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Full text of "History of southern Oregon, comprising Jackson, Josephine, Douglas, Curry and Coos countries, comp. from the most authentic sources .."

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3 1833 01103 6784 




Southern Oregon , 

' — * y — '^ ^ 

RCKSON, Josephine. ..Doiiglss Curry anti Cnos 


Compiled from the Most Authentic Sources. 





'Ugress, in tlie j'C 
jin of Congress, ( 


In giving these pages to the pnblic, the publisher has been actuated by the lauil- 
able ambition to materially aid in a great work — the jjreservation in historical form or 
tlie fast-fading annals of Oregon. The history of this great state, the story of its 
struggles and triumphs, has never been written; nor can it be until the annals of each 
section have been carefully gathered and recorded. They are the stones, which, set in 
place by the hand of a skillful builder, make the complete edifice. To gather the scat- 
tered threads of history ere they fall from the hands of those who have spun them, and 
to weave them into a complete and reliable narrative, is the arduous task the publisher 
has assumed; and to do this he has undertaken the work in the only manner l)y which 
this result can be accomplished. 

No portion of the state exceeds in importance or historical interest that section to 
which the pages of this volume are specially devoted. The counties of Douglas, Jack- 
sou, Josephine, Coos and Curry, usually referred to under the title of "Southern 
Ol-egon," are large, populous and prosperous, and their annals constitute one of the most 
important factors in the history of Oregon. 

The work has been performed by a corps of able writers, who have patiently 
examined ever}' source of information, giving sj^ecial attention to drawing out the tes- 
timony of the pioneers and actois in the scenes portrayed. Every volume touch- 
ing upon the subject has been carefully perused, the state and county records have been 
examined, the files of the earliest newspapers of the state have been searched, pioneers 
have been interviewed by the hundred, not only those now living in Southern Oregon, 
but others encountered in every section of the Pacific Coast. Pains have been taken 
to reconcile as nearly as possible all conflicting statements, and to do this the compilers 
liave interview men of all shades of opinion. Whenever possible, disputetl j^oints have 
been decided by reference to official records and documents and the contemporaneous 
accounts in the newspapers. It is upon this careful investigation of all original sources 
of information that this volume bases its claim of being the only reliable record of the 
events of which it speaks. Everything previously written on these subjects has been 
Init personal recollections, valuable to be sure, but incomplete, or was prepared for the 
juirpose of attacking or defending some particular person, organization or theory, and 
is valuable, not as history, but simply as evidence from which history may be compiled. 
The task has been an arduous one, but it was undertaken with a full realization of its 
diniculty, and has been conscientiously performed. That no errors whatever should 
be committed could not even be hoped for; but their very scarcity and unimportant 
nature are evidences of the general accuracy of the work. 

The publisher returns his sincere thanks for the encouragement and substantial 
aid extended by the state, county and city officials, the press, and the intelligent citizens 
generally. With these remarks he submits the volume to the thoughtful perusal of the 
Pioneers, the sturdy men and women who have through many years t)f toil, liiiitlship 
and danger, bravely woven the tapestry of Oregon's history. 


Portland, Oregon, May lo, 18.SJ. 


Applegate, Hon. Lindsay, 8 

Beekman, Hon. C. C. 22S 

Drain, Mr. and Mrs. Hon. Chas. 432 

Klippel, Henry, 452 

Lane, G^n. Joseph, frontis-piece. 


Lane, Mrs. Gen. Joseph, 184 
McCall, Gen. J. M., 32 
Owens, Hon. J. F. W., 412 
Ply male, W. J.. 68 
Reams, Thos. G., 100 

Ross, Gen. John. E., 176 
Smilh, Capt. Thomas, 372 
Tolman, Gen. J. C, 356 
T'Vault, W. G., 296 
Tichenor, Wm., 472 

Agee, Benj. C, 12 
Aiken, Andrew G., 16 
Alford, Albert, 20 
Amy, Haskell, 24 
Ashland— Bird's-eye, 352 
Ashland Woolen Mfg. Co., 28 
Barron, H. F., 36 
Battle Rock, 40 
BeallT. F. and R. V., 44 
Blanco Hotel, 48 
Booth, John O., 52 
Brockway, B. B., 56 
Brown, H. G., 60 
Burnett, Jas. D., 64 
Cape Arago Light, 496 
Cape Blanco Light, 72 
Cellers, Joseph, 76 
Chapman, John H., 80 
Constant, Isaac, 84 
Coohdge, Orlando, 88 
Court House, Roseburg, 96 
Court House, Jacksonville, 92 
Coquille Jlill and Tug Co., 492 
Crater Lake, 104 
DaMotta, Philip, 108 
l>odge, J. R., 112 
Eagle Mills, 116 
Elkton Mills, 120 
Emmitt, John, 124 
FuUerton, John, 128 
Ganiard, O. V., 136 
Gardiner Mill Co., 132 
Gardner, T. K., 140 
Gates, Henry, 144 
Gazley, J. F., 148 
Gillam, Thos. J., 152 
Grubb, John L., 156 


Gurney, Mrs. E., 160 
Gurney Bros., 164 
Hanley, M., 172 
Ish, Mrs. Jacob, 180 
Jacksonville — Bird's-eye, 360 
Jones, Henry, iSS 
Jones, Joseph, 192 
Lane's (Gen. Jos.) Tomb, 196 
Leeds, Capt. J. B., 200 
Levens, D. A., 204 
Love & Hanley, 16S 
Magruder, Constantine, 208 
ilap — Coos and Curry Counties, 464 

— Douglas County, 384 

— Jackson County, 30S 

— ^Josephine County, 444 
Marshlield — Bird's-eye, 484 
Marshfield Mills, 212 
Marshfield Church and Academy, 488 
Mark, Frederick, 220 
Masonic Temple, Ashland, 224 
Mathes, Wm. E., 232 
McClellan, D. C, 236 
McClendon, C. C, 240 
Mingus, Conrad, 244 
Moon & Stanley, 248 
Murphy, John, 252 
Jlyer, W. C, 256 
Nasburg & Hirst, 260 
Nichols, I. B., 264 
Nickell, Charles, 216 
Ocean House, 268 
O.&C.R.R.— Rock Cut, 272 

—Tunnel No. 8, 276 
—S. from Tunnel No. 8, 2S0 
— Grave Creek Crossing, 2S4 
Palmer, P. P., 288 

Patterson, Joshua, 292 

Payne, C. T., 300 

Pershbaker, A., 304 

Pelton Bros., 3S8 

Pickens, E. P., 312 

Plymale, F. M., 316 

Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, 320 

Price, J. W., 324 

Rast, John, 328 

Riddle, T. S., 332 

Roseburg — Bird's-eye, 408 

Roseburg Public School, 336 

Ross, John E., 340 

Sawyers, Andrew, 348 

Sheffield, James F., 364 

Shrum, Thomas, 368 

Simpson Bros., 500 

Singleton, T. J., 376 

Singleton, W. B., 380 

Stanton, H. C, 392 

Stearnes, D. W., 396 

Sutherlin, Fendel, 400 

Taylor, S. C, 404 

Thomas, Richard, 42S 

Thornton, S. I., 416 

" Times" Printing House, 216 

Walker, J. P., 420 

Walton & Hayes, 424 

Ward, Frazier, 436 

Weaver, J. W., 440 

Welker, Daniel, 448 

Williams, L. L., Monument, 456 

WiUis, Rev. W. A., 460 

Woodruff, A. H., 468 

Wright, J. W., 476 

Wrisley, J. B., 4S0 


Abbott, G. H., 275, 276. 
Abernethy, George, 146, 14S, 150, 160. 
Agriculture, 115, 315, 394- 
Aguilar, Martin cle, 30, river of, 30, 
49, 54. 76- 

Alarcon, Fernando de, explores Colo- 
rado river, 17. 

Alaska, 35, 59, 63, 65, 69, 95, 102. 

Albion, New, 21, 55, 

Alden, Capt. B. R., 215. 

Allhouse creek, 455-6. 

Allhouse, Philip, 44S, 455- 

Amazons, Isle of, 14. 

Ambrose, Dr. G. II., 202. 

American explorations, 6S, 72, 75, 76, 
92, iiS, 126, 136, 145, 1S6, 301. 

.American board of commissioners for 
foreign missions, 128. 

American Fur Company, 118, 123, 125, 

Angell, Martin, killed, 259. 

.\nian, .Straits of, 13, 19, 22, 28, 35, 
48, 60, 62, 75. 

ADplegate creek, siege of cabins, 259, 

.^pplegate trail, 14S, 302-7. 

Applegate, Charles, Jesse and Lindsay, 
143, 148, 302, 349. 

-Armstrong, Ben., 215. 

Armstrong, Pleasant, 219. 

Arteaga, voyage of Captain Ignacio, 

Ashland, 214, 352, 358. 

Ashburton treaty, 141. 

Ashley, Gener<il W. H., u8. 

Astor, John Jacob, 94, 106. 

Astoria, 96, 100, 102, 104, 105, 107. 

Athabaska, lake, 81. 

.\ugur, Captain U. S. A., 276. 

Avalanche, 3S9. 


Baffin's bay discovered, 32. 

Baker guards, the, 348. 
Baker, mount, 79. 

Bandon, 4S9. 

Battle Kock, siege of, 471, 473. 

Bear creek, Indian tight on, 214. 

Beaver money, 170. 

Beekman, C. C. 363. 

Behring Straits discovered, 35, 60. 

Benton Senator T. H., 163, 164. 

Berkeley, Capt., re-discovers Straits of 

Fuca, 66. 
Big Bar, 374. 
Big Meadows, 266, Smith's tight at, 

279, 281. 
Bitter-root Mountains, 86, 91. 
Blackburn's Ferry, fight at, 188. 
Blanchet, Revs. F. N. and A. M. A., 

132, 136, 156, 170. 
Blanco, Cape, discovered, 30, 54, 76. 
Bledsoe, Capt., 282. 
Bloody Point Massacre, 204. 
I'.Uie Mountains, 102, 123, 148. 
liodega y Quadra, J. F. de, 52, 54. 
Bohemia mines, 392. 
Boise Fort, 125. 

Bonneville, Capt. B. L. E., 123, 125. 
Boundaries of the United States, 47, 84. 

Browntown, 455. 

Brouillet, Father J. B. A., 15S, 159. 
Bruce, Major James, 256, 2S2. 
Bucareli, Port, 54. 
Buccaneers, 20, 22, 32, 33. 
Buchanan, Lieut-Col. U.S.A., 276. 
Buford or Beaufort, James, killed, 272. 
Butte creek, war upon, 258. 

Cabeza-Vaca, N. A. de, 16. 
Cabrillo, Juan Rodriguez, 18. 
California Lower, discovery of, 15; 
attempts to colonize, 15, 33; Mis- 
sions, 38; Upper California, first 
exploration, 18; missions, 44. 

Calilornia, Gulf of, 16, 44; population 
of, 46: mines, 169, 170. 

Camas Prairie, 406; valley, 421. 

Camp Leland, 254. 

Camp Stewart, 215. 

Canada, 47. 

Canneries, 488, 4S9. 

Canyon, emigrant suffering in the, 149. 

Canyonville, 425; 

Carver, Jonathan, 48, 49. 

Cascades of the Columbia, 87. 

Cascade mountains, 148, 387. 

Cascades massacre, 176. 

Casey, Lieutenant-Col. Silas, 200, 474, 

Catching creek, 486. 

Catholic Missions, 132, 135 to 157, 151. 
15s. 157- 

Cave fight, the, 233-4. 

Cayuse Indians, 89, 130, 152, 153, 
106 to 165. 

Census of 1849, 169. 

Chapman, Lieutenant-Colonel W. W., 
264-S, 268, 

Chetco Indians, 271; description of, 

Chinese, 346. 

Chinook Indians, 78, 87, 104. 

Chipewyan, fort. Si. 

Cibola, fabulous city of, 16, 17. 

Civil Bend, 421. 

Clarke's Fork of the Columbia, 86. 

Clatsop, fort, 87. 

Clearwater river, 86. 

Cleveland, 428. 

Climate, 299. 

Cluggage, James, 359. 

Coal, 394, 493. 

Coats, Onsby and Long murdered, 

Coast Indians, 271. 

Coast Mail newspaper, 494. 

Coast Range mountains, 389. 

Cockstock killed at Oregon City, 154. 

Cole's valley, 426-7. 

Colorado river, 16, 17, 118, 119, 123. 

Columbia river, 49, 53, 67, 76, 78, 80, 
S3, S7, 96, 106, 114. 

Columbia, ship, second voyage of, 76. 

Columbus, Christopher, 10. 

Concomly, Indian chief, 105. 

Conasset, fabulous city of, 27. 

Congregational missions, 1 28, 1 32, 151 
to 160. 

Congressional debates, 142, 149, 164 
to 167. 

Cook, Capt. James, voyage of, 55' 

Cook's inlet, 60, 66. 
Coos, origin of name, 496. 
Coos Bay, 490; discovery of, 491; bar, 

Coos Bay company, 492. 
Coos Bay Neius, newspaper, 494. 
Coos county, 483, 499; boundaries of, 

Copper mines, 457. 
Coppermine river, 50. 
Coquille massacre, 271-2; river, 484, 

490; Herald, newspaper, 487; Co- 
quille river bar, 490; origin of name, 

496; City, 487. 
Coionado's invasion of Cibolo, 18. 
Cortereal, Caspar de, 13. 
Cortes, Hernando de, 14 to 17. 
Cow creek, murder of miners on, 212; 

disturbances, 257, 258; description, 

etc., 423, 424, 425. 
Cowlitz river, 117. 
Carter lake, 308, 311. 
Crespi, Father, 45. 
Crowley, Miss M. L., 462. 
Crooks, Ramsey, 100, 103. 
Culver, Indian agent, 271. 
Curry county, war in, 270; description 

and history, 465, 482. 
Dalles, The, 102. 131, 137, 153, 156, 

Dardanelles, the, 215, 379. 
Dart, Dr. Anson, Indian commissioner, 

Day, John, 100 to 103. 
Deady, Judge M. P., 221, 363, 366, 

367, 446. 
Deer creek, 452. 
De la Matter mine, 453. 
Demers, Father Modest, 151. 
Denmark, 476. 
DeSmet, Father P. J., 132. 
Destruction island, 53. 
Dilley, murdered at Phnenix, 196. 
Disappointment, Cape, 53, 67, 77, 

78, 87. 
Douglas county, 3S3, 442; boundaries 

of, 404, 406; statistics, 407, 408. 
Drain, 431, 432. 
Drake, Sir Francis, 20, 22. 

Eagle Point, 376. 

East India Company, 64. 

Edgecumb, Mount, 53, 59, I06. 

Edwards, Edward, 213. 

Edwards, P. L., 127, 131, 132, :S6. 

Eells, Rev. Gushing, 131, 139. 

Eight Dollar Mt., fight at, 264, 265, 

452, 453- 
Elk creek, 477. 
Elk Head, 441. 
Elkton, 402, 405, 434. 
Ellensburg, 478, 4S0. 
Ely, Lieutenant Simeon, 217,218. 
Emigrations, yearly, 1 37, 143, 147, '48. 
Empire City, 493. 
English explorations, 20, 32, 47, 55 to 

61, 64 to 68, 761081. 
Enos, Indian, 273, 183. 

Esther mine, 333, 463. 

Evan's creek, campaign of, 21S, 220. 

Fairweather, mount, 59. 

Ferrelo, discovers Cape Mendocino, 18. 

Fields and Cunningham murdered, 240, 

Fitzgerald, Major, U. S. A., 206, 209, 

246, 255. 
FiveCrows, Indian chief, 153, 15S, 161. 
Flat-head Indians, 127. 
Flattery, Cape, 52, 7S. 
Flint. A. R., 402, 403. 
Floras creek, 476. 
Fonte, Admiral de, 27. 
Foot's creek, 185, 1S6, 379. 
Forests, 390. 
Fort Boise, 125. 
Fort Briggs, 452, 454. 
Fort Hall, 125, 137, 138, 14S. 
Fort Hays, 452. 
Fort Jones, 209. 
Fort Lamerick, 278. 
Fort Lane, 231. 
Fort Orford, 275. 
Fort Umpqiia, 301, 397, 399- 
Fort Vancouver. 114, 115, 124. 
Fort Walla Walla, 123, 129, 137, 156, 

159, 175, 176. 
Fowler mine, 331-2. 
Franciscan missionaries in California, 

Fraser river, 81. 

Fremont, Lieutenant J. C, 145, 187. 
French explorations, 48, 63. 
Frizzell and Mungo killed, 229. 
Fuca, Straits of Juan de, 23 to 26, 52, 

57. 66, 75, 76, 78. 
Fur trade, 34 to 37, 61, 63, Si, 82, 91, 

93, 100 to 104, 106 to 113, 114 to 

Gaines, Governor, treaty with Indians, 
199- 336. 

Galice creek, supposed murder of 
miners at, 20S; siege of, 250-1; de- 
scription, 460-1. 

Gania, Vasco de, 11. 

Gardiner, 402, 436. 

Geisel family, the, 274, 478-9. 

Geoige, fort, 104, 107. 

Ghent, treaty of, 106. 

Gibbs, A. C, 402. 

Gilliam, Colonel Cornelius, 160, 161, 

Glendale, 426. 

Gold Ik- . !: ;n ;^ ,. . 274. 

Gold. .1^ I u. 

Gold 11. , ■-, j;S. 

Goodall, L_L, :. |. .!.._-, 206, 215, 21S, 

Grand Ronde valley, 102, 123; battle 

of, 176. 
Grant's Pass, 3S0. 
Grave creek, 462-3; Indians, 199, 208, 

Gray, W. H., 129, 131, 139, 145. 
Gray, Capt. Robert, 68, 72, 76. 
Gray's Harbor, 78, 80. 
Great Slave lake. Si. 
Green valley, 439. 
Green river, 118, 122. 
Griffin, B. B., 216. 

Hahn, Capt., 385. 
Hall, fort, 125, 137. 138, 148. 
Harding and Rose killed, 217. 
Harkness killed, 266. 
Harris family, the, 246. 

Hawaiian Islands, 56, 60. 

Hearne, e.xplorations of Samuel, 50. 

Heceta, Bruno d-, 52, 53. 

Hedden, Cyrus, 471, 474- 

Hermann, Dr., 485. 

Hermansville, 485. 

Hines, Rev. Gustavus, 132, 136, 146, 

Hitchcock, General, U. S. A., 200. 
Hooker, Colonel Joseph, U. S. A., 

Horn, Cape, discovered, 32. 
Hudson's Bay, 13, 32, 47. 
Hudson's Bay Company, 33, 50, 81, 

loS to 126, 148, 397, 399. 
Hull, Charles W. killed, 259. 
Humboldt river, 119, 122. 
■'Humbug war," 238, 240. 
Hungry Hill, campaign of, 251, 253, 

Hunt, Wilson P., e.xpedilion of, 100 to 

103, 105. 

Illinois valley, 451. 

Immigration of 1845, 137; of 1843, 

143: of 1844, 147. 
Irvin, Lieutenant U. S. A., kidnapped, 


Jackson county, description of, 306, 

315: history of, 315, 382. 
Jackson creek, 337. 
Jackson Rangers, 349. 
Jacksonville, 359. 
"Jesuit missionaries in lower California, 

38, 42- 
Joe, Chief of the Rogue River Indians, 

Joint occupancy of Oregon, loS, 113, 

John, Chief of the Applegate Indians, 

190, 216, 217, 279, 281, 284. 
John Day Rivei, 8S. 103, 148. 
Jones, Capt., U. S. A., 275. 
Josephine creek, discovered, 447. 
Josephine county, 446. 
judah, Capt. H. M., U. S. A., 233. 
Jump-off-Joe creek, 461. 

Kamiakan, Indian chief, 174, 176. 
Kautz, Lieut. A. V., U. S. A., 221, 

Kearney, Gen. Philip, 197. 
Keene, Granville, killed, 240. 
Keeney, Captain Jonathan, 261. 
Kelsev, Colonel John, 265. 
Kendrick, Captain John, 68. 
Kerbyville, 453, 454. 
ICing ( ;curge III. Archipelago, 53. 
King ( ieorge Sound Company, 64. 
Kino, Father, 33. 38, 39. 
Klamath Indians, 1 78. 



Klickitat Indians, 183.* 
Kyle, James C, killed, 231. 

Labrador, straits of, 13. 

Lamerick, General J. K., 202, 254, 

262, 266, 282. 
Lane, Gen. Joseph, 16S, 198, 217, 222. 
La Perouse voyage of, 63. 
Lapwai Mission, 130, 132, 155. 
Latshaw, Major, 281. 
LeBreton, George W., 136, 146, 153, 

Ledford massacre, 346, 347. 
Leivard, John, efforts to cross the 

Continent, 63. 
Lee, H. A. G., 160. 

. 132, 136, 146. 
ition, 85, 92. 

LeN\i>. Joe, 157 to 159. 
Limestone, 321. 
Long Prairie, 438 

Looking-glass, 417, Indians of, at- 
tacked, 257. 
Loretto, Mission of Our Lady of, 40. 
Lost river fight, 207. 
Lowden's ferry fight, 1S8, 189. 
Louisiana, Province of, 47, 84. 
Lovejoy, A. Lawrence, 139, 150. 
Lower California, colonized, ^;i. 
Lupton massacre, 243. 

Mackenzie, Alexander, explorations of. 

81, 82; Mackenzie river, 81. 
Magellan, 11, 13. 

Maldonado and theSlraitsof Anian, 22. 
Mandan Indians, 86. 
Marple, P. B., 491. 
Marshall, James W., 169. 
Marshfield, 494, 495. 
Martinez, Estevan, voyages of, 52, 69: 

Nootka controversy, 71. 
Mary's river, (see Humboldt). 
Mrssacre on October ninth, (855, 24-I. 
Maurelle. Antonio voyages of, 52, 6:. 
McBean, William, 159. 
McKay, Alexan.ler, Tom and William 
C, 95, 121, 129, 138, 152, 156,161. 
McKinlav, Archiiwld. 1 58. 
McLaughlin, Dr. John, 121. 136, 153. 
McLaughlin, Joseph. 122. 
McLeod river, 122. 
McTavish, J. G., 104. 
Meachani, A. B., 207. 
Meadows, first campaign of the, 256; 

second campaign, 266, 269. 
Meares, Captain, voyages of, 58, 65, 

6S, 71- 
Medford, 375. 
Meek, Joseph L. and Stephen II., 133, 

137, 146, 148, 166, 168. 
Mendocino, Cape, discovered, 18. 
Mendoza, Antonio, Viceroy of Mexico, 

16, 18. 
Merchants' and Farmers' Navigation 

Co., 3S5. 
Methodist missions, 127, 130, 131, 132. 

135 I" 137. 151. 154- 
Meteorological tables, 300. 
Miller. Captain John F., 331, 232. 
Mines and Minerals, 321 to 333, 392 

to 394- 
Mis^i,,ns in California, 38. 
Missions in Oregon, 127 to 133, 151. 

Missionaries, 127, 159. 
Missouri Fur Co., 92, 118. 
Missouri river, 86, 91. 
Modocs, 187, 204, 207, 349. 
Molalla Indians, 154. 
Montcrrv, Ibv of, 29, 45. 
M..nm M. Klias, 60. 

Murphy's creek, 459; fight at, 280. 

Myrtle creek, 422, 423. 

Myrtie Point, 4S5. 


Nesmith, J. W., 148, 221, 223. 

New Archangel, 106. 

Nez Perce Indians, 86, 90, 123, 128. 
130, 132, 153. 

Ninth Regiment, 293, 296. 

Nisqually, missions at, 151, 174. 

Niza, Father Marcas de, pretended ex- 
plorations of, 17. 

Nolan, Rhodes, 214. 

Noolka convention, 73, 74. 

Nootka Sound, 51, 54, 64, 66, 70, 73, 
75, 81. 

Xorlh Bend, 495. 

North Sea, 11. 

North Umpqua river, 389. 

Northwest Fur Co., of Montreal, 81, 
91, 100, 107 to 109, 113, 114. 

Oak Flat, council of, 279. 

Oakland, 406, 428, 430. 

Ogden, I'eter Skeen, 122, 159. 

Ogden's river (see Humboldt). 

Olympus, Mount, 52. 

Ord, Capt. E. O. C, U. .S. A., 277. 

Oregon, first discoveries, 18, 20, 30; 
origin of name, 49, 50, S3; joint oc- 
cupancy, 108, 113; missions 127 to 
133; first efforts at self-government, 
133; boundary, 141: white popula- 
tion of, in 1843, 143; subdivided, 

Oregon and California railroad, 381, 
3S2, 396, 411, 424, 462. 

Oregon City laid out, 137; Indian fight 
at, 154. 

Oreifoii Senlinel, newspajjer, 369. 

Oregon trail, the, 338, 447, 449, 461. 

Orford, Cape, 30, 54, 76. 

Pacific Fur Co., 95, 104. 

Pacific Ocean, discovery of, 11; early 
explorations, 15. 

Palmer, Joel, 221, 

Palouse river, 87, 103. 

Palouse Indians, 103. 

Pambrun, P. C, 129. 

Parker, Rev. Samuel, 128, 151. 

Parkersburg, 488. 

Peo-peo-mux-mux, Indian Chief, 88, 
153, 175- 

Perez, voyages of Juan, 51, 52. 

Peters Philip, 400. 

Philip II., orders survey of northwest 

Philippine Islands subdued by Spain, 

Phillips, Edward, killed, 236. 
Philpnt killed, 237, 452. 
I'hoenis, 374. 
Pikhei. M,ijor, 122. 
Pirmecrs, s..ciety of, 35 1. 
Poland, Captain, 273. 
Portala, first governor of California, 44. 
Port Orford, 200. 471, 477. 
Port San Lorenzo, 51. 
Post, newspaper, 480. 
Prim, Judge P. P., 361. 
Prince William's sound, 60, 65, 69 
Printing, first in Oregon, 132. 
Provisional government of Oregon, 

133. 135. '45. 146. 
I'ligcl S.iund Agricultural Co., 1 70. 
Puget Sound explored, 79. 
Putnam Valley, 438, 439. 


(Quadra, Bodega y, 52, 62, So. 
(Quartz mining, 326, 333, 392, l<)l, 

456, 466. 
Queen Charlotte's Island, 51, 79. 
Quicksilvei, 321, 593, 394. 
(juivira. Fabulous City of, jr. 


Rainfall, 300. 
Ranier, Mount, 79. 
Randolph, 492; mines of, 4S9. 
Rawlins, Miss Josephine, 447. 
Ricortkr, newspaper, 476. 

Red River of the North, 50; settle- 
ments, 109, 134; emigrants, 137. 
Redwood grove, 482. 
Reyes, Rio de los, 26 to 28, 48,49, 54, 

59, 76- . 
Reynolds, Major U. S. .\., 272, 274. 
Rhoades, Jacob, 215. 
Rice settlement, 257, 420. 
Rice valley, 440. 
Riddle, 424. 

Rinearson, Capt. Jacob, 247, 249. 
Rock Point, 379, 
Rocky mounlains, 48, 85, 118. 
Rocky Mountain Fur Company, 119, 

122, 123. 
Rogue river, 312, 313. 
Rogue River Indians, 178, 185, 190, 

202, 216, 302, 304, 378. 
Rollins (see Rawlins.) 
Roseburg, 403, 405, 416. 
Roseburg and Coos Bay railway, 396, 

494. 499- 
Ross, General John E., 160, 205, 206, 

213, 220, 234, 249, 251, 328, 345, 

349. 464- 
Russian explorations in the Pacific, 34 

to 38. 
Russian American Trading Company, 

36, 63, 106, 117. 
Ryswick, treaty of, 47. 

Sahaptin river (see Snake.) 
Sailor Diggings (see Waldo.) 
Saint Elias, Mount, discovered, 35, 59. 
Salt Lake, Great, 118. 
Salva-Tierra, Father, 38. 
Sam and Joe, chiefs of the Rogue 

River.s, 210, 211. 
Sandwich Islands, 56, 60, 6S, 93. 
San Diego mission, 43. 
San Jacinto, Mount, 53. 
San Francisco Bay discovered, 21, 29, 

San Lorenzo, Port, 5l. 
San Roque, river of, 53. 
Sauvies' island, 88. 
Saskatwchewan river, 81. 
Scott, Capt. Levi. 148, 302, 400, 401. 
Scurvy, sufferings of Spanish explorers, 

iS, 29, 30. 
Scottsburg, 385, 401, 402, 435. 
Second regiment, O. M. V., 260, 265, 

286, 292. 
Selkirk's Red River settlements, 109. 
Serra,' Father Junipero. 43 to 46. 
SettlemeiUs in Oregon, 130, 134, 152. 
Shasta Indians, 178, 189. 
Sheep, 395. 

Simpson, Sir George, 137. 
Siskiyou mountains, 122, 131. 
Siuslaw river, 384, 440. 
Sitka, Alaska, lo6. 
Sixes river. 476. 
Skinner, Judge A. A., 150, 199, 202, 

Slate creeC, 459- 

Smith, Capt. A. J., U. S. A., 223, 
m, 239. 277. 279- 

Smith river, 383, 439, 44°- 

Smith, Jedediah S., iiS, 120, 122, 
184. 399.- 

Snake river, 86, 100, 125. 

South Sea, discovery of, 10. 

South Sea Company, 64. 

Southern Oregon, history and descrip- 
tion of, 297, 499. 

Southern Oregon emigrant road, 148, 

Southern Oregon Improvement Com- 
pany, 494, 499. 

Spanish explorations, iS, 29, 30, 31, 
51, 52, 53, 62, 69, 75, 79. 

Spalding, Kev. H. H., 129, 133, 139, 
152, 157- 

Spokane, fort, 103, 104; mission, 132. 

Steele, Elijah, 201, 202, 203. 

.Stevens, Gov. \. I., 173, 176. 

.Stewart, Captain, U. .S. A., 197. 

Steptoe, Col. E. J., 176. 

Stock, 394. 

Straits of Anian, 17, 20, 23. 

Stoneman, Lieutenant, 475. 

Sucker creek, 544, 455. 

Sumner, 495. 

Sutter, Captain John A., 131, 169. 

Sutton, J. M., 464. 

Table Rocks, the, 377, 37S; reserva- 
tion at, 231. 

Table Rock band, 263. 

Tal'U Rock Stitlincl, newspaper (see 
Oregon Smlinel. ) 

Table Rock treaty, 221, 224. 

Tallent, 380. 

Tam-su-ky, Cayuse chief, 156 to 162. 

Tedford and Rouse attacked by In- 
dians, 224. 

Temperature, 300. 

Ten-mile valley, 419. 

Territorial government of Oregon, 163, 

Thornton, J. Q., 150, 164, 167. 

Tichenor, Capt. Win., 471, 473, 478. 

Tierra, Father Juan Maria Salva, 39. 

Timber, 390. 

Tipsu Tyee, 201, 211, 216, 230, 233. 

Tonquin, ship, 95, loo. 

Touchet river, 90. 

Townsend, Port, 79. 

Trappers, character of, 125, 126. 

Treaties — Nootka, 73; Ghent, 106; 
Ryswick, 47; Ashburton, 141; of 
1S46, 149. 

Trinidad, bay of, 52. 

Tukannon river, 87. 

T'Vault, W. G., 197, 369, 370, 372, 
377, 473- 

Tyee George, 547. 

Ugarte, Father Juan, 38, 41. 

Ulloa, Francisco de, explorations of, 

Umatilla river, 88, 124. 

Umpqua City, 402, 438. 

Umpqua county, 403, 405, 406. 

Umpqua, Fort, 184, 301, 397, 399. 

Umpqua Indians, 178, 182, 183. 

Umpqua river, 21, 30, 117, 119, 184, 
384, 399. 401. 


Vancouver, Capt. George, 74, 81. 

Vancouver Island, 51, 80. 

Vancouver, Fort, 80, 1 14, 115, 124. 

Viscaino, Admiral Sebastian, 29, 31. 

Voyageurs, 95. 

Wagner, Mrs., killed, 245. 

Wagons first taken to Oregon, 129, 

137, 142. 
Waiilatpu, 130, 1 38, 152. 
Waldo, called Sailor Diggings, 229, 

456, 457- 
Walker, Rev. E., 131, 139. 
W'alker, Capt. Jesse, 235. 
Walla Walla, fort, 123, 129, 137, 156, 

159. 175. '76- 
Walla Walla Indians, 88, 102, 103. 
Waller, Rev., his zeal, 152. 
Willamette Cattle Company, 130, 1S6. 

War— Cayuse, l6o; of 1853, 214, 232; 

of 1855-6, 244, 296, 
Wascopum Indians, 102, 153. 
Washington tenitoiy organized, 170, 

Western University, 345. 
White, Dr. Elijah, 137, i5i, 154. 
Whitman, Dr. iVIarcus, 12S; overland 

journey, 137 to 142. 
Whitman massacre, 150, 159. 
Wilkes, Commodore Charles, 136, l86, 




Willamette river, 88. 
Williams' creek, 458. 
Williamsburg, 458, 459. 
Williams, Capt. M. JM., 265. 
Williams, Col. R. L., 260, 262. 
Willow Springs, 332, 377; Indian fight 

at, 196. 
Wilderville, 459. 
Wills, Thomas, 213. 
Winchester, 402, 404, 405, 408, 432. 
Winchester, Payne & Co., 401. 
Winchuck river, 481. 
Winnipeg settlements, 109. 

Wolf meeting, the, 145. 
Woodman, Calvin, murder of, 20 
Woodville, 380. 

Wool, General John E., 175, 275, 
Wright, Gen. 203, 272, 274. 
Wright, Col. George, 176. 
Wyeth, Nathaniel f., 123, 125, 12 

Yakima Indians, 174-5-6. 
Yellept, Chief, 88. 
Yellowstone river, 86; 91. 
Yoncalla, 401, 433. 
Young, Ewing, 123, 130, 135, 18 





oUm (AiiA 





Prehistoric— The New World Divided between Spain and Portugal— Discovery of the South Sea Voyage of 
Magellan— Naming the Pacific —Cortereal and the Straits of Anian. 

Intense glooiu enshrouds the history of the Pacific coast prior to the sixteenth 
century. The investigations of the geologist have revealed how the great inland arms 
of the ocean gradually became land-locked seas whose receding waters left behind the 
deposit of alluvium brought down from the mountains by the thousands of small 
streams pouring into them, by which process were evolved the great fertile valleys 
whose names have become the synonyms of abundance ; but of its history they are 
silent. The patient researches of the archaeologist have here and there cast a faint ray 
of light into the encircling gloom, but the fleeting outlines thus momentarily revealed 
serve but to confuse the mind and render more intense the deep shadow hanging over 
all. What races of human beings have acted here the great drama of life, their wars, 
customs, manner of living, religious beliefs and the degree of civilization they attained, 
are all hidden by an impenetrable veil. Here and there a voiceless skeleton disen- 
toombed from its resting place for centuries far beneath the verdant carpet of the earth 
it once trod, silentl,y points to ages long before the stony lips of the Sphynx were 
carved or the mighty Atlantis sunk beneath the seething billows of a convulsed ocean; 
yet of those ages it reveals naught but the simple fact of their existence. 

Rude monuments of rocks and mounds of earth, a few rough carvings in the 
rocky walls of towering cliffs and crude paintings on the surface of huge stones, ob- 
jects of superstitious awe and reverence to the simple natives, speak of races now 
passed away, of whom the aborigines of to-day know nothing except the faint allusion 
made to them in the legends of their ancestors. These traditions also speak of the 
presence long years ago of a race of pale faced people who visited these shores i)i 
ships, yet so intangible are they that scarcely a theory can be founded upon them ; 
certainly nothing positive can be proved. That the Chinese or the Tartars in the 
years of their great warlike strength and foreign conquests may have visited the west- 
ern coast of America is far from improbable; in fact archaeologists have discovered 
many evidences of such visits in the crumbled ruins of Mexico, Central America and 
Peru, and in the customs and religious ceremonies of the people whom the conquering 


swords of Cortes and Pizarro so rutlilessly slaughtered ; but Oregon and Washington 
offer but little testimony either to confirm or confute the theory. It is quite possible, 
and even probable, that the traditions referred to had their rise in the visits of the 
early Spanish explorers. Leaving these mysteries to be revealed by the investigations 
of the future, let us step from out the shadow upon the lighted plain of authentic 

Inunediately upon the return of Columbus in the spring of 1493, with the start- 
ling iutelligence that he had reached India in his voyage westward, for such was his 
belief at that time, the Spanish sovereigns applied to the Pope, who then arrogated to 
himself not only the spiritual but the temporal sovereignty of the universe, for special 
grants and privileges in all lands thus discovered. Formerly the head of the church 
had bestowed upon Portugal, which had for a century past been the foremost nation 
in making voyages of exploration and discovery, sovereign rights in the south and 
east, similar to those Spain now desired in the west. With an arrogance such as none 
but the ruler of a universe can display and a munificence to be expected only from one 
bestowing that which he does not possess or which costs him nothing, the successor of 
Peter and God's representative upon earth drew a line from pole to pole across the 
globe one hundred leagues west of the Azores, and assigned to Portugal all newly-dis- 
covered lands lying east of it and to Spain all lying to the westward. This partition 
was unsatisfactory to ambitious Portugal, and after two years of wrangling the obliging- 
Pope moved his dividing line 270 leagues farther west. 

Though the Portuguese were obedient to the Pontiff's decree and left Spain in un- 
disputed possession of all its western discoveries, not ceasing, however, to make many 
voyages of exploration, this was far from being the case with the English. The 
sovereigns of that " tight little isle" were wont to be very independent in their conduct, 
and had been accustomed for some time to show little respect for the temporal au- 
thority of the Pope when it conflicted too strongly with their pyersonal, political or 
territorial interests. It can well be imagined, then, that this partition of the undis- 
covered world into equal portions between Spain and Portugal did not deter England 
from making voyages of discovery to the new world and claiming sovereign rights over 
all lands explored, a claim which neither the Pope nor his two pet subjects dared to 
dispute. Following in the footsteps of her island neighbor and immemorial enemy, 
France, and Holland also, ignored the papal bull and in later years grasped eagerly 
after their share of the prize. 

And what was this land towards which the eyes of the great nations of Europe 
were turned ? It was, as they supposed, the west coast of India, the wonderful island 
of Zipango and the fabulously wealthy land of Cathay described by Marco Polo. 
Here was to be found the "gold of Ophir" which had enriched the kingdom of the 
mighty Solomon, diamonds and precious stones in abundance, and the fountain of per- 
petual youth. Imagination and legend had peojiled it with wonderful nations and 
cities and had stored it with a wealth of precious stones and metals such as the known 
portions of the globe never possessed. Love of dominion and cupidity, that great 
ruling power in human nature, led them forward in the contest. 

From 1492 to 1513, when Vasco Nunez gazed from the mountains upon the vast 
"South Sea," many voyages of discovery were made, and the Atlantic coast of America. 


was exi)lored by the Spanish, Portuguese and English navigators from sunn}' Brazil as 
far north as the icy shores of Labrador. These voyages had satisfied geographers that 
not the India of the east, but a new continent, probably a great eastern extension of 
Asia, had been found by Cohinibus, and that this must be crossed or circumnavigated 
before reaching the hoarded treasures of Cathay. Indeed as early as 1498 Vasco de 
Gama, a Portuguese, reached India by sailing eastward around the Cape of Good Hope, 
and it was plainly evident that between that point (Calcutta) and the farthest point 
yet reached to the westward lay many wide leagues of land and water, unexplored and 
unknown. The idea prevailed that a great sea existed to the southwest beyond this 
new land of America, an idea which was strengthened and supported by statementsof 
the natives carried as slaves to Europe in every returning vessel, and, indeed, several 
eftbrts had been made to pass into this unknown sea by going southward along the 
coast of America. The title of "America" had been applied to the southern half of 
our continent which was at first supposed to be separate and distinct from the northern 
half, or Asia, as it was believed to be. 

It was a quiet day in September, 1513, that Vasco Nunez de Balboa gazed from 
the mountain tops of Central America upon the sleeping waters of the Pacific, upon 
which the eye of a Caucasian then rested for the first time. Having crossed the nar- 
row isthmus joining the two Americas from his starting point at the Spanish settle- 
ment of Antigua on the gulf of Uraba, he was guided by a native to a point from 
which he saw the unknown ocean glistening in the sun far beneath him. As at that 
point the isthmus runs east and west, the Atlantic beating against its shores on the 
north and the Pacific lapping its sandy beach on tlje south, he christened the latter the 
'• South Sea," while the Atlantic was by way of contrast named the " North Sea ;" 
though this latter title was soon transferred to a supposed ocean lying north of Amer- 
ica, separated from the South sea by a narrow isthmus similar to that of Panama, and 
connected with it by a short strait, as will aj^pear further on. 

The announcement that this great " South Sea" actually existed led to increased 
exertions to discover a route by which vessels could pass around America and traverse 
the unknown ocean in search of the Indies. It soon became evident that America 
united with the supposed land of Asia lying north of it to form a either new continent 
hitherto entirely unknown, or a great southeastern extension of Asia equally a stranger 
to geography. Exertions to discover the supposed southern passage to the great South 
sea were then redoubled, and in five years were crowned with complete success. A 
Portuguese navigator, a native of Oporto, but sailing under the Spanish flag, commanded 
the first vessel that plowed Pacific waters, and to this expedition is due the furtlier 
honor of making the first complete navigation of the globe, proving conclusively what 
all geographers of the time had learned to believe, that the world was round and could 
be encompassed by the traveler by going either east or west. The name of this cele- 
brated navigator, whose voyage was second only to the one made by Columbus in 1402 
in the knowledge it revealed of the earth's geography, was Ferdinando de Magalhaens, 
spelled Magallanes by the Spaniards and by English authors given as Magellan. He 
had made several voyages for Portugal via the Cape of Good Hope, but becoming dis- 
satisfied had left his native land and entered the service of Spain, to again attempt for 
that nation the effort of reaching the east by sailing westward. His special destination 


was the Moluccas, then claimed by Spain, and to aid him on his voyage he possessed a 
chart upon which was designated a passage into the South sea ; but instead of the open 
sea which it actually is, this chart exhibited a narrow strait piercing the body of the 
southern half of America. The origin of this chart and the authority for marking 
upon it such an utterly incorrect geographical feature, are unknown ; but the proba- 
bilities are that the chart embraced tlie idea of some geographer as to what the nature 
of the desired passage into the South sea must be, and was founded solely upon theory. 
That this was probably the case is supported by the fact that a somewhat similar pass- 
age was supposed to lead through North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In 
fact it took nearly three centuries to prove the Straits of Auian to be utterly fabulous 
and mythical. 

On the twentieth of September, 1519, Magellan sailed from San Lucar with five 
vessels and 265 men, reached Rio de Janeiro on the Brazilian coast December 13, and 
coasted thence to the southward, carefully exploring every promising bay and inlet. 
When he reached the broad estuary of the Rio de la Plata, he thought surely the long- 
sought strait had been discovered, but all efforts to pass through the continent by that 
route were completely unsuccessful. There was no passage through the huge rocky 
wall of the Andes. Abandoning the attempt he sailed again southward, reaching Port 
St. Julian, about 49° south latitude, on the thirty-first of March, where he remained 
five months. August 24, 1520, he again resumed his search, and on the twenty-first 
of October reached Cabo de las Virgenes, at the entrance of the long-sought straits, 
having lost one vessel by shipwreck and one by desertion. With the remaining three 
he passed through, naming the land to the southward " Terre del Fuego," because of 
the many fires seen burning there. Upon the strait itself he bestowed the title " Vi- 
torio," the name of one of his ships, though it has always properly been known 
as the Straits of Magellan. His passage through them of thirty-six days was a tem- 
pestuous and dangerous one, and when his vessel's prow cleaved the waters of the great 
unplowed sea on the twenty-seventh of November, the contrast between its quiet and 
smiling waters and the foam-lashed breakers of the tortuous strait was so great and so 
suggestive that he bestowed the name Pacific upon it. This circumstance and title are 
recorded in an account of the voyage written in Italian, by Antonio Pigafretta, after- 
ward Caviliere di Rhodi, who accompanied the great explorer. 

Immediately upon entering the Pacific ocean Magellan steered to the northwest to 
reach a warmer climate, crossed the line February 13, 1521, arrived at the Ladrones 
March 6, and at the Philippines on the sixteenth of the same month. Here he was 
killed in a battle with the natives April 27, and the survivors of the expedition, num- 
bering 115 men, continued the voyage under the leadershij} of Caraballo. They 
touched at Borneo and other islands, and reached the goal of their voyage, the Moluc- 
cas, on the eighth of November. One of the vessels, the Viforio, in command of Se- 
bastian del Cano, sailed again westward from the Moluccas, rounded the Cape of Good 
Hope, and reached San Lucar September 6, 1522, with only eighteen survivors of the 
265 who started upon the expedition, having been gone three years and accomplished 
the first complete circumnavigation of the globe. The new ocean was variously known 
for a number of years as South sea, Magellan's sea and Pacific ocean, the last title 
gradually superseding the others until it became universal. 







§ji' '.' : '^ 



















i^';^'. ' 







This wonderful voyage naturally altered the popular idea of the new land which 
Columbus had discovered. Tlie vast extent of the Pacific ocean and its apparently 
unlimited stretch to the northward convinced the map makers that their former idea 
was erroneous, and that the new land, or " Novus Mundus" as the name appears on 
many ancient maps, could not possibly be an eastern extension of Asia. They then 
came to believe that America and Novus Mundus were united by the Isthmus of Pan- 
ama to form an entirely new continent, and that the true Asia lay still further to the 
west across the new ocean. The direct and natural result of this idea was a belief that 
a passage into the Pacific could be discovered by sailing around the north end of No- 
vus Mundus as easily as Magellan had found one by going to the southward of America. 
In fact such a jjassage as this was supposed to have been discovered in the year 1500 
by the Portuguese navigator, Gaspar Cortereal, the first explorer of the coast of Labra- 
dor. He passed through a strait into a sea which he believed and reported to be con- 
nected with the Indian ocean. This mistaken idea was not so proven until modern 
explorers demonstrated the fact that no such passage exists south of the ice-bound 
waters of the Arctic ocean. He had in fact passed through the straits and entered 
the bay afterwards entered and named by Hudson in his own honor. Upon the maps 
for many years straits of this character, leading indefinitely westward, were marked 
and called Straits of Labrador until their extent and the character of the sea into 
which they led were revealed by the later explorations of Hudson and others. The 
name Cortereal bestowed upon them, however, was Straits of Anian, though what was 
the significance of the title has never been satisfactorily explained. The Straits of 
Anian seemed in later years to become entirely disassociated in the minds of explorers 
from the Straits of Labrador or Hudson, and the universal idea of them seems to have 
been that of a narrow passage from sea to sea, between the continents of America and 
Asia. What caused this peculiar notion it is impossible to state, and the supposed 
passage is now universally referred to by historians as the "Fabulous Straits of Anian." 
To find it the English, French and Spanish searched diligently along the Atlantic 
coast, while the Spaniards, alone, sailing northward from the Pacific coast of Mexico, 
explored along our western shore for more than two centuries before the belief in its 
existence was finally abandoned. 

Leaving the former and the results of their voyages to be referred to briefiy further 
on, let us turn our attention to those voyages in the Pacific which made known to the 
world the geography of the northern Pacific coast. 



