirty horses would start together in a grand sweep- 
stakes; the riders and betters would throw into one common pile the articles put 
up as stakes — blankets, leggings, horse equipments and whatever else was bet, and 
the winner would take the whole pile. The foot races were equally long, and the 
runners would be escorted in their course by a crowd of mounted Indians, galloping 
behind and beside them so closely that the exhausted ones could hardly stop without 
being run down. The riders and runners were invariably stripped to the breech- 
cloth, and presented many fine, manly forms, perfect Apollos in bronze." 

When the council reassembled, Saturday, June 2, Governor Stevens invited the 
Indians to speak freely. "We want you to open your hearts to us," he said, and 
seizing this invitation, the opponents of the treaties promptly took the lead in the 
resulting oratory. 

"We have listened to all you have to say," began the Yellow Serpent, "and now 
we desire you to listen when any Indian speaks. I know the value of your speech 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 179 

from having heard such speeches in California^ and having seen treaties there. We 
have not seen in a true light the object of ypur speeches^ as if there were a tree set 
between us. Look at yourselves: your flesh is white; mine is different, mine looks 
poor." 

Thus with native skill of oratory, Yellow Serpent began an affected plea of in- 
feriority, of humility, of inability to cope in cunning with the white commissioners. 
Then, with a quick turn of insinuation, he declared, "If you would speak straight, 
then I would think you spoke well." Then came a sharp thrust at the demoralizing 
effects of that superior white civilization, upon which Governor Stevens had dwelt 
in all his utterances : "Should I speak to you of things that happened long ago, as 
yoD have done.^ The whites made me do what they pleased. They told me to do 
this, and I did it. They used to make our women to smoke. I supposed then they 
did what was right. When they told me to dance with all these nations that are 
here, I danced. From that time all the Indians became proud and called themselves 
chiefs. 

"Now how are we here as at a post.^ From what you have said, I think that you 
intend to win our country, or how is it to be.^ In one day the Americans become as 
numerous as the grass. This I learned in California. I know it is not right; you 
ha?e spoken in a roundabout way. Speak straight. I have ears to hear you, and 
here is my heart. Suppose you show me goods, shall I run up and take them ? That 
is the way of all us Indians as you know us. Goods and the earth are not equal. 
Goods are for using on the earth. I do not know where the whites have given lands 
for goods. 

"We require time to think quietly, slowly. You have spoken in a manner quietly 
tending to evil. Speak plain to us^ I am a poor Indian; show me charity. 
If there were a chief among the Nez Perces or the Cayuses, and they saw evil done, 
tbej would put a stop to it, and all would be quiet. Such chiefs I hope Governor 
Stevens and General Palmer have.*' 

With cutting sarcasm, the Yellow Serpent added, "I should feel very much 
ashamed if the Americans did anything wrong. I had but a little to say, that is all." 

As if by prearrangement, to bear out Yellow Serpent's assertion that the chiefs 
would brook no wrong, Camospelo, a Cayuse chief, sharply rebuked some of his 
joung men who had behaved in a disrespectful manner, talking and walking about 
while the council was in session. 

Late that evening Lawyer, chief of the Nez Perces, came secretly to the tent of 
Governor Stevens and revealed a conspiracy of the Cayuses to massacre all the 
whites on the council ground. Lawyer, who had suspected treachery, had discovered 
the peril through a spy, for the plot had been developed in great secrecy. It had 
been under nightly consideration, and a determination reached in full council of the 
tribe on the very day that Young Chief had sought as a holiday. They were now 
only awaiting the assent of the Yakimas and Walla Wallas, and that gained, were 
to start a war of white extermination. 

Lawyer was ready and able to thwart the massacre. "I will come with my 
family and pitch my lodge in the midst of your camp," 'he declared, "so that those 
Cayuses may see that you and your party are under the protection of the head chief 
of the Nei Perces." Notwithstanding it was then after midnight, Lawyer carried 
ont his promise before daylight, and the next morning caused it to be bruited among 



180 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

the other Indians that the commissioners enjoyed the protection of the powerful 
Nez Perces. 

Governor Stevens, fearing that full knowledge of the conspiracy would start a 
panic among the whites, revealed the news only to his secretary, Mr. Doty, and 
Packmaster Higgins, and through them the soldiers were directed to put their arms 
in readiness. Night guards were posted, and the council continued as if nothing 
alarming had developed. 

On Monday Lawyer spoke for the treaty, and several of his chiefs followed in 
similar tenor. They were followed by Kamiaken: 

"I have something different to say from what the others have said. They 
are young men who have spoken as they have spoken. I have been afraid of the 
white man. His doings are different from ours. Perhaps you have spoken straight 
that your children will do what is right. Let them do as they have promised." 

"I do not wish to speak," declared the Yellow Serpent, contemptuously. "I leave 
that to the old men." 

Eagle-from-the-Light, a Nez Perce chief, spoke with deep feeling and pathetic 
import. His speech was regarded by some of the white men as the most impressive 
heard at the council: 

"You are now come to join together the white man and the red man. And why 
should I hide anything? I am going now to tell you a tale. The time the whites 
first passed through this country, although the people of this country were blind, 
it was their heart to be friendly to them. Although they did not know what the 
white people said to them, they answered Yes, as if they were blind. They traveled 
about with the white people as if they had been lost. 

"I have been talked to by the French (employes of the fur companies) and by 
the Americans ; and one says to me. Go this way, and another says Go another way, 
and that is the reason I am lost between them. 

"A long time ago they hung my brother for 'no offense, and this I say to my 
brother here, that he may think of it. Afterwards came Spalding and ^Vhitman. 
They advised us well and taught us well — very well. It was from the same source 
— the light (the east). They had pity on us, and we were pitied, and Spalding sent 
my father to the east — the States, and he went. His body has never returned. He 
was sent to learn good counsel, and friendship and many things. This is another 
thing to think of. At the time, in this place here, when there was blood spilled on 
the ground, we were friends to the whites, and they to us. At that time they found 
it out that we were friends to them. My chief, my own chief, said, 'I will try to set- 
tle all the bad matters with the whites,' and he started to look for counsel to 
straighten up matters, and there his body lies beyond there. He has never returned. 

"At the time the Indians held a grand council at Fort Laramie, I was with the 
Flatheads, and I heard there would be a grand council on this side next year. We 
were asked to go and find counsel, friendship and good advice. Many of my people 
started, and died in the country — died hunting what was right. There were a good 
many started ; on Green river the smallpox killed all but one. They were going to 
find good counsel in the east, and here am I, looking still for counsel, and tp be 
taught what is best to be done. 

"And now look at my people's bodies scattered everywhere, hunting for knowl- 
edge — hunting for some one to teach them to go straight. And now I show it to you, 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 181 

and I want you to think of it. I am of a poor people. A preacher came to us^ Mr. 
Spalding. He talked to us to learn^ and from that he turned to be a trader, as 
though there were two in one, one a preacher and the other a trader. He made a 
farm and raised grain and bought our stock, as though there were two in one, one a 
preacher, the other a trader. And now one from the east has spoken, and I have 
heard it, and I do not wish another preacher to come, and be both trader and preacher 
in one. A piece of ground for a preacher big enough for his own use is all that is 
necessary for him. 

"Look at that; it is the tale I had to tell you, and now I am going to hunt 
friendship and good advice. We will come straight here — slowly perhaps, but we 
will come straight." 

As the Indians were slow to speak. Governor Stevens and Commissioner Palmer 
devoted the next two days to further explanation of the treaties and a large map, 
showing the boundaries of the reservations, the streams, root grounds and camping 
places. 

Reticence, however, continued the prevailing attitude of the aboriginal mind. 
The chiefs were slow to speak, and when Steachus, regarded as most amicable of all 
the Cayuse leaders, expressed his sentiments, they revealed, even in that friendly 
quarter, a spirit of disapprobation and doubt. 

"My friends," began this chief, "I wish to show you my heart. If your mother 
were in this country, gave you birth and suckled you, and, while you were suckling, 
some person came and took away your mother, and left you alone and sold your 
mother, how would you feel then f This is our mother — this country — as if we drew 
onr living from her. My friends, all of this you have taken. Had I two rivers, I 
would leave the one, and be contented to live on the other. I name the place for 
myself, the Grande Ronde, the Touchet towards the mountains, and the Tucanon." 
Willing to divide his native land with the white invaders, but grieved and mourn- 
ful over the thought of yielding it all, to the last rood and acre, and moving with his 
people to a strange and distant reservation. With dim eye and savage, angry heart, 
this forbidding prospect had been glimpsed by the Cayuse mind eight years before, 
when Whitman and his little mission band were slain in protest against that ever 
increasing train of tented wagons, rolling out of the mysterious and distant east, 
and rumbling down the western slopes of the beautiful Blue mountains. 

Stevens and Palmer well knew how futile it is to attempt to rush the Indian 
mind to hasty decision, and tactfully adjourned the council to the following day. 
Lawyer, speaking then for the Nez Perces, adopted the only line of reasoning that 
gave the slightest hope of winning over the cold and sullen chiefs of other tribes. 
He dwelt upon the vast numbers of westward moving whites, the power of their 
civilization, the utter hopelessness of Indian opposition, and the imperative need 
of a peaceful adjustment of their relations. Their only refuge, he declared, would 
be found in placing themselves under the protection of the Great Father at Wash- 
ington. Silence followed this appeal for the treaty, to be broken by the haughty 
Young Chief of the Cayuses. 

"His country he would not sell. He heard what the earth said. The earth said 
to him, *God has placed me here to take care of the Indian, to yield roots for him, 
snd grasses for his horses and cattle.' The water spoke the same way. God has 



182 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

forbidden the Indian to sell his country except for a fair price, and he did not 
understand the treaty." 

This adroit use of revelation served as a cue for Five Crows, the Yellow Serpent, 
Owhi and several other chiefs — Owhi, who, three years later, was to meet his death 
in a daring effort to escape from the guards of Colonel Wright's command. 

Pu-pu-mox-mox, or the Yellow Serpent, head chief of the Walla Wallas, proposed 
that this council should adjourn, and another be held at some future time. He 
protested that the Indians were treated like children, were not consulted in the draft- 
ing of treaties which they were asked to sign, and declared that he wanted no alterna- 
tive to the complete exclusion of the white people from his domains. Kamiaken, the 
famous war chief of the Yakimas, maintained a studied silence. "I have nothing 
to say," was his invariable reply to all appeals to reveal his heart. 

Governor Stevens saw that the time had come for plain speaking and vigorous 
resentment of the accusation that the white commissioners were seeking to deceive 
the red parties to the proposed treaty. 

"My brother and myself have talked straight. Have all of you talked straight.^ 
Lawyer has, and his people here, and their business will be done tomorrow. 

''The Young Chief says he is blind and does not understand. What is.it that he 
wants? Steachus says that his heart is in one of three places — the Grande Ronde, 
the Touchet and the Tucanon. Where is the heart of Young Chief .^ 

"Pu-pu-mox-mox can not be wafted off like a feather. Does he prefer the 
Yakima reservation to that of the Nez Perces.'^ We have asked him before. We 
ask him now. Where is his heart? 

"And Kamiaken, the great chief of the Yakimas, he has not spoken at all. His 
people have had no voice here today. He is not ashamed to speak. He is not 
afraid to speak. Then speak out. 

"But Owhi is afraid lest God be angry at his selling his land. Owhi, my 
brother, I do not think that God will be angry if you do your best for yourself and 
your children. Ask yourself this question tonight, 'Will not God be angry with me 
if I neglected this opportunity to do them good ?' Owhi says his people are not here. 
Why did he promise to come here, then, to hear our talk? I do not want to be 
ashamed of Owhi. We expect him to speak straight out. We expect to hear from 
Kamiaken, from Skloom." 

Five Crows here proposed an adjournment. "Listen to me, you chiefs," said he. 
"Hitherto we have been as one people with the Nez Perces. This day we are di- 
vided. We, the Cayuses, the Walla Wallas and Kamiaken's people and others will 

think over the matter tonight, and give you an answer tomorrow." 

* 

Stevens and Palmer had now sufficiently tested out the Indian mind to see that 
in its present form the treaty would fail of acceptance. Concessions must be made, 
and to overcome the aversion of the Cayuses, the Walla Wallas and the Umatillas to 
removing to the Nez Perce lands, they brought forward at the council next day a 
plan for an additional reservation on the upper waters of the Umatilla, at the base 
of the Blue mountains. To mollify the stubborn chiefs, the annuities of $500 to be 
paid each of the head chiefs for ten years were extended over a period of twenty 
years. The Yellow Serpent was offered the additional advantage of trading with 
settlers and immigrants at an established trading post, and an annuity of $100 for 
twenty years to his son. In lengthy, rambling speeches Young Chief and Yellow 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 188 

Serpent accepted the treaties. "Now you may send me provisions/* said the Yel- 
low Serpent in conclusion; bat Kamiaken of the Yakimas maintained his sullen 
bearing and refused to assent to the treaties. 

A startling incident now menaced all the efforts of the two commissioners. A 
small band of warriors^ painted^ armed^ chanting a war-song and waving the gory 
trophy of a freshly taken scalp^ came galloping upon the council ground. Instantly 
the great assemblage was thrown into conjecture and commotion. Looking Glass^ 
war chief of the Nez Perces^ returning from a prolonged bunting trip among the 
Blackfeet; on the great plains east of the Rocky mountains^ had learned^ on reach- 
ing the Bitter Root valley, that his tribe were in a great council in the Walla Walla 
valley, negotiating a treaty without his presence or knowledge. This chief, while 
old, petulant and shifty, had an influence with the tribe second only to that of 
Lawyer. He had been made furious by the news, and leaving the main body of his 
banting party on the Bitter Root river, had hurried westward with a few chosen 
friends. In spite of his seventy years, and deep and melting snows in the Bitter Roots, 
the war chief and his party had traveled 800 miles in seven days, and were now 
arrived upon the council ground at the critical moment when the commissioners 
were laboring with the recalcitrant Kamiaken. Surrounded by his band of faithful 
warriors, still waving the scalp-locks of their Blackfeet victims. Looking Glass rode 
proudly upon the scene, his brow a thunder-cloud of angry protest, his eye darting 
indignation at his friends, and broke into a fierce Jeremiad against the tribe: 

"My people, my people, what have you done f While I was gone, you have sold 
my country ! I have come home, and there is not left me a place on which to pitch 
my lodge. Go home to your lodges ! I will talk to you !*' 

Instantly the council was adjourned, and Governor Stevens sought private coun- 
sel with Lawyer, who thought that the war chief would calm down when he learned 
the terms of the treaty. Lawyer, said, though, that Looking Glass's untimely return 
had 80 unsettled the tribe that the original boundaries of the Nez Perce reservation, 
though larger than the tribe would need since other provision had been made for the 
CajTuses, Walla Wallas and UmatiUas, could not now be reduced. 

When the council met the following day it quickly became apparent that Look- 
ing Glass had not softened down. He asserted his head chieftainship over the Nez 
Perce tribe, and contemptuously said that the boys had spoken yesterday, but now 
his voice must be heard. After many inquiries and objections, he finally mapped 
oat other lines for the Nez Perce reservation which included nearly all the territory 
that the tribe had ever claimed. Encouraged by Looking Glass's opposition, the 
Cayuses withdrew their assent to the treaty, and Young Chief artfully played on 
the seeming indignity suffered by the Nez Perce war chief, while away fighting the 
hereditary enemies of his tribe, and still more artfully recognized him as head chief 
of all the Nez Perces. Lawyer, indignant at this attempted repudiation of his 
rights, abruptly left the council while Looking Glass was delivering his fierce 
tirade. The commissioners, refusing to yield to the grasping demands of the aged 
duef, adjourned the council to the following Monday. 

Affairs took now a more hopeful form, for after adjournment. Yellow Serpent 
for the Walla Wallas, and Kamiaken for the Yakimas, yielding under pressure from 
their snb-chiefs and head men, came in and signed their respective treaties. The 
Yellow Serpent had said in the morning, when a spirit of repudiation was in the air. 



184 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

that his word had passed^ and he should sign the treaty regardless of what Looking 
Glass and his followers among the Nez Perces might do. His example had mudi 
influence with Kamiaken. 

Later in the evening a new complication^ in the aggrieved hearing of the faith- 
ful and friendly Lawyer, confronted Governor Stevens. Coming to the governor's 
tent, this chief said in complaint: 

"Governor Stevens, you are my chief. You come from the President. He has 
spoken kind words to us, a poor people. We have listened to them and agreed to a 
treaty. We are bound by the agreement. When Looking Glass asked you, *How 
long will the agent live with us.^' you might have replied by asking the question, 
*How long have you been head chief of the Nez Perces?' When he said, *I, the head 
chief have just got back; I will talk; the boys talked yesterday,' you might have re- 
plied, *The Lawyer, and not you, is the head chief. The whole Nez Perce tribe have 
said in council that Lawyer was the head chief. Your faith is pledged; you have 
agreed to the treaty. I call upon you to sign it.' Had this course been taken, the 
treaty would have been signed." 

"In reply," says Stevens, "I told the Lawyer that we considered all the talk of 
Looking Glass as the outpourings of an angry and excited old man, whose heart 
would become all right if left to himself for a time; that the Lawyer had left the 
council whilst in session, and without speaking; that it was his business to have 
interfered in this way if it had been necessary. We considered the Lawyer's leaving 
as saying, 'Nothing more can be done today; it must be finished tomorrow.' Your 
authority will be sustained, and your people will be called upon to keep their word. 
You will be sustained. The Looking Glass will not be allowed to speak as head 
chief. You, and you alone, will be recognized. Should Looking Glass persist, the 
appeal will be made to your people. They must sign the treaty agreed to by them 
through you as head chief, or the council will be broken up and you will return 
home, your faith broken, your hopes of the future gone." 

Nez Perce and Cayuse tribal councils, held that night, were not concluded until 
daylight. The Nez Perces had a stormy council, but ended in an agreement that 
Lawyer was head chief, and Looking Glass second only to him. This was reduced 
to writing, and contained a declaration that the faith of the tribe was pledged to 
Governor Stevens and the treaty must be signed. 

A peaceful Sabbath succeeded these stormy events, and pious Timothy, that 
Timothy who later, in 1858, was to save Colonel Steptoe's little command from ut- 
ter rout and death, preached a timely sermon, holding up to the execration of the 
tribe and the retribution of Heaven those members who would follow after the 
treacherous teachings of the Cayuses and break the unsuUied Nez Perce faith. That 
day Kamiaken, in conference with Stevens, said: 

"I-ooking Glass, if left alone, will sign the treaty. Don't ask me to accept pres- 
ents. I have never taken one from a white man. When the payments are made I 
will take my share." 

Monday brought the closing scenes of this spectacjilar and momentous council. 
Early in the morning Governor Stevens said to Lawyer: "We are now ready to go 
into council. I shall call upon your people to keep their word, and upon you, as 
head chief, to sign first. We want no speeches. This will be the last day of the 
council. Call your people together as soon as possible." "That is the right course," 



WALLA WALLA COUNCIL, 



FEASTING THE ClIIEra AT WALLA WALLA COUNCIL 



THE SCALP DANCE AT WALLA WALLA COUNCIL 

PRESENTS a:^!) Sl'PPLIf:S WEKE STOREO 
IN THE LOO HUT 



THE ^EW YOKK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY! 



km 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 185 

replied Lawyer, as he turned away to assemble his people. Governor Stevens thus 
describes the closing scenes of the gathering: 

"The Looking Glass took his seat in council in the very best humor. The Cayuses 
ajad Nez Perces were all present. Kamiaken sat down near the Young Chief. The 
council was opened by me in a brief speech : *We meet for the last time. Your words 
are pledged to sign the treaty. The tribes have spoken through their head chiefs, 
Joseph, Red Wolf, the Eagle, Ip-se-male-e-con, all declaring Lawyer was the head 
chief, I call upon Lawyer to sign first.' Lawyer then signed the treaty. *I now 
cnli upon Joseph and the Looking Glass.' Looking Glass signed, then Joseph. Then 
crery chief and man of note, both Nez Perces and Cayuses, signed their respective 
treaties. 

"After the treaties were signed, I spoke briefly of the Blackfoot council, and 
asked each tribe to send delegations, the Nez Perces a hundred chiefs and braves, 
the whole under the head chief, or some chief of acknowledged authority, as Look- 
ing Glass. There was much talk on the subject on the part of the Indians. Look- 
ing Glass said he would have a talk with me alone some other time." 

The council ended, presents were distributed among the assembled tribes. In 
return for his present, Eagle-from-the-Light, the Nez Perce chief who had spoken 
in eloquent opposition to the treaty, and proudly refused the commissioners* offer of 
provisions, tendered to Governor Stevens a superb skin of a grizzly bear, with teeth 
and claws intact. "This skin," he said in a presentation speech, "is my medicine. 
It came with me every day to., the council. It tells me everything. 
It says now that what has been doife is right. • Had anything been done wrong it 
would have spoken out. I have now* no* use for it. I give it you that you may know 
my heart is right." Every day throughout the council sessions, Eagle-from-the- 
Light had sat upon this skin, teeth and claws turned towards the commissioners, re- 
fusing the roll of blankets which had been oiOfered him. 

"Thus ended," says Governor Stevens' journal, "in the most satisfactory manner, 
this great council, prolonged through so many days — a council which, in the num- 
ber of Indians assembled and the different tribes, old difficulties and troubles be- 
tween them and the whites, a deep-seated dislike to and determination against giv- 
ing up their lands, and the great importance, nay, absolute necessity, of opening this 
land by treaty to occupation by the whites, that bloodshed and the enormous expense 
of Indian wars might be avoided, and in its general influence and difliculty — has 
never been equaled by any council held with the Indian tribes of the United States. 
"It was so considered by all present, and a final relief from the intense anxiety 
and vexation of the last month was especially grateful to all concerned." 

In celebration of the conclusion of the treaty, and the return of Chief Looking 
Glass and his braves from the buffalo country, the Nez Perces gave a scalp dance. 
Hazard Stevens, the governor's son, who witnessed with boyish eyes that frightful 
savage scene, describes it in his biography of Governor Stevens: 

"The chiefs and braves, in full war paint and adorned with all their savage 
finery, formed a large circle, standing several ranks deep. Within this arena a 
chosen body of warriors performed the war dance, while the densely massed ranks 
of braves circled around them, keeping time in measured tread, and accompanying 
it with their wild and barbaric war song. The ferocious and often hideous mien of 
these stalwart savages, their frenzied attitudes and shrill and startling yells, formed 



186 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

a subject worthy the pen of Dante and the pencil of Dor^. The missionary still 
had work to do. 

"Presently an old hag, the very picture of squalor and woe, burst into the circle, 
bearing aloft on a pole one of the fresh scalps so recently taken by Looking Glass, 
and, dancing and jumping about with wild and extravagant action, heaped upon the 
poor relic of a fallen foe every mark of indignity and contempt. Shaking it aloft, 
she vociferously abused it; she beat it, she spat upon it; she bestrode the pole and 
rushed around the ring, trailing it in the dust, again and again; while the warriors, 
with grim satisfaction, kept up their measured tread, chanted their war songs, and 
uttered, if possible, yet more ear-piercing yells. 

"A softer and more pleasing scene succeeded. The old hag retired with her be- 
draggled trophy, and a long line of Indian maidens stepped within the circles, and, 
forming an inner rank, moved slowly round and round, chanting a mild and plain- 
tive air. A number of the stylish young braves, real Indian beaux in the height of 
paint and feathers, next took post within the circle, near the rank of moving maid- 
ens, and each one, as the object of his adoration passed liim, placed a gaily deco- 
rated token upon her shoulder. If she allowed it to remain, his affection was re- 
turned and he was accepted, but if she shook it off, he knew that he was a rejected 
suitor. Coquetry, evidently, is not confined to the civiliaed fair, for, without excep- 
tion, the maidens, as if indignant at such public wooing threw off the token with 
disdain, while every new victim of delusive hopes was greeted with shouts of lau^- 
ter from the spectators." 

When the council ended thus happily, few of the little band of white partici- 
pants, realized how perilously near they had been to a death of Indian treachery. 
If the Nez Perce chief Lawyer had not, through his spies in the hostile Cayuse 
camp, discovered the conspiracy, warned Stevens and assumed open and conspicu- 
ous protectorate over the commissioners and their party, the murderous plot would 
probably have been consummated, and the fair valley of the Walla W^Ua would 
have witnessed a recurrence of that Cayuse treachery which signalised the destruc- 
tion of the Whitman mission. 

"Their design, (says Lieutenant Kip) was first to massacre the escort, which 
would have been easily done. Fifty soldiers against 8,000 Indian warriors, out on 
the open plains, made rather too great odds. We should have had time, like Lieuten- 
ant Grattan at Fort Laramie last season, to deliver one fire, and then the contest 
would have been over. Their next move was to surprise the post at The Dalles, as 
they could also have easily done, as most of the troops were withdrawn, and the 
Indians in the neighborhood had recently united with them. This would have been 
the beginning of their war of extermination against the settlers." 

"Foiled in their plot," comments Hazard Stevens, "why did they then so quickly 
agree to the treaties.^ All the circumstances and evidence go to show that, with the 
exception of Steachus, the friendly Cayuse, they all — Young Chief, Five Crows, 
Pu-pu-mox-mox, Kamiaken and their sub-chiefs — all signed the treaties as a delib- 
erate act of treachery, in order to lull the whites into fancied security, give time for 
Governor Stevens to depart to the distant Blackfoot country, where he would prob- 
ably be wiped out by those truculent savages, and for the Nez Perces to return 
home, and also for completing their preparations for a wide-spread and simultaneous 
onslaught on all the settlements. Scarcely had they reached home from the council 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 187 

when they resumed such preparation, buying extra stores of ammunition, and send- 
ing emissaries to the Spokanes, Coeur d'Alenes and even to some of the Nez Perces 
and to other tribes, to incite them to a war, actually held a council of the disaf- 
fected at a point in the Palouse country the following month, and, within three 
months of accepting ostensibly the protection of the Great Father, precipitated the 
conflict. Agent Bolon and many white miners and settlers in the upper country were 
massacred, and settlements as widespread as Puget Sound and southern Oregon, 600 
miles apart, were attacked on the same day. In this conspiracy and contest, Kamia- 
ken was the moving spirit, the organizer, the instigator, whose crafty wiles never 
slept, and whose stubborn resolution no disaster could break. But in the end, after 
protracted and stubborn resistance, they were defeated and compelled to move on 
their reservations, and live under the very treaties they so treacherously agreed to, 
and under which they still live and have greatly prospered. 

"Over 60,000 square miles were ceded by these treaties. The Nez Perce reser- 
ration contained 5,000 square miles, including mountain and forest as well as good 
land, and provision was made for moving other tribes upon it. The payment for 
the Nez Perce lands comprised $200,000 in the usual annuities, and $60,000 for im- 
proving the reservation, saw and grist mills, schools, shops, teachers, farmers, me- 
chanics, etc. Ardent spirits were excluded. The right to hunt, fish, gather roots 
and berries, and pasture stock on vacant land was secured, and provision was made 
for ultimately allotting the land in severalty. An annuity of $500 for twenty years 
was given the head chief, and a house was to be built for him, and ten acres of land 
fenced and broken up the first year. At the special request of the Indians, the claim 
and homestead of William Craig (near Lewiston) was confirmed to him, and was 
not to be considered part of the reservation, although within its boundaries." 

Besides Lawyer and Looking Glass, fifty-six sub-chiefs signed the Nez Perce 
treaty. Of these was Joseph, father of the younger Joseph, who, twenty-two years 
later, was to become famous as leader of the warring Nez Perces and fight a bril- 
liant running battle, over a long and devious trail, baffling again and again Generals 
Howard and Gibbon, and inflicting heavy losses on the regulars engaged in that mem- 
orable campaign of 1877. 

Eight hundred square miles were embraced in the Umatilla reservation. The 
treaty carried $100,000 in annuities, $50,000 for improvements, $10,000 for moving 
the immigrant road, and provisions for a saw and a grist mill, two schoolhouses, 
a blacksmith shop, wag^n and plough-making shop, carpenter and joiner shop, 
tools and equipments. For instruction, teachers, farmers and mechanics were 
provided for twenty years. The head chief received the same allowance as in 
the Nez Perce treaty, and Pu-pu-mox-mox was granted the privilege of conduct- 
ing a trading post at the mouth of the Yakima, and received besides three yoke 
of oxen and liberal stores of agricultural machinery and farm implements. The 
canny old chief had certainly driven a hard bargain. This treaty was signed 
by three head-chiefs and thirty-two sub-chiefs. 

The Yakima treaty carried the same general provisions as the Nez Perce 
and Umatilla agreements. In addition to their large reservation in the Yakima 
country, they were given a smaller one on the Wenatchee, where they had a fishery. 
The payments carried $200,000 in annuities, $60,000 for improving the reserva- 
tions, and allowances for instruction, etc., similar to those in the other treaties. 



CHAPTER XX 

NEGOTIATING THE FLATHEAD TREATY IN MONTANA 

WALLA WALLA COUNCIL BREAKS UP TRAILS FILLED WITH WILD AND PICTURESQUE 

CAVALCADES GIFTS FOR THE 8POKANES STRIKING BORDER CHARACTERS PEARSON 

THE EXPRESS RIDER STEVENS* LITTLE PARTY MOVES EASTWARD ACROSS THE INLAND 

EMPIRE GREAT COUNCIL ON THE HELLOATE GOVERNOR STEVENS EXPLAINS THE 

TREATIES MORE INDIAN ORATORY CUTTING THE GORDIAN KNOT "eVERY MAN 

PLEASED AND EVERY MAN SATISFIED." 

SCENES of extraordinary bustle and seeming confusion succeeded the ter- 
mination of the council. A great village of more than 5,000 people was 
quickly demolished and as quickly passed from view. Lodges were lowered, 
the scattered herds were rounded up, and decked in their gorgeous and resplendent 
gifts of scarlet blankets and gaily figured calicoes, the assembled tribes scattered 
to every point of the compass. They "filled all the trails leading out of the valley 
with their wild and picturesque cavalcades." 

Next in order now was the holding of other great councils with the Flatheads 
^d neighboring tribes, the Spokanes, and the warlike Blackfeet in the bufifalo 
country east of the Rocky mountains. As the territory of Washington joined then 
the territory of Nebraska, Alfred Gumming, superintendent of Indian affairs for 
Nebraska, had been appointed as one of three commissioners to negotiate the 
Blackfoot treaty. General Palmer of Oregon had been named as the third, but 
his territory having at most, only remote association with the far eastern tribes, 
he declined the appointment, and with the Oregon officers left fpr the Willamette 
Tallev. 

As Stevens intended to negotiate a separate treaty with the Spokanes, on his 
return from the Blackfoot council, A. J. Bolon, Indian agent of the Yakimas, 
▼as despatched with a small party to old Fort Walla Walla on the Columbia, with 
goods intended for the Spokanes, there to be stored for safe-keeping. He was 
next to visit and inspect the Yakima reservation, and after that proceed to The 
Dalles, bring the Nez Perce goods to Walla Walla, where he was to load up with 
the Spokane goods and pack them to Antoine Plant's ranch on the Spokane river, 
preparatory to the governor's council on his return from the country of the Black- 
feet. 

"It was a beautiful sunny June morning, the 16th," says Hazard Stevens, 
"when the little train drew out from the deserted council ground and took its way 
in single file across the level valley prairie, covered with luxuriant bunch-grass 

189 



190 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

and vivid-hued flowers. A large^ fine-looking Coeur d'Alene Indian named Joseph^ 
led the way as guide; then rode the governor with his son, Secretary Doty, Agent 
Lansdale, and Gustave Schon, the artist, barometer carrier and observer; then 
came Packmaster Higgins, followed by the train of eleven packers and trwo cooks, 
and forty-one sleek, long-eared pack-moles, each bearing a burden of 200 pounds, 
the men interspersed with the mules to keep them moving on the trail; while 
seventeen loose animals, in a disorderly bunch, driven by a couple of herders, 
brought up in the rear. It was a picked force, both men and animals, and made 
up in efficiency for scanty numbers. 

"The artist, Gustave Schon, a soldier of the Fourth infantry, detailed for 
the trip, was an intelligent German, a clever sketcher, and competent to take 
instrumental observations. 

"Higgins, ex-orderly sergeant of dragoons, a tall, broad-shouldered, spare, 
sinewy man, a fine swordsman and drillmaster, a scientific bo.xer, was a man o£ 
unusual firmness, intelligence, and good judgment, and quiet, gentlemanly manners, 
and held the implicit respect, obedience and good will of his subordinates. He 
afterwards became the founder, banker and first citizen of the flourishing town of 
Missoula, at Hellgate in the Bitter Root valley. 

''A. H. Robie worked up from the ranks, married a daughter of Craig, and 
settled at Boise City, Idaho, where he achieved a highly prosperous and respected 
career. 

"Sidney Ford, a son of Judge Ford, was a handsome, stalwart young Saxon 
in appearance, broad-shotddered, sensible, capable, and kindly. The others were 
all men of experience on the plains and mountains, brave and true. By all odds 
the most skilful and picturesque of these mountain men, and having the most 
varied and romantic history-, was Delaware Jim, whose father was a Delaware 
chief and his mother a white woman, and who had spent a lifetime — for he was 
now past middle age — in hunting and traveling over all parts of the country, from 
the Mississippi to the Pacific, meeting with many thrilling adventures and hair- 
breadth escapes. 

"Many of the men were clad in buckskin moccasins, breeches and fringed hunt- 
ing shirts; others in rough, serviceable woolen garb, stout boots and wide slouch 
hats. All carried navy revolvers and keen bowie knives, and many in addition 
bore the long, heavy, small-bored Kentucky rifle, which they fired with great 
deliberation and unerring skill. 

"One of the most remarkable men connected with the expedition was the ex- 
press rider, W. H. Pearson. A native of Philadelphia, of small but well knit 
frame, with muscles of steel, and spirit and endurance that no exertion apparently 
could break down, waving, chestnut hair, high forehead, a refined, intelligent and 
pleasant face, the manners and bearing of a gentleman — such was Pearson." 

In one of his official reports Governor Stevens pays cordial tribute to this 
splendid border character: "Hardy, bold, intelligent and resolute, having a great 
diversity of experience, which had made him acquainted with all the relations 
between Indians and white men from the borders of Texas to the forty-ninth 
parallel, and which enabled him to know best how to move, whether under south- 
ern tropics or the winter snows of the north, I suppose there has scarcely ever 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 191 

been any man in the service of the government who excelled Pearson as an ex- 
pressman." 

Taking the Ne* Perce trail, the party moved leisurely up through the Walla 
Walla valley into the Palouse country, camped one night on Hangman creek south of 
the falls of the Spokane, passed thence into the Coeur d'Alenes, and moving 
up the Coeur d'Alene river, by way of the Catholic mission, retraced the gover- 
nor's route of 1853, and crossing the summit of the Bitter Root mountains on July 1, 
descended the St. Regis de Borgia, and came to the Bitter Root river on July S. 

While encamped on Hangman creek. Governor Stevens was visited by the Palouse 
chief Slah-yot-see and thirty braves, the chief complaining because no goods had 
been given him at the Walla Walla council. The governor promptly met his 
whining with this terse reply: 

"Slah-yot-see, you went away before the council was ended. Koh-lat-toose 
remained and signed the treaty. He was recognized as the head chief of the 
PaloQses, and to him the goods were g^iven to be distributed among his tribe as he 
and the principal men should determine. I have brought no goods to give you. 
Go to Koh-lat-toose. He is the chief, and it is from him you must obtain your 
share of the presents. Had you remained until the council terminated, you would 
ha?e had a voice in the distribution of the goods. Kamiaken, your head chief, 
signed the treaty, and said that he should bring the Palouses into the Yakima 
country, where they properly belonged." 

The crossing of the Bitter Root river was safely effected on July 4, although 
the stream was then at its torrential stage. Moving eastward, the party was met 
on the 7th by 800 chiefs and warriors of the Flathead, Pend d'Oreille and Kootenay 
tribes, and lyith a rattling discharge of musketry were conducted to their encamp- 
ment near the Hellgate river. After a pleasant conference of several hours, the 
gOTemor's party established camp on the main river, a mile distant from the Indian 
rendezvous. That afternoon three head chiefs — Victor of the Flatheads, Alexan- 
der of the Pend d'Oreilles, and Michelle of the Kootenays, along with several 
snb-chiefs, visited the governor, and after the peace pipe had been duly smoked, 
were addressed by him in his usual opening vein. He spoke of the recent council 
at Walla Walla, and proposed the following Monday as opening day for their 
council. 

"The Flatheads or Salish," says Hazard Stevens, "including the Pend d'Oreilles 
and Kootenays, were among those who had been driven westward by the Blackfeet, 
and now occupied the pleasant valleys of the mountains. They were 
noted for their intelligence, honesty and bravery, and although of medium 
stature and inferior, in physique to the brawny Blackfeet, never hesitated to attack 
them if the odds were not greater than ^ve to one. Having been supplied by the 
early fur-traders with firearms, which enabled them to make a stand against their 
out-numbering foe, they had always been the firm friends of the whites, and like 
the Nez Perces, often himted with the mountain men and entertained them in their 
lodges. A number of Iroquois hunters and half-breeds had joined and intermar- 
ried with them. (These Iroquois had been brought into this country by the old 
Northwest Fur company, as voyageurt or boatmen, in which occupation they gen- 
erally excelled all others.) The Bitter Root valley was the seat of the Flatheads 
proper. The Pend d'Oreilles lived lower down the river, or northward in two 



192 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

bands — the Upper Pend d'Oreilles on the Horse plains and Jocko prairies, and 
the lower Pend d'Oreilles on Clark's fork, below the lake of their name, and 
were canoe Indians, owning few horses. The Kootenays lived about the Flathead 
river and lake. All these, except the Lower Pend d'Oreilles, went to buffalo, and 
their hunting trips were spiced with the constant peril and excitement of frequent 
skirmishes with their hereditary enemies. The Jesuits, in 1843, established a mis- 
sion among the Lower Pend d'Oreilles, but in 1854 moved to the Flathead river, 
near the mouth of the Jocko. They also started a mission among the Flatheads 
in the Bitter Root valley, forty miles above Hellgate, ^ere they founded the 
beautiful village of St. Mary, amid charming scenery; but the incessant raids of 
the Black feet were surely but slowly 'wiping out' these brave and interesting 
Indians, and the mission was abandoned in 1850 as too much exposed. The Owen 
Brothers then started a trading pK>st at this point, which they named Fort Owien; 
and fourteen miles above it Lieutenant MuUan built his winter camp in 1853, 
known as Cantonment Stevens, which has been succeeded by the town of Stevens- 
ville." 

At the opening session of the council, Monday, July 9, Governor Stevens made 
a long speech in which he p>ointed out the superior advantages of civilization, 
their need of the protecting arm of the Great Father to stop the incessant and 
decimating wars with the Blackfeet, and the detailed terms and advantages pro- 
posed by the government. But while the Indians were most friendly in spirit, 
and willing and even eager to follow the white man's way, they shrank from the 
requirement of the proposed treaty which compelled them all to go upon the same 
reservation. But to the governor this requirement seemed advisable and bene- 
ficial, since all three tribes belonged to the common Salish family, speaking the 
same language and being closely intermarried and otherwise allied. He therefore 
offered to segregate a tract for them either in the upper Bitter Root valley in 
Victor's country, or the Horse plains and Jocko river in the Pend d'Oreille terri- 
tory. 

When the governor had finished, the chiefs, one by one, voiced either their 
open opposition or expressed emphatic reluctance to the adoption of this plan. 
Big Canoe, a Pend d'Oreille chief, objected to relinquishing any part of his terri- 
tory, but thought the whites and Indians could continue to dwell together without 
treaties or reservations. In his speech, as translated by the interpreters, he said: 

**Talk about treaty, when did I kill you? When did you kill me.'' What is 
the reason we are talking about treaties.'* We are friends. We never spilt the 
blood of one of you. I never saw your blood. I want my country. I thought no 
one would ever want to talk about my country. Now you talk, you white men. 
Now that I have heard, I wish the whites to stop coming. Perhaps you will put 
me in a trap, if I do not listen to you, white chiefs. It is our land, both of us. 
If you make a farm, I would not go there and pull up your crops. I would not 
drive you away from it. If I were to go to your country and say, 'Give me a 
little piece,' I wonder would you say, 'Here, take it.' I expect that is the same 
way you want me to do here. I am very poor. This is all the small piece I have 
got. I am not going to let it go. I did not come to make trouble; therefore I 
would say, I am very poor. 

"It is two winters since you passed here. Every year since my horses have 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 193 

gone to the Blackfeet. Here this spring the Blackfeet put my daughter on foot. 
She packed her goods on her back. It made me feel bad. I was going on a war 
partj as your express passed along. Then I think of what I heard from you^ my 
father^ and take my heart back and keep quiet. If I had not listened to -your 
express^ I should have gone on war parties oyer yonder. We drove one band of 
horses from the Blackfeet. I talked about it to my Indians. I said^ 'Give &e 
horses back^ my children.' My chief took them back. You talked about it strongs 
my father. My chief took them back. That is the way we act. When I found 
my children were going on war parties^ I would 'tell them to stop^ be quiet. Tell 
them I expect now we will see the chief. I expect he will talk to the Blackfeet 
again. 

Governor Stevens: "I will ask you, my children, if you fully understand all 
that was said yesterday ? I ask you now, can you all agree t6 live on one reserva- 
tion? I ask Victor, are you willing to go on the same reservation with the Pend 
d'OreiUes and Kootenays.^ I ask Alexander, are you willing to go on the same 
reservation with the Flatheads and Kootenays. I ask Michelle, are you willing 
to go on the same reservation with the Flatheads and Pend d'OreiUes ? What do 
TOO, Victor, Alexander and Michelle, think f You are the head-chiefs ; I want you 
to speak." 

Victor: "I am willing to go V)n one reservation, but I do not want to go over 
yonder" (the Pend d'Oreille country). 

Alexander: "It is good for us all to stop in one place." 
Michelle: "I am with Alexander." 

Governor Stevens: "The Pend d'Oreilles and Kootenays think it well to have 
all these tribes together. Perhaps Victor might think so by and by, if the place 
suits. Alexander and Michelle wish to live together, their people in one place; 
they have a thousand people, the land ought to be good. Each man wants his 
field; the climate ought to be mild. 

"I ask Victor, Alexander and Michelle to think it over. Will they go to the 
ralley with Victor, or to the mission with Alexander and Michelle? I do not 
care which. You will have your priests with you, whether you go to the mission 
or Fort Owen. Those who want the priest can have him. The Great Father 
means that every one shall do as he pleases in regard to receiving the instructions 
of the priests." 

Next day's council brought no change of mind, Victor refusing to move to the 
niission, Alexander declining to go to the valley; neither objecting to the other 
coming to his place. To overcome this . deadlock. Governor Stevens proposed a 
holiday and feast, and used the delay to send for Father Hoecken to investigate 
a rmnor that the priests were exerting an adverse influence on the negotiations. 
Father Hoedten arrived before the conclusion of the council and quickly con- 
Tinced the governor of the falsity of the rumor. He expressed complete approval 
of the treaty, and on its conclusion signed the instrument as one of the witnesses. 
Twelve hundred Indians were now encamped on the treaty grounds, and for 
their pleasure on the day of the feast two beeves, coffee, sugar, flour and other 
proTisions were supplied them. After the feast the Indians counseled among 
themselves respecting the treaty. 

But at next day's council the deadlock seemed as unbroken as ever. Victor 

Vol I— 1 a 



194 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

« 

refused to speak^ declaring that he had not yet made up his mind. At this point 
the governor adopted a taunting tone: 

"Does Victor want to treat?" he asked. "Is he, as one of his people has 
called him, an old woman .^ Dumb as a dog. If Victor is a chief, let him speak 
now." 

To escape Stevens' adroit pressure, Victor abruptly left the council and 
went to his lodge. The next day he sent word that his mind was not yet made 
up, and the governor adjourned the council to Monday, when Victor, manifestly 
to "save his face'* before the governor and his own people, brought forward a 
compromise arrangement. He proposed that the two tracts under consideration 
should be carefully surveyed and examined by Governor Stevens, and the one 
found best should be chosen for the reservation. 

Alexander and Michelle persisting in their decision the governor cut the Gordian 
knot by accepting Victor's plan so far as it concerned him and his people and 
giving the others the reservation around the mission. 

"My children (he said) Victor has made his proposition. Alexander and Mich- 
elle have made theirs. We will make a treaty for them. Both tracts shall be 
surveyed. If the mission is the best land, Victor shall live there. If the valley 
is the best land, Victor shall stay there. Alexander and Michelle may stay at 
the mission." 

The three head-chiefs then signed the treaties, but Moses, a sub-chief of the 
Flatheads, would not sign. 

"My brother is buried here," he protested. "I did not think you would take 
the only piece of ground I had. Here are three fellows (the head-chiefs) ; they 
say, 'Get on your horses and go.' Last year when you were talking about the Black- 
feet you were joking." 

Governor Stevens: "How can Moses say, I am not going to the Blackfoot 
country.? I have gone all the way to the Great Father to arrange about the Black- 
foot council. What more can I do.'' A man is coming from the Great Father to 
meet me. Does Moses not know that Mr. Burr and another man went to Fort 
Benton the other day?" 

With fine imagery Moses rejoined: "You have pulled all my wings off and then 
let me down." 

Governor Stevens: "All that we have done is for vour benefit. I have said 
that the Flatheads were brave and honest and should be protected. Be patient 
Everything will come right." 

Moses: "I do not know how it will 'be straight. A few days ago the Black- 
thet stole horses at Salmon river." 