Cortes Conquers Mexico and Turns his Eyes towards California— He Hopes to Reach the Indies by following 
the Coast— California Discovered by Ximenes— Cortez Undertakes its Conquest— Tale of the Florida Refu- 
gees—Voyage of UUoa— Wonderful Story of Friar Marcas - Coronado seeks Cibola and Quivira— Voyage 
of Cabrillo and Ferrelo. 

Immediately followiug the first discoveries by Columbus, Spain began to plant 
colonies in the West India islands. Her enlightened sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isa- 
bella, proposed to open at once the great storehouse of wealth this new land was popu- 
larly supposed to be. Gold and jewels were procured from the natives by every possi- 
ble means, including cheating in trade and conquest by the sword, and sent back to 
enrich the mother country. The same year that saw Magellan set sail upon his voyage 
around the globe, witnessed the inauguration of another enterprise fraught with great 
results to the future of America. Hernando de Cortes entered Mexico with the sword 
in one hand and bible in the other, bent upon winning riches and power for himself 
and His Most Catholic Majesty, the King of Spain, and impressing upon the heathen 
Aztecs the beauties of the ChrLstian religion with musketry and cannon. The details 
of his bloody conquest it is needless to relate. 

Having subjugated Mexico and overturned in blood the throne of the Montezumas, 
Cortes looked westward for more countries to subdue and plunder of their accumu- 
lated wealth. On the fifteenth of October, 1524, he wrote to Spain's most powerful 
monarch, Charles V, that he was upon the eve of entering upon the conquest of Co- 
lima, a country bordering on the South sea (Pacific ocean), and that the great men 
there had given him information of "an island of Amazons, or women only, abound- 
ing in pearls and gold, lying ten days' journey from Colima." Though Colima is the 
name of one of the j^resent states of Mexico, there is but little doubt that Cortes re- 
ferred to Lower California. This was the opinion of Miguel Venengas, who wrote in 
1749: "The account of the pearls inclines me to think that these were the first inti- 
mations we had of California and its gulf" 

The idea held by Cortes was that possessed by geographers generally, that Amer- 
ica, if not an actual portion of Asia, into which the Pacific projected a long distance 
northward, was at least separated from that ancient continent simply by a narrow 
strait ; and this idea, though founded simply upon theory, was wonderfully correct. 
It was his plan to sail northward, along the coast until the Straits of Anian were 
encountered, or failing in that, to continue westward and southward until he reached 
the rich lauds of India. The fatal defect in this theory was in not ascribing to the 
Pacific ocean and the American continent the magnificent proportions they were in 
after years found to possess. 


At the time Cortes wrote his letter the Pacific coast had been several times explored 
from the Isthmus of Panama as far northward as 350 leagues from that point. In 
1522 he began the construction of several vessels at Zacatula to carry out his ideas, 
and in 1526 they were joined by a vessel which had come through the Straits of 
Magellan. In 1527 three of these vessels were completed and made a short voyage 
along the coast ; but orders came from Spain to send them to India by a direct route 
across the ocean instead of the long way along the coast proposed by Cortes. Other 
ships were begun at Tehuantepec, but rotted on the stocks while the great conqueror 
was in Spain. In 1530 he began the construction of others. Finally, in 1532, he 
dispatched two vessels from Acapulco, reaching as far north as Sinaloa, both being 
wrecked at different points, and their commanders and all but a few of the men slain 
by the natives. The next year two more vessels were dispatched from Tehuantepec, 
one of which accomplished nothing. The crew of the other one mutinied and killed 
their commander, Becerra, and continued the voyage under the pilot, Fortuno Xim- 
enes, landing upon the extreme southern point of the peninsula of California, in 1534, 
where Ximenes and twenty of his men were slain in an encounter with the natives. 
The survivors succeeded in navigating the vessel back to the main land, where it was 
seized by Nufio de Guzman, the governor of Northern Mexico. He was a bitter 
enemy of Cortes, and his rival in covering the advancing pathway of civilization with 
a carpet of blood. 

To resent this insult, Cortes sent three vessels northward by sea, and started him- 
self, by land, at the head of a considerable body of troops. He changed his intention, 
however, and embarking a large portion of his force upon the vessels which had met 
him at Chiametla, he set sail for the new country discovered to the west by Ximenes, 
which was said to abound in the finest of pearls. On the third of May, 1535, his 
little squadron came to anchor in the bay where the mutineers had met their fate the 
year before, and in honor of the day, which was that of the Holy Cross in the Koman 
Catholic calendar, he bestowed upon it the name of Santa Cruz. This was probably 
the one now known as Port La Paz. To this body of land the name of California 
was soon after given, though by whom, for what reason and what is the significance 
of the title remain perplexing questions to the present day, and this name gradually 
expanded in its application until in after years it signified the entire Spanish pos- 
sessions on the Pacific coast, that portion above the mouth of the Colorado being 
known as Alta California. 

Cortes landed upon this barren and inhospitable coast with 130 men and forty 
horses, with visions of conquest floating before his mind. He hoped to find in this 
new country another Mexico to yield its vast stores of gold, pearls and ornaments into 
his bloody hands. Two of his vessels were at once sent to Chiametla for the remain- 
der of his troops, and returned with but a portion of them. They were again dis- 
patched upon the same errand, one only returning, the other having gone to the bot- 
tom of the sea. Cortes then went to the Mexican coast in person, returning to Santa 
Cruz just in time to rescue those he had left there from death by starvation. More 
than a year's time had now been fruitlessly squandered, and explorations inland had 
revealed the fact that the land was utterly barren and worthless. With the exception 
of a few i)earls on the coast, the Spaniards had found nothing to tempt their cupidity. 


the great controlling power which bound them together and made them subservient to 
discipline. Many had died and the remainder were mutinous. In the meantime the 
wife of Cortes, hearing of his ill success, sent a vessel to Santa Cruz with letters, im- 
ploring him to abandon his enterprise and return. News came at the same time that 
a Spanish nobleman of high rank, Don Antonio de Mendoza, had been appointed to 
supersede him as viceroy of New Spain, and had already installed himself in office in 
the city of Mexico. He hastened to the mainland, leaving a portion of his forces 
still at Santa Cruz, under the command of Francisco de Ulloa ; but finding his author- 
ity in New Spain entirely gone and being much embarrassed financially by the ex- 
penses of his unprofitable venture, he sent word to Ulloa to return, and in 1537 the 
sandy deserts of Lower California were abandoned by the ragged remnant of that 
little army of adventurers who had entered it with such high hopes two years before. 

About this time there arrived in Mexico four wandering refugees whose story had 
much to do with the nature of explorations for the next few years. They were Alvaro 
Nuiiez de Cabeza-Vaca, two other Spaniards and a Negro or Moor. They had landed 
in Florida in 1527 with a plundering expedition that invaded that portion of the 
coast under Panfilo Narvaez. The company was almost exterminated by shipwreck, 
famine and battle, and these four survivors wandered for nine years through the inter- 
ior of the region bordering upon the gulf until they finally arrived in Mexico. Thej^ 
had encountered no civilized or wealthy nations in their long journey, but had been 
informed, at various places, of populous countries inhabited by rich and civilized 
races further to the northwest. 

Mendoza was moved by these stories to invade the northwest. It was the civilized 
nations the Spaniards were eager to subdue ; not because their conquest afforded them 
more honor in a military sense, for their warfare was but a series of bloody butcheries 
of unwarlike races whose undisciplined and unprotected masses, armed simply with 
spears, were mowed down like grain by the cannon, musketry and steel of the mailed 
warriors of Spain ; but because these civilized nations jaossessed the great stores of 
gold and precious jewels which were the loadstone that drew these representatives of 
European -chivalry to the New World. The viceroy organized a body of fifty horse- 
men for the purpose of invading this new country, and then abandoned the idea, send- 
ing, instead, two friars and the Moor to explore and report the true facts of the case 
before he ventured upon more extensive efforts. 

They departed in March, 1539, and on the eighth of the following July, Cortes, who 
still claimed the right of exploration into the unknown ocean and government over 
all lands discovered, having again equipped three vessels, sent them from Acapulco 
under the command of Ulloa. One of these was soon wrecked in a severe storm, and 
the other two proceeded to Santa Cruz bay and then coasted along Lower California 
and Mexico, completely around the gulf that lies between them, failing, however, to 
notice the mouth of the great Colorado river. This voyage settled many geographi- 
cal questions, and the gulf was named by Ulloa the Sea of Cortes, though it was gen- 
erally marked on Spanish majis as the Vermilion sea, and on those of other nations as 
the Gulf of California. On the twenty-ninth of October, of the same year, Ulloa again 
sailed from Santa Cruz, whither he had returned at the conclusion of his last voyage, 
and sought to examine the coast westward as he had to the east. Passing around the 


Ciiyie, now called San Luca^^, he sailed slowly northward until about the first of Feb- 
ruary, 1540, he reached an island near the coast in latitude 28°, which he named Isle 
of Cedars. Headwinds and sickness held him here until April, and then the same 
causes, coupled with a lack of provisions, compelled him to abandon his purpose of 
proceeding further northward. 

This voyage attracted but little attention, so absorbed were the mercenary adven- 
turers in Mexico in the report of Friar Marcas de Niza of the wonderful things dis- 
covered by him and his comjianions in the new region whither they had been sent by 

From these accounts, as contained in the letter addressed to the viceroy by Father 
Marcas, and from other evidence, it is probable that the reverend explorer did really 
penetrate to a considerable distance into the interior of the continent, and did find 
there countries partially cultivated, and inhabited by people possessing some acquaint- 
ance with the arts of civilized life ; though as to the precise situation of those regions, 
or the routes pursued in reaching them, no definite idea can be derived from the 
narrative. The friar pretended to have discovered, northwest of Mexico, beyond the 
thirty-fifth degree of latitude, extensive territories, richly cultivated, and abounding in 
gold, silver, and precious stones, the population of which was much greater, and further 
advanced in civilization, than those of Mexico or Peru. In these countries were many 
towns, and seven cities, of which the friar only saw one, called Gevola or Cibola, con- 
taining twenty thousand large stone houses, some of four stories, and adorned with 
jewels ; yet he was assured, by the people, that this was the smallest of the cities, and 
far inferior, in extent and magnificence, to one called Totonteac, situated more towards 
the northwest. The inhabitants of Cibola had, at first, been hostile to the Spaniards, 
and had killed the Negro ; but they had, in the end, manifested a disposition to em- 
brace Christianity, and to submit to the authority of the King of Spain, in whose 
name Friar Marcas had taken possession of the whole country, by secretly erecting 
crosses in many places. 

Such was the account of the worthy friar, but the reverend gentleman drew en- 
tirely too long a bow. That such a civilization could have existed there in the six- 
teenth century and have completely disappeared from view by the eighteenth, is too 
improbable to be credited. The ancient ruins of Arizona and New Mexico and the 
customs and traditions of the Zuni and Moquis Indians, confirm the opinion that a 
semi-civilized race inhabited that region centuries ago ; but nothing has been discov- 
ered pointing to such dense population, cities of " twenty thousand large stone houses," 
or such wealth and civilization as the friar claimed to have observed. The probability 
is that, encountering a semi-civilized race, and desiring to spread among them the 
beauties of the Christian religion, he told these exaggerated stories to the viceroy in 
order to induce him to invade and subdue this new country, for in those days the 
jjathway for the bible was hewn by the sword. Related by a respectable priest who 
claimed to have himself witnessed the wonders he portrayed, the story was fully cred- 
ited, and Mendoza sent a combined land and sea expedition to reconnoitre and ojien 
the way for a complete con(|uest of this great nation. 

The marine portion, under the command of Fernando do Alarcoii, sailed fiom 
Santiago INIay '.», 15-10, and discovered and entered the Colorado river in August, which 


was then named Rio de Xi(estm Sonora de Buena Guia, inhonov of the viceroy, whose 
shield bore the above inscription. Alarcon ascended the stream in boats a distance of 
eighty leagues, inquiring diligently for the seven great cities. From the Indians he 
received many confusing accounts of wonderful riches and remarkable objects to be 
found in the interior, accounts no doubt similar to those which had been the founda- 
tion of Friar Marcas' wonderful tale. Completely baffled he returned to Mexico. 

The land forces, consisting of cavalry, infantry and priests, a perfect complement 
for the conversion of stubborn heathen, were under the command of a resolute soldier 
named Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, a man intensely practical and unaccustomed 
to drawing n^on his imagination when relating facts. After traversing many miles of 
desert and mountain they reached a country for which Cibola appeared to be the gen- 
eral name, though it was found to be entirely devoid of the refinement and riches 
reported by Friar Marcas. The seven cities proved to be seven small villages, thinly 
inhabited by a race but little removed from a savage state. The climate was agreeable 
and the soil very fertile. Large stone houses, rudely built and unornameuted, were 
found, which were later called cases gnuides de los Azteques (gi'eat houses of the Az- 
tecs) by the Sjianish settlers, upon the theory that they had been erected by the Aztecs 
while living in that region prior to their invasion of Mexico. Coronado left Cibola in 
disgust and proceeded further towards the northwest, wandering for two years hither 
and thither in search of the many fabulously rich countries the Indians were con- 
stantly informing him were to be found somewhere else. Quivira in particular was 
the object of great solicitude because of the reported wealth of its monarch ; but when 
he reached it in latitude 40°, it proved to be a buffalo country and its inhabitants sim- 
ply a race of hunters. If the latitude is correct, he must have penetrated as far north 
as the Platte or headwaters of the Arkansas. He returned to Mexico in 1543 with 
his faith in Indian stories shaken to its foundation stones. - 

The next effort to explore the western coast was made in 1542, when Mendoza dis- 
patched Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo with two vessels in search of the Straits of Anian. 
Cabrillo examined the coast as far north as the 38th degree of latitude, when he was 
driven back by a storm and forced to take refuge in a harbor called by him Port Pos- 
session, in the island of San Bernardino, in latitude 34°. Here he died January 3, 
1543, and the jjilot, Bartolome Ferrelo, took command and resumed the voyage north- 
ward. He discovered near latitude 41° a cape which he named Cabo de Fortunas (Cape 
of Perils), being no doubt the one subsequently named Mendocino in honor of the 
viceroy, Mendoza. The furthest point northward reached by Ferrelo on the first of 
March, 1540, is given by some authorities as 44° and others 43°, either of which 
would be off the coast of Oregon ; and to this little vessel-load of adventurous men, 
half clothed, living upon short allowance of food, and afflicted with scur^s-y, must be 
given the credit of making the first discovery of the coast of Oregon, the prize for 
Avhich great nations dis2:)uted for centuries. 



Spain Abandons the Effort- Growth of the East India Trade -Voyag-e of Sir Francis Drake— The Bay of San 
Francisco— Rev. Fletcher's Romances -Other Freebooters Invade the Pacific— Maldonado's Description of 
the Straits of Anian— Voyage of Juan de Fuca— Its Authenticity Discussed— Admiral Fonte's Voyage— Rio 
de los Reyes. 

The return of Ferrelo from his voyage along the coast, of Corouado from his ex- 
plorations inland, and of the few survivors of DeSoto's expedition through Florida to 
the Mississippi, conclusively proved that " neither wealthy nations nor navigable pas- 
sages of communication between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, were to be found north 
of Mexico, unless beyond the 40th parallel of latitude." Having established this 
fact, the Spaniards desisted from their attempts to explore to the northwest of Mexico, 
or to search for the Straits of Anian. The fact was that the discovery of such a pas- 
sage between the two oceans was now looked upon as undesirable by them, in view of 
the valuable trade they had established with the east. 

From being the most energetic in searching for the Straits of Anian, the Span- 
iards suddenly became extremely apathetic to outward appearance, but were by no 
means so actually. Their interest in that supposititious passage was as lively as ever, 
and they were now even more anxious that it should not be discovered at all than they 
had formerly been to find it. The reason for this change of ideas is very simple. 

Spain was now the complete master of Central America, Mexico and the West 
India islands, which formed an important and almost vitally necessary intermediate 
station between Europe and the Indies, a j^oint of advantage which no other nation 
possessed. While she was securing this important foothold in the New World, Portugal 
had bent her energies upon opening a trade with the Indies by way of the Cape of 
Good Hope, and had succeeded in establishing a most valuable commerce with that 
rich and populous region, which Spain viewed with envious eyes. She turned her 
attention from the coast of America, and dispatched several armed fleets across the Pa- 
cific to obtain lodgment in the Indies. After several unsuccessful attempts the Phil- 
ippine islands were subjugated in 1564, and the practicability of crossing the Pacific 
in both directions, which had at first been doubted because all efforts to return had 
been made in the region of the trade winds, established beyond cavil. In a few years 
Spain's commerce on the Pacific became extremely important. Annually large vessels 
sailed from Central America with gold and merchandise, which were bartered for 
spices, silks and porcelain in the Philippine islands and China. These were landed at 
the Isthmus of Panama and transported across to vessels in waiting to convey them to 
Spain. A larae trade was also carried on alone the coast to Peru and Chili. 


ExemjDtion from interference by rival nations was the secret of the immense 
growth of this India trade. The annual galleon from India was loaded with a cargo 
of immense value, and yet the ship bore no armament for defense. No flag but that 
of Spain fluttered over Pacific waters, and there was no need of cannons. It was in 
expectation of this condition of affairs that Spain ceased her efforts to find the Straits 
of Anian. The discovery of such a passage would be most calamitous. Through it 
could come hostile ships of war and • the freebooters who were wont in those days to 
roam the high seas in search of plunder, and prey upon the defenseless commerce of 
the Pacific. The length and precarious nature of the voyage into the Pacific through 
the Straits of Magellan, served to keep that ocean for many years free from hostile 

This exemption from outside interference could not last forever. Spain arro- 
gantly claimed dominion over and the exclusive right of trade with all regions that 
had been even technically discovered by Spanish navigators, even if no settlement of 
any kind had been attempted. Foreigners of all nations were prohibited under pain 
of death, from having any intercourse whatever with the territories claimed by the 
Castilian monai'ch, or from navigating the waters adjacent to them. To such pre- 
sumptuous conduct as this neither England nor France would submit. They willingly 
respected all rights of dominion acquired by actual settlement, but this sweeping claim 
to exclusive control of almost the entire New World they would not countenance for an 
instant. The result was that English, French and Dutch " free traders" made sad 
havoc with the Spanish shipping on the Atlantic coast of America ; and though the 
nations were at peace, these plundering expeditions were winked at by the sovereigns, 
who often directly and always indirectly received their share of the booty. 

These roving marauders made great exertions to discover a northern passage into 
the Pacific, urged on by the reports constantly received of the wonderful richness of 
the East Indian commerce of Spain. These reports at last overcame the fears of 
English seamen, and they invaded the Pacific by the passage of Magellan's tempestu- 
ous straits. 

There was one bolder and more reckless, more ambitious and successful than the 
others, who won the reputation of being the " King of the Sea." In 1578, he thus 
passed into the Pacific with three vessels, and scattered terror and devastation among 
the Spanish shipping along the coast. He captured the East Indian galleon, on her 
Avay home loaded with wealth, levied contributions in the ports of Mexico, and, finally, 
with his one remaining vessel freighted with captured treasures, sailed north to search 
for the Straits of Anian. Through it he proposed passing home to England, and thus 
avoid a combat with the fleets of Spain, that lay in wait for him off the Straits of 
Magellan. His name was Captain Francis Drake ; but afterwards the English mon- 
arch knighted him for becoming the most successful robber on the high seas, and now 
the historian records the name as Sir Francis Drake. When near the mouth of Ump- 
qua river, in Oregon, he ran his vessel into a "poor harbor," put his Spanish pilot, 
Morera, ashore, and left him to find his way back, thirty-five hundred miles, through 
an unknown country thickly populated with savages, to his home in Mexico. This 
feat must have been accomplished, as the only account existing of the fact comes 
through Spanish records, showing that he survived the expedition to have told the 


result. Drake then continued his voyage until he had reached about latitude 
43°, when the cold weather, although it was after the fifth of June, forced him to 
abandon the hope of discovering the mythical straits. The chaplain who accompanied 
the expedition, being the historian of the voyage, says of the cold, that their hands 
were numbed, and meat would feeze when taken from the fire, and when they 
were lying-to in the harbor at Drake's bay, a few miles up the coast from San Fran- 
cisco, the snow covered the low hills. He then evaded the Spanish fleet by crossing 
the Pacific and returning to England by the Cape of Good Hope. P'or a long time it 
was believed that Sir Francis Drake discovered the bay of San Francisco ; that it was 
in its waters he cast anchor for thirty-six days, after having been forced back along 
the coast by adverse winds ; but now it is generally conceded that he is not entitled 
to that distinction. Who discovered that harbor, or when the discovery was made, 
will probably never be known. What clothes it in mystery is, that the oldest chart 
or map of the Pacific coast known, on which a bay resembling in any way that of San 
Francisco at or near the proper point, was a sailing-chart found in the East Indian 
galleon captured in 1742, by Anson, an English commodore, with all her treasure, 
amounting to one and a half million dollars. Upon this chart there appeared seven 
little dots, marked " Los Farallones," and opposite these was a land-locked bay that 
resembled San Francisco harbor, but on the chart it bore no name. This is the oldest 
existing evidence of the discovery of the finest harbor in the world, and it proves two 
things : first, that its existence was known previous to that date , second, that the 
knowledge was possessed by the Spanish Manilla merchants to whom the chart and 
galleon belonged. Their vessels had been not unfrequently wrecked upon our coasts 
as far north as Cape Mendocino; and as Venegas, writing sixteen years later, says 
nothing of such a harbor, we are led to believe that its existence was possibly only 
known to those East India merchants, and was kept a secret by them for fear that its 
favorable location and adaptation would render it a resort for pirates and war-ships of 
rival nations to prey upon their commerce. 

With Sir Francis Drake, unquestionably, lies the honor of having been the first 
European to actually land upon the coast of California. The account of that event, 
given by Rev. Fletcher, the chaplain of the expedition, states that the nativeS; having 
mistaken them for gods, offered sacrifices to them, and that, to dispel the illusion, they 
])roceeded to offer up their own devotions to a Supreme Being. The narrative goes on 
to relate that — 

Our necessarie business being ended, our General, with his companie, travailed up into the 
countrey to their villiages, where we found heardes of deere by 1,000 in a companie, being most 
large and fat of bodie. We found the whole countrey to be a warren of strange kinde of connies; 
their bodies in bigness as be the Barbarie connies, their heads as the heads of ours, the feet of a 
Want [mole] and the taile of a rat, being of great length ; under her chinne on either side a bagge, 
into which she gathered her uieate, when she hath filled her bellie, abroad. The peojjle do eat 
their bodies, and make accompt for their skinnes, for their King's coat was made out of them. 
[The farmer will readily recognize the little burrowing squirrel that ruins his fields of alfalfa, where 
the ground cannot be overflowed to drown them.] Our General called this countrey Nova Albion, 
and that for two causes : the one in respect to the white baukes and cliftes which lie toward the 
sea; and the other because it might have some aifiuitie with our countrey in name, which some- 
times was so called. 


There is no part of earth here to be taken ujj, wherein there is not a reasonable quantitie of 
gold or silver. Before sailing away, our General set up a monument of our being there, as also of 
her majestie's right and title to the same, viz: a plate nailed upon a faire great poste, whereupon 
was engraved her majestie's name, the day and yeare of our arrival there, with the free giving up 
of the province and people into her majestie's hands, together with her highness' picture and arms, 
in a piece of five jjence of current English money under the plate, whereunder was also written 
the name of our General. 

It is claimed by some English historians that Drake jjroceeded as far north as 
latitude 48° ; but as the claim is founded simply upon the word of this lying chaplain 
and is utterly inconsistent with other statements in the same narrative and is entirely 
at variance with an account of the voyage Avritten by Francis Pretty, one of the crew, 
and published within a few years after his return, it is worthy of but little considera- 
tion. Fletcher's account was published by a second party in 1652, seventy years 
later and long after the death of every man who could personally dispute its assertions, 
and bears no marks of authenticity. Many passages are taken bodily from Pretty's 
narrative, which seems to have been the foundation upon which a tissue of falsehood 
and absurdities was erected. The assertion that snow covered the hills about San 
Francisco in the mouth of June and that meat froze upon being taken from the fire, 
is enough to condemn it all in the mind of anyone familiar with the fact that snow 
seldom falls there even in winter, and that meat never freezes at any season of the 
year. These facts are important ; for if Drake went to the 48th degree, he must have 
coasted along Oregon and Washington nearly to the Straits of Fuca ; but if not, then 
his furthest point northward was ofi" the mouth of the Umj)qua, no -further than 
Ferrelo had gone in 1543. To the latter opinion the best authorities hold. 

Other English freebooters, encouraged b}' the dazzling success of Drake, followed 
his example, and for years Spain's commerce in the Pacific suffered many ravages at 
their hands. Meanwhile the English and Dutch navigators continued their efforts to 
discover the northwest passage, while the Spanish government was constantly excited 
and alarmed for fear these indefatigable searchers would be rewarded with success. 
Eumors that the Straits of Anian had been discovered were spread from time to time, 
creating great consternation in Spain, Spanish America and the Philippine islands. 
Several navigators pretended to have passed through these mythical straits, either to 
give themselves importance in the nautical world, or to secure some employment in 
their profession or emolument for the valuable services they thus claimed to have 
rendered. The narrative of this character which attracted the most universal atten- 
tion, was one of a voyage which was no doubt entirely fictitious, claimed to have been 
made by Captain Lorenzo Ferrer de Maldonado, a Portuguese, and related by him in 
a memorial to the Spanish Council of the Indies, wherein he petitiojied for a remuner- 
ation for his valuable services and a commission to occupy and defend the passage 
against the ships of other nations. 

In his narrative, which was precise and careful in its details, were given all the 
geographical ideas of the time in regard to the regions that would naturally be A'isited 
during the voyage described, nearly all of which have since been proved to be erron- 
eous. This fact is conclusive evidence that the narrative was a manufactured one and 
the voyage a myth. In it the Straits of Anian are described as follows : 


The Strait of Aniau is iiften degrees in length, and can easily be passed with a tide lasting six 
hours; for those tides are very rapid. There are, in this length, six turns and two entrances, which 
lie north and south; that is, bear from each other north and south. The entrance on the north 
side (through which we passed) is less than half a quarter of a league in width, and on each side 
are ridges of high rocks; but the rock on the side of Asia is higher and steejDer than the other, and 
hangs over, so that nothing falling from the top can reach its base. [The reader must bear in mind 
that this narrator claims the previous course of the vessel to have been through the long and tor- 
tuous channel of the Straits of Labrador in latitude 75^, from which it sailed southwest 790 leagues 
to the entrance of these straits in the 60th parallel of latitude; also that the straits were supposed 
to be a passage between Asia on the west, and America on the east, leading from this great North 
sea into the great South sea.] The entrance into the South sea, near the harbor, is more than a 
quarter of a league in width, and thence the passage runs in an oblique direction, increasing the 
distance between the two coasts. In the middle of the strait, at the termination of the third turn, 
is a great rock, and an islet, formed by a rugged rock, three estarf/a.s- (11,000 feet) in height, more 
or less; its form is round and its diameter may be two hundred paces; its distance from the land 
of Asia is very little; but the sea on that side is full of shoals and reefs, and can only be navigated 
by boats. The distance between this islet and the continent of America is less than a quarter of a 
league in width; and, although its channel is so deep that two and even three ships might sail 
almost through it, two bastions might be built on the banks with little trouble, which would con- 
tract the channel to within the reach of a musket shot. 

Such is the only detailed description of the Straits of Anian, and it is thus given 
in full because of the effect it had upon maritime explorations for two centuries there- 
after. The author was evidently well posted on the maps and geographical theories of 
the day, and prepared his narrative with careful consideration of them ; but he failed 
in his cunning scheme, as the Council of the Indies not only denied his petition for a 
reward, but also declined to entrust him with the fortification and defense of the valu- 
able passage he claimed to have discovered. That to this story there was a foundation 
of fact is within the limits of i^ossibility. There may have been made prior to the 
time the memorial was presented, some voyage to the extreme northern Atlantic coast 
of America, of which no record has been preserved. To have made the voyage 
claimed as high as the 7oth parallel and passed through long straits into an open sea, 
traversing this southwest 790 leagues (about 3,000 miles) is plainly impossible. That, 
like Cortereal nearly a century before, he may have passed around the coast of Labra- 
dor and through the straits, which are near the 60th parallel, into Hudson's bay, is 
possible ; and, -like his great predecessor, he may have assumed that this sea could be 
followed until the supposed strait leading into the South sea was found. Believing 
thoroughly in this theory, Maldonado may have written this fictitious narrative with 
the hope that it would gain for him the command of an expedition to go in search of 
the straits and take possession of them. One thing is noticeable, and that is that in 
Behring's straits we find the old theory that but a short and narrow passage separated 
Asia arid America was a correct one. 

The next supposed discovery of the Straits of Anian which attracted nuicli atten- 
tion, was that claimed to have been made by Juan de Fuca while in the Spanish ser- 
vice in the Pacific in lo*J2. The only account or record of this voyage was published 
in 1025 in the celebrated historical and geographical volume called "The Pilgrims," 
edited by Samuel Purchas, being "A note made by Michael Lock, the elder, touching 
the Strait of Sea commonly called Fretum Anian, in the South Sea, through the 
Northwest Passage of Meta Incognita," Since this I'eputed voyage entered largely 


into the discussion and settlement of " The Oregon question," the main j)ortiou of Mr. 
Lock's document is given, without attempting to jireserve the Old English orthography. 
It says : 

When I was in Venice, in April, 1536, haply arrived there an old man, about sixty j'ears of 
age, called, commonly, Juan de Fuca, but named properly Apostolas Valerianus, of nation a Greek, 
born in Cei^halonia, of profession a mariner, and an ancient pilot of ships. This man, being come 
lately out of Spain, arrived first at Leghorn, and went thence to Florence, where he found one 
•John Douglas, an Englishman, a famous mariner, ready coming for Venice, to be pilot of a Venetian 
ship for England, in whose company they came both together to Venice. And John Douglas being- 
acquainted with me before, he gave me knowledge of this Greek pilot, and brought him to my 
speech ; and, in long talks and conference between us, in presence of John Douglas, this Greek 
pilot declared, in the Italian and Spanish languages, this much in effect as followeth : 

First, he said he had been in the West Indies of Spain forty years, and had sailed to and from 
many places thereof, in the service of the Spaniards. 

Also, he said that he was in the Sj^anish ship which, in returning from the Islands Philiji- 
pines, towards Nova Spania, was robbed and taken at the Cape California by Captain Caudish, 
Englishman, whereby he lost sixty thousand ducats of his goods. 

Also, he said that he was pilot of three small ships which the Viceroy of Mexico sent from 
Mexico, armed with one hundred men, under a captain, Spaniards, to discover the Straits of Anian, 
along the coast of the South Sea, and to fortify in that strait, to resist the passage and proceedings 
of the English nation, which were forced to pass through those straits into the South Sea ; and 
that, by reason of a mutiny which hapjiened among the soldiers for the misconduct of their cap- 
tain, that voyage was overthrown, and the ship returned from California to Nova Spania, without 
anything done in that voyage ; and that, after their return, the caiDtain was at Mexico punished by 

Also, he said that, shortly after the said voyage was so ill ended, the said Viceroy of Mexico 
.sent him out again, in 1592, with a small caravel and a iJinnaee, armed with mariners only, to fol- 
low the said voyage for the discovery of the Straits of Anian, and the passage thereof into the sea, 
which they call the North Sea, which is our northwest sea ; and that he followed his course, in that 
voyage, west and northwest in the South Sea, all along the coast of Nova Spania, and California, 
and the Indies, now called North America, (all which voyage he signified to me in a great maj^, and 
a sea-card of my own, which I laid before him), until he came to the latitude of 47 degrees , and 
that, there finding that the land trended north and northwest, with a broad inlet of sea, between 
47 and 48 degrees of latitude, he entered thereinto, sailing therein more than twenty days, and 
found that land trending still sometime northwest, and northeast, and north, and also east and 
southeastward, and very much broader sea than was at the said entrance, and that he passed by 
divers islands in that sailing ; and that, at the entrance of this said strait, there is, on the northwest 
coast thereof, a great headland or island, v/ith an exceeding high pinnacle, or spired rock, like a 
pillar, thereupon. 

Also, he said that he went on land in divers places, and that he saw some people on land clad 
in beasts' skins ; and that the land is very fruitful, and rich of gold, silver, pearls, and other 
things, like Nova Spania. 

Also, he said that he being entered thus far into the said strait, and being come into the 
North Sea already, and finding the sea wide enough everywhere, and to be about thirty or forty 
leagues wide in the mouth of the straits where he entered, he thought he had now well discharged 
his office ; and that, not being armed to resist the force of the savage people that might happen, he 
therefore set sail, and returned homewards again towards Nova Spania, where he arrived at Aca- 
pulco, Anno 1592, hoiking to be rewarded by the Viceroy for this service done in the said voyage. 

* * * [Here follows an account of his vain endeavors for three years to secure a 
proper recognition of his services by the Viceroy or the Spanish monarch, and his resolution to 
return to his native land to die among his countrymen.] * * * 

Also, he said he thought the cause of his ill-reward had of the Spaniards, to be for that they 
did understand very well that the English nation had now given over all their voyages for discovery 

ill ^^ ^ ^■' 


of the northwest passage ; wherefore they need not fear them anj- more to come that way into the 
South Sea, and therefore they needed not his service therein any more. 

Also, he said that, understanding the noble mind of the Queen of England, and of her wars 
against the Spaniards, and hoising that her majesty would do him justice for his goods lost by Cap- 
tain Candish, he would be content to go into England, and serve her majesty in that voyage for 
the discovery perfectly of the northwest passage into the South Sea, if she would furnish him with 
only one ship of forty tons' burden, and a pinnace, and that he would i^erform it in thirty days' 
time, from one end to the other of the strait, and he willed me so to write to England. 

And, from conference had twice with the said Greek jjilot, I did write thereof, accordingly, 
to England, unto the right honorable the old Lord Treasurer Cecil, and to Sir Walter Raleigh, and 
to Master Richard Hakluyt, that famous cosmographer, certifying them hereof. And I prayed 
them to disburse one hundred pounds, to bring the said Greek pilot into England, with myself, 
for that my own purse would not stretch so wide at that time. And I had answer that this action 
was well liked and greatly desired in England ; but the money was not ready, and therefore this 
action died at that time, though the said Greek pilot, perchance, liveth still in his own country, in 
Cejjhalonia, towards which place he went within a fortnight after this conference had at Venice. 

The remainder of the long document gives the details of correspondence held by 
Lock with Juan de Fuca during the next few years, showing that up to 1598 the jiilot 
was still willing to go with him to England, but that in 1602, when Lock had finally 
finished his business in Venice and prepared to return to England, a letter to the 
Greek failed to elicit a response, and the writer heard a little later that the old navigator 
was dead. 

Much controversy has been and is still being carried on among historians as to 
whether such a person as Juan de Fuca ever lived, or such a voyage as Lock described 
was ever made. Mexican and Spanish records of the period have been carefully 
searched by those eager to prove the truth of this narrative, without revealing any 
confirmatory evidence whatever. The negative the records, of course, could not estab- 
lish. The voyage must stand or fall by the manner in which the narrator's geograph- 
ical descriptions bear the light of modern investigation. One thing is clearly notice- 
able ; its geographical descriptions of regions claimed to have been visited are far more 
accurate than those of any navigator of the preceding or subsequent century in any 
quarter of the globe ; and the narrative is entirely free from those extravagant asser- 
tions in regard to the wonderful wealth of the people or magnificence of their cities, 
contained in the accounts of voyages whose authenticity can not be questioned, which 
assertions were always found to have been grossly exaggerated and often wholly the 
creatures of imagination. Prima facie, then, it is more authentic than accounts of 
nearly contemporaneous voyages of which undisputable records exist. Now to 
examine its statements by the clear light of facts. Juan de Fuca locates his passage 
between 47° and 48° of latitude, while the fact is that between the 48tli and 49th, 
just such a passage as he describes exists. This is the entrance to Puget sound and 
is still known as the Straits of Fuca. His account of the passage, its leading off in 
all directions and its many islands, is substantially correct, and his error in locating 
the entrance a few miles to the south is a far less grievous one than those made in 
every account handed down to us of those times. The advanced age, length of time 
elapsed and annoyances of his long efforts to secui-e his just reward, could easily account 
for so slight an error when detailing the circumstances from memory alone ; and it must 
be remembered that the account was written by Lock, a second party, and is liable to 


slight errors in statement, though probably none very material, as Lock was an intel- 
ligent and respectable merchant and appears to have been an extremely careful and 
methodical man. Fuca was in the passage twenty days, though he does not state that 
he sailed straight along through it all this time, but must of necessity have spent 
fully half his time in circumnavigating islands and running into bays while endeavor- 
ing to follow the main channel. At the end of this time, saying nothing about the 
number of miles traveled, he came out again into the open sea, su2:)230sing himself to 
ha-ve passed through into another ocean. Here arises the difficulty most historians 
have in reconciling the narrative with the facts ; and the difficulty exists, not in 
the narrative itself, but in the fact that these historians have not sufficiently acquainted 
themselves with the geographical theories which obtained at the time of Fuca's 
voyage. They seem to think that he must necessarily have supposed that he had 
gone clear through the continent into the Atlantic, an utter impossibility. Such was 
most certainly not the case. The Straits of Anian were at that time believed to be a 
passage running north and south, separating the continents of Asia iJnd America, 
and extending from the South sea to the North sea. Across this North sea it was 
many hundred leagues around the north end of America before reaching the Atlantic. 
In sailing in a generally northward direction, therefore, between Vancouver island 
and the main land of British Columbia and finally entering again into the Pacific 
ocean, it was most natural for him to suppose that he had passed from the South sea 
through the Straits of Anian into the North sea. He did not claim to have sailed 
eastward, as so many historians seem to assume, for had the passage led so far in that 
direction he would have doubted its identity with the Straits of Anian ; nor did he 
claim to have entered the Atlantic, but simj^ly the North sea. It seems then that the 
only evidence against its authenticity is the negative one of there being no record of 
such a voyage in Spanish archives ; and this is at least partially explained by the state- 
ment that neither the viceroy nor the king would recognize the services of the 
navigator. For this reason, they may have permitted no record of the voyage to be 
made. If Juan de Fuca made the voyage as narrated, then Spain's claim to the coun- 
try for some distance above Puget sound, so far as the right of discovery is concerned, 
was a good one, and the title conveyed from her through France to the United States 
good to an equal degree. Another argument against it is the fact that even at the 
time Fuca was pouring his tale into the willing ear of the English merchant, another 
Spanish expedition was engaged in looking for this passage, and in the letter ordering 
the exploration the reasons for doing so are set forth at length, though no allusion is 
made to the Greek, who, according to Lock's narrative must have been importuning 
the king for his reward at the very time the letter was written. It may be argued, 
however, that Fuca's statements to the king may have been what induced him to order 
this expedition, instead of the causes set forth in the royal mandate. 

In 1708 there was j^rinted in a London magazine entitled Monthly Miscellany, or 
Memoirs of the Curious, a most absurd and self-contradictory account of a voyage said 
to have been made in 1640 from the Pacific to the Atlantic through a great chain of 
lakes. Though it was probably invented by James Petiver, an eminent naturalist and 
contributor to the magazine, yet it created a great sensation in England, France and 
Holland, and was received with considerable faith for more than half a centurv. 


The narrator states that Admiral Pedro Bartholoine de Fonte, sailed from Calhio 
ill April, 1640, with orders from the viceroy of Peru to exjjlore the Pacific for a north- 
west passage and to intercept some Boston vessels which had been reported as b(jund 
upon the same mission on the Atlantic coast. Since Boston was in 1640 but a small 
struggling settlement and the Puritans were not looking for any northwest passage, it 
would seem as though this statement alone was enough to have condemned the entire 
narrative ; but as it was not published for sixty-eight years after that date probably 
neither the writer nor the people stopped to consider the absurdity. The story informs 
us that at Cape San Lucas Fonte detached one of his four vessels to explore the Gulf 
of California and with the others continued up the coast. Having sailed for a long 
time among islands which he named Archipelago of St. Lazarus, he finally reached, in 
latitude 63 degrees, the mouth of a large stream christened by him Eio de los Reyes, 
or River of Kings. He sent one vessel further up the coast under the command of 
Bernardo, and then entered the river and followed it northwesterly until it opened out 
into an immense lake filled with beautiful islands, which he named Lake Belle. It was 
surrounded by a fine country, and the inhabitants were very hospitable in their treat- 
ment of the strangers. Leaving his vessels at their large town, called Conasset, on the 
south shore of the lake, Fonte and some of his jsarty continued their journey down a 
large stream called Parmentier, though whether in boats or on foot along the bank the 
narrative is silent, until they entered another lake further east. This he named in his 
own honor, and then j^roceeded through a passage, called Strait of Ronquillo in honor 
of one of his captains, into the Atlantic ocean, having thus passed entirely through the 
American continent by water. It then goes on to state that he encountered a Boston 
ship commanded by Nicholas Shapley, with whom, also, was the owner, Seymour Gib- 
bons, " a fine gentleman, and major general of the largest colony in New England, 
called JMaltechusetts." After exchanging courtesies with these strangers, whom he 
decided to treat simply as traders and not as hostile explorers for the northwest passage, 
he returned by the water route to Lake La Belle and thence in his vessels to the Pacific, 
where he was again joined by Bernardo. The journey claimed to have been made in 
the meantime by this lieutenant is equally wonderful. Having coasted as far as the 
61st degree of latitude Bernardo discovered a great river, up which he ascended till he, 
also, emerged into a large lake. He named these Rio de Haro and Lake Yelasco. 
From the lake he went in canoes to the 79th parallel, but as the land was seen "still 
trending north, and the ice rested on the land," he concluded to return. He was satis- 
fied " that there was no communication out of the Atlantic sea by Davis's strait ; for the 
natives had conducted one of his seamen to the head of Davis's strait, which terminated 
in a fresh lake, of about thirty miles in circumference, in the 80th degree of north lat- 
itude ; and there were prodigious mountains north of it." Satisfied from the report of 
Bernardo and his own observations that the Straits of Anian did not exist, Fonte re- 
turned with his fleet to Peru. 

This story, so absurd in the light of motlern research, ami which was not juiblished 
till long after the exjjlorers, if, indeed, there were any, had become imperishable dust, 
was received with great credence ; though it was in every particular contradictory to 
those of Maldonado and Juan de Fuca. For fifty years it was copied into all works 
upon North America and many maps of the continent had indicated upon them a juis- 


sage such as Fonte's was supposed to have beeu ; and during the eighteenth century all 
explorers of the northwest coast searched for the Rio de los Reyes, while inland expedi- 
tions from the Atlantic coast kept the fact that such a river existed constantly befoi-e 

These various narratives, so entirely uureeoncilable with each other, all had their 
firm supporters, and efforts have been made by historians at different times to prove each 
one of them to be an ajjproximately correct account of a veritable voyage, but without 
success. The only one that can exist for a moment in the light of the geographical 
knowledge of to-day is that of the Greek pilot, Juan de Fuca, and to prove that, except 
by inference and comparison, is impossible. They all served their purpose, however, to 
stimulate the spirit of exploration, which has resulted in the spread of knowledge an<l 
the advancement of civilization. 



Voyages of Viscaino— His Vain Efforts to have San Dieg;o and Monterey Occupied— The Lethargy of Spain- 
Explorations of Henry Hudson and William Baffin— Dutch Navigators find the Atlantic and Pacific to be Con- 
nected by an Open Sea and name Cape Horn— Freebooters Swarm into the Pacific by the New Route— Feeble 
Efforts of Spain to Protect her Commerce— Attempt to Colonize Lov/er California— Organization of the Hud 
son's Bay Company. 

If Juan de Fuca's' statement was true, then the Spanish monarch was simjily 
feigning indifference about finding and taking possession of the northwest passage ; 
for in 1595, while the old pilot was in Spain, Philiji II. ordered a survey of the Pacific 
coast. Of this move Torquemada says : 

His majesty knew that the viceroys of Mexico had endeavored to discover a northern pas- 
sage ; aud he had found, among his father's papers, a declaration of certain strangers, to the effect 
that they had been driven, by violent winds, from the codfish coast on the Atlantic, to the South 
Sea, through the Strait of Anian, which is beyond Cape Mendocino, and had, on their way, seen a 
rich and populous city, well fortified, and inhabited by a numerous and civilized nation, who had 
treated them well ; as also many other things worthy to be seen and known. His majesty had also 
been informed that ships, sailing from China to Mexico, ran great risks, particularly near Cape 
Mendocino, where the storms are most violent, and that it would be advantageous to have that coast 
surveyed thence to Acapulco, so that the ships, mostly belonging to his majesty, should find places 
for relief and refreshment when needed. Whereupon his majesty ordered the Count de Monterey, 
Viceroy of Mesico, to have those coasts surveyed, at his own e.rpensi', with all care and diligence. 

The phrase in italics in the above extract accounts for much of the delay in fully 
exploring the northern Pacific coast of America, for the viceroys of Mexico wei'e strik- 
ingly similar to the office-holders of to-day in their manner of carrying out enterprises 
that were to be executed at their own expense. Writing half a century later Venegas 
gives the following for the anxiety of Spain to learn more of the coast. It was the fear 


m] iB^ [inii 
IBl l^gjl I pgi 

1 ISI 

H 1^ l^f 

|B| l^g SIj 


[^ ^ ^'^ 

1^ mi i^f 


That in the meantime the English shouki fiml out the so-much-desired passage to the South 
Sea, by the north of America and above California, which passage is not universally denied, and 
one day may be found ; that they may fortify themselves on both sides of this passage, and thus 
extend the English dominion from the nortb to the south of America, so as to border on our pos- 
sessions. Should English colonies and garrisons be established along the coast of America on the 
South Sea beyond Cape Mendocino, or lower down on California itself, England would then, with- 
out control, reign mistress of the sea and its commerce, and be able to threaten by land and sea 
the territories of Spain ; invade them on occasion from the E., W., N. and S., hem them in and 
press them on all sides. 

In compliance with his sovereign's mandate, the viceroy dispatched three vessels 
from Acapnlco in the spring of lo9G, nnder the command of Bebastian Viseaino. 
Beyond an attempt to plant two colonies, both of which were unsuccessful because of 
the sterility of the country and the savage hostility of the natives, nothing wAs accom- 
plished by this feeble pretense of obeying instructions. The viceroy was not permitted 
to thus shirk the exjjense of making a proper survey of the coast ; for though he was 
respited for a time by the death of the king in 1598, one of the first acts of Philip III. 
after being securely seated upon the throne, was to command the viceroy to attend to 
this matter without further delay. Viseaino was, in consequence, again sent out, this 
time upon a genuine voyage of exploration. His two vessels and small fragata 
were furnished with all the necessaries of an extended cruise, and he was accompanied 
by pilots, draftsmen and j^riests, so that advantage could be taken of all discoveries and 
proper records and charts made of them. 

The fleet sailed from Acapulco May 5, 1002, and began exploring the coast at the 
southern extremity of the peninsula of California. They were much baffled by a wind 
blowing almost constantly from the northwest, which Torquemada says was produced 
" by the foe of the human race, in order to prevent the advance of the ships, and to 
delay the discovery of those countries, and the conversion of their inhabitants to the 
Catholic faith." Added to this difficulty was the terrible malady, the scurvy, which 
made sad inroads upon the healtli of the crews. They continued up the coast in spite 
of these discouraging circumstances, entering the ports of San Quentin, San Diego and 
JMonterey. Here it was found that sixteen of the seamen had died and that many others 
were incapacitated by disease from performing duty ; and it Avas decided to send back 
the ship commanded by Toribio Gomez de Corvan with the invalids. Corvan reached 
Acapulco after a long and terrible journey with but few of the crew of his vessel alive. 

A few days later, on the third of January, 1608, the two remaining vessels 
renewed the voyage, and were s()(jn sejjarated in a gale, from the t'luy of which the 
larger (nic took refuge in a bay spoken of in the record of the voyage as San Francisco, 
where scart-li was made for a Sj^anish galleon w'hich had been wrecked there in 1595. 
Tonjuciiiada says: "He anchored behind a point of rocks called La Punta de los 
Raves, ill tlie port of San Francisco." It seems impossible that this could have lieen 
Sail Francisco liay ; for one of the chief objects of the voyage was to find a harl)or of 
refuge and sujiply for vessels in the Manila trade, and yet upon his return Viseaino 
recoiiiiiieiided San Diego and Monterey as being the only (mes at all suital)le for that 
purpose; yet it will be remembered that in later years, before any aiisoliite record of 
the discovery of this liay was made, a chart ii])oii which such a liay was indicated was 
tliund l>y an Fnglishinaii on a captured ]\faiiila galh'dii. The pr(i1)nliilities are, however, 


that the bay Viscaino entered was Drake's bay, just uoi'th of the Golden Gate, the 
place where Sir Francis Drake a fe-w years before had enacted his farce of taking pos- 
sesion of the country in the name of the queen of England. A^iscaino resumed his 
journey and on the twentieth of January reached a point on the coast opjjosite a large 
white bluff, in latitude 42°, which he named Cape San Sebastian. The weather being 
cold and stormy, his crew being nearly all disabled by the scurvy, and being unable to 
discover any sign of the other vessel, Viscaino turned back at this point, and reached 
Mexico in March. The fragata proceeded north when se^^arated from the ship off San 
Francisco bay, and encountering another severe storm took refuge near Cape Mendocino. 
Of the remainder of its explorations Torquemada says : " When the wind had became 
less violfent they continued their journey close along the shore ; and, on the nineteenth 
of January, the pilot, Antonio Flores, found that they were in the latitude of 43 
degrees, where the land formed a cape or jDoint, which was named Cape Blanco. From 
that point the coast begins to turn to the northwest ; and near it was discovered a rapid 
and abundant river, with ash trees, willows, brambles, and other trees of Castile on its 
banks, which they endeavored to enter, but could not from the force of the current. 
Ensign Martin de Aguilar, the commander, and Antonio Flores, the pilot, seeing that 
they had already reached a higher latitude than was ordered by the viceroy in his 
instructions, that the Captaina [Viscaino's vessel] did not appear, and that the number 
of sick was great, agreed to return to Acapulco." 

The fragata reached Acapulco soon after the larger vessel, the ravages of the 
scurvy having dejirived it of its commander, pilot and the greater portion of the crew 
on the return voyage. This disease and its cause do not appear to have been well 
understood at that time. The sufieriug it caused was most terrible, and it is remarkable 
what fortitude the Spaniards displayed in continuing their voyages during the preva- 
lence of such a horrible malady. In describing their sufferings, Torquemada says : 
'' Nor is the least ease to be expected from change of place, as the slightest motion is 
attended with such severe pains that they must be very fond of life who would not 
willingly lay it down on the first appearance of so terrible a distemper. This virulent 
humour makes such ravages in the body that it is entirely covered with ulcers, and the 
poor patients are unable to bear the least pressure ; even the very clothes laid on them 
deprive them of life. Thus they lie groaning and incapable of any relief For the 
greatest assistance possible to be given them, if I may be allowed the expression, is not 
to touch them, nor even the bed clothes. These effects, however melancholy, are not 
the only ones produced by this pestilential humour. In many, the gums, both of the 
upper and lower jaws, are jwessed both within and without to such a degree, that 
the teeth cannot touch one another, and withal so loose and bare that they shake 
with the least motion of the head, and some of the patients spit their teeth 
out with their saliva. Thus they were unable to receive any food but liquid, as gruel, 
broth, milk of almonds and the like. This gradually brought on so great a weakness 
that they died while talking to their friends. =^' * =•' Some, by way of ease, made 
loud complaints, others lamented their sins with the deepest contrition, some died talking, 
some sleeping, some eating, some whilst sitting up in their beds." 

The great river said to have been discovered by this expedition attracted much 
attention at the time. The historian quoted above said of it : " It is supposed that 


tliis river is the one leading to a great city, which was discovered by the Dutch when 
they were driven thither by storms, and. that it is the Strait of Anian, through which 
tlie ship passed in sailing from the North sea to the South sea ; and that the city called 
(^uivira is in those parts ; and that this is the region referred to in the account which 
his majesty read, and which induced him to order this expedition." No great river 
exists in latitude 43 degrees ; but it is well known that the navigators of that period 
were seldom accurate in their observations, often varying as much as half a degree, and 
it is quite possible the stream referred to may have been the Umpqua. A few years 
later it was sujiposed that this stream was one end of a passage extending from the 
(rulf of California to Cape Blanco, making of California a huge island, and this idea 
was supported by the knowledge of the Colorado river, which had been explored many 
miles to the northward. Venegas, writing in the seventeenth century, speaks of Califor- 
nia as an island, and it was so designated on all maps until the end of the century. 
After this was discovered to be a mistake, the river was laid down on some maps 
as a large stream flowing from the interior of the continent — such a stream as the Col- 
um1)ia — (»r as the western end of a passage leading from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 
W'ry little was known of the width of the continent; and geographers sujiposed it was 
but a short distance between the South sea and North sea. They had no idea that a 
passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans would have been 4,000 miles in length. 
Upon his return to Mexico Viscaino strongly urged the viceroy to establish supp ly 
stations at San Diego and Monterey and to thus take possession of a country which he 
was satisfied, from what he learned by careful inquiry among the natives he encountered 
along the coast, was extremely fertile and rich in the precious metals; but the viceroy 
had too nuich consideration for his personal interests, since the expense of such an under- 
taking would have fallen solely upon himself, and neglected to utilize the informa tion 
thus obtained. Viscaino, disgusted with the viceroy's inactivity, departed for Spain to 
present his views at court; and after long delay and persistent imj^ortuning secured a 
royal mandate to the viceroy, commanding him to establish a supply station for the 
India trade at JNIonterey. This order was issued in 1606, and with it Viscaino hastened 
to Mexico; but before the final preparations were completed he was taken sick and died,^ 
and the colonizing enterprise was abandoned. With no enthusiastic explorer to arouse 
him to action and with no hostile fleets in the Pacific to annoy him, the Spanish man- 
nrch apparently thought no more of the Pacific coast or the northwest passage, and a 
few years later there was enough to occupy his attention at home. He ordered no more 
voyages of exploration, and the viceroys were careful to undertake none upon their own 
responsibility, nor any other enterprise unless the immediate prospective ])rofits were 
great. For a hundred and >iixty years Spain made no ftirther effort to extend her ex- 
ploi-ations of the coast, nor did she even attempt the establishment of colonies at San 
Diego or Monterey, either for the purpose of taking possession of the country or forming 
icfugc and supply stations for vessels returning from India. With the exception of the 
annual galleon which reached the coast on its return voyage in the latitude of Cajw 
Mrndoeind, no Spanisli vessel visited dui' shares for a century and a half Xot even 
the mythical sti'aits, the fabulous city of (^)uiviia, the untold riches and many wonderful 
objects supposed to exist in this vast unknown territory, were potent to nrouse Spain 
from her lethainv. She made a few leeble elforts to i)roteet her i-onunei'i'e at times 


during this period when attacked l)y roving privateers, but her attempts at colonization 
in Lower California, which will be spoken of later on, met with little success. There 
seemed to be no new Cortes, Pizarro, De Leon, Balboa or De Soto. The spirit of adven- 
ture was dead. Spain had passed her zenith and was rapidly on the decline. Wars 
with the Netherlands, France and Portugal were most disastrous. Power, wealth and 
territory rapidly decreased, and in a century she declined from the foremost position in 
the world to that of a second rate power, and has never been able to regain her lost 
ground. With such disasters crowding upon her in the Old World, her apathy in the 
New was but a natural result. 

Though Spain had ceased her voyages of exploration, such was not the case with 
her i^owerful European neighbors, who were indefotigable in their efforts to explore and 
colonize the Atlantic coast of America. The English, French and Dutch planted col- 
onies on the coast, while their hardy navigators unremittingly explored its bays, rivers, 
straits and sounds. Uppermost in the minds of all was the northwest passage. The 
stories of its discovery which have already been related, and many others unworthy of 
repetition, kept the Straits of Anian constantly in the public mind. In 1608 Henry 
Hudson passed into and to a certain extent explored the bay upon which lie bestowed 
his name ; yet he was but following the route pursued by Cortereal more than a century 
before, whose theory that it connected with the Indian ocean had given rise to this uni- 
versal belief in the mythical straits. In 1616 William Baffin penetrated into the bay 
that bears his name, lying between America and Greenland, and entered a passage ex- 
tending westward near the 74th parallel, but was unable to proceed because of the vast 
quantities of ice. This voyage and others made into the extreme north, proved con- 
clusively that no open passage could be possible in the 75th degree of latitude, where 
Maldonado had located his tortuous channel leading from the Atlantic to the North 
sea, and geographers became convinced that if such a passage and sea existed they were 
the straits and bay explored and named by Hudson. The belief was natural, then, that 
if found at all, the Straits of Anian should be looked for in some of the many unexplored 
arms of Hudson's bay. For a time, however, after BaflBn's voyage, England was so 
engrossed in her own troubles that neither Koyalists nor Commoners had time or inclina- 
tion to prosecute foreign explorations. 

The expeditions of the Dutch were chiefly to the southward, and in 1616 Lemaire 
and Van Schouten made a most important discovery. It was that in passing from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific, it was unnecessary to tempt the dangers of JNIagellan's straits, l)ut 
that to the south of these there existed an open sea. Though the passage of Cape Horn, 
named by them in honor of the city in Holland from which they came, was still a tem- 
jjestuous one, it served to remove the fear all seaman entertained of undertaking to cross 
from one ocean to the other through the narrow and rocky channel above Terra del 
Fuego. This discovery was nearly as disastrous to Spanish commerce in the Pacific as 
that of the much feared one from the North sea could possibly have been; for there now 
existed no obstacle to prevent hostile vessels from entering or leaving the Pacific at will, 
since the open sea was too large to be guarded even had Spain the necessary vessels of 
war for such a purpose. 

Spain was now involved in European wars, and to the disasters that were showered 
xipon her head at home were added others in America. English, French and Dutch 


1 iiiceaneers, and especially the latter during the war fur independence by the Xether- 
Idiuh, ravaged the Spanish settlements on the Pacific coast. Dutch privateers fi-e- 
quented the Gulf of California, from which they preyed upon the Spani.<h commerce 
and enriched themselves with Ciiptured booty. By their \-ictims they were known as 
Pichilingues, because the bay of Pichilingue, on the western side of the gulf, was made 
their chief point of rendezvous. 

Spain made a few feeble and spasmodic effi:)rt.s to dislodge these piratical pests and 
protect her plundered commerce, by sending out expeditions against them and bv 
attempting to plant a colony on Lower California as a base of defensive operations. In 
1631, 1644, 1664, 1667 and 1668 such efforts were made; but they were wholly fnutless, 
and in no instance were the enterprises conducted with the %-igor and courage displayed 
l>y the Spanish adventurei-s of a century before. A final effort wjis made in 1683 bv 
Don Isdro de Otondo, who headed an expedition of soldiers, settlers and Jesuit priests 
whom he established at various points, making La Paz the headquarters and chief 
settlement and building there a chapel for worship and to aid in the conversion of the 
natives. Father Kino was in charge of the religious part of the enterprise, and set 
about learning the Indian language, and soon translated into their tongue the creeds of 
the Catholic Church. The effort lasted about three years, during which time they were 
visited with an eighteen mouths' drought, and before they had recovered from the blow, 
received orders to put to sea, and bring into Acapulco safely the Spanish galleon, then 
in danger of capture by Dutch privateers Iving in wait for her. This was successfully 
accomplished, the treasure-ship was conveyed safely in, but the act resulted in the 
al)andoninent of the colony; and a council of chief authorities in Mexico soon after 
decided that the reduction of California by such means was imjiracti cable. 

After Charles II. came to the throne of England, from which his father had Ijeeu 
driven by the austere Cromwell, attention was again turned by that nation to explorations 
for the northwest passage. The belief that in Hudson's bay would be found the en- 
trance to the mythical .straits, led to the organization of the Hudson's Bay Company, to 
which the king granted, in 166U, the whole region whose waters flow into that great 
inland sea. The objects of " The company of adventurers of England trading into 
Hudson's Bay," as expressed in the chartei-. were those of trade and the iliscovery of a 
pa.ssage leading into the Pacific ocean. It was not long, however, before the company 
learned that its franchise for trading jiurposes was an exceedingly valuable one, and that 
the discovery of a pa.ssage through its dominions, which would of necessity invoke 
competition from other organizations, was highly undesirable. From that time it not 
only made no effort to discover the pa.ssage, Init discouraged all such expeilitions, even 
keeping as secret as possible all geographical knowledge act]uiretl by its agents, which 
policy obtains even to the present day, and which has kept as a ftir-bearing wilderness 
the whole northern half of the North American continent. 



Russia a New Factor in the Contest of Nations Plans of Peter the Great- -Behring's First Voyage Proves that 
Asia and America are Distinct Continents— Voyage of the St. Paul -Behring Reaches the American Coast and 
Expires on the Return Voyage— Terrible Suffering of the Crew -Beginning of the Pacific Fur Trade— Result 
of Russian Explorations. 

Though France confined her attention to inland explorations from her Canadian 
colonies, England to fo.^^tering her colonies in America and exploring the north Atlantic 
coast, and Holland to the founding of New Amsterdam and the plundering of the Span- 
ish commerce and settlements in the south Pacific ; yet the North Pacific coast was not 
wholly neglected during the first half of the eighteenth century. A new and almost 
unex])0('ted factdi' made itself felt in the Pacific, and this was the powerful and autocratic 
monaicli oi' itii->ia. I'ctii' the Great had redeemed Kussia from a state of almost utter 
barbarity ami set it on the highway to civilization and national power. In the arts of 
war and jDeace he had ])atiently instructed his j)eople, had cemented their national union, 
had awakened a national pride and love of power within their bosoms, had extended his 
domain and increased tiie number of his .subjects, and had made of a people formerly 
scarcely thought of when the affairs of Europe were discus.sed, one of the most influ- 
ential nations of the world. It was his constant aim and the legacy he left to his 
successors, to extend the ^^ower of Russia on all sides, to build u]) the nation and make 
it the foremost on the globe, and the czars have never relaxed their efforts to accomiilish 
this mighty purpose. Gradually the dominion of the czar was pushed eastward until 
his authority extended across the whole of Siberia to the Pacific at the peninsula of 
Kamtchatka. The rich furs of that region became a source of revenue to the govern- 
ment which Peter Avas desirous of increasing. He wanted to extend his power still 
further east to the American settlements of the English, Spanish and French, though 
bow far that was neither he nor anyone else had the least conception. To this de.sire 
is due the discovery and exploration of the northern Pacific coasts of both Asia and 
America. Peter commanded vessels to be built at Kamtchatka, and at Archangel on 
the Wliite sea, that they might endeavor, the one in the Aictic and the other in the 
Pacific, to find the long-sought northwest passage, or as they viewed it a northaid 
])a.ssage. It was Peter's idea that vessels could sail from the Atlantic through the 
Arctic ocean and enter the Pacific by the way of this passage, provided America did 
not prove to be simply an eastern extension of Asia ; but Peter died before his project 
was executed, and the scheme lay dormant for a few years. 

In 1728 the great Catherine determined to carry out her husband's i)lans for 
Pacific exploration, and agreeably to his former instructions she ordered an ex])editioii 
to 1)0 prepared on the northeast coast of Kamtchatka, which she placed under the com- 



niiiud of a Danisli navigator of skill and rourage, Vitas Beliring, who liad been desig- 
nated Ijy Peter for that position l)ef()re his death. He sailed, on the the fourteenth of 
July in a small vessel, and followed along the coast of Asia east and north until in 
latitude 67° 18' he found it steadily trending westward, and was satisfied he was then 
in the Arctic and following the northern coast to the west. Convinced that he had 
fulfilled his instructions and demonstrated the feet that Asia and America were separate 
continents, and being unprepared for a winter voyage, he I'etni'ned to Kamtehatka. 
How far America lay to the eastward of Asia he knew not, for no land had been 
observed in that direction, and he was totally ignorant of the fact that he had, l)0th in 
going and returning, passed through the narrow channel separating the tw(j con- 
tinents and been within a few miles of the American shove. This was made 
evident a few years later, and Behring's name was bestowed upon the straits. 
The elusive northwest passage had been found, though it took many years to 
discover that as a means of communication between the Atlantic and Pacific it was 
absolutely impracticable. That Behring's passage meets the requirements of the 
Straits of Anian as depicted by Maldonado, both in latitude and general features, can- 
not be denied, but to navigate the North sea as described by him and to j^ass through 
the tortuous straits he locates in the 75th parallel into the Atlantic is utterly impos- 
sible ; and, therefore, Behring's straits cannot be looked upon as lending any support 
to the romance with which the unscrupulous Maldonado regaled the Council of the 

The next year Behring undertook to reach America by sailing directly eastward, 
but adverse winds forced him into the Gulf of Okotsk, and he abandoned the under- 
taking and proceeded to St. Petersburg. During the next few years many other 
expeditions by laud and sea, one of which was driven upon the coast of Alaska in 
1732, more clearly defined the Asiatic coast, and the nature of the passage between 
it and America. The Empress Anne prepared for another expedition, but dying 
before it was ready to sail, was succeeded by Elizabeth, who dispatched two vessels, 
the <Sy. rctn- and St. Paul, from the Bay of Avatscha on the fourth of June. The 
former was commanded by Behring and the latter by Alexei Tchirikof, who had been 
liis lieutenant on the former voyage. The vessels were soon separated in a gale and 
were not again luiited. Tchirikof returned on the eighth of October, having reached 
a group of islands on the coast in latitude AG degrees, where sixteen of his men were 
slaughtered Ijy the natives, and having loot twenty-one of his crew by scurvy, includ- 
ing the distinguished French naturalist Delile de Crayere. 

Of the discoveries made by Behring and the sufferings endured liy the crew of the 
St. Peter, the only record is that of a journal kept by Steller, the German surgeon and 
naturalist, which was first published in full in 170o, though its tenor and leading fea- 
tures were known at a much earlier date. Its nautical and geographical details are 
not as definite as could be desired. It seems that Behring sailed south-easterly as tar 
us the 46th parallel without encountering land and then steered to the northeast as far 
as the 6()th degree, when he discovered an immense snow-covered mountain which he 
named 8t. Elias because it was first seen on the eighteenth of July, the day assigned to 
that saint in the Russian calender. Entering a narrow passage between an island and 
the mainland a strong current of discolored water was observed, indicating the pres- 


ence of a large river whose size proved the land through which it flowed to be of con- 
tinental proportions. The conclusion was at once reached that America had been 
found; but Behring, who was ill, refused to explore the coast to the southeast in the 
direction of the Spanish possessions, and set out upon the return voyage. Delayed and 
baffled by violent winds and the many islands of the Aleutian group, but slow pro- 
gress was made. For two months they wandered or were driven about by furious 
winds in the open sea to the south of the archipelago, famine and disease claiming 
their victims almost daily. "The general distress and mortality," says the journal of 
the surgeon, "increased so fast that not only the sick died, but those who j^retended to 
be healthy when released from their posts fainted and fell down dead; of which the 
scantiness of water, the want of biscuits and brandy, cold, wet, nakedness, vermin, and 
terror, Avere not the least causes." On the fifth of November they landed upon an 
island with the purpose of spending the winter there, and constructed huts from the 
wreck of their vessel which was dashed by the waves upon the beach soon after the 
landing was effected. Behring died on the eighth of December, and during the winter 
thirty of the crew followed him. The survivors, having lived upon sea and land 
animals killed on the island, constructed a small vessel from pieces of the wreck, and 
succeeded in reaching the Bay of Avatscha the following August. The little island 
where they had spent the winter and where were buried their commander and so many 
of their comrades, they named Behring's Isle ; it lies about eighty miles from the Kamt- 
chatkan coast, and consists of granite peaks thrust up from mid ocean, against which 
the waves dash with ceaseless fury. 

No disposition was manifested hj the rulers of Russia to prosecute further dis- 
coveries for more than twenty years. Individual enterprise, however accomplished 
something. The returning survivors of Behring's ill-fated expedition took with them 
the skins of animals which had served them as food during that terrible winter, and 
sold them at high prices. This led to short voyages eastward in quest of furs, the 
beginning of that enormous fur trade in the Pacific which was for years a bone of con- 
tention between nations and which led to the first settlement and occupation of Oregon. 
It is thus described by Greenhow: 

" The trade thus commenced was, for a time, carried on by individual adventurers, 
each of whom was alternately a seaman, a hunter, and a merchant ; at length, how- 
ever, some capitalists in Siberia employed their funds in the jsursuit, and expeditions 
to the islands were, in consequence, made on a more extensive scale, and with greater 
regularity and efficiency. Trading stations were established at particular points, where 
the furs were collected by persons left for that object; and vessels were sent, at stated 
periods, from the ports of Asiatic Russia, to carry the articles required for the use of 
the agents and hunters, or for barter with the natives, and to bring away the skins 

" The vessels employed in this commerce were, in all respects, wretched and inse- 
cure, the jjlanks being merely attached together, without iron, by leathern thongs ; and^ 
as no instruments were used by the traders for determining latitudes and longitudes at 
sea, their ideas of the relative positions of the places which they visited were vague 
and incorrect. Their navigation was, indeed, performed in the most simple and un- 
.scientific manner possible. A vessel sailing from the Bay of Avatscha, or from Cajie 



Lopatka, the southern extremity of Kaniteliatka, couhl not have gone tar eastward, 
without falling in with one of the Aleutian islands, which would serve as a mark for 
her course to another ; and thus she might go on from point to point throughout the 
whole chain. In like manner she would return to Asia, and if her course and rate of 
sailing were observed with tolerable care, there could seldom be any uncertainty as to 
whether she were north or south of the line of the islands. Many vessels were, never- 
theless, annually lost, in consequence of this want of knowledge of the coasts, and 
want of means to ascertain positions at sea ; and a large number of those engaged in 
the trade, moreover, fell victims to cold, starvation and scurvy, and to the enmity of 
the bold natives of the islands. Even as late as 1806, it was calculated that one-third 
of these vessels were lost in each year. The history of the Russian trade and estab- 
lishments on the north Pacific, is a series of details of dreadful disasters and suffer- 
ings ; and, whatever opinion may be entertained as to the humanity of the adventurers, 
or the morality of their proceedings, the courage and j)erseverance displayed by them, 
in struggling against such appalling difficulties, must command universal admiration. 

" The furs collected by these means, at Avatscha and Ochotsk, the principal fur- 
trading points, were carried to Irkutsk, the capital of Eastern Siberia, whence some of 
them were taken to Europe ; the greater portion were, however, sent to Kiakta, a small 
town just within the Russian frontier, close to the Chinese town of Maimatchin, through 
which |)laces all the commerce between these two empires passed, agreeably to a treaty 
concluded at Kiakta in 1728. In return for the furs, which brought higher prices in 
China than anywhere else, teas, tobacco, rice, porcelain, and silk and cotton goods, were 
brought to Irkutsk, where all the most valuable of these articles were sent to Europe. 
These transportations were effected by land, except in some i:)laces where the rivers 
were used as the channel of conveyance, no commercial exportation having been made 
from Eastern Russia by sea before 1779 ; and when the immense distances between 
some of the points above mentioned are considered (Irkutsk to Pekin, 1,300 miles ; to 
Bay of Avatscha, 3,450 miles; to St. Petersburg, 3,760 miles), it becomes evident that 
none but objects of great value, in comparison with their bulk, at the place of their 
consumption, could have been thus transported with profit to those engaged in the 
trade, and that a large portion of the price paid by the consumer must have been ab- 
sorbed by the expense of transportation. A skin was, in fact, worth at Kiakta three 
times as much as it cost at Ochotsk." 

Such was the crude beginning of that enormous trade in furs which in a few years 
s})rang up in the Pacific, and for which English, American and Russian traders com- 
])eted. China was then, and is to-day, the greatest consumer of furs, which were for 
years taken to Pekin overland, as described above; but in 1771 a cargo of peltries 
was taken direct to Canton under peculiar circumstances. In the month of May a 
few Polish exiles, sent to that bleak and inhospitalile wilderness for political reasons? 
succeeded in escaping to sea in a small vessel from a harl^or on the southwest coast of 
Kamtchatka, being led by Count Maurice de Benyowsky, a Hungarian. They entered 
the Pacific and after being driven hither and thither among the islands, stopping fre- 
ijuently to procure furs, they finally arrived at Canton, the first vessel from the North 
Pacific to reach any ports frequented liv ships of other nations, demonstrating the fact 
tliat the icy waters idxiut Iviimtchatka and Alaska liclong to the snme great ocean as 


those of the South sea that hished the rocky hhiffs of Cape Horn, or hipped the sands 
of the Philippines. 

Other Russian voyages of exploration were made to the ea.stward of Kanitehatka 
in 1766 and 1769 ; and in 1774 an official account of these voyages was published in 
St. Petersburg, entitled " Description of the Newly Discovered Islands in the Sea 
between Asia and America." This was accompanied by a map which embodied the 
ideas of Pacific coast geograjihy which then prevailed. By it the American coast 
north of California was made to run northwesterly to the 70th parallel. Between this 
point and the coast of Asia was represented a broad open sea dotted with islands, many 
of which bore the same names and were identical with the larger ones of the Atlantic 
group, though by no means properly located. Alaska, or Aliaska, was represented as 
a great island with Asia on one side and America on the other, separated from Asia by 
the narrow channel of Behring's straits, and it was many years before it was known 
that Alaska was a portion of the main land of America. 



Spain Appeals to the Jesuits for Aid -The Society of Jesus Plan of Father Kino- The Mission of Our Lady 
of Loretto Founded by Father Tierra— Attack upon the Mission— Method of Conducting- Missionary Work- 
Expulsion of the Jesuits— The Pearl of Our Lady of Loretto— The Franciscans Invade Alta California— San 
Diego Founded by Father Junipero Serra— Discovery of San Francisco Bay-The Mission at San Diego Saved 
from Abandonment by the timely Arrival of Supplies— Founding of Missions at Monterey and San Antonia de 
Padua— The Growth and Downfall of the Mission System. 

For a century aud a half after Cortes planted the first colony on the peninsula of 
California, the viceroys of Mexico, in an indissolute manner, had undertaken to carry 
out the will of their sovereigns that colonies be established aud maintained on the 
coast of California, but w^ithout success. When the Mexican authorities decided that 
such an undertaking was impossible of accomplishment, the government appealed to 
the powerful Society of Jesus to undertake the task, hoping thus to win by the cross 
what could not be conquered with the sword ; but an offer of |40,000 annually from 
the royal treasury to aid them in establishing missions was refused by the Jesuits, and 
the crown abandoned the hope of accomplishing anything whatever. 

At that time the Society of Jesus was the most wealthy and by reason of its 
secrecy and perfect discipline and the intelligence, devotion and influence of its mem- 
bers, the most powerful organization which has ever existed. It had its ramifications 
in every land where was the symbol of the cross, and its faithful subjects hesitated not 
to plunge into the unknown wildernesses of the New World to carry the light of Chris- 
tianity to the "nations sitting in darkness" far beyond the confiues of civilization. 


Their lives weighed as nothing against the glory of their Heavenly Master and the 
extension of Christ's kingdom npon earth. It mattered not to what nation they be- 
longed, for the French priests in Canada and Louisiana dipslayed the same zeal as did 
the Spaniards in Mexico and California. They were imbued with the same spirit and 
sought the same end — the extension of the kingdom of Jesus and the power of the 
order which bore his name. Though the government subsidy was declined from 
motives of policy, the conversion of these heathen nations was determined upon, to be 
accomplished by the society with its own resources. 

With the unsuccessful expedition of Admiral Otondo was a monk who had volun- 
tarily abandoned a lucrative and honorable position to become an emissary of the cross. 
While lying at the point of death he had made a vow to his patron Saint, Francis 
Xavier, that if he should recover, he would devote the remaining years of his life to 
following the noble example of his patron. He recovered, resigned his professorship, 
and crossed the sea to Mexico, and eventually became a missionary and one of the 
most zealous members of the Society of Jesus. He was a German by birth, and his 
name in his native land was Kuhn, but the Spaniards have recorded it as Father 
Eusebio Francisco Kino. He had become strongly impressed in his visit to the coun- 
try with the feasibility of a plan by which the land might be taken possession of and 
held. His object was not alone the conquest of a kingdom, but the conversion of its 
inhabitants, and the saving of souls. His plan was to go into the country and teach 
the Indians the principles of the Catholic faith, educate thera to support themselves by 
tilling the soil, anil improvement through the experience of the advantages to be ob- 
tained by industry; the end of all being to raise up a Catholic province for the Span- 
ish crown, and people Paradise with the souls of converted heathen. The means to be 
employed in accomplishing this, were the priests of the Society of Jesuits, protected by 
a small garrison of soldiers and sustained by contributions from those friendly to the 
enterprise. The mode of applying the means was, to first occupy some favorable place 
in the country, where a storehouse and a church could be erected that would render 
till' fathers" maintenance and life comparatively secure. This would give them an 
opportunity to win the confidence of the Indians, by a patient, long-continued, uniform 
system of affectionate intercourse and just dealing, and then use their appetites as the 
means by which to convert their souls. These establishments were to be gradually 
extended northward until Spain had control of the whole coast. 

With no hope of reward, except beyond the grave, but with a prospect of defeat 
and a probability of martyrdom, Father Kino started, on the twentieth of October, 
1G8G, to travel over Mexico, and, by preaching, urge his views and hopes of the enter- 
prise. He soon met on the way a congenial spirit. Father Juan Maria Salva Tierra ; 
and then another, Father Juan Ugarte, added his great executive ability to the cause. 
Their united efforts resulted in obtaining sufficient funds by subscrij)tion. Then they 
procured a warrant from the king for the order of Jesuits to enter upon the conquest 
of California at their own expense, for the benefit of the crown. The order was 
given February -J, 1(')'J7, and it had rei^uired eleven years of constant urging to pro- 
cure it. ( )ctober tenth, of the same year, Salva Tierra sailed from the coast of Mexico 
to put in o[)eration Kino's long-cherished scheme of conquest. The expedition con- 
.sisted of one small vessel and a long-l)oat, in which were provisions, tlie necessary 


ornaments and furniture for fitting up a rude church, and Father Tierra, accompanied 
by six soldiers and three Indians. Father Tierra, afterwards visitadore general of the 
missions of California, was born in Milan, of Spanish ancestry and noble parentage. 
Having completed his education he joined the Society of Jesus and went to Mexico as 
a missionary in 1675, where he had labored twenty-two years among the various 
native tribes. He was robust in health, exceedingly handsome in person, talented, 
firm and resolute, and filled to overflowing with that religious zeal which shrinks from 
no form of martyrdom. His associate, Father Juan Ugarte, was equally zealous and 
possessed of much skill in handling the stubborn and unreasoning natives. 

On the nineteenth of October, 1697, they reached the point selected on the east 
coast of the peninsula, and says Yenegas : " The provisions and animals were landed, 
together with the baggage ; the Father, though the head of the expedition, being the 
first to load his shoulders. The barracks for the little garrison were now built, and a 
line of circumvallation thrown up. In the center a tent was pitched for a temporary 
chapel ; before it was erected a crucifix, with a garland of flowers. * '•' * 

The image of our Lady of Loretto, as patroness of the conquest, was brought in pro- 
cession from the boat, and placed with proper solemnity. Immediately Father Tierra 
initiated the plan of conversion. He called together the Indians, explained to them 
the catechism, prayed over the rosary, and then distributed among them a half bushel 
of boiled corn. The corn was a success, but the prayers and catechism were " bad 
medicine." They wanted more corn and less prayers, and helped themselves from the 
sacks. This was stopped by excluding them from the fort, and they were kindly 
informed that corn would be forthcoming only as a reward for attendance and atten- 
tion at devotions. This created immediate hostility, and the natives formed a con- 
spiracv to murder the garrison and possess themselves of the corn without restrictions. 
Happily the design was discovered and frustrated. A general league was then entered 
into among several tribes, and a descent was made upon the fort by about five hundred 
Indians. The priest rushed upon the fortifications and warned them to desist, begging 
them to go away, telling them that they would be killed if they did not ; but his 
solicitude for their safety was responded to by a number of arrows from the natives, 
when he came down and the battle began in earnest. The assailants went down like 
grass before the scythe, as the little garrison opened with their fire-arms in volleys 
upon the unprotected mass, and they immediately beat a hasty retreat, and sent in one 
of their number to beg for peace, who, says Yenegas : " With tears assured our men 
that it was those of the neighboring rancheria under him who had first formed the plot, 
and on account of the paucity of their numbers, had spirited up the other nations ; 
adding, that those being irritated by the death of their companions were for revenging 
them, but that both the one and the other sincerely repented of their attempt. A 
little while after came the women with their children, mediating a peace, as is the cus- 
tom of the country. They sat down Aveeping at the gate of the camp, with a thousand 
promises of amendment, and offering to give up their children as hostages for the 
performance. Father Salva Tierra heard them with his usual mildness, showing them 
the wickedness of the procedure, and if their husbands would behave better, promised 
them peace, an amnesty, and forgetfulness of all that was past ; he also distributed 
among them several little presents, and to remove any mistrust they might have he 



took one of the children in hostage, and thus they returned in high spirits to the 
raneherias." The sokliers' guns had taught them respect, and the sacks of corn en- 
ticed them back for the priests to teach them the Catholic faith. 

The manner in which these indefatigable missionaries overcame the indolence, 
viciousness and ignorance of the natives was practically the same as that pursued in 
all the missions afterwards established, and is thus described by Venegas : 

In the morning, after saying mass, at which he (Father Ugarte) obliged them to attend with 
order and respect, he gave a breakfast of pozoli to those who were to work, set them about build- 
ing the church and houses for themselves and his Indians, clearing ground for cultivation, making 
trenches for convej^ance of water, holes for jjlautmg trees, or digging and preparing the ground 
for sowing. In the building part. Father Ugarte was master, overseer, carpenter, bricklayer and 
laborer. For the Indians, though animated by his example, could neither by gifts uor kind 
speeches be j^revailed upon to shake oif their innate sloth, and were sure to slacken if they did 
not see the father work harder than any of them; so he was the first in fetching stones, treading 
the clay, mixing the sand, cutting, carrying and barking the timber; removing the earth and fixing 
materials. He was equally laborious in the other tasks, sometimes felling the trees with his axe, 
sometimes with his spade in his hand digging up the earth, sometimes with an iron crow splitting 
rocks, sometimes disposing the water-trenches, sometimes leading the beasts and cattle, which he 
had procured for his mission, to pasture and water; thus by his own example, teaching the several 
kinds of labor. The Indians, whose narrow ideas and dullness could not at first enter into the 
utility of these fatigues, which at the same time dej^rived them of their customary freedom of 
roving among the forests, on a thousand occasions sufficiently tried his patience — coming late, not 
caring to stir, running away, jeering him and sometimes even forming combinations, and threat- 
ening death and destruction; all this was to be borne with unwearied patience, having no 
other recourse than affability and kindness, sometimes intermixed with gravity to strike respect; 
also taking care not to tire them, and suit himself to their weakness. In the evening the father 
led them a second time in their devotions; in which the rosary was prayed over, and the catechism 
explained; and the services was followed by the distribution of some provisions. At first they 
were verj- troublesome all the time of the sermon, jesting and sneering at what was said. This 
the father bore with for a while, and then proceeded to reprove them; but finding they were not 
to be kept in order, he make a very dangerous experiment of what could be done by fear. Near 
him stood an Indian in high rejjutation for strength, and who, presuming on his advantage, the 
only quality esteemed by them, took upon himself to be more rude than the others. Father Ugarte, 
who was a large man, and of uncommon strength, observing the Indian to be in the height of his 
laughter, and making signs of mockery to the others, seized him by the hair and lifting him up 
swung him to and fro; at this the rest ran away in the utmost terror. They soon returned, one 
after another, and the father so far succeeded to intimidate them that they behaved more regularlj' 
in the future. 

Of the same priest and his labors in starting another mission he says : 

He endeavored, by little presents and caresses, to gain the aftections of his Indians; not so 
nmeh that they should assist him in the building as that they might take a liking to the catechism, 
which he explained to them as well as he could, by the help of some Indians of Loretto, while he 
was perfecting himself in their linguage. But his kindness was lost on the adults, who, from their 
invincible sloth, could not be brought to help him in any one thing, though they partook of, and 
used to be very urgent with him for pozoli and other eatables. He was now obliged to have 
recourse to the assistance of the boys, who, being allured by the father with sweetmeats and pres- 
ents, accompanied him wherever he would have them; and to habituate these to any work it was 
necessary to make use of artifice. Sometimes he laid a wager with them who should soonest pluck 
up the mesquites and small trees; sometimes he offered reward to those who took away most earth; 
and it suffices to say that in forming the bricks he made himself a boy with boys, challenged them 
to play with the earth, and dance upon the clay. The father used to take oft' his sandals and tread 
it, in which he was followed by the boys skipping and dancing on the clay and the father with them. 
The boys sang, and were highly delighted; the father also sang, and thus they coutiuued daucing 


and treading the clay in different parts till meal-time. This enabled him to erect his poor dwelling 
and church, and at the dedication of which the other fathers assisted. He made use of several 
such contrivances in order to learn their language; first teaching the boys several Spanish words, 
that they might afterwards teach him their language. "When, by the heljj of these masters, tlie 
interpreters of Loretto, and his own observation and discourse with the adults, he had attained a 
sufficient knowledge of it, he began to catechise these poor gentiles, using a thousand endearing 
ways, that they should come to the catechism. He likewise made use of his boys for carrying on 
their instruction. Thus, with invincible patience and firmness under excessive labors, he went on 
humanizing the savages who lived on the spot, those of the neighboring rancherias, and others, 
whom he sought among woods, breaches and caverns; going about everywhere, that he at length 
administered baptism to many adults, and brought this new settlement into some form. 

This plan of subduing the natives and obtaining spiritual and temporal control 
over them was adhered to for seventy years. The expense of this great undertaking 
can be gathered from the record of the first eight years, during which |o8,000 were 
expended in establishing six missions and $1, 225,000 in supporting the indolent 
savages dependent upon them. 

On the second of April, 1767, all members of the Society of Jesus in the Spanish 
dominions were arrested and thrown into prison upon the order of Charles III., against 
whose life they were charged with consjjiring. Nearly six thousand were subjected to 
that decree, including the Jesuit missionaries in California and other dependencies of 
Spain. The execution of the decree in California fell to the lot of Don Caspar Portala, 
governor of the province, who assembled the j^ious Fathers at Loretto on Christmas 
eve and imparted to them the sad news of which they had till then been entirely 
ignorant. When the time came for them to take their final departure from the scene 
of seventy years of labor and self-abnegation a most pathetic scene was enacted. With 
loud cries and lamentations the peoj^le broke through the line of soldiers stationed to 
hold them back, and rushed upon the Fathers to kiss their hands and bid them fare- 
well. "Adieu, dear Indians; adieu, California; adieu, land of our adoj)tion ; fiat 
■voluntas Dei" was the brief and eloquent farewell of those fifteen holy men, as they 
turned their backs upon the scene of their long labors and became wanderers and out- 
casts, under the ban of the sovereign whose power they had established where he had 
sought in vain to plant it for a century and a half They left behind them the record 
of having become the pioneers in the culture of the grape and in the making of wine 
on this coast, having sent to Mexico their vintage as early as 1706. They were the 
pioneer manufacturers, having taught the Indians the use of the loom in the manufac- 
ture of cloth as early as 1707. They built, in 1719, the first vessel ever launched from 
the soil of C^alifornia, calling it the Triuniph of the Cross. Two of their number suf- 
fered martyrdom at the hands of the Indians, and the living were rewarded for those 
years of toil, privation and self-sacrifice, by banishment from the land they had sub- 
dued ; leaving, for their successors, sixteen flourishing missions, and thirty-six villages, 
US testimonials of the justice and wisdom of their rule. 

The historic village of Loretto, where was established the initial mission of Cali- 
fornia, is situated on the margin of the gulf, in the center of St. Dyonissius cove. Some 
of the buildings are now a mass of ruins, while others are fast going to decay, many 
being destroyed by the great storm of 1827. The church built by the Jesuits in 1742 
is still standing, and among the relics of its former greatness are eighty-six oil paint- 
ings, some of them by Murillo, and though more than a century old still in a good 


State of preservation. It wa.s a former custoiii of the pearl divers to devote tiie product 
of certain days to "Our Lady of Loretto," and on one occasion there fell to her lot a 
magnificent pearl as large as a pigeon's egg and wonderfully pure and brilliant. This 
the Fathers thought proper to present to the Queen of Spain, who in return sent to 
our Lady of Loretto an elegant new gown ; but as this could not be worn by the virgin 
in the spirit land and was not of the style of garment most in fashion at Loretto, it was 
(if no practical utility, and there is reason to believe that her majesty had the better of 
the transaction. 

Upon the Brotherhood of St Francis the king bestowed the missions and accumu- 
lated wealth of the Jesuits in California ; but soon after possession was taken by them 
the Dominicans laid claim to a portion. The controversy ended in the surrender by 
the Franciscans of all rights granted them in Lower California upon the condition that 
they be granted full authority in Alta California to found missions and take possession 
of the country in the name of the Catholic sovereign of Spain. They hoped thus to 
become possessed of a land where legend and imagination had located the rich mines of 
gold and silver from which had come the vast treasures of which Cortes had despoiled 
the Aztecs ; and in thus gaining wealth for their order they w^ould also spread the story 
of the cross and bring within the pale of the Holy Catholic Church thousands of souls 
then groping in the darkness of heathenism. 

Father Francis Junipero Serra, at the head of the Franciscan order in ^Mexico, 
was a man cast in no common mould. He was educated from his youth to the church, 
was possessed of great eloquence, enthusiasm and magnetic power, and had gained 
reputation and experience in the missions of Mexico. Peculiarly fitted for the work 
before him, he entered upon it with a zeal that admitted not of failure or defeat. It 
was his jilan to establish missions at San Diego, Monterey and some intermediate point 
, immediately, and extend them gradually as circumstances should dictate. In pursu- 
ance of this programxne an expedition was dispatched in 1769 to settle and take 
possession of California, with the purpose, as Joseph DeGalvez states it, " to establish 
the Catholic religion among a numerous heathen people, submerged in the obscure 
darkness of paganism ; to extend the dominion of the King, our Lord ; and to protect 
the peninsula from the ambitious rulers of foreign nations." This was to be done by 
the Franciscans, according to the royal decree, at their oivn expense, though the bene- 
fits were to inure chiefly to the crown of Spain, whose dominion was to be largely 
increased and a greater measure of protection afforded the American possessions and 

It was deemed advisable to divide the expedition, and send a portion of it by sea 
in their three vessels, leaving the remainder to go from Mexico overland by way of 
the most northerly of the old missions. Accordingly, on the ninth of January, 1709, 
tlie ship San Carlos sailed from La Paz, followed on the fifteenth of February by the 
San- Antonio. The last to sail was the San Joseph, on the sixteenth of June, and she 
was never heard from afterwards. The vessels were all loaded with provisions, numer- 
ous seeds, grain to sow, farming utensils, church ornaments, furniture and passengers, 
their destination being the port of San Diego. The first to reach that })lace was the 
San Antonio, which arrived on the eleventh of A2iril, after losing eight of her crew 
l)v the scurvv. Twciitv davs hiter the San Carlos made her laboriou.< wav into port, 


with only the captain, the cook and one seaman left of her crew, the others having 
fallen victims to that terrible scourge of the early navigators. 

The overland party was also divided into two companies ; one, under command of 
Fernanda Revera Moncada, was to assemble at the northern limit of the peninsula, 
where was located the most northerly mission, and take two hundred head of black 
cattle over the country to San Diego, the point where all were to meet in the new 
land to be subdued. Revera set out on the twenty-fourth of March, and was the first 
European to cross the southern deserts, guarding approaches from that direction to 
the upper coast. He reached the point of general rendezvous on the fourteenth 
of May, after having spent fifty-one days in the journey. The governor of Cali- 
fornia, Gaspar de Portala, took command of the remaining part of the land 
expedition, and started May fifteenth, from the same place on the frontier that had 
been Revera's point of departure, He was accompanied by the projector of the en- 
terprise, Father Junipero Serra himself, and arrived at San Diego on the first of July, 
where this, the last company to reach the rendezvous, was received with great demon- 
strations of joy by those who had arrived by sea and land many long weeks before. 

The members of the several divisions, with the exception of those who died at 
sea, were now all on the ground at San Diego, and Father Junipero was not a man to 
waste time. In looking over his resources for accomplishing the work before him, 
he found that he had, including converted Indians who had accompanied him, about 
two hundred and fifty souls, and everything necessary for the founding of the three 
missions, the cultivation of the soil, grazing the land and exploring the coast, except 
sailors and provisions. So many of the former having died on the voyage, it was 
deemed advisable for those who remained to sail on the San Antonio for San Bias, to 
procure more seamen and supplies. They accordingly put to sea for that purpose on 
the ninth of July, and nine of the crew died before the port was reached. The next 
thing in order was to found a mission at San Diego, and it will be interesting to know 
what was the ceremony which constituted the founding of a mission. Father Francis 
Palou, the historian of the Franciscans, thus describes it : " They immediately set 
about taking possession of the soil in the name of our Catholic monarch, and thus laid 
the foundation of the mission. The sailors, muleteers and servants set about clearing 
away a place, which was to serve as temporary church, hanging the bells (on the limb 
of a tree, possibly)' and forming a grand cross. '' '■' '■^ The venerable 
father president blessed the holy water, and with this the rite of the church and then 
the holy cross ; which, being adorned as usual, was planted in front of the church. 
Then its patron saint was named, and having chanted the first mass, the venerable 
president pronounced a most fervent discourse on the coming of the Holy Spirit and 
the establishment of the mission. The sacrifice of the mass being concluded, the 
Veni Cre«/r;r was then sung; the want of an organ and other musical instruments 
being supplied by the continued discharge of firearms during the ceremony, and the 
want of incense, of which they had none, by the smoke of the muskets." 