Governor Stevens, to the interpreter: "Ask him if he sees the Nez Perce 
chief Eagle-from-the-Light; he is going to the Blackfoot council with me." 

Moses: "Yes, I see him; they will get his hair. The Blackfeet are not like 
these people; they are all drunk." 

When the influenital men had signed. Governor Stevens said: 

"Here are three papers which you have signed, copies of the same treaty. One 
goes to the President, one I place in the hands of the head-chief, and one I keep 
myself. Everything that has been said here goes to the President. I have now a 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 195 

few presents for you. They are simply a gift, no part of the payments. The pay- 
ments can not be made until we hear from the President next year." 

After a council protracted for eight days, success crowned the governor's labors. 
"Every man pleased and every man satisfied," as he expressed it. 

This reservation, which was opened to white settlement in 1909, embraced 1,250,- 
000 acres. The treaty carried $84,000 in annuity goods, $36,000 to improve the res- 
eiration ; salaries of $500 a year for twenty years, with a house and ten acres fenced 
and ploughed, to the three head-chiefs ; schools, mills, hospitals, shops ; teachers and 
mechanics for twenty years; the right to fish, hunt, gather roots and berries, and 
pasture stock on vacant land outside the reservation. The three tribes were to con- 
stitute one nation, under the head chieftainship of Victor, to be called the Flathead 
nation. Father Hoecken, R. H. Lansdale, W. H. Trappan, R. H. Crosby and Will- 
iam Craig witnessed the treaty. About 20,000 square miles were ceded. The treaty 
gronnds were adjacent to the present thriving and progressive city of Missoula. 

"This is not the place," says Governor Stevens in his narrative of 1855, "to go 
into the details of the Flathead treaty." With calm confidence in the judgment of 
history and the unbiased verdict of posterity, the governor adds: "I trust the time 
will come when my treaty operations of 1855 — the most extensive operations ever 
midertaken and carried out in these latter days of our history — I repeat, I trust the 
time will come when 1 shall be able to vindicate them, and show that they were wise 
and proper, and that they accomplished a great end. They have been very much 
critidsed and very much abused; but I have always felt that history will do these 
operations justice. I have not been impatient as to time, but have been willing that 
mj vindication should come at the end of a term of years. Let short-minded men 
denounce and criticise ig^orantly and injuriously, and let time show that the gov- 
cnmient nuide no mistake in the man whom it placed in the great field of duty as its 
commissioner to make treaties with the Indian tribes." 



CHAPTER XXI 

PEACE COUNCIL WITH THE WARLIKE BLACKFEET 

COURlfiBS SUMMON NUMEROUS TRIBES GREAT COUNCIL AT MOUTH OF THE JUDITH 

NEBRASKA'S COMMISSIONER PROCRASTINATES STEVENS* OPENING ADDRESS TREATY 

NEGOTIATED AFTER THREE DAY CONFERENCE COATS AND MEDALS GIVEN TO THE 

CHIEFS GERMAN SONGS ROLL ACROSS THE MISSOURI HOMERIC FEAST OF BUFFALO 

RIBS AND FLAPJACKS LISTENING TO THRILLING TALES OF TRAPPER DAYS. 

BREAKING camp at the conclusion of the Flathead council^ Governor Stevens 
and party hastened eastward for the great peace council with the Blackfeet. 
Fort Benton, head of navigation on the Missouri, was the appointed rendez- 
foiis, where his party were to meet Colonel Alfred Cumming, Indian superintendent 
for Nebraska territory, who had been designated by the government as the other 
commissioner to negotiate this treaty. Under plans carefully worked out by Stev- 
ens, Gumming was to ascend the Missouri by steamboat, bringing with him the neces- 
sary goods and provisions for the council; but Cumming, who was amazingly pom- 
pous, petulant and inefficient, had proceeded so dilatorily that he himself at one 
time despaired of getting on the ground that season, and proposed that the govern- 
ment postpone the council to the following year. 

Officials at Washington realized that this course would never do; that Governor 
Stevens, with great difficulty, having notified numerous tribes and bands ranging over 
avast extent of country, that the council would be held late in the summer of 1855, 
failure to carry out these arrangements would be taken by the Indians as a mani- 
festation of broken faith ; the council must be held. Cmnming was thereupon admon- 
ished to go forward with the orig^inal plans, but his disregard of Governor Stevens' 
recommendations involved him in additional delays, and when Stevens and party ar- 
rived at Benton, they met the disappointing news that Cumming and all the goods 
and provisions were far down the Missouri ; that the Nebraska official had prema- 
turely unloaded the steamer, and was trying to cordelle the freight up the swift 
current of the upper Missouri in small boats. 

Stevens sent out couriers in all directions, advising the various bands that the 
comicil could not be held at the designated date, and asking them to hold their peo- 
ple in readiness for a later summons. Chafing under these delays and disappoint- 
ments, foreseeing that the Indians could not be held indefinitely as they must shift 
their camps. with the erratic movements of the buffalo, and were in danger of pass- 
ing beyond call, the governor decided to change the council ground from Fort 
Benton to the mouth of the Judith, farther down the Missouri, and thus eliminate 

197 



198 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

the delay involved in cordelling the merchandise and provisions over that long and 
difficult reach of the river. 

"Had the goods arrived at any time during this waiting period/' says Haxard 
Stevens, "not less than 12,000 Indians would have attended the council, comprising 
10,000 Blackfeet, 1,100 Nez Perces, 700 Flatheads and Pend d'Oreillcs and 400 
Snakes, the western Indians numbering 2,200." When the council finally assembled, 
October 16, only 3,500 Indians were in attendance. The double purpose of the pro- 
posed treaty was to establish an enduring peace between the Blackfeet and the 
tribes living west of them, and l^ate the former upon a reservation. In his opening 
speech the governor said: 

"My children, my heart is glad today. I see Indians east of the mountains and 
Indians west of the mountains sitting here as friends — Bloods, Blackfeet, Piegans, 
pros Ventres ; and Nez Perces, Kootenays, Pend d'Oreilles, Flatheads ; and we have 
the Cree chief sitting down here from the north and east, and Snakes farther from 
the west. There is peace now here between you all present. We want peace also 
with absent tribes, with the Crees and Assiniboines, with the Snakes, and yes, even 
with the Crows. You have all sent your message to the Crows, telling them you 
would meet them in friendship here. The Crows were far, and could not be present, 
but we expect you to promise to be friends with the Crows. . . . 

"I shall say nothing about peace with the white man. No white man enters a 
Blackfoot or a western Indian's lodge without being treated to the very best. Peace 
already prevails. We trust such will continue to be the case forever. We have been 
traveling over your whole country, both to the east and west of the mountains, in 
small parties, ranging away north to Bow river, and south to the Yellowstone. We 
have kept no guard. We have not tied up our horses. All has been safe. There- 
fore I say, peace has been, is now and will continue, between these Indians and the 
white man." 

The treaty was then read, the governor explaining its terms, sentence by sen- 
tence. Speeches by all the chiefs followed, extolling the advantages of peace and 
manifesting the best of feeling. On the third day the treaty was negotiated and 
signed by all the attending chiefs and head men. Three days more were given up to 
the distribution of presents, including coats and medals to the chiefs, with appro- 
priate speeches by the two commissioners, exhorting them to respect their pledges 
to the Great Father and control their young braves in the interest of enduring peace. 
The personnel of the officer^ was: Isaac I. Stevens and Alfred Cumming, commis- 
sioners; James Doty, secretary; Thomas Adams and A. J. Vaughn, reporters. The 
interpreters were: James Bird, A. Culbertson and M. Roche for the Blackfeet; 
Benjamin Kiser and G. Schon, for the Flatheads; William Craig and Delaware Jini) 
for the Nez Perces. 

"The treaty was much more than a treaty of peace as far as the Blackfeet were 
concerned," comments Hazard Stevens, "for it gave them schools, farms, agricul- 
tural implements, etc., an agent, and annuities of $35,000 for ten years, of which 
$15,000 was devoted to educating them in agriculture and to teaching the children. 
It contained the usual provision prohibiting intoxicating liquor. The extensive re- 
gion between the Missouri and the Yellowstone was made the common hunting 
ground of all the tribes. All agreed to maintain peace with each other, including 
those tribes that were unable to be present, the Crows, Crees, Assiniboines and 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 199 

Snakes. The treaty was made obligatory on the Indians from their signing it^ and 
on the United States from its ratification^ which occurred the next springs and it 
was duly proclaimed by the president on April 25^ 1856. 

"The peace made at this council was observed with gratifying fidelity in the 
main. The Blackf eet ceased their incessant and bloody raids^ and met their former 
enemies on friendly terms upon the common hunting grounds. Within a few years^ 
in 1862-63^ large white settlements sprang up on the headwaters of the Missouri^ 
but they were spared the horrors and sufferings of Indian warfare with so powerful 
a tribe, largely in consequence of this treaty. The council, which Governor Stevens 
planned and carried out with such foresight, sagacity and indefatigable exertions 
during two years, bore fruit at last in the perpetual peace he hoped for and pre- 
dicted. Few treaties with Indians have been so well observed by them as this by 
the 'bloodthirsty' Blackfeet. They took no part in the great Sioux wars, nor in the 
outbreak of Joseph. They were afterwards gathered together on a large reserva- 
tion, including the country about the Sun river, where the governor proposed to es- 
tablish their farms." 

A pleasing description of the council ground has been recorded by the same 
author, who, as a boy of 13 accompanied his father and witnessed the savage and 
barbaric council. It was "a wide, level plain, covered with a noble grove of huge 
cottonwoods. It was on the left bank of the Missouri, nearly opposite but below the 
mouth of the Judith. This stream was also bordered by broad bottoms, which were 
covered wih large sage-brush, and fairly swarming with deer. The governor's 
camp was pitched under the lofty cottonwoods, and lower down was the camp of the 
crew of men who had dragged the boats up the river. They were a hundred strong, 
TDosilj Germans, having many fine voices among them, and were fond of spending 
the evenings in singing. The effect of their grand choruses, pealing forth over the 
river and resounding among the lofty trees, was magnificent. 

"In the governor's camp an unusually large Indian lodge — a great cone of poles 
covered with dressed and smoke-stained buffalo skins — was erected and used as an 
office tent, where the records were copied and smaller conferences held. Every 
night between eleven and twelve, when the work of the day was concluded, the 
governor would call in the gentlemen of the party, a few chiefs, and some of the in- 
terpreters, and have a real Homeric feast of buffalo ribs, fiap jacks with melted 
sugar, and hot coffee. Whole sides of ribs would be brought in, smoking hot from 
the fire, and passed around, and each guest would cut off a rib for himself with his 
hunting knife, and sit there holding the huge dainty, three feet long, and tearing off 
the juicy and delicious meat with teeth and knife, principally the former. No 
description can convey an idea of the hearty zest and relish and enjoyment, or the 
keen appetites, with which they met at these hospitable repasts, and recounted the 
▼aried adventures and experiences of their recent trips, or listened as Craig, Dela- 
ware Jim, or Ben Kiser related some thrilling tale of trapper days, or desperate 
fi^t with Indian or grizzly bear." 

A far cry this may seem from the night-lighted streets of Spokane, with their 
flaring electric signs, swift-passing automobiles, and pleasure-seeking throngs ; but 
these nomadic scenes in Walla Walla vale, and by Missoula's flowing waters, and on 
^c distant plains where mingle the Judith and the Missouri, required their setting 
Mid their shifting, seven and fifty years ago, else had there been no pea^e with In- 



200 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

dian tribes^ no settlement by daring and adventurous pioneers^ no turning of the soO 
to farm and garden^ or felling of the forest monarchs ; no rocking out of millions in 
placer gold or delving deep for hidden treasures of mineral vein and chamber. And 
without these antedating achievements^ where now could be the beautiful^ the sub- 
stantial empress city of the Inlakid Empire? 



CHAPTER XXII 

TRIBES OF INTERIOR TAKE TO THE WARPATH 

NBW8 TO SHAKE THE STOUTEST HEART GOVERNOR CUT OFF FROM OLYMPIA PEAR- 
SON 's DESPERATE RIDE THROUGH HOSTILE COUNTRY STEVENS ADVISED TO DESCEND 

THE MISSOURI AND RETURN BY SEA ^REJECTS THAT COUNSEL AND BOLDLY RETURNS 

BY DIRECT ROUTE CROSSES BITTER ROOTS IN THREE FEET OF SNOW STARTLES 

INDIANS BY SUDDEN APPEARANCE IN COEUR d'aLENES FORCED MARCH TO THE 

SPOKANE MEETS MINERS FROM COLVILLE COUNTRY STORMY COUNCIL WITH SPO- 

KANES GARRY VACILLATES STEVENS BLAMED FOR YAKIMAS OUTBREAK SPOKANES 

CONCILIATED ^''sPOKANE INVINCIBLES" ORGANIZED AS MILITIA COMPANY NEZ 

PERCES GIVE GOVERNOR AN ARMED ESCORT HOSTILES ROUTED BY OREGON VOLUN- 
TEERS STEVENS RETURNS SAFELY TO OLYMPIA. 

"It is vain for the coward to flee ; death follows close behind ; it is only by defy- 
ing it that the brave escape." — Voltaire. 

IN BUOYANT spirits^ with no premonition of impending peril. Governor 
Stevens and party left the Blackfoot council ground. "Everything had suc- 
ceeded to our entire satisfaction, and, indeed, beyond our most sanguine expecta- 
tions," the governor reported. "The greatest delight and good will seemed to per- 
vade the minds of all the Indians, and we left them at the mouth of the Judith on 
our way to Fort Benton, and proceeded thence to the waters of the Pacific, Tcjoiced 
that our labors had had such a consummation." 

Packing up, the little party of twenty- four faced westward on October 24, reached 
Fort Benton the next day, and after a two day pause there, preparing for the long 
homeward journey, left Benton October 28. On the evening of the twenty-ninth, 
while in camp on the Teton, the evening meal dispatched and the' men assembled 
aronnd the campfire, a horseman was seen approaching in the gathering twilight. It 
was the daring express rider, W. H. Pearson, bearing news calculated to shake the 
stoutest heart. He had ridden desperately and long, and as his exhausted mount 
^^^gg^ed into the firelight, it was seen, from Pearson's wild, emaciated and haggard 
appearance, that he had passed through some ordeal of a trying nature. Eager arms 
lifted him from the saddle, friendly hands ministered to the fainting man with 
warmth and food ; and he then delivered his dispatches and a made a ref>ort that, for 
a moment, struck consternation to that little band on desert plains a thousand miles 
from home. 

"The great tribes of the upper Columbia country, the Cayuses, Yakimas, Walla 

201 



202 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Wallas, Umatillas, Palouses and all the Oregon bands down to The Dalles, the very 
ones who had signed the treaties at the Walla Walla council and professed such 
friendship, had all broken out in open war," says Stevens' biographer. "They had 
swept the upper country clean of whites, killing all the settlers and miners found 
there, and murdered Agent Bolon under circumstances of peculiar atrocity. Major 
Haller, s^nt into the Yakima country with a hundred regulars and a how- 
itzer, had been defeated and forced to retreat by Kamiaken's warriors, "w^ith the 
lost of a third of his force and his cannon. The Indians west of the Cascades 
stad also risen simultaneously, and laid waste the settlements on Puget Sound and 
*n Oregon, showing that a widespread conspiracy prevailed. The Spokanes and 
Coeur d'Alenes were hostile, or soon would become hostile under the spur and taunts 
of the young Cayuse and Yakima warriors sent among them to stir them up, 
and even some of the Nez Perces were disaffected. A thousand well armed and 
brave hostile warriors under Kamiaken, Pu-pu-mox-mox, Young Chief and Five 
Crows, were gathered in the Walla Walla valley, waiting to *wipe out' the party 
on its return ; squads of young braves were visiting the Nez Perces, Spokanes and ' 
Cocur d'Alenes, vaunting their victories, displaying fresh gory scalps, and using 
every effort to cajole or force them into hostility to the whites. 

"The daring expressman's story of how he ran the gantlet of the hostile tribes 
with the dispatches and information upon which depended the lives of the party, 
heightened the impression made by his wretched appearance and doleful tidings.*' 

He had left The Dalles on his return trip, fresh and well mounted, and riding 
all day and night, reached Billy McKay's ranch on the Umatilla at daylight. The 
place was deserted. Lassoing a fresh mount, he saw a band of hostiles, racing 
down the hills towards the valley, and as he sprang into the saddle, they gave 
fierce yells and cries of "Kill the white man! Kill the white man!" They pur- 
sued him for many miles, but he slowly drew away, and at nightfall turned off 
the trail at right angles, rode for several miles, and then took a course parallel 
with the regular route. Riding in this strategic manner, resting a few hours in 
secluded covert, and seeking unusual fords, he reached Lapwai, and after a day's 
rest, pushed on over the Bitter Root mountains. A blinding snowstorm beset him, 
a tree felt and crushed his Nez Perce companion, and the trail was buried imder 
several feet of new-fallen snow. Unable to travel further on horseback, Pear- 
son improvised snowshoes, cutting the frames with his knife, and weaving the 
webs with strands of his rawhide lariat; and packing blankets and a little dried 
meat upon his back, pushed ovier the snow-buried heights, and after four days of 
this desperate travel, descended into the Bitter Root valley, near Fort Owen, where 
rest, a fresh mount and friendly greetings awaited him. Three days more, and he 
was in Stevens' camp on the Teton. 

"He brought me letters from official sources (so runs the governor's record), 
stating that my only chance of safety was to go down the Missouri and return to 
the western coast by the way of New York;" but the governor's "determination 
was fixed and unalterable that an attempt should be made to reach the settlements 
by the direct route, and that all dangers on the road should be sternly confronted." 
Secretary Doty was sent back to Fort Benton for a large quantity of powder and 
ball, additional arms and additional animals, and these procured, the governor 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 203 

decided to hasten homeward at express speed. Pushing on to Hellgate^ he pur- 
chased every good mule and horse that he could get in the valley. 

"The question was, what should be our route home," says Stevens. "It was im- 
portant, it seemed to me, to our success, that we should be able to cross the moun- 
tains and throw ourselves into the nearest tribes, without their having the slightest 
iiotice of our coming. I felt a strong assurance that if I could bring this about, I 
could handle enough tribes and conciliate the friendship of enough Indians to be 
sufficiently strong to defy the rest. There would certainly be no difficulty from the 
snow down Clark's fork (and through the Spokane valley), but it was known that 
the Upper and Lower Pend d'Oreille Indians were along the road, and no party 
could travel over it without its approach being communicated to the Indians; 
whereas Indian report had it that the Coeur d'Alene pass was blocked up with snow 
at this season of the year, and I felt satisfied that they would not expect us on this 
route, and therefore I determined to move over it. It was the shorter jpcnte of 
the two ; it was a route where I desired to make additional examinations ; it was a 
route which enabled me to creep up, as it were, to the first Indian tribe, and then, 
moving rapidly, to jump upon them without their having time for preparation. I 
knew that Kamiaken and Pu-pu-mox-mox had sent a body bf warriors to cut off 
my party; and that we had to guard against falling into an ambush, but an Indian 
has not patience to wait many days for such a purpose, and I thought, looking to 
all these things, that the line of safety was to move over the Coeur d'Alene pass." 

Notwithstanding the members of the party, almost without exception, looked 
tipon this plan as most desperate, still they maintained a cheerful spirit, obeyed 
every order with alacrity, "and enjoyed themselves very much in the evening 
camp." 

In three feet of snow they crossed the Bitter Root mountains November 20, 
and moving down the headwaters of the Coeur d'Alene river the following day, 
came to good grass, with fine water, affording excellent range for the exhausted 
animals. Here a day was taken for needed recuperation. "From the appearance 
of all that surrounded us," reported Stevens, "I was satisfied that there were no 
Indian runners on the lookout for us." 

When within twenty-five miles of the Catholic mission, the governor, deeming 
it impracticable to take the whole train in in one day without breaking down the 
horses, took Pearson, Craig and four Nez Perces, and starting at daylight, pushed 
rapidly into the mission, "throwing ourselves into the midst of the Indians, and, 
with our rifles in one hand, and our arms outstretched on the other side, we ten- 
dered to them both the sword and the olive branch. They met us very cordially," 
says the governor's narrative,* "every Indian left his lodge and gathered around us. I 
had told the four Nez Perces, *When you reach the Coeur d'Alenes, talk to them 
Blackfoot; tell them about our great council and treaty at Fort Benton; tell them 
that they can hunt buffalo without being disturbed by their hereditary enemies, 
the Blackfeet; tell them that the lion and the lamb have lain down together; get 
their minds off their troubles here, and turn them to other subjects in which they 
take an interest.' It is enough for me to say that we established the most cordial 
relations with the Coeur d'Alenes. We found that the emissaries of the Yakimas 



* By the Indians Stevens was called the Hyas Tyee Skookum Tum-Tum, the * ' Big Chief 
^th the Strong Heart. * ' 



204 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

had only left that point some 'four or five days^ having despaired of our crossing 
the mountains." 

The train arrived the next day^ and Stevens determined to push on to the Spo- 
kane river^ having sent forward from the mission Craig and a part of the Nez 
Perees^ to bring a large delegation of the latter tribe into the proposed council with 
the Spokanes^ and to arrange for a friendly Nez Perce escort through the hostile 
country and on to the military post at The Dalles. 

"Moving from the Coeur d'Alene mission on the 27th day of November," con- 
tinues the narrative, "I made our first camp at the Wolf's lodge, some nineteen 
miles from it, and the next day made a forced march, moving forty miles to the 
Spokane country. We met Polatkin, one of the principal chiefs of the Spokanes, on 
our way, and were at Antoine Plant's before dark." 

This Antoine Plant, the reader will recall, had served as guide between the 
Spdkane country and the Blackfoot treaty grounds. He was a French Canadian, 
with one- fourth Blackfoot blood in his veins, but cherished a cordial hatred for his 
mother's tribe, and when Governor Stevens sought his services as a guide, had 
eagerly laid aside the pleasures of his peaceful life on the Spokane, and his eye 
kindled at the prospect of going once more into the land of the warlike and pred- 
atory Blackfeet, where, in his more youthful days, he had taken part in numerous bat- 
tles. Antoine kept a small trading post at a ford on the Spokane river below 
the site that afterwards became historic as Cowley's bridge. When on the march he 
had a cheery habit of rousing the encampment at daybreak with a warwhoop. He 
had been a voyageur under the regime of the Hudson's Bay company, but having 
retired from that service, had settled down to a semi-savage life in the pleasant 
valley of the Spokane. 

Here the governor found a number of miners from the Colville country. Stevens 
never neglected to strike when the iron was hot. Before midnight he had Indian 
messengers on the trails, to the Lower Spokanes, to the Colville Indians, and thence 
on to the Okanogans, and to the Lower Pend d'Oreilles, asking them to meet him in 
council. Angus McDonald, in charge of the Hudson's Bay post at Colville, and 
the Jesuit fathers from the mission there, were also invited to visit him in his camp. 
"We remained on the Spokane nine days," says the governor, "and I had there one 
of the most stormy councils for three days that ever occurred in my whole Indian 
experience; yet having gone there with the most anxious desire to prevent their 
entering into the war, but with a firm determination to tell them plainly and can- 
didly the truth, I succeeded both in convincing them of the facts and gaining their 
entire confidence. At this council were all the chiefs and people of the Coeur 
d'Alenes and the Spokanes — the very tribes who defeated Steptoe the past season, 
the very tribes who have met our troops since in two. pitched battles; and I feel that 
I can, without impropriety refer to the success of my labors among these Indians, 
backed up simply with a little party of twenty-four men. When our council was 
adjourned, the Indians gave the best test of their friendship and affection, by each 
one coming to lay before me his little wrongs and ask redress. They come in a 
body and offered me a force to help me through the hostilities of Walla Walla val- 
ley and on the banks of the Columbia, which I declined, saying that I came not 
among the Spokanes for their aid, but to protect them as their father." 

Garry and a party of Coeur d'Alene chiefs and influential men arrived at the 




LOOKING GLASS 
War Chief of the Nei Percf 



Head Chief of the Walla Wallas 




THE LAWYER 
Ilearl C'bief of the Nez Perces 



6,-n 









OW-HI 
A Chief of the Yakimas 




THE YOUNG CHIEF 
Tleail Chief of the Cayuses 




KAMIAKEN 
Head Cliief of the Yakiir 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 205 

council ground November 29. Three days later came McDonald with the Colville 
chiefs^ the missionaries and four white miners. The council was held December S, 
4 and 5, and was marked^ says Hazard Stevens^ "by disaffected and at times openly 
hostile news and expressions and uncertain purposes^ on the part of the Indians^ 
and steadfast determination to hold their friendship and restrain them from war^ 
on the part of the governor. The Spokanes openly sympathized with the hostiles. 
Many of their young braves had joined them. They insisted that no white troops 
should enter their country^ and urged the governor to make peace with the Yakimas^ 
for the rumor was current that the troops had driven them across the Columbia and 
into the region claimed by the Spokanes. They objected to the whites taking up 
their land before they had made treaties and sold it^ and were much stirred up be- 
cause a number of Hudson's Bay company ex-employes at Colville had staked out 
claims, and filed with Judge Yantis the declaratory statements claiming them under 
the donation act. Kamiaken's emissaries had imbued them with all kinds of false- 
hoods concerning the war and its causes, and the purposes of the whites, particularly 
of Governor Stevens, and what he did and said at the Walla Walla council. They 
were to be driven by soldiers from their own country, and forced to go on the Nez 
Perces reservation without any treaty or compensation. They were to be deported 
west of the Cascades, and shipped across seas to an unknown and dreadful doom. 
Highly colored but imaginary stories of wrong and outrage inflicted upon Indians 
were industriously circulated, and equally mythical tales of Indian victories and 
exploits." 

Prior to the opening of the council, Stevens learned to distrust the petulant, 
treacherous and aged chief Looking Glass of the Nez Perces. A half-breed inter- 
preter, employed by the governor, to keep a close watch on Looking Glass and 
Garry, saw Looking Glass enter Garry's tent late one night, and creeping up to the 
lodge, overheard a conversation wherein Looking Glass proposed a plot to entrap 
the governor and his party on their arrival in the Nez Perce country, and force 
him to enlarge the Nez Perce reservation to the area which had been demanded by 
Looking Glass at the Walla Walla council when he came theatrically upon the coun- 
cil grounds there, after his return from a long hunting trip beyond the Rocky 
mountains, and to demand such additional payments and advantages as would 
amount to a stiff ransom. 

Stevens met this alarming situation by despatching a messenger to Lapwai, ad- 
rising Craig of the proposed conspiracy and instructing him how to imdermine 
Looking Glass's hostile influence among the Nez Perces. Garry, unaware that the 
governor knew of Looking Glass's proposal, boldly and artfully supported his de- 
mands in a speech before the council. 

**When I heard of the war (said Garry) I had two hearts, and have had two 
hearts ever since. The bad heart was a little larger than the good. Now I am 
thinking that if you do not make peace with the Yakimas, war will come into this 
country like the waters of the sea. From the time of my first recollection, no blood 
has ever been on the hands of my people. Now that I am grown up, I am afraid 
that we may have the blood of the whites upon our hands. . . . 

"I hope that you will make peace on the other side of the Columbia, and keep 
the soldiers from coming here. The Americans and the Yakimas are fighting. I 
think they are both equally guilty. If there were many Frenchmen here, my heart 



206 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

would be like fighting. These French people here have talked too much. I went to 
the Walla Walla council^ and when I returned I found that all the Frenchmen (set- 
tlers in the Colville valley, who were former employes of the fur company) had 
gotten their land written down on a paper. I ask them *Why are you in such a 
hurry to have writings for your lands now.? Why don't you wait until a treaty is 
made .?' 

''Governor, these troubles are on my mind all the time, and I will not hide them. 
When I was at the Walla Walla council my mind was divided. When you first 
commenced to speak, you said the Walla Wallas, Cayuses and Umatillas were to move 
on to the Nez Perce reservation and the Spokanes were to move there also. Then 
I thought you spoke bad. Then I thought when you said that, that you would strike 
the Indians to the heart. After you had spoken of these nine different thing^s, as 
schools, and shops, and farms, if you had then asked the chiefs to mark out a piece 
of land — a pretty large piece — to give you, it would not have struck the Indians 
so to the heart. Your thou^t was good. You see far. But the Indians, being 
dull-headed, can not see far. Now your children have fallen. The Indians have 
spilled their blood, because they have not sense enough to understand you. Those 
who killed Pu-pu-mox-mox's son in California, they were Americans. Why are 
those Americans alive now.? Why are they not hanged.? That is what the Indians 
think, that it will be Indians only who are hanged for murder. Now, governor, 
here are these young people — ray people. I do not know their minds, but if they 
will listen to you, I shall be very glad. When you talk to your soldiers and tell 
them not to cross Snake river into our country, I shall be glad." 

"Why is the country in difficulty again .?" asked the chief of the Lower Spokanes. 
"That comes on account of the smallpox brought into the country, and is all the 
time on the Indians' heart. They would keep thinking the whites brought sickness 
into the country to kill them. That is what has hurt the hearts of the Yakimas. 
That is what we think has brought about this difficulty between the Indians and the 
whites. I think, governor, you have talked a little too hard. It is as if you had 
thrown away all the Indians. I heard you said at the Walla Walla council that 
we were children, and that our women and children and cattle should be for you, 
and then we thought we would never raise camp and move where you wished us to. 
We had in our hearts that if you tried to move us off we would die on the land." 

Then spoke up Stellam, chief of the Coeur d'Alenes: "We have not yet made 
friends. All the Indians are not yet your children. When I heard that war had 
commenced in the Yakima country, I did not believe they had done well to com- 
mence. I wish you would speak and dry the blood on that land now. If you 
would do that, then I would take you for a friend. You have many soldiers, and 
I would not like to have them mix among my people." 

Schlateal voiced similar sentiments: "Now the Yakimas have crossed the Colum- 
bia, I would not like to have the whites cross to this side. If the whites do not 
cross the river the Indians will all be pleased. We have not made friendship yet. 
We have not shaken hands yet. When we see that the soldiers don't cross the 
Columbia we shall believe you take us for your friends. When you stop that diffi- 
culty — the fighting now going on — we shall believe that you intend to adopt us for 
your children. Then I will believe that you have taken us for your friends, and 
will take you for my friend." 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 207 

Peter John^ a Colville chief: "My heart is very poor, very bad. My heart is of 
all nations. I never hide it. My heart is fearful. There are some who have talked 
bad. I am always thinking that all woidd be well. I wish all the whites and 
Indians to be friendly; but even if my people should take up arms against the 
Americans^ I myself would not. I know we can not stop the river from running, 
nor the wind from blowing, and I have heard that you whites are the same. We 
could not stop you. I only speak to show my heart. I am done." 

Snohomish, a chief of the Lower Spokanes,^ living near the Columbia, said: 
"When you went away to the Blackfoot country, and the Yakimas commenced fight- 
ing, my heart was broken. Ever since my heart is very small. Ever since I have 
been thinking. How will the governor speak to us? And yesterday he did speak, 
and said to the Indians, 'You must keep peace,' and I have been thinking what God 
would say if we should spill blood on our land. I never loved bad Indians, nor 
war; I never believed in making war against Americans. I wish they would stop 
all the Indians and whites from fighting. Now I will stop. I have shown my 
heart." 

Big Star, Spokane chief: "The reason that I am talking now is that all the In- 
dians did not like what you said at the Walla Walla council. They put all the 
blame on you for the trouble since. The Indians say you are the cause of the war. 
My heart is very small towards you. My heart is the same as the others for you. 
Ever since I heard there was war, I was afraid for you. I am afraid you will be 
killed. You have not yet made a treaty, and you passed us by, and your people 
have commenced coming — the miners — and they will upset my land. This spring, 
when my people commenced talking about the ammunition, I said, 'My children, 
do not listen to my children who wish to /lo wrong.' I said to the Sun chief, 'What 
is the reason you are getting into trouble } Your father was good ; now he is killed 
by the Blackfeet.' And this summer, when the governor passed here, I spoke to 
him again, and he would not listen. I left home and went to the Nez Perces, and 
there met Mr. McDonald. After crossing the Columbia river these two young 
fellows overtook me. I spoke to Mr. McDonald to give me good advice to help my 
children. He did speak, and I thought he gave me good help. I was glad. We 
had not yet arrived at the fort when that young man (a Spokane) rushed on the 
whites and choked them. After McDonald and myself had talked to them, I thought 
they would listen. If I had not tried to make them do right, it would not have 
hurt my feelings so much. Since that, I am cr3ring all the time." 

Qnin-quim-moe-so, a Spokane chief living at Eells and Walker's old mission on 
Walker's prairie, was outspoken in fixing on Governor Stevens the blame for the 
Yakima uprising: "When I heard, governor, what you had said at the Walla. 
Walla ground, I thought you had done well. But one thing you said was not right. 
Yon alone arranged the Indians' land ; the Indians did not speak. Then you struck 
the Indians to the heart. You thought they were only Indians. That is why you 
did it. I am not a big chief, but I will not hide my mind. I will not talk low. I 
wish you to hear what I am saying. That is the reason, governor; it is all your 
faolt the Indians are at war. It is your fault, because you have said that the 
Caynses and Walla Wallas will be moved to the Yakima land. They who owned 
the land did not speak, and yet you divided the land." 

As the council progressed, Garry assumed a tone of haughty equality and inde- 



208 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

pendence: "When you look at the red men^ you think you have mote hearty more 
sense^ than these poor Indians. I think the difference between us and you Ameri- 
cans is in the clothing: the blood and body are the same. Do you think^ because your 
mother was white and theirs dark^ that you are higher or better? We are dark^ 
yet if we cut ourselves^ the blood will be red^ and so with the whites it is the same^ 
though their skin is white. I do not think we are poor because we belong to another 
nation. If you take those Indians for men^ treat them so now. If you talk to the 
Indians to make a peace^ the Indians will do the same to you. You see now the 
Indians are proud. On account of one of your remarks^ some of your people haye 
already fallen to the ground. The Indians are not satisfied with the land you gave 
them. What commenced the trouble was the murder of Pu-pu-mox-mox's son (by 
miners in California) and Dr. Whitman^ and now they find their reservations too 
small. If all those Indians had marked out their own reservations^ the trouble 
would not have happened. If you could get their reservations made a little larger, 
they would be pleased. If I had the business to do^ I could Rx it by giving them a 
little more land. Talking about land^ I am only speaking my mind. What I was 
saying yesterday about not crossing the soldiers to this side of the Columbia is my 
business. Those Indians have gone to war^ and I don't know myself how to 6x it 
up. That is your business! Since, governor, the beginning of the world there 
has been war. Why can not you manage to keep peace .^ Maybe there will be no 
peace ever. Even if you should hang all the bad people, war would begin again, 
and would never stop." 

' By patient reasoning and convincing denial of the false reports concerning his 
utterances at the Walla Walla council, the governor dissipated, at least for the 
time, the growing hostile feelings of the Spokanes, and when the council was over, 
they expressed friendly sentiments and willingly exchanged their fresh horses for 
the travel-jaded animals of the party, taking for boot the Indian goods which had 
been brought up from old Fort Walla Walla for the deferred council. They even 
gave up some of their rifles, needed by Stevens to arm the miners who had come in 
from the upper Columbia river bars, and who were now mustered in, along with 
the other members of the expedition as the ''Spokane Invincibles," the first militia 
company to be organized and armed in the Inland Empire. 

"When I moved -from Spokane," reported Stevens, "I had with me the best 
train of the season. I reduced transportation to twelve days, and the packs to 
eighty pounds, for I desired to be in a condition if the Nez Perces were reaUy 
hostile^ and I was not strong enough to fight, I could make a good run, and then I ,. 
struck for the Nez Perces countrv." 

. Moving down the valley, on the afternoon of December 6, from the treaty 
grounds at Antoine Plant's place, the party encamped by the falls of the Spokane. 
"The second day," runs Stevens' narrative of 1855, "I met an express from Craig's, 
telling me that the Nez Perces were all right, and that the whole tribe would badt 
me up. We moved towards Lapwai, and were fo^'r days in reaching that point, the 
distance being 108 miles. The weather was very disagreeable, being snowy and 
rainy. In about fifty miles from the Spokane we got upK>n our old trail to the Red 
Wolf's ground, which trail we followed for about twenty miles, and then keeping to 
our left, passed to the mouth of the Lapwai, and thence to William Craig's place 
on that stream . . . My object not being to give an account of my Indian 



BLOCK HOUSE AT UPPEK CASCADES 
OF THE COLUMBIA 



^^t >£w yopi/ 



*ll1 1t», 



Li i*«x 






lONt 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 209 

operations op of the Indian war," says the narrative of 1855 in conclusion, "I will 
close my narrative at this pK>int, referring you to my official reports should further 
information be desired in connection with this trip. I will state that on my way 
into the settlements I remained in the Walla Walla valley some ten days, where I 
saw much of the Oregon volunteers. Went to The Dalles, in advance of my party, 
with three men, and, the river being closed by ice, went down from The Dalles to- 
near Vancouver on the trail, and reached Olympia on the 19th of January." 

Notwithstanding winter was well advanced when the governor's party came to 
William Craig's hospitable homestead and the ground was well spread with snow. 
Chief Lawyer had brought together there 208 lodges, which sheltered more than 
2,000 friendly Nez Perces. "An animated council was at once held," says Hazard 
Stevens. "The coimcil lodge was a hundred feet in length, built of poles, mats and 
skins, and in this assembled 200 chiefs and principal men, Lawyer presiding. An 
ox had been killed, and young men, who officiated for the occasion, roasted or boiled 
the meat at fires in the lodge, and handed it around in large pans, from which each 
person selected such choice pieces as suited his fancy. The scheme of Looking 
Glass found no adherent, indeed was not broached, and the unanimous resolve was 
not only to maintain their friendship to the whites and stand by their treaty, but 
to escort Governor Stevens with 250 of their bravest and best armed warriors, 
stark buffalo hunters and Blackfoot fighters every one, and force their way through 
the masses of. hostile Indians gathered in the Walla Walla valley." 

Finding no suppK>rt for his treacherous plot, old. Looking Glass craftily turned 
front and made a virtue of necessity. "I told thp governor," he said in council, 
''that the Walla Walla country was blocked up by bad Indians, and that I would 
go ahead and he behind, and that's my heart now. Now that he says he will go, I 
will get up and go with him. Now let npne of you turn your face from what has 
been said. Your old men have spoken, and where is the man who will turn his 
back on it." 

As the council ended an Indian runner came in from the Walla Walla valley with 
the startling and cheering news that a regiment of 500 Oregon volunteers com- 
manded by Colonel Kelly, who later served as United States senator, had come up 
from the Willamette valley into the Walla Walla country, and after four days hard 
fighting had routed the hostiles and driven them out of the valley. The way thus 
cleared. Governor Stevens could have dispensed with the tendered escort of the 
Nez Perces, but to confirm their fidelity and cement the bond of friendship, he 
in?ited a hundred warriors to go with him as far as the Walla Walla valley. 

"It was a clear, bright, frosty December morning that the mingled cavalcade 
of white and Indian left behind the hospital lodges of the Nez Perces, and filed 
along the banks of the Lapwai and Kooskooskia," says Hazard Stevens. "Rarely 
has the Clearwater reflected a more picturesque or jovial crew. Here were the 
gentlemen of the party, with their black felt hats and heavy cloth overcoats; rough- 
dad miners and packers; the mountain-men, with buckskin shirts and leggings 
and fur caps ; the long-eared pack-mules, with their bulky loads ; and the blanketed 
young braves, with painted visage, and hair adorned with eagle feathers, mounted on 
sleek and spirited mustangs, and dashing hither and thither in the greatest excite- 
ment and glee. Each of the warriors had three fine, spirited horses, which he rode 
in turn as the fancy moved him. They used buckskin pads or wooden saddles cov- 

VoLI— 14 



210 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

ered with buffalo^ bear or mountain goat skin. The bridle was a simple line of 
buffalo hair tied around the lower jaw of the steed^ which yielded implicit obedience 
to this scanty headgear. At a halt the long end of the line is flung loosely on the 
ground^ and the horse is trained to stand without other fastening. 

"The demeanor of the young braves on this march was in marked contrast to 
'the traditional gravity and stoicism of their race. They shouted, laughed^ told 
stories, cracked jokes, and gave free vent to their native gaiety and high spirits. 
Craig, who accompanied the party, translated these good things as they occurred, 
to the great amusement of the whites. Crossing a wide, flat plain covered with tall 
rye grass, he related an anecdote of Lawyer, with the reminiscence of which the 
young braves seemed particularly tickled. While yet an obscure young -warrior, 
Lawyer was traveling over this ground with a party of the tribe, including several 
of the principal chiefs. It was a cold winter day, and a biting gale swept up the 
river, penetrating their clothing and chilling them to the bone. The chiefs sat 
down in the shelter of the tall rye grass, and were indulging in a cosy smoke^ when 
Lawyer flred the prairie far to windward, and in an instant the fiery element in 
a long, crackling, blazing line, came sweeping down on the wings of the wind upon 
the comfort-taking chiefs, and drove them to rush belter skelter into the river for 
safety, dropping robes, pipes and everything that might impede their flight. For 
this audacious prank Lawyer barely escaped a public whipping. 

"It was a gala day for the Nez Perces when the party reached the valley, and 
were received by the Oregon volunteers with a military parade and a salute of mus- 
ketry; and when Governor Stevens dismissed them with presents and thanks and 
words of encouragement, they returned home the most devoted and enthusiastic auxi- 
liaries that ever marched in behalf of the whites. 

. "The valley was reached on the 20th. Major Chinn commanding the volun- 
teers, and other officers rode out to meet the governor, and, on reaching the vol- 
unteer camp, the troops, four hundred in number, paraded and fired a volley in 
salute as the picturesque column marched past, the fifty sturdy, travel-stained whites 
in advance, followed by the hundred proud and flaunting braves, curveting their 
horses and uttering their warwhoops. The volunteers then formed in hollow 
square, and the governor addressed them in a brief speech, complimenting them on 
their energy in pushing forward at that inclement season, and gallantry in engag- 
ing and routing a superior force of the enemy, and tendering the thanks of his 
party for opening the road." 

Governor Stevens and party eagerly listened to the news of the winter cam- 
paign of the volunteers. The engagement had been a severe one, the confederated 
hostiles resisting firmly for four days, and then falling back in confusion on mis- 
taking a distant pack-train, descending the slopes of the Blue mountains, for a 
reinforcing column of armed white soldiers. In the combat Pu-pu-mox-mox had 
been taken prisoner, and attempting to escape from his guard, was killed by a 
rifle volley. By a singular tragic coincidence, Owhi, another leading chief in this 
uprising, was to suffer a like fate two years later, while attempting to escape from 
Colonel Wright's command. 

General Wool, commanding the department of the Columbia, had arrived at Van- 
couver from San Francisco, but had either failed or refused to support the volun- 
teers or send relief to Governor Stevens. He took the view that the Indians were 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 211 

not to blame^ and that the war had been instigated by white speculators. "He had 
cren disbanded two companies of Washington volunteers at Vancouver, after they 
had been actually mustered into the United States service/* declares Hazard Stevens, 
in a spirited defense of his father ; "and a company that had been raised under the 
direction of Colonel Frank Shaw, for the express purpose of going to the defense 
of the governor, was dismissed by Wool in spite of the remonstrances of its officers 
and of Major Rains." 

In a succeeding chapter we shall relate the stirring events which followed as a 
seqnel to the Yakima- Walla Walla outbreak, and deal somewhat with Governor 
Sterens' severe arraignment of General Wool before the war department. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

GOVERNOR STEVENS AN ARDENT INLAND EMPIRE BOOSTER 

SENDS- OPTIMISTIC REPORTS TO WASHINGTON FORESEES GREAT FUTURE FOR WALLA 

WALLA^ PALOUSS, YAKIMA, SPOKANE AND OTHER REGIONS REMARKABLE FORECAST 

OF country's RESOURCES POINTS OUT VALUE OF LOGGED OFF LANDS ^REMARKABLE 

RIDB BY HIS 13 YEAR OLD SON CHARMED BY WESTERN MONTANA AND IDAHO PAN- 
HANDLE PREDICTS DEVELOPMENT OF MANY RICH MINES ^m'cLELLAN BERATES THE 

COUNTRY IS PRAISED BY JEFFERSON DAVIS, WHO WANTS TO DISCOURAGE NORTHERN 

DEVELOPMENT. 

Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word; 
And in its hollow tones are heard 
The thanks of millions yet to be. 

— Fitz Greene Halleck, 

WHEN in the field Governor Stevens took note of climatic conditions, the 
soil, timber, water, building materials and other elements bearing on 
future settlement of this region. His reports to Washington are clear, 
informative, optimistic. He comprehended, as none before him, the coimtry's poten- 
tial resources, its mild and invigorating climate, and great possibilities for settle- 
ment and conversion, through the enterprise, courage and industry of our pioneers, 
into an empire abounding in pleasant homes and productive industries. 

After passing through the Walla Walla country in June, 1855, on his way east- 
ward to the Blackfoot council, he wrote in his journal: "We left our camp in the 
Walla Walla valley at noon, moving over a delightful rolling country, well grassed 
and arable; and on June 17 we moved twenty miles over a remarkably fine grazing 
and wheat country, and camped on the Pa-at-ta-ha creek, a branch of the Touchet 
river. The following points of today's journey are worthy of attention," adds the 
governor, "in order to show that this region is not the barren desert it has been rep- 
resented to be. In six and a half miles we crossed the Smahine creek of the Touchet, 
where there was good running water. In three miles and three quarters further on 
We crossed the Kapyah creek of the Touchet, near its junction with the latter stream. 
There was pine in view in the valley of the Touchet, and the country was very beau- 
tiful and inviting. One mile further, on a small fork of the Touchet, several persons 
have taken claims in the vicinity. . . . The whole country in view was well 
adapted to purposes of agriculture and stock-raising." 