This ceremony was performed on the sixteenth day of July, 1769. Two days 
prior to that Governor Portala had started northward with the greater portion of the 
force to re-discover the port of Monterey. For three and one-half months he pursued 
his slow, tortuous way up the coast, passing Monterey without recognizing it. On the 



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Farm Residences of R.V. Beall and ThS.P 

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3all,near Central Point, Jackson Co. 


thirtieth of October they eanie upon a bay which Father Crespi; who accompanied the 
expedition, says " they at once recognized" What caused them to recognize it? Had 
they ever heard of it before ? This is the first unquestioned record of the discovery of 
the San Francisco harbor. In all the annals of history there is no evidence of its 
ever having been seen before, except that sailing chart previously mentioned. Yet the 
exception is evidence strong as holy writ, that in 1740 the bay had been found but had 
received no recorded name. Portala and his followers believed a miracle had been 
performed, that the discovery was due to the haiid of Providence, and that St. Francis 
had led them to the place. When they saw this land-locked bay in all its slumbering 
grandeur, they remembered that, before leaving Mexico, Father Junipero had been 
grieved because the vistado re general had not placed their jDatron saint upon the list 
of names for the missions to be founded in the ne^v country, and when reminded of 
the omission by the sorrowing j^riest, he had replied solemnly, as from matured reflec- 
tion : " If St. Francis wants a mission, let him show you a good port, and we will put 
one there." "A good port" had been found — one where the fleets of the world could 
ride in safety, and they said " St. Francis has led us to his harbor," and they called it 
" San Francisco Bay." 

Portala returned to San Diego, arriving January '24, 1770, where he found a very 
discouraging condition of affairs. The small band left at San Diego had passed 
through perils and difficulties of which it is unnecessary to speak in detail ; but the 
stubborn bravery and uniform kindness of the missionaries had -brought them safely 
through. There now threatened a danger that unless averted would disastrously 
terminate the expedition. Portala took an inventory of supplies and found there 
remained only enough to last the expedition until March ; and he dicided that if none 
arrived by sea before the twentieth of that month, to abandon the enterprise and 
return to Mexico. The day came, and with it, in the offing, in plain view of all, a 
vessel. Preparations had been completed for the abandonment, but it was postponed 
because of the appearance of the outlying ship. The next day it was gone, and the 
colony believed then that a miracle had been jDerformed, and their patron saint had 
permitted the sight of the vessel that they might know that help was coming. In a 
few days the San Antonio sailed into the harbor with abundant stores, and they learned 
that the vision they had looked uj^on was the vessel herself; she having been forced 
by adverse winds to put to sea again, after coming in sight of land. 

Upon the arrival of the San Antonio, two other expeditious set out, in search of 
Monterey harbor, one by sea and another by land, the latter in charge of Governor 
Portala. The party by sea was accomjianied by the father president himsdf, who 
writes of that voyage, and its results, as follows: "On the thirty-first day of May, 
by the favor of (lod, after a rather painful voyage of a month and a half, this packet, 
San Anf'niin, arrived and anchored in this horrible port of 3Iontcreij, which is unal- 
tered in any degree from what it was when visited by the expedition of Don Sebastian 
A'iscaino, in the year l(K>o." He goes on to state that he found the governor awaiting 
him, having reached the place eight days earlier. He then describes the manner of 
taking possession of the land for the ci'own on the third day of August. This cere- 
mony was attended by salutes from the battery on board ship, and discliarges of 
nuisketrv l)v the soldiers, until the Indians in the vicinitv were so thorouiihlv frioht- 


eiied at the noise as to cause a stampede among them for the interior, from whence 
they were afterwards enticed with diffieuhy. This was soon followed by the founding 
of the mission of San Antonio de Padua. 

Governor Portala then returned to Mexico, bearing the welcome intelligence that 
Monterey had been re-discovered, that a much finer bay had also been found farther 
north which they had named after St. Francis, and that three missions had been 
established in the new land. Upon receipt of the news, the excitement in Mexico was 
intense. Guns were fired, bells were rung, congratulatory speeches were made, and 
all New Spain was happy, because of the final success of the long struggle to gain a 
footing north of the peninsula. 

It is needless to follow in detail the record of the Franciscans in California, their 
labors, privations and successs. A brief summary of their rise, growth and downfall 
will be sufficient to enable the reader to understand all allusions to them in the subse- 
quent pages. 

By the same methods the Jesuits had practiced in Lower California, did the 
Franciscans seek to establish their missions on a firmer footing, suffering frequently 
from the hostility of the natives, but gradually overcoming all obstacles and creating 
populous and prosperous missions and towns. The mission of San Diego was founded 
July 16, 1769; San Carlos, at Monterey, August 3, 1770; San Antonio de Padua, 
July 14, 1771 ; San Gabriel, near Los Angeles, September 8, 1771 ; San Luis Obispo, 
in September, 1772. Father Serra then went to Mexico for reinforcements and sup- 
plies, and returned the next spring by sea, having sent Captain Juan Bautista Anza 
with some soldiers to open an overland route by which more rapid and certain commu- 
nication could be maintained with the home country. In 1774 Captain Anza returned 
to Mexico for more soldiers, priests and supplies, and after the arrival of these it was 
determined to enlarge the field of operations to the northward. The 8an Carlos was 
dispatched to see if the Bay of San Francisco could be entered from the ocean, and 
in June, 1775, the little vessel sailed safely through the Golden Gate and cast anchor 
where so many thousand vessels have since been securely sheltered. On the seven- 
teenth of September, 1776, the presidio (fort) was established at San Francisco, and on 
the tenth of October the misson of Dolores was founded, followed in quick succession by 
those of San Juan Capistrano and Santa Clara. 

From this time the missions grew rapidly in power and wealth, and pueblos 
(towns) sprang up, occupied chiefly by the families of soldiers who had served their 
terms in the array and preferred to remain in California. Gradually po23ulation in- 
creased, until in 1802 Humboldt estimated it at 1,300, to which he added 15,562 con- 
verted Indians, taking no account of the wild or unsubdued tribes, which we know 
from other sources largely outnumbered those brought within the influence of the mis- 
sions. By 1822, the year Mexico declared her independence of Spain, twenty-one 
missions had been founded and were in a prosperous condition. Two years later 
Mexico adopted a republican form of government, and from that time dates the down- 
fall of the missionary system. The Franciscans had complete control of the land, 
claiming it as trustees for the benefit of converted natives, and discouraged all at- 
tempts at colonization as calculated to weaken their power and frustrate their designs. 
When, therefore, in 1824, the Mexican congress passed a colonization act, giving the 


governor of California power to make grants of land to actnal settlers, it was considered 
a direct and fatal blow at the mission monopoly. From this time the missions were a 
leading element in Mexican politics, and they gradnally declined before the encroach- 
ments of the civil power until, in 1845, the property which had survived the pillage 
and decay of the previous ten years was sold at auction, and the missions were at an 
end. A year later the inauguration of the Bear Flag war by Fremont was followed by 
the conquest of the country from Mexico, and California, redeemed from anarchy 
misrule and revolution, became a jjortion of the United States. 



Foreign claims in America— Florida, Mexico, California, Alaska, Louisiana, Canada, and the English Colonic s— 
Treaty of Ryswick— Treaty of Utrecht— Sale of Louisiana to Spain— Carver's Explorations on the Mississippi 
—Oregon, the River of the West— Origin of the Name— Journey of Samuel Hearne to the Arctic Ocean- 
England offers a Reward for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage. 

To understand in their full significance the motives and acts of the various nations 
contending for dominion in the Pacific, the status of their claims throughout America 
must be kejit carefully in view. England had colonies along the Atlantic coast from 
Maine to Carolina and had full possession of the vast region about Hudson's bay. 
France held possession of Louisiana, extending from the mouth of the Mississippi in- 
definitely northward and westward, and of the St. Lawrence and the great region lying 
to the westward embraced under the general title of Canada , and by exploring to the 
west along and beyond the great lakes and north along the Mississippi, had thus 
united Canada and Louisiana and rendered the Alleghanies the extreme western limit 
of England's Atlantic colonies. Spain had undis})uted pos.session of Central America. 
Mexico, California and Florida ; while Russia claimed Alaska and the adjacent islands, 
The boundary line between these various possessions was extremely uncertain and con- 
tinued to be for years a fruitful source of trouble and a theme for diplomatic contro- 

In 1(3U7 the treaty of Ryswick was concluded, which was intended to define, as 
I'learly as the knowledge of American geograjjhy would permit, the boundaries of these 
various possessions. Spanish Florida was then limited on the north by the Carolina 
colonies, while its western limit was left exceedingly indefinite, confiieting severely 
with the P^rench claim to Louisiana. North of Florida and west of the Alleghanies 
France claimed the entire country, either as a portion of Loui.siana or Canada, includ- 
ing Hudson's bay, the latter claim being based upon the explorations of Labrador by 
Cortereal. At the treatv ot Utrecht in 1713, following a disastrous struggle with 


Great Britain, France relinquished her claim to Hudson's ba}', Newfoundland and 
Nova Scotia. During the next quarter of a century the energetic Frenchmen estab- 
lished a chain of forts and settlements from Quebec to New Orleans, taking absolute 
and actual possession of the country and cutting off the westward extension of Florida 
on the one hand and the northeastern limits of Mexico and California on the other. 

Thus matters stood until the disastrous war between England and France involved 
the American colonies in bloody strife and turned over the exposed settlements to the 
tender mercies of the Indian tomahawk and scalping knife. Worsted in the strife-, 
France, after her colonial star was stricken from the sky by the gallant Wolfe on the 
Plains of Abraham, but before the final seal to her defeat was affixed by the treaty of 
Paris, secretly conveyed to Spain her province of Louisiana, and thus robbed her 
victorious enemy of one of the greatest fruits of her conquest. The terms of the 
conveyance, made in 1762, defined the western and southern limit of Louisiana and 
the eastern and northern boundary of Mexico and California, to follow the course of 
the Sabine river from its mouth to latitude 32 degrees, thence north to the Red river, 
and following that stream to longitude 23 degrees, thence north to the Arkansas and 
up that river to latitude 42 degrees, which line it followed to the Pacific. It was thus 
that even after the acquisition of Canada, England found her possessions bounded on 
the west by the great " Father of Waters." This was the situation in America when 
the Russians opened the Alaskan fiir trade and Spain perfected her claim to Cali- 
fornia by planting there the missions of St. Francis. 

It was now a century since the Hudson's Bay Company was chartered, and it had 
not yet discovered the northwest passage, though that was the leading object stated in 
the charter ; nor, indeed, had the company made any earnest effort so to do. The belief 
still obtained that the Straits of Anian existed, or, at least, that some great river, such 
a stream, possibly, as the Rio de los Reyes, could be found flowing into the Pacific, 
which was navigable eastward to within a few miles of some harbor accessible to 
vessels from the Atlantic. If either of these existed, they were naturally to be looked 
for in the region dominated by the great fur monopoly. The discovery of such a 
means of communication was .earnestly desired by the English crown, yet the com- 
pany was sufficiently powerful to prevent or at least render fruitless all efforts to 
explore its dominions. All explorations that gave any new geographical light were 
conducted beyond the company's domain and contrary to its desires. 

It has been shown how the headwaters of the Mississippi had been visited by 
French missionaries and exjilorers, both from Canada and Louisiana, who had estab- 
lished a fur trade with the natives of considerable value. Immediately after Canada 
fell into the hands of the English, an expedition was made into that region by Captain 
Jonathan Carver, a native of Connecticut, who had served with distinction in the war 
against France so recently brought to a successful termination. . He left Boston in 
1766, and traveling by the way of Detroit and Fort Michilimacinac, reached the 
headwaters of the Mississippi. The object of his journey, as stated in his account, 
was, " after gaining a knowledge of the manners, customs, languages, soil and natural 
productions of the different nations that inhabit the back of the MississipjM, to ascer- 
tain the breadth of the vast continent which extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific 
ocean, in its broadest part, between the 43d and 46th degrees of north latitude. Had 


I been al)ie to accomiilisli this, I intended to have proposed to tlie government to 
establish a post in some of those parts, abont tlie Straits of Anian, wliich, having been 
(hscovered by Sir Francis Drake, of conrse belongs to the English. This I am con- 
vinced, wonld greatly facilitate the discovery of a northwest passage, or commnnication 
between Hndsou's bay and the Pacific ocean." His idea that the Straits of Anian, or 
any other passage inland from the Pacific, had been discovered by Drake was an 
exceedingly erroneons one. 

Just how far west Carver penetrated is uncertain, and his claim of a residence of 
five monlhs in that region is a doubtful one. since the accounts of the manners and cus- 
toms of the natives given in his narrative (published twenty-five years later in London 
at the suggestion of a number of gentlemen who hoped the proceeds of its sale would 
be sufficient to relieve the author's necessities; he died in 1780, in penury), are but 
translations into English of the writings of Hennepin, Lahontan, Charlevoix and 
other French explorers. To him, however, must be credited the first use of the 
name " Oregon," which is given in the following connection : '' From these natives, 
together with my own observations, I have learned that the four most capital rivei's 
on the continent of North America — viz., the St. Lawrence, the Mississippi, the River 
Bourbon (Red River of the North), and the Oregon, or River of the West — have 
their sources in the same neighborhood. The waters of the three former are within 
thirty miles of each other ; [This is practically correct, and this point, somewhere in 
Western Minnesota, is probably the limit of his westward journey.] the latter, how- 
ever, is rather further west. This shows that these parts are the highest in North 
America ; and it is an instance not to be paralleled in the other three quarters of the 
world, that four rivers of such magnitude should take their rise together, and each, 
after running separate courses, discharge their waters into different oceans, at the dis- 
tance of two thousand miles from their sources, for in their passage from this spot to 
the Bay of St. Lawrence, east, to the Bay of Mexico, south, to Hudson's Bay, north, 
and to the bay at the Straits of Anian, west, each of these traverse upwards of two 
tliousand miles." 

It will be observed that Carver lays no claim to having visited even the head- 
waters of the "Oregon, or River of the West," and the probability is that all he knew 
of it was gathered from the same works of the French explorers which had supplied 
the other leading features of his book, though, possibly, like them, he may have heard 
sncli a stream spoken of by the Indians. In many of these French narratives to 
which he had access, a belief is asserted in the existence of a large stream flowing 
westward from the vicinity of the headwaters of the Mississippi into the Pacific, 
founded upon information given by the natives ; and on many maps of the eighteenth 
century such a stream was indicated, bearing variously the names " River of the 
West," "River Thegayo" " Rio de los Reyes," and " River of Aguilar" (the one whose 
mouth Aguilar reported having seen in latitude 43 degrees in the year 1608.) All 
tliat was new in Carver's account was the name "Oregon," and of that he fails to give 
us any idea of its meaning or origin. Many theories have been advanced, plausible 
and even possible, but none of them susceptible of ]n'Oof, and the probabilities are that 
the word is one of Carver's own invention. The fact that he stands sponsor foi- the 
name of this great region, is all that entitles Carver and his plagiarisms to any notice 


in this volume Avhatever. The first definite account of the Eiver of the West was one 
given by a Yazoo Indian to Lepagn Dupratz, a French traveler, many years before 
Carver's journey. The Indian iisserted that he bad ascended the Missouri north- 
westerly to its source, and that beyond this he encountered another great river flowing 
towards the setting sun, down which he passed until his j)rogress was arrested by hos- 
tilities existing between the tribes living along the stream. He participated in the 
war, and in a certain battle his party captured a woman of a tribe living further west, 
from whom he learned that the river entered a great water where ships had been seen 
sailing and in them were men with beards and white faces. There is nothing improb- 
able in this narrative, in the light of ascertained geographical facts, unless it be the 
portion relating to ships ; even that is possible, or may, perhaps, be simply an embel- 
lishment of the story by the Indian or Dupratz. Several maps published about fifteen 
years prior to Carver's journey, on the authority of this narrative, had marked upon 
them such a stream with the name " Great River of the West" attached to it. This 
fully accounts for the valiant captain's knowledge of such a stream, though it clears 
up none of the darkness surrouudiug the title " Oregon." 

In 1771 the Hudson's Bay Company sent Samuel Hearne on a tour of explora- 
tion of the regions lying to the westward of the bay, for the purpose of finding a rich 
mine of copper which the Indians had frequently spoken of and whose name translated 
into English, was The Far-off Metal Eiver. He was also instructed to determine 
the question of a passage westward from Hudson's bay, in whose existence the directors 
had now no faith Avhatever, and in consequence were anxious to make a showing of 
great zeal in searching for it. Hearne discovered Great Slave lake and its connecting- 
rivers and lakes, finally reaching the Coppermine river and following the stream to its 
point of discharge into the Arctic ocean. This body of water he conceived and re- 
ported to be a great inland sea of a character similar to Hudson's bay, between which 
two bodies of water there was evidently no connecting passage. He also learned from 
the natives that the land extended a great distance further west, beyond high moun- 
tains. The result of his journey, since it tended to prove that no passage to the Pacific 
from Hudson's bay could be possible, was quickly communicated to the British Admi- 
ralty by the company, though the journal kept by Hearne was not published for the 
benefit of the jiublic till twenty years later. 

The Admiralty were now satisfied that a further search for a strait leading west- 
ward from Hudson's bay would be futile; but still hoped that a navigable passage 
could be found leading from Baffin's bay into the sea discovered by Hearne and still 
another one from this new ocean into the Pacific. Parliament had in 1845 offered a 
reward of £20,000 to anyone discovering a passage from Hudson's bav, which the 
company had carefully rendered nugatory, and now Parliament, in 1776, again passed 
an act ofiering a like reward to any English vessel entering and passing through any 
strait, or in any direction, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific, north of latitude 52 
degrees, which was about the southern limit of Hudson's bay. This led to a series of 
voyages by English navigators in the Pacific ocean, stimulated especially by the 
reports which about that time reached England of voyages and settlements made by 
representatives of Spain. The era of positive discoveries in Oregon was coming on 



Strue:e:le Between Enp;land and Spain for Dominion on the Pacific Coast Juan Perez Discovers Port San Lorenzo 
or Nootka Sound Martinez Claims to Have Seen the Straits of Fuca Spanish Explorers Take Possession 
of the Country at ihe Bay of Trinidad Fruitless Search for the Straits of Fuca Heceta Discovers the Mouth 
of the Columbia and Names it San Roque Inlet Bodega takes Formal Possession on George III.'s Archipelago 
and Searches for the Rio de los Reyes- He also takes Possession on Prince of Wales Island- Vain Search 
for Aguilar's River on the Coast of Oregon Discovery of Bodega Bay Practical Result of these Voyages and 
England's Solicitude Voyage of Captain James Cook- Discovery of Hawaiian Islands Cook at Nootka 
Sound— He Passes Through Behring's Straits into the Arctic Ocean Death of Cook- Return of the Expedi- 
tion - -Arteaga and Bodega Follow Cooks Route. 

The proceedings of the Sjoanish nation which had aroused England to such un- 
usual activity in exploring the northwest, were the colonization of California by the 
Franciscans which has already been spoken of, and several voyages and efforts to take 
possession of the coast still further to the north which were made soon afterwards. The 
struggle between England and Spain for dominion in the unexplored portion of the 
New World had begun in earnest, and was embittered by the chagrin of the latter at 
the manner in which Louisiana had slipped from her clutch when France sold it to 
Spain just as it was about to be snatched from her grasp. 

The first of these voyages, and it must be remembered the first voyage of explora- 
tion undertaken by Spain along the northern coast for one hundred and seventy-one 
years, was that of Juan Perez, who was instructed to sail as far north as the 60th par- 
allel, and to then explore the coast southward, landing at all convenient places to take 
possession of the country in the name of the king of Spain. On the twenty-fifth of 
January, 1774, Perez sailed from San Bias in the corvette Santiago, piloted by Estivan 
Martinez, and stopped both at San Diego and Monterey, sailing from the latter port on 
the sixteenth of June. Thirty-two days later he espied the first laud seen since leav- 
ing Monterey, in latitude o4 degrees, probably the west coast of Queen Charlotte's 
island. Simptoms of scurvy beginning to be observed among the crcAV, and being but 
poorly supplied with the requisites for a long voyage, Perez decided not to attempt 
further progress north in his little vessel, and so coasted along to the southward. He 
proceeded about a hundred miles, encountering a number of natives in their canoes, 
with whom he drove a profitable trade in furs, and was then driven to sea by a storm. 
He again discovered land on the ninth of August, casting anchor at the entrance of a 
deep bay in latitude 49 degrees and 30 minutes upon which, following the custom which 
has plastered the map of the Pacific coast with "Sans" and " Santas," he bestowed, 
the name Port San Lorenzo, because it was discovered upon the day specially de- 
voted to that saint in the Roman calendar. It was beyond doubt the harbor on the 
west coast of Vancouver island now known as King George's or Nootka sound. Hav- 


ing- enjoyed a profitable trade with the natives, who are represented as being of a much 
lighter complexion than other native Americans, Perez weighed anchor and sailed 
again to the southward. In latitude 47 degrees and 47 minutes a lofty, snow-crowned 
peak was observed, which was christened Sierra de Santa Rosalia, being, probably, 
the one subsequently named Mount Olympus by English explorers. On the twenty- 
first of August Perez arrived off Cape Mendocino, whose exact latitude he then de- 
termined, and a week later dropped anchor in the harbor of Monterey. This voyage 
added but little to the geographical knowledge of the coast, since no thorough explora- 
tions were made and land was observed only in a few places. In the journal of the 
voyage nothing is said of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and yet, many years later and 
long after the .strait had been entered l)y the English and Puget sound explored, the 
pilot of the Santiago, Martinez, asserted that he had observed a wide opening in the 
land between latitudes 48 and 49 degrees, and that he had honored the point of land on 
the south side of the entrance with his own name. Upon the strength of this loug-de- 
laved assertion, Spanish geographers entered upon their charts as Cape Martinez the 
point of land now universally known as Cape Flattery. 

The return of Perez with the information that America extended at least as far 
north as the latitude 54 degrees, determined the Mexican viceroy to dispatch another 
expedition in quest of still further discoveries as far as the 65th parallel. The Santinyo, 
commanded ])y Bruno Heceta and piloted by Perez, and the Sonora, a small schooner 
under the command of Juan de Ayala and having Antonio ]\Ianrelle for a pilot, sailed 
from San Bias March 15, 1775, being supplied with the latest chart of the Pacific, in 
which the reports of the various voyages were woven together by the fertile imagination 
of Bellin, a French geographer. They were accomjDanied as far as Monterey by the 
Sau Carlos, to which vessel Ayala Avas transferred before reaching that port, and the 
command of the Sonora devolved upon Lieutenant Juan Francisco de la Bodega y 

Sailing from Monterey to the northward, the two vessels doubled Cape Mendocino 
and anchored on the tenth of June in a roadstead, which was named Port Trinidad, 
for the usual reason that the day was the one devoted to the Trinity on the calendar, 
that fertile source of Spanish nomenclature. Nine days later the voyage up the coast 
was resumed, though not until the Spaniards had landed and with proper solemnity 
and religious ceremonies taken possession of the country in the name of their sovereign, 
including the planting of a cross with appropriate inscriptions as a testimonial monu- 
ment of their visit. They described the harbor as being safe, spacious and a valualile 
one to commerce, and the contiguous country agreeable in climate and having a fruitful 
soil ; and this discovery was considered by Spanish authorities to l^e an exceedingly 
valuable one. 

Having kept out to sea for three weeks, they again sighted land in latitude 48 de- 
grees and 27 minutes, just south of the Straits of Fuca. Since the Greek pilot had 
located his passage between latitudes 47 and 48 degrees, as wall be remembered, in 
wliich locality it was indicated on their chart, the explorers naturally coasted to the 
southward in searching for it, thus sailing directly away from its entrance. A careful 
examination of the coast revealed no such passage, and, satisfied that it had no exis- 
tence, they cast anchor near a small island off the coast in latitude 47 degrees and 20 



minutes. Here seven of the Sonnrax crew, who were sent to the mauihiiid to i)roeure 
water in the (Mily boat the vessel carried, were killed by the natives ; and the island 
was christened Isla de Dolores, oi- Island of Sorrows, lieing the same one afterwards 
called Destruction Island by an English captain, because of a similar flite which 
befel a jjortion of his crew. 

Disheartened by this disaster and observing alarming symptoms of scurvy among 
his crews, Heceta desired to return, but at the urgent solieitatiou of the other officers 
reluctantly consented to continue the voyage northward. A few days later a severe 
storm 2)arted the vessels, and Heceta then abandoned the enterprise and started to 
return with the Santiago to Monterey. He soon observed land on the ocean 
side of Vancouver island, in latitude 50 degrees, and passing by Port San Lorenzo 
and the entrance to Juan de Fuca straits without; observing them, he again saw the 
coast in the 48th parallel, south of which he once more searched for the passage he 
had so carelessly overlooked. On the fifteenth of August, 1775, he came opposite an 
opening in the land in latitude 46 degrees and 17 minutes, through which poured a 
stream of water so forcibly as to prevent him from entering. Satisfied that he was at 
the outlet to a great river, or, possibly, the Straits of Fuca, though too far south 
for this according to his chart, Heceta waited a day with the hope of effecting an 
entrance ; but in this he was doomed to disappointment, and abandoning the eftbrt he 
continued his voyage to Monterey, carefully observing the intervening coast, of which 
his journal contains extremely accurate descriptions. The Catholic calendar was 
again brought into requisition to supply a name for this new discovery, and since the 
fifteenth of August was the day of the Assumption, Heceta called it Ensenada de 
Asuncion (Assumption inlet); the sixteenth being set apart to Saint Roc, he called 
the northern promontory Cape San Roque, while to the low land on the south side 
of the entrance he gave the name Cape Frondoso (Leafy cape). Beyond question 
this was the first discovery of the mouth of the mighty Columbia, and Mexican charts, 
published soon after the return of Heceta, had indicated upon them an entrance to 
the land at that point, variously denominated Ensenada de Heceta, and Rio de 
San Ro(iae. 

In the meantime Bodega and ^laurelle were persevering in their attenq)t to 
carry out the original plan of the expedition, and were still endeavoring to reach the 
()5th parallel in the little Sonoru. On the sixteenth of August they suddenly 
came in sight of land both to the north and east of them, being then, according to 
their observations, north of latitude 56 degrees, and at a point which their chart told 
them was 1:35 leagues distant from the American shore. This proved to l)e the large 
island known as King George Ill's Archipelago, though supposed by the Span- 
iards to be a portion of the main land. A large mountain rising from a jutting head- 
land and draped in snow, was called by them San Jacinto, though it was a few years 
later named Mount Edgecumb by Captain Cook. The Spaniards landed to take 
formal possession of the country for the Spanish crown and to procure a supi)ly of fish 
and watei, to both of which ])roceedings the natives fiercely objected, compelling the 
intruders to pay lil)cially for the fish, and the water as well, and derisively tearing up 
and destroying the ci'oss and other symbolic monuments the would-be po.ssessors of 
theii- land had erected. The vovaiic northward was resumed, but upon icaehiiio; lati- 


tude 58 degrees Bodega deemed it imi^nident to advance farther and turned again to the 
southward. From that point to the 54th parallel the coast was closely scrutinized for 
the Rio de los Reyes of Admiral Fonte, liut as the romancing admiral had located his 
mythical river a degree farther south their search would have proven in vain even had 
the stream an existence beyond its creator's fancy, and therefore their assertion that 
no such river existed north of latitude 54 degrees was valueless to prove Fonte's great 
water route from the Pacific to the Atlantic to be a myth. On the twenty-fourth of 
August they again landed to take j)ossession of the country, this time at Port Bucareli, 
named in honor of the viceroy under whose authority the expedition was dispatched, on 
the west coast of Prince of Wales Island. From this place they casually observed the 
coast at various j^oints until they reached the Oregon coast in latitude 45 degrees and 
27 minutes, when they began a careful search for the great river Martin de Aguilar 
claimed to have discovered in 1603. Though they noticed currents of water setting out 
from the land in various places, nothing was observed indicating a stream of the magni- 
tude described by Aguilar, and they became satisfied that none such existed in that 
locality ; yet they observed a headland which was recognized as answering the descrip- 
tion of Cape Blanco, being, no doubt, the one called later Cape Orford by Captain 
Vancouver. On the third of October the Sonora entered a bay supposed to be that of 
San Francisco, but wdiich proved to be a much smaller one a short distance north of 
that great harbor, and was therefore named Bodega bay by the discoverer in his 
own honor. 

By the voyages of Perez, Heceta and Bodega, and especially the latter, which was 
conducted under the most disadvantageous conditions, through stormy and unknown 
seas, in a small vessel Avhich had lost its only boat, and with a crew afflicted with that 
terrible scourge of the early mariners, the scurvy, Spain justly laid claim to the first 
exploration of the Pacific coast from which even an approximately correct chart could 
be made; especially was this true of our immediate coast, for j^rior to these explorations 
the coast between Cape Mendocino and Mount San Jacinto, or Edgecumb, was so prac- 
tically unknown that in regard to it the most utterly erroneous ideas prevailed. 

Condensed reports of these voyages, containing the leading features, soon reached 
England, together with the accounts of the progress Spain was making in her scheme 
of colonizing California, and caused much anxiety to the government. With her 
Florida and Louisiana possessions extending indefinitely westward, with her California 
colonies already established and the possibility of her making additional settlements at 
some or all of the favorable localities on the northern coast where her representatives 
had already performed the ceremony of taking formal possession in the name of the 
king, the prospect of Spain soon obtaining control of the whole Pacific of America 
south of the 56th parallel, the limit to which Russian explorations formed a foundation 
for a claim by the czar, was imminent. With the zeal which England would exercise 
under the same circumstances, the claim of Spain would be perfected in ten years, and 
England be confined in North America to Canada and the possessions of her fur mo- 
nopoly around Hudson's bay. The prospect was far from pleasing, and nothing l)nt 
the indolence of Spain saved England from entire exclusion from Pacific Xorth Amei- 
ica. Yet for England to establish colonies in opposition to those of Spain was jiractically 
impossible. She had no Mexico to form a base of o])eration and supplies, but could 


hold coinmiiiiication with them only by means of a long and hazardous voyage of eight 
or ten months around Ci\pe Horn or by the way of the Cape of Good Hope. 

Under this condition of affairs England looked upon the discovery of a northern 
passage from ocean to ocean as absolutely necessary to further her interests on the Pa- 
cific coast. It was this idea of the situation which led Parliament to renew the offered 
reward spoken of at the close of the last chapter, and which stimulated English ex- 
plorers into that great activity which resulted in revealing so much of our geography 
during the next fifteen years, laid the foundation for the claim to Oregon which Great 
Britain so strenuously asserted, and gave her title to the immense territory she now 
possesses on the Pacific coast. 

About this time Captain James Cook returned from his great voyage of explora- 
tion in the South sea and Indian ocean, having established the fact that no habitable 
land existed in the vicinity of the Antarctic circle and made a voyage so extensive and im- 
portant that he was universally recognized as the leading exjilorer of the century. To 
him England turned in her hour of anxiety. Here was the man above all others to 
whom could be entrusted the search for that passage so vitally important to British 
interests in the Pacific, with the assurance that whatever skill, diligence and the most 
thorough acquaintance with the geographical knowledge and theories of the day could 
accomplish would certainly be achieved. This task Cook at once undertook, and sailed 
upon his new quest with high hopes of winning laurels greater than those which 
already encircled his brow. 

The instructions given to Cook by the Admiralty were very minute and particular. 
He was directed to jiroceed by way of the Cape of Good Hope, New Zealand and 
Otaheite and endeavor to reach the coast of New Albion in the latitude 45 degrees. 
To the name New Albion the English government had tenaciously clung since the 
time Hir Francis Drake so christened the C^alifornia coast and ceremoniously took 
possession in the name of the queen. To England there was much in a simple name, 
since her adherence to it showed her resolution to claim to the last all the benefit 
which could possil)ly be derived from the voyage of that adventurous marauder ; and 
this name was only changed for another when the basis upon which the English claim 
to Oregon rested was also altered. Though resolved to abate not one whit of her dis- 
covery rights, England was careful not to commit the least overt act of hostility against 
any rival claimants whatever. Serious trouble had roninicnced with her Atlantic 
colonies ; the battle of Bunker Hill had been fought and the evacuation of Boston 
compelled ; the whole coast from Massachusetts to Georgia was in a state of armed rebel- 
lion, encouraged by both France and Spain, who appeared upon the verge of offering- 
substantial aid. The times were not ]ii'opitious for England to assert her rights 
in the Pacific in a niaiincr bordering in the least upon arrogance. Under the circum- 
stances an extiTHU'ly modest demeanor was considered exceedingly becoming, and Cook 
was "strictly enjoined, on his way thither, not to touch upon any part of the Spanish 
dominions on the western continent of America, unless driven to it by some unavoid- 
able accident ; in which case he was to stay no longer than shoulil be absolutely neces- 
sary, and to be very careful not to give any umbrage or offence to any of the inhal)i- 
tants or subjects of his Catholic majesty. And if, in his farther progress northward, 
he should find any subjects of any European prince or state, ujion any part of the 


coast which he might think proper to visit, he was not to (Usturli tlicni or give them 
any just cause of offence, l.)Ut, on the contrary, to treat them with civility and friend- 
ship." The last chai-ge referred especially to the Russian settlements in the extrenu' 

But little positive knowledge was possessed in England of the geography of the 
coast north of Cape Mendocino. To be sure it was the reports of Spanish settlements 
in California and of several important voyages of exploration recently made by repre- 
sentatives of that nation, which had created such anxiety and infused such zeal into the 
English Admiralty ; but the particulars of those voyages were not yet received. All 
that was really known of the northwest coast was Avhat could be learned from the 
records of Viscaino's voyage nearly two centuries before, from the indefinite and con- 
tradictory accounts of Russian discoveries in Alaskan waters, and the recent report by 
Samuel Hearne that the continent extended many miles westward from the Coppermine 
river. Between Viscaino's most northern limit, latitude 45 degrees, and the extreme 
southern point reached by Tchirikof in the 56th parallel, there was a vast stretch of 
coast line absolutely unknown. Cook was consequently instructed to proceed along the 
coast and, "with the consent of the natives, to take posse-;sion in the name of the King 
of Great Britain of convenient stations in such countries as he might discover that had 
not been already discovered or visited by any other European power, and to distribute 
among the inhabitants such things as will remain as traces of his having been there ; 
but, if he should find the countries so discovered to be uninhabited he was to take pos- 
session of them for his sovereign, by setting uji jsroper marks and descrijitions, as first 
discoverers and possessors." This was exactly what Heceta and Bodega had done for 
Spain the year before, though of this fact England was ignorant. Cook was directed to 
coast along to the 6oth parallel, before reaching which he was expected to find it 
trending sharply towards then ortheast in the direction of the Coppermine river, the 
Admiralty being of the opinion that the great North sea visited by Hearne was 
identical with the Pacific. From that point he was to explore carefully " such rivers 
or inlets as might appear to be of considerable extent and pointing towards Hudson's 
or Baffin's bays," and endeavor to sail through all such passages, either in his vessels 
or in snraller ones to be constructed on the spot from materials taken with him for that 
especial purpose. In case he became satisfied from the configuration of the coast that 
no such passage existed and that the Pacific ocean and North sea were not identical, he 
was then to repair to the Russian settlements at Kamtchatka, and from that point ex- 
plore the seas to the northward " in further search of a northeast or northwest passage 
from the Pacific ocean into the Atlantic or the North sea." 

To carry out these minute and exhaustive instructions, Cook sailed from Plymouth 
July 12, 1776, in the Resohdion, the vessel he had just taken around the world, ac- 
companied Ijy Capt. Cliarles Clerke in the Discovery. The crews and officers were 
men selected carefully for this expedition, and the vessels were sujjplied with every 
nautical and scientific instrument which could in any possibility be needed, as Avell as 
the most accurate charts at the command of the government. After passing the Cajie 
of Good Hope, Cook spent nearly a year making examinations about Van Dieman's 
Land, New Zealand, and the Friendly and Society islands. On the eighteenth of Jan- 
uary, 1778, he discovered the Hawaiian islands, that most imi)ortant station in the 



Pacitic, wliicli he called Sandwich islands in honor of the first lord of the Admiralty 
under whose orders he was sailing. (Jii the .seventh of the following March he was 
delighted with a glimpse of the Oregon coast, or New Albion, near the 44tli parallel, 
in the vicinity of the Umpqua. Contrary winds forced him as far south as the mouth 
of Rogue river, when, the wind becoming fair, he took a course almost due north and 
did not again see huid until just above the 48th degree of latitude, when he descried a 
bold headland which he christened Cape Flattery to show his appreciation of the flatter- 
ing condition of his prospects. 

It was now that Cook fell into the same error which had so sorely baffled and 
defeated Heceta and Bodega two years before. Like them, having reached the very 
southern edge of the Straits of Fuca, he turned away and searched for them to the south- 
ward, because in Lock's nairative they had been located between latitudes 47 and 48 
degrees. Finding the coast line unbroken. Cook pronounced the passage a myth, and 
abandoning the search sailed northward, passing heedlessly by the straits for which he 
had been so diligently looking. He soon dropped anchor in a safe and spacious harbor 
in latitude 49^ degrees, which he called King George's sound, but later substituted 
Nootka when he learned that such was its Indian title. This was, beyond doubt, the 
Port Lorenzo entered by Perez in 1774, and like the Spaniard, Cook reports the 
natives to be of a very light complexion and to possess ornaments of cojjper and 
weapons of iron and brass. This, united with the fact that one of them had suspended 
about his greasy neck two silver spoons of Spanish manufacture, and because they 
manifested no surprise and but little curiosity about the ships, and seemed not to be 
frightened at the report of guns, and were eager to barter furs for a valuable considera- 
tion, especially metals of all kinds, led Cook to the opinion that they had held inter- 
course with civilized nations in former times. Their supposed familiarity with 
firearms was soon found to be erroneous, for "one day, upon endeavoring to ])rove to 
us that arrows and spears would not jienetrate their war-dresses, a gentleman of our 
company shot a musket-ball through one of them folded six times. At this they were 
so much staggered, that their ignorance of fire-arms was plainly seen. This was after- 
Avards confirmed when we used them to shoot birds, the manner of which confounded 
them." This discovery and other facts elicited by a closer observation caused Cook to 
change his opinion about their previous intercourse with white people. In speculating 
on this subject he says that though "some account of a Spanish voyage to this coast 
in 1774 or 1775 had reached England before I sailed, it was evident that iron was too 
common here, was in too many hands, and the use of it too well known, for them to 
have had the first knowledge of it so very lately, or, indeed, at any earlier period, by 
an accidental s^upply from a sliij). Doul)tless, from the general use they make of this 
metal, it might be supposed to come from some constant source, by way of trallic, and 
that not of a very late date; for they are as dexterous in usjng their tools as the 
longest practice can make them. The most probable way, therefore, by whicli we can 
suppose that they get their iron, is by trading for it with other Indian tribes, who 
either have innnediate communication with Euroi)ean settlements upon the continent, 
or receive it, perhaps, through several intermediate nati(ms ; the same might be said of 
the 'brass and copjier found amongst them." Tlie indifference of the natives to the 
shins, in rci;ard to which tlicir lack of curiositv was noticeable and had been one of 


tlie causes wliicli at first led him to suppose they were fauiiliar with such objects, he 
atti'ibuted "to their natural indolence of temper and want of curiosity." Cook's 
ignorance of the vast extent of the American continent and the degree of civi- 
lization attained by the various aboriginal nations occu^iying it, must be his excuse 
for supposing that such a commodity as iron could have been transported from the 
Atlantic coast to the Pacific, j^assing from hand to hand through numerous tiibes of 
Indians, many of them engaged in unceasing and unrelenting warfare. That such 
could not have been the case, even aside from these objections, we are well assured by 
the fact that the inland tribes through whose hands the metal must have passed knew 
nothing of iron or its uses, and employed flint and bones for knives, sjoear-heads and 
arrow-tips. In the region then visited by the English for the first time exist vast 
quantities of iron ore, and in the mountains of the mainland copper ledges abound, 
and though no traces have as yet been observed of the ancient working of these mines, 
it is more than probable that the iron and copjjer possessed by the natives of Vancouver 
island, who were the most civilized and intelligent found on the Pacific coast, were 
produced from the crude ore by their possessors themselves. This supposition is sup- 
ported by the fact that the natives forged iron in an ingenious manner, making harpoons, 
weapons and ornaments, thus showing how well they understood the nature of the 
substance and demonstrating their ability to produce it fi'oni the native ore. The com- 
paratively limited amount in their possession indicated that they only utilized surface 
croppings, and this fully explains the absence of any signs of former mining opera- 
tions on the ledges. When Captain Meares visited the same locality a few years later, 
he was equally astonished at their familiarity with these metals. He tells us that the 
Indians manufactured tools of the iron obtained from him in trading ; and that it was 
seldom the\' could be prevailed upon to use European tools or utensils in prefei'euce to 
their own, with the exception of the saw, the utility and labor-saving value of which 
they at once recognized. They made a tool for the j)urpose of hollowing out large 
trees, which answered the purpose better than any instrument possessed by the ship's 
carpenter. For an anvil they employed a flat stone and a I'ound one did duty as a 
sledge ; and with these implements they fashioned the red hot iron at will, attaching 
to the tools or weapons when desired a wooden handle, fastened securely Avith cords of 
sinew. What little brass they possessed may have been procured from the Spanish 
vessels which had visited them a few years before. In this connection the legend re- 
lated to Meares, explaining the origin of their knoAvledge of cojjper, will be interesting. 
The fact that there existed a legend on the subject is sufficient evidence of the length 
of time the use of copper had been familiar to them. Meares says : " On expressing 
our wish to be informed by what means they became acquainted with copper, and why 
it was such a peculiar object of their admiration, a son of Hannapa, one of the Xoot- 
kan chiefs, a youth of uncommon sagacity, informed us of all he knew on the subject, 
and we found, to our surj^rise, that his story involved a little sketch of their religion. 
He first placed a certain number of sticks upon the ground, at small distances from 
each other, to which he gave separate names. Thus, he called the first his father, the 
next his grandfather ; he then took what remained and threw them all into confusion 
together, as much as to say that they were the general heap of his ancestors, whom he 
could not individually reckon. He then, pointing to this bundle, said, when they 


lived an old man entered the sound in a copper canoe, with copper paddles, and every- 
thing else in his possession of the same metal ; that he paddled along the shore, on 
which all the people were assembled to contemplate so strange a sight, and that, hav- 
ing thrown one of his copper paddles on shore, he himself landed. The extraordinary 
stranger then told the natives that he came from the sky, to which the boy pointed 
with his hand ; that their country would one day be destroyed, when they would all 
be killed, and rise again to live in the place from whence he came. Our young inter- 
preter explained this circumstance of his narrative by lying down as if he were dead, 
and then, rising up suddenly, he imitated the action as if he were soaring through the 
air. He continued to inform us that the people killed the old man and took his canoe, 
from which event they derived their fondness for copper, and he added that the images 
in their houses were intended to represent the form, and perpetuate the mission, of 
this supernatural person who came from the sky." 

Cook's vessels lay in NooLka sound nearly a month, repairing the casualties of 
the long voyage, laying in a supply of wood and water, and permitting the seamen to 
recruit their imjjaired health. They were constantly surrounded by a fleet of canoes, 
whose occupants came from many miles along the coast for the purpose of trading with 
the strangers. They had for barter " skins of various animals, such as wolves, foxes, 
bears, deer, raccoons, polecats, martins, and, in particular, of the sea-otters, which are 
found at the islands east of Kamtchatka ;" and, he might have added, in great num- 
bers about the Straits of Fuca. " Besides the skins in their native shape, they also 
brought garments made of the bark of a tree or some plant like hemp ; weapons, such 
as bows and arrows, and spears ; fish-hooks and instruments of various kinds ; wooden 
visors of many monstrous figures ; a sort of woolen stuff or blanketing ; bags filled 
with red ochre ; pieces of carved rock ; beads and several other little ornaments of 
thin brass and iron, shaped like a horseshoe, which they hung at their noses ; and several 
chisels, or pieces of iron fixed to handles. '^' '■'■ Their eagerness to possess iron and 
brass, and, indeed, any kind of metal, was so great that few of them could resist the 
temptation to steal it whenever an opportunity offered." 

About the last of April Cook sailed out of Nootka sound and resumed his explor- 
ations northward. His next object was to look for the Rio de los Reyes of Admiral 
Fonte, but a violent wind drove him to sea and prevented him from viewing the coast 
about the 53d parallel. " For my own part," he says, " I gave no credit to such vague 
and improbable stories, that convey their own confutation along with them ; neverthe- 
less, I was very desirous of keeping the American coast aboard, in order to clear uj) 
this point beyond dispute." He next saw land near the 55th parallel on the first of 
May, and soon after passed the beautiful mountain called San Jacinto by Bodega, but 
upon which he bestowed the title Mount Edgecumb ; and a little later he observed and 
named Mount Fairweather, on the mainland. Cook had now entered the region ex- 
plored by the Russians, with whose voyages he was somewhat familiar, and consequently 
it was no surprise to him, but an expected gratification, when his eyes rested upon a 
giant,snow-raantledpeak which he at once recognized as the Mount St. Elias described 
by Behring. This icy monarch is upwards of 17,000 feet in altitude, the highest and 
grandest peak of the North American continent 


Mount f^t. Elias was seen on the fourth of ^lay, 1778 ; and from its base the shore 
line was seen to trend sharply to the west ; which fact induced Cook to hegin at that 
point his search for the Straits of Auian, hoping soon to find a passage which would 
lead him eastward into Hudson's bay or Baffin's bay, or northward into the great 
North sea spoken of by Maldonado and seen by Hearne. Russian maps of this 
region, cojiies of which he possessed, showed the whole space between Kamlchatka and 
Mount St. Elias to be an ocean thickly strewn with islands, the largest of which was 
called Aliaska, so that he had good authority for his belief in a passage into the North 
sea. He sailed westward, and then southwestward to the latitude 5Ai degrees, minutely 
examining all the bays, inlets and islands encountered, especially Prince William's 
sound and Cook's inlet, the latter of which he probably conceived to be the entrance 
to a river since he named it Cook's river. Nowhere could he observe an oj^ening 
through the white chain of niountains, and he became satisfied that the American 
continent " extended much further to the west than, from the modern most reputable 
charts, he had reason to expect," and that the Russians were erroneous in their idea 
that the region west and northwest of Mount St. Elias was but a sea of islands. The 
result was that he abandoned the hope of finding a passage into eitlier Hudson's or 
Baffin's bay, and resolved to see how far west the continent extended and to sail into 
the North sea through the passage discovered by Behring just fifty years before. He 
therefore sailed southwesterly, and on the nineteenth of June fell in with a number of 
islands which he recognized as the Schumagim group, and where he saw the first evi- 
dences of the presence of Russians at any time in those waters, in the form of a piece 
of paper in the possession of the natives, upon which was written something in a for- 
eign language which he sujoposed to be Russian. He soon after passed the extremity 
of the Alaskan peninsula and the islands which seemed an extension of it, and 
doubling this turned again eastward, soon reaching the large island of Ounalaska, 
which Russian accounts had frequently mentioned as an important station in their 
fur trade. 

At Ounalaska Cook remained five days, and on the second of July sailed north- 
ward along the coast, searching faithfully for a passage eastward. On the ninth of 
August he reached a point wdiich he correctly believed to be the utmost extremity of 
the continent, and upon it he bestowed the name of Cape Prince of Wales. The va- 
rious names and titles of that worthy prince appear to have been as liberally scattered 
about by the loyal English explorers as were the saints of the Roman calendar by tlie 
devout subjects of Spain. Cook crossed Behring's strait from this point, finding it 
but fifty miles in width, and landed upon the coast of Asia. He explored the Asiatic 
coast of the Arctic ocean northwestward to Cape North in latitude 68 degrees and 5Q 
minutes, and the American coast northeastward as far as Icy Cape, in latitude 70 de- 
grees and 29 minutes, and being prevented by ice from progressing further returned 
to Ounalaska, where he fell in with some Russian traders, who soon convinced him 
that they knew far less of the geography of the North Pacific than he did. He then 
proceeded to the Sandwich islands to spend the winter, and was slain in an unfortunate 
affray with the natives on the island of Hawaii on the sixteenth of February, 1770. 

The death of this renowned explorer, though a sad blow to the enterprise, did not 
terminate it altogether; yet the results accomplished thereafter \vere l)y no means as 





fm .^lii^i.- <- -■- ' ) 


great as they would have lieeii had ojierations Iteen directetl l)y tlie great executive 
ability and geograpliieal knowledge pot^sessed by Cook. Captain Charles Clerke suc- 
ceeded to the command, and in March, 1779, sailed from the Sandwich islands, with 
the purpose of passing into the Arctic sea and thence, if possible, into the Atlantic. 
He headed northward and on the twenty-ninth of April entered the harbor of Petro- 
paulovski in the Bay of Avatscha, the chief military station of Russia in Kamtchatka, 
where he was received with great courtesy by the officials of the czar. Clerke then 
sailed into Behring's strait, but was prevented from advancing even as far as the year 
before by the vast quantities of ice, having arrived too early in the season. Being in 
ill health and discouraged by his want of success. Captain Clerke returned to Petro- 
paulovski, and died near that port on the twenty-second of August. Lieutenant John 
Gore succeeded to the command, but deeming the vessels in too battered a condition 
to endure another season in that rigorous climate, he sailed at once for his native land 
by the way of Canton, where he had learned, through the Russians, would be found a 
good market for the furs he had on board. 

The vessels arrived in Canton early in December, bearing the first cargo of fui-s 
taken from America proper to China, and with the excejition of the cargo taken there 
by Benyowsky and the Polish refugees in 1770, the lirst to be conveyed into the Celestial 
Kingdom by sea. This was a very important circumstance, since it was one of the 
greatest factors that led to the development of the American coast north of California, 
The furs had been purchased from the natives at Nootka sound. Prince William's 
sound and other points visited, the seamen exchanging for them the merest trifles in 
their possession. Xo care was taken to buy only valuable kinds since they were not 
purchased upon si)eculation ; nor was any thought taken of their preservation, many 
of them being ruined as an article of merchandise by being used for beds and cloth- 
ing. It was only when they reached Petroimulovski and saw how eager the Russians 
were to purchase them and ship them overland to China that the officers realized 
how valuable a cargo they posses.sed. They pursuaded the seamen to cling to their 
furs until they arrived in Canton, where they assured them much better prices would 
be realized. The outcome was that what was aboard the two vessels was sold for more 
than 110,000, and the result so excited the cupidity of the crew, that, though their 
voyage had already been extended over a space of three years and a half, they became 
" possessed with a rage to return to the northern coasts, and, by another cargo of skins, 
to make their fortunes, which was, at one time, not far short of mutiny." The insub- 
ordinate tendencies of the crew were repressed, and the Resolution and Dincorenj 
sailed homeward from Canton, passed around the Cape of Good Hope, and arrived in 
England early in October, 1880, having been absent four years and three months, 
during which time no tidings of them had been received at home, and having lost 
their gallant commander in battle and his able associate by the hand of disease. 

England was at that time engaged in war with both Spain and France, while the 
patriotic struggle of her American colonies for independence was causing her to put 
forth her utmost energy to ui)hold her authority in regions already under her domin- 
ion ; she had neither time nor means to attemj)t anything more in foreign countries 
until her present troubles were overcome, consequently the lords of adniiraltv withheld 
from publication the official record of the voyage until after the conclusiuii i)f peace, 


aud it was not made public until during the winter of 1884-"). B}^ comparison of 
voyages it will be seen that Cook saw no portion of America not previously visited by 
the Spaniards, who had formally taken possession, or by Russian explorers ; but his 
exjjlorations had been so careful, his observations so thorough and his records so 
accurately kept, that he revolutionized the ideas of Pacific geography. 

There remains yet to be recorded a voyage made by the Spaniards contempora- 
neously with that of Cook, though each was conducted in ignorance of the other. The 
discoveries of Heceta and Bodega were considered highly important by the authorities 
of Spain, and they ordered another expedition to be fitted out to make a more thorough 
examination of the coast, which was not ready for sea for three years. The Pi-'mcesa 
and Favorita, the former under the command of Captain Ignacio Arteaga, leader of 
the expedition, and the latter commanded by Bodega and Maurelle, sailed from San 
Bias February 7, 1779, only nine days prior to the death of Cook on the island of 
Hawaii. They visited only such places as had been seen before by Heceta and Bodega, 
following closely the course pursued the previous year by Captain Cook. Mount St. 
Elias having been reached and the coast line being observed to run steadily to the west, 
they were lead, as had been Cook, to look carefully for the Straits of Anian, but, like 
him, were disappointed. Arteaga was not gifted with the qualities that make a suc- 
cessful pioneer, and becoming discouraged at his want of success and by the symptoms 
of scurvy observed among the crew, he ordered both vessels to return to San Bias, 
where they arrived late in November. The observations, records and charts made 
during this voyage were very inaccurate and of but little value, and the expedition 
was productive of no benefit to Sj^ain, nor did it reflect any glory upon the nation ; 
yet the ofiicers were rewarded by promotion for their good conduct. Spain had, in the 
meantime, become involved in war with England and was neither in the condition nor 
mood to pursue further investigations north of her settlements in California until 
peace was restored. 



Cook's Return to England Produces great Results — Russian American Trading Company — Undertaking of John 
Ledyard -Voyage of the French Explorer LaPeroiise The East India, South Sea. and King George's Sound 
Companies Meares Spends a Horrible Winter in the Arctic Regions— Berkeley Discovers the Straits of Fuca 
— Second Voyage of Captain Meares -He Explores the Straits of Fuca and Attempts to Enter the Columbia. 

The lords of admiralty could pigeon-hole the log books of the Eemlutlun and 
Dlscorery, but they could not so easily seal the lijis of their excited crews, whose tales 
of the lands visited, wonderful objects and strange races of people seen, and, above all, of 
the ease with which fortunes could be made, by buying furs on the American coast for 
a song and trading them in China for valuable cargoes of silks, porcelain and tea, 
aroused a universal interest in the Pacific, which only the existing state of hostilities in 
Europe and America was potent to hold in check. The Russians, also, had learned 
much through the contact of their traders with the English explorers, both on the 
island of Ounalaska and at the port of Petropaulovski ; and, being unhampered by 
wars, were the first to take advantage of the discoveries of Cook and i"eap from them 
substantial results. An association called the Russian American Trading Company 
was organized in 1781, and in 1783 an expedition of three vessels was sent to the 
American coast to examine it and plant colonies on the islands and continent as far 
east as Prince William's sound. The exj^edition was absent three years and success- 
fully accomplished its mission. These settlements and the power of the Russian Amer- 
ican Trading Company were gradually extended until through them Russia obtained 
complete control of the Alaskan coast as far south as latitude 54 degrees and 40 
minutes, and exerted great influence in the Pacific, even establishing in later years a 
settlement in California, which will be referred to again in these pages. 

Several unsuccessful efforts were made to open up a trade between the American 
coast and Cliina, especially by John Ledyard, an American seaman who had been one 
of the crew of Cook's vessel. He sought both in America and France to interest cajii- 
talists, but was uusuccessful in his efforts to secure backing in his enterprise. He then 
undertook to cross Russia and Siberia to Kamtehatka, sail thence to Nootka sound, and 
then traverse the American continent to the Atlantic. In furtherance of this scheme 
lie secured a passport from the empress of Russia, and had advanced as far as Irkutsk, 
when he was arrested, conducted to the Polish frontier of Ru.ssia, and released with the 
injunction not to again enter the em])ire. This action was probably instigated by the 
Russian American Trailing Coni})any, which did not relish the idea of a foreigner be- 
coming so familiar with a region which it proposed to monoj)olize foi' its own benefit. 

King Louis XVL, of France, dispatched aii expedition under the ((iinnKiiid of a 
most competent and scientific n;ivig;itni' mnneil LaPerouse, in 178'"), immediately after 


the publication of Cook's journal luul verified the tales of his seamen and infused into 
the commercial world a spirit of adventnre in the Pacific. LaPerouse was instructed 
to "explore the parts of the northwest coasts of America which had not been examined 
by Cook, and of which the Russian accounts gave no idea, in order to obtain intbrma- 
tion resjjecting the fur trade, and also to learn whether, in those unknown parts, some 
river or internal sea might not be found communicating with Hudson's bay or Baffin's 
bay." LaPerouse reached the coast in the vicinity of Mount Fairweather June 23, 
1786, where he remained at anchor several weeks, and then sailed southward, examin- 
ing the coast and discovering that many points formerly considered portions of the 
mainland were, in reality, but parts of islands. Though the first to ascertain this fact 
he received no credit for it, since his vessels were wrecked in the New Hebrides and his 
journal was not published until 1797, several years after other explorers had discovered 
and made known the same facts. 

England's anxiety to further her interests in the Pacific led her to adopt a policy 
which, so far as the American coast was concerned, had the eftect of hampering her 
efforts to secure a foothold on the coast. Notwithstanding the fact that the Hudson's Bay 
Company had been instrumental in checking the general jjrogress of the nation on the 
Atlantic coast, and had headed off or rendered futile all explorations of its territory, 
Great Britain seems not to have learned a lesson from experience and was ready to 
repeat tlie experiment. To the great East India Company she had granted chartered 
rights which have been so well improved that a vast territory, an enormous commerce, 
millions of subjects, in fact a new empire, have been added to the British crown, and 
the queen of England now subscribes herself empress of the Indies. To this com- 
pany was granted the privilege of trading with the Asiatic coast and adjacent islands 
of the Pacific to the complete exclusion of all other British subjects whatever. To a 
new association called the South Sea Company a like exclusive privilege of all the 
commerce of the American coast of the Pacific was given. Thus all independent 
English traders were shut out from the Pacific entirely, and Great Britain was com- 
pelled to rely upon two companies for the advancement of her interests in this 
quarter of the globe ; since no vessels but those of the East India Comjjany could 
carry the English flag around the Cape of Good Hope and none but those of its rival 
could enter the Pacific by the way of Cape Horn. But it was soon found that the 
interests of these two companies were antagonistic and their granted j^rivileges con- 
flicting, when applied to the practical demands of trade. The South Sea Comjiany 
could load its ships with furs at Nootka and Prince William's sound, but it could not 
dispose of them in China ; on the other hand its powerful rival which controlled the 
Chinese market was debarred from sending its vessels to trade for furs on the American 

The first successful voyage was that of James Hanua, an Englishman, who sailetl 
from Macao in 1785, and jirocured a cargo of furs at Nootka sound, which he sold in 
China for $20,000. He repeated the trip the following year, but encountered so much 
opposition from other traders who were then on the coast, and found so poor a market 
in China, which had been glutted with furs, that nothing was realized from the specu- 
lation. In 1785 the King George's Sound Company was organized in]/Englaud and 
procured special permits from the South Sea Company and the East India Company, 


wliifh enabled it to trade in the Pacific waters. The King George and Queen Charlotte 
were dispatched to the AuiL'rican coast under the command of Captains Porthjck and 
Dixon, and traded two years without paying expenses because of the competition and 
overstocked market. Two other vessels were sent by the company, which arrived in 
1787 just before Portlock and Dixon took their departure; but the new discoveries 
made by all these traders were confined to ascertaining that the coast above the 49th 
parallel was fringed by hundreds of large and small islands, and that it was only these 
islands which had been visited by the earlier exjjlorers. 

This led to the idea that the whole northwestern continent was iu fact but an 
immense archipelago of islands, through which it would be possible to reach the 
Atlantic. This was the opinion formed by Captain Meares in 1789, who assigned as 
one of his reasons for holding that belief, that " the channels of this archipelago were 
found to be wide and capacious, with near two hundred fathoms deep of water, and 
huge promontories stretching out into the sea, where whales and sea-otters were seen 
in incredible abundance. In some of these channels there are islands of ice, which 
we may venture to say could never have formed on the western side of America, which 
possesses a mild and moderate climate ; so that their existence cannot be reconciled to 
any other idea, than that they received their formation in the eastern seas, and have 
been drifted by the tides and currents through the passage for whose existence we are 
contending." The intelligent mariner seems to have forgotten the ice encountered by 
Cook in Behring's strait and the terrible winter he himself spent on the Alaskan coast. 

Captain Meares was a lieutenant of the British navy, off duty and on half pay. 
In 1787 the great East India Company fitted out two vessels to trade between Nootka 
sound and China, assigning the NootJca to the command of Meares and the Sea- Otter 
to Lieutenant Walter Tipping. This was the second venture of the company in this 
direction, as two small vessels had been dispatched the year before, which had enjoyed 
a reasonable measure of success. 

The Sea- Otter is known to have reached Prince William's sound, but her voyage 
from that port is hidden in mystery while her ultimate fate is unknown. It is prob- 
able that she and her crew went to the bottom of the sea, for if wrecked upon the 
coast and her crew murdered by the natives, it would seem almost impossible that no 
trace of them should ever have been discovered. The Nootka, also, followed the course 
of the Japan current, crossed the Aleutian group between Ounamak and Ounalaska 
islands, and finally came to anchor in Prince William's sound, with the purpose of 
spending the winter there and resuming the voyage in the spring. During October, 
November and December their stay in the sound was quite endurable, but the horrors 
of an Arctic winter, with which English seamen w^ere entirely unfamiliar, then began 
to crowd upon them. Ice hemmed in the vessel, snow covered it in drifts, all fowl and 
animal life deserted the sound, including the migratory natives who had been living 
there when they arrived. The sickly sun peeped over the horizon's rim but a few 
moments at noon, and then the almost perpetually-falling snow obscured it from view, 
" tremendous mountains forbade almost a sight of the sky, and cast tlieir nncturnal 
fihadows over the ship in the midst of <lay," scurvy, that horrible scourge of the sea, 
began its ravages among the crew, and horrors were " heaped on horror's head." From 
Jannarv to Mav twentv-threc of the men died and the remainder were rendered unfit 


to perform any labor whatever. In May the l)irds and animals returned, the ice dis- 
appeared, the natives once more greeted their stricken visitors, the vessel was released 
from its icy chains, and in June Meares sailed to the Sandwich islands and from there 
to China, having achieved but the honor of being the first English navigator to 
spend the winter on the Alajskan coast. The East India Company were satis- 
fied with these two disastrous voyages, but not so Captain Meares, who began making 
preparations for another visit to the American coast. 

The entrance to the Straits of Fuca were seen for the first time since they were 
entered by the old Greek pilot by Captain Berkeley, an Englishman, though in com- 
mand of a ship belonging to the Austrian East India Company. In sailing south 
from the coast of Vancouver island in his vessel the Imperial Eagle, Captain Berkeley 
noticed a broad opening between latitudes 48 and 49 degrees and just north of Cape 
Flattery, south of which Cook, Bodega and Heceta had made such careful search for 
the reputed passage. Noting the discovery upon his chart but making no effort to 
explore the oldening, Berkeley continued south along the coast and at the Isla de los 
Dolores lost a boat's crew at the hands of Indi'ans almost at the same spot where Bo- 
dega's men had been murdered ; and for this reason he called the unfortunate place 
Destruction island. 

The next voyage of importance was that of the second visit to our coast by Cap- 
tain Meares. In China the Portuguese were given special privileges and exemptions, 
and in order to rea]) the advantage of this two vessels were fitted out at the Portuguese 
port of Macao, near Canton, having nominal captains of that nation and receiving 
permission from the governor to carry the Portuguese flag. Their actual commanders 
were Captain Meares of the ship Felice, and William Douglas of the brig Iphigenin, 
though those gentlemen appear upon the papers simjjly in the capacity of supercar- 
goes. Nor was this alone the object of the use of Portugal's flag, since by so doing 
the act of Parliament excluding all British vessels from the Pacific except those of the 
East India and South Sea companies could be evaded. Greenhow endeavors to prove 
that these two vessels were actually the property of Juan Cavallo, the Portuguese 
whose name ajipears as owner in the ship's papers, and that the Portuguese captains 
were the bona fide commanders of the vessels; and he so far succeeds in his effort as 
to raise a strong presumption that, if such was not the case, these Portuguese were at 
least somethmg more than mere figureheads in the enterprise. The plan of the voy- 
age was for the Felice to go to Nootka sound and coast up and down from that harbor 
exploring the coast and trading with the natives ; the Iphigenia was to proceed at once 
to Cook's inlet and trade southward to Nootka, where one of the vessels was to load 
all the furs and return to Macao, the other to remain there or at the Sandwich islands 
until spring. 

In pursuance of this plan of operations the Felice sailed for Nootka sound in the 
winter of 1787-8, and immediately upon her arrival the construction of a small 
schooner was begun by her crew, to be used for trading along the coast. While this 
work was progressing Meares made a short voyage southward ; but before going he 
secured from Maquinna, the chief, the privilege of erecting a house for the abode and 
protection of the working party left behind. The consideration for this favor was a 
brace of pistols and the free gift of the house and its contents when he took his final 


departure. Tliis shows conrlusivel}' that tlie house was only for temporary occupancy, 
yet Meares, afterwards, in view of subsecjuent events, hiid claim to having made a 
permanent settlement in the name of the king of England ; though how he could have 
done so while acting, even nominally, in the cajiaeity of supercargo of a Portuguese 
vessel, he fails to explain. 

Having built his house, and surrounded it wdth a rampart of earth surmounted 
with a small cannon for the protection of its inmates, Meares sailed south, along the 
coast in search of the passage which had been discovered the previous year by Berkeley. 
On the twenty-ninth of June, 1788, in latitude 48 degrees and 39 minutes, he observed 
a broad inlet, and in his narrative lays claim to its first discovery, by claiming that 
" the fact of the coast along which we were now sailing had not been seen by Captain 
Cook, and we know no other navigator, said to have been this way, except Maurelle," 
though in the introduction to the narrative he mentions the fact of Berkeley's discovery 
the year before. He says: " From the masthead, it was observed to stretch to the 
east by the north, and a clear and unbounded horizon was seen in this direction as far 
as the eye could reach. The strongest curiosity impelled us to enter this strait, which 
we shall call by the name of its original discoverer, John de Fuca." Duffin, mate of 
the Felice, was sent up the strait with a boat's crew of thirteen men and provisions for 
a month. They returned in a week, every one of them suffering from wounds received 
in a conflict with the natives. The boat had proceeded only ten miles up the strait, 
[Meares claimed thirty, but Duffin's statement places it at ten], and had been attacked 
with great ferocity and bravery by the savages who seemed not to care for the destruc- 
tion caused by the fire arms nor to be frightened by the noise they made. They used 
their bows and arrows, clubs, stone bludgeons, spears and slings with great skill and 
effect, so much so that had it not been for the protection afforded by the awning of the 
boat few of the crew would have escaped with their lives. 

Meares then sailed south in search of the Rio de San Roque of Heceta. On the 
fifth of July he observed a headland wliich he called Cape Shoalwater and on ap- 
proaching nearer the coast the next day saw beyond this a promontory which he con- 
ceived to be one side of Heceta's inlet. He says: " After we had rounded the prom- 
ontory- a large bay, as we had imagined, op)ened to our view, that boi'e a very promising- 
appearance, and into it we steered with every encouraging expectation. The high land 
that formed the boundaries of the bay was at a great distance, and a fiat, level country 
occupied the intervening space ; the bay itself took rather a westerly direction. As 
we steered in the water shoaled to nine, eight and seven fathoms, when breakers were 
seen from the deck right ahead, and, from the masthead, they were observed to extend 
across the bay ; we therefore hauled out, and directed .our course to the opposite shore, 
to see if there was any channel or if we could discover any point. The name of Cape 
Disappointment was given to the promontory (Cape Hancock), and the bay obtained 
the title of Deception bay. '•' '•' •^- ■■' We can now with safety assert that there is 
no such river as that of St. Roc exists, as laid down in the Spanish charts. To those 
of Maurelle [ Bodega's pilot ] we made continual reference, but without deriving any 
information or assistance from them. We now reached the opposite side of the bay, 
where disappointment continued to accompany us , and, being almost certain that there 
we .should ol)tain no jilace of shelter for the ship, we bore for a distant headland, kt'ep- 


ing our course within two miles of the shore." The distant headhuid he named Cape 
Lookout, it being the one called Cajie Falcon by the Spaniards and now known as 
Tillamook head. 

Having now " traced every part of the coast which unfavorable weather had pre- 
vented Captain Cook from approaching," Meares returned to Nootka sound, where he 
was soon joined by the Iphigenia, which had been very successful in its traffic with 
the northern natives. The little schooner was then launched, the first vessel con- 
structed on the Northern Pacific coast, and the very appropriate title of Northwest 
America was bestowed upon her. Leaving orders for the schooner and the Iphiyenin 
to winter at Hawaii, Meares sailed in the Felice for China, taking with him all the 
accumulated furs. 

Before Meares quitted Nootka sound, two American vessels entered it, bearing the 
happily-chosen names of Columbia and Washington, the former being a ship an dthe 
latter a sloop. The commerce of the colonies had been entirely destroyed during the 
long struggle for independence, but immediately after the treaty of Ghent the citizens 
of the new republic began to make their presence felt in every commercial mart. The 
seal and whale fishing around Cape Horn was resumed, and as early as 1784 an 
American vessel entered the harbor of Canton, while in 1787 no less than five were 
engaged in the trade with China. Being unencumbered with restrictions such as Eng- 
land had imposed upon all British vessels except those of her chartered monopolies, 
they could embark in the fur trade with every prospect of success, and it was as a ven- 
ture in this direction that the Columbia and Washington were fitted out in Boston and 
dispatched to the Pacific, with an ample supply of such goods and trinkets as were the 
most highly prized by the Indians. John Kendrick was the commander of the Col- 
umbia and leader of the expedition, while the Washington was under the command of 
Robert Gray. 

Soon after entering the Pacific around Cape Horn, in January, 1788, the two vessels 
were separated by a severe gale and were not again united until the following October 
in Nootka sound. The Washington kept her course northward, and in August i-eached 
the Oregon coast near the 46th parallel, where she ran aground while attempting to 
enter an opening in the land which was pi'obably the mouth of the Columbia. After 
repelling an attack of the natives, during which the mate was wounded and one of the 
men killed, the Washington succeeded in again floating into deep water. She then 
went directly to Nootka sound, where were found the Felice, Iphigenia and Northwest 
America, her appearance there being an unexpected surprise to Captain Meares and 
his associates. A few days later the Columbia also entered the sound to join her con- 
sort, having been compelled after the storm near Cape Horn to enter the harbor of 
the Island of Juan Fernandez for repairs, where Captain Kendrick had been most 
courteously treated by the commandant of the Spanish forces stationed there. Meares 
soon sailed to China in the Felice, and the Iphigenia and Northwest America pro- 
ceeded to the Sandwich islands to spend the winter, the two American vessels lying at 
anchor in Nootka sound until the following spring. 



^*^ Vis.*. 








Anxiety of Spain lest her Claims in the Pacific be Overthrown -Voyag-e of Martinez and Haro— Alarming En- 
croachments of the Russians- Spain Dispatches Martinez and Haro to Kootka Sound to Take Possession 
—New Venture of Captain Meares High Handed Conduct of Martinez at Nootka Captains Colnett and 
Hodson Sent to San Bias as Prisoners Gray Explores the Straits of Fuca- Release of Colnett Diplo- 
matic Controversy Between England and Spain. 

The uneasiness felt by England in 1770 when reports reached the kingdom that 
Spain was diligently exploring and colonizing the Pacific coast of America, was now 
experienced in even a greater degree by Spain herself, who saw vessels of foreign 
nations, and especially of her dreaded rival, entering the Pacific from both the 
east and the west. She had not receded in the least degree from the extreme position 
taken by her in the sixteenth century, and not only claimed dominion over all the 
Pacific coast of America, but a complete monopoly of its trade to the exclusion of the 
vessels of all other nations whatever. 

In pursuance of this policy Don Bias Gonzales, the commandant at Juan Fer- 
nandez, was recalled and cashiered by the cajstain general of Chili for his hospitable 
treatment of Captain Kendriek, and this action was endorsed by the viceroy of Peru. 
The delinquent officer was informed that he should have enforced the royal ordinance 
of 1692, which decreed that all foreign vessels of any nation, no matter on how friendly 
terms they might be with Spain, should be seized whenever found in Pacific waters, 
unless they could exhibit a license from the Spanish court. The authorities in all ports 
were then specially instructed to seize all foreign vessels, since no nation had a right 
to any territory in America which made a passage of Cape Horn necessary in 
order to reach it ; and the Spanish viceroy even went so far as to dispatch a cruiser 
from Callao in search of the Coluntbia, with instructions to capture her if possible. 

The Spanish authorities now realized that something must be done to establish 
settlements north of California, their utmost limit at that time being the mission at 
San Francisco. Beyond that, though claiming exclusive authority and dominion, they 
actually knew less of the geography of the coast than either the English or Russians. 
An ex[)edition was accordingly fitted out in Mexico in 1788, to be sent on a voyage of 
iiKjuiry, for the doul)le purpose of learning the extent of Russian settlements in the 
north, and selecting suitable locations for a number of proposed Spanish colonies. 
The fieet consisted of the Princesa, commanded by Estivan Martinez, former pilot of 
Juan Perez, and the Snn Carlos under command of Lieutenant Gonzalo Haro. 

The two consorts .sailed from San Bias March 8, 1788, and reached Prince Wil- 
liam's sound on the twenty-fifth of May, where they lay nearly a month without 
making any attempt at exploration. There was a marked and radical dilTerence 


between the English and Spanish methods of conchicting operations of this chai-acter ; 
for Avhile the latter seemed, either from lack of energy or want of the true spirit of 
the explorer, to be satisfied with an occasional visit to the coast here and there, making 
a few almost valueless notes of what they saw, the English, on the contrary, seemed 
imbued with enthusiasm, exploring the shore carefully, taking continual observations, 
noting every peculiarity, and keeping a record of much geographical and scientific 
value. One of these careful English voyages was worth to the world a dozen such 
skimmings as the Spaniards indulged in. 

About the end of June Haro sailed southwest with the San Carlos and fell in 
with the Island of Kodiak, upon which was a Eussian trading post. From the offi- 
cial in charge, a Greek named Delaref, he received minute information as to the 
character, number and location of all Russian establishments in America. He 
returned to Prince William's sound to join Martinez, who had been amusing himself 
meanwhile by making a few cursory explorations, and the two then sailed for Oun- 
alaska, where they remained nearly a month enjoying the hospitality of the Russian 
traders. With the first signs of coming winter they bade adieu to Alaska and returned 
to San Bias to report to the viceroy. 

According to the statement given by them and forwarded to Madrid, there were 
eight Russian settlements on the coast, all situated west of Prince William's sound, 
while one was then being established in that locality ; and these were occupied by 252 
subjects of the empress, chiefly natives of Siberia and Kamtchatka. It was also 
rejiorted that information had been received of two vessels which had been dispatched 
to Nootka sound to effect a settlement, and of two others then being constructed at 
Ochotsk for a similar purpose. The court of Spain was much agitated by this infor- 
mation. It revealed a state of affairs highly prejudicial to the interests of Spain on 
our coast. Already Russia had made settlements such as gave her title to the Alaskan 
regions and was developing alarming symptoms of a purpose to establish herself still 
further to the southward. Though the presence of English and American traders 
on the coast was annoying in the extreme, the conduct of Russia was positively alarm- 
ing, and Spain realized that nothing but heroic remedies instantly applied would be 
at all effective to ward off the impending danger. 

A communication was at once forwai'ded to the empress of Russia, remonstrating 
against the encroachments of her subjects upon the dominions of Spain, to which was 
replied that Russian subjects in America were acting under instructions not to 
invade the territory of other nations ; but as neither the remonstrance nor the reply 
defined the limit claimed for their respective dominions, nothing definite was settled 
by the correspondence between the two powers. While this piece of diplomacy was 
being indulged in by the home government, the viceroy in Mexico was applying the 
heroic remedy. Early in 1789 he dispatched Martinez and Haro in their two vessels 
to take possession of Nootka sound, instructing them to treat all foreigners with cour- 
tesy, but to maintain the authority of Spain and her right of dominion at all hazards. 
Meanwhile other vessels were headed for Nootka sound. The IpJugenia and 
JVorthwest America, having spent the winter at Hawaii, and still sailing under the 
Portuguese flag and license, reaching the port in April in a most deplorable condition, 
so much so that they had to procure supplies and means for continuing their trade 


■with the natives from the two American vessels still lying there. ^leares had upon 
his return to China formed a trading- arrangement with the representatives of the King 
George's Sound Company, and in the spring dispatched the Argonaut and Princess 
Royal to Nootka, remaining himself in China to conduct the company's affairs there 
in person. Since these vessels were provided with licences from both the East India 
and the South Sea companies, the Portuguese flag was dispensed with, and they sailed 
under the British colors. 

On the sixth of May, 178U, the Princexa anchored at Xootka, finding there the 
CoUmibia and Iphigenia, the other two being absent on a trading voyage along the 
coast. Martinez at once notified Captains Douglas and Kendrick of his intention to 
take possession in the name of the king of Spain, examined their papers, and then 
landed and began the erection of a fort in a commanding position on a small island 
in the bay. No objection was made to these proceedings and the utmost cordial rela- 
tions existed for sometime between the representatives of the three great nations. 
Douglas still pi-eserved the Portuguese character of the Iphigenia, displayed that flag 
at her masthead, and even paid Martinez for supplies furnished by him in bills drawn 
upon Juan Cavallo, the reputed Portuguese owner of the vessel, ignorant of the fact 
that the Macao merchant had become bankrupt and that Meares had transferred the 
whole expedition into English hands and discarded the Portuguese feature. 

A week later, on the fourteenth of May, Captain Haro arrived in the San Carlos, 
and the next day Captain Viana and Supercargo Douglas were invited by Martinez to 
visit his ship. When the guests entered the cabin of the Princesa they were told to 
consider themselves prisoners, while at the same time the brig was taken possession of 
by the Spaniards. On the twenty-sixth of May the Iphigenia was released upon the 
signing by her officers of a paper certifying that they had been kindly treated and not 
interfered with by the Spaniards. The Iphigenia then sailed up the coast, procured a 
valuable cargo of furs, and returned to China, where Douglas severed his connection 
with the vessel. From this circumstance and the fact that she continued to sail under 
the Portuguese flag it would seem evident that she was in reality a genuine Portuguese 
vessel, and had not been included by Meares in his new arrangement with the King 
( George's Sound Company. This being the case it is evident that upon her actions, or 
those of her two consorts the previous year, no claim could be founded by England, 
yet such was done and persistently adhered to, on the ground that the vessels were 
actually British though nominally Portuguese in their character. 

On the eighth of June, subsequent to the release and departure of the Ijjhii/cnia. 
the little Xorthirest America sailed into port, carrying the Portuguese flag, and was im- 
mediately seized by the Spanish commandant. A few days later the Princess Royal 
arrived from Macao, with the British ensign displayed at her masthead. When 
Martinez learned from Captain Hodson that Cavallo luid failed, he declared that he 
would hokl the little schooner for what was due him on the bills drawn by Douglas, 
and releasing the crew from custody and permitting them to place the greater (juantity 
of their furs on board the Princess ^o/ya/, he dispatched the schooner on a trading- 
voyage under the command of one the mates of the Columbia. 

The Priwrxx Royal sailed from No!)tka on the second of July, and the same dav 
the J /y/ry//c////, commanded by Captain Colnett, entered, though not till the captain was as- 


sured by Martinez that it was i^erfectlv safe for him to do so, his timidity being caused 
by information imjmrted to him of the conduct of Martinez in relation to the Ip/iiffenia 
and Northioest America. Having entered the bay and anchored between the Prinn-m and 
San Carlos, Captain Cohiett arrayed himself in full uniform and boarded the Princesa in 
accejjtance of an invitation from Martinez to pay him a visit and exhibit his papers. 
He descended into the cabin and a most stormy interview ensued between him and the 
Spanish commandant. Colnett informed Martinez that it was his jsurpose and inten- 
tion to occupy Nootka sound in the name of King George of England, and to erect 
suitable fortifications for its defense ; and was in turn notified that such action on his 
part would not be tolerated, since Spain had already taken possession. The English 
captain became angry and asserted his intention to carry out his purpose in the face of 
all opposition, whereupon Martinez sent for a file of marines and made him a prisoner; 
at the same time a detachment boarded the Argonaut and took possession of her in the 
name of the king of Spain, making prisoners of the entire crew. A few days later the 
Princess Royal appeared at the entrance to the sound, and was instantly boarded by 
the Spaniards and brought into port as a prize. On the thirteenth of July Colnett, 
with all his officers and the greater portion of the cajjtured crews, was placed on board 
the Argonaut and sent as a prisoner to San Bias. The other ship was supplied with a 
complement of officers and men from the Spanish vessels, and was employed for two 
years in the service of Spain. The officers and crew of the Northioest America, 
together with some of the seamen on board the other vessels, were sent to China in the 
Columhia, the American captain receiving a portion of the furs captured with the 
Princess Royal in payment of their passage. 

During all these troubles the two American vessels were unmolested, their com- 
manders mediating frequently between the contending parties, though generally to 
little purpose. The Columbia remained continuously at Nootka, while her smaller 
consort traded and explored up and down the coast and collected a valuable cargo of 
furs. Captain Gray sailed in the Washington through the straits between Queen Char- 
lotte island and the main land, and called the former Washington island, though the 
name seems to have lacked adhesive properties. He also sailed up the Straits of Fuca 
a distance of fifty miles, the Washington being the first vessel to actually enter and ex- 
plore that great outlet of Puget sound. Early in the fall Captains Kendrick and 
Gray exchanged vessels, the latter sailing in the Columbia for China with a large cargo 
of furs and the passengers sent by Martinez, while Kendrick remained on the coast 
with the Washington to prosecute the business of collecting peltry from the natives. 
In September Martinez and Haro took their departure in obedience to instructions re- 
ceived from the viceroy, and Nootka was left without a claimant. 

The Argonaut with its load of English prisoners reached San Bias on the sixteenth 
of August. The commandant at that port, who was Bodega y Quadra, the explorer, 
treated Captain Colnett with great courtes}^ and soon afterwards sent him to Mexico, 
where the merits of his case were inquired into officially by the viceroy. It was finally 
decided that Martinez, though simply carrying out the letter of his instructions, had 
acted somewhat injudiciously, and that the prisoners should be released^'and the cap- 
tured vessels restored. Consequently Captain Colnett sailed in the Argonaut for 
Nootka sound in the spring of 1790, and failing to find the Princess Royal set out in 




search of her, and did not succeed in obtaining possession until a j^ear hiter at the 
Sandwich islands. 

The release of Colnett and the restoration of his damaged vessels was by no 
means the end of the Nootka affair. England and Spain engaged in a diplomatic 
controversy in regard to it, which seriously threatened to involve Europe in a general 
war, and that dreadful result was only avoided by the mutual dislike of both nations 
to precipitate such a bloody conflict. France, Spain and England had not yet recov- 
ered from their recent struggle, and none of them were anxious to renew the contest. 

The Columbia arrived in China with intelligence of the Nootka seizures late in 
the fall of 1789, and Meares, arming himself with statements and depositions in regard 
to the affair, hastened to England, to seek redress for his wrongs and losses. He 
arrived in April and found negotiations already in progress. Spain had undertaken 
to assert at home the same ideas of universal supremacy in the Pacific that had been 
the sole cause of trouble at Nootka, and had sent a communication to the king of Eng- 
land on the tenth of February, notifying him that certain of his subjects had been 
infringing upon her exclusive rights on the American coast, that in consequence the 
ship Argonaut had been seized as a prize and her crew imprisoned, and strongly pro- 
testing against his majesty permitting any of his subjects to either make settlements or 
engage in fishing or trade on the American coast of the Pacific, and demanding pun- 
ishment of all such offenders. England's reply to this liaughty demand was charac- 
teristic of that nation, which has always kept a protecting arm around its citizens in 
every quarter of the globe. It was brief and to the point, notifying the court of 
Madrid that since it was evident from the Spanish protest that English subjects had 
been imprisoned and their property confiscated, proper satisfaction for the insult and 
reparation of the injury must be made before the merits of the controversy would be 
inquired into. The tone of the reply was so belligerent that Spain at once began to 
prepare for war, but to avoid this if possible concluded to modify her demands, and 
notified England that if his majesty would in future keep his subjects out of the Span- 
ish dominions, she would let the matter drop where it was. 

Soon after this Meares arrived in England with his version of the affair, which 
placed it in entirely a new light. Two large fleets were ordered to be fitted for war, 
and a statement of the affair together with the correspondence with Spain was submit- 
ted to parliament, which voted ample supplies and endorsed the most vigorous meas- 
ures for upholding the rights and maintaining the honor of England. A demand was 
made upon Spain for satisfaction. Much controversy followed — messages flying back- 
wards and forwards for three months, during which Europe was kept in a high state 
of excitement. England made full preparations for a descent upon the Spanish set- 
tlements in America, and assembled the greatest armament the nation had ever put 
forth. She formed an alliance with Sweden and the Netherlands in anticipation of 
the union of Spain and France against her, since it was a well-known fact that a fam- 
ily compact for mutual aid existed between the members of the Bourbon familj- occu- 
jtying the thrones of those two kingdoms. The king of Spain formally called upon 
Louis XVI. of France, for the promised aid, but the nation was even then tottering on 
the l)rink of that horrible abyss of revolution into which it soon plunged, and the 
doomed monarch was powerless. The national assemldy investigated the treat\% sug- 


gested that a new and more definite one be made, and ordered an increase of the navy, 
but offered Spain no encouragement that assistance would be given her. Englaiid's 
northern allies were in no condition to render her material aid, her exchequer was 
exhausted by her great preparations for war, serious trouble was brewing in the East 
Indies, and the threatening aspect of affairs in France warned her that to form a pro- 
tective alliance with Spain would be far wiser than to go to war. All these consider- 
ations caused Great Britain to recede from her bellicose position and secretly seek the 
mediation of France. After much negotiation the treaty of Nootka was signed 
October 28, 1790, and the threatened war was averted. 

The treaty stipulated that all buildings and tracts of land on the northwest coast 
of America of which Spanish officers had dispossessed any British subjects should be 
restored ; that just reparation should be made by both j^arties to the agreement for any 
acts of violence committed by the subjects of either of them upon the subjects of the 
other ; that any property seized should be restored or compensated for ; that subjects of 
Great Britain should not approach within ten leagues of any part of the coast already 
occupied by Spain ; that north of that point both parties should have equal rights, at; 
well as south of the limits of Spanish settlements in South America. These were the 
general features of the convention between the two nations, and were very distasteful 
to a large party in parliament, who opposed the treaty on the ground that England 
gained nothing and lost much ; that formerly British subjects claimed and fully exer- 
cised the right of settlement and trade in the Pacific, whereas England had now 
restricted herself to limits and conditions exceedingly detrimental to her commerce and 
general interests. The treaty, however, was sustained by the administration majority 
in Parliament. 



Ene;land Sends Vancouver to the Pacific -Kendrick Sails Around Vancouver Island in the "Washington" - 
Spain Again Takes Possession of Nootka and Explores the Coast -Lieutenant Quimper Explores the 
Entrance to Puget Sound- Malaspina Searches for the Straits of Anian Second Voyage of the "Colum- 
bia" Gray Builds the "Adventure" at Cloyoquot Spain Investigates the Desirability of Holding Nootka - 
Arrival of Vancouver His Opinion that no such Stream as the Columbia Could Exist Captain Gray Enters 
the Columbia Vancouver Explores and Names Puget Sound— Negotiations at Nootka Broughton Explores 
the Columbia— Vancouver . in 1793 and 1794- Northwest Company Organized Mackenzie's Journey to the 

Commissioners were ap])ointed by England and Spain to proceed to Xootka and 
execute that portion of the treaty referring to the restoration of property. Captain 
Geoi-ge Vancouver was selected by Great Britain for that service, and given instruc- 
tions to explore the coast thoroughly, and especially to " examine the supposed Strait 
of Juan de Fuca, said to be situated between the 48th and 49th degrees of north lati- 
tude, and to lead to an opening through wliich the sldop Wdxh'nujtmi is rejiorted to 


have passed in 1789, and to have come out again to tlie nortliwai-d of Xootka." In 
]\Iarcli, 1791, Vanconver sailed in the slooj) of war Discovery accompanied by Lieu- 
tenant W. R. Broughton in the armed tender Chatham, both vessels being armed for 
war and equipped for a long voyage, and did not reach Nootka until a year later. 

In the fall of 1789, subsequent to the departure of Gray in the Columbia, Captain 
Kendriek passed with the Washington, entirely through the Straits of Fuca and between 
Vancouver island and the mainland of British Columbia, the American flag being thus 
the first to wave over the waters of that great inland sea. It was this passage of the 
Waah inxjton which is referred to in the extract given above of the instructions of the 
lords of admiralty to Captain Vancouver. 

In the spring of 1790 the Mexican viceroy dispatched a fleet to again take pos- 
session of Nootka, under the command of Captain Francisco Elisa, the fiery Martinez 
having been removed. Nootka was, therefore, in full jjossession of the Spaniards dur- 
ing the time England and Spain were conducting their negotiations. Upon resuming 
possession of Nootka, Spain began a series of short voyages of exploration, more j^ar- 
ticularly to ascertain what settlements were being made by the Russians or other 
foreigners than to accomplish anything of geographical value. The most important of 
these was that of Lieutenant Quimper, who sailed from Nootka in the summer of 1790, 
in the Princess Royal, which had not yet been restored to Captain Colnett, and entered 
the Straits of Fuca a distance of 100 miles, carefully examining both shores of the 
passage. He penetrated into the entrance of Puget sound, but was prevented by 
lack of time from exploring the numerous arms which he observed branching oft' in 
all directions, many of them evidently extending inland to a great distance. Upon 
some of these he bestowed names, none of which are now used except Canal de 
Guemes and Canal de Haro. 

The next most important was that of Captains Malaspina and Bustamente in the 
Descubierta and Atrevida. During the controversy over the Nootka seizures, the 
romance of Maldonado about the Straits of Anian was rescued from the obscurity into 
which it had long since passed, and received the endorsement of many able persons. 
In consequence of this the expedition was fitted out by Spain to ascertain the truth of 
the narrative, and was dispatched to the coast in the summer of 1791 Malaspina 
carefully explored the shore line in the region of the 60th parallel, where Maldonado 
located the passage, and became convinced that there could be no strait leading through 
the chain of mountains which bordered the const. He then ]iroceeded to Nootka, 
Avhere he arrived in August. 

During this time the coast was visited by one French, nine English and >iQ\Qn 
American trading vessels. As their objects were purely commercial, little was accom- 
2)lished l)y any of them in the line of new discoveries of importance, though each 
added a little to the fast-growing knowledge of the coast. There was one, however, 
an American vessel, Avhich made the greatest discovery on the coast, and added to the 
territories of the United States the vast region which, sneered at and reviled for years, 
now has unstinted praise showered upon it from the four corners of the globe, and 
like the stone the builders rejected at the temple of the magnificent Solomon, seems 
about to be made the corner stone and crowning glory of the Union. This vessel was 
the Columbia, commanded by Captain Robi-rt Gray. Passing over the V(\vages of 


other traders and all immaterial details, we proceed directly to the valuable discoveries 
made by Gray. 

The Columbia sailed from Boston on her second visit to the Pacific on the twenty- 
eighth of Sejitember, 1790, reached the coast in June, and traded and explored among 
the islands and inlets about Queen Charlotte's island until September. She then sailed 
down thecoast to Cloyoquot, north of the entrance to the Straits of Fuca, where a landing 
Avas etfected and the winter passed in a fortified structure which was called Fort Defi- 
ance. During the winter Gray constructed at Cloyoquot a small vessel which he named 
the Adventure, to be used in collecting furs from the natives. This was the second 
vessel built on the Northern Pacific coast, the first being the Xorthu-est America, con- 
structed by ]Meares at Nootka in 1788. In the spring the Adventure was dispatched 
on a trading expedition to the north, while Gray sailed southward along the coast on 
a voyage of exploration. 

Early in the spring of 1792 the viceroy of Mexico' took energetic steps to deter- 
mine the question of whether the settlement at Nootka was worth contending for, in 
view of the expected arrival of Captain Vancouver. If there was a navigable north- 
west passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, then a station at that point would be 
invaluable to the interests of Spain, but if the continent was continuous, so that all 
vessels would be compelled to enter the Pacific from the south, an establishment in so 
high an altitude would not be of sufficient importance to make a contest for its posses- 
sion advisable. To ascertain these facts a vessel was dispatched to search for the Eio 
de los Reyes in the latitude of 53 degrees, two others were to explore and ascertain the 
exact nature of tlie Straits of Juan de Fuca, while a fourth was instructed to seek along 
the coast of the mainland further to the southward for a suitable location to which to 
remove in case the settlement at Nootka should be abandoned. At the same time 
Cajjtain Bodega y Quadra proceeded to Nootka as commissioner to meet Captain Van- 
couver and fulfill the terms of the treaty, with instructions to abandon Nootka if he 
deemed it necessary and remove all Spanish subjects to the new location further south. 

In April the Discovery and Chatham arrived off" the coast in the vicinity of Cape 
Mendocino, and sailed slowly northward, careful observations being taken and a strict 
examination being made of the shore for the discovery of harbors or navigable rivers 
and especially the river of Martin de Aguilar. A i^oint which he conceived to be the 
Cape Blanco indicated on the Spanish charts, Vancouver marked down upon his 
own chart as Cape Orford. The next instance worthy of note was his passage of the 
mouth of the Columbia, which was indicated on the Sj)anish charts he carried as Heceta 
inlet or the entrance to the Rio de San Roque, Avhile on his English map it was noted 
as the Deception bay of Captain Meares. On the twenty-seventh of April he recorded 
in his journal : " Noon brought us up with a cons2:)icuous point of land comj^osed of a 
cluster of hummocks, moderately high and projecting into the sea. On the south side 
of this promontory was the apjDcarance of an inlet, or small river, the land not indica- 
ting it to be of any great extent, nor did it seem to be accessible to vessels of our 
burthen, as .the breakers extended from the above point two or three miles into the 
ocean, until they joined those on the beach nearly four leagues further south. (~)n 
reference to Mr. Meares's description of the coast south of this promontory, I was at 
first induced to believe it to be Cape Shoalwater, but on ascertaining its latitude, I pi'e- 

y6 *- 


sumod it to be that which he calls Cape Disappointment ; and the oi)ening to the south 
of it Deception bay. This cape was found to be in latitude 46° 19', longitude 286° 6' 
[He reckoned east from Greenwich.] The sea now changed from its natural to river 
coloured water ; the probable consequence of some streams falling into the bay, or into 
the ocean to the north of it, through the low land. Not considering this opening- 
worthy of more attention, I continued our pursuit to the N. W., being desirous to em- 
brace the advantages of the prevailing breeze and pleasant weather, so favorable to our 
examination of the coast." 

Vancouver rounded Cape Disappointment and continued up the shore. He says : 
" The country before us presented a most luxuriant landsca^^e, and was probably not a 
little heightened in value by the weather that prevailed. The more interior parts were 
somewhat elevated, and agreeably diversified with hills, from which it gradually de- 
scended from the shore, and terminated in a sandy beach. The whole had the appear- 
ance of a continued forest extending north as far as the eye could reach, which made 
me very solicitous to find a port in the vicinity of a country presenting so delightful a 
prospect of fertility ; our attention was therefore earnestly directed to this object." At 
one time he was of the opinion that Shoalwater bay presented a suitable harbor, but 
renounced the belief upon attempting to enter the bay and failing because of the jjres- 
ence of an unbroken line of breakers. They passed Gray's harbor in the night, and 
after noting the position of Destruction island and observing Mount Olympus, " the 
most remarkable mountain we had seen on the coast of New Albion," fell in with the 
Columbia a few miles south of the Straits of Fuca. 