Continuing his description of the country. Governor Stevens said: "Leaving 

213 



214 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

the Tukanon^ we ascended the bluffs and passed over table-land of the same charac- 
ter as that of the first portion of our journey, and reached the Pa-at-ta-ha tributary 
of the Tukanon. This tributary furnishes a large amount of excellent land ; its val- 
ley, as well as the table-land between it and the adjacent streams, is uniformly fer- 
tile, and at the present time covered with the most luxuriant grass. I will here 
remark, to guard against misconception, that it must not be inferred, when I speak 
of a country as being covered with excellent grass, that it is not an arable country, 
for I suppose it will be admitted that all arable countries ought to furnish grass of 
some kind. After traveling up this stream three miles, we came to a rather broad 
trail, which, turning off from the stream, crosses Snake river, eighteen miles below 
the Red Wolf's ground, and leads to the Coeur d'Alene mission and the Spokane 
country. . . . The day's journey has been delightful to all the members of my 
party, for it passed over a most beautiful prairie country, the whole of it adapted to 
agriculture. In the valley of the Tukanon we found a very experienced and kind- 
hearted mountaineer, Louis Moragne, who, with his Flathead wife and six children, 
had gathered about him all the comforts of a home. His eldest daughter was mar- 
ried to a very intelligent American, Henry Chase, a native of my own county, in the 
good old state of Massachusetts, and they now propose to locate on the Touchet 

. . Moragne is the owner of some fifty horses and many cattle. His potatoes 
were in blossom and his wheat excellent. He had four acres imder cultivation. He 
succeeded well in raising poultry, of which he had three or four dozen." 

Moving northward the governor and his party came to the junction of Alpowah 
creek and the Snake, where Red Wolf had "a fine field of corn which promises a 
most luxuriant crop." Stevens estimated the amount under cultivation there at 
twenty acres, irrigated by the waters of the creek, "and tolerably well set out with 
fruit trees. I observed," adds the governor, "with great pleasure, that men as well 
as women and children, were at work in this field, ploughing and taking care of 
their crops. The com, planted only six weeks since, was about ready to silk out. 
From the appearance of the valley of the Alpahwah, I am satisfied that grapes would 
be a very profitable crop." Snake river valley vineyards are noted for the excellence 
of their products. 

"The Nez Perces country," the official report continues, "is exceedingly well 
adapted to grazing, and is, for the most part, a fine, arable country. There are very 
extensive fields of the camas, and the Indians lay up large stores of that nutritious 
and delightful root." 

Moving northward into the Palouse country, the party "reached the table-land. 
. . . And here I was astonished, not simply at the luxuriance of the grass, but 
the richness of the soil; and I will again remind the reader that it does not follow 
because the grass is luxuriant that the country is not arable." The governor closed 
his journal that day by another expression of astonishment at the luxuriance of the 
grass and the richness of the soil. "The whole view presents to the eye a vast bed 
of flowers in all their varied beauty. The country is a rolling table-land, and the 
soil like that of the prairies of Illinois." 

Their next night encampment was on the right bank of the main Palouse river. 
"The whole country to the westward, as far as the eye could reach, was an open 
plain, the skies clear, and the atmosphere transparent; I say again, the whole coun- 
try was, apparently, exceedingly rich and luxuriant" The governor interrogated 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE '215 

Tcry closely his packmaster^ Higgins^ in reference to the character of the country 
westward, "for he had crossed it on two di£Ferent lines between our present trail 
and that from the mouth of the Palouse ; and he assured me that the country which 
mj own eye saw today^ and had seen yesterday, was precisely the same country as 
that found on the westward lines." 

"The narrative of these last four days travel," adds Stevens, "shows how extraor- 
dinarily well watered the country is west of the spur of the Bitter Root mountains. 
I will state again, having crossed the great plain of the Columbia from the Chema- 
kane mission north of the Spokane to the mouth of the Palouse, that the difference 
in the character of the country on these two lines is most extraordinary. A large 
portion of the country from the Chemakane mission to the mouth of the Palouse is 
arable, and generally well grassed. There is no deficiency of wood for camps, yet 
occasionally the basaltic formations crop out of the ground, at which points the 
country is sterile and uncultivable. But imder the spurs of the Bitter Root moun- 
tains (the Coeur d'Alenes) the whole country is arable, the soil as rich as the best 
prairies of Minnesota, and every convenience for the house and farm at hand — wa- 
ter, wood for fires, and timber for building." 

Governor Stevens foresaw, nearly sixty years ago, the agricultural future of the 
timber lands of the Inland Empire, after they should be logged off. "I paid particu- 
lar attention to the forest growth," he remarks, "and I bore in mind our Puget 
Sound experience, which had established the fact that the timber lands, as a general 
thing, were much superior to the prairie lands. When I first went to the Puget 
Sound country in 1858, that fact was not acknowledged; but the popular impression 
was that the timber lands were worthless except for the timber. In 1855 there had 
been experience of crops on timber lands, which established conclusively the fact 
that they were our most valuable lands for agricultural purposes." 

Commenting on the ease of travel in the interior, the governor wrote: "My son 
Hazard, 13 years of age, had accompanied me from Olympia to the waters of the 
Missouri. Like all youths of that age, he was always ready for the saddle and 
delighted in the hunt, and had spent some days with one of my hunting parties on 
the Judith, where he had become well acquainted with the Gros Ventres. When we 
determined to change the council from Fort Benton to the mouth of the Judith, I 
andertook, in the name of the commission, the duty of seeing the necessary messages 
sent to the various bands and tribes, and to bring them all to the mouth of the 
Judith at the proper moment. These Indians were scattered from Milk river, near 
Hammell's Houses, along the Marais, along the Teton, to a considerable distance 
south of the Missouri, the Flatheads being on the Judith, and the Upper Pend 
d'OreiUes on Smith's fork of the Missouri, with two bands of the Blackfeet lying 
somewhat intermediate, but in the vicinity of the Girdle mountains. I succeeded 
in securing the services of a fit and reliable man for each one of these bands and 
tribes, except the Gros Ventres, camped on Milk river. There were several men 
who had had considerable experience among Indians and in voyaging who desired to 
go, but I had not confidence in them, and accordingly, at 10 o'clock on Simday morn- 
ing, I started my little son as a messenger to the Gros Ventres. Accompanied by 
the interpreter Legare, he made that Gros Ventres camp before dark, a distance of 
seventy-five miles, and gave his message the same evening to the chiefs, and without 



216 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

changing horses they were in the saddle early in the mornings and reached my camp 
at half past three o'clock. 

"Thus a youth of thirteen traveled 150 measured miles from 10 o'clock one day to 
half past three o'clock in the afternoon of the next; and he came in so fresh that he 
could have traveled^ without fatigue^ at least thirty miles further that evening. The 
Gros Ventres made their marches exactly as I had desired, and reached the new 
council ground at the mouth of the Judith on the very morning which had been 
appointed, being the first of all the bands and tribes." 

Of western Montana, the country lying between the Rocky mountains and the 
Bitter Roots, Governor Stevens wrote with a far-seeing and prophetic eye. Of the 
whole area of this beautiful region, some 30,000 square miles, he estimated that 
12,000 square miles would be brought under cultivation. "The country in the forks 
of the Flathead and the Bitter Root, stretching away east above the Blackfoot can- 
yon, is mostly a table-land, well watered and arable; and on all these tributaries — 
the Bitter Root, the Hellgate, the Big Blackfoot, the Jocko, the Maple river, the 
Hot Spring river, and the Lou-Lou fork itself — the timber land will be found un- 
questionably better than the prairie land. It will not be in the immediate bottom 
or valley of the river where farmers will find their best locations, but on the smaller 
tributaries some few miles, above their junction with the main streams. The traveler 
passing up these rivers, and seeing a little tributary breaking out in the valley, will, 
in going up it, invariably come into an open and beautiful country. The observer 
who has passed through this country often ; who has had intelligent men who have 
lived in it long; who understands intercourse with the Indians, and knows how to 
verify information which they give him, will be astonished at the conclusions wfaicfa 
he will reach in regard to the agricultural advantages of this country ; and it will not 
be many years before the progress of settlements will establish its superiority as an 
agricultural region." 

Although his seat of government was at Olympia, Stevens seemed never to weary 
in his enthusiastic proclaiming of the beauties, the resources and the favorable cli- 
mate of the interior of his vast territory. Its verdant and flower-pied prairies 
charmed his senses, and its more open and park-like forests, as contrasted with the 
tangled and somber depths of the Puget Sound region, enlivened his fancy and 
kindled his prophetic fires. He was the first influential "booster" of the Spokane 
country. We owe to his memory an enduring monument, but it should not be erected 
until a fund is gathered sufficient to insure artistic genius of the highest order. Young 
cities that purchase statues prematurely are in danger of amassing a collection of 
monuments better suited to the cemetery than to public parks and open places. 

In his voluminous report to the national government, Stevens described, in great 
minuteness, the country traversed by his expedition. With quick eye he noted its 
potential resources, and with facile pen portrayed them with a fidelity to fact that 
seems remarkably prophetic in the light of subsequent settlement and development. 
"That portion of the great plain lying east of the main Columbia, and which may 
be regarded as bounded on the north by the Spokane, and on the east by the foothills 
of the Bitter Root mountains," says his report of 1855, "is, for the most part, well 
watered and well grassed. The eastern half of this portion is exceedingly well 
adapted to agricultural purposes. The various streams — the Palouse, the Camas 
Prairie creek of the Coeur d'Alene (Hangman), the Spokane and Coeur d'Alcne 



THt .viw t>iKK 



"•> 



ipiJbUC Li&KARY 






J 

IL 

V 



, The ,\^^v v"";;".. * 






*QN« 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 217 

rivers — are well timbered with j^ine^ and numerous rivulets and springs are found 
throng that portion of the country, facilitating the progress of settlements, and 
rendering the whole at once available to the agriculturist. Indeed, the whole of the 
western slopes of the Bitter Root mountains are densely timbered with pine, spruce, 
larch, cedar and other trees. These spurs have, in most cases, a gradual slope to 
the west, and the valleys of the several streams above referred to, as well as the 
Clearwater and Clark's fork, are wide and open, including in the lower valley the 
immediate, gentle and numerous lateral spurs branching off from the main spurs." 

Passing to a description of the Palouse and Big Bend regions, Stevens wrote: 
"This country is better supplied with wood than has been generally imagined. If \ 

the voyageur traveling over this country^ whatever route he takes, be asked what 
sort of country it is, he will tell you an excellent country for traveling — wood, water 
and grass everywhere. But the pine of the Spokane extends nearly to its mouth, 
and for some miles south of the river. The Spokane is the name of the main stream 
to its junction with the Coeur d'Alene river, when its name is given to a smaller 
tributary coming from the north (the Little Spokane), the Coeur d'Alene being the 
main stream. 

"One of the most beautiful features of the Coeur d'Alene river and country is 
the Coeur d'Alene lake, which is embosomed in the midst of gently sloping hills, cov- 
ered with a dense forest growth ; the irregularity of its form, and the changing aspect 
of the scenery about it, makes it one of the most picturesque objects in the interior. 

"The whole valley of the Coeur d'Alene and Spokane is well adapted to settle- 
ment, abounding in timber for buildings and for fires, exceedingly well watered, and 
the greater portion of the land arable. Even on the main route from Colville to the 
mouth of the Palouse, there is much arable land for thirty miles south of the Spo- 
kane. East of this line the whole country may be denominated as cultivable country. 

"North of the Great Plain, that is, from the Spokane to the forty-ninth parallel 
east of the main Columbia, the country for the most part is densely wooded, although 
many valleys and open places occur, some of them now occupied by settlers, and all 
presenting advantages for settlement. Down Clark's fork itself (the Pend d'Oreille) 
there are open patches of land of considerable size, and so on the Kootenay river. 
North of the Spokane is a large prairie, known as the Coeur d'Alene prairie (the 
Spokane valley) through which the trail passes from Wall^ Walla to Lake Pend 
d'Oreille. . . . From Fort Colville to ^be^^ the Columbia bends suddenly to the 
west there is a good deal of excellent land. It will be safe to pronounce the whole 
comitry north of the Spokane, and lying between the main Columbia and the Koote- 
nay and the Coeur d'Alene mountains as a; cultivable country, although the dense 
forests will be an obstacle in the way of rapid occupation of the country. 

"But here comes in another element of wealth: The country about Colville and 
on Clark's fork has been pretty thoroughly prospected for gold, and it exists in 
paying quantities throughout that region. On the Kootenay river are found mines of 
lead, copper, quicksilver, sulphur and platinum ; and there can be no question, from 
information derived from practical miners, from geological explorers, and especially 
from the testimony of the ^Jesuit fathers, DeSmet, Hoecken and Ravalli, that this is 
a country very rich in minerals." 

Of the country lying between the Columbia and the Cascade mountains, including 
the valleys of the Yakima, the Wenatchee or Pisquouse, the Entiat, Chelan, Methow 



218 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

and Okanogan^ Governor Stevens contended that a great injustice had been done it 
"by a want of patience and consideration on the part of gentlemen who have gone 
over it rapidly in the summer^ and who have been over it but once. Now the most 
intelligent voyageura and best practical farmers in that country agree in opinion 
that there is a large quantity of arable land throughout this country, and very 
superior grazing. This is the opinion of intelligent Indian chiefs who have them- 
selves made some progress in raising crops, and who are already great stodt- 
raisers." 

"On the several tributaries of the Yakima, particularly towards their upper 
waters, the land is rich and adapted to most of the crops, and so in the valley of 
the main Yakima itself. This valley has been denominated by some a desert and sage 
plain; sage does not occur in spots and small quantities, but much of the country 
is cultivable and productive. It may be observed that in regard to the whole of this 
central portion of the Territory, it will be necessary to exercise care as to seed- 
time, and farmers will have a disadvantage over those west of the Cascades in their 
seedtime being very much shorter; but with ordinary care as to the time of putting 
in seed no danger need be apprehended from droughts. 

"This portion of the country is wooded about half way from the divide of the 
Cascade mountains to the Columbia itself, but you pass up the main Yakima seventy 
miles before you reach the building pine, although cottonwood is found on its banks 
sufficient for camping purposes ; but when you reach the Pisquouse or Wenatshapam, 
you come to a wooded region which extends to the main Columbia. The forest 
growth of the upper waters of the Clearwater and of the main Columbia from above 
the mouth of the Wenatshapam, furnishes inexhaustible supplies, which, after being 
rafted down the streams — that is, the Snake and Columbia rivers — will furnish set- 
tlements in the vicinity of those rivers with firewood and lumber at moderate rates." 

Worthy of observation, said the governor, was the discovery, by his explorations 
of 1853, that gold existed "throughout the whole region between the Cascades and 
the main Columbia to north of the boundary, and paying localities have since been 
found at several points, particularly on the southern tributary of the Wenatshapam 
(the Wenatchee). Gold quartz also is found on the Natchess river. The gold-bear- 
ing zone, crossing the Columbia and stretching eastward along Clark's fork and the 
Kootenay river, unquestionably extends to the Rocky mountains." 

In sharp contrast to Stevens' optimism. Captain George B. McClellan, reporting 
from his camp at Ketetas, on Yakima river, September 18, 1853, thus describes the 
Yakima country: "The last forty-five miles of the trail have been over barren sage 
plains, mostly without grass, always without timber, and very stony: in some of the 
valleys pretty good bunch-grass is found. The soil of the valleys of the Yakima and 
its branches, though very limited in extent, is good enough to make tolerable farms, 
if irrigated." 

This of the orchard soil that has since become world famous. McClellan usu- 
ally took a pessimistic view, and his discouraging reports were eagerly seized by 
Jefferson Davis, then secretary of war, to discredit Stevens' enthusiastic laudation 
of the northern routes. Southern slave-holding interests and sympathizers were 
then active and adroit in their political manipulations to prevent settlement of 
northern territories, and at the same time foster the extension of slavery in the vast 
unsettled areas of the southwest. In this momentous political struggle they had, of 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 219 

course, the able support of Secretary Davis, who exerted his official influence in sup- 
port of an extreme southern route that would have for its Pacific terminus the harbor 
of San Pedro^ near Los Angeles^ or that of San Diego, still nearer the Mexican 
boundary. In his rej>ort to congress. Secretary Davis quotes McClellan, approvingly, 
as follows : "I am of the opinion that the Yakima pass is barely practicable, and 
that only at a high cost of time, labor and money/' "The depth of snow upon the 
summit of this pass has been much discussed,** says Davis's report. "Captain 
McClellan, who made the reconnaissance, says that he and his party spared no pains 
in inquiring of the Indians during the summer, fall and winter, as to the quantity 
and nature of the snow in the mountains during the winter. . . . All the infor- 
mation obtained was consistent; and the resulting conclusions, that in ordinary win- 
ters there could not be less than from twenty to twenty-five feet of snow in the 
passes." 

Subsequent railroad construction and operation have shown the wildness of these 
superficial guesses. Governor Stevens, who well understood the unreliability of 
Indian testimony on this point, as they were opposed, from interest, to the building 
of railroads in their country, felt, from the beginning, that McClellan's estimates 
were nnreliable, and emphatically urged that officer to make a more thorough exam- 
ination of the Cascade passes in the winter of 1853-54; but McClellan raised one 
difficulty after another, failed altogether to grasp Stevens* argument that winter was 
jost the time to examine the passes and gather definite, reliable data, and when 
another officer, Lieutenant Tinkham, acting under the governor's directions, accom- 
plished the very achievement which McClellan had pronounced impracticable, and 
at the same time proved the untrustworthiness of McClellan*s conclusions, the officer 
who was later to command the Union armies on the Potomac resented the governor's 
resolute action, and a coldness grew up between them. 

Returning to McClellan*s report on the Yakima valley, we find him asserting 
that while the Indians raised excellent potatoes, "the cold nights (the thermometer 
frequently standing below thirty-two degrees at sunrise), and the shortness of the 
season, would be great obstacles in the way of cultivation. . . . The Yakima val- 
ley below this is wide, often destitute of grass, no timber of any consequence, and a 
limited extent of soil that by irrigation could be made moderately productive. On 
the trail to The Dalles the country is everywhere stony, barren and worthless. The 
Tallcy of the Columbia, near the mouth of the Yakima, is a vast sage desert." 



CHAPTER XXIV 

CONFEDERATED INDIAN WAR OF 1858 

WIR FLAMES KINDLED OVER A WIDE AREA CAUSES LEADING UP TO THE OUTBREAK OF 

TRIBES NORTH OF SNAKE RIVER YAKIMA8 REPUDIATE TREATY AND MURDER THEIR 

AGENT STEVENS BITTERLY ASSAILS COMMANDER AT FORT VANCOUVER STEPTOE's 

ILL-FATED EXPEDITION HIS CANDID REPORT OF THE DISASTROUS REPULSE. 

How sleep the brave who sink to rest 
By all their country's wishes blest. 
When spring; with dewy fingers cold. 
Returns to deck their hallowed mould, 
She there shall dress a sweeter sod 
Than fancy's feet have ever trod. 

By fairy hands their knell is rung. 
By forms unseen their dirge is sung; 
There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray. 
To bless the turf that wraps their clay: 
And Freedom shall awhile repair, 
To dwell a weeping hermit there. 

— William Collins. 

IT IS a fitting coincidence that the United States government has established the 
military reservation of Fort George Wright on the very scene where that able 
soldier, four and fifty years ago, dealt his final crushing blow to the confed- 
erated hostile Indians in the war of 1858. By that victory a lasting peace was won, 
and this fair wild land made ready for awaiting pioneers. So condign was that 
defeat, so stem the treaty language of the stout soldier Wright that the spirit of 
angry insolence was forever driven from the red warrior's breast, and the Spokanes 
and Coeur d'Alenes have ever remained our enduring friends. 

If the reader, bent on historic search, will follow downward for two miles the 
^est bank of the Spokane from its confluence with Hangman creek, his eye will 
Wl on the scene where Wright and his gallant command struck the river after their 
niemorable running fight of fifteen miles. Retracing his steps a mile, he will dis- 
<^er, at a point one mile down stream from Hangman creek, the spot that was 
made their night encampment after that strenuous autumn day. 

If the reader care to continue his stroll on historic ground, and will seek out a 

221 



222 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

point on the south bank of the Spokane two miles above the main falls^ his foot 
will press the treaty grounds where the broken and terrified Spokanes^ responding to 
Wright's imperious summons^ gathered in penitence and besought his mercy. 

Wright's campaign in the autumn of 1858 followed fast upon the disastrous re- 
pulse of Colonel Step toe at a point near the present flourishing town of Rosalia in 
northern Whitman county. So charged with stirring interest are these events, so 
fraught with lasting consequences, that they constitute an essential episode in Spo- 
kane's history and that of the whole Inland Empire. It is therefore the author's 
purpose to devote to them a somewhat extended recital. 

The period passing between 1853 and 1858 was signalized by many savage In- 
dian uprisings throughout the Pacific northwest. At times within that period the 
skies were red with war flames from the Rogue river region of southern Oregon 
northward to Puget Sound, and from the western waters to the Rocky moontains. 
Some tribes of the interior had, in fact, maintained a constant attitude of haughty 
insolence since the Cayuse uprising in 1847 and the massacre, at Whitman mission 
near Walla Walla, of Dr. Marcus Whitman, Mrs. Narcissa Whitman and other mem- 
bers of their household. 

Dissatisfaction existed in the minds of some of the interior tribes against cer- 
tain treaties which had been negotiated in 1855 by Isaac I. Stevens, who bore from 
the president of the United States a dual appointment as first governor of Washing- 
ton territory and commissioner empowered to treat with all the Indian tribes of the 
vast interior from the Missouri to the Pacific. A number of chiefs protested that 
Stevens had failed to negotiate with the men who were authorized to bind their 
people by treaty obligations, and angry protests were made against some of the 
conditions of these treaties. 

The unrest was further intensified by a long delay by the senate in its work of 
treaty ratification and by a conflict of official opinion regarding the ultimate fate 
of the treaties at Washington. Army officers in the field were positive that ratifica- 
tion and an attempt by the government to enforce the treaties would precipitate a 
general uprising. Colonel E. J. Steptoe, then conmianding at Fort Walla Walla, 
entered vigorous protest, declaring in a letter to the assistant adjutant-general at 
San Francisco: 

"It is my duty to inform the general that Mr. J. Ross Brown, acting, as I believe, 
as an agent of the Indian Bureau, did, in a recent conversation with "Lawyer" the 
Nez Perces chief, assert that Governor Stevens' treaty of Walla Walla would cer- 
tainly be ratified and enforced. Considering that this statement is in direct opposi- 
tion to what the Indians have been told by us, and to what, as I believe, nearly all 
of them desire, it seems to me in very bad taste, to say the least of it. Mr. Brown 
could not possibly have known that the treaty will be ratified, and even if he had, 
the proper time to enlighten the Indians on the subject is obviously after it shall 
have become a law of the land. He had no right to unsettle the Indian's minds on 
a point respecting which his convictions are probably no stronger than the opposite 
belief of many others in daily intercourse with them. 

"I will simply add that in my opinion any attempt to enforce that treaty will be 
followed by immediate hostilities with most of the tribes in this part of the country; 
for which reason it does appear to me greatly desirable that a new commission be 
appointed, and a new treaty made, thoroughly digested and accepted by both sides." 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 223 

Obviously it did not occur to Steptoe that if Brown erred in telling the Indians 
that the treaty would be ratified and enforced, himself and other army oflScers were 
alike at fault when they told the red men that it would not be ratified or enforced. 
Brown's rights as a prophet were at least equal to those of Steptoe and Clarke, 
commanding the department of the Columbia. 

Ringleaders in this sorry business of repudiating treaties were the Yakimas. 
They had met Governor Stevens in the summer of 1855, entered into treaty relations 
and accepted agency rule, only, a few months later, to go on the warpath and mur- 
der their agent, A. J. Bolon, and a number of other white men in their country. 
These atrocities they followed up by defeating a detachment of United States troops 
nnder Major Haller, and declared their determination to exterminate all the whites 
in the country. 

As we have seen, news of the Yakima war reached Governor Stevens on October 
29, 1855, when returning from a council with the Blackfoot nation in Montana. He 
was two days' march from old Fort Benton, head of navigation on the Missouri, 
when this alarming intelligence reached him by an express from Acting Governor 
Mason at Olympia, and his position became one of imminent peril. ''At this time," 
to quote from his report to Jefferson Davis, then secretary of war, but within a few 
years to be making greater history as president of the southern Confederacy, ''my 
party of twenty-five men were in this condition: our animals were poor and jaded 
from the constant express service in which they had been employed in the operations 
preliminary to the Blackfoot council ; for our expresses had ranged from Saskatche- 
wan on the norths to the Yellowstone on the south ; they possessed but few arms and 
little ammunition, as we had, in coming up, found no use for them, passing through 
the territory of friendly Indians." 

Stevens, however, as we have seen in a preceding chapter, met the situation 
with his customary courage and vigor. 

The governor complained bitterly to the war department against the refusal of 
General Wool, commanding at Fort Vancouver, to dispatch regulars to his relief 
when it became apparent that he had been cut off from the settlements and his party 
was in imminent danger of destruction. "We had reached a place of safety unaided, 
excepting by the fortunate movements of the Oregon troops. Not a single man had 
been pushed forward to meet us, although it was well known we should cross the 
monntains about a certain time, and arrive at Walla Walla at the time we did." 

"Mr. Secretary," continues the indignant governor, "Major-General Wool, com- 
manding the Pacific division, neglected and refused to send a force to the relief of 
myself and party, when known to be in imminent danger, and believed by those who 
archest capable of judging, to be coming on to certain death; and this when he had 
at his command an efficient force of regular troops. It was reserved for the Oregon 
troops to rescue us. There has been a breach of faith somewhere. I ask for An 
investigation into the whole matter." 

From Walla Walla the governor hastened to Olympia, to deal with the warlike 
Indians in the Puget Sound country. He found time, however, to map out a winter 
campaign against the warring savages of the interior, and went to Vancouver to lay 
it before General Wool, but missed that officer by a few hours. Wool having sailed 
from Portland for San Francisco. The limitations of this history forbid the presen- 
tation here of Stevens' plan in detail, but it may be said in passing that he advanced 



224 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

there a doctrine of successful Indian warfare which ultimately was applied some 
twenty years later in Indian wars on the great plains east of the Rodty mountains, 
after repeated failure had demonstrated that the old plan of spring and summer 
campaigns was powerless to strike effective blows. Stevens' advice was founded on 
the well known fact that when young grass comes in springtime^ the Indian finds 
maintenance everywhere, and if menaced by an invading enemy, has only io disperse 
his people in all directions to baffle and defeat pursuit But in winter his people can 
not rove at will or pleasure. They are required by the rigors of climate to concen- 
trate in sheltered places, around their winter stores of provisions, while an invading 
force of regulars can transport supplies by wagon and keep its horses in good con- 
dition by feeding grain. 

"I will respectfully urge/' advises Stevens in a detailed communication to Wool, 
"that you forward your preparations with all possible dispatch. Get all of your 
disposable force in the Walla Walla valley in January. Establish a large depot 
camp here; occupy Fort Walla Walla and be ready early in February to take the 
field. February is generally a mild and open month. February and March are the 
favorable months for operating; all the Indians are destitute of food; the rivers are 
easy to cross; the mountain passes are closed. In April the Indians can retreat 
on the Pend d'Oreille route, eastward of the mountains. In May the Coeur d'Alene 
route is also open; the streams are swollen and the salmon begin to run. In June 
roots are abundant and the streams difficult to cross. If operations be vigorously 
prosecuted in February and March, there is little probability of any of the tribes 
now peaceable, taking part in the war. This is the conclusion to which I was brought 
by the recent council held by m^ with the Indian tribes on the Spokane." 

Had these recommendations been heeded, there is reason to believe that the inte- 
rior tribes would have been pacified by early spring of 1856, and history would 
not have recorded the disastrous repulse of Steptoe in the summer of 1858. Numer- 
ous atrocities would have been spared, and the task of subjugating the hostiles 
would have been far less difficult and expensive than it afterwards proved to be. 

This view is ably sustained by Lieutenant John Mullan, an officer under Wright 
in 1858, and afterwards made famous as surveyor and builder of the historic Mullan 
trail. "The war feeling of 1855," says this authority, *'was not ended in 1858. 
Many may join issue, but let them remember that at the end of the winter campaign 
of 1856 there was a mutual withdrawing of troops and Indians from the field. In 
1857 no troops were sent into the field. The immigrant routes were all blocked up 
in consequence of difficulties in the interior, and thus no passage of persons was had 
through the Indian country. The command under Colonel Steptoe then that entered 
the country in 1858 was the first military force that tried the field since the apparent 
cessation of hostilities." 

It is true that Steptoe's little conunand entered the country with no hostile in- 
tent. On the contrary, as Mullan says, Steptoe had ever been a firm friend of the 
Indians, and the objects of his expedition were to "adjust amicably all the differ- 
ences that existed among the Indians and whites that then had place at Fort Col- 
ville; to punish those who had run off cattle from Walla Walla, and at the same 
time to produce a moral effect on the Indians by moving a military column through 
the country, and give his men at the same time a field experience." 

Steptoe has been severely criticised for apparent over-confidence in the friendli- 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 225 

nese of the tribes north of the Snake^ and the circumstance that his party came with 
an inadequate supply of ammunition has been cited in substantiation of that belief. 
Bat the truth is^ Steptoe had given orders for an adequate supply before leaving 
Walla Walla^ but lamentably^ as a survivor of the expedition^ who served as pack- 
master^ frankly confessed to the author a few years ago^ the greater part of the 
ammunition that had been brought out for packing was overlooked in the excitement 
of the hour^ and the loss was not detected until the party had entered the Spokane 
country and found itself surrounded by a vastly superior niunber of furious, taunt- 
ing warriors. 

Apparently no official explanation was made of the scant supply of ammunition^ 
for General Winfield Scott^ then commanding the army^ commented in this terse 
manner on Steptoe's report: "This is a candid report of a disastrous affair. The 
small supply of ammunition is surprising and unaccounted for." 

It is not clear^ however^ that the disaster would have been averted if ammunition 
had been carried in quantity, for Steptoe's force was vastly outnumbered by the 
enemy, a part of his soldiers carried old musketoons, an arm inferior to the rifles 
borne by some of the Indians, and a part of the command were recent recruits who 
had never been under Are and were inexperienced in field service. It seems probable 
that with a greater ammunition supply Steptoe would not have made his successful 
night retreat, and that with the return of day the Indians — who had surrounded his 
position — would have charged his camp and annihilated his command. Even if 
they had ladced the courage to dose in, they would have renewed the battle and 
subjected the troops to a repetition of the galling attack as it slowly retreated toward 
the Snake. In that event it seems certain, too, that the enemy would have sent a 
sufficient force to the river to capture Steptoe's canoes and thus cut off his retreat to 
WaUa Walla. 

Steptoe's official report of his repulse bears evidence of candor, truthfulness and 
moral courage. Writing, May 28, froin Fort Walla Walla, to Major W. M. Mackall, 
assistant adjutant-general stationed at San Francisco, he said: 

"Major: On the second instant I informed you of my intention to move north- 
ward with a part of my command. Accordingly on the 6tfa I left here with compa- 
nies C, E and H, First dragoons (the term then employed for mounted men) and E, 
Ninth infantry, in all, five company officers and 152 enlisted men. Hearing that the 
hostile Pelouses were near Al-pon-on-we, in the Nez Perces land, I moved to that 
point and was ferried across Snake river by Timothy, a Nez Perces chief. The 
enemy fled towards the north and I followed leisurely on the road to Colville. On 
Sunday morning, the 16th, when near the Te-hoto-nim-me (probably Pine creek) 
m the Spokane country, we found ourselves suddenly in presence of ten or twelve 
hundred Indians of various tribes — Spokanes, Pelouses, Coeur d'Alenes, Yakimas 
and some others — all armed, painted and defiant. I moved slowly on until just 
about to enter a ravine that wound along the bases of several hills which were all 
crowned by the excited savages. Perceiving that it was their purpose to attack us 
in this dangerous place, I turned aside and encamped, the whole wild, frenzied mass 
moving parallel to us, and, by yells, taunts and menaces apparently trying to drive 
us to some initiatory act of violence. 

'Towards night a number of chiefs rode up to talk with me, and inquired what* 
were our motives to this intrusion upon them. I answered that we were passing on 

ToLI— u 



226 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

to Colville, and had no hostile intentions towards the Spokanes, who had always been 
our friends^ nor towards any other tribes who were friendly; that my chief aim in 
coming so far was to see the Indians and the white people at Colville, and by friendly 
discussion with both, endeavor to strengthen their good feelings for each other. They 
expressed themselves satisfied, but would not consent to let me have canoes, without 
which it would be impossible to cross the Spokane river. I concluded, for this rea- 
son, to retrace my steps at once, and the next morning (17th) turned back towards 
this post. 

"We had not marched three miles when the Indians, who had gathered on the 
hills adjoining the line of march, began an attack upon the rear guard, and immedi- 
ately the fight became general. We labored under the great disadvantage of having 
to defend the pack train while in motion and in a rolling country peculiarly favorable 
to the Indian mode of warfare. We had only a small quantity of ammunition, but in 
thfir excitement the soldiers could not be restrained from firing it in the wildest 
manner. They did, however, under the leading of their respective commanders, sus- 
tain well the reputation of the army for some hours, charging the enemy repeatedly 
with gallantry and success. 

"The difficult and dangerous duty of flanking the column was assigned to Brevet 
Captain Taylor and Lieutenant Gaston, to both of whom it proved fatal. The latter 
fell about 12 o'clock, and the enemy soon after charging formally upon his com- 
pany, it fell back in confusion and could not be rallied. 

"About a half hour after this Captain Taylor was brought in mortally wounded; 
upon which I immediately took possession of a convenient height and halted. The 
fight continued here with unabated activity; the Indians occupying neighboring 
heights and working themselves along to pick off our men. The wounded increased 
in number continually. Twice the enemy gave unmistakable evidence of a design 
to carry our position by assault, and their number and desperate courage caused me 
to fear the most serious consequences to us from such an attempt on their part. 

"It was manifest that the loss of their officers and comrades began to tell upon 
the spirit of the soldiers ; that they were becoming discouraged, and not to be reHed 
upon with confidence. Some of them were recruits but recently joined; two of the 
companies had musketoons, which were utterly worthless to us in our present condi- 
tion; and, what was most alarming, only two or three rounds of cartridges remained 
to some of the men, and but few to any of them. 

"It was plain that the enemy would give the troops no rest during the night, 
and they would be still further disqualified for stout resistance on the morrow, while 
the number of enemies would certainly be increased. I determined for these rea- 
sons, to make a forced march to Snake river, about eighty-five miles distant, and se- 
cure the canoes in advance of the Indians, who had already threatened to do the 
same in regard to us. After consulting with the officers, all of whom urged me to the 
step as the only means, in their opinion, of securing the safety of the command, I 
concluded to abandon everything that might impede our march. Accordingly we 
set out about 10 o'clock in perfectly good order, leaving the disabled animals and 
such as were not in condition to travel so far and so fast, and, with deep pain I have 
to add, the two howitzers. The necessity for this last measure will give you, as weU 
as many words, a conception of the strait to which we believed ourselves reduced. 
Not an officer of the command doubted that we would be overwhelmed with the first 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 227 

rush of the enemy upon our position in the morning; to retreat further by day, with 
our wounded men and property, was out of the question ; to retreat slowly by night 
qually so, as we could not then be in position to fight all next day ; it was therefore 
necessary to relieve ourselves of all incumbrances and to fly. We had no horses able 
to carry the guns over eighty miles without resting, and if the enemy should attack 
us en route, *as, from their ferocity, we certainly expected they would, not a soldier 
coold be spared for any other duty than skirmishing. For these reasons, which, I 
own candidly, seemed to me more cogent at the time than they do now, I resolved 
to bury the howitzers. What distresses me is that no attempt was made to bring 
them off; and all I can add is, that if this was an error of judgment it was committed 
after the calmest discussion of the matter, in which, I believe, every officer agreed 
vith me. 

"Enclosed is a list of the killed and wounded. The enemy acknowledged a loss 
of nine killed and forty or fifty wounded, many of them mortaUy. It is known to 
us that this is an underestimate^ for one of the officers informs us that on a single 
spot where Lieutenants Gregg and Gaston met in a joint charge twelve dead Indians 
were counted. Many others were seen to fall. 

"I can not do justice in this communication to the conduct of the officers through- 
out the affair. The gallant bearing of each and all was accompanied by an admirable 
coolness and sound judgment. To the skill and promptness of Assistant Surgeon 
Randolph the wounded are deeply indebted. 

"Be pleased to excuse the hasty appearance of this letter; I am anxious to get it 
off, and have not time to have it transcribed. 

"I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"E. J. Steptoe, 
"Brevet lAeutenani-Colonel United States Army," 



CHAPTER XXV 

DETAILED ACCOUNT OF THE STEPTOE RETREAT 

IKDIAN HOSTILITY A SURPRISE ^HOSTILBS OPEN FIRE OFFICIAL REPORT OF KILLED 

AND WOUNDED— ^FATHER JOSET's ACCOUNT OF THE TRAGEDY DEVILISH INTRIGUES 

OF THE PALOUSE8 ^RECOLLECTIONS OF A SURVIVOR — STEPTOE SAVED FROM ANNI- 
HILATION BY NEZ PERCE ALLIES FAITHFUL OLD TIMOTHY — MEMORIAL PARK 

MARKS THE SITE OF STEPTOE's LAST STAND PATRIOTIC GIFT OF DAUGHTERS OF 

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 

In all the trade of war^ no feat 
Is nobler than a brave retreat. 

— Butler^s Hudihras. 

LIEUTENANT GREGG, in Steptoe's command, wrote to a friend at Fort 
Vancouver that when they left Walla Walla no one thought of having an 
enconnter, for the Spokanes had always been considered as friends of the 
whites. It was therefore a surprise when these Indians halted the soldiers and pro- 
tested against their further advance into the country. Gregg reported that the 
Indians were well mounted, armed principally with rifles, and were extended 
along Steptoe's flank at a distance of 100 yards. After Steptoe had talked with 
the chiefs he informed his officers that they would have to flght, as the Indians 
▼ere constantly growing more menacing and insulting. The soldiers dared not 
dismount, and remained in the saddle for three hours until the Indians dispersed 
with the setting of the sun. 

This was Sunday, the 16th, and the morning following the command started 
on the retrograde movement towards Walla Walla. The Indians opened fire as the 
troops were crossing a little stream, and within twenty minutes the firing was gen- 
eral Gregg reported the losses' at two officers, five men and three friendly Indians 
blled, ten men wounded, and Sergeant Ball, who had greatly distinguished himself 
in the action, as missing. He added, "It will take a thousand men to go into the 
Spokane country." 



OrPlCIAL REPORT OF THE KILLED, WOUNDED AND MISSING IN THE BATTLE AT TE-HOTO- 

NIM-ME^ MAT 17, 1858. 

Killed — Brevet Captain O. H. Taylor, Second Lieutenant William Gaston, 
Privates Alfred Barnes, Charles H. Hamish, James Crozet, Victor Charles DeMoy, 
First Sergeant William C. Williams. 

229 



230 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Wounded — James Lynch, Henry Montreville, Elijah R. Birch, James Kelly, 
William D. Micon, Hariet Sneckster, James Healy, Maurice Henley, Charles 
Hughes, John Mitchell, Ormond W. Hammond, John Klay and Gotlieb Berger. 

After the command had retreated to Walla Walla intense and bitter interest 
centered around the source of the Indians' supply of ammunition, and unjust and 
unfounded rumor asserted that Father Joset, the Jesuit priest at the Coeur d'Alene 
mission, had supplied it. In an official report Steptoe discredited that rumor, and 
gave his belief that it had been supplied either by the traders at Fort ColviUe or 
the Mormons from the Utah country. Father Joset was deeply grieved by the cruel 
rumor, and said to Steptoe that it was a charge too monstrous for him to notice in. 
a formal way. 

It is not difficult, now, to comprehend the origin of a story so diametrically in 
conflict with the truth. From the beginning of the unrest. Father Joset had pleaded 
incessantly with the Indians for peace. As a result of his labors, a large number of 



the Coeur d'Alenes, probably half of the tribe, had declined to be drawn into the 
tighting. In his zeal to prevent the impending clash, the priest had followed 
his wards to the very point of conflict, remonstrating with them till his own 
life was imperilled. When the soldiers, not understanding his motives, saw 
this man of God mingling with their savage enemies, they were startled, and sprang 
to the conclusion that he had been instrumental in inflaming their minds, and out 
of that belief grew the wild rumor that he had supplied them with ammunition. 

We quote now from a letter of Father Joset, to Father Congiato, superior of 
the missions in the Rocky mountains, in relation to 'the events of the unfortunate 
17th of May, and of the causes which have brought such sad results*: 

"Do not think, my reverend father, that I am beknowing to all the affairs of the 
savages; there is a great deal wanting; they come to us about the affairs of their 
conscience, but as to the rest they consult us but little. . . . After the battle 
Bonaventure, one of the best young men in the nation, who was not in the fight, 
and who, as I will tell later, has aided us a great deal in saving the lives of the 
Americans at the mission at the time of the battle, said to me, *Do you think that 
if M'e thought to kill the Americans we would tell you so?' Even among the Coeur 
d'Alenes there is a certain number that we never see, that I do not know in any 
manner. The majority distrust me when I come to speak in favor of the Ameri- 
cans. 

"Last winter Michelle said to me: 'Father, if the soldiers exhibit themselves in 
the country (of the mountains) the Indians will become furious.' I had heard 
rumors that a detachment would come to ColviUe, and I intended to go to inform 
Colonel Steptoe of this disposition of the Indians. Toward the beginning of 
April it was learned that an American had been assassinated by a Nez Perce. Im- 
mediately rumor commences to circulate that troops were preparing to cross the 
Nez Perces (the Snake river) to obtain vengeance for this crime. Toward the end 
of April at the time of my departure the chief, Pierre Prulin, told me not to go 
now; to wait some weeks to see what turn affairs are going to take. *I am too hur- 
ried,' I replied to him, *I can not wait.' Arrived at the Camas prairie, I met the 
express of the great chief Vincent; this told me to return, his people thought there 
was too much danger at that moment. I replied that I was going to wait three 
days to give the chief time to find me himself; that if he did not come I would 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 231 

• 

continue my route. I said to myself, if Vincent believes really in the greatness 
of tbe danger, however bad or however long the road may be, he will not fail to 
come. In the meantime I saw several Nez Perces. Their conversation was gen- 
erally against the Americans. One of them said in my presence, 'We will not be 
able to bring the Coeur d'Alenes to take part with us against the Americans; the 
priest is the cause ; for this we wish to kill the priest.* 

"Vincent marched day and night to find me. He said 'We are not on good 
terms with the Nez Perces and the Palouses; they are after us without cessation 
to determine us in the war against the Americans. We are so fatigued with their 
underhand dealings that I do not know if we will not come to break with them entire- 
ly. Their spies cover the country. When the young men go for horses, they will 
kill them secretly and start the report that they have been killed by the Americans. 
Then there will not be any means to restrain our people. We hear the chief of 
the soldiers spoken of only by the Nez Perces, and it is all against us and to 
excite our young people. I have great desire to go to see him (Steptoe).' 

*'It was agreed that when I should go down I should take him to see the colonel. 
It is then I learned a part of the rumors which were spreading over the country. 
A white man had said: 'Poor Indians, you are finished now; the soldiers are pre- 
paring to cross the river to destroy you; then another five hundred soldiers will go 
to establish themselves at Colville; then five hundred others will join them; then 
others and others till they find themselves the strongest; then they will chase the 
Indians from the country.' 

"Still another white man had seen ^ve hundred soldiers encamped upon the Pa- 
louse preparing themselves to cross the river. All the above passed three weeks 
before the last events. Among other things Vincent said to me: 'If the troops are 
coming to pass the river, I am sure the Nez Perces are going to direct them upon 
us. . . ' 

"On the 15th of May I received another express from Vincent. The troops 
had pcissed the Nez Perces (the Snake) ; they had said to the Coeur d'Alenes that 
it was for them the soldiers wished. Vincent desired me to go to aid him in pre- 
venting a conflict. He told me to be quick — the troops were near. I set out in an 
instant. . . . The distance from the mission to Vincent's camp was, I think, 
about 90 miles ; as the water was very high, I could only arrive on the evening of 
the 16th. Vincent told me he had been kept very busy to restrain his young men; 
that he had been at first to the chief of the soldiers, and had asked him if he had 
come to fight the Coeur d'Alenes ; that upon his negative reply he had said : 'Well, 
go on,' but to his great displeasure he had camped in his neighborhood ; that then 
he had made his people retire. Still a bloodthirsty Palouse was endeavoring to 
excite them. Later other Indians confirmed to me the same report; they were 
Vincent and the Spokane's chief who prevented the fight on the 15th. The chiefs 
of the different tribes and a quantity of other Indians gathered around me. I 
spoke to them to persuade them to peace. I told them that they did not know 
with what intention the chief of the soldiers was coming; that the next day they 
should bring me a horse, and that they might accompany me till in sight of the 
soldiers; that I would then go alone to find the officers in command, and would 
roake them to know th6n what was now doubtful ; they app>eared well satisfied. I 
said still to Vincent to see that no person took the advance. 