Vancouver sent an officer to the American vessel to glean information from 
its commander, who hesitated not to tell all he knew of the coast. Among other things 
the English captain notes in his journal : " He likewise informed them of his having 
been off the mouth of a river in the latitude 46° 10\ where the outset, or reflux, was 
so strong as to prevent his entering for nine days. This was probably the opening 
passed by us on the forenoon of the twenty-seventh; and was, apparently, inaccessible, 
not from tlii' current, but from the breakers which extended across it." That Gray 
must have made this effort to enter the Columbia sometime the previous year is evident 
from the fact that Vancouver states that he was " now commencing his summer's trade 
along the coast to the southward." The above remarks show plainly that Vancouver 
had no faith in the existence of such a stream as Aguilar's river, Rio de 8an Roque, 
Oregon, or River of the West, and this is rendered more certain by an entry in his 
journal made upon reaching Cape Flattery, that there "was not the least appearance of 
a safe or secui-e harbour, either in that latitude, or from it southward to Cape Mendo- 
cino ; notwithstanding that, in that space, geographers had thought it expedient to 
furnish many. '■' '■■ ''' So minutely had this extensive coast been inspected, 
that the surf had been constantly seen to break ui)on its shores from the masthead; 
and it was but in a few small intervals only, where our distance precluded its being- 
visible fi'om the deck. Whenever tlie weather i)revented our making free with the 
shore, or on our hauling off for the night, the return of fine weather and of daylight 
uniformly brought us, if not to the identical spot we had departed from, at least within 
a few miles of it, and never beyond the northern limits of the coast which we had 
|>rcviously seen. An exuinination so dii-ectcd, and circuinstances hap]iily concui'rin;^- 


to permit its being so exeeuted, aiforded the most complete opportunity of determining 
its various turnings and windings. '■■ * '■■■ It must be considered as a 
very singular circumstance that, in so great an extent of sea coast, we should not until 
now [He was in the Straits of Fuca] have seen the api^earance of any opening in its 
shores which presented any certain jjrospect of affording shelter ; the whole coast 
forming one compact, solid, and nearly straight barrier against the sea. The river 
Mr. Gray mentioned should, from the latitude he assigned to it, have existence in the 
bay, south of Cape Disappointment. This we passed on the forenoon of the twenty- 
seventh ; and, as I then observed, if any inlet or river should be found, it must be a 
very intricate one, and inaccessible to vessels of our burthen, owing to the reefs 
and broken water which then appeared in its neighborhood. Mr. Gray stated that 
he had been several days attempting to enter it, which at length he was unable to 
effect, in consequence of a very strong outset. This is a phenomenon difficult to ac- 
count for, as, in most eases where there are outsets of such strength on a sea coast, there 
are corresponding tides setting in. Be that however as it may, I was thoroughly con- 
vinced, as were also most persons of observation on board, that we could not possibly 
have passed any safe navigable ojiening, harbour, or place of security for shipping on 
this coast, from Cape Mendocino to the promontory of Classet (Cape Flattery); nor had 
we any reason to alter our opinions." Such was the deliberate conclusion of this dis- 
tinguished navigator after a thorough and searching examination of the coast, and yet 
within the limits he thus declares to be barren of harbors or navigable rivers are to be 
found the harbors of Humboldt bay, Trinidad bay, Crescent City, Port Orford, 
Coquille river, Coos bay, Yaquiua bay, Columbia river, Shoalwater bay and Gray's 

Had it not been for the persevering zeal of an American, the C'olumbia might 
have listened solely to "his own dasbings" for many years to come, since such a 
decided statement from so competent an officer of his majesty's navy would have been 
received as finally settling the question of the existence of such a stream and have put 
an end to all search for one in that locality. Gray had his own ideas on the subject, 
and proposed to carry them out in spite of the adverse opinion of the British captain. 
He continued his voyage down the coast, and on the seventh of May entered a bay in 
latitude 46 degrees and 48 minutes, where he lay at anchor three days. This he chris- 
tened Bulfinch's harbor, in honor of one of the owners of the Columbia, but it was 
called Gray's harbor by Captain Vancouver in memory of the discoverer, and retains 
that honorable title to the present day. 

Gray rounded Cape Disappointment early on the morning of the eleventh of ^lay, 
and the weather being favorable, set all sail and stood boldly in among the high rolling 
breakers whose threatening aspect had intimidated both ^Nleares and Vancouver and 
caused them to assert that they were impassable. With great nautical skill and superl) 
judgment, he followed accurately the channel of the stream, and at one o'clock anchored 
" in a large river of fresh water," at a distance of ten miles from the guarding line of 
breakers. Here he spent three days in filling his casks with fresh water and in trading 
with the natives who swarmed about the vessel in canoes, the Chinook village being 
close by on the river bank. He then sailed up stream "upwards of twelve or fifteen 
miles," but having unfortunately missed the main channel was unable to proceed further, 


and dropped down again to the nioutli of the river. Having execnted some much- 
ueeded repairs on the vessel, he took advantage of a favorable breeze on the twentieth 
and crossed over the bar to the open sea. To this great stream which he entered May 
11, 1792, Gray gave the name borne by his vessel, Columbia, while the bluffy point to 
the north of the entrance, which had been named Cape San Roque by Heceta and Cape 
Disappointment by Meares, he called Cape Hancock in honor of that revered patriot 
whose bold signature was the first on the declaration of independence. The name of 
Adams, the patriotic statesman of Massachusetts and vice president of the republic, he 
bestowed upon the low point to the south which had been designated l\v Heceta as Cape 

The (Mumhia sailed northward to the east coast of Queen Charlotte island, where 
she ran upon a sunken ledge of rocks and barely escaped total destruction. She 
managed, however, to reach Nootka sound in a badly damaged condition, where she 
was again made tight and seaworthy by her carpenters. To Captain Bodega y Quadra 
the Spanish commissioner who was awaiting the arrival of Vancouver, Gray gave a 
chart showing the entrance to Bulfinch's harbor and the Columbia, and in conjunction 
with Josejih Ingraham who had been mate of the Columbia during the Nootka difficul- 
ties and who was now captain of the Hope then lying in the harbor, made a statement 
of the difficult}' between Colnett and Martinez, wdiich Bodega retained for the inspec- 
tion of Vancouver. Gray and Ingraham then sailed for home by the way of Canton. 

Meanwhile Vancouver had been making many important explorations. With his 
two vessels he entered the Straits of Fuca on the twenty-ninth of April and proceeded 
slowly inward, making a careful examination as he progressed. In his explora- 
tions of the straits and Puget sound, so named in honor of one of the officers of his 
vessel, he consumed two months, carefully examining every inlet and arm of the great 
inland sea. Many of the familiar names of that region were bestowed by him ; such m 
New Dungeuess, from a fancied resemblance to Dungeness in the British channel ; Port 
Discovery, in liouoi' of his own vessel ; Port Townsend, as a compliment to " the noble 
Marquis of that name;" Mount Baker; Mount Rainier, in honor of Rear Admiral 
Rainier ; Hood's channel, after Lord Hood; Port Orchard, the name of the officer who 
discovered it ; Admiralty inlet ; Vashon island, after Captain Vashon of the navy ; 
Possession sound, where he landed on the fourth of June and took possession in the 
name of King George of England; Whidbey island, after one of his lieutenants ; Decej)- 
tion pass; Burrard's channel, in compliment to Sir Harry Burrard ; Bellingham bay ; 
Bute's channel. To the whole body of water to which access was had by way of the 
Straits of Fuca he gave the name of Gulf of Georgia, in honor of his sovereign, while 
the main land surrounding it and reaching south to the 45th parallel, or Xew xllbion, 
was distinguished by the title of New Georgia. 

As he emerged from Puget sound to proceed northward through the u{)per por- 
tion of the Gulf of Georgia, he fell in with the two Spanish vessels that had been dis- 
patched early in the spring by the viceroy to explore the Straits of Fuca. Between 
the commanders of these rival vessels many courtesies w^ere exchanged, and, being on 
the same errand, they for a time pursued their explorations together. After parting 
t'ompany with the Spaniards, Vancouver proceeded northward, exploring the of 
the mainland, until he reached Queen Charlotte island, near which both the Z)/.s"- 


corery and Cliuthaiii grounded on the rocks. They were skillfully extricated from 
their perilous position and taken to Xootka sound. 

Upon his arrival there, whither the two Spanish vessels had preceded him, \im- 
couver opened negotiations with Bodega y Quadra in regard to restoration of lands 
provided for in the treaty. The only houses and lands which British subjects had 
ever possessed in any form, were the temporary structure Meares had erected for his 
men while engaged in building the Northwest America, and the small tract of land 
upon which it stood. Though all vestige of this habitation had disappeared before 
Martinez had taken possession in 1789, still Quadra expressed his willingness to sur- 
render the tract of land to Vancouver, but the English commissioner demanded pos- 
session of the whole of Nootka sound and Cloyoquot. This Quadra refused to give, 
and Vancouver refused to compromise his government by receiving less, and sent an 
oflB.cer to England by the way of China with information of the condition of affairs. 
Between Vancouver and Quadra personally the utmost cordial relations existed, and 
since the land upon which Nootka stood had been found to be an island, they agreed 
to have the " honors easy" in naming it. It was therefore entered upon the explorer's 
chart as the Island of Quadra and Vancouver, but is now and has been for years 
known only as Vancouver island. 

The Daedalus having arrived from England with supplies, Vancouver sailed from 
Nootka with the three vessels to explore Gray's harbor and the Columbia, having 
received from Quadra the description of those places left with him by Captain Gray. 
On the eighteenth of October, 1792, the Daedalus, commanded by Lieutenant Whidbey, 
entered Gray's harbor, while the two consorts continued to the Columbia. On the 
morning of the nineteenth the Chatham and Discovery attemj)ted the passage of the 
bar, the former crossing safely, but the latter hauling off for fear there was not a suf- 
ficient dejith of water. This circumstance led Vancouver to record in his journal that 
his " former opinion of this port being inaccessible to vessels of our burthen was now 
fully confirmed, with this exception, that in very fine weather, with moderate winds, 
and a smooth sea, vessels not exceeding four hundred tons might, so far as we were 
enabled to judge, gain admittance." It was while lying at anchor off the bar that he 
gained a view of a "high, round snow mountain" far up the stream, which he named 
Mount St. Helens, in honor of his Britanic majesty's ambassador at the court of 

The first sound that saluted the commander of the Chatham upon crossing the 
bar was the report of a cannon, which was answered in a similar manner by Lieuten- 
ant Broughton. It came from a Bristol brig called the Jenny, lying in a sheltered 
bay within the mouth of the stream, which has ever since been known as Baker's bay 
in honor of the captain of that little craft. This made the second vessel to enter the 
river before the representatives of Great Britain undertook to explore it. The Chat- 
ham lay in the river several days, during which time Broughton ascended the stream 
in a boat some 120 miles, as far as a poir.r which he named in honor of the commander 
of the expedition, being the same upon wnich Fort Vancouver was afterwards built l>y 
the Hudson's Bay Company. During his stay he formally " took possession of the 
river and the country in its vicinity in his Britanic majesty's name, having every rea- 
son to believe that the subjects of no other civilized nation or state had ever entered 






























this river hefbre." Tlie closing portion of this sentence sounds strangely from one 
who had in his possession at the time he penned it the rough chart made by Gray, 
which had been the cause of his being there at all. It is explained by saying that he 
affected to consider the broad estuary near the mouth of the stream as no portion of 
the river, and that in consequence Gray had not entered the river proper. This 
strained construction England maintained in the after controversy with the United 
States aljout the rights of discovery. 

Vancouver remained in the Pacific two years longer, spending the summers of 
1793 and 1794 in carefully exploring the coast of the mainland above Queen Char- 
lotte island, searching every cove and inlet for a passage to the Atlantic, until he 
became as thoroughly convinced that there was no such passage as he had been that 
no such river as the Columbia existed. Meanwhile negotiations were carried on 
between England and Spain in regard to Nootka, and those two nations having allied 
themselves against France, the Xootka affair was dropped. In the spring of 1795 the 
Spaniards abandoned Nootka sound forever, the question of possession never having 
been settled, and thus the whole affiiir ended. 

When the independence of her American colonies was granted by England, that 
nation was left without any representative in North America by whom her dominion 
could be extended westward, exce2:)t the Hudson's Bay Company, which organization 
was more deeply interested in maintaining the vast region to the west and north as a 
fur-bearing wilderness than in adding new jewels to the British crown. It was only 
when a rival to the great monopoly grew up and threatened to carry on successful op- 
position that the old company adopted a more aggressive policy. 

As early as 1775 a few Montreal traders had pushed as far west as the Saskatchewan 
and Athabaska rivers, and opened up a successful trade, which was carried on for some 
years by independent traders. At last, in 1784, because of inability to contend and 
compete with the monopoly as individuals, these traders combined together as the 
Northwest Company of Montreal. This company operated in a most practical manner, 
its agents all being interested partners, and soon became an organization of much 
wealth and power. The company steadily pushed its agents and stations westward, and 
energetically extended the limits of its operations. In 1778 a station had been estab- 
lished on Athabaska river, some 1200 miles northwest of Lake Superior, but in 1788 
this was abandoned and Fort Chipewyan built on Lake Athabaska, which became the 
base of the company's operations in the extreme west. Traders extended their opera- 
tions westward to the Rocky mountains, called by them Shining mountains or Moun- 
tains of Bright Stones. 

In 1789 Alexander Mackenzie, the gentleman in charge of Fort Chipewyan, dis- 
covered the Mackenzie river where it issues from Great Slave lake, and followed down 
its whole course to the Arctic ocean. The same gentleman started in October, 1792, to 
cross the continent to the Pacific. He passed up Peace river and camped until spring 
at the base of the Rocky mountains, engaging in trade. In June, 1793, he crossed the 
mountains, and descended in canoes a large river a distance of 250 miles. This he 
called the Tacoutcliee-Tassee, and after the discovery of the Columbia was announced 
it was supposed to be identical with that great stream, until in 1812 Simon Fraser 
traced it to the ocean and called it Eraser's river. Upon leaving this stream ^lac- 


kenzie eoutiiiued westward some 200 miles and cauglit sight of the oceau July 22, 1793, 
being the first Caucasian, and possibly the first human being, to cross America overland 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific north of Mexico. The 25lace at which he reached the 
ocean was in latitude 52 degrees and 20 minutes, and had been exj^lored and named 
Cascade canal but a few weeks before by Vancouver. 

The two journeys of this energetic trader, the careful explorations of Cook and 
Vancouver, and discovery of the Columbia by Gray, served to enlighten all interested 
nations in regard to the nature of the American continent, and to prove conclusively 
that neither the Straits of Aniau nor the Rio de los Reyes had any other existence 
than in the fancy of those who, centuries before, had proclaimed them. The Northwest 
Company pushed its agents down to the headwaters of the Missouri, while French and 
Spanish traders ascended that stream from St. Louis, and engaged in trade with the 
natives and trapped the streams for beaver. Because of the Spanish claim to Louisiana, 
American traders were much confined in the limits of their operations, and were also 
restricted by the holding back of posts in the region of the great lakes which Great 
Britain should have surrendered under the terms of the treaty of 1783. These were 
surrendered in 1794 by special treaty, which instrument also provided that subjects of 
Great Britain and the United States should have unrestricted intercourse and rights of 
trade. From this time American fur traders extended their operations further west- 
ward and inci'eased the volume of their trade. This was the condition of aifairs in 
America at the close of the eighteenth century. 




Situation at the Beginning- of the Nineteenth Century -Colonial Limits of the United States The Louisiana 
Purchase England and America Rivals in the West Expedition of Lewis and Clarke— Their Winter Among 
the Mandans —Journey up the Missouri. Across the Rockies, Down Clarke's Fork, Through the Lolo Trail, 
Down Clearwater. Snake and Columbia Rivers to the Pacifi:- They Wmter at Fort Clatsop- -Discovery of 
the Willamette -The Walla Wallas, Cayuses and Nez Perces -Arrival in St. Louis— What the Expedition 

"Take the wings 
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness, 
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods 
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound 
Save his own dashings." 

So sang Bryant of the mighty Cokiiubia and the hmd of "coutinuous woods," 
through which it majestically rolls. The name Oregon which Carver had given to the 
Great River of the West was for years applied to the Columbia and the whole region 
through which it passes, stretching from the Rocky mountains to the Pacific, and from 
California indefinitely northward. The name bestowed upon the stream by its discov- 
erer gradually crowded Carver's title from the field, until it is now recognized as the 
only proper one, while the significance of Oregon has gradually been contracted until 
that title now applies only to the state of which we write. 

At the dawning of the present century, now rapidly drawing near to the "sear and 
yellow leaf," three powerful nations claimed dominion on our coast, the indefinite boun- 
daries of their alleged possessions conflicting and overlapping to such an extent as to be 
a constant menace of war. England, Sixain and Russia claimed territorial sovereignty 
gained by the discoveries and acts of persons officially empowered by their respective 
governments, while in common with them representatives of the merchant fleets of the 
United States, France, Portugal and Austria sotight the Pacific waters to reap tlic liar- 
vest of wealth that lay in the fur trade of the coast. 

Suddenly and almost unexpectedly a new nation step2:)ed ujion the jilain to contest 
witli her powerful rivals the palm of territorial dominion, and this was the new-l^orn 
republic, the United States of America. In the few years whicli had elapsed since her 


long struggle for independence had been crowned with success, and esjjecially since a 
constitutional bond had firmly cemented the states into one grand, united nation, her 
growth in population, wealth, power and importance had been wonderful, and she now 
prepared to assert her natural right to extend her borders in the direction plainly indi- 
cated by the hand of nature. 

The position the United States then occ'upied in relation to Oregon may be briefly 
stated as follows: At the treaty of 1783, where Great Britain formally acknowledged 
the independence of her valiant colonies, her commissioners for a long time refused to 
relimiuisli to them that portion of her ^possessions lying between the AUeghanies and 
the ]Mississipjii ; but as the colonies had been accustomed to exercise jurisdiction as far 
west as the great river of DeSoto, being the extreme western limit of British posses- 
sions since it was the eastern boundary of Louisiana, the American commissioners in- 
sisted upon that territory being included, and finally carried their point. Even then it 
was eleven years before England surrendered the seven military i>osts within that por- 
tion of the United States and then only after much pressure had been brought to bear. 
England was, therefore, only represented in America after the revolution, so far as 
western exploration and settlement was concerned, by the powerful Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, and its new rival, the Northwest Company, whose struggle for possession of the 
unclaimed fur regions west of Canada and Hudson's bay has been already alluded 
to and will again occupy attention further on. The boundary agreed upon between 
England and the United States followed up the St. Lawrence from a certain initial 
point, through the chain of great lakes and the smaller ones lying west of Superior as 
far as the Lake of the Woods, whence the line cut across to the headwaters of the 
Mississipi^i, and followed down that stream to the Spanish Florida line. This left 
within the limits of the United States a portion of that extremely desirable region 
spoken of by Lahontan, Hennepin and others, and but recently described by Captain 
Jonathan Carver, while the new nation bordered upon the remainder with nothing 
but the theoretical title of Spain to stand between her and an indefinite extension 
westward. On the other hand, only above the United States line did Great Britain's 
230Ssessions border upon this terra Incognita and in a region universally recognized as 
being fit only for the occupation of wandering fur traders. 

The title to Louisiana which Spain had acquired by purchase from France in 17G2, 
she reconveyed to that powerful nation in 1800 ; but Napoleon, recognizing the fact 
that his ambitious designs in Europe would only be hampered by the jjossession and 
necessary protection of vast territorial interests in the United States, and desiring to 
spite England and place her face to face in America with an energetic and iiowerful 
rival, sold the whole province with all the right and title of France to the United 
States in 1803. " The eastern boundary was the Mississippi ; its southwestern limit the 
Spanish, Mexican and California possessions, while to the northwest there was no limit 
whatever. This action, so entirely unexpected by England, changed the whole aspect 
of affairs in America, and left the United States without any bar whatever to prevent 
the extension of her dominions toward the Pacific. 

At the time John Ledyard undertook to organize a company in Paris to engage 
in the Pacific fur trade, Thomas Jefierson was residing there as representative of the 
United States at the court of France, and became deeply interested in his project of 



exploring the northwestern wilderness of America, which was defeated by the Russian 
traders. In 1792 ^Mr. Jefferson i)roi)Osed to the American. Philosophical Society that 
A subscription be raised for the purpose of engaging some competent person to explore 
that region "by ascending the Missouri, crossing the Stony mountains, and descending 
the nearest river to the Pacific." Meriwether Lewis, a native of Virginia and a lieu- 
tenant in the United States army, warmly solicited the position, and was selected at 
the request of Mr. Jefferson. Mr. Andre Michaux, a distinguished French botanist, 
was chosen as his traveling companion. This gentleman was in the employ of the 
French government, and when he had proceeded as far as Kentucky upon the overland 
journey, he was recalled by the French minister, and the expedition was abandoned. 
On the eighteenth of January, 1803, Mr. Jefferson, as president of the United States, 
incorjiorated into a special message to congress on the Indian question a suggestion that 
such a journey as he had before advocated be made by representatives of the govern- 
ment. This projJOsition was approved by congress and an ample ajjpropriation made 
to carry it into effect. Lewis had then become a caj^tain and was acting in the capacity 
of private secretary to the 25resident, and upon urgent solicitation received the direction 
of the enterprise. Captain Lewis selected William Clarke as an associate in command, 
and that gentleman accordingly received a captain's commission and was detailed for 
this duty. 

In the instructions drawn up for the guidance of the party, the president says: 
"The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri river, and such principal streams 
of it, as, by its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific ocean, whether 
the Columbia, Oregon, Colorado, or any other river, may offer the most direct and 
practicable water communication across the continent, for the purposes of commerce." 
They were directed to acquire as intimate a knowledge as possible of the extent and 
number of Indian tribes, their manners, customs and degree of civilization, and to 
report fully upon the topograph}^ the character of the soil, the natural products, the 
animal life and minerals, as well as to ascertain by scientific observations and inquiry 
as much as possible about the climate, and to inquire especially into the fur trade and 
the needs of commerce. Since Louisiana had not yet been formally conveyed to the 
United States, Captain Lewis' instructions contained a paragraph saying : "Your mis- 
sion has lieen communicated to the ministers here from France, Spain and Great Britain, 
and thi-ough them to their governments ; and such assurances given them as to its ob- 
jects, as we trust will satisfy them. The country of Louisiana having been ceded by 
Spain to France, the jiassport you have from the minister of France, the representative 
of the present sovereign of the country, will be a protection with all irs subjects ; and 
that from the minister of Elugland will entitle you to the friendly aid of any traders 
of that allegiance with whom you may happen to meet." 

All arrangements were completed and Lewis left Washington on the fiftli of July, 
ISO;;, only a few days subsequent to the receipt of the joyful intelligence that France 
had ceded Louisiana to the United States. He Avas joined by Clarke at Louisville, 
and the two selected their men and repaired to St. Louis, near which they encamped 
until s])ring. The party which finally started on this great journey 3Iay 14, 1804, 
consistetl of Captain Meriwether Lewis, Captain William Clarke, nine young men 
iVom Kentucky, fourteen soldiers, two French watermen, known in tlie parlance of 


fur traders as voyageurs, an interpreter and hunter and a negro servant of Captain 
Clarke. Besides these were a number of assistants who accompanied the expedition as 
far as the Mandan country. 

The party ascended the Missouri as far as the region inhabited by the Mandan 
Indians, with wliom they spent the winter, and while there negotiated treaties of peace 
between their hosts and the Ricarees, and informed themselves carefully upon the con- 
dition of Indian affairs and the geography of the surrounding country. 

In the spring of 1805 the journey westward was resumed, by following u]) the 
Missouri, of whose course, tributaries and the great falls they had received very minute 
and accurate information from their Mandan friends. Passing the mouth of the Yel- 
lowstone, which name they record as being but a translation of Roche Jaune, the title 
.given it by French-Canadian trappers who had already visited it, they continued up 
the Missouri, passed the castellated rocks and the great falls and cascades, ascended 
through the mighty canyon, and reaching the headwaters of the stream crossed the 
Rocky mountain divide and came upon the stream variously known along its course as 
Deer Lodge, Hellgate, Bitterroot, Clarke's Fork of the Columbia and Pend d'Oreille 
river. Upon this they bestowed the name Clarke's river, and so it should be called 
from its source in the Rocky mountains to where it unites with the main stream in 
British Columbia. From this river the advance party under Clarke crossed the Bit- 
terroot mountains by the Lolo trail, suffering intensely from cold and hunger, and on 
the twentieth of September reached a village of ^ez Perce Indians situated on a plain 
about fifteen miles from the south fork of Clearwater river, where they were received 
with great hospitality. This first passage of the mountains by representatives of the 
United States and their warm reception by the Indians, contrast strongly with a scene 
witnessed by this same Lolo trail, when in 1877 Howard's army hotly pursued Chief 
Joseph and his little band of hostile jSTez Perces, who were fleeing before the avengers 
from the scene of their many bloody massacres. 

The almost famished men partook of such quantities of the food liberally pro- 
vided by their savage hosts that many of them became ill, among them being Captain 
Clarke, who was unable to continue the journey until the second day. He then went 
to the village of Twisted-hair, the chief, situated on an island in the stream mentioned. 
To the river he gave the name Koos-koos-kee, erroneously supposing it to be its 
Indian title. The probabilities are that the Nez Perces, in trying to inform Captain 
Clarke that this river flowed into a still larger one, the one variously known as Lewis, 
Sahaptin or Snake river, used the words " Koots-koots-kee," meaning " This is the 
smaller," and were understood to have meant that as the name of the stream. The 
Nez Perce name is Kaih-kaih-koosh, signifying Clearwater, the name it is gener- 
ally known by. 

Having been united the two parties a few days later journeyed on down the Clear- 
water. Concerning their de^jlorable condition and their method of traveling the 
journal says : " Captain Lewis and two of the men were taken very ill last evening, 
and to-day he could scarcely sit on his horse, while others were obliged to be jjut on 
horse-back and some, from extreme weakness and pain, were forced to lie down along- 
side of the road. ■'■ '■' '^' The weather was very hot and oppressive to the 
party, most of whom are now complaining of sickness. Our situation, indeed, ren- 


(lered it necessary to liusl)aii( I our remaining strength and it was determined to proceed 
down the river in can(jes. Captain Clarke, therefore, set out witli the Twisted-hair, 
and two young men, in quest of timher for canoes. '^ ^' •'•' Having resolved 
to go down to some spot calculated for building canoes, we set out early this morning 
and proceeded five miles, and encamped on low ground on the south opi^osite the forks 
of the river." The canoes being constructed they embarked in the month of October 
on their journey down the Clearwater and connecting streams for the Pacific, leaving 
what remained of their horses in charge of the friendly Nez Perces. They had for 
some time been subsisting upon roots, fish, horse meat and an occasional deer, crow, or 
wolf, but having left their horses behind them their resort when out of other food 
now became the wolfish dogs they purchased from the Indians. 

Upon reaching Snake river which was named in honor of Captain Lewis, the 
canoes were turned down that stream, which they followed to the Columbia, naming the 
Tukannon river Kim-so-emim, a title derived from the Indians, and upon the Pa- 
louse bestowing the name Drewyer, in honor of the hunter of the party. They then 
followed down the Columbia passing a number of rapids, and arriving at the Cascades 
on the twenty-first of October. A portage was made of all their effects and a 230rtion 
of the canoes, the remainder making the ijerilous descent of the cascades or falls in 
safety. The mouth of the Willamette was passed without the addition of so large a 
stream being noticed. Cape Disappointment was reached November 15, and the eyes 
of the weary travelers were gladdened with a sight of the graat ocean which had been 
their goal for more than a year. The season of winter rains having set in, they were 
soon driven by high water from the low land on the north bank of the stream, eleven 
miles above the cape, which they had selected for their winter residence. They then 
left the Chinooks, crossed the river, and built a habitation on the high land on the 
south side of the stream, which they called Fort Clatsop, in honor of the Indians who 
inhabited that region. Here they spent the winter, making occasional short excursions 
along the coast. The departure for home was delayed with the hope that some trading 
vessel might appear from which sadly-needed supplies might be obtained, but being- 
disappointed in this they loaded their canoes and on March 23, 1806, took final leave 
of Fort Clatsoj). Before going they presented the chiefs of the Chinooks and Clatsops, 
with certificates of kind and hospitable treatment, and circulated among the natives 
several papers, posting a copy on the wall of the abandoned fort, which read as follows: 
" The object of this last is, that through the medium of some civilized person, who 
may see the same, it may be made known to the world, that the party, consisting of 
the persons whose names are hereunto annexed, and who were sent out by the Govern- 
ment of the United States to explore the interior of the continent of North America, 
did penetrate the same by the way of the Missouri and Columbia i-ivers, to the dis- 
charge of the latter into the Pacific ocean, where they arrived on the fourteenth day 
of November, 1805, and departed the twenty-third day of March, 180G, on their 
return to the United States by the same route by which they had come out." To this 
was appended a list of the members of the expedition. One of these copies was lianded 
by an Indian the following year to a fur trader whose vessel had entered the Columbia, 
by wlmni it was taken to China and a transcription of it forwarded to the United 

States ; thus, even had the party perished on the return journey, evidence of the coni- 
jiletion of their task was not wanting. 

Upon taking an invoice of their possessions before starting upon the return, they 
found that their goods available for traffic with the Indians consisted of six blue robes, 
one scarlet robe, one U. S. artillery hat and coat, five robes made from the national 
ensign, and a few old clothes trimmed with ribbon. Upon these must they depend 
for purchasing provisions and horses and for winning the hearts of stubborn chiefr. 

They proceeded uj) the south bank of the stream, until they came unexpectedly 
upon a large river flowing into it from the south, On an island near its mouth, known 
to the early trappers as Wapatoo and now called Sauvie's island, they caine upon an 
Indian village, where they were refused a sujjply of food. To impress them with his 
power, Captain Clarke, entered one of their habitations and cast a few sulphur matches 
into the fire. The savages were frightened at the blue flame and looked upon the 
strange visitor as a great medicine man. They implored him to extinguish the " evil 
fire," and brought all the food he desired. The name of the Indian village was Mult- 
nomah, but Captain Clarke understood the name to apply to the river, of whose course 
he made careful inquiry. Upon the map of this expedition the Multnomah is repre- 
sented as extending southward and eastward into California and Nevada, and the In- 
dians who resided along the streams that flow from southeastern Oregon into the 8nake 
are represented as living on the upper branches of the Multnomah. The true Indian 
name of the river and valley is Wallamet, which has l^een corrupted to Willamette by 
those who conceived the idea that it was of French origin. The confusion between, 
Indian, French and English names in this region has resulted in many very jjccu- 
liar and ridiculous appellations. 

At the mouth of Lapage river, the stream later named John Day, in memory 
of the bold mountaineer who met such a tragic fate, the canoes were abandoned, and 
the party proceeded up the Columbia on foot, packing their baggage upon the backs of 
a few horses purchased from the natives. Crossing the Umatilla, which they called 
You-ma-lolam, they arrived at the mouth of the Walla Walla, on the twenty-seventh of 
April. Yellept, the Walla AValla chief, was a man of unusual capacity and power, and 
extended to them the most cordial and bountiful hosj)itality they had enjoyed since 
leaving the abodes of civilization. How difiereut would have been the reception 
extended them could the old chief have gazed into the future with prophetic eye, ami 
seen his great successor, Peo-peo-mux-mux, murdered while unjustly a prisoner by 
members of the same race and tribe to which these white guests belonged ! It is 
related of Yellept that in after years, having seen the last of five noble sons perish in 
battle or by the hand of disease, he called together the tribe, and throwing himself 
upon the body of his last son sternly bade them to bury him with his dead. With loud 
lamentations and heart-broken sobs they did as he commanded, and buried alive the 
great chief they both loved and feared. This was the man who extended his hospi- 
talities to Lewis and Clarke, and because of the important part the Walla Wallas and 
Cayuses played in the after history of this region, the following account given by those 
gentlemen of their entertainers is presented : Their journal says : " Immediately 
upon our arrival, Yellept, who proved to be a man of much influence, not only in his 
own, but in the'neio'hborino- nations, collected the inhabitants, and after havinsi' maile a 


Residence of O.Coolidge. Ashland. 


liarraugue, the i)urp(jrt (if wliich was to induce the nations to treat us hospitably, set 
them an example, by bringing himself an armful of wood, and a jilatter containing 
three roasted mullets. They immediately assented to one part, at least, of the recom- 
mendation, by furnishing us with an abundance of the only sort of fuel they employ, 
the stems of shrubs growing in the plains. We then purchased four dogs, on which 
we supped heartily, having been on short allowance for two days past. When we were 
disposed to sleep, the Indians retired immediately on our request, and, indeed, uni- 
formly conducted themselves with great propriety. These people live on roots, which 
are very abundant in the plains, and catch a few salmon-trout; but at present they 
seem to subsist chiefly on a species of mullet, weighing from one to three pounds. 
* * * Monday, twenty-eighth, w'e purchased ten dogs. While this trade 
was carrying on by our men, Yellept brought a fine white horse, and presented him to 
Captain Clarke, expressing at the same time a wish to have a kettle ; but on being 
informed that we had already disposed of the last kettle we could spare, he said he 
would be content with any present we should make in return. Captain Clarke, there- 
fore, gave his sword, for which the chief had before expressed a desire, adding one 
hundred balls, some powder, and other small articles, with which he appeared jjerfectly 
satisfied. We were now anxious to depart, and requested Yellept to lend us canoes for 
the purpose of crossing the river. But he would not listen to any proposal of leaving 
the village. He wished us to remain two or three days ; but would not let us go to- 
day, for he had already sent to invite his neighbors, the Chimnapoos (Cayuses), to 
come down this evening and join his j^eople in a dance for our amusement. We urged, 
in vain, that by setting out sooner, w^e would the earlier return with the articles they 
desired ; for a day, he observed, would make but little difference. We at length men- 
tioned, that, as there was no wind, it was now the best time to cross the river, and 
would merely take the horses over, and return to sleep at their village. To this he 
assented, and then we crossed with our horses, and having hobbled them, returned to 
theii' camp. Fortunately there was among these WoUawollalis, a prisoner belonging 
to a tribe of Shoshonee or Snake Indians, residing to the south of the Multnomah, and 
visiting occasionally the heads of the Wollawollah creek. Our Shoshonee woman, 
Sacajaweah, though she belonged to a tribe near the Missouri, spoke the same language 
as this prisoner, and by their means we were able to explain ourselves to the Indians, 
and answer all their inquiries with respect to ourselves and the object of our journev. 
Our conversation inspired them with much confidence, and they soon brought several 
sick persons, for whom they requested our assistance. We splintered the broken arm 
of one, gave some relief to another, whose knee was contracted by rheumatism, and 
administered what we thought beneficial for ulcers and eruptions of the skin, on various 
parts of the body, which are very common disoi'ders among them. But our most valu- 
able medicine was eye-water, which we distributed, and which, indeed, they required 
very much; the complaint of the eyes, occasioned by living on the water, and increased 
by the fine sand of the plains, being now universal. A little before sunset, the Chim- 
napoos, amounting to one hundred men and a few women, came to the village, 
and joining the WoUawoUahs. who were about the same number of nu'u, formed 
tliemselves in a circle round our camp, and waited veiy i)atiently till our men were 
disposed to dance, which they did for about an hour, to the tune of tlie violin. They 


tluMi requested to see the Indians dance. With this they readily complied, and the 
whole assemblage, amounting, with the women and childi-en of the village, to several 
hundred, stood up, and sang and danced at the same time. The exercise was not, in- 
deed, very graceful, for the greater part of them were formed into a solid column, round 
a kind of hollow square, stood on the same j^lace, and merely jumped up at intervals, 
to keep time to the music. Some, however, of the more active wai-riors entered the 
square, and danced round it sidewise, and some of our men joined in the dance, to the 
great satisfaction of the Indians. The dance continued till ten o'clock the next morn- 
ing. In the course of the day we gave small medals to two inferior chiefs, each of 
whom made us a present of a fine horse. We were in a poor condition to make an 
adequate acknowledgment for this kindness, but gave several articles, among which 
was a pistol, with some hundred rounds of ammunition. We have, indeed, been treated 
by these jjeople with an unusual degree of kindness and civilty. * '^ * We may 
indeed, justly affirm that of all the Indians whom we have met since leaving the United 
States, the Wollawollahs were the most hospitable, honest and sincere." 

Bidding adieu to these hospitable people, they left the Columbia on the twenty- 
ninth of April and followed eastward what is known as the Nez Perce trail. They 
Avent up the Touchet, called by them White Stallion because of the present Yellept 
had made to Captain Clarke, the Patet and Pataha and down the Alpowa to Snake 
river, which they crossed and followed up the north side of Clearwater until they 
reached the village of Twisted-hair, where had been left their horses the fall before. 
The Lolo trail was not yet free from snow and for six weeks they resided among the 
Nez Perces, a tribe closely woven into the history of this region. Of them and the 
intercourse held with them the fiiU before, the journal says : "The Chopunnish or 
Pierce-nosed nation, who reside on the Kooskooskee and Lewis' rivers, are in person 
stout, portly, well-looking men; the women are small, with good features, and generally 
handsome, though the complexion of both sexes is darker than that of the Tushepaws. 
In dress they resemble that nation, being fond of displaying their ornaments. The 
buffalo or elk skin robe decorated with beads, sea shells, chiefly mother-of-pearl, 
attached to an otter skin collar, and hung iji the hair, which falls in front in two queues; 
feathers, paint of different kinds, principally white, green and light blue, all of which 
they find in their own country; these are the chief ornaments they use. In winter they 
wear a short shirt of dressed skins, long painted leggings and moccasins, and a plait of 
twisted grass around the neck. The dress of the women is more simple, consisting of a 
long shirt of argalia or ibex skin, reaching down to the ankles without a girdle ; to 
this are tied little pieces of brass and shells, and other small articles ; but the head 
is not at all ornamented. The dres-i of the female is indeed more modest, 
and more studiously so, than any we have observed, though the other sex is 
careless of the indelicacy of exposure. The Chopunnish have very few amusements, 
for their life is painful and laborious ; and all their exertions are necessary to earn 
even their j^recarious subsistence. During the summer and autumn they are busily 
occupied in fishing for salmon, and collecting their winter store of roots. In the win- 
ter they hunt the deer on snow-shoes over the plains, and towards spring cross the 
mountains to the Missouri, for the purpose of trafficing for buffiilo robes. The incon- 
veniences of that comfortless life are increased by frequent encounters with their 

enemies from the west, who drive them over the mountains with the loss of their horses, 
and sometimes tlie lives of many of the nation. Though originally the same people, 
their dialect varies very jierceptibly from that of the Tushepaws; their treatment of us 
differed much from the kind and disinterested services of the Shoshonees (Snakes); they 
are indeed selfish and avaricious ; they part very reluctantly with every article of food 
or clothing ; and while they expect a recomjDense for every service, however small, do 
not concern themselves about reciprocating any presents we may give them. They are 
generally healthy — the' only disorders, which we have had occasion to remark, being 
of a scrofulous kind, and for these, as well as for the amusement of those who are in 
good health, hot and cold bathing is very commonly used. The soil of these prairies 
is of a light yellow clay, intermixed with small, smooth grass ; it is barren, and pro- 
duces little more than a bearded grass about three inches high, and a prickly pear, 
wdiieh we now found three species." It is very evident that these gentlemen were not 
a.ct|uainted with the attributes of the succulent bunch grass, the stockman's friend, nor 
of the soil, for the country they denominated "barren" is now producing thirty bushels 
of wheat to the acre without any irrigation or fertilizing of any kind. 

On the fifteenth of June an effort was made to cross the Bitterroot mountains, but 
it was unsuccessful, and not until the thirtieth were the mountains safely passed. 
On the fourth of July the comjmny separated into two parties, one of them under Cap- 
tain Lewis striking across the mountains to the Missouri, down which it passed, ex- 
ploring the larger tributaries and learning much of the geography of Montana ; the 
other was led by Clarke to the headwater's of the Yellowstone, down which it passed 
to the Missouri, uniting with the first party some distance below the mouth of the 
Yellowstone on the twelfth of August. They then continued down the stream, arriv- 
ing at St. Louis September 25, 1806, having been gone more than two years, and bav- 
ins: achieved honor for themselves and rendered inestimable services to their government. 



The Northwest Company Establishes a Post on Eraser Lake Result of the Journey of Lewis and Clarke— Fort 
Henry Built by Americans on Snake River -Ore^anization of the Pacific Fur Company Canadian Voyageurs 
Astoria Founded Sad Fate of the Tonquin Terrible Sufferings of Hunt's Party —Success of the Business in 
1813 McDougal Sells the Property to the Northwest Company The Other Parties Return to the Atlantic 

When (Jreat Britain was officially notified that an expedition was about to l)e 
dispatched by the United States government to explore that much-claimed i-egiou lying 
to the west of the Mississippi, much anxiety was felt, especially by the Northwest Com- 
pany of Montreal, whose traders were operating farther west and south than were the 
«'ini)loyees of the Hudson's Bay Company. Tliey could not be expected to submit 

without a struggle to the loss of so vast a territory in which to prosecute their peculiar 
industry. The line of division west of the Lake of the Woods was undefined, and the 
extent of territory to be occupied in the future by England and America depended 
largely upon the actual occupancy by the contending parties. The Northwest Com- 
pany consequently, in 1804, dispatched a trusted agent named Laroque, in command 
of a party, with instructions to establish trading posts on the Columbia. Laroque 
failed utterly to accomplish the purpose of his journey, since circumstances conspired 
to prevent him from progressing beyond the Missouri river in the Mandan country. 
The next year Simon Fraser left the company's headquarters at Fort Chipewyan, and 
following the course pursued thirteen years before by Mackenzie, reached Fraser lake, 
where he founded a trading post. This post of the Northwest Company was the first 
establishment made by Englishmen or Americans west of the Rocky mountains, and 
lies one hundred miles north of the international line subsequently established. The 
name New Caledonia was bestow^ed upon that region, which was considered to lie north 
of the country known as Oregon. 

The return of Lewis and Clarke was the cause of great rejoicing in the United 
States. Mr. Jefferson says : " Never did a similar event excite more joy throughout 
the United States. The humblest of its citizens had taken a lively interest in the issue 
of this journey, and looked forward with impatience to the information it would furnish. 
Their anxieties, too, for the safety of the corps had been kept in a state of excitement 
by lugubrious rumors, circulated from time to time on uncertain authorities, and 
uncontradicted by letters, or other direct information, from the time they had left the 
Mandan towns, on their ascent up the river in April of the preceding year, 1805, 
until their actual return to St. Louis." -Captain Lewis was soon after his return ap- 
pointed governor of Louisiana, wath which his journey had rendered him more familiar 
than any other man except his associate ; and Captain Clarke was ap2:)ointed general of 
militia of the same territory and agent for Indian affairs in that vast region he had 
explored. During a period of temporary mental derangement Captain Lewis died by 
his own hand, in September, 1809, before he had fully completed his narrative of the 
journey. The history of the expedition was prepared from his manuscript under the 
direction of -Captain Clarke and was first published in 1814. The general details, 
however, were spread throughout the country immediately upon their return, especially 
on the frontier. During their absence other exploring parties were traversing Louis- 
iana in various directions in search of information for the government. Lieutenant 
Pike ascended the Mississippi to its headwaters in 1805, and the following year jour- 
neyed southwestward from the mouth of the Missouri to the sources of the Arkansas, 
Red and Rio Bravo del Norte. At the same time Dunbar, Hunter and Sibley explored 
Red river and its companion streams. These explorations served to greatly stimulate 
the fur trade carried on from St. Louis and Macinaw, as well as to strengthen the 
government in its purpose of adhering to its right to Louisiana, acquired by the 
tripple method of purchase, discovery and exploration. To these was soon added the 
fourth and most important — occupation. 

One of the first results of the expedition was the organization of the Missouri Fur 
Company, in 1808, with headquarters at St. Louis. Trading posts were established on 
the affluents of the Mississippi and Missouri, and that same year INIr. Henry, one of 

Walling Lith Portlamo-Or 

Court House, Jac so 

«.LE, Jackson County. 


the agents of the coiiii>any, crossed the mountains and founded Fort Henry on the 
headwaters of Lewis or Snake river, being the first American establishment west of the 
Rocky mountains. The first effort to occupy the mouth of the Cohimbia was made by 
the captain of one of the American vessels trading in the Pacific, whose name is 
variously given by historians as T. Winship, Nathaniel Winship, and Captain Smith. 
In 1810 this gentleman built a small house for trading purposes at Oak Point, on the 
south bank of the Columbia some sixty miles above its mouth, far enough up the 
stream to meet even the requirements of Captain Vancouver's idea of what constituted 
a river. 

During the first decade of the nineteenth century American fishing and trading 
vessels crowded the Pacific, while other nations were not entirely unrepresented. The 
fur trade developed into a great industry, being conducted by them in the most prac- 
tical manner. All furs collected by the Russian American Trading Company were 
sent to China or Russia by land from Kamtchatka, since their vessels were not granted 
the privilege of entering Chinese ports. It was this fact and because England had 
granted to monopolies the control of her Pacific commerce, that the fur trade by sea 
was conducted chiefly by Americans. That this condition of affairs should be especially 
distasteful to the subjects of Great Britain is natural. They looked upon the enter- 
prise and success of these " Yankee adventurers " with jealous eyes, nor were they 
willing to give them the least credit for their skill as navigators or energy as trades- 
men. Because they conducted the details of their traffic in such a way as to render it 
highly successful, they were classed by the English traders as adventurers, though often 
the representatives of wealthy and substantial business houses. Archibald Campbell 
thus contemptuously reviews their method of carrying on the Pacific commerce : 
" These adventurers set out on the voyage with a few trinkets of very little value. In 
the Southern Pacific, they pick up a few seal skins, and perhaps a few butts of oil ; at 
the Gallipagos, they lay in turtle, of which they preserve the shells ; at Valparaiso they 
raise a few dollars in exchange for European articles ; at Nootka, and other parts of 
the northwest coast, they traffic with the natives for furs, which, when winter com- 
mences, they carry to the Sandwich islands, to dry and preserve from vermin ; here 
they leave their OAvn people to take care of them, and, in the spring, embark, in lieu, 
the natives of the islands, to assist in navigating to the northwest coast in search of 
more skins. The remainder of the cargo is then made up of sandal, which grows 
abundantly in the woods of Atooi and Owyhee (Hawaii), of tortoise shells, sharks' 
fins, and pearls of an inferior kind, all of which are acceptable in the China market; 
and with these and their dollars they purchase cargoes of teas, silks and nankins, and 
thus complete their voyage in the course of two or three years." 