232 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

"The same evening they came from the camp of the Palouses to announce that 
one of the slaves of the soldiers (it is thus that they call the Indians who accom- 
pany the troops) had just arrived. The chief of the soldiers had said^ according to 
him, 'You Coeur d'Alenes, you are well-to-do; your lands, your women, are oups/ 
I told the Coeur d'Alenes not to believe it; that no officer ever spoke in that way; 
tomorrow, I said, I will ask the chief of the soldiers if he has said that. 

"The next morning I saw the Si>okane*s Tshequyseken (medicine man). Said 
he to me: 'Yesterday evening I was with the chief of the soldiers when a Palouse 
came to tell him that the priest had just arrived; he has brought some powder to 
the Coeur d'Alenes to encourage them to kill the soldiers.' Then, turning around 
towards the Coeur d'Alenes I said: 'Do you see now the deceit of this people? They 
go and slander us before the soldiers, and slander the soldiers here.' 

"When they had brought me a horse I went to the camp of the soldiers; they 
were far off. I set out in their direction to join them. I saw Colonel Steptoe, 
made him acquainted with the dispositions of the Indians, the mistrust the presence 
of the troops would inspire, and how I had been kept from going to inform him 
in the spring. . . . I ^ asked him if he did not desire to see the chiefs. Upon 
his reply that his dragoon horses were too much frightened to stop long, I observed 
to him that they could talk in marching; he then said he would take pleasure in 
seeing them. I went to seek them, but could find only Vincent; him I conducted 
to the Colonel; he was fully satisfied with him. One of the Indians who accom- 
. panied the troops gave Vincent a blow over the shoulders with his whip, saying to 
him, 'Proud man, why do you not fire?' and then accused one of the Coeur d'Alenes 
who had followed Vincent of having wished to fire upon a soldier. Vincent was 
replying to the colonel when his uijcle came to seek him, saying the Palouses 
were about commencing to fire. I warned the colonel of it and then went with 
Vincent to try and restrain the S]>okanes and Coeur d'Alenes; when we had made 
them acquainted with the disposition of the colonel they appeared well satisfied. 
Victor, one of the braves who has since died of his wounds, said, 'We have nothing 
more to do here, we will each one go to his home.' Jean Pierre, the chief, supported 
the proposition of Victor; then Malkapsi became furious. I did not at the time 
know why. I found out later that he wished all to go to the camp of Vincent to 
talk over their affairs. Malkapsi slapped Jean Pierre, and struck Victor with the 
handle of his whip. I seized the infuriated man and a few words sufficed to calm 
him. 

"I set out then with a few chiefs to announce at the camp that all was tran- 
quil; a half hour or an hour later, what was my surprise to learn that they were 
fighting. I had to ask for a horse, and there was in the camp only old men and 
women; it was about three o'clock when they brought me a heavy wagon horse. I 
set out, however, with the hope of getting there by night, when I was met by an 
Indian who told me it was useless to fatigue myself, 'the Indians are enraged at 
the death of their people, they will listen to no one,' whereupon I returned to my 
tent, the dagger in my heart. 

"The following is the cause of this unhappy conflict as it has been related to 
me: The parents of Malkapsi, irritated and ashamed of his passion, said to him, 
'What do you do? You maltreat your own people. If jdu wish to fight, behold 
your enemies' (pointing to the troops), then saying, 'Oh, well let us go and die/ 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 233 

thej ran towards the troops. I do not think there was more than a dozen of them. 
The affair did not become serious until Jacques^ an excellent Indian^ well beloved, 
and Zachariah^ brother-in-law of the great chief Vincent^ had been killed ; then the 
fury of the Indians knew no bounds. 

"The next day I asked those that I saw, 'What provocation have you received 
from the troops.''* *None/ said they. 'Then you are only murderers, the authors 
of the death of your own people.' 'That is true ; the fault can in no way be attrib- 
uted to the soldiers. Malkapsi is the cause of all the evil.' 

"But they were not all so well disposed. When I asked others what the soldiers 
had done to them, they replied to me: 'And what have we done to them that they 
should come thus to seek us; if they were going to Colville,' said they, 'why do 
they not take the road; no one of us would then think of molesting them.'* Why do 
they go to cross the Nez Perces so high up f Why direct themselves in the interior of 
our country, removing themselves further from Colville ? Is it us who have been to 
seek the soldiers, or the soldiers who have come to fall on us with their cannon?' 
Thus^ although they avow that they fired first, they pretend that the first act ol 
hostility came from the troops. I asked them if they had taken scalps. They told 
me no, with the exception of a small piece that had been taken by a half fool. I 
asked them also if they had interred the dead. They replied that the women 
had buried them, but that the Palouses had opened the graves which were at the 
encampment. It is then also that the Indians told me : 'We see now that the father 
did not deceive us when he told us that the soldiers wished peace. We forced them 
to fight. We fired a long time upon them before they answered our fire.' . . . 
• • • 

"You will easily believe me, my reverend father, when I tell you I would pur- 
chase back with my life this unhappy event; not on my own account; I have been 
and will be much slandered; but what are the judgments of man to me, when God 
is my witness that I have done everything in my power to preserve peace ? . . . 

"I am, with respect, my reverend father, your very humble servant, 

P. JOSET, S. J." 

Father Joset accused Steptoe's Nez Perce guides with intriguing to bring on a 
dash of arms between the troops and the Spokanes and Coeur d'Alenes, alleging 
as a motive their desire to settle old feuds against those tribes, and believing that 
the soldiers would easily defeat and humiliate their enemies. Without question 
the guides directed the command to the wrong road, as the direct and natural route 
to Colville would have led the party more to the west and towards a crossing further 
down the Spokane. That the guide mistook himself so grossly, he declares, would 
be absurd to suppose. "I see no other way to explain his conduct than to say he 
laid a snare for the Coeur d'Alenes whom he wished to humiliate, and seeing after- 
wards the troops fall in the ditch that he had dug for others, he has done every- 
thing possible to draw them from it." 

Poor, faithful old Timothy, for his fidelity to the whites can not be doubted, 
cren though, as Joset charges, he fell into a design to use them to humiliate a tribal 
enemy, was doubly unfortunate in falling under a cloud of suspicion; for Beall 
tells us that when Timothy came in from his perilous work of scouting in search of 
an opening through which the exhausted command might retreat to Walla Walla, a 



234 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

number of the soldiers questioned his fidelity^ and murmured that he was betraying 
them into the hands of the savage foe^ and would lead them to ambush and de- 
struction. 

The Palouses were Machiavellian in their devilish work of embittering the 
Spokanes and Coeur d'Alenes against the whites. They made it their chief mission 
to circulate false rumors^ always attributing evil designs to the soldiers, and were 
deplorably successful in their scheme of poisoning the minds of their childlike and 
credulous dupes. Lieutenant MuUan has expressed his deepest contempt for the 
mischief-making role of these Indians, whose tribe, he avers, was made up of 
renegades from every other tribe in the interior. They bore **a most unenviable 
reputation for lying and thieving — their best of traits," and he adds that with 
such men for newsmongers and such men for councillors it is not surprising to know 
that the Indians who had been friendly were misled and misinformed regarding 
the intentions of the white people. They had been told that the primary and prin- 
cipal object was for the extermination of the Indian and to put the white man in 
possession of his women, his wives, his lands, his all. 

During all of this time, continues Mullan, the Jesuit fathers had been indefat- 
igable in their exertions to preserve peace. They pleaded early and late, till their 
weak voices were drowned in the stronger voices of the hostiles crying for war, 
until their very motives were suspected and impugned and they themselves threat- 
ened with a fate which the agitators had now planned for all the whites. 

Fifty years after. Major J. G. Trimble, a survivor of the battle, residing then 
at Berkeley, California, wrote a graphic reminiscence of the retreat: "The com- 
mand arrived at the butte (scene of Steptoe's final stand) about the middle of the 
afternoon. The uninjured men spread out in skirmish lines along the north and 
east sides of the butte, seeking refuge behind tufts of bunch-grass. Behind them 
were placed the supplies, the wounded and the two howitzers. The wounded suf- 
fered severely. The men had been without food since daybreak, and without sleep 
for more than 24 hours. 

"The Indians kept attacking persistently. They tied bunch-grass to their heads 
and then wriggled like snakes through the tall grass. To add to the desperation 
of the situation, the command was running short of ammunition, it having started 
with only 30 rounds to the man. 

"When evening fell the Indians ceased firing, but their campfires blazed aU 
round and made the attempted sortie dangerous. Flight was the only course left. 
The howitzers were buried and the dead interred. The wounded were tied to 
horses, the white horses being covered with dark blankets. A few mules were 
picketed to one side to suggest some sort of trap to the wary savages, and at 9 
o'clock at night the command set forth under the guidance of the Nez Perces. 

"Through all the weary night the men rode, reaching the Palouse hills at day- 
break. When they had crossed the river a halt was made and some semblance of 
order restored to the command, but there was no food to be had. Six men were 
missing, probably becoming lost in the hurried flight through the dark. The rest 
of the command soon mounted the jaded horses and rode hard towards the Snake 
river. 

"About dusk the troops reached the top of the long rough descent to the river 
now known as Steptoe canyon, and at midnight they got to the river, and the faith- 



EOSALIA, WASHINGTON 

' tbis ground Steptoe's eommaDd retreated in 1S5S, pursued by one thousand howling, 
painted warriors. Within a stone's throw of tbis sceue he made 
his last stand against the hostilea 



r M E ^ £ A I w p, K 
FuaUC LlBi:AKr 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 235 

ful Nez Perces were there. A strong body of them climbed to the top of the canyon 
and stood goard till daylight^ when the troops crossed the river. The squaws suc- 
cored the wounded and broiled salmon for the nearly famished men. Had the Nez 
Perces not remained faithful^ it is probable that the entire command would have 
been destroyed." 

According to Trimble the equipment was poor. One company had Mississippi 
Yager rifles^ an arm that carried well but could not be loaded on horseback. The 
others fought with musketoons, which carried one ball and three buckshot, but 
these guns were of no execution at more than fifty yards. The men also had old- 
fashioned, single barrel, muzzle-loading pistolets, decidedly inferior to those of the 
Indians. These arms were inferior to the Hudson's Bay rifles of the Indians, and 
only the determined bravery of the troops, in repeatedly charging the yelling sav- 
ages saved the command from destruction in the running fight along Pine 'creek. 

Years afterward, when the smiling arts of peace had conquered these scenes of 
former warlike aspect, a number of these antiquated arms were turned by the plough 
again to the sunshine and the winds. In the heat and stress of battle, weary sol- 
diers, their ammunition gone, had cast them away. And years later, wheels of the 
howitzer carriages were taken from a deep pool in Pine creek, near the base of 
battle hill. 

Lieutenant Lawrence Kip, an oflicer in Wright's expedition, expressed the con- 
sensus of official judgment in holding that the retreat was necessary, and, under the 
circumstances, admirably conducted. "Night at last settled down on the battle- 
field and found the little command perfectly exhausted and with the ammunition 
almost gone," wrote Kip. Two officers^^Captain Oliver H. P. Taylor and Lieu- 
tenant William Gaston, both of the First, dragoopsT-Bad fallen with a number of 

men. The remainder were gathered bn rising Aground, while every hill around 

< 

swarmed with their exulting enemies who seemed to have them now completely in 
tlieir toils. i 



• v-'^rf'' ••• 



"A council of the officers was hastily held by Colonel Steptoe at which there 
was but one opinion. The force against them was overpowering, and by the next 
morning would undoubtedly be still further increased. Without ammunition they 
would be almost defenseless, and it was evident that long before the close of the . 
next day not one of the command would be left to tell the story of their fight. 

"Nothing remained therefore but to attempt a retreat during the night. The 
bodies of the fallen which were within their reach were buried, the two howitzers 
were cached, and the command mounted and struck off in the direction of the Snake 
river. 

In every account of this sad affair the author has discovered an earnest desire 
to commend the fidelity and fine intelligence of our Nez Perce allies. They saved 
the command from annihilation. It was the writer's good fortune, in the spring of 
1907, to meet a little group of the survivors who were visiting Rosalia as guests of 
the townspeople. In the work of relocating the various points of interest they lived 
again in the wild, free past, and many an eye was dim with tears as these grizzled 
veterans strode still sturdily over the hills and through the pleasant meadows where 
half a century before they had fought so desperately for life. The prosperous town 
has preempted a considerable portion of the old battlefield, and straggles out to the 
base of the low hill where the last stand was made. The little vallev of Pine creek 



236 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

lies at its base^ and across this meadow and up the hill was carried the supply of 
water that saved the lives of wounded soldiers and served to refresh the weary 
comrades who fought so gallantly to save the command. 

Particularly dear and vivid were the recollections of Private Thomas J. Beall, 
and the lapse of fifty years had not dulled his gratitude to the faithful Nea Perce 
guides. He recalled their names with fondest recollection — pious names they bore 
in token of the labors of zealous mission bands. There was Timothy, a chief, 
and Levi and Simon, and half-breed Charlie Connors, "who was killed on yonder 
hill the night that we escaped." 

In the dusk of the summer night loyal Timothy volunteered to scout under 
cover of darkness out beyond the skirmish line, in search of some possible opening 
in that terrible cordon of savage foes. And Steptoe accepted the brave service, 
and never questioned Timothy's loyalty or judgment when he returned after an 
hour of perilous adventure and reported that he had found a gap and through it 
could lead the soldiers, perhaps to safety and home. The way led across the little 
valley, over a shallow in the stream, and thence up a steep hill on the other side, 
so steep indeed that the hostile Indians had not thought it worth their while to 
guard. 

Three survivors of the Steptoe and Wright campaigns went over the extended 
Steptoe battlefield at Rosalia, Whitman county, June 14th, 1907, and explained 
to nearly sixty visitors from Si>okane and many citizens of Rosalia, the scenes and 
stirring events in that disastrous fight. These survivors were Thomas J. Beall, 
who now lives near Juliaetta, Idaho. He was Colonel Steptoe's chief-padanaster 
in the Steptoe battle; Michael J. Kenny who also took part in the battle and who 
came to the reunion from Walla Walla; J. J. Rohn, also from Walla Walla, who 
was with Colonel Wright's command the following autumn and was a part of the 
detachment sent by Colonel Wright to the scene of the Steptoe battle, to recover 
the remains of the officers and men who fell in that action. 

A memorial park marks now the site of Steptoe's last stand. Citizens of RosaHa 
donated three acres, and Esther Reed chapter of Spokane . of the Daughters of the 
American Revolution has taken up the commendable work of erecting there an 
' enduring monument to the memory of the soldier band who fought with such 
heroic fortitude in order that we who came after, and our children and children's 
children might have the blessing of enduring peace. The chapter has pledged the 
completion of that work, and the historic eminence will bear a fitting granite obe- 
lisk. 

The site was formally dedicated, June 15, 1908, with an impressive prograDame 
before an assemblage of more than 1,000 people. Spedal trains brought two hun- 
dred regulars from Fort Wright and interested citizens from Spokane and ColfaXi 
and the visitors were met in Rosalia by a spedal reception committee comprising 
Mayor F. M. Campbell and Mrs. Campbell, Tom Prichard, marshal of the day, 
assisted by L. W. Anderson; Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Cheat, Mr. and Mrs. Charles 
Helmer, Mr. and Mrs. F. J. Wilmer, Mr. and Mrs. Ralston McCaig, Mr. and 
Mrs. M. W. Merritt, Mrs. T. R. Lewis, Miss Kate Woods, S. W. Towne, T. F. 
Donohoe, E. W. Wagner and others. 

Esther Reed chapter was represented by Mrs. M. J. Gordon, regent; Mrs. F. H. 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 237 

Crombie^ vice-regent; Mrs. J. W. Macintosh, recording secretary; Mrs. J. S. Moore, 
registrar; Mrs. William H. Smiley, treasurer, and Mrs. J. T. Cooper, director. 

A procession was formed and marched to the battle ground, and arrived there, 
the Colfax band played patriotic airs while the people cheered and waved flags. 
Prayer was offered by the Rev. F. N. Smith of Rosalia, and H. M. West, on behalf 
of the citizens of Rosalia presented the deed of gift of the park to J. R. Rupley, 
chairman of the Whitman county board of commissioners. Mrs. M. A. Phelps, 
diairman of the Steptoe Monument association, responded to the presentation of 
the deed on behalf of the Daughters of the American Revolution. General T. R. 
Tannatt of Spokane, a member of the West Point Graduates association whose long 
army service in the west had brought him into intimate relationship with many of 
the officers who fought in the Indian wars of the '50s, reviewed the careers of 
Taylor, Gaston and Gregg. 

In the afternoon formal and eloquent addresses were made by Governor Albert 
E. Mead, Colonel Lea Febiger, then commanding at Fort Wright, and Judge Stephen ' 
J. Chadwick, then of the superior bench of Whitman county and later of the state 
snpreme court. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

COLONEL WRIGHT'S CAMPAIGN OF REPRISAL 

WAR DEPARTMENT ACTS WITH QUICK VIGOR STRONG COMMAND SENT OUT FROM WALLA 

WALLA — SAVAGES MASS FOR THE CONFLICT ^ARE INSOLENT AND DEFIANT BOLDLY 

ATTACK THE TROOPS ARE ROUTED WITH HEAVY LOSS NEAR MEDICAL LAKE LT. 

KIP's GRAPHIC ACCOUNT OF THE BATTLE — WILD FLIGHT OF THE ALLIES NEZ PER- 

CB8 CELEBRATE WITH A WAR DANCE HOSTILE8 RALLY FOR ANOTHER ATTACK FIRE 

THE PRAIRIE GRASS SCENES OF WILD CONFUSION BATTLE OF THE SPOKANE PLAINS. 

The setting sun 
With yellow radiance lightened all the vale: 
And^ as the warriors moved^ each polished helm 
Corslet^ or spear^ glanced hack in gilded beams. 
The hill they climbed ; and halting at its top^ 
Of more than mortal size, towering they deemed 
An host angelic clad in burning arms. 

— John Home. 

THE war department was quick to grasp the unpleasant fact that Steptoe's 
repulse made necessary a campaign of resolute vigor and stem reprisal. 
Intoxicated by their victory, the hostile tribes grew more arrogant and con- 
fident than before, and boasted that they would drive back any force that the govern- 
ment might dare to send north of Snake river. Clamor rose louder and more angry 
with each passing week for the massacre or expulsion of every white man in the 
country, and it became apparent that nothing short of complete chastisement would 
allay the bitter hostility of the savage niind. 

Accordingly it was decided to hurry reinforcements to Fort Walla Walla, and 
to send a strong column under Colonel George Wright into the Indian country. 

These preparations consumed a period of about three months. Before leaving 
Walla Walla Colonel Wright dispatched couriers to the friendly Nez Perces, asking 
them to meet him at the fort. When they arrived a council was held under an im- 
provised arbor, and they were told by the commander that so long as they remained 
faithful they should have the protection of the strong arm of the law. After several 
chiefs had s]>oken, about thirty warriors volunteered to accompany the command. 

The first detachment, under Captain Keyes, moved out from the fort on the 
morning of August 7, charged with the duty of selecting a crossing at the Snake and 
choosing a site for the necessary field work to guard it, and at the same time to keep 

239 



240 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

open the line of communication with Fort Walla Walla. Captain Keyes selected the 
crossing at the mouth of the Tucanon^ as it offered an abundance of good wood and 
grass^ and designated it "Fort Taylor" in honor of the Captain Taylor who had 
fallen in Steptoe's battle of May 17. Here a fortification was erected^ a road con- 
structed for the use of the troops in descending from the plateau to the stream^ and 
a large flatboat built to ferry the command across the Snake. 

A severe storm delayed the crossing two days^ but on August 25 and 26 Wri^t 
made the passage successfully with his entire command^ without loss or accident^ and 
went into camp on the north bank with a force of 570 regulars^ thirty friendly Nez 
Perces^ 100 employes and 800 animals of all kinds^ with subsistence for thirty-eight 
days. Brevet Major Wyse, with company D, Third artillery, was left to occupy 
Fort Taylor to protect the stores and boats and keep open the line of communication. 

"Marching from Snake river on the morning of the 27th/' runs the official report 
of Colonel Wright, "our route lay over a very broken country for a distance of four- 
teen miles, where we struck the Pelouse river and encamped on its right bank. Re- 
suming our march on the 28th, I halted, after a march of six miles and a quarter^ at 
a point where the trail divides — that to the left leading to Colville direct, and that 
to the right more to the eastward. After consulting our guides and examining our 
maps and itineraries, I determined to march on the trail to the right; accordin^y, 
on the 29th, we advanced. The country presented a forbidding aspect; extensive 
burnt districts were traversed, but at the distance of twenty miles I found a very 
good encampment, with sufficient grass, wood and water. Up to this time we had 
seen no hostile Indians, although Lieutenant Mullan, my engineer officer, with our 
eagle-eyed allies, the Nez Perces, had been constantly in advance and on either 
flank; signs, however, had been discovered, and I knew that our approach was known 
to the hostiles. 

"Advancing on the morning of the 30th, occasionally a few of the enemy were 
seen on the hilltops on our right flank, increasing during the day and moving parallel 
with our line of march, but too remote and too few in number to justify pursuit. 

"After marching eighteen miles I encamped, and about 5 p. m. the Indians 
approached our pickets and a sharp firing commenced. I immediately moved out 
with a portion of my command and the enemy fled. I pursued them for four miles 
over a very broken country, and then returned to camp at sunset. All was quiet 
during the night, and at 6 o'clock this morning we were again on the mardi. Soon 
the Indians were seen in small parties at the distance of two or three miles on the 
hills, and moving as yesterday, with their numbers gradually increasing and ap- 
proaching a little nearer, but I did not deem them worthy of notice, only taking the 
precaution to halt frequently and close up our baggage and supply trains as com- 
pactly as possible. Our march this day was ten miles longer than we anticipated, 
and for a long distance without water; and, at two miles from this camp, the Indians 
made a strong demonstration on our supply train, but were handsomely dispersed 
and driven off by the rear guards, and infantry deployed on either flank. 

"My men and animals require rest; I shall remain here tomorrow; I have a good 
camp, with an abundance of wood, water and grass." 

The command was now well advanced into the Spokane country, and was mov- 
ing over the elevated and broken plateau which forms an indistinct boundary between 
the Palouse region, the Big Bend country, and the Spokane valley proper. Little 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 241 

time, however, remained for rest, for the savage foe was massing for the conflict, 
eager for the impending clash, still flushed with his recent victory over Steptoe's 
Utile column, and confident that a few more suns at furthest would witness a repeti- 
tion of that disaster and perhaps on a more sanguinary scale. 

On the morning of September 1st, Indians in greater numbers were seen posted 
on the surrounding hills. They were defiant and insolent, and seemed eager for an 
engagement. Wright met the challenge by ordering out a large part of his force 
to drive the enemy from the hills and engage the main body of the warriors, reported 
by the scouts to be concentrated just beyond an overlooking eminence. After advanc- 
ing a mile and a half, this force of 220 men came to the foot of the hill and promptly 
dislodged the savages. The dragoons first reached the summit, and after exchanging 
a volley, drove back the Indians' skirmish line, and held the position till the foot 
soldiers came up. 

On the plain below the enemy was massed, and every spot seemed alive with the 
red warriors which the soldiers had come so far to fight. The scene was in the 
vicinity of Four Lakes, near the present town of Medical Lake, and about twenty 
miles from the falls of the S]>okane. The Indians, mounted, were in the scattered 
woods on the shores of the lakes, in ravines and gullies, and dashing madly over the 
open ground. Kip reported that they seemed to cover the country for a distance 
of two miles. "Mounted on their fleet, hardy horses, the crowd swayed back and 
forth, brandishing their weapons, shouting their war cries, and keeping up a song 
of defiance. Most of them were armed with Hudson's Bay muskets, while others 
had bows and arrows and long lances." 

In his description of the scenes that followed, Lieutenant Kip has left us a 
graphic portrayal that is suggestive of the best lines of Walter Scott: 

"They were in all the bravery of their war array, gaudily painted and decorated 
with their wild trappings. Their plumes fluttered above them, while below skins 
and trinkets and all kinds of fantastic embellishments flaunted in the sunshine. 
Their horses, too, were arrayed in the most glaring finery. Some were even painted, 
and with colors to form the greatest contrast ; the white being smeared with crimson 
in fantastic figures, and the dark colored streaked with white clay. Beads and 
fringes of gaudy colors were hanging from their bridles, while the plumes of eagle 
feathers, interwoven with the mane and tail, fluttered as the breeze swept over 
them, and completed their wild and fantastic appearance." 

But a disheartening surprise was in store for them. Steptoe's troops had been 
equipped with antiquated arms inferior to those carried by the savages, but the men 
under Wright were armed with the latest military rifle which propelled a minnie 
ball with great accuracy and long range. It soon became apparent that consterna- 
tion had seized the red warriors, for they retreated before the death-dealing fire of 
the soldiers. At first they came resolutely forward to engage the invaders, advanc- 
ing rapidly, firing, and then retreating with great quickness and baffling irregularity. 
But as the line advanced, an increasing number of Indians were seen to fall from 
their saddles, although their fire was impotent against the troops. As in the Step- 
toe fight, they made desperate and successful efforts to prevent their dead falling 
into the hands of the soldiers. One Indian was seen leading off a horse with two 
of his dead companions bound to it. 

As the steadily advancing troops drew nearer and the fire grew more heavy, the 

Vol T -16 



242 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

whole array that had been gathered in the woods and ravines around the base of 
the hill broke and fled towards the plain. 

This was the moment eagerly awaited by the dragoons^ and when the order was 
given to charge, the companies that had been with Steptoe and seen Taylor and 
Gaston fall before the fire of the redmen, went wild with the spirit of vengeancCi 
Up to this moment the momited men had been held in the rear of the foot soldiers, 
but galloped forward between the company intervals when they heard the command- 
ing voice of Captain Grier shouting, "Charge the rascals!" In a twinkling the 
dragoons were upon the madly retreating Indians. Out came the sabers^ flashing 
in the mellow autumn sunlight, and with clatter of hoof and rattle of arms, and 
fierce yells of the victors and shrieks of the vanquished, the work of cutting down 
the laggards was accomplished with a resolution and thoroughness that struck terror 
to the fleeing foes. Lieutenant Davidson shot one warrior from the saddle, with a 
blow of his saber Lieutenant Gregg split the skull of another. It became a wild race 
for life, with the fleeing Indians dashing desperately for cover in the rocks and 
woods. Only the jaded condition of the soldiers' mounts saved the fugitives from 
complete destruction. The troops had been on the march for twenty-eight days, 
there had been constant scouting, and at night the horses were picketed with insuffi- 
cient grazing area, and they were consequently no match for the fresh mounts of 
the Indian fighters. 

So completely were the horses exhausted, that they were passed by the foot 
troops, who advanced and drove the enemy under a constant fire for about two miles. 

As the Indians had scattered under wide cover. Colonel Wright ordered a bugle 
recall, and the flushed and triumphant soldiers returned to camp. The fighting had 
lasted four hours, and extended over a field of three miles. Not a man was killed 
or wounded, while the Indians had suffered a loss of fifteen or twenty killed and 
forty or fifty wounded. Their dead included a brother and brother-in-law of Chief 
Garry of the Spokanes. 

In their precipitate flight the Indians threw away their impedimenta, and the 
plain was strewn with muskets, quivers, bows and arrows, blankets and robes. There 
was much gaiety as the troops came in with trophies of the fight, particularly when 
an officer appeared with two buffalo robes and a blanket wrapped around himself 
and horse. 

A little later the Nez Perce allies straggled in. They had pursued the fleeing 
enemy ten miles, and came back even richer in spoils than their white comrades. 
Deplorably, their collection contained several scalps, and "Cutmouth John," who 
had received in the Whitman massacre a frightful wound that hideously marred his 
features, was most jubilant of all as he waved his bloody trophy high above his 
head. A grand war dance, protracted far into the night, celebrated the day's events 
to the complete satisfaction of the allies. 

Colonel Wright, in his official report, "took great pleasure in commending to the 
department the coolness and gallantry displayed by every officer and soldier en- 
gaged in the battle." 

To recruit the weary animals after the battle of the Four Lakes, the command 
rested there for three days. No hostile Indians appeared to disturb the well-earned 
rest, and the Nez Perce scouts, after reconnoitering the surrounding comitry, re- 
ported that none were in sight. 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 243 

At 6 o'clock on the morning of September 5 the column broke camp and started 
tbroogh the broken country for the Spokane river. After a march of ^yt miles, the 
enemy was seen collecting in large numbers on the right. For some time they rode 
parallel to the troops, all the while increasing in numbers and insolence. The lesson 
of the 1st was incomplete, and the hostiles had seemingly renewed their courage, 
their confidence and insolence indicating some newly conceived plan of battle in 
vhich they were placing high confidence. This they quickly put into execution. A 
high wind was blowing from the south, and the Indians firing the dry grass of the 
prairies, a roaring sea of flame was soon rolling upon the command, enveloping it in 
dense clouds of smoke. Under cover of this bank of smoke, the redmen partly 
encircled the troops and poured in a rifle fire upon them. The pack train promptly 
closed up and was guarded by Captain Dent's company of rifles, a company of the 
Third artillery and a company of dragoons, while the remainder of the command 
made ready to repulse the foe. 

A curious and exciting scene attended these preparations. While the Mexican 
muleteers were driving the 400 heavily loaded pack animals to a center, many of 
the hostiles, wild with rage and excitement, were indulging in the most daring feats 
of horsemanship, dashing down steep hills with all the reckless abandon at their 
command, the while shouting in defiance and taunting the soldiers to meet them in 
action. Their courage was of short duration, for when the soldiers, flushed with 
recent victory, charged through the smoke and flames, they quickly broke and fled 
to the cover of woods and canyons. But they had short respite in the woods, for 
the howitzers soon shelled them out of that cover. It was then that the great war 
chief Kamiaken of the Yakimas had a narrow escape from death, a shell bursting in 
a tree-top above him and sending down a branch that inflicted a severe wound. 

Then the infantry renewed the charge and rapidly drove the skulkers on towards 
the river, until the country for a distance of four miles, which had recently been 
swarming with them, was cleared of their presence. Among those who fell in this 
stage of the fighting was a chief upon whose saddle was found the pistol used by 
Lieutenant Gaston in the Steptoe campaign. 

Fighting of this nature, alternate charges by dragoons and infantry, continued 
all the way to the Spokane river, over the present military reservation of Fort 
Wright 

In his official report Colonel Wright states that he had continuous fighting for 
seven hours, over a distance of fourteen miles, and finally camped on the banks of 
the river, the troops exhausted by a long and fatiguing march, without water and 
for two-thirds of the distance between the four lakes and the stream having been 
constantly under fire. "The battle was .won," Wright adds, "two chiefs and two 
brothers of Chief Garry killed, besides many of lesser note, killed or wounded. A 
kind Providence protected us, although at many times the balls flew thick and fast 
throogh our ranks ; yet, strange to say, we had but one man slightly wounded." 

Wri^t officially designated this engagement the "battle of the Spokane plains," 
M the eastern portion of what is now termed the Big Bend country was then known. 
His official reports and others speak of the Spokane valley as "Coeur d'Alene prai- 
rie." This seeming error in terms will be better understood when the fact is recalled 
that the fur traders who began operating in this region in 1811 called the stream 
from the lake to the present Little Spokane the Coeur d'Alene river, and considered 



244 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

the Little Spokane and the stream below its mouth the Spokane. Old maps, reports 
and narratives frequently refer to the Spokane house at the confluence of the Cocur 
d'Alene and Spokane, or the "Pointed Heart" and the Spokane, Coeur d'Alene being 
a French phrase translatable as "arrow-hearted," or more literally, "awl-hearted." 
Lieutenant John Mullan leaves us the following interesting information bearing on 
this point : 

The version given me (says Mullan), and which would api>ear to be reliable, is 
as follows: AVhen the English trading corporation known as the Hudson's Bay 
company, monopolized that whole region of Oregon, their successes in establishing 
trading stations among the Indians was of the most marked character. No tribe, 
however hostile or numerous, had been ever known to oppose any obstacle in their 
way, until they made the attempt to establish a station or post among this small 
band of Indians, who, tenacious of their rights, and loving their mountain wilder- 
ness, said to this company: "We are willing to barter our furs and peltries for 
your ]>owder and ball and such things as you bring for traffic, but we can only make 
the exchange at certain points," named by themselves ; "within the limits of our land 
you can not enter, but on the banks of yonder river, which marks our border, we 
will meet you at stated times, and there, and there only, we can trade and traffic" 
Their determination, which even up to this day (1858) they have most steadfastly 
clung, became the law of the company, and they so persistently maintained it that 
the Canadian voyageurs, employes of the company, immediately called these sav- 
ages "Coeur d'Alenes," Indians having "hearts of arrows," and hence often called 
"Pointed Hearted" Indians, and the mission "Pointed Heart" mission. 

When the disciples of Loyola entered this region (Mullan continues), with the 
praiseworthy object of establishing their missions at different points in the moun- 
tains, the Coeur d'Alene country, among other sections, was selected. "But," said 
the members of this same company to the fathers, "you are certainly not going to 
establish a mission among the Pointed Hearts?" "Why not?" said they. "Be- 
cause," was the reply, "we have tried for years past to surmount, and as yet with- 
out success, the difficulties that array themselves against us and forbid the attempt" 
But the more anxious now, because difficulties did environ their pathway, the noble 
DeSmet, Joset and Point, in 1842, went forth and successfully established the cross 
in the Rocky mountains, and, too, in the very heart of the country of these semi- 
savages; and the evidences that we now saw around us all bore witness how untir- 
ing and successful their efforts had been." 



CHAPTER XXVII 

WRIGHT DICTATES STERN TERMS TO THE VANQUISHED 

COMMAND BREAKS CAMP AND MOVES UP THE SPOKANE OARRY SUES FOR PEACE WRIGHT 

HAKOS FIRST VICTIM CAPTURES AND KILLS VAST HERD OF INDIAN HORSES RUNNER 

BRIKG8 LETTER FROM FATHER JOSET INDIAN BARNS AND GRANARIES BURNED 

CHIEF VINCENT OF THE COEUR d'aLENES BEOS FOR PEACE COMMAND MARCHES TO 

COEUR d'aLENE mission PEACE COUNCIL A SCENE OF BARBARIC COLOR ^INDIANS 

TERRIFIED BY APPEARANCE OF DONATl's COMET. 

WE PAUSE in the narrative to take a prospect of this region as it unrolled 
before the eye of Wright's command. Walla Walla's fair valley was as 
unsettled as in the days when the fur trader entered the country a cen- 
tury ago^ for little effort had been made by home-builders to invade it since the 
atrocities of the Whitman massacre of 1847. Its great beauty and potential fertil- 
ity, however, were then apparent, and an officer under Wright predicted that it 
could be brought to the support of a population of 15,000, an estimate that seemed 
then a rather vald flight into the fanciful. Walla Walla city alone has now a i>opu- 
lation in excess of 20,000. 

After the command crossed Snake river, its way lay across what is now the 
heart of the rich Palouse country, then a vast, open bunch-grass region, dotted by 
bands of Indian horses, and with an occasional village of tepees in the sheltered 
groves along the streams. The reader will have noted that the author, when quoting 
from official reports, has regarded the original and correct spelling of the name 
Pelouse — a French noun translatable into English as a grassy sward, an appellation 
bestowed by French trappers and voyageurs in the early part of the nineteenth 
century. This beautiful, rolling region, now so rich in material wealth, and all the 
attendants of refinement and civilization — with its amplitude of schools, colleger 
and churches, of homes, towns and cities, served as a great pasturage domain for 
Indian herds. Its rich volccmic soil had nowhere been broken by the ploughshare's 
steel. 

At the falls of the Spokane the river ran as wild and free as it had thundered 
through the distant ages, and save the nomadic shelters of the red men, no habita- 
tion marked its shores. Up the valley, as the command neared lake Coeur d'Alene, 
evidences of semi-civilized cultivation met the eye. Wheat-growing had been at- 
tempted with considerable success by the Spokanes and Coeur d'Alenes, and in their 
gardens potatoes and other vegetables gave promise of the more bountiful yielda 
that the soil would bear under the white settler's care. 

245 



246 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Excepting an occasional small enclosure for these agricultural beginnings, the 
Spokane valley was also a spreading bunch-grass domain, over which roamed large 
bands of eajuse ponies and some small herds of cattle. 

The fighting over, the officers and their brave men had better opportunity to 
enjoy the wildly beautiful panorama which nature had spread around their camps. 
Lieutenant Kip wrote enthusiastically of the entrancing scenes, blending a pros[>ect 
of rushing waters, of limpid lakes and distant wooded mountains. We quote from his 
description : 

"We broke up our camp this morning at seven, and moved up the river about 
seven miles, when we again encamped. Most of our way lay through the wood 
skirting the river (the command is now marching over ground that afterward became 
the business and residence sections of Spokane), the scenery around being very 
beautiful. Just before reaching our camping ground, we passed the great Spokan 
falls (note his omission of the final 'e'). It is a high, narrow, basaltic canyon, 
where the whole river passes over an inclined ledge of rocks, with a fall of between 
forty and fifty feet. The view from every point is exceedingly picturesque. As 
high up as the falls, salmon are found in great abundance, while above them trout 
are very plenty." 

A few days later the same writer wrote glowingly of the scenes surrounding 
lake Coeur d'Alene : 

"All day we have toiled along through beautiful scenery, yet a country difficult 
for a force to make its way, as our march has been through the forest in its primeval 
state. For the first few miles along the borders of the lake, the trees were scat- 
tered, but after leaving the shore the timber became so thick that the troops had to 
march in single file. The forest seemed to become more dense as we advanced, 
until we could see nothing about us but high hills and deep caverns, with thick 
woods covering all, through which we wound our way in a twilight gloom. 

"This is a splendid country as a home for the Indians, and we can not wonder 
that they are aroused when they think the white men are intruding on them. The 
Coeur d*Alene lake, one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, with water clear 
as crystal, is about fifteen miles in length (it is nearer thirty in fact), buried, as it 
were, in the Coeur d'Alene mountains, which rise around it on every side. The 
woods are full of berries, while in the Spokan river salmon abound below the falls 
and trout above. In the winter season deer and elk are found in the mountains. 
Many parts of the country are good for grazing, while there are a sufficient number 
of fertile spots where crops can easily be raised. When the Indian thinks of the 
hunting grounds to which he is looking forward in the Spirit land, we doubt whether 
he could imagine anything more in accordance with his taste than this reality." 

We now resume the thread of the narrative at the point where Colonel Wright 
went into camp, with his weary but victory flushed troops, on the Spokane river 
at a point in the immediate vicinity of Greenwood cemetery of the present day. The 
sixth of September was a day of rest. Indians skulked on the opposite side of the 
stream, and that afternoon a few plucked up courage and came into the camp, pro- 
fessing friendship and giving information about the fords. 

The next morning the command marched up the river, passing over the present 
site of Spokane. Again Indians were sighted on the opposite shore, and communica- 
tion was opened with them through the Nez Perce guides. They reported that Chief 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 247 

Gany was near by and wanted a conference, and Wright directed them to meet 
him at the ford about two miles above the falls. The command halted at the desig- 
nated point, and Garry crossed over and came into camp. He said that he had been 
opposed to the fighting, but that the young men were against him and he could not 
control his people. Credence was given to his professions, for Dr. Perkins, who 
bad attended the Spokane council at Fort Colville, had made the following mention 
of Carry: "He says his heart is undecided; he does not know which way to go; his 
friends are fighting the whites, and he does not like to join them; but if he does 
not, they will kill him. During the whole time that we were in the council, Garry* 
ne?er said a word, but merely looked on." 

Wright told Garry to go to his people and all the other Indians and say for him : 
"I have met you in two bloody battles ; you have been badly whipped ; you have lost 
several chiefs and many warriors, killed or wounded. I have not lost a man or 
animal ; I have a large force, and you Spokanes, Coeur d'Alenes, Pelouses and Pend 
d'Oreilles may unite, and I can beat you as badly as before. I did not come into 
this country to ask you to make peace ; I came here to fight. Now when you are 
tired of the war and ask for peace, I will tell you what you must do: You must 
come to me with your arms, with your women and children, and everything you have, 
and lay them at my feet ; you must put your faith in me and trust to my mercy. If 
yon do this, I shall then dictate the terms upon which I will grant you peace. If 
yon do not do this, war will be made on you this year and next, and until your 
nation shall be exterminated." Garry promised to join Wright the following morn- 
ing on the march. 

After the interview with Garry, Polotkin, another Spokane chief, came forward 
with nine warriors and sought an interview. Wright was suspicious of this Indian, 
having learned that he had been conspicuous in the attad^ on Steptoe, and was a 
leader in the battles of the Four lakes and the Spokane plains. As this party had 
left their rifles on the opposite bank, Wright directed the chief to sit still while two 
of his Indians were sent over to bring them in. He then told Polotkin that he would 
hold him in custody, with one of his men who was strongly suspected of the murder 
of two miners in the preceding April. After encamping the following evening at a 
point sixteen miles up the valley, Wright further investigated the case of this Indian, 
and as his guilt seemed established beyond question, he was hanged for the murder 
of the miners. This was the first execution as a result of the uprising, but before 
Wright left the Spokane country he hanged many others. Particulars of this sum- 
mary justice will be narrated further along in the narrative. 

When the two Indians had crossed the river to bring in the rifles, one of them, 
thinking discretion the better part of valor, made off in a hurry, but the other re- 
turned with the arms, which were found to be of British manufacture, marked 

• In the judgment of H. T. Cowley, * * Garry was of a weak and vacillating character, 
crafty and unreliable. He reported to Colonel Wright after the defeat, that he had advised 
aj^Dst the hostile movement, but I have been told by Thomas Brown, one of the oldest set- 
tlers in the Colville valley, that Garry used his utmost endeavors to draw the Colville and 
Calispel Indians into hostilities, setting forth the allurement of the large amount of plunder 
which would be divided among them in ease of the defeat of the expedition, a result which 
be thought easy of accomplishment. Prominent members of his own tribe here informed me 
of the same circumstances. * ' 



248 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

"London^ 1847," and had evidently been purchased of the Hudson's Bay company 
at Fort Colville. 

The command marched at sunrise on the morning of September 8, and after ad- 
vancing up the valley about ten miles, the Nez Perce scouts reported that they had 
sighted Indians on the right, and at the same time clouds of dust were seen rising 
between the command and the mountains. Tilkohitz, a Palouse chief, was trying to 
run his great band of horses out of the country, and was heading for a pass in the 
hills on the southern side of the valley. The Nez Perce allies and a number of the 
soldiers were sent in pursuit, and after a short skirmish captured the whole band of 
800 or 900 animals. The Indians retreated to the hills, and, as afterwards learned, 
watched the driving off of the horses from an eminence, observing that it did not 
matter a great deal, since Wright would have to turn them loose again, and they could 
be rounded up after he had left the country. The capture was made "near a wide 
lake to the right of the great Coeur d'Alene trail, a place where large numbers of the 
four tribes winter" (probably Saltese lake.) Two days later Colonel Wright, as a 
war measure, to punish the Indians and prevent the possibility of renewed hostilities 
after he should leave the country, ordered the killing of these horses, with the excep- 
tion of about ISO saved for the use of his expedition. This distressing work con- 
sumed the greater part of two days. The method first adopted was to enclose the 
animals in a large corral, and then lasso them one by one, drag them out and kill 
them with a well-placed rifle ball. In this way about 200 were dispatched, but the 
plan proving slow and painful to the feelings of the soldiers, it was abandoned, and 
most of the others were killed by firing volleys into the corral. The colts were dis- 
patched with a blow on the head, and an officer who witnessed the painful duty, 
wrote afterward that it was most distressing, at night after the killing, to hear the 
brood mares that yet remained, neighing mournfully for their young. A number 
of the animals, becoming wild with fright, broke away from their captors 
and escaped to the hills. The site of this tragedy was appropriately called the 
"Horse Slaughter camp," and was marked till a comparatively recent date by piles 
of bones on the open prairie. 

On the morning of September 10 an Indian runner came in from the Coear 
d'Alene mission, bearing from Father Joset a letter stating that the Indians were 
entirely crushed and had requested him to intercede for them. Colonel Wright there- 
upon decided to march his command to the mission. Accordingly an advance was 
ordered, and on the morning of the eleventh the river was crossed at the upper ford, 
and the trail taken for lake Coeur d'Alene. This led over an easy prairie road for 
two and a half miles, where the road forked, one leading across the prairie to Clark's 
fork of the Columbia, and the other through the open timber along the north bank 
of the Spokane. This route carried the command across the site of the present town 
of Post Falls. "About twelve miles below the lake," says Mullan, "the river makes 
another fall, passing through a deep and narrow rocky gorge some thirty yards 
wide, in a beautiful sheet of white foam." 

Lieutenant Mullan, who subsequently laid out and constructed the famous Mul- 
lan road for the war department, kept a keen eye during this campaign for possi- 
bilities of such a road, and in a subsequent report suggested that it might be found 
feasible to blast out the rocky obstructions at Post Falls and thereby lower the lake, 



CHIEF GARRY AS SKETCHED IN IS-lo CHIEF GARRY I.\ OLD AGE 



r 



l?U:iulC LlbKART 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 249 

reclaim overflow lands in the St. Joe valley and prepare a way for easy road-building 
along the banks of that stream. 

At a point four miles from the lake the command came to some Indian fields and 
gardens and destroyed there two or three barns filled with wheat. Some caches hold- 
ing dried cake and berries were also destroyed. "This outbreak," wrote Kip, "will 
bring upon the Indians a winter of great suffering from the destruction of their 
stores." 

Just before reaching a .camping spot on the lake shore, an Indian burial place 
was passed. "Each grave was covered with a low log house, surmounted by a cross, 
the house answering both as a monument and a protection for the remains against 
wild animals." "Though our march was one of devastation through the country, we 
left unharmed and untouched the spot where reposed the lifeless dead," remarks 
MuUan — an example which, had it been more closely followed by settlers through- 
out the northwest, must have softened the antipathy of the natives against the in- 
vaders, prevented a great deal of bitter indignation, and made unnecessary the re- 
cording of many savage acts of revenge. To the ghoulish acts of curio-hunters, who 
have not hesitated at desecration of Indian graves, may be traced the cause of the 
kilhng of many a white man by infuriated Indians. 

As the troops were about to resume their march on the morning of the twelfth, 
Vincent, head chief of the Coeur d'Alenes came in, bearing a pass from Father Joset, 
and announcing that he was rounding up the hostiles to bring them to the mission 
to meet Wright and sue for peace. The route this -day followed an Indian trail 
along the lake for three and a half inj[les,^w)ien It ascended a mountain that com- 
manded a fine view of the lake and surrounding forests. A distance of only ten 
miles was covered, and the army encamped in a beautiful little prairie on Wolf's 
Lodge creek. 1 .... 

Thence on to the mission the way was much obstructed by fallen trees in a dense 
forest. Over the narrow trail the command could only proceed in single file, and 
extended over the trail for six or eight miles. The march was made, though, with- 
out danger, as the fighting spirit had been entirely driven from the Indian breast. 
Wright considered it, however, an act of prudence to maintain a strong front and 
rear guard until he reached the mission, nineteen miles from the camp on Wolf's 
Lodge creek. It was 10 at night when the last of the pack train arrived at the mis- 
sion. The weather had been sultry, and the soldiers suffered considerably on the 
inarch. The officers were provided with mounts, but shared them through the day 
with exhausted privates who had fallen by the wayside, and many of whom required 
medical attenion. 

"We first came in sight of the mission when about £ve miles off," writes Lieuten- 
ant Kip. "It is situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by the Coeur d'Alene 
mountains. A pretty stream, a branch of the Coeur d'Alene river, with clear, cold 
water, runs alongside of it, furnishing means of irrigation. In the center of the 
mission stands the church, and round it cluster the other buildings — ^a mill, a couple 
of houses for the priests, the dwellings of the Indiati converts, and some bams to 
store their produce. The priests, in the evening, sent a wagon full of vegetables to 
the officers." 

While awaiting the coming of Vincent and other Coeur d'Alenes for the ap- 
proaching council, the officers paid frequent visits to the priests. Fathers Joset and 



250 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Minitrey, and three lay brothers^ by whom they were received with great kindness 
and politeness. This mission was not established till 1846^ when experience had 
shown that the one on the St. Joseph river was not admirably located, being subject 
to flood in time of high wat^r. The priests informed Colonel Wright that the Coeur 
d'Alenes could not muster more than 100 warriors, and the whole tribe did not ex- 
ceed 400 souls. Most of them, though, participated in the recent fights. The Spo- 
kanes numbered about four times as many warriors and people. 

On the morning of the seventeenth, practically all the Coeur d'Alenes being as- 
sembled, was held the memorable peace council. The scene was one of marked bar- 
baric color. Before Colonel Wright's tent an arbor of trees and boughs had been 
provided, and in this sylvan chamber the chiefs met the officers who were to deter- 
mine their fate and future. 

"I have committed a great crime," confessed Chief Vincent, in opening the coun- 
cil. "I am fully conscious of it, and am deeply sorry for it. I and all my people are 
deeply rejoiced that you are willing to forgive us. I have done." 

Colonel Wright (to the Indians) : "As your chief has said, you have committed 
a great crime. It has angered your Great Father, and I have been sent to punish 
you. You attacked Colonel Steptoe when he was passing peaceably through your 
country, and you have killed some of his men. But you ask for peace, and you shall 
have it on certain conditions. 

"You see that you fight against us hopelessly. I have a great many soldiers. I 
have a great many men at Walla Walla, and have a large body coming from Salt 
Lake City. What can you do against us f 1 can place my soldiers on your plains, by 
your fishing grounds and in the mountains where you catch game, and your helpless 
families can not run away. 

"You shall have peace on the following conditions: You must deliver to me, to 
take to the general, the men who struck the first blow in the affair with Colonel 
Steptoe. You must deliver to me, to take to Walla Walla, one chief and four war- 
riors with their families. You must deliver up to me all property taken in the affair 
with Colonel Steptoe. You must allow all tiroops and other white men to pass 
through your country unmolested. You must not allow any hostile Indians to come 
into your country, and not engage in any hostilities with any white man. I promise 
you that if you will comply with all my requirements none of your people shall be 
harmed, but I will withdraw from your country and you shall have peace forever. 

"I also require that the hatchet shall be buried between you and our friends, the 
Nez Perces." 

The part of the speech referring to the Nez Perces was repeated to the Coeur 
d'Alenes in their presence. 

Vincent: "I desire to hear what the Nez Perces' heart is." 

Haitzmaliken, chief of the Nez Perces, replied : "You behold me before you, and 
I will lay my heart open to you. I desire there shall be peace between us. It shall 
be as the colonel says. I will never wage war against any of the friends of the 
white man." 

Vincent: "It does my heart good and makes also my people glad, to hear 700 
speak so. I have desired peace between us. There shall never be war between our 
people, nor between us and the white men. The past is forgotten." 

The conditions proposed by Colonel Wright were then formally signed, first by 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 251 

himself and his officers^ and then by Vincent and the other chiefs and head men. 
The pipe of peace was smoked all round and the council was ended. 

The aged Spokane chief Polotkin^ who had formerly been held as a prisoner^ 
also Doade a short speech^ saying that he was satisfied and would try to bring in 
his people. He left the camp immediately on the conclusion of the council. 

Pacific relations were now completely established^ and the soldiers and Indians 
engaged in brisk tradings shirts and blankets being exchanged for robes and mocca- 
sins. But the scene had yet its side of sadness, for a number of the women were 
weeping bitterly, some for those who had fallen in battle, others for the hostages who 
were to be taken away to Walla Walla. The Indians found it difficult to understand 
why the soldiers could be so friendly with them, and Father Joset explained it by 
saying the soldiers "were like lions in war and lambs in peace." 

Some of the Coeur d*Alenes frankly disclosed the tactics by which they had 
hoped to defeat the command. They had expected to be attacked first by the dra- 
goons or mounted men, and had planned to concentrate their rifle fire and ammuni- 
tion on that arm of the service. The dragoons disposed of, they had expected to 
surround the infantry and to keep riding round them, shooting in arrows. As they 
greatly outnumbered the foot troops, they counted on thus cutting them off from re- 
treat and gradually wiping them out. The long range rifles demolished this well 
planned scheme. 

"In the beginning of September,'* we are informed by an officer under Colonel 
Wright, "Donati's comet app»eared^ and night after night it has been streaming above 
OS in all its glory. Strange as it may seem, it has exerted a powerful influence over 
the Indians in our behalf. Appearing just as we entered the country, it seemed to 
them like some huge besom to sweep them from the earth. The effect was probably 
much increased by the fact that it disappeared about the time our campaign ended 
and the treaties were formed. They must have imagined that it had been sent home 
to their Great Father in Washington, to be put away until required the next time." 

"I have never," says Wright in an official report, "witnessed such manifestations 
of joy as were expressed by the whole Coeur d'Alene nation — ^men, women and chil- 
dren — at the conclusion of the treaty. They know us, they have felt our power, and 
I have full faith that henceforth the Coeur d'Alenes will be our stanch friends." 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

HOW HANGMAN CREEK DERIVED ITS NAME 

WRIGHT HOLDS A COUNCIL WITH THE 8POKANE8 CANNY OLD COLYILLE CHIEF SPO- 
KANE CHIEFS HUMBLED KAMIAKEN ELUDES ARREST QUALCHIEN COMES IN AND 

IS PROMPTLY HANGED DIES LIKE A COWARD OWHI SHOT IN A DASH FOR LIBERTY 

SIX MORE INDIANS HANGED ON HANGMAN CREEK — SIXTEEN IN ALL ARE VICTIMS 

OF THS NOOSE ^REMAINS RECOVERED OF SOLDIERS WHO FELL IN STEPTOE^S FIGHT. 

WRIGHT'S next move was a great council with the Spokanes, and the 
place chosen for the rendezvous was on the banks of Hangman creek^ 
near the present town of Spangle, in the southern part of Spokane 
county. The command, leaving the Mission on the morning of the 18th, and moving 
by way of the St. Joseph river, arrived at the council grounds on the evening of the 
S2d, where the Spokane nation awaited him. Kamiaken, the great war 
chief of the Yakimas had been in camp the evening before, but his courage seems 
to have failed him for he and another chief cleared out before the troops arrived. 
Wright sent Chiefs Garry and Big Star out after him, with a message that he 
should not be harmed if he came in, "but if he failed to surrender he would be hunted 
down and put to death. Kamiaken was regarded as the most powerful chief in the 
Inland Empire, and the most relentless foe of the white men. His mother was a 
Yakima and his father a Pelouse, this giving him a great influence over the two 
tribes, and his talents as an organizer won him considerable authority over most of 
the tribes of the interior. 

*'My first acquaintance with Kamiaken," says Kip, "was at the Walla Walla 
council, three years before. There it was evident that he was the great impediment 
in the way of any cession of the Indian lands. While the other chiefs, one by one, 
came into the measure, and even Looking Glass, the war chief of the Nez Perces, 
at first entirely hostile, at last yielded to the force of some peculiar arguments 
which are equally potent with savages and white men, nothing could move Kamia- 
ken. With more far-reaching wisdom than the rest, he probably saw that this sur- 
render of their lands and intrusion of the white men would be the . final step in 
destroying the nation. Governor Stevens was unable to induce him to express any 
opinion, but he sat in gloomy silence. Several times when the governor appealed to 
him with the inquiry, 'we would like to know what is the heart of Kamiaken,' his 
only answer was, 'What have I to say?' He was the leader in the outbreak which 
took place shortly after, when Major Haller's force was defeated, and he has been, 
we have no doubt, the moving spirit in arraying all these tribes against us this 

253 



254 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

season^ and bringing on this open warfare. It is not to be wondered at, therefore^ 
that he is afraid to put himself in the power of the whites." 

Hangman creek took its name from the hanging of a number of outlaw Indians 
by order of Colonel Wright at this encampment. It has been a stream of ext^isiTC 
nomenclature. Wright dated his dispatches from this pointy "Camp on the Ned- 
whauld River, W. T., Lat. 47 degrees, 24 minutes north." Others in his party 
spelled it "Neduald," and yet others termed it the Ned-whuald or Lahtoo creek. 
In one report it appears as Camas Prairie creek, and a few years before his death 
the venerable and beloved Protestant missionary Father £ ells 'informed the writer 
of this volume that the Indians called it "Sin-too-too-ooley" creek, or the place 
where little fish were caught. Objecting to the grewsome name of Hangman, the 
Washington legislature attempted a few years ago to fix the name by statute as Latah 
creek, a clumsy corruption of the more euphonious Indian word ''Lahtoo." 

The Spokane council was held on the morning of September 28, in front of 
Colonel Wright's tent. It was a delegate gathering, attended by 107 representatives 
and chiefs, who came empowered to speak for the Spokanes, the Colvilles, the Pend 
d'Oreilles and several smaller bands. The Colville chief was a canny old redskin. 
Prior to the war he told his people that he had heard a good deal about the soldiers, 
but never having seen them, he would go down and be a witness of the fighting. He 
was at the battle of the Four Lakes, and when the engagement was over he hastily 
mounted his horse and hurried back to his own illihee, the Indian word for home 
or country. Having called his tribe together, he reported that he had seen the 
soldiers, but never wanted to see them again. They stood as firm as the pines, he 
said, when the Indians fired at them; they could march faster and further in a 
day than horses and their guns carried a mile, more than half way as far again 
as the Indians' arms; and his concluding words were that they should always re- 
main friends with the whites. 

Addressing the council Colonel Wright promised them peace on the same terms 
he had imposed on the Coeur d'Alenes. He expected them, he said, to come for- 
ward like men, as the Coeur d'Alenes had done and were now friends of the gov- 
ernment. This was the last treaty that he should make, and he desired that the 
friendly Nez Perces be included in it, but the hostile Nez Perces who had taken 
part in the fighting must be driven out of the country. In conclusion he declared 
that the government intended to make roads through their country, where and 
whenever it pleased, and the men employed in that work must not be molested. 

The Spokane chief replied: "I am sorry for what has been done, and glad of 
the opportunity now offered to make peace with the Great Father. We promise 
to obey and fulfill these terms in every point." 

Another old Spokane chief said "My heart is the same. I trust everybody is 
included in the Colonel's mercy." 

Colonel Wright: "It embraces everybody, and those who go with me to Walla 
Walla as hostages for the good behavior of the nation shall not be hurt the least, 
but well taken care of until their safe return at the expiration of one year." 

The treaty was signed by all the chiefs present for the Si>okanes. While the 
council was in session, Garry and Big Star returned and reported that they had 
hunted all night for Kamiaken without success, but had found him and his brother 
Schroom at daybreak on the other side of the Spokane river. They could not in- 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 255 

duce him, however, to come in, as he said he was afraid of being taken to Walla 
Walla, 

After the conditions of peace had been interpreted to Garry and Big Star they 
also signed the treaty. 

Milcapzy, a Coeur d'Alene chief who had not attended the council of his tribe 
at the mission, was present at the Spokane council, and Colonel Wright singled him 
out and said: 

"Milcapzy, I saw your letter to General Clarke. You said to the General: 
'Perhaps you think that we are poor and want peace. We are neither poor nor do 
we want peace. If you want peace you must come and ask for it, and take care 
that you do not come beyond the battle ground.' 

'"Who now asks for peace? I do not. And where stands the battleground.'* 
Milcapzy thinks he is rich. He has bands of horses, and houses and farms and 
lodges full of grain. Let him remember that riches sometimes take wings and fly 
away. Tilkohitz was rich once, but is poor now. Milcapzy, look upon the banks of 
the Spokane (a reference to the killing of Tilkohitz's great band of horses). I 
should like to hear Milcapzy speak." 

Milcapzy reflected a moment, conferred with a warrior at his side, and after 
adjusting his head-dress, replied: ''I am aware that I have committed a great 
crime. I am very sorry for it. My heart is cast down. But I have heard your talk 
jast made in this council. I have confidence in what you say, and I thank you for 
it. I am ready to abide by the terms you propose." 

After Father Joset had explained to him the terms of the treaty under which 
peace had been granted to the Coeur d'Alenes he signed it and the council was 
ended. 

"Among the chiefs at this council," according to Kip, "were Polotkin, the head 
chief of the Spokanes, whom we formerly held as a prisoner and released — and one 
of bis sons, the one who visited our camp on the Spokane the day his father was 
detained. His brother and himself were the Indians who were fired at by the 
goard across the river when demanding the release of the old chief. He is one of 
the most splendid looking men I have ever seen. He was shot in the arm below 
the elbow, and his brother was shot through the body. From what we could learn 
of him, he will probably not recover." 

One of the hostages taken to Walla Walla was Anthony, a Coeur d'Alene chief 
who was in the fight with Steptoe. When Lieutenant Gaston fell, he covered his 
body with leaves, intending to go back afterward and bury it, but when he returned 
the bod V had been removed. 

« 

"I can not close this communication," says Wright in his report of the council, 
"without expressing my thanks to Father Joset, the superior of the Coeur d'Alene 
mission, for his zealous and unwearied exertions in bringing all these Indians to a 
true understanding of their position. For ten days and nights the father has toiled 
incessantly, and only left us this morning after witnessing the fruition of all his 
labors." 

Conspicuous as ringleaders in the work of inciting the uprising were Owhi and 
Qoalchien, father and son. They were Yakimas, Owhi a brother-in-law of Chief 
Kamiaken, and were regarded as two of the worst Indians west of the Rocky moun- 
tains. The son was even more notorious than the father, and Colonel Wright was 



256 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

particularly anxious to secure him. That desire was now to be gratified, and a 
tragedy was to be enacted on the meadow banks of the Ned-whuald that would 
change its name and associate it forever with as startling an act of military jus- 
tice as the annals of Indian warfare can anywhere present. 

Owhi was a conspicuous figure at the great council at Walla Walla in 1855, 
where he opposed all cessions of land to the whites, protesting against the treaties 
with great zeal and ability. Thanks to Lieutenant Kip, who was at the Walla 
Walla council and took notes of Owhi's speech, his sentiments have been preserved 
in history: 

''We are talking together," said Owhi on that occasion, "and the Great Spirit 
hears all that we say today. The Great Spirit gave us the land and measured the 
land to us. This is the reason that I am afraid to say anything about this land. 
I am afraid of the laws of the Great Spirit. This is the reason of my heart 
being sad. This is the reason I cannot give you an answer. I am afraid of 
the Great Spirit. Shall I steal this land and sell it.^ or what shall I do? This 
is the reason why my heart is sad. The Great Spirit made our friends, but the 
Great Spirit made our bodies from the earth, as if they were different from the 
whites. What shall I do.'* Shall I give the land, which is a part of my body, and 
leave myself poor and destitute.^ Shall I say I will give you my land? I cannot 
say so. I am afraid of the Great Spirit. I love my life. The reason I do not 
give my land away is I am afraid of being sent to hell. I love my friends, I love my 
life. This is the reason why I do not give my land away. I have one word more 
to say. My people are far away. They do not know your words. This is the reason 
I can not give you an answer. I show you my heart. This is all I have to say." 

After their defeat at the Walla Walla council, Owhi and his son Qualchien 
cooperated with Kamiaken to organize the uprising and outbreak of the follow- 
.ing winter when the Indian agent and several other white men were murdered. 

On the evening of the Spokane council, Owhi came in and surrendered to 
Colonel Wright, who received him in sternness and sent for a priest to act as 
interpreter. The colonel had a peculiarly nervous way of putting questions. 

Wright: "Where did he see me last?" 

Priest: "He saw you in his country." 

Wright: "Whereabout in his country?" 

Priest: "On the Natchess river." 

Wright: "What did he promise me at that time?" 

Priest: "That he would come in with his people in some days." 

Owhi became pale and confused. 

Wright: "Why did he not do so?" (Aside: "Tell the officer of the guard to 
bring a file of his men; and Captain Kirkham, you will have some iron shackles 
made ready.") 

Owhi hung his head and looked still more confused. 

Priest: "He says he did do so." 

Wright: "Where is he from now?" 

Priest: "From the mouth of the Spokane." 

Wright: "How long has he been away from there?" 

Priest: "Two days." 

Wright: "Where is Qualchien?" 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 257 

Priest: "At the mouth of the Spokane." 

Wright: "Tell Owhi that I will send a message to Qualchien. Tell him he, too, 
shall send a message^ and if Qualchien does not join me before I cross the Snake 
river, in four days I will hang Owhi." 

When this communication was made to Owhi, we are informed by Kip, he ap- 
peared to lose all power over himself. He sank on the ground and perspiration 
came out on him in large drops. He took out a book of prayers, and in much 
confusion turned over the leaves for a moment, looking at the pictures apparently 
without knowing what he was doing, and handed it to the priest who was standing 
by him. He was then taken off by the guard and put in irons. When the mes- 
senger went off Owhi said he did not think Qualchien would come in. 

Captain Keyes has left a graphic description of the surrender of Qualchien 
and the quick resulting tragedy. About 12 o'clock on the day following the plac- 
ing of Owhi in irons, two Indians and a .fine-looking squaw emerged from a canyon 
near the camp. The three rode abreast, and a little distance behind them rode 
an Indian hunchback. The three chief personages were gaily dressed and ap- 
proached with a dashing air. They wore a great deal of scarlet, and the squaw 
displayed two ornamental scarfs, passing over the right shoulder and under the 
left arm. Across the front of her saddle she carried a long lance, the handle com- 
pletely wound with bright beads, and from the ends of which hung two long 
tippets of beaver skins. The two braves bore rifles, and one, evidently the leader, 
carried an ornamented tomahawk. With exceeding boldness they directed their 
horses to Colonel Wright's tent. » 

Captain Keyes pulled aside the tent flap and said: "Colonel, we have distin- 
guished visitors here." When the colonel came out he instantly recognized Qual- 
chien, who daringly entered into conversation with him, retaining his rifle by his 
side. Qualchien's bearing was so defiant that Captain Keyes, fearing that the out- 
law meditated violence, placed himself on guard and stood alert to spring on the 
Indian at the slightest demonstration. 

Presently Colonel Wright mentioned Owhi's name and Qualchien started and 
exclaimed, "Car.^" (where). "Owhi mittite yawa*' (Owhi is over there), re- 
plied the colonel. 

At these words Qualchien seemed to be half paralyzed. He acted in the dazed 
way of a man who had been stunned by a physical blow. He kept repeating, 
mechanically, "Owhi mittite yawa!" "Owhi mittite yawa!" Then he made a 
motion as if he would use his rifle, and made towards his horse, but was seized 
by the guard and disarmed. He carried a fine pistol capped and loaded, and 
plenty of ammunition. 

Colonel Wright commanded him to go with the guard, and he at first assented, 
but then held back and was pulled along. He was a fine specimen of physical 
manhood, with a broad chest, muscular limbs and small hands and feet. By the 
time he had reached the guard tent he was recovered from his semi-stupor and 
fought desperately for his freedom. It required six men to tie his hands and 
feet, although he suffered at the time from an unhealed wound in the lower part 
of his body. The subsequent proceedings were startlingly summary. Wright 
recorded them in his official report in a single sentence: "Qualchien came to me 
at 9 this morning, and at 9:15 a. m. he was hung." 

▼ol. 1— IT 



258 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

But letters and reports by others of his command have preserved for us a more 
dramatic setting. When Qualchien's fate was made known to him^ he fell to curs- 
ing Kamiaken. He was dragged to a neighboring tree^ but when they attempted 
to place the rope around his neck^ the struggle was renewed, and bound as he 
was, it became necessary to throw him on his back before the noose could be put 
over his head, he shrieking all the while: "Copet six! (stop my friends). Wake 
memaloose nika! (do not kill me); nika potlatch hiyu chickamin, hiyu knitan (I 
will give much money, a great many horses) ; spore nika memaloose, nika hiyu 
siwash silex (if you kill me a great many Indians will be angry) ; copet six!'' In 
spite of his protests the rope was run over the limb of a tree and he was strung 
up, shouting curses on Kamiaken with his last breath. Among those who pulled 
with eagerness on the rope were two miners who had been with the party attacked 
by Qualchicn and his band in the Colville country a few months before. 

It developed a little later that Qualchien had been the victim of some act of 
treachery, for he had not met the messenger sent out in search of him, but bad 
either come of his own accord or been lured in by the Indian hunchback, whose 
expression when Qualchien was hauled up indicated a devilish satisfaction. And 
as soon as the deed was over the hunchback galloped to the upper end of the en- 
campment where he related with savage joy to his people the part he had played 
in guiding the victim into the hands of Wright. The squaw who, a few minutes 
before, had ridden in so airily, proved to be Qualchien's wife, a daughter of Polot- 
kin. She was suffered to depart, and rode off with Qualchien's companion. It was 
supposed that Qualchien had been sent in by Kamiaken, as a spy, to learu what 
Colonel Wright would do with the ringleaders of the outbreak, and the victim 
looked upon the great war chief of the Yakimas as the author of his death. 

"He died like a coward," wrote an officer who had witnessed the tragedy, "and 
very differently from the manner in which the Indians generally met their fate. 
So loud indeed were his cries that they were heard by Owhi, who was confined 
near by." In disgust the old chief disowned him, saying, "He is not my son, but 
the son of Kamiaken," meaning that he had followed the counsel of the Yakima 
leader. 

It became bruited around the next day that Qualchien had a large sum of money 
on his person, and his body was exhumed to prevent the treasure falling into the 
hands of the Indians, but little of value was discovered. 

"In all the battles, forays and disturbances in Washington territory," said 
Kip, "Qualchien has been one of the leading spirits. The influence for evil which 
he exerted was probably greater even than that of either Owhi or Kamiaken. Of 
the three, he was the most addicted to fighting and bloodshed. He has been di- 
rectly charged with the murder of nine white men at different times. In the action 
of March 1, 1856, on White river, Puget Sound district, Qualchien was present 
with fifty Yakima warriors, and of these seven were killed." 

Three days after the hanging of Qualchien, Owhi, his father, made a dash for 
freedom. Lieutenant Morgan, riding by his side, fired three shots from his re- 
volver, all taking effect, and a dragoon hastened to the wounded chief and pnt a 
bullet through his head. 

"Nothing has been done in this campaign," said Lieutenant Kip, "so effectually 
to secure the peace of the country as the death of these two chiefs." 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 259 

Jn explanation of the hanging of Qualchien^ Colonel Wright said in his report 
to his superior at Fort Vancouver : "He has been actively engaged in all the mur- 
ders^ robberies and attacks upon the white people since 1S55, both east and west 
of the Cascade mountains. He was with the party who attacked the miners on 
the We-nat-che river in June last, and was severely wounded; but recovering 
rapidly, he has since been committing assaults on our people whenever an oppor- 
tunity offered." 

I have been unable to find in Colonel Wright's reports any account of the 
hanging of other Indians on Hangman creek. Lieutenant Mullan mentions briefly 
that "a number of Pelouses at this camp expiated their many crimes upon a gal- 
lows erected for the purpose," and Kip is a little more circumstantial. "In the 
middle of the day," says that authority, "two Pelouse Indians came in, bringing 
a letter from the priest. They were followed shortly after by seven or eight 
vooTe. The whole party were at once taken to the guard-house and ironed. At 
evening they were brought up for examination, and being convicted of having 
been engaged in various atrocities, six of them were at once hung. One of them 
was proved to be the Indian who killed Sergeant Williams at Snake river, when, 
after being wounded in Colonel Steptoe's affair, he was trying to make his way 
back to Walla Walla." These, in addition to Qualchien, and the Indian hanged 
in the Spokane valley, made a total of eight who died by the noose in the Spokane 
country. Four more were hanged on the Palouse, and four at Walla Walla. Ac- 
cording to Wright, eleven Indians were hanged in all, but other reports show a 
total of sixteen and that is probably the correct count. 

While the main command rested on Hangman creek. Colonel Wright dispatched 
three companies of dragoons to the Steptoe battlefield, distant about ten miles, to 
recover the remains of the officers and men who had fallen in that engagement and 
the two mountain howitzers which had been buried on the evening of the memor- 
able night retreat to Snake river.. Lieutenant Kip, who participated in this sad 
mission, thus describes the solemn duty: 

"On reaching the battlefield proper, we halted and encamped, and picketing 
cor animals in good grass, began to search for the remains of the men there so 
inhumanly butchered, and the guns lost in that desperate encounter. 

"The guns having been well buried, were found as they had been left, undis- 
turbed. Passing along the slope of the hill, we came upon a small ravine in which 
lay the graves of four men: Captain Taylor, a half-breed, and two dragoons. 
Silently and mournfully, we disinterred their remains, and securely packing them 
bore them from the field to our camp, in order to transport them to Walla Walla, 
there to give them proper burial with military honors. 

"Silently surveying the ground from the top of this hill, a scene of sadness 
and desolation met the eye at every turn. Broken and burnt fragments of all that 
had once constituted the equipage of this command lay scattered to the right and 
left, and everywhere were to be seen the unmistakable signs of a relentless savage 
foe who had determined on the utter annihilation of this small command. 

"But one thing remained not totally destroyed, a pair of shafts of one of the 
buried guns. Why this had escaped the general conflagration of such things as the 
Indians could not usefully appropriate was a wonder to us all. 

"This, with our rude means at hand, we framed and fashioned into a cross, 



260 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

which we erected upon the battlefield as a Christian token to the honored dead, and 
to point the stranger to the spot where brave men bravely met their fate; and as 
each officer and soldier lingered near the spot, and heard rehearsed the sad recital 
of that memorable defeat, the silent tear stole down many a bronzed cheek that had 
confronted death and braved danger upon many a tented field." 

"Poor Gaston/' exclaims Kip. "My parting with him was at West Point, when 
full of life and spirits and bright anticipations of his future career. My last recol- 
lection of him is in his gray cadet uniform. I never saw him after, until I thus 
stood by his remains today. He was every inch a soldier ; and when, during the last 
year, ill health weighed him down, and he feared the approach of that feebleness 
which would withdraw him from his duties, his military spirit seemed to be the 
strongest impulse he felt. He often expressed the hope that he might die in battle, 
and thus it was that his wish was gratified. He had a soldier's death, and will have 
a soldier's burial and grave, — 

" 'The fresh turf, and not the feverish bed.' " 



CHAPTER XXIX 

WRIGHT'S RETURN MARCH TO WALLA WALLA 

TELLS THE PALOUSE8 THEY ARE RASCALS AND DESERVE TO BE HUNG TREATS THEM AS 

OUTLAWS, BUT PUTS THEM ON PROBATION HANGS FOUR AS A WARNING TO THE 

OTHERS "CUTMOUTH JOHN" A CONSPICUOUS FIGURE MILITARY HONORS FOR THE 

GALLANT DEAD LIEUTENANT KIP's PREDICTION ^"tHE WAR IS CLOSED*' COLONEL 

Wright's final report. 

HAVING practically completed his campaign^ Colonel Wright now broke 
camp on Hangman creek and began the retrograde march to Walla Walla 
on the morning of September 26. On the evening of the twenty-ninth the 
command encamped at a point well down on the Palouse river, on what appeared to 
have been an old battleground of the Indians, arrow heads and remains of other 
weapons being scattered about. 

A large number of Palouse Indians came in the next morning, with their families, 
and the Colonel determined to hold a "council," as he termed these somewhat one- 
sided conferences with the broken and humiliated tribes. The Palouses having 
gathered before his tent, and the interpreter being ready, the Colonel delivered this 
gracious and complimentary address: 

"Tell them they are a set of rascals and deserve to be hung; that if I should 
hang them all, I should not do wrong. Tell them I have made a written treaty 
with the Coeur d'Alenes and the Spokanes, but I will not make a written treaty with 
them; and if I catch one of them on the other side of the Snake river, J will hang 
him. Tell them they shall not go into the Coeur d'Alene country, nor the Spokane 
country, nor shall they allow the Walla Walla Indians to come into their country. 
If they behave themselves, and do all that I direct them, I will make a written 
treaty with them next spring. If I do, there will be no more war between us. If 
thej do not submit to these terms, I will make war on them ; and if I come here again 
to war, I will hang them all, men, women and children. 

"Tell them that five moons ago two of their tribe killed some miners. The mur- 
derers must immediately be delivered up." 

After the Palouses had weighed these words, they conferred among themselves, 
and presently one of them came forward. The other had slipped away, apparently 
to the great annoyance of his tribe, who, to save themselves were eager to comply 
with the victor's conditions. 

Colonel Wright: "Tell them they must deliver up the six men who stole our 
beef cattle at Walla Walla." 

261 



262 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

This demand met with quick compliance^ and the offenders were brought forward 
and handed over to the guard. 

Colonel Wright continued: "Tell them they must allow all white men to pass 
unmolested through their country, and must deliver up to me one chief and four 
warriors, with their families, to go with me to Walla Walla as hostages." 

All these terms were accepted by the unhappy and terror-stricken Palouses, and 
then, to make the lesson more impressive, four of them — the murderer and three 
others who had been selected as notorious marauders — ^were marched to a tree sev- 
eral hundred yards distant and hanged. 

The return to Walla Walla was made without notable incident, the command 
arriving there October 5, after an absence of just sixty marching days. As it 
marched into the fort, "Cutmouth John" was by far its most conspicuous figure, 
clad in a red blanket, a large skin cap upon his head, and in his hand a long lance 
from the end of which dangled the scalp he had taken in the battle of the Four Lakes. 

When the troops reached the parade ground the column halted, the ranks opened, 
and Colonel Mansfield, the inspector general of the department, who had arrived a 
few days before, made a thorough inspection. There was nothing about the com- 
mand, says Kip, of the "pomp and circumstance of glorious war." During two 
months no one had slept under roof, and all were begrimed with mud, rain and dost 
The artillery and infantry wore blue flannel shirts, drawn over their uniforms and 
belted at the waist. The dragoons had a similar dress of gray flannel. The officers 
had adopted the same, with slouched hats. The only marks of their rank were the 
shoulder-strap sewed on to the flannel. Yet all this was showing the reality of serv- 
ice. If there was little display of uniforms, the arms were in perfect order, and we 
believe the troops had never been in a higher state of discipline or a more perfect 
condition for action. 

Quoting from the same officer's journal: 

October 7th. — Today we turned to more solemn duties. At ten o'clock took place 
the burial of Captain Taylor, Lieutenant Gaston and the remains of the men which 
had been found on Colonel Steptoe's battleground. It was from this post they had 
marched forth, and here they were to be laid to their rest. They were, of course, 
buried with military honors, the ceremony being invested with all the pageantry 
ivhich was possible, to show respect to the memory of our gallant comrades. All the 
officers, thirty-nine in number, and the troops at the post, amounting to 800 (rein- 
forcements having arrived since our departure), took part in the ceremonies. The 
horses of the dead, draped in black, having on them the officers' swords and boots, 
were led behind the coffins. The remains were taken about half a mile from the post 
and there interred. Three volleys were fired over them, and we left them where 
day after day the notes of the bugle will be borne over their graves, while we cherish 
their memories as those who laid down their young lives in the battlefield for their 
country. 

With prophetic foresight this gifted young officer added: "This immense tract 
of splendid country over which we marched, is now opened to the white man, and the 
time is not far distant when settlers will begin to occupy it, and the farmer will dis- 
cover that he can reap his harvest, and the miner explore its ores without danger 
from the former savage foes." 

But buoyant as were these predictions, the progress of fifty years has brought 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 263 

a realization immeasnrablv beyond their expectations. Opulent cities^ prosperous 
towns, productive fields and pleasant orchards cover the land which then lay wild 
and savage. Railroads have everywhere supplanted the Indian trails, and the red- 
man's campfire has given way to the firesides of more than 100,000 homes. 

I can not close this chapter without a few words of feeble tribute to our gallant 
and ever efficient regular army. We who now possess this pleasant land in peace 
and prosperity owe an unextinguishable debt of gratitude to the courage, devotion 
and self-sacrifice of its officers and men. Their work is ended, and save a mere hand- 
full of survivors still spared to us by the relentless hand of Time, they have passed 
to their long reward. Some fell in later Indian wars of the west ; others were called 
to a greater theater of conflict and served their country with valor in the civil war. 
Yet others passed into peaceful pursuits and contributed notably to the development 
of the country and its resources. Soldiers of Steptoe and Wright, if living still, we 
render our salute. If resting beneath the turf, we bow in homage to your honored 
memorv. 

Under date of September 30, 1858, I find Colonel Wright's last word on the 
campaign. It was written from his camp on the Palouse river, en route to Walla 
Walla, and addressed to the assistant adjutant-general, headquarters of the depart- 
ment of the Pacific, Fort Vancouver, W. T.: 

"Sir: The war is closed. Peace is restored with the Coeur d'Alenes, Spokanes 
and Palouses. After a vigorous campaign the Indians have been entirely subdued, 
and were most happy to accept such terms of peace as I might dictate. 

"Results 

"1. Two battles were fought by the troops under my command, against the 
combined forces of the Spokanes, Coeur d'Alenes and Palouses, in both of which the 
Indians were signally defeated, with a severe loss of chiefs and warriors, either 
killed or wounded. 

"2. The capture of 1,000 horses and a large number of cattle from the hostile 
Indians, all of which were either killed or appropriated to the service of the United 
States. 

**3. Many barns filled with wheat or oats, also several fields of grain, with 
numerous caches of vegetables, dried berries and kamas, all destroyed or used by the 
troops. 

"4. The Yakima chief, Owhi in irons, and the notorious war-chief Qualchien 
hung. The murderers of the miners, the cattle-stealers, etc (in all eleven Indians), 
all hung. 

"The Spokanes, Coeur d'Alenes and Palouses entirely subdued, and sue most 
abjectly for peace on any terms. 

"6. Treaties made with the above-named nations; they have restored all prop- 
erty which was in their possession, belonging either to the United States or indi- 
Tiduals; they have promised that all white people shall travel through their country 
nnraolested, and that no hostile Indians shall be allowed to pass through or remain 
among them. 

"7. The delivery to the officer in command of the United States troops of one 
chief and four men, with their families, from each of the above-named tribes to be 



264 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

taken to Fort Walla Walla^ and held as hostages for the future good conduct of their 
respective nations. 

"9. The recovery of two mountain howitzers abandoned by the troops under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe. 

'Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"G. Wright, 
"Colonel Ninth Infantry, Commanding/* 



€€y 



CHAPTER XXX 

REMARKABLE EARLY HISTORY OF SPOKANE COUNTY 

FIRST CREATED IN 1858 AREA OP 75,000 SQUARE MILES PUBLIC OPFICES GO BEG- 
GING OLD PINKNEY CITY THE COUNTY SEAT FIRST LEGISLATOR MURDERED BY 

INDIANS PIRST POLITICAL CONVENTION UNION SENTIMENT STRONG COURT 

HOUSE OF logs; had been a saloon HIGH PRICES IN THE 60S GOLD DISCOVERED 

OX THE PEND d'oREILLE MILITARY POST ESTABLISHED AT FORT COLVILLE CALI- 
FORNIA VOLUNTEERS A BAD LOT GRAND MILITARY BALL AT THE FORT PIONEER 

DISTILLERY RAIDED EARLY DAY EXECUTIONS^ LEGAL AND OTHERWISE. 

THE early history of Spokane county has connected with it events of an 
extraordinary character. Four times was it created by legislative act. 
Twice it was not organized by the agents appointed for that purpose. 
Once it had^ after organization^ a short and precarious existence^ and was merged 
into Stevens county; and the fourth creation was followed by the political com- 
munity of recent years." — From a manuscript by W. P. Winans, who served two 
terms, beginning in 1862, as auditor of the original county of Spokane, when the 
comity seat was Pinkney City. 

With free-handed disregard of actual needs and conditions, the early legisla- 
tures of Washington territory parceled out the interior into county forms long 
before towns or even crossroads settlements had come into existence. A number 
of these counties never had other than mere legal or fictional being, and in that 
class for several years, belonged the first county of Spokane, attempted to be set 
up at the session of 1857-8, when a bill was enacted January 29, "to create and 
organize Spokane county," as follows: 

"Be it enacted. That all that portion of the county of Walla Walla embraced 
within the following boundaries, to wit: Commencing at the mouth of the Snake 
river, following up said river mid channel to the forty-sixth parallel of north lati- 
tude; thence east along said parallel to the summit of the Rocky mountains; thence 
north along said summit to the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude ; thence west 
along said parallel to the Columbia river; thence down mid channel of said river 
to the place of beginning; the same is hereby constituted and organized into a sepa- 
rate county, to be known and called Spokane county. 

"That the county seat of the said county is hereby temporarily located on the 
land claim of Angus McLeod. 

"That Robert Douglass, John Owen and William McCreary are hereby ap- 
pointed a board of county commissioners; and that Patrick McKenzie is hereby 

265 



266 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

appointed sheriff; and that Lafayette Alexander is hereby appointed connty audi- 
tor." 

Vast^ wild and untenanted by civilization was the region embraced within the 
designated boundaries — a stretch of plain and mountain^ of prairie and forest, of 
placid lakes and foaming torrents^ SOO miles wide and nearly 400 miles lon^^ com- 
prising an area of more than 75^000 square miles, and with scarcely one white 
person to each thousand square miles of territory. Such feeble and scattered set- 
tlements as then had existence were found in the Colville valley. Settlers along 
the Spokane, there were none of the white race. The Indians were warlike, inso- 
lent and aggressive, and the county in fact was conjured into fictional being on 
the eve of the allied outbreak of the Indian tribes north of Snake river. 

Public office went a begging then in eastern Washington, and found no takers 
in the remote, unsettled and moneyless county of Spokane; for the officials named 
in the first legislative act failed to qualify or to organize county government; and 
a year later the legislative assembly, which then met annually, made a second effort 
An act of January 18, 1859, named Robert Douglass, John McDougald and Angus 
McCloud as commissioners of the proposed new county. Thomas Brown was desig- 
nated to serve as sheriff, Patrick McKenzie as auditor, Thomas Stensgar as probate 
judge, and Solomon Pelkie justice of the peace — all to hold office until the next 
regular election, or until their successors should be elected and qualify. No loca- 
tion for a county seat was specified. 

This attempt was as futile as the first, but undaunted, the legislature tried 
again. After the brilliant campaign of 1858, and thorough pacification of the 
country by the troops under Colonel George Wright, it passed another act, in 
January, 1860, to reestablish the county of Spokane. The boundaries were defined 
as before, but this time the county seat was temporarily located "on the land 
claim of Dr. Bates," in the Colville valley. "Few of the vast population of Spo- 
kane county today know that while its official organization dates back to a time 
but little more than thirty years ago, having been carved — a small and then insig- 
nificant portion — out of Stevens county, yet there was a county of Spokane estab- 
lished by an act of the territorial legislature of 1860," says Attorney John B. 
Slater in an article written after a search of the old county records at Colville. "It 
was organized in April of that year, and flourished for four years." In honor 
then of the gallant memory of Isaac I. Stevens, first territorial governor, who 
had fallen in one of the early battles of the civil war, the legislature changed the 
county's name to Stevens. 

The initial entry in the first book of records of this original county of Spokane 
follows : 

"No. 1. Received of William H. Watson, $25, in full for house and lot and 
all things belonging thereto. 

"Pinkney City, W. T., July 11, 1860. 
(Signed) "C. L. Thomas. 
"Recorded July 12, 1860, 6 o'clock p. m. 

"R. H. Rogers, 

"County Auditor." 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 267 

And on page 2 of bo<^ 1, of the records of Spokane county, appear, as follows, 
Vie first minutes of the proceedings of the board of county commissioners: 

"In pursuance of an act of the legislative assembly of the territory of Wash- 
ington, passed January 17, 1860 (a certified copy of which is attached to page 1 
of this record), the county of Spokane was organized, and the following named 
persons were respectively sworn into office and executed bond according to law, 



ni: 



J. W. Seaman, James Hays and Jacques Dumas, as county commissioners; 
John Wynn, as sheriff; R. H. Rogers, as auditor; R. H. Douglas, as treasurer; J. 
R. Bates, as justice of the peace, and F. Wolff, as coroner. 

"In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and private seal (there 
being no official seal provided), this 7th day of May, 1860. 

"R. H. Rogers (L. S.) 
"Auditor in and for Spokane county, W, T." 



"It seems," says Mr. Slater, "that Rogers and Douglas became mixed in the 
process of qualification, and, according to the fact as stated by a witness to the 
ceremony, Douglas, by accident, signed and qualified by oath upon the blank form 
provided for Rogers, the latter, at the same time, making the same mistake with 
reference to the blank form provided for Douglas, as treasurer. The spectators 
laughed heartily over the mistake, and the two gentlemen accepted the change as 
a sort of joke, although afterward, it is said, they became bitter enemies. 

"On the 8th of May, 1860, the board met and designated Pinkney City the 
county seat, which was the town or trading post adjoining the site of Fort Col- 
TiUe, three miles north of the present site of Colville. Two election precincts were 
established and election notices directed to be posted. John L. Houck was ap- 
pointed the first road supervisor, and given charge of all the public highways in 
the county, which then extended from Wenatchee on the west to Helena, Montana, 
on the east, and from Lewiston, Idaho, on the south to the British line on the 
north. 

"At the election held in June, 1860, George Taylor was elected to succeed 
Jacques Dumas as county commissioner, who had drawn a short term and was 
elected chairman of the board. As nearly as can be ascertained from the records, 
the officers elected for the first term were: Treasurer, R. H. Douglas; assessor, 
John Gunn, who failed to qualify, and J. T. Demarce was appointed to succeed 
him; auditor, J. R. Bates; and sheriff, F. Wolff. 

"On April 11, 1861, James Hays resigned the office of county commissioner, 
and Robert Bruce was appointed his successor. 

"The first money received by the county was $200 paid by Chamberlain & 
Walker for a license to vend ardent spirits in Pinkney City. This was immediately 
followed by licenses to five others for the same place, a living evidence that Pink- 
ney City was a lively town. 

"The population of the place is said to have been nearly a thousand people.* 
All the business was along one street, and extended along each side of the thor- 
oughfare for nearly a mile. The commissioners, in order to provide ample fire 

•Ben Burgunder's recollection is that it never exceeded 200 or 300. 



268 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

protection and pure water for domestic purposes for the town, appropriated $100 
to be expended in digging a well in the center of the street, and as nearly the 
center of the town as possible. The well was dug, but it is said the water was never 
used except for slaking the thirst of the cavalry horses from the post nearby. 
Today there is not a sign of the well remaining, and all that would indicate that 
once there might have been human inhabitants upon this historic spot is an occa- 
sional depression in the earth, the remains of old cellars and basements, under 
buildings that handled the trade of the country. 

"The commissioners' journal was kept by hands not trained to clerical work, 
but the good old pioneers did the best they could for Spokane county, as is evi- 
denced by some of the proceedings which commemorate the stirring times. The 
most influential men were elected to oflice, and, whether or not they obeyed the 
laws themselves, they made it appear by the records that they were especially 
solicitous that all others make good under existing statutes. Once they made a 
record applauding the auditor because he had been diligent in enforcing payment 
of license money for the privilege of keeping saloon. 