This may be considered a correct statement of the general manner of conducting 
the trade by Americans, with the exception of the " few trinkets " slur, for the majority 
of vessels, which were large and valuable ones, took out with them (piite extensive 
cargoes of English, American and other manufactured goods and products, with which 
they supj)lied the Spanish and Russian settlements, the lattei- in particular relying 
almost wholly upon the Americans for their supplies of ammunition, sugar, spirits and 
manufactured articles. That a large {iroportion of furs procured from the natives were 
paid for in "trinkets" is true, liut this practice was as much indulged in by English 


traders on the Atlnntic side as by Americans on the Pacific, and such articles have 
alwaj's in every Umd and by every nation been deemed a valuable consideration in 
dealing with uncivilized races. The Americans are deserving of much credit for their 
economical, energetic and highly practical method of conducting their commercial 
ventures in the Pacific. 

In one particular, however, some of these independent traders, who might, per- 
haps, merit the contemptuous title of adventurers bestowed upon them all by their 
rivals, were guilty of conduct very reprehensible when viewed from a certain stand- 
point. Caring only for present profits and heedless of the effect of their conduct upon 
the future of their trade, they supplied the Indians with whisky and fire-arms. 
Upon the first glance it would seem that, as the Indians were chiefly depended upon to 
provide the furs, any addition made to their facilities for accomplishing this would be 
beneficial to the business and that the giving of guns to them would result in an in- 
crease of the trade ; but the opposite was the case. Irving says : " In this way several 
fierce tribes in the vicinity of the Kussiau posts, or within range of their trading ex- 
cursions, were furnished with deadly means of warfare, and rendered troublesome and 
dangerous neighbors." The fact is that the Russian intercourse with the natives was 
often marked by conduct so illiberal and heartlessly cruel that it is no wonder they 
objected to their victims being supplied with means of asserting their rights. Repre- 
sentations were made by the Russian government to the United States of this objection- 
able conduct of American traders, but since no law or treaty was infringed the govern- 
ment could do nothing. It, however, applied to John Jacob Astor, a merchant of New 
York, who had long been engaged in the fur trade about the lakes and headwaters of 
the Mississippi, to see if he could not suggest a remedy. 

Mr. Astor conceived the idea of establishing a post at the mouth of the Columbia, 
from which the Russian traders could be supjilied annually by a vessel sent out from 
New York, and which would be the headquarters for a large trade with the interior. 
By this systematic conduct of the business he expected to supersede the independent 
traders, remove the cause of irritation to Russia, and found permanent establishments 
of the United States along the Columbia. Mr. Astor imparted his idea to the presi- 
dent and cabinet, by whom it was heartily endorsed, and he was assured that all the 
support and encouragement would be his which the government could properly offer. 
President Jefferson had, as we have seen, always been a warm advocate of American 
supremacy in this region, and in a letter written in later years to Mr. Astor, said : " I 
considered, as a great public acquisition, the commencement of a settlement on that 
part of the western coast of America, and looked forward with gratification to the time 
when its descendants should have spread themselves through the whole length of that 
coast, covering it with free and independent Americans, unconnected with us but by 
the ties of blood and interest, and enjoying like us the rights of self-government." 
Grand as was that great statesman's conception of the destiny of this coast, it is trans- 
cended by actual, living reality. Not only the " ties of blood and interest," but of 
national union and loyal brotherhood, bind together the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, 
while the great interior wilderness has now become more potent as a bond of union to 
hold them together, than it then was as a barrier to keep them apart. 


Mr. Astor associated with himself as managing partners .several experienced men, 
some of whom had formerly been connected with the Northwest Company. This was 
a very unwise, and, as it afterwards proved, an unfortunate step. These men were 
thoroughly competent to manage the details of the business, being energetic and able 
men and completely familiar with the management of the successful English company ; 
but they were subjects of Great Britain, their interests and instincis were British, and 
in forming an American settlement none but Americans should have been i)laced in 
command. AVashingtou's injunction to "put none but Americans on guard," should 
have been borne in mind. These men made no pretense of Americanizing themselves 
or transferring their allegiance ; on the contrary they took the precaution to ijrovide 
tliemselves before leaving Canada with proofs of their British citizenship, to be used 
for their advantage in case of future difficulties between the two nations. These were 
Alexander McKay, who had accompanied Mackenzie on both of his journeys, Duncan 
^IcDougal, David and Robert Stuai't, and Donald McKenzie. Wilson Price Hunt, of 
New Jersey, the only American at first interested as a partner, was given the chief 
direction of the enterprise on the Pacific coast. Mr. Astor owned a half interest in 
tlie enterprise and furnished the capital, while the other half was divided among the 
four partners, who managed the details of the work in the field. These gentlemen in- 
corporated as the Pacific Fur Company, with Mr. Astor as president. 

On the second of August, 1810, the ship Tonquin sailed for the mouth of the 
Cohiinljia. She carried ten guns, had a crew of twenty men and was under the com- 
mand of Jonathan Thorn, a lieutenant of the United States navy, on leave of absence. 
She carried a large cargo of supplies and merchandize for trading with the natives, 
the frame of a small schooner designed for use along the coast, and seeds and imple- 
ments for the cultivation of the soil. In tlie Tonquin sailed four of the partners, 
McKay, McDougal, David Stuart and Rol)ert Stuart, twelve clerks, several artisans 
and thirteen Canadian voyageurs. 

The voyajreurs wei'e a special outgrowtli of the fur trade and are deserving of 
more than a passing notice. Irving thus describes them: "The voyageurs may be said 
to have sprung up out of the fur trade, having originally been employed by the early 
Frencli merchants in their trading expeditions tlirough the labyrinth of rivers and 
lakes of the boundless interior. In the intervals of their long, arduous, and lal)orious 
expeditions they were wont to pass their time in idleness and revelry about the trading 
])Osts or settlements : squandering their hard earnings in Iieedless conviviality, and ri- 
valling their neighbors, the Indians, in indolent indulgence and an imprudent disre- 
gard of the morrow. M^hen Canada passed under British domination, and the old 
French trading houses were broken up, the voyageurs were for a time disheartened and 
disconsolate, and with difficulty could reconcile themselves to theserviceof the newcomers, 
so different in habits, manners and language from their former employers. By degrees, 
however, they became accustomed to the change, and at length came to consider the 
British fur traders, and especially the members of the Northwest Company, as the le- 
gitimate lords of creation. The dress of these people is generally half civilized, 
half savage. They wear a capot or surcoat, made of a blanket, a striped cotton shirt, 
cloth trowsers, or leathern leggings, moccasins of deer skin, and a l)elt of variegated 
worsted, from which are suspended the knife, tobacco pouch, and other implements. 


Their language is of the same piebald eliai-actei-, being a French patois, embroidered 
with Indian and English words and phrases. The lives of the voyageurs are passed 
in wild and extensive rovings. They are generally of French descent and inherit 
much of the gaiety and lightness of heart of their ancestors, being full of anecdote 
and song, and ever ready for the dance. Their natural good will is probably height- 
ened by a community of adventure and hardship in their precarious and wandering 
life. They are dexterous boatmen, vigorous and adroit with the oar and paddle, and 
will row from morning until night without a murmur. The steersman often sings an 
old traditionary French song, with some regular burden in which they all join, keep- 
ing time with their oars. In the course of years they will gradually disappear ; their 
songs will die away like the echoes they once awakened, and the Canadian voyageurs 
will become a forgotten race, or remembered among the poetical images of past times 
and as themes for local and romantic associations." 

The Tonquin reached the mouth of the Columbia on the twenty-second of [Nlarcli, 
1811, much jealousy and ill-feeling having been engendered during the voyage be- 
tween the commander and the Scotch partners. Captain Thorn was a martinet, a 
strict disciplinarian, with a high opinion of the power and dignity of the commander 
of a vessel. He was headstrong and stubborn in the extreme. When the ship arrived 
at the river the bar was very rough, and the captain feared to enter until the location 
of the channel was ascertained. He ordered Mr. Fox, the chief mate, to take one 
seaman and three Canadians in a whale boat and explore the channel, and though the 
mate protested that it was certain death to attempt it, he insisted upon obedience to his 
orders. The boat left the ship and was soon swallowed up in the angry billows. The 
next dav he sent out another crew to seek the channel, and their boat was swept out to 
sea bv the tide and current, only one of the crew finally reaching land. The vessel 
succeeded in getting just inside of the bar when darkness came on and she was com- 
pelled to cast anchor for the night, while the ebbing tide threatened to sweep her from 
her precarious hold upon the sand and swamp her amid the breakers. Irving says : 
" The wind whistled, the sea roared, the gloom was only broken by the ghastly glare 
of the foaming breakers, the minds of the seamen were full of dreary apprehensions, 
and some of them fancied they heard the cries of their lost comrades mingling with 
the upi-oar of the elements." 

In the morning the Tonquin passed safely into the river and came to anchor in a 
secure harbor. On the twelfth of April, a point on the south side of the river which 
Broughton had called Point George having been selected, the erection of a fort and 
buildings was begun ; and on that spot, which was then christened Astoria in honor of 
the projector of the enterprise, now stands one of the most important commercial and 
manufacturing cities of the Pacific coast. After much delay in preparing a place for 
the reception of the goods and in landing those to be left at Astoria, during which the 
captain and partners constantly wrangled about their authority, and before the fort 
was completed, the Tonquin sailed, on the fifth of June, to engage in trade with the na- 
tives along the northern coast, and eventually to reach the Russian settlements in 
Alaska, with the hope of opening a friendly communication with them. 

The Tonquin anchored in a small harbor on Vancouver island, and Alexander 
McKay, one of the partners, landed upon the island. During his absence the vessel 



wa< s^un'oiuided by a host of savages in their canoes, who soou swarmed upon the decks. 
They were eager to trade, but had evidently had considerable experience in dealing 
Avith the whites and were well posted upon the value of their furs, for they resolutely 
demanded a higher price than Captain Thorn was willing to pay. Provoked beyond 
measure at their stubbornness, Thorn refused to deal with them, whereupon they be- 
came exceedingly insolent. The captain at last completely tost his temper, and seizing 
the old chief, Nookamis, who was following him about and taunting him with his 
stinginess, rubbed in his face an otter skin he had been endeavoring to sell. He then 
ordered the whole band to leave the ship and added blows to enforce his command. 
The tragic ending of this adventure is thus related by Irving : 

" When Mr. M'Kay returned on board, the interpreter related what had passed, 
and begged him to prevail upon the captain to make sail, as, from his knowledge of 
the temj^er and pride of the people of the jjlace, he was sure they would resent the 
indignity offered to one of their chiefs. Mr. M'Kay, who himself possessed some ex- 
perience of Indian character, went to the captain, who was still pacing the deck in 
moody humor, rejiresented the danger to which his hasty act had exposed the vessel, 
and urged upon him to weigh anchor The captain made light of his councils, and 
pointed to his cannon and fire-arms as a sufficient safe-guard against naked savages. 
Further remonstrances only ^^rovoked taunting replies and sharp altercations. The 
day passed away without any signs of hostility, and at night the caj)tain retired, as 
usual, to his cabin, taking no more than the usual precautions. On the following 
morning, at day -break, while the captain and Mr. M'Kay were yet asleej), a canoe came 
alongside in which were twenty Indians, commanded by young Shewish. They were 
unarmed, their aspect and demeanor friendly, and they held up otter skins, and made 
signs indicative of a wish to trade. The caution enjoined by Mr. Astor in respect to 
the admission of Indians on board of the ship, had been neglected for some time past, 
and the officer of the watch, perceiving those in the canoes to be without weapons, and 
having received no orders to the contrary, readily permitted them to mount the deck. 
Another canoe soon succeeded, the crew of which was likewise admitted. In a little 
while other canoes came off, and Indians were soon clambering into the vessel on all 

" The officer of the watch now felt alarmed, and called to C'a])tain Thorn and Mr. 
M'Kay. By the time they came on deck, it was thronged with Indians. The inter- 
))reter noticed to Mr. M'Kay that many of the natives wore short mantles of skins, 
and intimated a suspicion that they were secretly armed. Mr. M'Kay urged the cap- 
tain to clear the ship and get under way. He again made light of the advice ; but 
the augmented swarm of canoes about the ship, and the numbers still j)utting off from 
shore, at length awakened his distrust, and he ordered some of the crew to weigh an- 
cIkii'. while some were sent aloft to make sail. The Indians now offered to trade with 
I he caj)tain on his own terms, prompted, apparently, by the approaching departure of 
tlie ship. ^Vccordingly, a hurried trade was commenced. The main articles sought 
by the savages in barter, were knives; as fast as some were supplied they moved off 
and others succeeded. By degrees they were thus distributed about the deck, and all 
with weapons. The anchor was now nearly up, the sails were loose, and the cajitain, 
in a loud and ]icremptin-y tone, ordered the ship to be cleared. In an instant a signal 

veil wa8 given ; it Avas echoed on every .side, knives and war clnbs were brandished in 
every direction, and the savages rushed upon their marked victims. 

" The first that fell was Mr. Lewis, the shij/s clerk. He was leaning, with folded 
arms, over a bale of blankets, engaged in bargaining, when he received a deadly stab 
in the back, and fell down the comj^anionway. Mr. M'Kay, who was seated on the 
taffrail, sprang to his feet, but was instantly knocked down with a war-club and flung 
backwards into the sea, where he was dispatched by the women in the canoes. In the 
meantime, Captain Thorn made desperate fight against fearful odds. He was a pow- 
erful as well as resolute man, but he had come upon deck Avithout weapons. Shewish, 
the young chief, singled him out as his peculiar prey, and rushed upon him at the first 
outbreak. The captain had barely time to draw a clasp-knife, with one blow of which 
he laid the young savage dead at liis feet. Several of the stoutest followers of Shewish 
now set upon him. He defended himself vigorously, dealing crippling blows to right 
and left, and strewing the quarterdeck with the slain and wounded. His object was 
to fight his way to the cabin, where there were fire-arms ; but he was hemmed in with 
foes, covered with wounds, and faint with loss of blood. For an instant he leaned upon 
the tiller wheel, when a blow from behind, with a war-club, felled him to the deck, 
where he was disjmtched with knives and thrown overboard. 

" While this was transacting upon the quarterdeck, a chance medley fight was 
going on throughout the ship. The crew fought desperately with knives, handspikes 
and whatever weapons they could seize upon in the moment of surprise. They were 
soon, however, overpowered by numbers and mercilessly butchered. As to the seven 
who had been sent aloft to make sail, they contemplated with horror the carnage that 
was going on below. Being destitute of weapons, they let themselves down by the 
running rigging, in hopes of getting between decks. One fell in the attempt, and was 
instantly dispatched ; another received a death-blow in the back as he was descending; 
a third, Stephen Weekes, the armorer, was mortally wounded as he was getting down 
the hatchway. The remaining four made good their retreat into the cabin, where they 
found Mr. Lewis still alive, though mortally wounded. Barricading the cabin door, 
they broke holes through the companionway, and, with muskets and ammunition which 
were at hand, opened a brisk fire that soon cleared the deck. Thus far the Indian 
interpreter, from whom these particulars are derived, had been an eye-witness of the 
deadly conflict. He had taken no part in it and had been spared by the natives as 
being of their race. In the confusion of the moment he took refuge with the rest, in 
the canoes. The survivors of the crew now sallied forth and discharged some of 
the deck guns, which did great execution among the canoes and drove all the savages 
to shore. 

"For the remainder of the day no one ventured to put off' to the ship, deterred by 
the effects of the firearms. The night passed away without any further attempt on 
the part of the natives. When the day dawned the Tonquin still lay at anchor in the 
bay, her sails all loose and flapping in the wind, and no one apparently on board of 
her. After a time, some of the canoes ventured forth to reconnoitre, taking with them 
the interpreter. They paddled about her, keeping cautiously at a distance, but grow- 
ing more and more emboldened at seeing her quiet and lifeless. One man at length 
made his appearance on the deck and was recognized by the interpreter as Mr. Lewis. 

He made friendly signs and invited them on board. It was long before they ventured 
to comply. Those who mounted the deck met with no opposition ; no one was to be 
seen on board, for Mr. Lewis, after inviting them, had disappeai-ed. Other canoes now 
pressed forward to board the prize ; the decks were soon crowded and the sides cov- 
ered with clambering savages, all intent on plunder. In the midst of their eagerness 
and exultation, the ship blew np with a tremendous explosion. Arms, legs and muti- 
lated bodies were blown into the air, and dreadful havoc was made in the surrounding 
canoes. The interpreter was in the main chains at the time of the explosion, and wa.s 
thrown unhurt into the water, where he succeeded in getting into one of the canoes. 
According to his statement the bay presented an awful spectacle after the catastrojihe. 
The ship had disappeared, but the bay was covered with fragments of the wreck, with 
shattered canoes, and Indians swimming for their lives or struggling in the agonies of 
death ; while those who had escaped the danger remained aghast and stupefied, or made 
with frantic panic for the shore. Upwards of a hundred savages were destroyed by the 
explosion, many more were shockingly mutilated, and for days afterwards the limbs 
and bodies of the slain were thrown upon the beach. 

"The inhabitants of Neweetee were overwhelmed with consternation at this as- 
tounding calamity which had burst upon them in the very moment of triumph. The 
warriors sat mute and mournful, while the women filled the air with loud lamentations. 
Their weeping and wailing, however, was suddenly changed into yells of fury at the 
sight of four unfortunate white men brought captive into the village. They had been 
driven on shore in one of the ship's boats, and taken at some distance along the coast. 
The interpreter was permitted to converse with them. They proved to be the four 
brave fellows who had made such desperate defense from the cabin. The interpreter 
gathered from them some of the particulars already related. They told him further 
that, after they had beaten off the enemy, and cleared the ship, Lewis advised that 
they should slip the cable and endeavor to get to sea. They declined to take his advice, 
alleging that the wind set too strongly into the bay, and would drive them on .^hore. 
They resolved, as soon as it was dark, to put off quietly in the ship's boat, which they 
would be able to do unperceived, and to coast along back to Astoria. They put their 
resolution into effect ; l)ut Lewis refused to accompany them, being disabled by his 
wound, hopeless of escape and determined on a terrible revenge. On the voyage out 
he had frequently expressed a presentiment that he should die by his own hands — 
thinking it highly probable that he should be engaged in some contests with the na- 
tives, and being resolved, in case of extremity, to commit suicide rather than be made 
a prisoner. He now declared his intention to remain on the ship until daylight, to de- 
coy as many of the savages on board as possible, then to set fire to the powder maga- 
zine and terminate his life by a signal act of vengeance. How well he succeeded has 
been shown. His companions bade him a melancholy adieu and set off on their pre- 
carious expedition. They strove with might and main to get out of the bay, but found 
it impossible to weather a point of land, and were at length compelled to take shelter 
in a small cove, where they hoped to remain concealed until the wind should be more 
favorable. Exhausted by fatigue and watching, they fell into a sound sleep, and in 
that state were surprised by the savages. Better had it been for those unfortunate men 
had they remained with Lewis and shared his heroic death ; as it was. they perished in 

100 , OREGON. 

a more painful and protracted manner, being sacrificed by the natives to the manes of 
their friends with all the lingering tortures of savage cruelty. Some time after their 
death the interpreter, who had remained a kind of j^visoner at large, effected his escape 
and brought the tragical tidings to Astoria." 

Meanwhile affairs were j^rogressing at Astoria. On the fifteenth of July tlie 
partners were astonished by the appearance in the river of a canoe manned by nine 
white men, who proved to be representatives of the Northwest Company, under the 
leadership of David Thompson, a partner in that powerful organization. When the 
company had learned the year before of the projected enterprise of Mr. Astor, it dis- 
patched Mr. Thompson from Montreal with a large party to hasten across the conti- 
nent and forestall the American trader by taking possession of the mouth of the Co- 
lumbia. Many of his party had deserted him, and now after ruinous delay and with 
but these few faithful ones to aid him, he had arrived at the goal of his journey too 
late to accom^ilish his purpose. Thompson was received with great cordiality by jMr. 
McDougal, the partner in charge at Astoria, who had a kindly feeling for all represen- 
tatives of the Northwest Company ; and though he was but a spy upon his hosts, he 
was bountifully supplied with provisions for his return journey. He set out upon his 
return to Montreal on the twenty- third day of July, bearing a letter to Mr. Astor tt^ll- 
ing of the safe arrival of the vessel, and accompanied by a party of nine, headed by 
David Stuart, who w^ere instructed to establish a post on the uj^per Columbia. ^h\ 
Stuart selected a spot near the mouth of the Okinagan river, and establishing a post 
there openad trade with the natives. 

On the second of October the schooner was completed and launched. She was 
named the Dolly, and was the third vessel built on the Northern Pacific coast, and the first 
in the Columbia river. A few days later half of Stuart's party returned, having been 
sent back for the winter because of a lack of jirovisions to subsist them. The winter 
months were passed without fresh disasters flowing in ujdou them. 

When the Tonquin sailed from New York Wilson P. Hunt was preparing to cross 
overland with another party. He finally left St. Louis with a party of sixty men, 
among whom were Donald McKenzie and three other ^^artners, Ramsey Crooks, Joseph 
Miller and Robert McLellan. With them went John Day, a noted Kentucky hunter, 
and Pierre Dorion, a French half-breed, to act as an interpreter. The party arrived at 
Fort Henry, on Snake river, October 8, 1811. Small detachments were, from time to 
time, sent out in the Rocky mountains to trap in various localities, who were to use 
Fort Henry as a supply station, and for concentration with their furs. The remaining 
members of the party, after a temporary halt, moved on down Snake river enroute for 
the general rendezvous at the mouth of the Columbia ; and a continued succession of 
hardships and disaster seemed to follow them. First, the unfortunate Antoine Clappin 
was drowned in passing a rapid, then famine came to rob them of human instincts, as 
they were led to the verge of starvation. They were finally forced to separate into 
small detachments, one party going under Ramsey Crooks, another with Donald Mc- 
Kenzie for leader, while a third remained with Mr. Hunt, hoping by such division to 
increase their chances of finally reaching the Columbia. 

Once the parties under Crooks and Hunt camped with the narrow, deep waters of 
Snake river only separating them. The Hunt iwrty had killed a horse and were 

4^*^ / 





OREGON. 101 

cooking it, while their starving companions on the opposite side of the stream, with no 
means of crossing it, were forced to look on as they starved. Not a man in Mr. Hnnt's 
camp would make an effort to send them food, until the arrival of Mr. Crooks, who, 
discovering the condition of his men on the opposite side, called to the forlorn band to 
start fires for cooking, that no time might be lost while he constructed a canoe out of 
skins, in which to take meat across to them. In vain he tried to shame the more for- 
tunate into helping to succor their fkmishing companions, but : " A vague, and almost 
superstitious terror," says Irving, " had infected the minds of Mr. Hunt's followers, 
enfeebled and rendered imaginative of horrors by the dismal scenes and sufferings 
through which they had passed. They regarded the haggard crew, hovering like 
spectres of famine on the opposite bank, with indefinite feelings of awe and apprehen- 
sion, as if something desperate and dangerous was to be feared from them." 

When the canoe was finished, Mr. Crooks attempted to navigate the impetuous 
stream witli it, but found his strength unequal to the task, and failing to reach his 
companions on the o})posite bank, made another appeal to Hunt's men. Finally, a 
Kentuckian, named Ben Jones, undertook and made the passage, conveying meat to 
them, and then came back. Irving, in describing the sad scene, says : " A poor Cana- 
dian, however, named Jean Baptiste Prevost, whom famine had rendered wild and 
desperate, ran frantically about the banks, after Jones had returned, crying out to Mr. 
Hunt to send the canoe for him, and take him from that horrible region of famine, de- 
claring that otherwise he would never march another step, but would lie down there 
and die. The canoe was shortly sent over again, under the management of Joseph 
Delaunay, with fiirther sup))lies. Prevost immediately pressed forward to embark. 
Delaunay refused to admit him, telling him that there was now a sufficient supply of 
meat on his side of the ri\er. He replied that it was not cooked, and he should starve 
before it was ready ; he implored, therefore, to be taken where he could get something 
to appease his hunger immediately. Finding the canoe putting ofi:' without him, he 
forced himself aboard. As he drew near the opposite shore, and beheld meat roasting 
before the fires, he jumped up, shouted, clapped his hands, and danced in a delirium 
of joy, until he upset the canoe. The poor wretch was swept away by the current and 
drowned, and it was with extreme difficulty that Delaunay reached the shore. !Mr. 
Hunt now sent all his men forward excepting two or three. In the evening, he caused 
another horse to be killed, and a canoe to be made out of the skin, in which he sent 
over a further supply of meat to the opposite party. The canoe brought back John 
Day, the Kentucky hunter, who came to join his former commander and employer, 
]\Ir. Crooks. Poor Day, once so active and vigorous, was now reduced to a condition 
even more feeble and emaciated than his companions. Mr. Crooks had such a value 
for the man, on account of his past services and faithful charactei', that he determined 
not to quit him ; he exhorted Mr. Hunt, however, to jjroceed forward and join the 
party, as his presence was all important to the conduct of the expedition. One of the 
Canadians, Jean Baptiste Dubreuil, likewise remained with Mr. Crooks." 

The occurrences at this starvation camp were on the twentieth of Deceiid)i'r, 1811, 
both parties being on tlicii' way back up Snake river after having fouixi the descent of 
tiiat stream impossible. It was now tlieii' intention to stiike across the couiitrv for tiie 
Coluiiiliia, as soon as it was j)raeticab]e to do so. ( )n tlie twcntv-tliinl of Deeeinlier, 

102 OREGON. 

Mr. Hunt's followers crossed to the west side of the stream, where they were joined l)y 
Crooks' men, who were already there. The two parties, when united, numbered thirty- 
six souls, and on the next day they turned from the river into a trackless country; but, 
before starting, three more of their number had concluded to remain among the sav- 
ages rather than face the hardshijjs and trials that lay before them. December 28, 
1811, the head waters of Grand Eonde river were reached, and the last day of that 
year found them camped in the valley of that name. Through all their perils and 
wanderings since leaving St. Louis, one woman, the Indian wife of Pierre Dorion, a 
guide, interpreter and trapper, had accompanied them, bringing with her two children, 
and, as the party entered the Grand Ronde valley, she gave birth to another. Tlie 
next day she continued the journey on horseback as though nothing had happened, 
but the little stranger only lived six days. 

Mr. Hunt, after halting one or two days to enable his followers to celebrate, in 
their forlorn w^ay, the advent of a new year that had presented to them the Grand 
Ronde valley, a kind of winter paradise in the mountains, continued his course to the 
west. The Blue mountain ridge was passed, and January 8, 1812, an Indian village 
on the Umatilla river close to the mountains was reached, where they were hospitably 
received. From there their route was down this stream to the Columbia river, thence 
to the mouth of the latter, arriving at Astoria February 15, 1812. 

Since leaving Fort Henry, October 19, 1811, out of Mr. Hunt's party, two men 
had been drowned on Snake river, and poor Michael Carriere, when exhausted, had 
straggled behind in Grand Ronde valley and was never heard from afterwards. Ram- 
sev Crooks, John Day and four Canadian voyageurs, had been left half dead on Snake 
river to remain in the Indian country, die, or reach the Columbia as they best could. 
Eleven men, among whom were Donald McKenzie, Robert McLellan and the unfortu- 
nate John Reed, had been detached on Snake river, and following that stream until its 
waters mingled with the Columbia, had reached Astoria a month in advance of Mr. 
Hunt. Mr. Stuart, when returning from his post on the Okinagan, during the first 
days of April, found Mr. Crooks and John Day on the banks of the Columbia river 
without w^eapons, nearly starved, and as naked as when born, having been robbed and 
stripped by the Dalles Indians. They had wintered in the Blue mountains al)out 
Grand Ronde valley, and had reached the Walla Wallas in the spring, who had fed, 
succored, and sent them on their way rejoicing down the river. When found, they 
were making their way back to these early friends of the Americans, who never failed 
to assist our people when in trouble. At length all but three of those starting from 
the head waters of Snake river for Astoria had reached that place except the four 
voyageurs, and later they, too, were found by a return party. On the ninth of May, 
after Mr. Hunt's arrival, the ship Beaver, with reinforcements and supplies, anchored 
at Astoria, and the Pacific Fur Company was in condition to enter upon a vigorous fur 
gathering campaign. 

Mr. Hunt, who was at the head of affairs, set out in July for Alaska to fulfill the 
mission upon which the ill-fated Tonquin had sailed, and his departure left Duncan 
McDougal in charge. Prior to this, however, the various expeditions to trap waters 
and trade with natives between the Rocky and Cascade mountains had started, sixty- 
two strong, up the Columbia. Among the number was the unfortunate John Day, 

OEEGON. 103 

and, as tlu' party apiiroaclicd the scenes of his former sufferings liis mind became 
delirious, and tlie mere sight of an Indian wouUl throw him into u frenzy of passion. 
He finally attempted his own life, but was prevented from taking it, after which a con- 
stant guard was kept over him. It was at length determined to send him back to 
Astoria, and being placed in charge of two Indians, he was delivered by them at the 
fort where he died in less than a year. His old compeers ami staunch friends, who 
had shared perils and privations with him, were forced to continue their journey with 
a^ sad memory of this companion, whose brain had been shattered by his many mis- 
fortunes. The stream wliich had witnessed his many sufferings still bears the heroic 
trapper's name. 

The arrival of trappers at the present site of Wallnla, on the twenty-eighth of 
July, 1812, was the signal for general rejoicing among the friendly Walla Wallas, who 
greeted them with bonfires, and a night dance, in which they sang the praises of 
their white friends. Here the four expeditions were to separate, Robert Stuart to 
cross the continent by Hunt's route ; David Stuart to go up the Columbia to Okina- 
gan ; Donald IMcKenzie to establish a post in the Nez Perce country ; and John Clarke 
to locate one among the Spokane Indians. Of these several expeditions, Robert Stuart, 
with his party, including Crooks and McLellan, reached St. Louis eleven months later, 
bearing news to Mr. Astor of his enterprise on the Pacific coast. McKenzie's opera- 
tions were a failure ; David Stuart's success was equal to his most sanguine hopes, and 
Mr. Clarke's efforts resulted second only to those of Mr. Stuart. 

(_)n the twenty-fifth of ]\Iay, 1813, Mr. Clarke started from his post on the Spo- 
kane to reach the Walla Walla, the place agreed upon as a general rendezvous, where 
the different expeditions were to meet and return to Astoria with the furs obtained in 
their operations during the past season. On his way up, Mr. Clarke had left his 
canoes in charge of a Palouse chief, living at the mouth of the river of that name, 
with whom he found them on his return. He had twenty-eight horse packs of furs, 
and all his men were in high spirits because of the success that had attended their 
year's work. While stopping at the mouth of this stream to repair their canoes, in 
which to embark upon the river, an incident happened that cannot well be passed in 

Mr. Clarke was a strong disciplinarian, something of an aristocrat, and disjiosed to 
inpresss those with whoni he came in contact with the dignity of liis presence and per- 
son. He Avas in the habit of carrying a silver goblet to drink from, and its glittering 
presence, carefully guarded by its possessor, became an object of strange and strong 
attraction to the superstitious Indians. In all their land, no such wondrous device had 
been seen before. They talked to each other concerning it, watched its appearance, 
and the care with which its lucky possessor laid it away after using. Possibly it was a 
great medicine, like the spotted shirt and the white (juilt among the Coeur d'Alenes, or 
a powerful talisman to ward off danger or shield its owner from harm, a sort of ark 
near which the great Manitou dwelt. One night it disappeared, and Mr. Clarke was 
enraged. He threatened to hang the first Indian detected in stealing, and the next 
night an uiifoi-tuiiate one was caught in the act. A hasty trial followed, and the 
]irisonci' was condemned to die, when ^Ir. ( 'lai-ke made the assembled savages a speech. 
He recounted the numei-ous oifts that had been bestowed, the benefit the white man's 

104 OREGON. 

presence had been to their peo])!^, and then, upbraiding them for thefts, told the 
Indians that he shoukl kill the thief he had captured with pilfered goods. The old 
chief and his followers besought him to not do this. They were willing that he shoukl 
be punished severely, and then let go, but the traj^i^er was inexorable, and the ^^oor 
groveling wretch was dragged to a temjwrary scaifold, constructed from oars, and was 
launched into eternity. The other partners of the Pacific Fur Company were unanimous 
in condemning this act, and Gabriel Franchere, who was one of the company clerks, 
wrote concerning the killing of the unfortunate John Reed and his party by Indians 
the ensuing winter : " We had no doubt that his massacre was an act of vengeance, 
on the part of the natives, in retaliation for the death of one of their people, whom Mr. 
John Clarke had hanged for theft the spring before." Immediately after this hanging 
the party embarked for the mouth of the Walla Walla, where Stuart and McKenzie 
were waiting, and from this point they all continued their way down the river, arriving 
at Astoria, June 12, 1813. 

Upon re-assembling at headquarters, the return expeditions found that, upon the 
whole, it had been a successful year's labor, that the peltry brought in, amounting to 
157 packs, if sold at market rates in Canton, would pay well for the time spent, and 
reimburse them for local losses. In addition to this, they had become well established 
in the fur producing regions, and the outlook was very encouraging except for one 
thing. War had been raging between Great Britain and the United States for over a 
year, and they had recently become aware of this fact. 

On their arrival at Astoria, J. G. McTavish with nineteen men was found camped 
near by, awaiting the appearance of a vessel called the Isaac Todd, sent by the North- 
west Comjiany with stores for them, with letters of marque, and instructions from the 
British government to destroy everything American found on the Pacific coast. This 
latter fact was unknown at Astoria at the time, however, but the non-arrival of supplies 
by sea, combined with the unfavorable news of British success in arms, led the partners 
to fear that none whatever would reach them. They, consequently, determined to 
abandon the country, and start on their return overland the ensuing year, if their mis- 
givings proved well founded. They sold their Spokane fort to McTavish for $848, 
and then furnished that gentleman with j^rovisious to enable him to return to the 
upper country ; and, in July, they visited the interior themselves to gather what furs 
they could -before taking final leave of the country. 

Three months later, McTavish returned to Astoria witli a force of seventy-five men 
for the purpose of meeting the vessel that had caused his former visit, bringing, also, 
the news that her coming to the Columbia was for the purpose of capturing Astoria, 
and to assist the Northwest Company in gainmg ascendancy on the coast. He offered 
to buy the furs of the Astoriaus, and, on the sixteenth of October, 1813, a transfer of 
the entire stock, worth at least $100,000, was made for less than $40,000. Two months 
later, on December 12, the fort was surrendered to the English under cunnnand of a 
naval officer. Captain Black of the Raccoon, when the American flag was lowered to 
give the British colors place, and the name of Astoria was changed to Fort George. An 
amusing incident of this transfer is related by John Ross Cox. " The Indians, at the 
mouth of the Columbia, knew well that Great Britain and America were distinct nations, 
and that they were then at war, but were ignorant of the arrangement made between 


OREGON. 105 

Messrs. MrDougal and McTavish, the former of whom still coiitiuueil as nominal chief 
at the fort. On the arrival of the Raccoon, which they quickly discovered to be one of 
* King George's fighting ships,' they repaired, armed, to the fort, and requested an 
audience of Mr. McDougal. He was somewhat surprised at their numbers and war- 
like ajipearance, and demanded the object of such an unusual visit. Concomly, the 
principal chief of the Chinooks, (whose daughter McDougal had married,) thereupon 
addressed him in a long speech, in the course of which he said that King George had 
sent a ship full of warriors, and loaded with nothing but big guns, to take the Ameri- 
cans and make them all slaves, and that, as they (the Americans) were the first white 
men who settled in their country, and treated the Indians like good relations, they had 
resolved to defend them from King George's warriors, and were now ready to conceal 
themselves in the woods close to the wharf, from whence they would be able, with their 
guns and arrows, to shoot all the men that should attempt to land from the English 
boats, -while the people in the fort could fire at them with their big guns and rifles. 
This proposition was uttered with an earnestness of manner that admitted no doubt of 
its sincerity. Two armed boats from the Raccoon were approaching ; and, had the 
peoijle in the fort felt disposed to accede to the wishes of the Indians, every man in 
them would have been destroyed by an invisible enemy. Mr. McDougal thanked them 
for their friendly offer, but added, that, notwithstanding the nations were at war, the 
people in. the boats would not injure him or any of his people, and therefore requested 
them to throw by their war shirts and arms, and receive the strangers as their friends. 
They at first seemed astonished at this answer ; but, on assuring them, in the most pos- 
itive manner, that he was under no apprehension, they consented to give up their 
weapons for a few days. They afterwards declared they were sorry for having complied 
with Mr. McDougal's wishes ; for when they observed Captain Black, surrounded by 
his ofiieers and marines, break the bottle of port on the flag -staff, and hoist the British 
ensign, after changing the name of the fort, they remarked that however he might wish 
to conceal the fact, the Americans were undoubtedly made slaves." 

Seventy-eight days after the surrender of Astoria to the British, Mr. Hunt 
arrived at that fort in the brig Pedlar, and judge of his astonishment, to learn that 
McDougal was a partner no longer of the Pacific, but of the Northwest Company; 
that he held possession not under the American, but under the English flag ; and that 
all in which Mr. Hunt was interested on this coast had passed, without a struggle, 
through treachery, into the hands of his country's enemies. Mr. Hunt, finally, secured 
the papers pertaining to business transactions of the Pacific Fur Company from Mc- 
Dougal, and then sailed, April 3, 1814, from the shore that had seemed to yield only 
misfortune and disaster in return for the efforts of himself, and those with whom he 
was associated. The next day, David Stuart, McKenzie, John Clarke and eighty-five 
other members and employes of the Pacific Fur Company started up the Columbia 
river in their boats on their way across the continent, and while passing AVallula, 
learned from the widow of Pierre Dorion, of the massacre of John Reed and his eight 
associates, among the Snake Indians near Fort Henrv. 



The Russian Settlements— They Establish Themselves at Bodega Bay— Treaty of Ghent Restoration to the 
United States of Astoria, or Fort George- Treaty of Joint Occupancy in 1818— The Florida Treaty of 
1819 -Fierce Rivalry between the Hudson's Bay and Northwest Corapanies-The War on Red River— Consoli- 
dation of the Rival Companies — Description of the Hudson's Bay Company. 

During the years that had elapsed since the Russian American Trading Com- 
pany was chartered, that organization had become exceedingly powerful, establishing 
many posts on the Alaskan coast and carrying on the fur trade in a systematic and 
successful manner. In 1799 a settlement was made on King George III. archipelago 
near Mount Edgeeumb, near the 56th parallel. This was destroyed by the natives in 
1803, and was rebuilt in 1805, and was then called New Archangel of Sitka. This 
became the capital of Russian America and so remained until Alaska was j)urchased 
by the United States. This was the most southerly settlement at that time, but in 
1806 preparations were made to occupy tlie mouth of the Columbia, which was con- 
sidered by the company to be embraced within the limits of the country over which 
their monopoly charter from the czar extended. The execution of this project was 
deferred for a time, and, as we have seen, was in a few years rendered impossible 
because of prior possession of the Americans and English. In 1812 the governor of 
the company, whose headquarters were at Sitka, requested and received permission of 
the Spanish governor of California to leave a few men on the shore of Bodega bay, a 
few miles north of Yerba Buena (San Francisco) for the purpose of preparing meat 
and supplies for their j50sts in the north. In a few years this little station had become 
a fortified settlement, and the governor's request and peremptory order to vacate were 
treated with contempt ; nor were they ever driven from their post, but abandoned it in 
1840 at the request of the United States government. During the years of their 
occujjaney many voyages of trade and exijloration were made, some of them at the 
expense of much suflTering and many lives, adding materially to the geographical 
knowledge of the upper portion of the Pacific and the Arctic ocean above Siberia and 
about Behring's strait. 

The treaty of Ghent, which ended the war of 1812, provided that " all territory, 
places, and possessions, whatsoever, taken by either j)arty from the other during the 
war, or which may be taken after the signing of this treaty, shall be restored without 
delay." It failed, however, because the commissioners could not agree, to define a 
dividing line between the American territory of Louisiana and the possessions of the 
British, west of the Lake of the Woods. In pursuance of this treaty, Mr. Astor, who 
was eager to recover possession of Astoria and resume his trading operations in the 
Pacific, applied to the president for restitution of his property. The minister of Great 

Britain at Washington was accordingly notified in Jnly, 181.3, that tlie United States 
would at once reoccupy the captured fort at the mouth of the Columbia ; Init no ap- 
parent notice was taken of this by the English government. It was not until Septem- 
ber, 1817, that actual steps were taken to carry into eifect this resolution, and then the 
sloop of war Ontario was dispatched on this errand, the captain, J. Biddle, and J. B 
Prevost, his associate commissioner, being instructed to assert the claim of the United 
States to the sovereignty of the country adjacent to the C'oluml)ia, l)ut to do so in a- 
friendly and peaceable manner. 

Soon after the departure of the Ontario the representative of Great Britain offi- 
cially inquired of Secretary Adams the destination and object of the vessel, and was 
informed that it was directed to take possession of the post at the mouth of the Colum- 
bia, which, since no attention had been paid to the notification of two years before, it 
had been assumed Great Britain had no idea of claiming as rightfully hers. This was 
answered by saying that the post had been purchased by the Northwest Company, 
subjects of his majesty, from private individuals, and as it was situated in a region 
which that company had long occupied it was considered as forming a portion of his 
majesty's dominions. Much controversy was carried on between the two governments 
on the questions of abstract right and actual possession. It was finally agreed that the 
post should be restored to the United States but its property should still belong to its 
l^urchasers, while the right of dominion over the country should be left for future nego- 
tiation. The Ontario arrived at Valparaiso in February, 1818, where Mr. Prevost 
landed to transact official business with the Chilean government. Captain Biddle con- 
tinued to the Columbia, sailing into that stream in the month of August and taking- 
formal possession of the surrounding country in the name of the United States. He 
then departed for other portions of the Pacific. In the meantime Captain Sheriff, of 
the English navy, having orders to deliver up Fort George, met Mr. Prevost in Chili 
and offered him passage to the Columbia for that purpose in the frigate Blossom. 
They entered the river early in October, when Mr. Keith, the gentleman in charge 
surrendered possession, having been instructed to that effect by the officers of the com- 
pany. A paper was given to Mr. Prevost setting forth the fact that, in pursuance of 
orders from the government, Fort George, on the Columbia river, Avas surrendered to 
him as the representative of the United States, and he in return gave the officers a 
written acceptance of the transfer. The British flag was then lowered and the Amer- 
ican ensign was temjiorarily displayed over the walls of Fort George, Avhile it was 
courteously saluted by the guns of the Blossom. Thus the matter stood, the Ameri- 
cans nominally and the British actually in possession of Oregon. 

During the time the Northwest Company had occupied this post many improve- 
ments had been made, so that the Fort George of 1818 was far different from the 
Astoria of five years before. A stockade of pine logs, twelve feet high above the 
ground, enclosed a imrallelogram of 150x250 feet, within which were dwellings, store- 
houses, magazines, shops, etc., all defended by two eightecn-pounders, six six-pounders, 
four four-pound carronades, two six-pound cohorns, and seven swivels, armament 
sufficient for a strong fort in those days. The population consisted of twenty-three 
whites, twenty-six Kanakas and sixteen Canadian half-breeds. The comi^any was not 
disturbed in the possession of this important post, and ^Iv. Astor was finally compelled 

108 OEEGON. 

to abandon all hoj^e of recoveriug his property through the action of the government, 
and not deeming it advisable to found a rival establishment, was reluctantly compelled 
to abandon his projects in the Pacific altogether. 

Negotiations still continued between the two governments during these transac- 
tions of their agents, and on the twentieth of October, 1818, a treaty of compromise 
was signed, providing that all territories and their waters west of the Rocky mountains 
should be free and open to the vessels and to the use and occupation of the citizens 
and subjects of both nations for the period of ten years, and that no claim of either 
party should in any manner be prejudiced by this action, and that neither should gain 
any right of dominion by such use or occupation during the time specified. On the 
twenty-second of February, 1819, a treaty was concluded between the United States 
and Spain, generally known as the Florida treaty, by which Spain ceded to the 
United States her province of Florida and all her rights, claims and pretensions to 
anv territories north and east of a line drawn from the source of the Arkansas north 
to the 42d parallel and thence west to the Pacific. The 42d parallel remained the 
boundary between the United States and Mexico until Texas, then California, and still 
later New Mexico and Arizona were conquered or purchased by the former, and was 
considered the southern boundary of Oregon. 

Fierce rivalry had existed for many jearti between the Hudson's Bay Comj^any 
and its energetic competitor. The despised rival had grown in wealth and power until 
the Northwest Company, though not protected by royal charter and not having vast terri- 
tories over which to exercise the right of dominion, had become an organization even 
more wealthy and powerful than the chartered monoi:)oly. In the plenitude of its 
power it gave employment to 2,000 voyageurs, while its agents penetrated the wilder- 
ness in all directions in search of furs. The Hudson's Bay Company had confined 
itself to its granted territory, and had not even explored that with enlightened energy, 
their method of conducting the business being to build a few j)osts at central jJoints, to 
which the Indians re23aired for purposes of trade. On the contrary, it w'as the policy 
of the rival organization to send its agents far and wide, to trade with the natives and 
open up new fields of operation. This aggressive policy soon had the effect of arousing 
the old comjiany to a realizing sense of the precarious condition of its affairs, and the 
necessity for taking energetic steps to recover the ground it was rapidly losing. The 
result of the rivalry, growing chiefly out of the improvident methods of the Northwest 
Company, was so alarming a decrease in the fur-bearing animals as to threaten their 
complete extinction. A systematic effort was made to crush the old company, or to at 
least drive its representatives from the most valuable lieaver country, with the hope of 
finally compelling a surrender of its charter. 

The first act of actual hostility, other than mere trade rivalry, was committed in 
1806, when a trader of the Hudson's Bay Company was forcibly deprived of 480 packs 
of beaver skins, and a few months later of fifty more. The same year another trader 
was attacked and robbed of valuable furs by servants of the Northwest Company, and 
received similar treatment again the following spring. These acts of plundering were 
numerous, and since no law but the law of might existed in the wilderness, there was 
no redress for the despoiled company nor punishment for the offenders, since the latter 
were Canadians and their victims citizens of England and not possessed of facilities 

Philip Ua Motta's dARBER Shop. 
U.S. Signal Service Office, upstairs. 

OREGON. 103 

for .securing redress in the courts of Canada. In twelve years l)ut one case was l^rouglit 
to trial, in 1809, wdien a Hudson's Bay Company man was convicted of manslaughter 
for killing an agent of the other company who was making an attack upon him with a 
sword ; and this result was accomplished by the powerful influence of the Northwest 
Company in Montreal. 

In 1812, having received a grant of fertile laud from the Hudson's Bay Com2)any, 
Lord Selkirk, a man of energy and an enthusiast on the subject of colonial emigration, 
commenced a settlement on Red river near its junction with the Assiniboine, south of 
Lake Winnipeg. No sooner was this accomplished than the rival company expressed 
a determination to destroy the settlement, and in the autumn of 1814 fitted out atf ex- 
pedition for that purpose at its chief establishment. Fort William, on the shore of Lake 
Superior. After harrassing the settlement for some months, an attack was made upon 
it in June, 1815, which was reixdsed. Artillery having been brought up, the buildings 
of Fort Gibraltar, the strong hold of the settlement, were battered dow^n and the place 
captured. The governor was sent to Montreal a prisoner, the remainder of the settlers 
were expelled from the country, the cattle were slaughtered and the buildings demol- 
ished. In the fall, however the colonists returned with a great accession to their num- 
bers and again established themselves under the leadership of Colin Eobertson, being- 
accompanied by Robert Semple, governor of the Hudson's Bay Company territories. 
In the spring of 1816, Alexander McDonnell, a imrtner of the Northwest Company 
collected a strong force with the design of crushing the settlement completely. After 
capturing the supply train on its way to Red river, the invading force came upon 
(rovernor Semple and a force of thirty men all of whom they killed, except one who 
was made a prisoner and four who escaped. The settlers still remaining in the fort, 
seeing the hopelessness of resistance, surrendered, and to the number of 200 were sent 
in canoes to Hudson's bay. They were chiefly Scotch, as were also the attacking jiarty; 
but the love of gain was stronger than the ties of blood. 