"The proceedings of the Spokane county commissioners cover only about thirty- 
five pages, the last being the record of the meeting held on November 20, 1865, 
when Thomas Stensgar, John U. Hofstetter and Robert Bruce were commis- 
sioners. At this meeting the following record was made: *The auditor was in- 
structed to write to Dr. Tobey, representative, requesting him to get a bill passed 
immediately to tax Chinamen, the tax to be $1.50 a month, or $4.50 a quarter, to 
be collected by the sheriff, and he be allowed 20 per cent on what he collects, and 
the treasurer and auditor their usual fees, as in other public moneys; also have 
Stevens county attached to this' (Spokane) county, the citizens having failed to 
organize.' " Explanatory of this last instruction to Representative Toby, it may 
be explained that the legislature, at the previous session, had cut off a section of 
Walla Walla county and called it Stevens. 

Mr. Slater found that the first grand jury of Spokane county was convened 
in June, 1860, by Judge William Strong. When it came to paying the jury the 
commissioners objected upon the ground that it was the duty of the general gov- 
ernment to pay its court officials, and the court was obliged to exercise his judicial 
prerogative in a court order to compel payment. The commissioners paid the bill, 
but made a minute of the fact that their act of obedience was exercised under pro- 
test. 

Notwithstanding no provision had been made in the legislative act for repre- 
sentation from the new county in the assembly at Olympia, the voters elected W. 
H. Watson at the first election. He appeared at the capital, ready to take the 
oath and enter upon legislative duties, but the assembly declined to seat him. As 
a sort of consolation salve, however, he was elected doorkeeper of the house. While 
returning on horseback, from the capital to Pinkney City, in the spring of 1861, 
Watson was murdered by a Spokane Indian, Ci-sit-shee, between Walker's prairie 
and Camas prairie. Walker wore a fine gold watch, coveting which the Indian fol- 
lowed him from his night encampment, and found on the Spokane's person after 
the discovery of the crime, led to his arrest on the Spokane. He was taken to 
the county seat by Sheriff Wolff, and bound over for trial by Justice of the Peace 
Cyrus Hall. The crime and the examination aroused intense public feeling, and 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 269 

the little court room of the justice was filled with citizens and soldiers from Fort 
Colville. Immediately after the examination a mob formed, took the prisoner 
from the sheriff^ and hanged him from the cross beam of the double gate before 
the brewery. Justice in those days seems to have been expeditious and cheap, 
for the total cost to the county of the arrest, trial, conviction and execution, all 
transpiring within two days, was only thirty dollars. 

J. R. Bates, the first representative from Spokane county, was elected in July, 
1861. Taking warning from the tragic fate of Mr. Watson, he went properly 
"heeled" with a Colt's dragoon revolver with gun stock attachment. 

W. P. Winans, who lived for thirteen years in the Colville valley, and held 
various offices of public trust when Pinkney City was the county seat, kept a 
journal in which were recorded events and incidents on the day of their occurrence. 
From that journal, and aid given by such pioneers as S. F. Sherwood, Francis 
Wolflf, John U. Hofstetter, C. H. Montgomery, L. W. Meyers, Benjamin Bur- 
gunder, James Monaghan, George McCrea and Mrs. Christina McDonald Will- 
iams, Mr. Winans has written an invaluable manuscript history of early days in 
the Colville valley and the Spokane country. By courtesy of Ross R. Brattain of 
Spokane, the writer has had access to a copy of the Winans manuscript, and from 
it gleans many interesting and important facts about men and events, full fifty 
years ago. 

Construction of the first brewery, at Pinkney City, was commenced in 1860 by 

John Shaw and a man named Berry, and finished by John U. Hofstetter in 1861. 

Pinkney City, which was built just across the creek from Fort Colville reserve, 

was named in honor of the commanding officer of the fort, Major Pinkney Lou- 

genbeel. 

In the winter of 1861, Mr. Carpenter, a clerk employed in the store of 01m- 
stead & Co., was killed by Perote. The murderer was arrested and taken to the 
nearest jail, at Vancouver, and the records of the commissioners show that on 
April 10, 1861, Sheriff Francis Wolff was allowed $438.25 for expenses and mile- 
age of the trip. Another county official, R. H. Rogers, presented a claim of 
$816.50 for carrying the poll books to Vancouver, containing the vote on joint coun- 
cilman; but the commissioners, regarding the claim as excessive, allowed a mile- 
age rate of 30 cents on the 470 miles to Vancouver, and awarded Rogers $141. 

The winter of 1861-62 was unusually severe. Mr. Winans recorded the fol- 
lowing temperatures in his journal: January 15, 30 below zero; January 17, SS 
below; January 18, 30 below. And snow from two to four feet deep. There was 
not a day in that month that the mercury did not fall below zero. 

"March 22, 1862, mail carrier for Walla Walla came back, unable to get 
through; reported snow three to five feet deep on Spokane plains, about Willow 
springs. Joe Mason started on snowshoes, became snow blind, was found by In- 
dians and brought back to Spokane river. 

"April 1, 1862, J. W. Seaman got through from W^alla Walla; left there two 
weeks ago; reported snow then 12 to 15 inches deep, wood $25 per cord. Brought 
news from the States up to November 27th (more than four months old)." 

It is believed that the following is the first record of a political convention held 
in the Spokane country: 



270 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Spokane County Convention 

The Union county convention met at the courthouse^ Pinkney City^ W. T.^ 
June 14^ 1864; for the purpose of nominating candidates for the coming election. 
J. R. Bates was called to the chair, and W. P. Winans elected secretary. 

Nominations: — For representative, B. F. Yantis; for sheriff, L. T. Marshall; 
for treasurer, J. R. Bates; for auditor, W. P. Winans; for probate judge, John 
Wynne; for coroner, N. R. Scranton; for county commissioners, R<Aert Bruce and 
John U. Hofstetter; for justice of the peace, D. H. Ferguson. 

After the nominations the following resolutions were read and adopted: 

"Resolved, That our Representative be instructed to use his best efforts to 
have a treaty made with the Indians in our county, and to have the public surveys 
extended over our county as soon as possible. 

"Resolved, That he use his best endeavors to promote the welfare of the 
county, the mining interests in particular; and to use his influence to have the 
mail route reestablished from Fort Colville and Walla Walla. Also to use his 
influence toward having the capital removed from Olympia to Walla Walla. 

"Resolved, That we regret the present deplorable condition of our country 
in its struggle to maintain its existence, and we heartily endorse the policy of the 
government in its execution of the laws, and we rejoice in the success of the Fed- 
eral Arms. 

"Resolved, That we will use our best efforts to sustain the government in its 
present struggle to establish its supremacy over all the land." 

These proceedings were in mass convention. The resolutions, as Mr. Winans 
recalls, were written by Henry Wellington, "a man of education and refinement 
who could command attention in any assembly. He moved to the Okanogan valley 
about thirty years ago, dying in June, 1908, loved, honored and respected by all 
who knew him, for his lofty character and sterling worth." 

At the election, July 14, 121 votes were polled in the county, and all those 
nominated at the June convention, with the exception by B. F. Yantis, for repre- 
sentative, were elected. Yantis had only thirty-eight votes, his opponent, Charles 
H. Campfield, forty-eight; but Yantis went to Olympia, where his family resided, 
contested the seat before the legislative assembly, and won. 

Of necessity a county so poor and unsettled as the early day Spokane had 
to make shift with a primitive courthouse. At their April session, 1861, the com- 
missioners bought from Charles R. Allen, for $500, a log building 20x40, that 
had been used as a saloon. This cabin housed the government for five years, and 
was then sold to C. H. Montgomery for $1,200 in county warrants, worth then 
about 25 cents on the dollar; and on February 23, 1867, a larger log building was 
bought from R. H. Douglass for $500 in coin, or $666.66 in paper. This second 
building continued to be the courthouse until the town was moved to its present 
location, the site of the modern Colville. 

By legislative act of January 3, 1862, a judicial district was created to cover 
Spokane and Missoula counties, and court met for the first time at Pinkney City, 
July 28, 1862, with Judge E. P. Oliphant presiding; W. P. Winans, clerk; J. J. 
McGillvra, United States attorney; S. B. Fargo, prosecuting attorney; L. T. Mar- 
shall, sheriff; and Salucius Garfielde attorney. 



KETTLE PALL8 OF THE COLUirBlA 

Aa sketched by the Stevens' Expedition in 1S53 



OLD HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY 

POST AT KETTLE FAU^S, 

ERECTED IN 1833 



INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY B 
TWEEN WASHINGTON AND 
OLD HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY AT BRITISH COLUMBIA. 

J'ORT COLVILLE, AS IT AP- 
PEARED IN 1887 



THE M^' '■'■ ''. 






1^ 



THE ^LW ti^KK 

ubuc libkaky; 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 271 

Only annual sessions were held^ and when court convened in June^ 1863^ for 
a two-day session^ it was presided over by Judge J. E. Wyche, with not a lawyer 
in sight. Mrs. Mary J. Walters was granted the first divorce in the county. Of 
a verity hath it been said that "great oaks from little acorns grow." The divorce 
crop has kept well apace with the general step of growth and progress. 

Then^ as now^ expectation rose and fell with the prospect of immigration and 
fuller development of the potential resources of the land ; and the intelligence was 
welcomed when Captain John Mullan^ surveyor and builder of the Mullan road 
from Walla Walla to Fort Benton, wrote in June^ 1^62, that four Missouri river 
steamboats had arrived at Benton, with 350 passengers from St. Louis, en route 
to Bitter Root, Deer Lodge and Walla Wlalla valleys. "They came provided with 
their carriages and wagons, purchased animals at Fort Benton, and have already 
started for their new homes on the Pacific. The boats made the trip from St. 
Lonis in thirty-two days, and the teams will make the trip over the new military 
wagon road in forty days to Walla Walla." 

At Fort Colville, in July, 1862, the military paid $2.50 a bushel for wheat, $14 
a barrel for flour, and $1 a bushel for oats. 

Charles Frush and Fred. Sherwood arranged in the spring of 1868 to run 
an express from Fort Benton to Walla Walla, by way of Spokane prairie, to con- 
nect with the Wells Fargo express at Walla Walla. 

In the spring of 1865, Mr. Winans paid 121/^ cents per pound for carrying 
freight from Wallula, on the Columbia, to Colville, and sold bacon at 62^ cents, 
coffee 75 cents, sugar 50 cents, beans 35 cents, salt 25 cents, nails 40 cents, butter 
fl, and shot 50 cents. Calico brought 87^ cents per yard, a spool of thread 25 
cents, and a paper of needles the same. 

The first steamboat to run the Columbia above the international boundary was 
Ijnilt by Captain Lew White where the town of Marcus now stands. It was chris- 
tened the "Forty-Nine," and Miss Christina McDonald and Miss Mary L. Brown 
drove the first nails. It was launched November 18, 1865, and made its first run 
abont April, 1866, with Lew White as captain, Wesley Briggs purser, A. C. 
Pingstone mate, and Wash. Eldridge engineer. 

The first annual statement of the treasurer of Spokane county, as shown by 
the records, is as follows : 

PiNKNEY City, W. T., January 1, 1868. 

To amount received $2,587.58 

Paid out: 

By county orders redeemed $1,881.98 

By cash, school fund, 1861 277.02 

By cash, school fund, 1862 122.26 

By cash, territorial fund, 1861 106.01 

By cash, territorial fund, 1862 56.22 

By cash, war fund 50.00 

Fees, R. H. Douglass 8.12 

Fees, for disbursing 85.18 

By Cash .79 $2,587.58 



272 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Under date of December 28, 1862, Mr. Winans' journal contains this entry: 
"E. F. Smith, my employer, started below, with $22,000 in gold dust, accompanied 
by James Monaghan, Pucket and Lieut. Hoadley." And January 2, 1863: "Con- 
ner's mule train got in with goods from Wallula, 13,000 pounds of bacon, sugar, 
etc., thirty-six days since he started for the goods. Paid freight bill on same, 
$1,950." 

"On May 26, 1863, at the upper Palouse camp," writes Mr. Winans, "there 
were stolen from Ferguson & Co., nine mules. The teams to which these animals 
belonged were en route to Colville with goods. The mules were driven towards 
British Columbia, crossed the Columbia at Dancing Bill ferry, and thence up the 
Okanogan to British Columbia. Francis Wolff accepted an offer of $500 for the 
return of the mules. At the boundary line he struck their trail, and changing 
horses several times with the Indians, he overtook the thieves, and watching his 
opportunity at night, about ten miles this side of Nicholas lake, B. C, he recov- 
ered the mules, leaving the thieves afoot. He drove the mules to Colville, arriving 
June 15, 1863, about twenty days after they were stolen, he living most of that 
time on suckers bought from the Indians. The thieves were W. Page, an Eng- 
lishman with pock marks, Louis Williams, or 'Nigger Louie,' and John Wagoner, 
or 'Dutch John.' Afterwards, in 1864, Page was concerned in the Magmder 
murder, and killed at Lewiston. Wagoner, with a partner, held up a wagon train 
near Boise; the partner was killed, he was caught and hung. I have no record 
of what became of 'Nigger Louie,' but Ben Burgunder says he was living at one 
time with the Indians at Kamloops, B. C." 

By act of January 30, 1863, the legislature cut off from Walla Walla county 
the territory lying between the international boundary on the north and the Wenat- 
chee river on the south, and the Columbia river on the east and the Cascade moun- 
tains on the west, and named it Stevens county. W. B. Yantis was named as sheriff 
and Charles H. Campfield auditor. The county seat was "temporarily" located 
at "H. E. Young's store." "No attempt was made to organize the county of 
Stevens at H. E. Young's store," says Mr. Winans, "for it was so temporary that 
it remained within its proposed boundaries but a few months. The officials named, 
being miners, were on the move hunting new diggings, the claims they abandoned 
being occupied by hundreds of Chinamen, who were apparently making good wages 
and paying no taxes." 

It is Mr. Winans' recollection of the discussion of this question that the principal 
reason advanced for the annexation of Stevens to Spokane was the need of control of 
both sides of the Columbia, to prevent evasion of head tax by Chinese shifting 
from one side of the river to the other. "Our representative evidently tried to fol- 
low out his instructions, but in his endeavors to have Stevens county attached to 
Spokane, the legislature reversed him, for the act of January 19, 1864, attached 
Spokane to Stevens, but the officers of Spokane were made the officials of Stevens." 

Dr. Tobey secured the passage of an "Act to protect free white labor from com- 
petition of Chinamen," levying a quarterly tax of $6, the sheriff to have 25 per 
cent, the remainder to be divided equally between the county and the territory. 
Under this act there was paid the treasurer of Stevens county $2,940 in 1864, 
$1,542 in 1865, and $3,076 in 1866. Explanatory of the small collections of 1865, 
it is recalled that bogus collectors, impersonating the sheriff and his deputies, weiit 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 273 

among the confiding Chinese and collected several hundred dollars of the tax. The 
law was repealed in 1869. 

At the election, July 13, 1868, for delegate to congress, the vote of Stevens 
comity was: Cole 56, Tumey 22, Raynor 11, Richardson 2. 

The following entries are taken from the Winans diary: 

"July 26, 1863. Received news today of the battles and victories of Gettysburg 
and Vicksburg, of July 4, only twenty-two days. Very quick time." 

"August 17, 1863. Very hard frost last night; killed the potato and squash 
Tines; also the wheat and oats were rendered valueless." 

"September 8, 1863. Marcus Oppenheimer and W. V. Brown took possession of 
some of the buildings of the British Boundary Commission, abandoned last year by 
Col. Hawkins and the sappers and miners." 

Brown died some years before Oppenheimer. The latter filed a homestead on 
the place, and the town of Marcus, now on the site, was named for him. 

As some confusion arose from the fact that the county seat was called Pinkney 
City, but the postoffice Fort Colville, the name of the county seat was changed to 
Fort Colville by an act passed January 4, 1868. Seven years later, the little village 
of Spokane Falls, ambitious to become the seat of government, made an audacious 
effort to take the county seat from Colville. An act was actually passed, November 
5. 1875, locating the county seat at Spokane, and directing "that on or before May 
1, 1876, the county commissioners shall remove all records to that place." "The 
comity commissioners did not permit an act of the legislature to override their per- 
sonal preferences," observes Mr. Winans, for the county records show that on 
April 26, 1876, all three commissioners, L. W. Meyers, D. F. Percival and J. La- 
mona, being present, the question of changing the county seat was discussed, and 
the majority decided that 'the act was null and void, because it was an amendment to 
the act of 1 863, which was repealed by act of 1 864, which located the county seat 
at Colville.' Percival dissented, but no further action was taken. We think this is 
the first instance of a board of county commissioners passing on the legality of an 
act of the legislature and winning out, for the county seat remained at Colville^ and 
is there to this dav." 

Dismemberment of Stevens county began November 27, 1871, with the cutting 
away of Whitman county. Then, in chronological order, came the cutting off of Spo- 
kane, October 30, 1879; Eattitas and Lincoln, November 24, 1883; Adams, Franklin 
Mid Douglas, November 28, 1883; Okanogan, February 2, 1888; Ferry, February 
21,1899; and Chelan, March 13, 1899. 

The act creating Whitman county took from Stevens all territory south of a 
line drawn from White Bluffs northeasterly to Lougenbeel creek ; thence by Fifth 
standard parallel to the Idaho liiie, and appointed as its first officers: Charles D. 
Porter, sheriff; James Ewart, auditor, and W. A. Belcher, treasurer. 

"The county officials named," says Mr. Winans, "assembled January 1, 1872, and 
took oath of office in the hewn log house built by J. A. Perkins, being the first house 
in Colfax, and it still stands in the rear of the present residence of the builder, who 
not only erected the first house, but also assisted in building the first sawmill, and 
has, during his long residence in the county, been one of its most efficient, unselfish 
and leading factors in building up that thriving city and prosperous community." 
Speaking of the organization of Whitman county. Captain James Ewart has said : 



Tti. I— It 



274 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

"At this first meeting the question arose, who would administer the oath of office. 
No one present was authorized to do so. It happened that Anderson Cox, an officer 
of the land office at Walla Walla, was in Colfax, and they, making virtue of neces- 
sity, had him swear in James Ewart as county auditor, and he administered the 
oath of office to the other officials. A statement of the organization was afterwards 
made to Judge Kennedy, and he declared it legal." 

We return now to the early history of Spokane and Stevens county. "It was not 
until after the war that parties divided politically," continues Mr. Winans. "Then 
for a few years it was Union and Democratic parties, but in 1869 five of the seven 
avowed republicans met in the office of the writer and agreed on a plan of organiza- 
tion, which was carried into effect by placing a republican ticket in the field and 
electing the greater part of it. The seven were Henry Wellington, W. V. Brown, 
H. E. Young, F. W. Perkins, George McCrae, S. F. Sherwood and W. P. Winans. 
For political literature the democrats circulated Brick Pomeroy's Democrat, and the 
republicans the New York Tribune and Harpers' Weekly." 

According to the same authority, the legislative representatives elected during 
the first few years of Spokane-Stevens county are: J. A. Bates, 1861; Charles H. 
Campfield, 1862, B. F. Yantis, contested, Campfield made no api>earance, and Yantis 
got the seat; Dr. Isaac L. Tobey, for 1863, reelected for 1864, bpt resigned, as the 
pay, $8 a day and mileage in "greenbacks" at 40 cents on the dollar would not cover 
his expenses and he did not go to Olympia a second time. Wm. V. Brown, for 1865, 
would not leave his business to go to the capital. J. J. H. Bokkelem for 1866. W. P. 
Winans for 1867, member of the first biennial session; Charles H. Montgomery, 
1869; W. P. Winans, 1871 ; T. O. Favorite, 1878; R. H. Wimpy, 1875; D. F. Perci- 
val, 1877 and 1879. 

The joint councilmen representing Walla Walla, Sp<^ane, Stevens and other 
counties for the first few years of organization were: John A. Simms, 1861-2; Dan- 
iel Stewart, 1863-4; Anderson Cox, 1865-6; B. L. Sharpstein, 1866-7; J. M. Van- 
sycke, from 1867 to 1870; H. O. D. Bryant, 1871-2; Charles H. Montgomery, 1873-4. 

Under the caption of "Incidents," Mr. Winans records the following: 

Before the organization of the county government, gold was dicovered on the 
Pend d'Oreille river by Joe Morrell in 1854, and in 1855, the news being scattered 
abroad, quite a number of owners, packers and traders came into the ColviUe valley 
among them Francis Wolff, who in 1856 brought the first merchandise on wagons 
into the valley, starting from The Dalles, going by Walla Walla valley, and crossing 
Snake river at the mouth of the Palouse by lashing canoes together. After driving 
across country, he ferried the Spokane in the same way, and passed thence into the 
valley by way of Walker's prairie, making the wagon tracks that Major Lougenbeel 
followed in 1859 when he came to establish the military post. 

The discovery of gold, the influx of miners, and the location of the United States 
military post called the attention of the territorial legislature to the valley, and on 
January 11, 1859, an act was passed "Authorizing Edward L. Massey to establish a 
ferry across Snake river, where the road crosses between Walla Walla and Fort Col- 
viUe." On December 14, 1859, the general government was petitioned to build a 
wagon road from Seattle, via Snoqualmie pass, to Fort Colville. 

In 1859 and 1860 J. R. Bates operated the ferry at the Government crossing on 
the Spokane river. He sold out to W. J. Terry and William Nixon, and on Septem- 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 275 

ber 20, 1 860, James Monaghan was employed by them to take charge of it, he at that 
time being 20 years old. Tht legislature, on January 11, 1861, granted them a 
charter to build a bridge. This ferry afterwards became the property of James 
Monaghan, who built the first bridge in 1865, at this crossing. This bridge after- 
wards was called Lapray's bridge, Joseph Lapray purchasing it about 1875. 

The first bridge built on the Spokane river was above the Mullan road crossing, 
in 1864, by Tim Lee, Joe Herrin and Ned Jordan. High water in the spring of 
1865 took it out, and it was rebuilt by the same persons that year. 

The Kootenai mines were discovered in the fall of 1868, and to ascertain if a 
practical route could be had by water, D. H. Ferguson & Co., in the spring of 1864, 
bought a canoe, employed Dick Fr}', Adam Boyd and Old Piene as guide, provisioned 
them for six months, and sent them to find a route to the mines. They went up the 
Columbia river to its headwaters, portaged the canoe three-fourths of a mile to the 
Kootenai river, and floated down that stream to the mouth of Wild Horse creek, 
where the Walla Walla trail crossed the river. They used the canoe as a ferry boat 
to cross the miners from the south, en route to the mines. 

About 100 miners wintered (1864-65) at Marcus, and in the spring of 1865 
started up the Columbia river and prospected the streams emptying into it, and dis- 
covered the French Creek, or Big Bend mines, in the fall of 1865. 

To enable the people of Colville to reach the Kootenai trail with the products of 
the valley, it was necessary to make a road from Cottonwood creek, a few miles south 
of Chewelah, to Peone prairie, a distance of about sixty miles through the timber. 
The people volunteered the labor, and the merchants, C. H. Montgomery, D. H. 
Ferguson & Co., and W. P. Winans donated the provisions. The road was laid out 
by a company, consisting of D. H. Ferguson as commissary, John U. Hofstetter as 
orerseer, and an Indian as guide. The people by the dozens worked there during 
the summer and fall of 1 867, and completed the road so that it has been used ever 
since. In 1871 Chief Engineer Moberly, in charge of the surveying parties of the 
Canadian Pacific railroad, bought provisions in Colville, and they were packed over 
this road to Kootenai, British Columbia. 

In July, 1881, Captain Hunter, with a detachment of the First cavalry, repaired 
the road, John U. Hofstetter again overseeing the work. He camped at the beauti- 
ful lake on the divide, and on account of the numerous loons, named it Loon lake, by 
which it is now known. 

Immediately following the Wright campaign of 1858, the war department decided 
to establish a permanent military post in the Spokane country, and in the spring of 
1859 four companies of the Ninth U. S. infantry, under Major Pinkney Lougenbeel, 
were ordered to the Colville valley. The command crossed the Snake river at the 
month of the Palouse, the Spokane at the point now known as the Lapray bridge, 
Mul located, June 21, 1859, the military post on the flat near Mill creek, about three 
miles from the present town of Colville. A four company post was built of hewn 
^gs. R. H. Douglass and John Nelson had built a sawmill in 1858, at the falls 
on the creek about three miles below the site of the fort, and Major Lougenbeel tried 
to rent it on a basis of $20 per thousand for lumber sawed, he to supply logs and 
labor. The owners demanded $40, whereupon the Major built a dam half a mile 
above the post site, put in a sawmill and cut out enough lumber for his own needs, 



276 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

then leasing the mill to others, and in this way the settlers were enabled to buy 
lumber at $10 a thousand. 

The same year, says Mr. Winans, the British boundary commission^ under Col- 
onel Hawkins, located their quarters on the south side of the Columbia river, two 
miles above Kettle Falls, and about fifteen miles from the American post, and 
built comfortable log houses to shelter his command. The place is now occu- 
pied by the town of Marcus. On August 6, 1861, Captain John G. Parke sold such 
supplies as he had belonging to the American Boundary Commission (the American 
and British engineers had worked together locating the boundary) and left for the 
States; and on April 4, 1862, Colonel Hawkins abandoned his building and started 
for England by way of Walla Walla. 

For the historic dates in this chapter, relating to the military occupation of the 
Colville valley, I am indebted to the valuable journal of Mr. Winans. 

On November 17, 1861, Major Lougenbeel was relieved of the command of Fort 
Colville by Major James F. Curtis, with two companies of the Second Infantry, Cali- 
fornia Volunteers. One of the first orders issued by Major Curtis dismissed the post 
sutler, Charles R. Allen. It was terse, emphatic and patriotic: "Sir: You are dis- 
missed as sutler from this post for your unqualified secession principles." 

Some of the California Volunteers were a rough and disorderly lot, reputed jail- 
birds of San Francisco, a city then swarming with the offscourings of civilization. 

"Besides getting drunk, they would fight, steal and kill. Within four days of 
their arrival they broke into the only washhouse in town, ran off the Chinamen and 
stole the clothes, leaving most of the citizens with only what underclothing was on 
their persons. February 8, 1862, Lieutenant John M. Henry came to the town, 
and in cold blood killed John Burk with a butcher knife. The coroner's inquest found 
Henry guilty of murder. Major Curtis confined him to his quarters for about twenty 
days, and then, on account of criticism by citizens, turned him over to Sheriff Fran- 
cis Wolff. The nearest jail being 470 miles distant, at Vancouver, the sheriff took 
him to his farm, about &ye miles distant, and kept him until spring, when Henry de- 
manded a hearing before a justice of the peace. At the examination, and on ac- 
count of the intimidation of these soldiers, no one appeared to prosecute, and he was 
discharged and left the place. It was reported some months later that he was killed 
in a row in California. Sheriff Wolff was allowed $352 by the county commissioners 
for guarding and feeding Lieutenant Henry." 

February 22, 1863, passes into history as ^memorable for the largest and most 
brilliant social event that had ever been given in the Spokane country, the great 
ball of the California Volunteers. Invitations were sent out to practically everybody 
in the Colville valley^ including the officers and men of the British Boundary Com- 
mission. The times were democratic, social distinctions were obliterated between 
officers and men, and there was a joyous commingling of the native and Caucasian 
races. More than 400 guests attended, including about 150 women of the valley, 
chiefly natives and mixed bloods, and half a dozen white women, all that could be 
mustered in the fort and the country. Major Curtis and his officers attended in full 
dress uniform, and were hospitable to a degree, exerting themselves to see that none 
lacked attention, and capping their hospitality with a bountiful supper. Evidently 
the California Volunteers were on their good behavior, and there was only a "sound 
of revelry by night" where too frequently had been a sound of deviltry by day. 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 277 

One of the company barracks^ a log building 25x100, had been patriotically and 
beautifully decorated as a ballroom. At each end, over the great fireplaces, were 
rosettes of guns and sabers, flanked by the flags of the United States and the British 
Empire. Flags and bunting were on the sides of the building in profusion, and for 
illumination artistic hands had formed great chandeliers of bayonets attached to 
hoops, in cone and pyramidal effect. The dancing and the feasting lasted until 
dayh^t. 

We quote now from Mr. Winan's diary: 

March 26, 1862. Lieutenant Wing of the California Volunteers committed sui- 
cide by shooting himself, placing the muzzle of the pistol in his mouth. The first use 
made of the beautiful marble of which the valley has such a great variety and abun- 
dance was a slab marking his grave. 

April 21, 1862. Major Curtis came with his command to the town, went to John 
Shaw's distillery, took the worm of the still out and up to the fort, knocked all the 
barrels of whisky in the head, and ordered every one in town not to sell liquor to 
any one, which order was obeyed. The character of some of the men in his com- 
mand was such that life and property were not safe when they were drinking. 
The order was obeyed, not only because it was an order, but for self-protection. 

July 11, 1862. Major C. H. RumriU, with two companies of the Washington 
Territory Volunteers, relieved Major Curtis, who, with his command, went to Fort 
Vancouver. 

November 8, 1862. The order of Major Curtis of April 21, stopping the 
sale of liquors, was suspended by order of Major RumriU, and whisky selling was 
again permitted. It might be proper to say that during the prohibition the settlers 
expended about the same amount of money, but it was noticeable that their families 
were more comfortably housed and better clothed. 

During the fall and winter of 1862-63, some desperadoes, driven out of Lewiston, 
came to Colville. One of them, Charles Harper, shot and killed Mrs. McRice at a 
dance, at the British Boundary Commission barracks. He fled, but on the twenty- 
seventh of January, 1868, was caught by a party of miners and hanged at Leo's bar 
on the Columbia river, about fifteen miles below the old fort. 

Another called Williams (who was thought by his associates to be Wells, a man 
who killed a sheriff and his deputy and driver near Sacramento four years before) 
with three others, were stopping on the Little Pend d'Oreille, on the place afterwards 
owned by Mrs. A. Reeves Ayers. His companions became afraid of him and killed 
him. The younger one, a boy of 18, told Major RumriU about it, alleging self- 
defense, hoping to get the supposed reward offered for Wells. The body, when un- 
earthed and examined, showed that Williams had been shot, knocked in the head 
with an ax, and choked with a scarf. This investigation implicated the others, and 
they tried to get out of the country, but the sheriff and posse, with the guidance of 
James Monaghan and his prompt action, overtook them on the Spokane, near An- 
toine Plant's ferry, and took them back to Colville. There being no jail, they, with 
two others, were kept in the guard house all winter, and the following April broke 
away from the guard, and were afterwards seen in Walla Walla. 

November 5, 1863, Lieutenant Charles P. Egan was married to Miss Emma 
Johnson, at the commanding officer's quarters, by D. H. Ferguson, justice of the 
peace. A splendid dinner followed the ceremony. This officer, as commissary gen- 



278 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

eral, attained considerable notoriety in canned beef contracts during the Spanish- 
American war. 

December 24, 186S, military ball at the Fort. All the people of the Valley were 
there, the Washington Volunteers trying to excel the California Volunteers in the 
entertainment of the year before. 

May 26, 1865, Captain F. O. McCown, with one company of Oregon Volunteers, 
relieved Major Rumrill and his command of two companies of Washington Territory 
Volunteers, they going to Walla Walla. Captain McCown, on taking command, au- 
thorized W. P. Winans to act as post trader. 

November 9, 1865, Captain John S. Wharton, with one company, sixty-two men. 
Fourteenth U. S. infantry regulars, arrived and relieved Captain McCown and his 
command, who went to Vancouver to be mustered out of service. From this date 
until abandonment, September, 1882, the fort was garrisoned by regular troops from 
different regiments with different officers. 

On January 19, 1866, John S. Davis, living at the British Boundary Commis- 
sion barracks, was punishing his squaw; her mother, seeing it, ran a knife through 
his body, killing him. A few hours afterward the mother was found hanging by her 
neck in one of the vacant buildings. The people did not take the law into their own 
hands in every case, for in 1865 an Indian killed a white man on Kettle river, at 
night while the victim was sleeping. He was given a jury trial, was found guilty of 
murder, and hanged from a gallows erected by the sheriff. 

On February 18,1 867, a party of five soldiers came to town, and shot and killed 
H. P. Stewart, the probate judge. On June 8, 1867, the court met, presided over 
by Judge J. E. Wyche, and soldier Reilly was found guilty and sentenced to twenty 
years in the penitentiary at Steilacoom. Judge Stewart was buried with Masonic 
ceremonies. Seven Masons were present. This was the first Masonic funeral in the 
county. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Merriam, with his command of three companies, camped 
during the winter of 1879-80 on Foster creek, and in the spring of 1880 went to 
Chelan and commenced to build a post, but the difficulties of access, and the lade of 
transportation were such that a new location was sought for, and the fort was finally 
located near the mouth of the Spokane river, and built there in 1881. 

Lieutenant Webster and his command were then withdrawn from Colville, leav- 
ing a quartermaster's man, Christ Gilson, in charge, who, after a few months, was 
discharged, and in 1882 the fort was left to the tender mercies of the people. In a • 
few years not a house was left on the original site. Parts of them> though, can yet 
be found, twenty-five miles away from where they formerly stood. The land of the 
military reserve was appraised and sold, and is now owned by citizens and cultivated 
as farms. 

The troops were withdrawn from Fort Spokane in 1898, to take part in the Span- 
ish war, and later the fort was turned over to the Indian department and used as An 
Indian school. 

For the record of changes since 1873 Mr. Winans acknowledges information 
given by James Monaghah and Edward O'Shea. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

INLAND EMPIRE HISTORY IN OLD LEGISLATIVE ACTS 

DISCOTERY OF GOLD EARLY FERRIES AND BRIDGES STEAMBOATS ON COLUMBIA AND 

SNAKE MEMORIALS FOR TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD — SCHEME TO TURN PEND 

d'oREILLE RIYER into the SPOKANE ARMS SENT TO MINERS GOLD HUNTERS OVER- 
RUN XEZ PERCE RESERVATION TOWN OF LEWISTON LAID OUT CANADIAN "rECI- 

PROCITY"" ^MINERS CLAMOR FOR BETTER MAIL SERVICE FIRST BOOM IN THE INLAND 

EMPIRE SPOKANE COUNTY ANNEXED TO STEVENS DEALING WITH THE CHINESE 

WALLA walla's FIRST LITERARY SOCIETY ^JAMES MONAGHAN GRANTED BRIDGE 

FRANCHISE ON THE SPOKANE COAST MERCHANTS COMPETE WITH ST. LOUIS ORE- 
GON TRIES TO ANNEX WALLA WALLA FAMOUS OLD MULLAN ROAD PRICES OF WALLA 

WALLA PRODUCTS. 

Trust me^ each state must have its policies ; 

Eangdoms have edicts^ cities have their charters; 

Even the wild outlaw^ in his forest walk^ 

Keeps yet some touch of civil discipline; 

For not since Adam wore his verdant apron^ 

Hath man with man in social union dwelt^ 

But laws were made to draw that union closer. 

—Old Play. 

AT THE sessions of 1860-1 and 1861-2, the legislature carved, out of the 
original boimdaries of Spokane, the counties of Missoula, Idaho, Nez Perce 
and Shoshone, that territory having received a large influx of gold miners; 
and at the latter session enacted a law constituting these counties, and with them 
Spokane and Walla Walla, the first judicial district. At the same session acts were 
passed establishing courts at the county seats of Idaho, Spokane and Shoshone, that 
of Spokane to have jurisdiction in Spokane and Missoula counties. 

At this time discoveries of gold at various points in the Clearwater and Salmon 
river region and along the bars of the Columbia river were luring thousands of ad- 
venturous men into the interior, and ferries were needed at many points where roads 
and trails crossed deep or turbulent rivers. At its winter sessions of 1860-1 and 
1861-2 the legislature at Olympia was besieged by eager applicants for ferry fran- 
chises. An act passed in January, 1861, authorized "Antoine Plant, his heirs and 
assigns to establish and keep a ferry across the Spokane river, at or near the point 
where the military road from Fort Walla Walla to Fort Benton crosses said river ;" 
and allowing him to charge the following tolls : 

279 



280 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

For each wagop^ carriage or vehicle^ with two animals attached . . $4.00 

For each pleasure wagon^ with two horses S.OO 

For each additional animal 50 

For each cart^ wagon or carriage with one horse 2.00 

For man and horse 1 .50 

For each animal packed 1.50 

For each footman 50 

For loose animals^ other than sheep or hogs 25 

For sheep^ goats or hogs^ each head 15 

The grantee was required^ "within six months from and after the passage of tiiis 
act^ to procure and keep on said ferry a sufficient ferry boat^ with the requisite num- 
ber of hands to work the same^ for the transportation of all persons and their prop* 
erty without unnecessary delay;" and further, to pay "into the county treasury of 
the county in which said ferry may be located, as an annual tax, a sum not to ex- 
ceed $25 for the use of said county." 

At the same session the legislature incorporated the Spokane Bridge company, 
with W. J. Terry, William Nix "and such others as may become associated with 
them," as incorporators, with a capital stock of $20,000; "for the purpose of con- 
structing a bridge across the Spokane river, Spokane county, at or near the govern- 
ment crossing." Maximum toUs were established: 

For each foot passenger $ .25 

For each man and horse 1 .00 

For each pack animal and pack 75 

For each cart, chaise, gig with two wheels, or other two-wheeled 

carriage drawn by one horse 1.25 

The same drawn by two horses or oxen 1.50 

For each four-wheeled wagon, buggy or carriage, with one horse. 1.50 

The same with two horses or oxen 1.75 

For additional horse or ox 25 

For each pleasure carriage, coach or vehicle for conveyance of 

persons, with four horses 2.00 

For each horse, mule or ass, or neat cattle 25 

For each sheep or hog 10 

The president of the company was required, as soon as the bridge was com- 
pletied and tolls collected thereon, to list under oath the capital stock and other prop- 
erty of the company, "for taxation as personal proi>erty is then listed for taxation by 
law." And "at any time after ten years from the time the tolls may be first col- 
lected on said bridge, the county commissioners or proper authorities of Spokane 
county shall have a right to purchase and manage said bridge in such a manner as 
may be provided by law." 

Mention of Antoine Plant's place on the Spokane river is made in preceding chap- 
ters. Ben Burgunder, a resident of Colfax since 1879, who came into the Inland 
Empire in 1862, and a year later went to Marcus, Stevens county, where he en- 
gaged in business for many years, has given the writer valuable information 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 281 

respecting Antoine's place and other historic crossings of the Spokane. Plant's 
ferry was at a point a short distance above Trent, but his home, where Governor 
Stevens repeatedly was sheltered in the '50s, was at the large spring which gushes 
from the hillside about a mile and a half north of the stream. 

* 

The Mullan road crossed the river at Plant's ferry, and ran up the valley to 
Lake Coeur d'Alene. At Antoine Camille's place, some three miles above Plant's 
dwelling, it connected with the old Colville road coming down over Peone prairie. 
Mr. Burgunder recalls that the MuUan road followed the old Colville road from 
Walla Walla to the crossing of Cow creek, and there took an independent course, 
and crossed Snake river at the mouth of the Palouse. McWirck Bros, had the 
first ferry at that point. They operated under a charter granted in the early '60s. 
The place is now known as Lyon's Ferry. 

Tim Lee and Joe Herrin built the first bridge across the Spokane, in 1864, and 
sold it to Charley Kendall, who had a store on the east bank. The store of M. M. 
Cowley and Tom Ford was on the west side. Kendall was killed about 1875 by 
Joe Leonard, who fired through Kendall's bedroom window. Leonard was killed 
in Montana, while serving as a U. S. scout in the Nez Perce war of 1 877. At the 
time Kendall operated his toll bridge across the Spokane, Isaac Kellogg came up 
from Waitsburg in 1865 and built a free bridge across the stream at Antoine 
Plant's old ferry. While sitting in his cabin one night, he was killed by a shot 
fired through the window. 

Lieutenant MuDan found Plant "a very worthy halfbreed Flathead Indian, who 
speaks both French and English; has a small field under cultivation, from which 
he obtains com, wheat and vegetables ; these, with the salmon found in the river, 
form an abundant supply for his Indian family." 

Mullan, with a party of 100 men, completed his historic old highway in 1859-60. 
His main command started from Walla Walla July 1, bridging rivers, creeks and 
sloughs on their march, and noting the character of the country. Of the Palouse 
region Mullan ventured the prediction that "the black loam would doubtless pro- 
duce vegetables and cereals, and it is not at all improbable that the grazier and 
agriculturist will find, at no distant day, tracts of land that will amply repay 
their reclamation." 

Under date of July 14 Mullan made this entry in his journal: **We camped this 
day on the banks of the Nedwhuald, and at the same point where General Wright 
hong Qualchien, the noted Yakima chief, and several other Indians, from which 
fact the creek is known to many as Hangman's creek." 

Of the Coeur d'Alene Indians Mullan wrote: "They ar^ wily fellows, and 
great caution is necessary in all intercourse with them." 

His great task ended, Mullan's command was disbanded at Walla Walla in 
August, 1860, and the outfit sold. "Thus ended my work in the field," he reported, 
"costing seven years of close and arduous attention, exploring and opening up a 
road of 624 miles, from the Columbia to the Missouri river, at a cost of $280,000.'* 

At this period all eyes were dazzled by the glitter and glamour of gold, for the 
rich placers of the Spokane country were yielding princely tribute; fortune smiled 
on many a poor miner, and the spirit of promotion and exploitation was in the land. 
Steamboats were needed on the swift waters of the Columbia, the Snake and the 
Clearwater, to transport passengers and merchandise to the interior, and to meet 



282 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

that need we find J. C. Ainsworth, Daniel F. Bradford, R. R. Thompson and J. S. 
Ruggle appearing at Olympia for legislative articles to incorporate the historic old 
Oregon Steam Navigation company, predecessor of the Oregon Reulroad & Navi- 
gation company, or as now known, the Harriman system in Washington and Oregon. 
At least two of these, were to become steamboat princes, for their boats earned 
fabulous profits, as wealth came easily when miners were rocking out from $10 to 
$100 a day to the man at Pierce City, Orofino, Florence and other famous placer 
camps of fifty years ago. 

Even then, and for years before, the people had keen anticipations of the coming 
of the Northern Pacific railorad and the transformation to be wrought by it in pio- 
neer conditions of travel, transportation and development. A memorial adopted by 
the Washington legislature, February 4, 1858, told congress that "the time has ar- 
rived for the construction of a great national railway across the continent, connect- 
ing the populous states of the Atlantic with the Pacific shores of the Union, already 
colonized with our young and vigorous men. ... It will bind together this vast 
republic, and be a chain of union between the Atlantic and Pacific states. It will 
insure the defense of the country. Armies, seaman, military and naval stores may be 
transported from ocean to ocean in less time and with less expense than were re- 
quired between New York and the lakes during the war of 1812. It will give a 
direct, quick transit to mails. Military reasons call for its construction. Political 
reasons require that it should be made; and more than all, commercial reasons de- 
mand it. The trade of the Pacific ocean and eastern Asia will take its track. The 
trade of India, whose channels have been shifting for hundreds of years, is destined 
to shift once more, and that is across our continent. The American road to India 
will become the European track to that region, and the rich commerce of India will 
flow through our center." 

For these and other reasons, it was — 

"Resolved, As the opinion of the legislative assembly, that the cheapest and 
shortest route from the great commercial emporiums of the Atlantic to the Pacific, 
is the route explored and surveyed by Governor Stevens near the forty-ninth parallel 
of north latitude, connecting Puget Sound, the largest and most commodious harbor 
in the world, with its inexhaustible beds of coal, with the head of Lake Superior and 
the three great lakes which connect directly with the Atlantic, thus greatly reducing 
the cost of transit on heavy merchandise. 

"Resolved, That the northern line is the most accessible by navigation, passes 
through the lumber regions of Minnesota and Washington, and has easy access to the 
vast pine forests of .the Red river, and passing through the rich and boundless prai- 
ries of the northwest. 

"Resolved, That the construction of this great northern national system can 
not only be the work of the present century, but it can be made the great work of the 
present administration, giving it undying fame, binding together this vast empire in 
bands of iron, and bearing the light of the gospel, of science and civilization across 
the continent, and making it the great highway between Europe and Asia." 

But lamentably the civil war was coming on, and Buchanan's administration, 



soon to be swept from power, was not to have the "undying fame" held out to it by 
the legislative assembly of the young territory of Washington. Russian peasants 
have a saying that "God and the czar are far away," and congress and a trans- 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 283 

continental railroad were far distant from the voice of the legislative assembly that 
was trying to make itself heard from the backwoods capital of Olympia. 

We have in the Spokane river a pretty fine water power, even as nature bestowed 
it upon us; but we should have possessed a far greater power if only the -brilliant 
project of the promoters of the Pend d'Oreille mining company had materialized 
some fifty years ago. Their object, however, was the quest of gold, not to amplify 
the water power in the Spokane, of which it then seemed there was an abundance and 
more for all future time. 

By an act passed in January, 1861, this corporation, having as its incorporators 
W. H. Watson, H. Way, W. Terry, R. Ricord, G. C. Blankenship, William Cardwell 
and B. F. Yantis, was granted power "to construct and maintain a canal for the pur- 
pose of turning the channel of the Pend d'Oreille river into the Spokane river from 
any point on said Pend d'Oreille river that the said company shall deem most advis- 
able; and shall have the exclusive right for mining purposes to the bed of said river 
below low water mark." It further was provided that "any person not a member of 
said corporation who shall attempt to mine in said river below low water mark, shall 
be deemed guilty of a trespass, and upon conviction thereof, shall forfeit and pay to 
the said corporation not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, recoverable before 
any court having jurisdiction, in the name of the corporation." 

On the theory that the bed of the Pend d'Oreille was rich in placer gold, it was 
the intention of the company to divert, through a canal, the entire flow of that river 
into the headwaters of the Little SpK>kane, and thence into the main Spokane. But 
the stock proved unsalable, and it appears that the project never advanced beyond 
the "paper" stage* 

At the session of 1859-60, John W. Park was granted a franchise for a ferry 
across the St. Joseph river, "in what is commonly known as Spokane county," at the 
point "where the territorial or military road leading from post or Fort Walla Walla 
to Fort Benton, Montana," crossed that stream. The authorized tolls were somewhat 
hi^er than the legislature had permitted on other ferries in the interior, ranging 
from 50 cents for a footman to $5 for each wagon with two animals attached. 

William Forman was authorized to establish a ferry across the Coeur d'Alene 
river, "in what is commonly 'called Spokane county," at the point where the Walla 
Walla-Fort Benton road crossed that stream, with permission to charge the same 
schedule of tolls as had been granted the ferry across the St. Joseph. 

Notwithstanding the pacification of the country by the crushing defeats ad- 
ministered by Colonel Wright in 1858 upon the turbulent Indian tribes, the settlers 
were apprehensive of renewed hostilities north of Snake river ; and the legislature, 
by a resolution passed February 1st, 1860, directed the quartermaster general "to 
forward one-fourth of all the territorial arms now in his possession, to some con- 
venient point or points in the counties of SpK)kane and Walla Walla, or both of them." 

Among the important acts passed at this session was one "to establish an insti- 
tution of learning in Walla Walla county," — the beginning of the Whitman college 
of the present day. The act, passed December 20, 1 859, provided for "the instruc- 
tion of persons of both sexes, in science and literature," in an institution "to be 
called the Whitman seminary;" and named Elkanah Walker, George H. Atkinson, 
Elisha S. Tanner, Erastus S. Joslyn, W. A. Tenney, H. H. Spalding, John C. Smith, 
James Craigie and Gushing Eells as trustees. The capital stock was never to exceed 



284 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

$150^000^ "nor the income or proceeds of the same be appropriated to any other use 
than for the benefit of said institution as contemplated by this act." 

For the accommodation of gold-hunters passing into the upper Columbia river 
country and on the way to the Similkameen placers, P. C. Dunlevey was authorized 
at this session to establish and keep a ferry "across Shalam river in Spokane county, 
commencing at lake Shalam and extending ^ye miles down Shalam river/' Thus 
they attempted to spell "Chelan" half a century and more ago. 

The country east of the Cascade mountains engrossed a large part of the thought 
and attention of the legislative session of the winter of 1860-61. Travel was setting 
in briskly towards the placer mining camps of northern Idaho, and the upper 
Columbia, and to facilitate it the legislature granted the Walla Walla & Clear- 
water road company a franchise to construct and maintain a toll road by way of 
the old Indian trail. Elias D. Pierce^ Joseph L. Davis, James Buckley and Lycurgus 
Jackson were named as incorporators, and empowered to charge tolls at each bridge 
or ferry ranging from fifty cents for a footman to $5 for each wagon with six 
mules, horses or oxen. Daniel Ladoux was authorized to keep a ferry across the 
Columbia at the mouth of Kettle river. 

Congress was memorialized for the appointment of a commissioner to treat 
with the Nez Perce Indians for a change in their reservation, the memorial point- 
ing out that "during the past year discoveries have indicated the existence of rich 
gold fields within the limits of the Nez Perce reservation in this territory;" that 
"this has caused great excitement among those Indians, as also among our white 
population, and it is feared that unless some action is taken by the general govern- 
ment, it may lead to serious difficulty between the whites and the Nez Perces, who 
have been uniformly friendly to our citizens." It was believed "that the lands 
upon which the gold is indicated may be peaceably procured of the Indians should 
a commissioner be appointed to treat with them for a change in the boundaries 
of the reservation." 

The first treatv was made with the Nez Perces in 1855, but was not ratified 
until 1859, explains Myron Eells, in "History of Indian Missions on the Pacific 
Coast." The next year the gold mines of Orofino were discovered on their reserva- 
tion, and the following year those of Florence and other places in western Idaho, 
to the east of the reservation; but to reach the latter the miners were obliged to 
travel across the reservation; and men did rush on to it and across it very much 
as if it had not been set apart for the Indians. In order to avoid a conflict, a new 
treaty was made in April, 1861 (which, however, was never ratified), by which 
that part of the reservation lying north of Snake and Clearwater rivers, the south 
fork of the Clearwater, and the trail from the south fork by the Wieppe root 
ground, across the Bitter Root mountains, was opened to the whites in common with 
the Indians for mining purposes. As long as the United States did not ratify it, it 
did not become binding on the Indians, and even if it had been, only a part of 
the reservation was opened, and that only for mining purposes. Yet, in defiance 
of law, and against the protestations of the Indian agent, the town of Lewiston 
was laid out in 1861 on the reservation, and on that part of it which had not been 
thus opened. The town soon grew to be a place of 1,200 people, and the first 
capital of Idaho; and the anomaly was seen of the legislature of a territory sitting 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 285 

on an Indian reservation, and even making laws, some of which were contrary 
to the laws of the United States, in regard to intercourse with Indians. 

"By the spring of 1863," adds Eells, "it was evident that a new treaty was 
needed, whereby the reservation should be curtailed, if possible; and this was 
made in June of that year; but it was not ratified by the United States until 1867. 
Lawyer, the head chief, and fifty other sub-chiefs and head men agreed to it, but 
others did not, among whom were Joseph, White Bird and Looking Glass, who 
Dved on the part surrendered to the United States ; and this was the main cause of 
the war with Joseph in 1877. 

"The tribe was thus, in 1863, divided into treaty and non-treaty Indians, and 
as government failed either to ratify this treaty, or even to pay all the money due 
under the first treaty, the division between the two parties grew wider and wider, 
and the non-treaty party grew constantly stronger, while the other side grew weaker. 
To add to the difficulty, the miners and others, of whom 3,000 or 4,000 were on the 
reservation, carried a large amount of whiskey with them, a considerable part of 
▼hich was furnished to the Indians, enough at times to occasion serious trouble, 
had there been no other cause. 

"Lawyer, notwithstanding, stood firm for the whites until June, 1867, more 
than six years after the miners had entered his reservation, and four years after 
the last treaty had been made. But by that time he seemed to tire of waiting, 
and at a council held that month he boldly demanded that justice be done; and such 
was the feeling of the tribe that if he had not done so, wrote the agent, J. O'Neill, 
"he would not have lived forty-eight hours. I know this to be true," he added ; "I 
know that some of his people would have killed him." 

News of the ratification of the treaty, however, reached them soon after this: 
the promises made soon began to be fulfilled, and trouble was avoided. 

In another memorial the legislature directed congressional attention to the need 
of Canadian "reciprocity." It recited that — 

"A valuable mineral region lies in the Columbia river basin east of the Cascade 
mountains which is divided by our northern boundary line, the forty-ninth parallel; 
that a valuable and quite extensive mining region, in which are now wintering 
upwards of 400 American miners, lies south of said forty-ninth parallel ; that from 
the topography of the country it is absolutely essential that Americans, who are 
obliged to travel from point to point, in obtaining ingress or egress from said 
mines, must traverse a portion of British Columbia; that it is equally essential 
that British miners and merchants, who desire to locate in the mines of British 
Columbia are compelled to pass through an extensive portion of the territory in- 
cluded in Territory of Washington; that large quantities of British goods are thus 
necessarily passed through our territory, and a large quantity is supplied to our 
miners, without paying any duties whatever; that a British custom-house is estab- 
lished on the route which Americans are compelled, at present, to travel, and a 
number of revenue officers are stationed along said route, compelling the payment, 
not only of duties (although the goods and supplies are not sold or disposed of 
until they again reach our own territory), but also, in the shape of tonnage dues 
and road taxes, according to the following schedule: 



286 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Tonnage dues^ per ton $ 3.00 

Road tax, per ton 10.00 

Wagons, each 10.00 

Single teams ^.OO 

Horsemen 1.50 

"That, in consequence of British merchants securing importation to American 
miners free of duty, and our American fellow citizens having to pay the British 
dues and the tribute money or toll above referred to, the latter are powerless to 
compete with the British Columbians." 

The memorial closed with the significant statement that while "no difficulty 
has yet occurred calculated to mar the peaceful relations existing between the two 
nations, this state of things cannot long continue." 

Still another memorial urged that "a military road is much needed from the 
headwaters of Puget Sound to Fort Colville, as the postmaster general has adver- 
tised for bids for carrying the United States mails from Bellingham Bay to that 
point." It was set forth that "the distance in a straight line between the two 
points is about 185 miles," and that the citizens of Bellingham Bay had spent 
large sums of money and labor in opening a trail between the two said points, 
and thoroughly tested the practicability of a wagon road on or near the line of 
said trail which was accessible at all seasons of the year. It was added that — 

"The pass through the Cascade mountains known as Park's pass, is the best 
heretofore discovered, and the Northwestern Boundary commission passed over 
the same last summer with all their animals and baggage. This is the nearest 
route to the open country east of the Cascades by at least 150 miles, from the 
waters of Puget Sound. This road, if established, will open large and fertile 
tracts of country to settlement, and also give us a post road to Fort Colville and 
the gold mines. 

After fifty years the dream of the pioneers is yet a dream; and the Bellingham 
Bay & Eastern railroad, on which high hopes were subsequently founded to put 
the towns of Bellingham Bay in competition with Seattle and Tacoma for the com- 
merce of the Indian Empire, languishes for want of funds and enterprise. 

Roads, ferries and bridges, better mail facilities — ^these were the crying needs 
of the Spokane country half a century ago. The old order has passed away, and 
the brave, hardy men who were engaged then in the inspiring work of empire 
building, have, most of them, gone on the long, long journey which needs no 
bridge or ferry; but the spirit of their times we find expressed in the time-worn 
and age-stained volumes of legislative lore. 

Passing on to the session of '61-2 we discover the appointment, by an act passed 
January 4, of J. L. Henck, John Wynn and John Drumheller, "to locate and estab- 
lish a territorial road from Fort Walla Walla to Fort Colville, on the Columbia 
river in Spokane county. For this service they were to receive "a compensation of 
three dollars per day while actually employed in the viewing and locating of said 
road, to be paid out of the county treasuries of their respective counties." 

And at the same session J. R. Bates was authorized to build a toll bridge 
"across the Spokane river at a point where the territorial road leading from Walla 
Walla to Colville on the Columbia river crosses or may cross said river;" and 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 287 

pending the building of the bridge^ ''the said J. R. Bates^ his heirs or assigns^ shall 
secure a good and sufficient fiatboat with sufficient hands to work the same^ for the 
transportation of all persons and their property, across said river without delay." 
The tolls ranged from fifty cents for a footman to $8 for "each pleasure, car- 
riage, coach or vehicle for conveyance of persons." Automobiling in the vicinity 
of Spokane would have been expensive recreation in those times. 

Gold dust was the prevailing medium of exchange. Hence the adoption of 
the foUowing law by the territorial solons that winter at Olympia: 

"That if any person shall counterfeit any kind or species of gold dust, gold 
bullion or bars, lumps, pieces or nuggets of gold, or any description whatsoever 
of uncoined gold, currently passing in this territory, or shall alter or put off any 
kind of uncoined gold mentioned in this section, for the purpose of defrauding any 
person or persons, body politic or corporate; . . . every such person so offend- 
ing, or any person or persons aiding and abetting in said offense or offenses, shall 
be deemed guilty of counterfeiting, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished 
by imprisonment in the penitentiary for a term not less than one year nor more 
than fourteen years." 

Men were now invading the Inland Empire by the thousand, lured by the 
search for the "golden fleece." The fame of the new "diggings" had spread afar, 
and experienced gold miners hastened here from California, from British Columbia, 
from southern Oregon, from the Willamette valley and the Puget Sound country. 
In large part they were home-owning citizens; many of them left families down 
below; others were young men with sweethearts and mothers in the places of their 
bringing-up, and in every mining camp the hastily assembled population was eager 
for news from home, and grew clamorous for better mail service. This agitation 
found expression in a memorial, passed, January 6, 1862, the legislature at Olym- 
pia "respectfully representing" to the postmaster-general "that the people now living 
in the eastern portion of this territory are laboring under great inconvenience and 
expense from the fact of there being no mail facilities to the northward and east- 
ward of the town of Walla Walla. 

"The great extent and richness of our gold fields," so runs the memorial, "to- 
gether with the unequaled grazing and farming lands east of the Cascade range 
of mountains, justifies the belief that there will be soon many thousand perma- 
nent settlers engaged in farming and mining in that portion of our territory. In 
view of these facts, your memorialists would pray that a weekly mail route be 
established between the town of Walla Walla and Fort Colville, and also a weekly 
mail route be established between Walla Walla and Pierce City, via Lewiston. A 
weekly mail should also be established between Lewiston and Florence City, situ- . 
ated in the far-famed Salmon river mines. 

"We would also respectfully request that a daily mail route be established be- 
tween Vancouver City and Walla Walla, thus connecting with the overland daily 
mail between Sacramento City, Cal., and Olympia, W. T." 

A week later a still more pressing memorial was addressed to "the Honorable 
Senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled," "respectfully repre- 
senting that in view of the fact of the rich deposits of gold in the country lying 
east of the Cascade mountains in this territory, which country has now within 
its limits more than Ave thousand men engaged in gold mining, which number will 



288 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

be increased to more than 50^000 men during the ensuing summer^ which popula- 
tion have no facilities whatever for the delivery of the United States mail amongst 
them ; 

"We, your memorialists, would respectfully request your honorable body to 
establish the following mail routes; 

"A mail route from Walla Walla, via Lewiston and Pierce City, to Elk City, 
distance about 200 miles, weekly service. 

**A branch route from Lewiston to Florence City, about 85 miles, weekly service. 

"A route from Walla Walla, via Antoine Plant's and the Coeur d'Alenc mis- 
sion, to Hell Gate Ronde, distance 350 miles, semi-weekly service." 

In yet another memorial, the legislature protested to the postmaster-general 
against the discontinuance of mail service between Walla Walla and Colville, and 
presented the following facts for his consideration: 

Walla Walla county has now about 1,000 inhabitants. There are 5,000 men 
in the country north of Colville, whose only American office is that of Colville. 

That there will be 50,000 people in the country east of the Cascade mountains 
before the close of the ensuing summer. 

There has been a semi-weekly line of steamers running with through connec- 
tions between Portland and Walla Walla, which semi-weekly line is to be increased 
to a daily line on the reopening of navigation on the Columbia in February. 

In view of these facts, a daily mail service was asked between Portland and 
Walla Walla, and the legislature repeated its request for the new lines proposed 
in the foregoing memorials. 

Another memorial to congress represented that "there are vast tracts of agri- 
cultural lands within the county boundaries of Spokane and Missoula, over which 
the public surveys of the government have not been extended. Upon these lands 
a large number of our citizens are located, who have erected houses and opened 
farms. We therefore ask congress to make an appropriation which will be suffi- 
ciently large to extend this much needed survey over the counties to which we 
refer." 

The legislature was certainly busy writing and passing memorials that winter. 
Another represented that "great inconvenience exists to the settlers on the public 
lands in the counties of Walla Walla, Spokane, Shoshone, Missoula, Nez Perce 
and Idaho, by consequence of their remote situation from any land office of the 
United States; and you are hereby respectfully petitioned to establish a land 
office at the city of Walla Walla, in Walla Walla county." 

In these various acts and memorials we find lack of uniformity in spelling the 
name "Spokane," and it appears frequently without the final "e." 

Lewiston had now become the largest town, excepting Portland, in the Pacific 
northwest. Almost literally it may be said that it sprang up in a night, experience 
having shown that its site was the practical head of navigation on the Snake and 
the Clearwater, and therefore the natural outfitting and distributing point for 
miners and others going into the placer camps of the Clearwater and Salmon 
river districts. A controversy arose a few years ago, respecting the date of its 
founding and the origin of its name, and the question having been referred to 
George E. Cole, former governor of Washington territory, Mr. Cole replied: 

"Colonel Lyle, Captain Ainsworth, Lawrence Coe, Vic. Trevett and myself 



CHARLES H. MOXTGOMERY 
A noted Stei-ens County Pionwr 



JAMES MONAtillAN M. M. COWLEV 

iVIio c-ame to the Spokane 



r 



THc >EV.' 'lOhK 



FUbLlC LI BR AH Yl 



U 






THE .nl".""y,jKK 
iPUfaLiC LIBKARY 



[.- 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 289 

selected the location and named the place Lewiston^ in the latter part of May 
or the first part of June^ 1861^ in honor of Captain Lewis^ of the Lewis and Clark 
expedition." 

An act passed at the session of 1862-3 authorized David Williamson to estab- 
lish and keep a ferry "across the Spokane river^ at a point two and a quarter miles 
above Colonel Wright's crossing of the same^ with the privilege of two miles each 
way op and down from said point." For each footman^ a toll of 50 cents could be 
collected; for each man and horse^ and for each animal packed^ $1.50; for each 
wagon with two animals attached^ $3^.imd for each wagon with four animals at- 
tached^ $4f ; but the county commissioiierst' were empowered to regulate and change 
these tolls at any regular term of theii '^dtott*. An-anftuat'tax of $25 was charged 
for the franchise. 

At the same session A. W. Compjton and«Heary Carpes were "authorized to 
establish and keep a ferry across tk«."T'ehd" d'OreUTe' river at Singuackwateen^ 
with a 50-cent toll for footmen^ but somewhat lower rates for conveyances than 
in the case of the Spokane ferry. 

Another franchise was granted to George Melville "and his associates to 
establish and keep a ferry across the Kootenay river^ at a point where the boundary 
commissioners' trail crosses said river^ known as Chelemta." All of these fran- 
chises were in Spokane county. 

At that period many Chinese were entering the country to mine placers that 
were not considered sufficiently profitable by white miners^ and the legislature 
fixed a poll tax on Chinese of $16 a head^ the proceeds to go to the school funds 
of the various counties, excepting in Stevens, where the money went into the road 
fond. By special act, it was provided that "in the collection of the Chinese police 
tax the sheriff of Stevens county or his deputy shall have power to pursue any per- 
son who shall attempt to evade the payment of this tax into any county in the 
territory, and enforce the collection in the same manner as though he were in the 
comity of Stevens.'* Obviously the pioneers of fifty years ago believed, with 
'Truthful James," that "for ways that are dark and tricks that are vain, the 
heathen Chinee is peculiar." 

At the session of 1864-5, Irwin R. Morris was voted a franchise to build a 
toll bridge across the Spokane river, "commencing at a point two miles above the 
house of Antoine Plant, and extending up said river a distance of ^ye miles above 
said point." Coimty organizations were still 'faint/ and irregular, for while the 
grant lay within Spokane county the gifantee was required to pay into the treasury 
of Walla Walla county an annual tax of $25. 

And on the following day, S. D. Smith was granted a franchise for a toll 
bridge "across the Spokane river at or near the place known as Colonel Wright's 
crossing, with the same requirement as to payment of annual tax to Walla Walla 
county." The schedule of charges ranged from 50 cents for a footman to $4 for a 
wagon and two-horse team. 

Culture was not altogether ignored in the interior, and Walla Walla was the 
place to light and hold aloft the lamp of learning. The legisature, at this session, 
passed an act "to incorporate a library and literary association in the town of Walla 
Walla," with W. W. Johnson, B. N. Sexton, L. B. Monson, L. J. Rector, J. H. 

f 01. l~lf 



290 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Kendrick and Angus McKay, and *-the officers and members of the Calliopian 
society of Walla Walla" as incorporators. 

"Said corporation may receive and hold all moneys or property coming into 
their hands by voluntary subscriptions, contributions or otherwise, or apply the 
same to the establishing and maintaining of a library^ and may also receive and 
hold all donations of books, papers and periodicals that may be donated for that 
purpose." 

Travel over the Walla Walla-Colville valley road had been heavy and continuous 
for several years, and James Monaghan and William Nix, who had been conducting 
a ferry at the Spokane crossing of that highway, about twenty miles below the 
present city, sought and were granted, by the legislature of 1865-6, a franchise to 
build a bridge. The act required that "the said bridge shall not be less than eight 
feet wide, and shall be substantially built, and sufficiently strong to bear up with 
safety a wagon carrying three tons with the team attached." The franchise ran for 
ten years, and the grantees were to pay an annual tax of $25 to Stevens county. The 
tolls ran from 25 cents for a foot passenger to $4 for each wagon with two horses 
attached. 

Mr. Monaghan was one of the first white men to engage definitely and perma- 
nently in business on the Spokane. He had come to America from Ireland in 1856, 
and two years later came to the Pacific coast by way of the Isthmus, arriving at 
Vancouver, this state, in May, 1858. For a year or so he worked on a ferry across 
the DesChutes river in eastern Oregon; was next employed until 1860 on the little 
steamer Colonel Wright, the first steamboat to run on the upper Columbia. His next 
occupation was on the ferry across the Spokane, which he bought from its former 
owner and later converted into a bridge, under the foregoing franchise. In 1 869 he 
went to Walla Walla for a short time, and the following year bought an interest in a 
store at Chewelah, Washington, also buying from the Indians a farm on which a 
part of the town site is now located. In 1 873 he removed to Colville, where he en- 
gaged in merchandising until 1879, and then went with the United States troops to 
the mouth of Foster creek, in the Big Bend country, and the following spring to 
Chelan. In 1880 he took supplies by boat from Colville to the mouth of Foster creek. 

Mr. Monaghan next came to Fort Spokane, at the mouth of the Spokane river, 
where he was engaged in contracting for government supplies, and also served as 
postmaster and post-trader of that post from 1882 to 1885. He and C. B. King 
erected the first private boat on Lake Coeur d'Alene, running from Coeur d'Alene City 
to Old Mission during the gold excitement on the North fork of the Coeur d'Alene, 
and a year later they laid out the townsite of Coeur d'Alene. Mr. Monaghan came to 
Spokane in 1887, and this city has since been his home. His son, John Robert 
Monaghan, born at Chewelah, entered the United States naval academy at Annapo- 
lis, was graduated with honors, assigned to service as an ensign, and fell in action, 
under particularly heroic circumstances, in a hot skirmish with rebellious natives, 
near Apia in the Samoan islands. An impressive monument at the intersection of 
Riverside avenue and Monroe streets, was erected by admiring friends and citisens 
of Spokane as a tribute to his gallant memory. 

Clamor still rose for better mail service, and the legislature, in January, 1865, 
memorialized congress to establish a distributing postoffice at Walla Walla. In sup- 
port of this request it argued that — 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 291 

"There is, in the territories of Washington and Oregon, a combined population 
of over 80,000 inhabitants ; that in these territories rich deposits of gold and silver 
are being constantly discovered apd developed; that the permanent population is 
being steadily and rapidly augmented ; that mining towns are in consequence spring- 
ing into existence in every part of the mining districts ; that the present postal ar- 
rangements are entirely inadequate to meet the growing demand for postal con- 
Tcniences; that the city of Walla Walla is on the natural and recognized transit 
roate of the great northern overland mail, and is the geographic and eligible center 
of distribution for the great mining districts of Idaho and Washington territories ; 
that at this time such settlements are almost entirely dependent upon the said over- 
land mail, which arrives at Walla Walla three times a week, which city is already 
connected by roads with Lewiston, Fort Lapwai, Fort Colville, Florence, Pierce City, 
Elk City, Orofino, Deer Lodge Valley and other mining camps ; that mail matter for 
such towns and settlements must and necessarily does pass through Walla Walla; 
and that the western portion of Washington territory, embracing the lower Colum- 
bia and Puget Sound country, as well as all the portion of Oregon north of the 
Calapooia mountains, can, with slight addition to existing postal arrangements of 
oTerland service, secure the reception of mail matter from the Atlantic States in from 
fire to ten days less time thtm by way of Sacramento, California." 

A memorial adopted in January, 1866, represented "that in view of the rapid 
filling up of the country east of the Cascade range of mountains with a hardy and 
industrious class of immigrants, who are making homes for themselves and poster- 
ity," there was urgent necessity at the earliest practicable date, of effecting a treaty 
with snch tribes of Indians as had not already been treated with for their lands. 
The memorial added that the Indians not treated with had manifested a hostile atti- 
tude at various times and places for the last seven years: "that murder and theft are 
of very frequent occurrence, and the security of life and property are in constant 
jeopardy from the small roving tribes that have not been placed on reservations." 

"Your memorialists would further represent that all of the Indian tribes not 
treated with east of the Cascade mountains reside within the boundaries of Stevens 
county, and that they number between 1,500 and 2,000." 

A memorial adopted in December, 1865, urged the establishment of a post route 
from Helena, Montana territory, to Wallula, on the Columbia river, in eastern Wash- 
ington, via Hell Gate, Pend d'Oreille lake and Antoine Plant's place on the Spo- 
kane. In argument it was represented that "the portion of Montana territory lying 
westward of the Rocky mountains is fast filling with population attracted thither by 
the rich mining fields recently discovered and already being successfully developed ; 
that there is now in such portion of said territory an estimated population of some 
25,000, distributed in numerous mining camps and towns; that your memorialists 
believe that these pioneers of settlement who are laboring to develop the resources 
of the country have strong claims on your consideration, and that the encouragement 
by the government of mining interests will materially tend to increase the supply of 
the precious metals and their distribution, the result of which must secure a national 
benefit, because of the fact that an abundance of gold and silver would defeat a 
speculation in gold, and as the premium on that was reduced, it would measurably 
enhance the value of currency, thereby alleviating the government in its discharge of 
our great national debt." 



292 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Men come and go, and the years roll by^ but animating motives remain the same. 
Portland and San Francisco merchants wanted the trade of the vast interior as 
against the merchants of St. Louis and Missouri river cities, who were actively 
reaching out for it by steamboat transportation to old Fort Benton, on the upper 
Missouri. Portland merchants, forty or fifty years ago, sold goods all the way to 
Benton, and enjoyed a thriving trade, particularly at seasons when low water pre- 
vented the Missouri river boats from ascending to the head of hig^water navigation. 
The late Edward Failing, long engaged in the wholesale hardware line in Portland, 
informed the writer years ago that his house had placed many a rich order in the 
country around Fort Benton. 

This motive of trade expansion was candidly paraded in the memorial, which 
added: "The natural outlet of said region, whereby its vast mineral wealth is to be- 
come beneficial to the world, is through the Columbia river to Portland, Oregon, and 
San Francisco; that upon these points and by such channel the population of this 
region are to depend, principally for their supplies, and a reference to the map will 
demonstrate that through this channel they can be easily, cheaply and expeditiously 
supplied at all seasons of the year. And your memorialists may add in this connec- 
tion, that if these settlements are made to depend upon St. Louis, they will be re- 
stricted to the occasional trips of steamboats at the high stages of water^of the Mis- 
souri river." 

By whom could then be foreseen the swift, transforming changes of forty years: 
the passing forevermore, with the dawning of the twentieth century, of steamboat 
navigation on the Missouri; and the construction, not of a single transcontinental 
railroad, but half a dozen; and the building, at their crossroads by the falls of the 
Spokane, of a city twenty times as large as the Portland of old? And whose then 
the vision to discern the rise by the shores of lonely Puget Sound of a city that should 
cover by 1912 a population greater than St. Louis boasted when the ink was yet not 
dry on this old memorial of six and forty years agone? 

Oregon coveted then the fair vale of Walla Walla, and the Washington legisla- 
ture, in a resolution passed January 9, 18^6, directed its delegate in congress "to 
resist any and all attempt to diminish the area of the territory of Washington by 
annexing Walla Walla county to the state of Oregon." The firm belief was further 
expressed ''that such proposed scheme of annexation meets with the earnest disap- 
probation of a large majority of the citizens of said county, and finds no favor with 
the people of the territory." 

"Coming events cast their shadows before," and the coming of the Northern 
Pacific was foreshadowed in a resolution passed January 15, 1866: 

"Whereas there has been a project organized to connect the great lakes of the 
North with Puget Sound and the Pacific ocean by a railroad to be designated as the 
Northern Pacific railroad; and 

"Whereas, We believe such an enterprise would be greatly beneficial to Wash- 
ington territory in developing its various agricultural, mineral and commercial in- 
terests ; therefore, 

"Resolved, By the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Washington, That we 
hail with joy an enterprise of this kind as tending to develop not only the interests 
of Washington territory, but all the great Northwest." 

An act adopted in January, 1867, defined the boundaries of Stevens conntv as 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 293 

commencing at the point of intersection of the forty-ninth parallel of latitude and 
the boimdary line between Washington and Idaho territories ; thence west with said 
parallel to the summit of the Cascade mountains; thence southerly with said summit 
to the headwaters of the Wenatchee river ; thence down the channel of said river to 
the Columbia river ; thence down mid-channel of said river to the mouth of Snake 
river; thence up mid-channel of said river to the boundary line between Wash- 
ington and Idaho territories ; thence north on said line to the forty-ninth parallel of 
Utitode and place of beginning. 

Out of this expansive domain have since been cut the counties of Ferry, Okano- 
gan, Chelan^ Douglas, Grant, Franklin, Lincoln, Adams, Whitman and Spokane — 
material ample enough in territory and wealth and variety of natural resources for 
an imperial state. 

For the building and improvement of roads within this domain, the legislature, 
at the same session, authorized the county commissioners to assess a road tax of $6 
on every person liable to perform labor on the public roads, and also to assess 
not less than 5 nor more than 10 mills on the dollar of the valuation as determined 
by the county assessor. 

W. A. Ball and associates were authorized to construct a wagon road from Goose 
Island on Snake river, to the Mullan road, "near the old Indian ferry on the north 
side of the Spokane river, and to establish bridges on the Palouse and Spokane 
rivers." A rather stiff schedule of tolls was authorized: For each wagon with two 
animals attached, $12; for each additional span or yoke of animals, $2; for each 
boggy and horse, $10; for each horseman, $4; for each loaded pack animal, $2; for 
each loose or unloaded animal, $1 ; for each head of homed cattle, $1 and for each 
footman, and head of sheep or swine, 50 cents. But these charges were to cover the 
crossing at both bridges. 

J. D. Schnebley was given a grant to build and operate a bridge across the Spo- 
kane "at a place distant from two to three miles above the ferry of Antoine Plant, at 
such particular point as may be most eligible for building such bridge." 

At the same session, Patrick Farrell was authorized to build and keep a toll 
bridge across Hangman creek, on the direct road leading from Walla Walla to Fort 
Benton. 

This famous old highway, located and built by the Lieutenant John Mullan, who 
attended Colonel Wright in his campaign against the hostile Indians in 1858, had 
fallen into such a state of neglect that the legislature was moved to address a strong 
memorial to congress, urging its repair. As that document set forth with admirable 
clearness the history of the road and the conditions existing in 1866 throughout the 
entire "upper country," it deserves, at least in part, a place in this history. After 
reciting that the highway, for much of the distance through the Coeur d'Alene and 
Bitter Root mountains was in an almost impassable condition for wagons, on account 
of fallen timber and destruction of bridges, it went on to represent that — 

"The necessity for a great national highway connecting the Missouri and Colum- 
bia rivers by a good and substantial wagon road, was by its own importance first 
brongfat to the notice of your honorable bodies as early as the year 1849. In the 
spring of 1 852^ the necessity felt by the government for a more thorough and satis- 
iactory knowledge in detail of the geographical and topographical character of 
the country lying between the Columbia and the Missouri rivers, induced congress 



294 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

to make an appropriation for the purpose^ and in the spring of 1853^ bj authority 
of congress^ several corps of engineers and explorers were organized and sent 
forth under the direction of Honorable I. I. Stevens. The voluminous and truth- 
ful reports of these several parties induced congress to act and act promptly, and 
in 1857 Captain John Mullan was ordered into the field, being fully supplied with 
all the necessary men and means, and was on the ground in the spring of 1858. 
Commencing at Wallula (then old Fort Walla Walla) on the Columbia river, he 
had completed the Walla Walla and Fort Benton military wagon road in Sep- 
tember, 1862. 

"The opening of this road is of the greatest, most vital importance to the peo- 
ple of Washington, Idaho, and that portion of Montana lying west of the Rocky 
mountains; and in the opinion of your memorialists, in a military point of view 
its importance cannot be over-estimated. 

"Your memorialists are of the opinion that $100,000 judiciously expended in 
repairing said road between Walla Walla and Helena cities, a distance of 445 
miles, under the direction of a competent engineer from the United States topo- 
graphical bureau, will put the road in good condition and enable teams loaded 
with freight and machinery to pass over from the Columbia river into the heart 
of a rich mining country. 

"Rich quartz veins are being discovered in the hearts of the Coeur d'Alene 
and Bitter Root mountains, which will ere long demand machinery for their de- 
velopment, and the working of which, in connection with the placer mines, would 
contribute largely to the development of Washington, Idaho and the western por- 
tion of Montana territories. 

"The opening of this road will enable a large portion of the population now 
on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Cascades and Rocky mountains to use 
this great thoroughfare in reaching the rich gold and silver mines lying along its 
route from Helena west to the Columbia river. Again, it is through this national 
highway that the immigrant from the eastern side of the mountains, and those 
who ascend the Missouri river to Fort Benton must pass to reach western Montana, 
Washington and a large portion of Idaho territory. 

"There is a constant stream of population flowing into the region of country 
lying along and adjacent to this so-called Mullan road. The immigrant who is 
seeking farming land comes on down to the Walla Walla and other rich valleys ly- 
ing along the western terminus of the road, and thence on to Puget sound. 

"There is at the present time a population of over 100,000 inhabitants in the 
territories of Washington, Idaho and western Montana. Rich deposits of gold, 
silver, copper, lead and iron are constantly being discovered and rapidly developed. 
Mining towns are springing into existence in all parts of the newly settled region. 
Branch roads leading from thia main trunk (Mullan road) to the different mining 
camps are being made by individual enterprise, and everything gives indication that 
at no distant day these hardy and successful pioneers will be knocking at the door 
of congress asking to be admitted into the sisterhood of states. But the popula- 
tion of this vast region of country is too new and too poor to be able to take hold 
of and rapidly complete such a great enterprise as the opening of this military 
road. 

"The inhabitants, coming as they have from all parts of the United States, are 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 295 

unacquainted with each other^ and admitting that they have all the necessary means 
within themselves for the opening of this road^ a few months' acquaintance with 
each other is not sufficient to establish the necessary confidence to organize a com- 
pany and put forward to completion so great an undertaking. Nor is this all: 
the great length of this road and the large number of people it would benefit when 
opened demands that it should be a free road. 

"Youp memorialists wish to further show the vital importance of an early 
opening of a free road through this rich and fertile region of public domain, 
whereby the producers of the valleys may be enabled to reach the mining regions 
with their produce^ and supply the miners with the necessaries of life at prices 
which will enable them to remain in and develop the mines. We will give some 
statistics carefully compiled and drawn from reliable sources relative to the produc- 
tions and ruling prices for the same^ of Walla Walla valley alone, together with 
the number of tons of freight landed by steamers at Wallula, and the amount pass- 
ing over the MuUan road by pack trains to western Montana. 

"The Walla Walla valley, including that portion which lies in the state of 
Or^on, has produced this season (1866) 500,000 bushels of wheat, 250,000 bushels 
of oats, 200,000 bushels of barley, 150,000 bushels of corn, 170,000 pounds of 
beans, 4,500 head of hogs, 1,800 head of horses, 2,500 head of cattle. 

"From January 1 to November 15, 1866, 1,500 head of horses have been pur- 
chased by individual miners at Walla Walla horse markets, 2,000 miners have out- 
fitted at Walla Walla, 5,000 head of cattle were driven from Walla Walla to 
Montana, 6,000 mules have left Walla Walla and the Columbia river, loaded with 
freight for Montana; fifty-two light wagons with families have left Walla Walla 
for Montana, thirty-one wagons with immigrants have come through from the 
States via the Mullan road, a portion of whom settled in Walla Walla valley and 
the remainder crossed the Columbia -river at Wallula and settled on the Yakima 
nVer, or passed on to Puget Sound ; not less than 20,000 persons have passed over 
the Mullan road to and from Montana during the past season; $1,000,000 in 
treasure has passed through Walla Walla and Wallula during the same period. 

"The Walla Walla valley contains six flouring mills, six saw mills, two planing 
mills, two distilleries, one foundry and fifty-two threshing, heading and reaping 
machines. 

"The Oregon Steam Navigation company have run a daily line of boats to 
Wallula (Sundays excepted) during the past season up to the fourth day of No- 
vember; since that time the boats have made four trips per week. These boats are 
of the capacity from 75 to 200 tons burden, and giving the very lowest estimates, 
have landed not less than 5,000 tons of freight at Wallula during the season. 

"As early as 1862, about the time the Fort Benton wagon road was completed, 
the Oregon Steam Navigation company landed at Wallula, from the fifth day of 
July to the eleventh day of October inclusive, 1,705 tons of freight, making three 
trips per week, which is an average of over forty tons per trip. 

"The government has a large warehouse at Wallula, a quartermaster's agent 
in charge, and all the government supplies for Fort Walla Walla, Fort Boise and 
a large proportion of those for Forts Colville and Lapwai are landed there. Freight 
is landed at Wallula for Lewiston, Florence, Pierce City, Elk City and Orofino, 
during the spring and fall, and for Helena, Blackfoot City, Deer Lodge, Hell 



296 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Gaie^ Bitter Root valley^ Cariboo^ Kootenai and Pend d'Oreille lake^ at all seasons 
of the year^ ice not preventing. 

"Your memorialists will further state that owing to the condition of the Mullan 
road^ the producers of the Walla Walla and other valleys adjacent thereto are 
deprived of a valuable market for their products^ and the inhabitants living along 
the line of the road and in western Montana^ are compelled to pay exorbitant, 
not to say extortionate, prices for the necessaries of life, while the best standard 
mills family flour is selling at Walla Walla for five dollars per barrel, and the 
best of wheat is selling at sixty cents per bushel; the freight on either of these 
articles to Montana, via the Mullan road in its present condition, costing from thir- 
teen to twenty-two cents per pound by pack animals. 

"Your memorialists are of the opinion that wheat can not be purchased any- 
where in the United States at what it is now being sold for daily at Walla Walla, 
sixty cents per bushel. Oats command from one to one and one-half cents per pound; 
barley from one to one and one-quarter cents per pound. Last year the merchants 
of Walla Walla shipped over 600,000 pounds of oats to Oregon, and 113,000 
pounds of wool and a large quantity of potatoes and onions." 

The postoffice department had established a mail route from Wallula to 
Helena, making Wallula a distributing office, and the memorial concluded with the 
opinion "that by opening the road we are assured that we shall soon have what 
the requirements of the country and the number of inhabitants demand, a mail 
coach on the route instead of a train of packhorses." 

In this memorial is presented a vivid portrayal of conditions in the Inland 
Empire, Ave and forty years ago, and a faithful picture of traffic as it moved 
over the historic old Mullan road. In fancy we may conjure back the scenes of 
other days, and contrast with the changed conditions of the present hour the 
stream of traffic as then it flowed along this old highway down the wild valley of 
the Spokane. Let us, in imagination, take a position beside the pioneer thorough- 
fare and await the passing of the traffic of a busy day in autunm. Comes yonder 
a long cavalcade of pack animals, with lading of merchandise from Portland or 
Walla Walla, cinched high above the rough pack saddles of frontier pattern. It 
is headed for the Montana mines and three hundred miles away to the east an 
enterprising merchant frets in impatience as he scans his empty shelves and cal- 
culates his daily loss in the gold dust that would be his if only he had the goods 
so wanted by the red-shirted, big-booted miners up the gulch. 

Scarcely has the dust raised by this shuffling caravan been wafted away by 
the vagrant breeze than we may detect a moving picture of a different sort. Ad 
immigrant train is coming round a near-by bend and stirring up a stupendous 
dust as it moves along. Galloping a little in advance, a horseman sights an attract- 
ive camping place, with the three-fold advantages of wood, grass and water, scans, 
under a sheltering hand, the meridian sun, and sends back a long halloo whose 
cheery meaning even the jaded teams are quick to understand and answer with 
a quickened pace. Within a few minutes the little train has lumbered up, wagons 
come to rest at various vantage points around the wayside brook; women and chil- 
dren climb out from the covered wagon beds; traces are unhooked, lines looped np 
on the hames, neckyokes quickly taken from wagon-tongues, and instantly we hear 
a medley of jingling harness, rattling tinware and childish voices made sharp by 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 297 

hanger's call. For they have come far since they left their camping-spot of the 
ni^t before and the days are long and tedious when one travels in an immigrant 
wagon across the plains or through the mountains and the deep forests of the west. 
They are on their way^ perhaps from old Missouri or more distant Illinois or In- 
diana^ to a promised land in the Walla Walla or the Willamette valley; and have 
been steadily on the move since early spring gave promise of sufficient pasturage 
to sustain their teams and cattle. Grim resolution^ with sunshine and the winds^ 
has fixed upon their features lines of determination^ but hope gleams in every eye, 
and quiet courage^ and patient endurance. The long journey is nearing the end^ 
and the land of pleasant abundance can not be far away. 

It is only a conjured picture, but we lift our hats to these immigrants of fifty 
years ago. For they were strong, and they had confidence, and they were unafraid. 
Builders of empire, founders of states, creators of towns and cities — they have be- 
come an almost vanished type, and with their passing, state and nation have lost 
something of the picturesque and somewhat of rugged courage and virtue. 

The Mullan road crossed the Spokane at Schnebley's bridge, two and a half miles 
above the present town of Trent, or about IS miles east of the city of Spokane. It* 
ran, thence, along the north bank of the river, past the old Kendall (later Cowley's) 
bridge, eighteen miles above Spokane; and thence, by way of Post Falls to Lake 
Coeur d'Alene, through Fourth of July canyon, and up the Coeur d'Alene river, 
by way of the Old Mission, crossing the Coeur d'Alene river frequently, and pass- 
ing into Montana over the pass of St. Regpis Borgias. 

From the (tossing of the Spokane river, it ran (towards Walla Walla) down 
the Spokane valley a few miles, and turned south and left the valley at a point 
about six miles east of the city, passing over Moran prairie near the present coun- 
try residence of J. J. Browne. It crossed Hangman creek about nine miles from 
Spokane. From the Hangman creek crossing it headed southwest for the ferry 
across Snake river near the mouth of the Palouse, passing enroute about three miles 
north of Spangle, and thence to the Hines place on lower Rock creek, where a settler 
named Hines ran an eating place. From the Hines place it ran by way of lake 
Colville, near the present town of Sprague to Cow creek, the next stopping place, 
and then on to the crossing of the Snake. Beyond Snake river it ran by way of 
the Touchet river to Waitsburg, and thence on to Walla Walla. 



CHAPTER XXXII 

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY CONTINUED 

MAIL BETWEEN WALLA WALLA AND PINKNEY CITY LEOI8LATURE PLEADS POVERTY 

PRAIRIE FIRES AGITATION TO ANNEX IDAHO PANHANDLE CLAMOR FOR LAND 

OFFICE AT WALLA WALLA SETTLERS COME INTO PALOUSE COUNTRY WHITMAN 

COUNTY CREATED CONDITIONS IN COLVILLE VALLEY BEGINNING OF FAMOUS LIEU 

LAND STRUGGLE AGITATION FOR AN OPEN RIVER EARLY DAY ROAD BUILDING 

LAWFUL FENCES DEFINED LAND OFFICE AT COLVILLE MILITARY POST AT SPO- 
KANE CREATION OF SPOKANE COUNTY FIRST APPLICATION OF THE REFEREN- 
DUM PROHIBITION STRIP ALONG THE NORTHERN PACIFIC GROWTH OF THE TER- 
RITORY MEMORIAL FOR MILITARY TELEGRAPH LINE. 

A MEMORIAL to the postmaster-general, December 15, 1866, represented 
that "under an order issued by the postal department, the postmaster was 
instructed not to pay over $4,000 for carrying the mail between Walla 
Walla and Pinkney City," but this sum was deemed inadequate for the distance of 
229 miles and the character of the country traversed. On solicitation of citizens 
of Walla W^alla and Stevens county, J. R. Bates and a man named Brennick had 
been induced to cover the route at that rate for three months only, on an under- 
standing that the matter would be taken up with the department and an increase 
asked to $7,000. This consideration the legislature thought reasonable, and the 
increase was therefore asked, adding that the mail on this route was important, as 
there then existed at the Pinkney City end of the route the following government 
offices: Custom house at Little Dalles, Indian agent and collector and assessor of 
internal revenue at Pinkney City, and a military post. By a legislative act passed 
a jear later, the name of Pinkney City was changed to Colville. 

In furtherance of the building of a transcontinental railroad, the legislature 
memorialized congress, under date of January 5, 1867, as follows: "That in accord- 
ance with the rapid progress of commercial ert'^rnrise, and the increasing demand for 
rapid intercourse across the domain of the United States, from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific oceans, the congress of the United States has provided by legislative enact- 
ments for the construction of two lines of railroads, known as the Union or Cen- 
tral, and the Northern Pacific railroads, but the northern road has not re- 
ceived the same assistance from the fostering hand of the general government which 
has been extended to the central road, although from the natural condition of affairs 
it is more necessary that such assistance should be extepded to the Northern than to 
the Central road, for the reasons : First, that in Washington territory, the terminus 

299 



300 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

of the road^ there is not sufficient capital throughout the whole territory even to 
commence such an enterprise^ while in California^ the terminus of the Central road, 
sufficient capital could be obtained^ were the holders thereof willing^ to build the 
whole road without any assistance from the general government. Second^ that from 
the geographical position of the different routes^ the northern road when completed 
will build up a national and international commerce of far greater extent and value 
than the central^ and that the nature of the soil along the northern route guarantees 
the more rapid growth of a rich and powerful agricultural community along the 
whole extent of country through which it will pass." 

In view of these considerations^ the legislature prayed congress to pass an act 
granting the same privileges to the Northern Pacific railroad company as had been 
already granted to the Union Pacific railroad company. 

The legplslatures of 45 and 50 years ago were not ashamed to plead poverty when- 
ever a probability arose of obtaining something from congress by making that plea, 
for we find frequent assertion, in old memorials and resolutions, of the financial 
weakness of the territory and its people. They were rich only in anticipation, and 
eager to dip a hand in the opulent commerce of the Orient. And a territory may beg 
insistently without sacrificing state pride. 

At that time little had been attempted in a farming way in eastern Washington 
outside of the Walla Walla valley. The expansive Palouse and Big Bend sections 
were open grazing country, with hardly a furrow turned anywhere; and when the 
luxuriant bunch-g^ass had cured in the summer sun, danger arose constantly of 
wide-sweeping prairie fires. To check that peril, the legislature passed a law in 
January, 1868, to prohibit the setting of grass fires "on any of the unoccupied land 
or lands, being known as prairie or pasturage land in the counties of Walla Walla, 
Stevens, Yakima and Klickitat," and providing penalties of imprisonment in the 
county jail for not more than one year, or a fine not exceeding $500, or both impris- 
onment and fine. 

Although Washington territory had allowed, almost without a protest, Idaho to 
be cut away from its eastern area a few years before, agitation now arose for 
restoration of the Panhandle, and the legislature, in January, 1868, adopted a 
memorial which represented that: 

"By the boundaries of Idaho territory, there is a long narrow strip lying in the 
northern portion of said territory, bounded on the north by British Columbia, on 
the east by Montana territory, and on the west by Washington territory; and that 
the said strip of territory, at its northern extremity, is only about fifty miles wide," 
divided into the three counties of Nez Perce, Shoshone and Idaho. 

"Your memorialists are assured, by the voice of the residents and the press of 
said portion of Idaho territory, that they are desirous of being annexed to the ter- 
ritory of Washington; that the commercial, social and political interests of the 
people of the said northern portion of Idaho are identical with those of the people 
of Washington territory. 

"The great distance of these three northern countries from Boise City — the 
capital of Idaho — a distance of over 500 miles-^incurs great expense to said 
territory, and also to their legislators. 

"And your memorialists would further show that the representatives from the 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 301 

said counties, in order to reach their capital, are compelled to travel through a 
large portion of Washington territory and the state of Oregon/' 

Believing that the people of northern Idaho desired annexation to Washington, 
the legislature asked congress to make the reqmsite change in boundary lines. The 
striking fact can not escape the reader that, after a lapse of more than 40 years, 
the conditions set out in the foregoing memorial survive today, substantially as they 
existed in 1868. By social and commercial ties, northern Idaho is still bound to 
eastern Washington; and, just as forty-three years ago, the people of the Pan- 
handle are required to pass through Washington and Oregon to transact business 
at the capital at Boise. 

The agitation, begun in 1868, has had frequent revival, and 6ven now is not 
wholly extinguished. It developed such strength when Cleveland was president 
that a bill restoring the Panhandle to Washington passed both houses of Congress, 
bat failed to win executive approval. 

A memorial relative to the carrying of mail between Colville and Spokane 
Bridge, adopted in December, 1867, reveals the unsettled state of the country. 
The postmaster at Colville had been instructed by the department not to pay more 
than $1,500 a year for that service, and if a contract could not be let, to discon- 
tinue the route and the postoffice at Spokane Bridge. Ira Matthews was induced 
to take the contract, but on the understanding that the matter would be taken up 
with the department and increased pay recommended. The memorial set forth 
that in view of the length of Uie route, ninety miles, "weight of mail matter; difficult 
roads, attributable to the character of the country through which the route must 
necessarily pass; the absence of settlement in a distance of sixty miles, rendering 
it essential for the carrier to provide and transport necessary forage," the allowance 
of $1,500 for a weekly mail was entirely inadequate, "in fact, not sufficient to meet 
the necessary expense of keeping open the route." An allowance of $3,000 a year 
was therefore urged upon the postal department. 

A memorial adopted in October, 1869, urged the establishment of a United States 
land office at Walla Walla, as "a matter of vital importance and pressing necessity 
to all the people of Washington territory who reside east of the Cascade moun- 
tains." It represented that "the only land office at which these people can enter 
their homestead and preemption land claims is at Vancouver, west of the Cascade 
mountains and about 250 miles distant from Walla Walla. The most of the home- 
stead claimants have yet to make their final homestead proof; and the same is true 
of the preemption land claimants." 

At that time there were in the counties of Klickitat, Yakima, Walla Walla and 
Stevens about 2,000 land claimants, and the memorial estimated that it would cost 
them, on an average, $150 in traveling expenses alone if they were required to make 
final proof at Vancouver, "while the government receives of the homestead settler, 
in all, $22 legal tender for 160 acres, and from the preemptionists $200 currency." 

According to this memorial, not a fifteenth part of the fertile and arable land 
had been surveyed or settled. 

Again the legislature urged upon congress the importance of aiding the build- 
ing of the Northern Pacific railroad. This highway, it said, would connect with the 
great lakes and through them with the St. Lawrence river, while the route, from 
the headwaters of Lake Superior to Puget Sound, was comparatively short, well 



302 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

watered and timbered^ with abundance of coal^ ''and capable of sustaining an almost 
uninterrupted belt of population across the continent on either side of the road." 
"This road/* the memorial continued, "presents a direct, feasible and eligible 
route across the continent which will open the territories of Dacotah, Montana, Ida- 
ho, Washington and Oregon to civilization, settlement and commerce, and stimulate 
the development of their great agricultural and mineral resources; and which will 
invite the commerce of Japan and China to our Pacific coast and across the conti- 
nent, thereby increasing the national wealth and revenue, and promoting our foreign 
and domestic trade and the general industry of our people." 

Prophetic words! And vision sweeping down the century! Uttered by the 
deep- forested shores of Puget Sound, in the unpretentious capital of the territory, 
and with Hie backwoods for environment, but vibrant with an inspiration of ap- 
proaching events of worldwide magnitude. These pioneer legislators of fifty years 
ago brought to their tasks some of the elements of genuine greatness. Their "native 
hue of resolution" had not become "sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;" 
and while their old laws, resolutions and memorials reveal here and there an imper- 
fect knowledge of the spelling book, they were generally framed with clearness of 
diction and a directness that might well be copied in these days of too frequent indi- 
rection and evasion. 

A hundred years ago, when the first fur traders entered this region, they found 
and used an Indian highway crossing the country from the Columbia river, near 
old Fort Walla W^alla, to the Colville valley and the Kettle or Chaudiere falls. 
Wlien, in 1860, government established the first mail route in the section north of 
Snake river, it adopted this prehistoric route, leaving Walla Walla and passing 
thence by way of the Palouse ferry on the Snake, Cow creek, Big lake, and lower 
Spokane bridge (operated by James Monaghan) to old Fort Colville, a distance of 
210 miles. This route was pursued until 1867, when the service was shifted by 
way of Waitsburg and Tucanon, in Walla Walla county, and thence via the upper 
Spokane bridge, twelve miles above the falls, to Fort Colville. 

A memorial adopted in October, 1869, asked that the service be restored to the 
old route, representing that Waitsburg, Tucanon and other offices were directly on 
the mail route from Walla Walla to Lewiston, and could be supplied with all neces- 
sary mail facilities by that route vrithout any additional expense to the government 

The memorial further represented "that as at present arranged, the mails arc 
carried on said route, in order to reach Fort Colville, a distance of 285 miles, making 
the schedule time, on the trip, of twelve days ; but that mail matter is frequently de- 
layed for four weeks, to the great detriment and inconvenience of many citizens." 
It was argued that the route could be materially shortened and afford better facili- 
ties and accommodations by having the mails carried as formerly when the route 
was first established. 

From time to time a few settlers had found their way into the Palouse country, 
and by the summer of 1871 the possibilities there in way of soil and climate had 
been sufficiently demonstrated to call for the organization of a new county. The 
legislature recognized these new conditions, and an act approved by Governor Ed- 
ward S. Salomon, November 29, 1871, set up the county of Whitman and defined 
the following boundaries: 

Commencing at a point on Snake river where the line dividing Idaho and Wash- 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 303 

ington territories strikes said river, thence down mid channel of said river to its 
month; thence np mid channel of the Columbia river to White bluffs; thence in a 
northeasterly course to where the fifth standard parallel crosses Lougenbeal creek; 
thence east along said parrallel to the dividing line between Washington and Idaho 
territories; thence south along said line to the place of beginning: Provided, That 
until the fifth standard parallel is established, the line from White bluffs shall be 
in a northeasterly course to the south end of Big lake ; thence in an easterly course 
to Stone house near Rock lake ; thence east to the dividing line between Washing- 
ton and Idaho territories ; thence south along said line to the place of beginning. 
As first board of county commissioners the act named G. D. Wilber, William R. 
Rexford and Henry S. Burlingame. Charles D. Porter was appointed sheriff and 
* asse^or; James Ewart auditor, W. A. Belcher treasurer, John Denny probate 
judge, C. E. White superintendent of schools, and John Fincher coroner, "to hold 
their offices until the next general election, or until their successors are elected and 
qnahfied/' William Lucas, Jesse Logsdon and J. A. Perkins were appointed com- 
missioners to locate a county seat until the next general efection, when the deter- 
mination of the permanent county seat was to be referred to the voters. 

The new county was added to Walla Walla for judicial purposes; to the coun- 
ties of Walla Walla and Stevens in the election of joint councilman, and to Stevens 
county in the election of joint representatives. Stevens and Whitman were to divide 
the debt of old Stevens county in proportion to the taxable property returned by 
the respective assessors of the two counties. Whitman to issue county orders to 
Stevens for its proportion. 

Road-making, as always the case in a new country, was one of the most pressing 
tasks, and to meet this need in part, the legpislature at the same session directed the 
county commissioners of Walla Walla, Whitman and Stevens, at their February 
session in 1872, to appoint one citizen of their respective counties, "who shall be 
and are hereby constituted a board of commissioners to view and locate a territorial 
road from Walla Walla city via Waitsburg, in Walla Walla county, on the most 
direct practical route to Bellville, in Whitman county, crossing Snake river at the 
mouth of the Pinawawa, thence by the most direct practical route to Fort Colville, 
in Stevens county." For this service the locators were to be paid a per diem of four 
dollars each. 

Even with the loss of territory suffered by the erection of Whitman county, 
Stevens remained a county of "magnificent distances," embracing within its con- 
fines nearly one half of the area of Washington territory, being 200 miles in length 
and 150 in breadth, and containing 80,000 square miles. Interesting glimpses of 
this region as it then existed are found in a memorial adopted in November, 1871. 
It represented that Stevens county "is inhabited by the Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, 
Isle de Pierre, San Pod, Okanogan, Lake, Colville and Calispell tribes of Indians, 
in all numbering about 4,500; that Colville valley contains 127 white settlers, with 
thirty women and 117 children, and that there are scattered in various settlements 
here and there, in other parts of the county, 187 white settlers, with forty women 
and 114 children; that no treaty has ever been made by the United States with the 
Indians of Stevens county, nor have they ever been placed on reservations ; that Fort 
Colville is a military post of the United States, garrisoned by a single company of 
infantry, and situated at a distance of 200 miles from the settled portions of Wash- 



304 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

ington territory east of the Cascade mountains ; that the Indians inhabiting Stevens 
county have heretofore been kept in cheeky owing to the presence of this small body 
of troops (since their defeat by the late General George Wright) but that when 
lately it was rumored that the troops would be removed^ they became emboldened 
and openly announced their intention of driving out the white settlers and taking 
possession of their property as soon as the removal of the troops was accomplished ; 
that the settlers of Colville valley would be unable to protect themselves, and would 
be compelled to abandon their farms on which they have expended many years of 
toil, were the troops removed ; that the settlers in other parts of the county, except 
possibly those living near the county of Walla Walla, would likewise be driven from 
their homes by the Indians, and that hostilities between the whites and Indians 
would almost necessarily follow the removal of the troops; that in anticipation of 
the Northern Pacific railroad passing across Stevens county, settlers are immigrating 
to it very rapidly, and that in the opinion of your memorialists, the military post 
already established by the government, with its garrison, should be continued until 
the settlers are numerous enough to protect themselves and to convince the Indian 
tribes living in that county that any resistance to immigration or hostilities to the 
white population would be futile." 

A marked change in legpislative temper and policy towards the Northern Pacific 
railroad company was manifested at the session of 1873. Prior to that time, the 
legislature had been most supplicating in its pleas for generous national aid and 
encouragement for the company; but circumstances alter cases, and with the contem- 
poraneous arrival of construction forces and settlers in eastern Washington came 
conflicts of interest, and the legislature felt in duty bound to champion the cause 
of the settler. 

A serious clash of title rose now between the company and a large number of 
settlers. By act of congress of July 2, 1864, a grant of land was given the com- 
pany of ''every alternate section of public land, not mineral, designated by odd num- 
bers, to the amount of twenty alternate sections per mile, on each side of said 
railroad line, as said company may adopt through the territories of the United 
States, and ten alternate sections of land per mile on each side of said railroad, 
whenever it passes through any state; and whenever, on the line thereof the United 
States have full title, not reserved, sold, granted or otherwise appropriated, and 
free from preemption or other claims or rights, at the time the line of said road is 
definitely fixed, and a plat thereof filed in the office of the commissioner of the general 
land oflice; and whenever prior to said time, any of said sections or parts of said sec- 
tions shall have been granted, sold, reserved, occupied by homestead settlers, or pre- 
emption or otherwise disposed of, other land shall be selected by said company in lien 
thereof." 

Under this grant the company filed its map of definite route in the office of the 
commissioner of the general land ofiice, August 13, 1870, and the secretary of the 
interior, J. D. Cox, held in a letter to the president of the Northern Pacific, that 
such withdrawal should take effect from and after the receipt of the map of the 
same at the local United States land offices. These maps, though filed at Washing- 
ton in August, were not filed in the local land offices in eastern Washington till the 
following October, and in this interim many settlers filed on odd numbered sections 
within the grant. By the decision of Secretary Cox, these settlers were within their 



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l=i'i,l'"sil^'- 






I " 1 !■■ S: 



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The ^EW YORK 



IPUBUC LIBRARY 






SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 305 

rights ; but his successor subsequently reversed that decision and held that the rail- 
road's title attached from the time of filing at Washington, and consequently settlers 
v^ho Trent upon these lands after August IS, were trespassers on railroad lands. 

Out of these conflicting decisions developed the famous "lieu land controversy" 
v^hich entered vigorously into the territorial politics of the day, and which was 
instrumental several years later in electing as delegate to congress the late Charles 
S. Voorhees, of Colfax and Spokane, who championed the cause of the settlers 
a^inst the railroad company. 

A memorial adopted in November, 1875, declared that the settlers "went upon 
the lands in good faith for the purpose of making homes for themselves and families ; 
that the decision of Secretary Delano gplves over to the railroad company 
the homes and improvements of settlers with the labor of years expended thereon; 
that at the time of making their settlements and filing, the tracts were unoccupied 
and unappropriated public lands, and considered by all the land officers of the gov- 
ernment, from the highest to the lowest, as property subject to homestead and pre- 
emption; and that said railroad demands of such settlers that they shall purchase 
of it^ and asks such an exorbitant price for each tract that the settlers are both 
unwilling and unable to purchase." 

The memorial charged President Cass of the Northern Pacific with broken faith 
and open repudiation of written promises to relinquish these lands to the settlers 
and take other lands in lieu under a special act of congress which had been passed 
to cure the injustice, and generally assumed a hostile attitude against the company. 
Similar conflicts of interest had developed in western Washington, along the line 
between Tacoma and Kalama on the Columbia river, and altogether the Northern 
Pacific had made itself intensely unpopular in a telrlitdry whose people had pre- 
viously bowed down before it almost to the poiht of worship. 

After pointing out that the grant had been made by congress on condition that 
the company complete not less than 100 miles of ira'ds: yearly, and alleging that it 
had built no road at all within the two preceding years, the legislature further pro-' 
tested against the contention of the railroad that it was exempt from taxation within 
the territories, and concluded: 

"Wherefore, in consideration of the facts herein stated, your memorialists, as a 
matter of justice to the people of the territory, would most respectfully and earnestly 
ask that the lands in this territory unearned by the completed road of said company 
be restored to homestead and preemption settlement; that such legislation as will 
require said company to bear its proper burden of taxation may be adopted, and that 
the act of congress approved June 22, 1874, entitled *an act for the relief of settlers 
on railroad lands,' be so amended as to permit bona fide settlers, who settled or 
filed in the local land office prior to the date of the company filing its map of definite 
location, to prove up and take title from government without let or hindrance from 
said Northern Pacific railroad company." 

For nearly thirty years the Northern Pacific resisted this plea for justice, oppos- 
ing the settlers in the courts, before the departments and in congress, and interfer- 
ing continuously with territorial and state politics. In this way it wore out most 
of the claimants until they were glad, in order to clear title to their homes, to yield 
to the railroad's terms of settlement Many years later the old controversy was 
ended by act of congress, but on terms that were considered immensely advantageous 



YoLI— » 



306 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

to the company, and which brought upon United States Senator John L. Wilson 
some criticism for his part in introducing and advocating the curative legislation. 

An act to encourage forestation in eastern Washington found legislative favor 
in November, 1 878. It authorized the commissioners of Stevens and Whitman coun- 
ties "to exempt from taxation, except for territorial purposes, the real or personal 
property of each taxpayer who shall, within the county within such year, plant and 
suitably cultivate one or more acres of forest trees for timber, to an amount not 
exceeding $800 for each acre." ' 

A memorial adopted in November, 1873, and signed by N. T. Caton as speaker 
of the house of representatives, and Wm. McLane as president of the council, prayed 
congress for an appropriation to overccnne obstacles in the Columbia river. It rep- 
resented that — 

"The Cascade mountains divide the territory into western and eastern Washing- 
ton; that eastern Washington territory is almost exclusively a grazing and agricul- 
tural country, that the soil is capable of producing all the grasses and cereals known 
to the middle and western states ; that the product of Walla Walla county alone, with 
a population of about 8,000 souls, in its g^ain yield for the year 1873, as shown by 
the most carefully prepared statistics, will reach the enormous sum of 1,000,000 
bushels. That large bodies of land in the counties of Walla Walla, Stevens, Yakima 
and Whitman are equally as susceptible of cultivation as those already occupied, 
improved and cultivated ; that the counties above enumerated are fast filling up with 
an intelligent and industrious population." 

The people residing in eastern Washington, it was pointed out, were almost 
wholly dependent on the Columbia river for an outlet to the Pacific ocean and to 
markets for the products of their soil and the fruits of th«ur labor, and the memorial 
added : 

"That from the points of shipment on the Columbia river to the junction of the 
Willamette river therewith, nature has opposed great obstacles to the free and suc- 
cessful navigation of the stream — one at The Dalles and one at the Cascades, making 
a portage of fourteen miles at the former place, and of five or six at the latter, an 
imperative necessity. The costs and expenses attending the transportation of freight 
over the portages aforesaid are so burdensome on the people of eastern Washington 
as to amount to an almost entire prohibition ; that the people may have an oppor- 
tunity to develop the region of country in which they live, and at the same time pro- 
vide the means of subsistence for themselves and families whilst thus laboring without 
meeting with the great hindrances to the free navigation of the Columbia river, your 
memorialists earnestly pray your honorable bodies to make such an appropriation 
as shall in your judgments overcome the obstacles aforesaid.*' 

Another memorial at this session advanced "serious and weighty reasons" why 
northern Idaho should be annexed to Washington territory. Among these were 
the "impassable barrier in the shape of towering rugged mountains, where perennial 
snows ever abound, making it absolutely necessary, in order to have any communi- 
cations with other portions of the territory, during eight months of the year, to 
take circuitous routes through Washington territory and the state of Oregon before 
any portion of the balance of the territory can be reached, either on foot, horseback, 
or bv vehicle. 

"We would further represent," continues the memorial, "that that portion of 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 307 

Idaho which it is proposed to annex to Washington is a narrow strip of country, 
about in proportion to the halance of the territory as the handle of a frying pan 
is to the pan, and it lies contiguous to our territory, lying immediately east, and with 
no barriers intervening. Its commercial, political and social interests are identical 
with ours; its products, climate and people are in every respect similar. It helps 
to form one grand basin where there is no dissimilarity in the soil, the pursuits of 
the people, the general appearance of the country or the character of its resources. 

"Annex the same to Washington, and it must g^ow and prosper; but keep it tied 
to Idaho territory, and it must ever remain in a comparatively primitive state. As 
where there is no affinity of interest, no affinity of feeling, and where there is so 
little hope of ever overcoming to any great extent the rankling sectional feeling, that 
sectional antagonism which too often is prevalent among the greater towards the 
smaller population, there is little ground for hoping that these conditions will ever 
be materially unchanged." 

A little overdrawn, but having substantial basis of truth and reason. Happily 
the pessimistic predictions of the memorial have not been verified. Northern Idaho 
has not "ever remained in a comparatively primitive state,*' for its commercial and 
social relations, as indicated in this old plea for annexation, have been inseparably 
bound up with those of eastern Washington, and these are ever more potent in indus- 
trial and social progress than political ties. Some rankling sectional feeling there 
has been against the capital end of the commonwealth ; but have we of eastern Wash- 
ington not felt at times that our greater half, lying west of the Cascade mountains, 
has been lacking in the breadth and understanding that would have contributed more 
freely to our happiness and progress without impairing in the least the welfare of 
our neighbors to the west.^ 

We come now to the year 1875, and still the paramount need was better means 
of communication — more highways and improvement of the existing ways. Con- 
stant need was felt and expressed for more adequate communication between the 
east side and the west, for in many respects the bond then existing between the two 
sections was closer than that of today. The interior had then no other outlet than 
to the west ; was drawing almost its entire immigration from that source ; and was 
dependent on coast capital and enterprise for development of its resources. For 
news interest the people east of the Cascade mountains turned to the coast; their 
mail came from that quarter; they read coast newspapers, and most of them had 
family ties on Puget Sound or down in the Willamette valley. 

So keen was this desire for closer relations that the legislature of 1875 over- 
powered its moral scruples, if such it had, and authorized private lotteries in the 
cause of a highway across the Cascades. By statute "any person residing in this 
territory who is desirous of aiding in the construction of a wagon road across the 
Cascade mountains shall have the right to dispose of any of his property, real and 
personal, by lottery distribution, under such restrictions and conditions as are pro- 
vided in this act." 

The chief condition was the payment of ten per cent, of the proceeds of the lot- 
tery to a trustee, who in turn was to pay it to a board composed of three citizens 
of Yakima county and two of King who were "to superintend the expenditure of all 
moneys realized for the benefit of said road, under the provisions of this act." 

The road thus favored was to be constructed from Snoqualmie prairie in King 



308 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

county^ to the south end of Lake Kichelas in Yakima county; was to be opened at 
least thirty feet wide, all grades to be at least fifteen feet wide, and be a part of 
a territorial road from Seattle to Walla Walla. 

Another act defined lawful fences in Whitman and Yakima counties : Plank fence, 
four feet, eight inches high; posts, ^ve inches or more in diameter, substantially 
set in the ground, not more than eight feet apart; the lower plank placed twenty 
inches from the ground, second plank eight inches above the lower, and third plank 
ten inches from second, the plank to be six inches wide, one inch thick stnd firmly 
fastened to the posts by nails, wire or otherwise. 

Post and rail fence, ^ve feet high, made of sound posts, ^ve or more inches in 
diameter, firmly set in the ground, not more than twelve feet apart, with four rails 
not less than four inches in diameter, securely fastened ; the lower rail twenty inches 
from the ground, and the remaining three rails not more than eight inches apart 

Provision was also made for post and pole fences, "worm" fences, and ditches 
of two designs, one design being a ditch three feet deep with embankment and sod 
thrown up on inside of ditch two feet six inches high, with substantial posts set in 
embankment, not more than twelve feet apart, and pole or rail securely fastened 
thereto not more than fifteen inches from the embankment. To such makeshifts were 
the pioneer settlers of a prairie region driven in the early homesteading era of our 
countrv. 

An act approved November 12, 1875, declared the Spokane river navigable and 
a public highway from its mouth to the dividing line between Washington and Idaho, 
''for the purpose of rafting, driving and floating logs, timber and other material." 

Fines were provided for the punishment of persons who might obstruct the chan- 
nel, but it was provided, "that the placing of any mill dam or boom across said 
stream shall not be construed to be an obstruction to the navigation aforesaid, if the 
same be so constructed as to allow the passage of logs, timber and other material 
without unreasonable delay;" and persons running logs were made liable for dam- 
ages sustained by bridges. 

Another memorial, urging the overcoming of obstructions in the Columbia river 
and passed at this session, is remarkable for the accuracy of its prediction regarding 
the wheat-growing possibilities of eastern Washington. That season's exportable 
surplus from this district was given as 1,000,000 bushels, but it was estimated that 
with lower freight rates the country could produce 20,000,000 bushels for export 
Although wheat was then selling for $1 a bushel at Portland, the market price at 
Walla Walla, the principal purchasing point in eastern Washington, was only 45 
cents per bushel; the difference was absorbed in excessive transportation charges 
and high profits for middlemen. Attention was directed to a report of Brevet Briga- 
dier-General Michler, of the United States engineer corps, estimating the cost oi 
short canals and locks at $1,500,000. The combined population of eastern Wash- 
ington, eastern Oregon and northern Idaho, "which would be directly and immedi- 
ately benefited by the removal of these obstructions and by the free navigation of 
this river," was estimated at "about 80,000, a very large proportion of whom are 
engaged in agricultural pursuits." 

The establishment of a land office at Colfax was urged in a memorial to congress 
as "a matter of great importance to all the settlers north of Snake river and east 
of the Cascade mountains." Congress, it added, "in justice ought to act in this 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 309 

matter for the following reasons: The only land office east of the Cascade moun- 
tains is at Walla Walla City, near the southern boundary of the territory, and dis- 
tant about 200 miles from a majority of the settlers in said portion of the territory." 
In the establishment of these local land offices we may trace unerringly the settle- 
ment and development of the country. For several years a single land office at 
Oregon City served the needs of the country. Later an office was located at Van- 
couver, near Portland. Then, with the settlement of the country east of the moun- 
tains congress in turn established land offices at Walla Walla, Yakima, Colfax, Spo- 
kane and Waterville in the Big Bend country. 

Meanwhile settlement and progress drifted around Spokane, but prior to 1872 
there were few happenings of moment at the falls. The site of the present city lay 
off the two important highways of the interior. The Mullan road cut across Moran 
prairie and struck the valley six miles above the falls, while the old Walla Walla- 
Colville route crossed the Spokane at Monaghan's bridge some twenty miles below. 
From ancient times the valley of the Spokane had been considered lacking in agri- 
cultural possibilities, and was used chiefly as pasturage ground for herds of Indian 
horses and as an Indian race course where the neighboring tribes assembled to match 
their crack running horses and gamble furiously on speed contests. Homeseekers 
passed its gravel soil contemptuously by ; and as for water power, was not the coun- 
try full of it, going everywhere to waste? No one could capitalize water power 
in those days. 

But with the arrival here in 1871 of Scranton and Downing, the building of 
their little "muley" saw mill, and the homesteading of farming lands in the Four 
Lakes country and down around Spangle, the southern end of Stevens county began 
to command some attention, and an act approved November 9, 1 877, authorized the 
commissioners to levy a special tax on the assessable property of the county "for 
the purpose of building a bridge across the Spokane river at or near Spokane Falls." 

Some of the newcomers into eastern Washington, moved by memories of their 
boyhood days in eastern states, had attempted to stock the country with "Bob White" 
quail, and an act approved November 9, 1877, provided that "any person or per- 
sons who shall buy, sell, shoot, kill, snare or trap any quail in the counties of Walla 
Walla, Columbia and Whitman before the first day of September, 1881, shall be 
deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction . . . shall be fined not more 
than $50 nor less than $10, one-half to be paid to the informer and the other to go 
into the county school fund." Either the law proved ineffective, or the imported 
birds failed to thrive and multiply in their new environment, for the quail was 
comparatively an unknown bird in this region imtil later efforts by sportsmen of 
Spokane proved measurably successful in introducing it here in numbers. 

Alarmed by the apparent policy of the Northern Pacific to seek another terminus 
on Puget Sound or the Columbia river, enterprising citizens of Seattle projected a 
railroad from their town to Walla Walla, and obtained, at the legislative session 
of 1877, the passage of an act authorizing various counties to subscribe to the cap- 
iUl stock: King and Walla Walla, $100,000 each; Yakima, $50,000; Columbia, 
$75,000; Whitman, $60,000; Stevens, $20,000; Klickitat, $10,000; and various other 
comities $5,000 each. 

Some progfress was made in construction out of Seattle, but the line never got 
very far into the Cascade mountains. 



310 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

Congress was memorialized at this session to convert the Colville valley into an 
Indian reservation. It was represented — 

"That the unsettled condition of the Indians east of the Cascade mountains in 
Washington territory^ is alike injurious to the Indians and the white people. The 
permanent location of these Indians upon one reservation would result in the pros- 
perity and peace of both the white people and the Indians. 

"We would further represent that the Colville valley is admirably adapted for 
an Indian territory for all the Indians east of the Cascade mountains^ not only on 
account of its arable lands^ the roots^ camas and salmon fisheries^ but also on account 
of its situation^ which^ owing to the surrounding country^ can never to intrenched 
upon by any white settlements. The remnants of different tribes to whom reserva- 
tions have been assigned under different treaties^ to the exclusion of white settlers, 
derive no benefit from these reservations which they could not fully enjoy in Col- 
ville valley. Yet their occupancy of the different reservations keeps a body of fine, 
arable land from cultivation and settlement by white people. These different reser- 
vations together contain more arable land than the Colville valley^ and their situa- 
tion in close proximity to the settlements of white people^ makes a change not only 
desirable, but also of ultimate benefit to all concerned, and thereby the peace of 
the country will be more fuUy secured." 

This petition, it need scarcely be added, passed unheeded by congress. 

Another memorial adopted at this session prayed for the establishment of a mili- 
tary post at Spokane Falls. It represented that — 

"There is a large number of Indians in Stevens, Columbia and Whitman coun- 
ties; that many of them are untreated with, and that large numbers roam over the 
country at will. That since the late war with Joseph and his tribe, these Indians 
have manifested more or less hostile feeling toward the white people. That the 
white settlers in these counties and in the county of Yakima are widely scattered 
over this vast area of country, and in case of Indian outbreak are totally unpro- 
tected. That experience has demonstrated the impossibility of the attempt to confine 
the majority of these Indians to reservations. That in view of the above-mentioned 
facts, there is an urgent necessity for a military post somewhere in the section of 
country above referred to;" and the legislature earnestly asked that it be estab- 
lished at "Spokane Falls, Stevens county, Washington." 

At the date of the adoption of this memorial two companies of United States 
troops were stationed temporarily at Spokane, and the settlers there and in the 
surrounding country wanted to retain them. That was the year of the Nea Perce 
Indian war, and when Chief Joseph took the warpath, these two companies had been 
hurried to Spokane to overawe the Spokanes, the Coeur d'Alenes and other neigh- 
boring tribes and thus restrain them from taking up arms in alliance with the hos- 
tiles. The frightful atrocities of savage warfare had been enacted almost within 
view of the alarmed settlers of the Spokane country. Women and children here 
were still trembling in fear and horror as they thought upon the shocking cruelties 
perpetrated by Joseph's retreating army as it swept across Camas prairie, near the 
present flourishing town of Grangeville, Idaho, where women were slain, scalps 
taken, children butchered, and the tongues of some victims torn out by the roots. 
It was a time of unrest among the Indians and uncertainty and alarm in the minds 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 311 

of the scattered home-builders^ and an intense desire existed to keep these soldiers 
in the country for their moral and restraining influence on the agitated Indians. 

General W. T. Sherman had traversed this region a few months prior to the 
adoption of this memorial. With an armed escort he had traveled from old Fort 
Benton^ at the head of navigation on the Missouri river^ coming over the MuUan 
road. He had camped one night on the shore of Lakei Coeur d'Alene^ and the follow- 
ing day he and his party were guests of James N. Glover at the Falls. Mr. Glover 
made good use of the opportunity thus presented to urge upon the General's mind 
the need of a permanent garrison in this vicinity^ and on his representation General 
Sherman ordered two companies^ then in this vicinity^ to go into winter quarters 
at Spokane. He had been deeply impressed with the beauty and advantages of Lake 
Coeur d'Alene^ and on his recommendation a site adjoining the present dty of Coeur 
d'Alene was selected by the war department for a permanent post. The soldiers 
wintered by the falls, but were moved to Fort Sherman by the lake the following 
May. 

The presence of this strong garrison allayed fear and restored confidence; the 
Indians assumed a friendly demeanor, and the work of peopling the wilderness went 
forward with renewed vigor. Enticed by glowing reports of the salubrity of the 
climate, the beauty of the landscape and the fertility of the*soil, homeseekers entered 
the Inland Empire in constantly increasing numbers and took up fat homesteads 
on the fertile lands of the Palouse. The little settlement by the Falls felt the vivi- 
fying influence of this immigration and developed aspirations for county seat honors. 
Colville was a long distance from the settlepients in the southern end of Stevens 
county, and need was felt of a nearer seat of local government. The summer of 
1878 had brought J. J. Browne and A. M. Cannon, and Mr. Browne went to Olym- 
pia the following year to work for the creation of a new county to be called Spo- 
kane. His mission was successful, and an act approved October 30, 1879, estab- 
lished the county and defined the following boundaries: 

"Commencing at a point where the section line between sections 21 and 28, in 
township 14 north, range 27 east, Willamette meridian, Washington territory, strikes 
the main body of the Columbia river on the west side of the island ; thence west 
to the mid channel of the Columbia river ; thence up the mid channel of the Colum- 
bia river to the Spokane river; thence up the mid channel of the Spokane river 
to the Little Spokane river ; thence north to the township line between townships 29 
and 80 ; thence east to the boundary line between Washington and Idaho territories ; 
thence south on said boundary line to the fifth standard parallel ; thence west on said 
parallel to the Columbia guide meridian ; thence south on said meridian to the fourth 
standard parallel; thence west on the fourth standard parallel to the range line 
between ranges 27 and 28; thence south on said range line to the section line be- 
tween sections 24 and 25, in township 14 north, range 27 east, Willamette meridian; 
thence west to the place of beginning." 

The county seat was temporarily located at Spokane Falls, "until located else- 
where by a majority vote of the legal electors of said county, for which purpose 
there may be a vote taken at the next general election." 

W. C. Gray, John H. Wells and Andrew Lafevre were appointed a board of com- 
missioners to call a special election for the election of county officers — auditor, treas- 



312 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

urer, sheriff and auditor^ probate judge^ superintendent of schools^ coroner and 
three county commissioners. 

The act required "that all taxes levied and assessed by the board of county com- 
missioners of Stevens county for the year 1879, upon persons or property within 
the boundaries of said county of Spokane, shall be collected and paid into the treas- 
ury of Stevens county for the use of said county of Stevens; provided, however, 
that nothing in this act shall be so construed as to deprive the county of Spokane 
of its proportion of the tax levied for common school purposes for the above named 
year; and provided, further, that the county of Spokane shall not be liable for any 
of the indebtedness of the county of Stevens, nor entitled to any portion of the 
property of said county of Stevens." 

We look upon the referendum as a novel, even revolutionary, legislative principle. 
It may come as a surprise, then, to some of my readers that a practical, legalized 
application of that principle was made in eastern Washington more than thirty 
years ago. With the settlement of prairie or grass regions, one of the first public 
questions to arise is that of fences or no fences, "herd law" or "no herd law." Set- 
tlement and development of the country east of the Cascade mountains came in waves 
or eras. Of these came first the period of the fur traders, to be followed in sequence 
by the missions. Catholic and Protestant, the gold miners, and after these latter 
the herd owners who ranged large numbers of cattle and horses over the bunch-grass 
areas of what we now term the Palouse and Big Bend districts. These always view 
askance the appearance of agricultural home-makers, protesting now, as the fur 
traders had protested before them, that the country was unsuited to soil cultivation, 
and grumbling, even after the richness of the land had been demonstrated, that the 
plough was "spoiling a mighty good stock country to make a miserably poor farm- 
ing country." 

With the rapid appropriation of the public domain by homesteaders came the 
inevitable conflict of interest between stockman and ploughman. The herd owner 
contended that the settler should fence in his cultivated area. The settler held 
that the stock owner should keep his cattle or horses under close herd control and 
thereby relieve the permanent home-maker of the labor and expense of building 
fences. To meet this conflict of interest, the legislature passed an act under date 
November 18, 1879, "to ascertain the wishes of the people in certain counties in 
regard to the fence law." It provided that "at the next general election for dele- 
gate to congress, to be held in November, 1880, the question of fence law or no 
fence law shall be submitted to the legal voters of Walla Walla, Columbia, Whitman, 
Spokan, Stevens, Yakima and Klickitat counties," then embracing all of the terri- 
tory lying east of the Cascades. 

"At such election," continues this act, "there shall be plainly written or printed 
on each ticket, in said counties, the words, Tor fence law,* or 'No fence law.' 
The vote shall be canvassed the same as other votes or other questions are can- 
vassed, and shall be returned to the county auditor, who shall keep the same on file, 
and give each member elected to the legislative assembly as a guide for future 
legislation in regard to fence laws in their respective counties." 

By an act passed at this session a zone of one mile on each side of the Northern 
Pacific right of way through this section of country was made "dry" territory. It 
provided that — 



SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 313 

"The county commissioners of Spokan^ Stevens and Whitman counties shall not 
grant any license in their resi>ective counties for the sale of intoxicating liquors 
within one mile of the proposed railroad of the Northern Pacific Railroad company, 
as established by said company, now in process of construction in said counties, until 
said railroad shall have been completed and in operation. 

"It shall be unlawful to sell or dispose of any intoxicating liquors within sai<} 
limits to any person during the construction of said railroad ; and any person violat- 
ing any of the provisions of this act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and 
punished by a fine not exceeding $300, or imprisonment not to exceed three months, 
or both, at the discretion of the court. 

"This act shall not apply to towns located within said limits, where legal licenses 
have already been granted for the sale of intoxicating liquors." 

A memorial to congress, asking for an increase in the legislative assembly, adopted 
at the session of 1879, contained much informative data relative to area, population, 
and wealth. "Our territory,** it set forth, "embraces nearly eight degrees of longi- 
tude, with an average width of three degrees of latitude, equal to 69,994 square 
miles, or 44,796,160 acres. After deducting the approximate area of Puget Sound, 
which has a shore line of 1,594 miles, there remains 85,000,000 acres, of which 
20,000,000 are timber lands, 5,000,000 alluvial bottom lands, and 10,000,000 prai- 
ries and plains. Our territory has an area nearly ten times as large as the state of 
Massachusetts, more than twice as large as Ohio, and almost double that of New 
York. That our territory is, at present, divided into twenty-four counties, with a 
total population of 57,784." 

King county, including Seattle, had then a population of only 5,188, and was 
exceeded by two eastern Washington counties, Walla Walla, with 6,215, and Colum- 
bia, with 6,894; and was close pressed by Whitman, with 5,290. Spokane and 
Stevens had a combined population of only 2,601. 

The memorial further represented that "during the year 1878 our population 
increased 7,288, a gain of more than twelve per cent, and it is safe to say that the 
gain for 1879 will equal if not exceed twenty-five per cent." The assessed valuation 
of property for 1879 was $21,021,832, an increase in two years of $4,165,843. Con- 
gress was reminded "that if our population and wealth are considered, spread as it 
is over a vast territory and compared with the state of Delaware, New York, Rhode 
Island and some of the southern states whose legislatures are composed of from 
100 to 200 members, it will be seen that our people and their interests are not fairly 
represented in their territorial legislature. That that part of the legislative, execu- 
tive and judiciary bill approved June 21, 1879, insofar as it applies to our territory, 
and which reduces our council to not more than twelve members, and our house of 
representatives to not more than twenty-four members, and which fixes the compen- 
sation of the oflicers, employes and members of the assembly, we believe to be unjust 
and unreasonable, as it deprives our people of fair and equal representation in their 
own legislative body, and tends to deprive their officers and representatives of just 
compensation for services rendered. That it seems not to have been considered in 
the passage of said act that the sessions of our legislature were held only every 
two years, and that only forty days were allowed in which so few members were 
expected to represent and legislate upon the varied interests of a great territory 
with so considerable and fast growing population. That we have many business 



314 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

centers, with from 1,000 to 8,000 people, whose populations are daily increasing 
and whose interests and business vary according to location, soil, etc. That our 
legislature has the interests of game and gaming, fish and fishing, mines and mining, 
commerce, manufactures and agriculture to consider, foster and provide for, any 
one branch of which should not be deprived of fair and equal representation. 

"Your memorialists therefore pray that your honorable body enact such law as 
will Ax the maximum of our council at eighteen, and our house of representatives at 
forty-five members. The compensation of the members of our legislative assembly 
be fixed at not less than $6 per day, with mileage, and that the speaker of the house 
and the president of the council be allowed, each, $4 per day additional as such. 
That the chief clerk of each house be allowed $6 per day, and the officers and em- 
ployes of the assembly be allowed from $5 to $3 per day, according to the services 
performed and in the discretion of the legislature." 

A memorial relative to a military telegraph line represented "that large num- 
bers of Indians are located on reservations between Snake river and British Colum- 
bia, making it necessary for the government of the United States to maintain military 
posts at various points for the protection of the people;" and that "telegraphic 
communications with these military posts" connecting with the military telegraph 
line now in operation from Lewiston, I. T., to Dayton, W. T., commencing at Pome- 
roy, W. T., on said line, via AlmOta and Colfax to Spokane Falls, and thence con- 
necting the several military posts aforesaid, would render the military more efficient 
and inspire the citizen with more confidence of protection against hostile demon- 
strations of Indians than could be given them from almost any other measure, and 
in case of hostilities would result in incalculable benefit to both citizens and military." 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

"THE DAYS OF OLD, THE DAYS OF GOLD" 

SP0KANE8 8SLL GOLD IN 1854 PIERCB's DISCOYERIEB IN THE CLEARWATER COUNTRY 

THOUSANDS OF MINERS HASTEN TO THE NEW CAMPS JOAQUIN MILLER AN EXPRESS 

WDER ^FABULOUS YIELDS IN OLD FLORENCE CAMP BX-OOVERNOR COLE's RECOL- 
LECTIONS ^HIOH PRICES IN THE MINES FIRST TRIP OF STEAMER COL. WRIGHT 

RICHEST PLACERS IN THE U. S. HOW FLORENCE AND OTHER CAMPS WERE DISCOV- 

IRED-^FAMINE AND HARDSHIPS GOLD BY THE QUART ^REIGN OF CRIME AND 

TERROR AMAZING ESCAPE FROM THE GALLOWS LYNCHING AT LEWISTON. 

For thee, for thee, vile yellow slave! 

I left a heart that loved me true. 
I crossed the tedious ocean wave. 

To roam in climes unkind and new. 

The cold wind of the stranger blew 

Chill on my withered heart; the grave 
Dark and untimely met my view — 

And all for thee, vile yellow slave! 

— John Ley den, 

LONG before the discovery of gold at Sutter's mill in California, fur traders 
knew of the existence of the precious metal in the sands of the upper 
Columbia river and some of its tributaries. According to one report, an 
officer of the Hudson's Bay company obtained a quantity of gold dust from the 
interior and sent it to London to be made into an article of jewelry. Bancroft 
sajs that in 1854 a man named Bobbins of Portland purchased some gold from 
Spokane Indians. By 1858, year of the Steptoe repulse and the Wright campaign, 
placer miners were scattered through the interior, and the murder of some miners 
near Colville precipitated the Indian outbreak of that year. 

The first substantial discovery in the Clearwater country was made by E. D. 
Pierce, an Indian trader. Pierce had long known that gold existed in the moun- 
tains east of the great bend of the Snake, but was prevented by the Nez Perces from 
prospecting for paying deposits, and went to California. He returned to the Nez 
Perces' country in 1858, and the ratification of a treaty with these Indians provided 
the long desired opportunity. Early in 1 860 he confirmed his belief that gold was 
there in paying quantities, and reported his discovery at Walla Walla. With a party 

315 



316 SPOKANE AND THE INLAND EMPIRE 

of ten men organized there he made a more thorough examination^ and returning 
to Walla Walla in November, freely imparted all information at his coomiand. 
The fields were 150 miles east of Walla Walla, the diggings were dry, and the pay 
dirt yielded from 8 to 1 5 cents to the pan. 

In the spring of 1861 Pierce organized a larger party and returned to the 
gold country. They built cabins, sawed lumber for flumes, and wintered there, 
1861-2. News of the discovery drifted down to Portland and the Willamette valley, 
and thence on to California, and when the Nez Perce treaty was concluded, 300 
miners were in the Orofino district. A month later their number had grown 
to 1,000, and miners and adventurers were coming in large numbers from 
Oregon and California. The route was from Portland to Wallula on the Columbia 
by boat, thence by stage to Walla Walla, and the remaining distance was by teanr 
or pack train. 

"The winter of 1861-2 was the hardest ever known in the country east of the 
mountains," s