In 1821 parliament put an end to this bloody feud and ruinous competition by 
consolidating the rival companies under the name of The Honorable Hudson's Bay 
Company, by which Avas created an organization far more ptowerful than had either 
been before, and England gained a united and potent agent for the advancement of 
her interests in America. The settlements on the Red, Assiniboine and Saskatchewan 
rivers were renewed, and Winnipeg became in a few years the center of a prosperous 
community. The new company took possession of Astoria and the posts along the 
Columbia, and as it thereafter became closely woven into the history of this region, a 
brief description of its founding, growth and methods becomes necessary to a full 
understanding of subsequent events. Dr. William Barrows gives the following descrip- 
tion of that powerful corporation. 

" Its two objects as set forth in its charter, were 'for the discovery of a new passage 
into the South Sea, and for the finding of some trade for furs, minerals and other con- 
siderable commadities.' It may well he suspected that the first was the face and the 
second the soul of the charter, which grants to the company the exclusive right of the 
'trade and commerce of all those seas, straits and bays, rivers, lakes, creeks, and sounds, 
in whatsoever latitude they shall be, that lie within the enti'ance of the straits com- 
monlv called Hudson straits,' and of all hinds borderino- them not under anv other 

civilized govenimeut. This covered all territory within that immense basin from rim 
to rim, one edge dipping into the Atlantic and the other looking into the Pacific. 
Tlirongli this vast extent the comjjany was made for ' all time hereafter, capable in 
law, to have, pnrchase, receive, possess, enjoy, and retain lands, rents, privileges, lib- 
erties, jurisdiction, franchise, and hereditaments of what kind, nature, or quality 
soever they be, to them and their successors.' The company held that region as a 
man holds his farm, or as the great bulk of real estate in England is now held. They 
could legislate over and govern it, bound only by the tenor and sjiirit of English law, 
and make war and peace within it; and all persons outside the company could be for- 
bidden to ' visit, hunt, frequent, trade, traffic, or adventure' therein. For all this, 
and as a confession of allegiance to the crown as a dependent colony and province', 
they were to pay annually as rent ' two elks and two black beavers.' Cheap rent that, 
especially since the king or his agent must collect it on the ground of the company. 
To dwell in the territory or even to go across it would be as really a trespass as if it 
were done on the lawn of a private gentleman in Middlesex county, England. 

" Such were the chartered rights of a monopoly that growing bolder and more 
grasping became at last continental in sweeji, irresistible in power, and inexorable in 
spirit. In 1821 the crown granted to this and the Northwest Company united, and for 
a term of twenty-one years, the exclusive right to trade with all Indians in British 
North America, north and west of the United States, and not included in the first 
charter. This granted only trade, not ownership in the soil. Thus, while the chartered 
territory was imperial, it grew^, by granted monopoly of trade, to be continental. By 
degrees the trappers and traders Avent over the rim of the Hudson basin, till they 
reached the Arctic seas along the outlet of the Coppermine and the Mackenzie. They 
set beaver traps on the Yukon and Eraser rivers, around the Athabasca, Slave and 
Bear lakes, and on the heads of the Columbia. From the adjacent Pacific shore they 
lined their treasury with the soft coats of the fur seal and the sea-otter. They wei-e 
the pioneers of this traffic, and pressed this monopoly of fur on the sources, not only 
of the Mississippi and Missouri, but down into the Salt Lake basin of modern Utah. 
What minor and rival companies stood in the way they bought in, or crushed by un- 
derselling to the Indians. Individual enterprise in the fur trade, from Newfoundland 
to Vancouver, and from the headwaters of the Yellowstone to the mouth of the 
Mackenzie was at their mercy. They practically controlled the introduction of sup- 
plies and the outgoing of furs and peltries from all the immense region between those 
four points. 

" Within the Canadas and the other provinces they held the Indian and the Eu- 
ropean equally at bay, while within all this vast unorganized wilderness, their hand 
over red and white man was absolute. At first the company could govern as it pleased, 
and was autocratic and irresponsible. By additional legislation in 1803, the civil and 
criminal government of the Canadas was made to follow the company into lands out- 
side their first charter, commonly called Indian countries. The governor of Lower 
Canada had the appointing power of officials within those counti-ies. But he did not 
send in special men ; he appointed those connected with the company and on the 
ground. The company, therefore, had the administration in those outside districts in 
its own hands. Thus the commercial life of the Canadas was so dependent upon the 


Hudson Bay Company that the government couhl be eonnted on to promote the wishes 
of the company. In brief, the government of British America was practically the 
Hudson Bay Company, and for all the privilege and monopoly which it enjoyed with- 
out seeming to demand it, there was an annual jiayment if called for of ' two elks and 
two black beavers.' 

" This company thus became a powerful organization. It had no rival to share 
the field, or waste the profits iu litigation, or in bloody feuds beyond the region of 
law. [ Except the contest between it and the Northwest Company prior to their con- 
solidation.] It extended its lines, multiplied its posts and agents, systematized com- 
munication through the immense hunting grounds, economized time and funds by in- 
creased expedition, made many of its factories really fortifications, and so put the whole 
northern interior under British rule, and yet without a soldier. Kivers, lakes, moun- 
tains and prairies were covered by its agents and trappers. The white and the red 
men were on most friendly terms, and the birch canoe and the pirogue were seen car- 
lying, in mixed company, both races, and, what was more, their mixed progeny. The 
extent of territory under this company seems almost fabulous. It was one-third larger 
than all Europe ; it was larger than the United States of to-day, Alaska included, by 
half a million of square miles. From the American headquarters at Montreal to the 
post at Vancouver was a distance of twenty -five hundred miles ; to Fort Selkirk on the 
Yukon, or to the one on Great Bear lake, it was three thousand miles, and it was still 
further to the rich fur seal and sea-otter on the tide waters of the Mackenzie. James 
l)ay and Red river at Winnipeg seem near to Montreal in comparison. These dis- 
tances would compare well with air-line routes from Washington to Dublin, or Gib- 
raltar or Quito. 

"One contemplates this power with awe and fear, when he regards the even motion 
and solemn silence and unvarying sameness with which it has done its work through 
that dreary animal country. It has been said that a hundred years has not changed 
its bill of goods ordered from London. The company wants the same muskrat and 
heaver and seal ; the Indian hunter, unimproved, and the half-breed European, deterio- 
rating, want the same cotton goods, and flint-lock guns, and tobacco and gew-gaws. 
To-day, as a hundred years ago, the dog sled runs out from Winnipeg for its solitary 
drive of five hundred, or two thousand, or even three thousand miles. It glides, silent 
as a spectre, over those snow fields, and through the solemn, still forests, painfully 
wanting in animal life. Fifty, seventy, an hundred days it speeds along, and as many 
nights it camps without fire, and looks up to the same cold stars. At the intervening 
])osts the sledge makes a pause, as a ship, having rounded Cape Horn, heaves to before 
some lone Pacific island. It is the same at the trader's hut or fiictory as when the 
sledgemau's grandfather drove up, the same dogs, the same half-breeds, or royageurs to 
welcome him, the same foul, lounging Indians, and the same mink skin in exchange 
for the same trinkets. The fur animal and its purchaser and hunter, as the landscape, 
seem to be alike under the same immutable, unprogressive law of nature, 

' A land where all things always seemed the same,' 
a-s among the lotus-eaters. Human progress and Indian civilization have made 
scarcely uKjre improvement than that central, silent partner in the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany — the beaver. 

112 OKEGON. 

" Oue feels towards the power of this company, moving thns with evenness and 
immutability through a hundred years, much as one does towards a law of nature. At 
Fort Selkirk, for example, the fifty-two numbers of the weekly London Times came 
in on the last sledge arrival. The first number is already three years old, by its 
tedious voyage from the Thames. Now one number only a week is read, that the lone 
trader there may have fresh news weekly until the next annual dog-mail arrives, and 
each successive number is three years behind time when it is opened ! In this day of 
steamers and telegraphs and telephones, does it seem possible that any human, white 
habitation can be so outside of the geography and chronology of the world ? The goods 
of the company, packed and shipped in Fenchurch street, leave London, and at the 
end of the third year they are delivered at Fort Confidence on Great Bear lake, or at 
any other extreme factory of the company ; and at the end of three years more the re- 
turn furs go up the Thames and into Fenchurch street again. So in cycles of six 
years, and from age to age, like a planet, the shares in the Hudson Bay Compaiiy 
make their orbit and dividends. A run of three months and the Loudon ship drops 
anchor in Hudson bay. ' For one year ' says Butler in his ' Great Lone Land,' ' the 
stores that she has brought in lie in the warehouse of York Factory ; twelve months 
later they reach Ked river ; twelve months later they reach Fort Simpson on the Mac- 

" The original stock of this company was $50,820. In fifty years it was trippled 
twice by profits only, and went up to $457,380, while not one new dollar was paid in. 
In 1821 the company absorbed the Northwest Company of Montreal, on a basis of 
value equal to its own. The consolidated stock then was $1,916,000, of which 
$1,780,866 was from profits. Yet, meanwhile, there had been an annual payment of 
ten per cent, to stockholders. In 1836 one of the company's ships left Fort George 
for London, with a cargo of furs valued at $380,000. =•= * * When the 
Eno-lish o-overnment, in 1846, conceded the claims of the United States to Oregon, 
property of the Hudson Bay Company was found within Oregon for which that com- 
pany claimed $4,990,036.67. One cannot but admire the foresight, compass, policy, 
and ability with which those English fur traders moved to gain possession, and then 
keep in wilderness for fur-bearing, so much of North America. '=' '^^ '^' 
Travelers tell us of an oppressive, painful silence through all that weird northland. 
Quadruped life, and the scanty little that there is of bird life, is not vocal, much less 
musical. This company has partaken of the silence of its domain. It makes but 
little noise for so great an organization. It says but few things and only the necessary 
ones, and even those with an obscurity often, that only the interested and initiated 
understand. The statements of its works and results are mostly in the passive voice." 

This description carries us somewhat beyond the era of which this chapter treats, 
but it is done for a purpose, that the reader might fully comprehend the full power, 
methods and objects of this potent corporation which represented England in its eon- 
test with the United States for the fair land of Oregon. If he will study it he will 
discover the fatal points of weakness, which will be developed more and more as the 
story of that long contest is unfolded. The company desired to win Oregon for Eng- 
land, not that the power and dominion of that great empire might be extended, but 
that the company might be left unmolested to dominate this region and fill its treasure 



m \\ 

OREGON. 113 

boxes with the products of the wiklerness; for its officers well knew that from Eng- 
land they might hope for an indefinite extension of its monopoly rights, but from^the 
United States nothing. It was an effort to beat back the wave of progress and civili- 
zation, and fiulure could have been the only result. For two centuries it had reigned 
sujn'eme in British America, and had defeated every effiirt to make of that region any- 
thing but a vast hunting ground for its representatives. It was from the first its policy 
to discourage and jirevent if possible any exploration of its dominions, and instances 
are not wanting where expeditions sent out by the home government came to grief 
through the machinations of the company. It occasionally sent out explorers in search 
of new fields in which to operate, but was careful to keep the knowledge thus obtained 
a secret, and to make no record of anything save what was necessary in the prosecu- 
tion of its business. This policy it endeavored to carry out in Oregon ; but it miscal- 
culated its strength and was swept away before the resistless march of American progress. 



Outlook for Joint Occupation -American and English Fur Traders Compared —Fort Vancouver Founded -De- 
scribed by John Dunn— American Trapping History— Expeditions of Jedediah S. Smith— The Hudson's Bay 
Company Enters California- Ewing Young's Party— Bonneville and Wyeth — Failure of American Trappers 
in Oregon— Cause of their 111 Success. 

When joint occui)ation of Oregon was agreed upon in 1818, the only Caucasians 
in the country, as we have seen, were representatives of the Northwest Company, or, 
as they became in a few years, of the Hudson's Bay Company. Not an American was 
to be found along the Columbia from its source to its mouth. After the disastrous 
venture of Mr. Astor and his unsuccessful efforts to secure a restoration of his property 
through the medium of the government, which, could it but have recognized the fact, 
was far more deeply interested in retaining under American control the mouth of the 
Columbia than any private citizen could possibly have been, traders hesitated to enter 
this region and undertake to comj^ete with the powerful organization already entrenched. 
The question of taking military ^'ossession of the Columbia was frequently discussed 
in congress, committees reported favorably on it at various times, and a number of 
plans were advocated, among them being one to send a body of troops overland to oc- 
cupy the disputeil territorv, and another to construct a chain of forts across the con- 
tinent, which should form a basis of supplies and protection for emigrants. None of 
these plans were adopted, and it was then a little early for emigrants. 

The great draAvback was the fact that there was no American company sufficiently 
powerful to enter the field in competition with the English corporation. The Ameri- 
cans were nearly all independent traders, operating individually or in partnerships of 
two or three. Separately they had not the capital to carry on a business in the sys- 
tematic and comprehensive manner in which the Hudson's Bay Company operated. 
One unsuccessful season with them was often financially disastrous, while to the great 
company a completely unsuccessful year was impossible. Covering such a vast scope 
of country, dealing with so many tribes, and handling such varied classes of fiirs, such 
a thing as a total failure was unknown. Losses in one section were certain to be com- 
pensated for by unusual gains in another. Whenever two trapping parties met in open 
competition for the trade of a tribe, the Americans had to go to the wall, except in the 
few cases where they outwitted their opponents. The English trader was instructed to 
do anything he chose to spoil the trade of his rivals. No spectre of bankruptcy 
shook its bony finger before his face, no vision of an angry and distrustful partner 
rose up before him. He could sit quietly down and give away every dollar's worth of 
goods he had, if it were necessary so to do in order to prevent the Indians from trading 
with his rivals. On the other hand the American trader, with the last dollar he pos- 
sessed invested in this one venture, could neither give away his goods nor could he 
affi)rd to lose the trade before him ; for often the chance he then had to secure a good 
stock of furs was the only opportunity offered during the season, and to miss it meant 
ruin. Xot only this, but the American traders carried on such sharp competition among 
themselves that they were the more unable to hold their ground against a harmonious 
organization. The fact that congress in 1815 passed an act expelling all foreign traders 
from the territories east of the Rocky mountains is of importance only as it signifies 
the desire of the government to aid our struggling pioneer traders ; for the act was 
practically inoperative, since agents of the Hudson's Bay Company continued to mo- 
nopolize the Indian trade on the upper Missouri and its affluents. 

In 1821 the Northwest Company established a post on the north bank of the Co- 
lumbia, a few miles above the mouth of the Willamette, which was called Fort Van- 
couver, since this was the highest point reached by the exploring party of the Van- 
couver expedition in 1792. In 1823 the Hudson's Bay Company removed its Pacific 
headquarters from Astoria to that point because it possessed the desirable features for 
such an establishment more fiilly than any other in this whole region. It was near the 
mouth of the Willamette and therefore the center and natural converging point of 
trapping parties coming down the Columbia from the vast wilderness to the east or 
with the annual overland express from Montreal, from the rich trapping grounds to 
the south, or from the upper coast and Puget sound; agriculturally, the surroundings 
were all that could be desired to raise the large crops of grain and vegetables required 
at all the company's posts and to furnish pasturage for the beef and dairy cattle ; it 
was easily approachable by deep-water vessels of large draft, and presented excellent 
natural facilities for loading and discharging cargo. The vessels that came at stated 
lieriods to bring supplies and carry away the accumulated furs, could spare the few days 
of extra time required to ascend the river better than the employees of the company 
could spare it in passing to and from headquarters in the transaction of business. Van- 
couver was the most eligible site on the Columbia for the chief trading post, and 

OREGON. 115 

remained the company's liea(l(|uai'ters until it abaiuloiied this region entirely in 

During the next four years the company spread out in all directions, from C'alifor- 
uia to Alaska and from the Pacific to the Rocky mountains. Some idea can be gained 
of its power and methods in Oregon from the following description given by John 
Dunn, for seven years a clerk and trader of the comi^any : 

" Fort Vancouver is the grand mart and rendezvous for the company's trade and 
servants on the Pacific. Thither all the furs and other articles of trade collected west 
of the Rocky mountains from California to the Russian territories, are brought from 
the several other forts and stations ; and from thence they are ship23ed to England. 
Thither too all the goods brought from England for traffic — the various articles in 
woolens and cottons — in grocery — in hardware — ready-made clothes — oils and paints 
— ship stores, etc., are landed ; and from thence they are distributed to the various 
posts of the interior, and along the northern shores by sailing vessels ; or by boat ; or 
pack horses ; as the several routes permit ; for distribution and traffic among the na- 
tives, or for the supjily of the company's servants. In a word, Fort Vancouver is the 
grand emporium of the company's trade, west of the Rocky mountains ; as well within 
the Oregon territory, as beyond it, from California to Kamstchatka. 

" The fort is in the shape of a parallelogram, about 250 yards long, by 150 broad ; 
enclosed by a sort of wooden wall, made of pickets, or large beams fixed firmly in the 
ground, and closely fitted together, twenty feet high, and strongly secured on the inside 
by buttresses. At each angle there is a bastion, mounting two twelve pounders, and 
in the center there are some eighteen pounders ; but from the subdued and pacific char- 
acter of the natives, and the long absence of all apprehension, these canon have be- 
come useless. The area within is divided into two courts, arouad which are arranged 
about forty neat, strong wooden buildings, one story high, designed for various purposes 
— such as offices, apartments for the clerks and other officers — warehouses for furs, goods and other commodities — workshops for the difterent mechanics ; carpen- 
ters, blacksmiths, coopers, wheelwrights, tinners, etc. ; in all of which there is the most 
diligent and unceasing activity and industry. There is also a school house and chapel; 
and a powder magazine built of brick and stone. 

" In the centre stands the governor's residence, which is two stories high — the din- 
ing hall ; and the public sitting room. All the clerks and officers, including the chaj)- 
lain and physician, dine together in the hall ; the governor presiding. The dinner is 
of the most substantial kind, consisting of several courses. Wine is frequently allowed ; 
but no spirituous liquors. After grace has been said, the company break up. Then 
most of the party retire to the public sitting room, called ' Bachelor's Hall, ' or the 
smoking room; to amuse themselves as they please, either in smoking, reading, or tell- 
ing and listening to stories of their own and others' curious adventures. Sometimes 
there is a great influx of company, consisting of the chief traders from the outposts, 
who arrive at the fijrt on business ; and the commanders of vessels. These are gala 
times after dinner ; and there is a great deal of amusement, but always kept under 
.strict discipline, and regulated by the strictest propriety. There is, on no occasion, 
cause for ciiiun'. or a lack of anecdote or interesting narrative ; or indeed of any in- 
tellectual ainuscment ; for if sinokiiio- and stoi'v-telliuii- be irksome, then there is the 

horse ready to mount, and the riile prepared. The voyageur and the traj^per, who 
have traversed thousands of miles through wild and unfrequented regions ; and the 
mariner, who has circumnavigated the globe, may be found grouped together, smoking, 
joking, singing and story telling ; and in every way banishing dull care, till the period 
of their again setting out for their respective destinations arrives. The smoking room 
or ' bachelor's hall,' presents the appearance of an armoury and a museum. All sorts 
of weapons, and dresses, and curiosities of civilized and savage life, and of the various 
implements for the prosecution of the trade, may be seen there. The mechanics, and 
other servants f)f the establishment, do not dine in the hall or go to the smoking room. 

" The school is for the benefit of the half breed children of the officers and ser- 
vants of the company, and of many orphan children of Indians who have been in the 
company's employment. They are taught English (sometimes French), writing, arith- 
metic and geography ; and are subsequently either apprenticed to traders in Canada ; 
or kept in the company's service. The front squai-e is the place where the Indians and 
trappers deposit their furs, and other articles, and make their sales, etc. There may be 
seen, too, great numbers of men sorting and packing the various goods ; and scores of 
Canadians beating and cleaning the furs from the dust and vermin, and coarse hairs, 
previous to exportation. Six hundred yards below the fort, and o)i the bank of the 
river, there is a neat village, of about sixty well built wooden houses, generally con- 
structed like those within the fort ; in which the mechanics, and other servants of the 
company, who are in general Canadians and Scotchmen, reside with their families. 
They are built in rows, and present the appearance of small streets. They are kept 
in a neat and orderly manner. Here there is an hospital, in which the invalided sei'- 
vants of the company, and, indeed, others who may wish to avail themselves of it, are 
treated with the utmost care. 

" Many of the officers of the company marry half breed women. They discharge 
the several duties of wife and mother with fidelity, cleverness and attention. They 
are, in general, good housewives ; and are remarkably ingenious as needlewomen. 
Many of them, besides possessing a knowledge of English, speak French correctly, and 
possess other accomplishments ; and they sometimes attend their husbands on their dis- 
tant and tedious journeys and voyages. These half breed women are of a superior 
class; being the daughters of chief traders and factors, and other persons, high in the 
company's service, by Indian women of a sujjerior descent or of superior jiersonal at- 
tractions. Though they generally dress after the English fashion, according as they 
see it used by the English wives of the superior officers, yet they retain one peculiarity 
— the leggin or gaiter, which is made (now that the tanned deer skin has been super- 
seded) of the finest, and most gaudy coloured cloth, beautifully ornamented wdth beads. 
The lower classes of the company's servants marry native women, from the tribes of 
the upper country ; where the women are round-headed and beautiful. These, too, 
generally speaking, soon learn the art of useful housewifery with great adroitness and 
readiness; and they are encouraged and rewarded in everyway by the company, in 
their efforts to acquii-e domestic economy and comfort. These, too, imitate, in costume 
the dress of the officers' wives, as much as they can ; and from . their necessities of ])o- 
sition, which exposes them more to wet and drudgery, they retain the moccasin, in 
l)lace of adopting tlie low-quartered shoe. 

OREGON. 117 

" Attached to the tljrt there is a luagnificent farm ; con.sisting of about 3,000 acres - 
of which l,oOO acres have been already brought to the liighest state of tilhige. It 
stretches behind the fort, and on both sides, along the banks of the river. It is fenced 
into beautiful corn fields — vegetable fields — orchards — gardens — and pasture fields, 
which are interspersed with dairy houses, shepherds' and herdsmen's cottages. It is 
placed under the most judicious management ; and neither expense nor labour has been 
spared to bring it to the most perfect cultivation. There is a large grist mill, and a 
threshing mill, which are worked by liorse power ; and a saw mill worked by water 
power. All kinds of grains and vegetables, and many species of fruits, are jjroduced 
there in abundance and of superior quality. The grain crops are produced without 
manure ; and the wheat crojt, esjiecially, is i-epresented by practical farmers to be won- 

" Besides this farm, which they are]"every day extending, they have commenced 
farming on a large scale on the Cowlitze, to the north ; Umpqua, to the south ; and in 
other parts of the territory, where they have established posts, the produce of all of which 
they use for exportation both to the Russian stations in Kamskatka (as they entered 
into a contract with the Russians, in 18o9, to supply their posts in those regions with 
provisions at fixed prices), and to the islands in the Southern Pacific ; and to British 
and American whalers and to other merchant ships. They also keep scores of wood 
cutters, employed to fell timber, which is sawed up in large quantities — 3,000 feet a 
day, and regularly shipped for the Sandwich islands, and other foreign ports. And as 
they can afford to sell the goods purchased in England under a contract of old standing, 
together with the productions of the territory and their own farms — fish, beef, mutton, 
pork, timber, etc., at nearly half the American price, they are likely to engross the 
whole trade of the Pacific, as they do already the trade of the Oregon ; especially since 
they command all the ports and safe inlets of the country. This the Americans feel 
and declare ; and it is this which whets their cupidity, and excites their jealousv and 

" Trap})ing [larties leaving Vancouver are some weeks pre2)aring for the mountains 
and prairies. The blacksmiths are busily engaged making beaver traps for the trap- 
pers — the store keepers making up articles for trade, and equipping the men, the clerk 
in charge of the provision store packing up provisions for them, to last until they get 
into hunting ground, the clerk in charge of the farm providing horses, and other re- 
(juisite articles. Tlie party generally consists of about fifty or sixty men — most of them 
the company's servants — others, free hunters. The servants have a stated salary, while 
the freemen receive so much per skin. Previous to leaving the fort for the arduous 
adventure they are allowed a small quantity of rum per man ; and they generally en- 
joy a grand holiday and feast the night previous to starting. Each man has a certain 
number of horses, sufficient to carry his equipment. The free trappers generally pro- 
vide their own animals. Both the company's servants and the frepm(>n freijuentlv take 
their wives and families with them; the women are very useful nn the ('X|ieditioii, in 
])reparing meals and other necessaries for their husbands during their absi'uce from 
the camp. In summer and winter, whether they liave a sort of a traveling camp or a 
fixed rc-iidence, they select the localities that most abound in fur-ljearing animals. 
Though ;i oai-ty iiiav be obliued, fnnn a varietv of circumstances, to winter in the plain, 

118 OREGON. 

or iu the recesses of the niouutaiiis ; or on the borders of hikes and rivers, some num- 
bers of it return to the fort at the fall, with the produce of the season's hunt, and re- 
port progress ; and return to the camp with a reinforcement of necessary supplies. 
Thus the comjiany are enabled to acquire a minute knowledge of the country and the 
natives; and extend their power and authority over both." 

Such was the hold the Hudson's Bay Companj- had upon Oregon when Americans 
attempted to enter the country and exercise their rights under the "treaty of joint oc- 
cupancy. To show how American trappers first extended their operations into the 
disputed country, requires a short sketch of the American fur trade. 

In 1762, while Louisiana was still a province of France, its governor chartered a 
fur company under the name of Pierre Ligueste Laclede, Antoine Maxan & Co. La- 
clede established St. Louis the following year, and it became a headquarters for the fur 
trade similar to Mackinaw and Montreal. The business of this company and many 
others that engaged along the Missouri in the trap^Ding of beaver became very large. 
The acquisition of Louisiana by the United States threw this tnide into the hands of 
the Americans. In 1815, congress passed an act expelling British traders from all 
the territories east of the Rocky mountains, and the American Fur Company, at the 
head of which Mr. Astor had been for many years, bsgan to send trappers to the head- 
waters of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. American trappers also i^enetrated into 
New Mexico and established a trade between St. Louis and Santa Fe. Up to this 
time but one attempt had been made by trajjpers to penetrate the Rocky mountains, 
and that was in 1808, by the M issouri Fur Company, at the head of which was a 
Spaniard named Manuel Lisa. Posts were established on the upper Missouri and one 
on Lewis river, the south branch of the Columbia ; but the failure of sup]:)lies and 
the hostilitv of the savages caused its abandonment by the manager, Mr. Henry, in 

In 1823, Gen. W. H. Ashley, a St. Louis merchant long engaged in the fur trade, 
pushed a trapping party into the Rocky mountains. He went up the Platte to the 
Sweetwater, and up that stream to its source, discovered the South pass, explored the 
liead-waters of the Colorado (or Green) river, and returned to St. Louis in the fall. 
The next year he again penetrated the mountains and built a trading fort on Lake 
Ashley, near Great Salt Lake, both of which bodies of water were discovered b}- him 
that year, and returned, leaving there one hundred men. From that time the head- 
waters of the Missouri and its tributaries, the Green and Columbia rivers and their 
tributaries, were the trapping-ground of hundreds of daring men, whose wild and 
rackless life, privations and encounters with the savages, make a theme of romance 
that has occupied the jjen of Washington Irving and many authors of lesser note, and 
been the source from which the novelists of the sensational school have drawn a wealth 
of material. It was the custom to divide the trappers into bands of sufiicient strength 
to defend themselves against the attacks of savages, and send them out in different 
directions during the trapping season, to assemble the next summer at a grand rendez- 
vous previously appointed, the head-waters of Green river being the favorite locality 
for the annual meeting. 

In the spring of 1825, Jetleliah S. Smith lei a company of this kind, consisting 
of about forty men, into the countrv west of Great Salt Lake, discovered Humlwldt 

river and named it Mary's river, followed down that stream and crossed the Sierra 
Nevada into the great valley in July. He collected a large quantity of furs, estab- 
lished a headquarters on the American river near Folsom, and then, with two com- 
panions, recrossed the mountains through Walker's pass, and returned to the general 
rendezvous on Green river, to tell of the wonderful valley he had visited. Cronise 
speaks of American trappers having penetrated into California as early as 1820, but 
is evidently mistaken, as there is no record of any party crossing the Rocky mountains 
previous to the expedition of Mr. Ashley in 1823, save those already mentioned. 
Jedediah S. Smith must stand in history as the first white man to lead a party over- 
land into California. The return of Smith with such a valuable collection of furs, 
and specimens of filacer gold he had discovered on his return journey near Mono lake, 
led to his being sent again the next season, with instructions to thoroughly inspect the 
gold placers on the way. Tliis time he went as a jjartner, Mr. Ashley having sold his 
interest to the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, consisting of William Sublette, Jede- 
diah S. Smith and David Jackson. He passed as far south as the Colorado river, and 
there had a battle with the Indians, in which all but himself, Turner and Galbraith 
were killed. They escaped and arrived at the Mission San Gabriel, where they were 
arrested as filibusters and sent to San Diego, but were released upon the certificate of 
the officers of some American vessels who chanced to be on the coast, that they were 
peaceful trappers and had passports from the commissioner of Indian affairs. This 
certificate bears date December 20, 1826, and in the ensuing May we find them in 
camp near San Jose, where the following letter was written to Father Duran, who had 
sent to know what their presence there signified : — 

Reverend Fathe;, ; — I understand, through the medium of one of your Christian Indians, 
that you are anxious to know who we are, as some of the Indians have been at the mission and 
informed you that there were certain white people in the country. We are xVmericans on our 
journey to the River Columbia ; we were in at the Mission San Gabriel in January last. I went to 
San Diego and saw the general, and got a passjjort from him to pass on to that place. I have made 
several efforts to cross the mountains, but the snows being so deep, I could not succeed in getting 
over. I returned to this place (it being the only point to kill meat), to wait a few weeks until the 
snow melts so that I can go on : the Indians here also being friendly, I consider it the most safe 
point for me to remain, until such time as I can cross the mountains with my horses, having lost a 
great many in attempting to cross ten or fifteen days since. I am a long ways from home, and am 
anxious to get there as soon as the nature of the case will admit. Our situation is quite unpleas- 
ant, being destitute of clothing and most of the necessaries of life, wild meat being our jjrincipal 
subsistence. I am, Reverend Father, your strange but real friend and Christian brother. 

•T. S Smith. 
May 19th, 1827. 

Smith had united himself with the party he had left in 1825 on the American 
river, and who had been very successful during his absence, and now that he could 
not the Sierra Nevada, decided to penetrate north to the Columbia and follow 
up that stream to the Rocky mountains, expecting to join his jiartners at the Green 
river rendezvous. Near the liead of the Sacramento valley the party cro.ssed the 
Coast Range to the west, reaching the ocean near the mouth of Ru.ssian river, and con- 
tinued up the coast to the Umpcpia. While sto[)i)ing here to construct a raft for the 
purpose of ferrying their effects across the stream, their camp was suddenly attacked 
by Indians with whom they were holding friendly intercourse, and all ])ut three were 
slain. Smitli. Daniel Prioi', and an Indian were on the raft at the time of the attack 

120 OEEGON. 

and when the signal yell was given the Indian seized Smith's rifle and sprung into the 
water ; but the old mountaineer grasped his companion's gun, and as soon as the 
treacherous rascal thrust his head out of water to catch a breath, sent a bullet through 
his brain. The two men then landed on the opposite side of the river and started on 
foot for Vancouver, which they eventually reached in safety. The third one who 
escaped was Richard Laughlin, who seized a burning brand from the fire and with 
vigorous blows upon the naked bodies of the savages cleared a passage for himself 
through the assailants and escaped uninjured. After enduring many hardships he, 
too, reached the company's headquarters on the Columbia. 

The Hudson's Bay Company had made it an inflexible rule to treat the natives 
justly and even liberally, to give them no cause of offense or complaint ; but to main- 
tain respect for their power and authority and to show the natives that their conduct 
was not inspired by fear, they never failed to punish offending tribes or individuals in 
such a manner as would be a perpetual warning to them in the future. It happened 
that Governor Simpson was at Fort Vancouver at the time Smith arrived in such a 
forlorn condition, and he sent out a party under Thomas McKay, son of Alexander 
McKay, the partner of Mr. Astor who perished on the Tonquin, to jHinish the Indians 
and recover the captured property, both as a necessary step to maintain the company's 
authority and as an act of courtesy to the despoiled trader. Accounts vary as to the 
degree of punishment inflicted, but at all events the furs were recovered and conveyed 
to Vancouver, and since he could not carry them, having no means, and since the 
company, from a business point of view, could not afford to provide him with facilities 
for carrying on opposition to it, he sold the whole lot to the company for $40,000. 
Though this was much below the market price in St. Louis, it was a pretty fair valu- 
ation for them on the Columbia. The most minute account of this transaction is given 
by Rev. Gustavus Hines, to whom it was related by Dr. McLaiighliu, chief factor of 
the company, a few years subsequently. But one writer has seriously questioned the 
correctness of these statements. Gray's History of Oregon states that the property 
was recovered " by giving them presents of blankets and powder, and such things as 
the Indians wished, as stated to us by a Frenchman, a servant of the company, who 
was one of Mr. McKay's party that went to get the furs. They found no bodies to 
bury, and had no fight with the Indians about the property, as stated by Mr. Smith, 
also. But, as the Hudson's Bay Company tells the story through Mr. Hines, they 
' spread terror through the tribes.' ''' ''' Mr. Hines says his Umpqua party 
* returned in triumph to Vancouver.'' And well they might, for they had made the 
best season's hunt they ever made, in getting those furs and the property of Smiths 
which paid them well for the expedition, as there was no market for Smith, except 
London, through the hypocritical kindness of Mr. Simpson. By this time, Mr. Smith 
had learned all he wished to of this company. He preferred giving them his furs at 
their own price to being under any further obligations to them. Mr. Sublette, Mr. 
Smith's partner, did not speak as though he felt under much obligation to Mr. Simp- 
son or the Hudson's Bay Company, which was not long after the transaction referred 
to. I do not know how the company regard these statements of Mr. Hines, yet I 
regard them as true so far as ]Mr. Hines is concerned, but utterly false as regards the 
com^^any. '•' '=" '=' According to the testimony given in the case of the 

Hudson's Bay Company rx. United States, the amount of furs seized by the company 
at that time was forty packs, worth at the time |1,000 each, besides the animals and 
equipments belonging to the i^ai'ty, a large portion of which was given to the Indians, 
to comj^ensate them for their services rendered to the company, in destroying Smith's 
expedition and killing his men." 

When it is known that the author of tlie above bears such bitter hatred towards 
the Hudson's Bay Company and the officers who represented it in Oregon that he can- 
not even hear the name mentioned without bristling up in anger, and that this feeling- 
grew out of early missionary feuds, the hated company having supported the Catholic 
missionaries, opponents of this gentleman and his associates in the Protestant missions 
it will be understood how, having been thus carried beyond the verge of reason, he 
could make such deliberate charges of inhumanity against men well known to have 
been possessed of more than ordinary integrity, benevolence and morality That the 
company's policy was to break down all opposition, is true ; that in order to do this 
they strictly enjoined all Indians over whom they exercised any control from dealing 
with independent traders or selling them supplies, and instructed the agents at their 
various posts to refuse supplies and ammunition to them, except when it became a case 
of pure humanity, is also true ; but that it ever encouraged the thought among the na- 
tives that it would be pleased by the murder of Americans is not susceptible of proof, 
and the idea is as inconsistent with well known facts as it is wdtli the character of the 
men who administered the company's affairs in Oregon. Dr. John McLaughlin was 
one of nature's noblemen, kind and benevolent in character and in manners a thor- 
ough gentleman. Undeserved abuse has been heaped upon his head by his enemies 
without stint, many of whom display the basest ingratitude in so doing. Though 
instructed by the company to oppose the settlement of Americans and to refuse to sell 
them supplies, his kind heart would not permit him to carry out the injunction. The 
needy pioneer never applied to him in vain He not only sold them supplies but gave 
them credit, many of them never settling their scores , and for this he was in later 
years dismissed from his position and compelled by the company to pay from his own 
pocket all that was owing from these ungrateful men who at that very time were vili- 
fying his name, being thus brought to the verge of l)ankruptcy. It is needless to go 
into further details, for all, save a few whom blind prejudice holds in chains, bear testi- 
mony to the grandeur of Dr. McLaughlin's character. As for Tom McKay he was 
universally respected liy whites and Indians for his sterling integrity, and because of 
this held greater influence over the Indians of this region than any man before or 
since. He took up land in the Willamette valley and lived as an American citizen, 
loved and respected to the day of his death. . To ascribe such conduct to men like 
this is to show that judgment has been so distorted by prejudice as to be valueless. 

Smitli's party was the first band of American trappers to visit this region, and as 
their presence was unsuspected by the company it is impossible that the Indians could 
have been stirred up against them. A few years later, when the American traders 
were better known here and settlers began to arrive, the distinction between the Bostons 
(Americans) and King George men (Englishmen), became better known, and the In- 
dians became prejudiced against the former for reasons that will be given in speaking 
of American settlements. Dunn relates an incident which shows this sinrit in after 

122 OREGON. 

years among the savages, and which also shows that it was not fostered by the company, 
He says : 

" On one occasion an American vessel, Captain Thompson, was in the Columbia, 
ti-ading for furs and salmon. The vessel had got aground, in the upper part of the river, 
and the Indians, from various quarters, mustered with the intent of cutting the Ameri- 
cans off, thinking that they had an opportunity of revenge, and would thus escape the 
censure of the comjiany. Dr. M'Laughlin, the governor of Fort Vancouver, hearing 
of their intention, immediately dispatched a party to their rendezvous; and informed 
them that if they injured one American, it would be just the same offense as if they 
had injured one of his servants, and they would be treated equally as enemies. This 
stunned them ; and they relinquished their purpose ; and all retired to their respective 
homes. Had not this come to the governor's ears the Americans must have perished." 

A i^arty of trappers was then sent out from Vancouver to penetrate into California, 
headed by Alexander Roderick McLeod and guided by one of the survivors of the 
Umpqua massacre. They passed through Rogue river valley, over Siskiyou mountain, 
and entered California by the way of the Sacramento river, trapping along the streams 
that course through the valley. In the early part of the winter they were caught in 
a severe snow storm on one of the tributaries of the Sacramento, in Shasta county, 
and narrowly escaped starvation. They lost their horses and were in a sad plight. Joe 
McLaughlin, son of the chief factor, set out on foot with a companion to procure aid 
from Vancouver, and reached that place after much hardship and privation. McLeod 
did not wait, however, but cached his furs, which were extremely valuable, and strug- 
gled through to Vancouver with the remainder of his men. Another party was then 
dispatched to recover the peltries, but found them spoiled. The stream which wit- 
nessed his misfortune was ever afterwards called McLeod (now improperly spelled Mc- 
Cloud) by his companion trappers. 

Before the return of this unfortunate party to the fort, another, under Peter 
Ogden and accompanied by Smith, started for the new trapping grounds by another 
route. They passed up the Columbia and Lewis rivers to the source of the latter, at 
which 2:)oint Smith left them and returned to the rendezvous on Green river, to report 
his manifold misfortunes. He sold his interest in the Rocky Mountain Fur Company 
in 1830, and the next year was treacherously killed by Indians while digging for 
water in the dry bed of the Cimeron river, near Taos, New Mexico, and was buried 
there by his companions. After Smith took his leave on Lewis river Ogden's party 
continued south to Mary's or Humboldt river, which was thereafter known as Ogden's 
river by the English, continued down that stream to the sink and crossed over the 
mountains to California through Walker's pass. They trapped along the Sacramento 
and followed McLeod's trail back to Vancouver. From that time till it became a por- 
tion of the United States in 1846, California was one of the regular trapping grounds 
of the Hudson's Bay Company. 

The second party of American trappers to enter Oregon was that of Major Pileher. 
They left Green river in 1828, and passed along the western base of the Rocky moun- 
tains to Flathead lake, where they wintered. In the spring they descended Clarke's 
Fork and the main Columbia to Colville river, up which they ascended to its source 
and started on their return eastward. Gray says : " This party of Major Pileher 

OREGON. 123 

were all cut off but two men, l)esicles himself; liis furs, as stated by himself to the 
writer, found their way into the forts of the Hudson's Bay Company." The writer, 
though not stating it positively, intends to convey the impression that these men were 
murdered at the instigation of the Hudson's Bay Company, or at least with its sanction. 
That the captured furs w^ere sold to the company is true, but as that was the only mar- 
ket open to the Indians it is a very small foundation upon which to lay a charge of 
murder against the purchasers. The next band of American trappers was that of 
Ewing Young, who had been for years a leader of trapping parties from Santa Fe to 
the head waters of the Del Norte, Rio Grande and Colorado rivers. He entered Cali- 
fornia through Walker's pa,ss in 1829, and returned the next year. In 1832 he again 
entered California and followed Smith's route into Oregon as far as the Umjiqua, when 
he turned eastward, crossed the mountains to the tributary streams of the Columbia 
and Snake rivers, entered Sacramento valley again from the north, and finally crossed 
out by the Tejon pass, having been absent from Santa Fe two years. Mr. Young soon 
returned, and became one of the first and most energetic of the American settlers in 

When Smith sold his interest in the Rocky Mountain Fur Company in 1830, 
William Sublette and David Jackson retired also, and the new partners were Milton 
Sublette, James Bridger, Robert Campbell, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Frapp and Jarvais. 
In 1831 the old American Fur Company, which had been managed so long by Mr. 
Astor but was now directed by Ramsey Crooks, began to push into the trapping 
grounds of the other company. Great rivalry sprung up between them, which was the 
following year intensified by the appearance of two other competitors in the persons of 
Captain B. L. E. Bonneville and Nathaniel J. Wyeth. Captain Bonneville was a 
United States army ofiicer, who had been given permission to lead a party of trappers 
into the fur regions of the northwest, the expedition being countenanced by the govern- 
ment only to the extent of this permit. It was supposed, that, by such an undertaking, 
sufficient additional information of the region explored would be obtained to warrant 
authorizing an ofiicer to engage in a private venture. The captain first reached the 
Rocky mountains in 1832. In 1833 he sent Joseph Walker with forty men to Cali- 
fornia over the route formerly pursued by Smith, and on Christmas of the same year 
started with three companions from his camp on Portneuf river, upon an expedition to 
Fort Walla Walla. His object, as given by Irving, was: "To make himself acquainted 
with the country, and the Indian tribes ; it being one part of his scheme, to establish a 
trading post somewhere on the lower part of the river, so as to participate in the trade 
lost to the United States by the capture of Astoria." He reached Powder river on the 
twelfth of January, 1834, whence his journey was continued down Snake river and by 
the Nez Perce trail to Fort Walla Walla, where he arrived March 4, 1834. 

This journey, in mid-winter, was attended with its accompanying detail of hard- 
ships incident to the season, including the absence of game and presence of snow in 
the mountains. At one time, they had wandered among the Blue mountains, lost amid 
its canyons and defiles east of the Grand Ronde valley, for twenty days, nearly frozen 
and constantly starved, until they were at the verge of despair. At length, a Nez 
Perce chief was met, who invited them to his lodge some twelve miles further along 
the trail tlicy were traveling, and then galloped away. So great had been the strain 

upon the captain's system in sustaining these successive days of unnatural exertion, 
that when the chief disappeared, he sunk upon the ground and lay there like one dead. 
His companions tried in vain to arouse him. It was a useless effort, and they were 
forced to camp by the trail until he awoke from this trance the next day and was 
enabled to move on. They had hardly resumed their tedious journey, when some 
dozen Nez Perces rode up with fresh horses and carried them in triumph to their vil- 
lage. Everywhere, after this, they were kindly received by this hospitable people, fed, 
cared for and guided on their way by them. 

Bonneville and his two companions were kindly received at Fort Walla Walla by 
Mr. P C. Pambrun, who, with five or six men, was in charge of that station at the 
mouth of the Walla Walla river. This Hudson's Bay Company representative wa.s a 
courteous, affable host, but when asked to sell the captain supplies that would enable 
his return to the Kocky mountains : " That worthy superintendent, who had extended 
all the genial rights of hospitality, now suddenly assumed a withered up aspect and 
demeanor, and observed that, however he might feel disposed to serve him personally, 
he felt bound by his duty to the Hudson's Bay Company, to do nothing which should 
facilitate or encourage the visits of other traders among the Indians in that part of the 
country." Bonneville remained at the fort but two days, for his destitute condition, 
combined with the lateness in the season, rendered it necessary for him to return im- 
mediately ; and he started on the back trail with his Nez Perce guide, and finally 
reached the point of general rendezvous for his various ex^jeditions. This is a true 
statement of the position assumed by the Hudson's Bay Company ; its agents would not 
themselves, nor would they permit the Indians under their control to deal with or in 
any manner assist opposition traders ; but that Bonneville traversed the country in 
safety with but three companions after the company was aware of his intention to re- 
turn and found a rival establishment on the Coluinbia, is convincing evidence that 
assassination was not one of its methods of overcoming competition, however much 
such charges may be reiterated by its enemies. 

In July, 1834, Bonneville started on a second expedition to the Columbia, with a 
formidable number of trappers and mountain men, well equipped, and with an exten- 
sive stock of goods to trafiic with Indians. He still contemplated a restoration of 
American trade in this country, and designed establishing a post for that purpose in 
the Willamette valley. This time he passed the Blue mountains by way of Grand 
Ronde valley and the Umatilla river, and upon his arrival at the mouth of that stream, 
was surprised to find the natives shunning him. They ran from his men, hid them- 
selves, and when intercepted, refused to have anything to do with the Americans. 
Not a skin, a horse, a dog, or a fish could be obtained from them, having been warned 
by the Hudson's Bay Company not to trafiic with these new comers. It now seemed a 
question of imme'diate evacuation or starvation, and Bonneville decided to abandon his 
attempt at joint occupancy. Once more he turned his back upon the Columbia and 
left the English company in undisputed possession of the field. 

A contemporaneous effort was made by Nathaniel J. Wyetli, a Boston mer- 
chant. With eleven men who knew nothing of trapper-life, he crossed the plains to 
Humboldt river with Milton Sublette in 1832. From this point the twelve pushed 
north to Snake river, and bv wav of that stream to Fort Vancouver, where they 

"^^^■^": .^/^^^!^-^riSk:^^^l^^^ 

arrived October 21>. The fortune of Mr. Wyeth wa.s invested in this enterprise and 
he had brought a stock of goods with him not well adapted to the Indian market. He 
was hospitably received by the Hudson's Bay Company. The next spring he left for 
the East, a financial bankrupt, deserted by all of his followers except two. It is not 
recorded that the company's officers in any way contributed towards producing this 
result ; but, if they did not, it was because they believed it unnecessary, knowing that 
failure would follow without their manipulation. Arriving in Boston, Mr. AVyeth 
organized The Columbia River Fishing and Trading Comi^any, with a view of con- 
tinuing operations on the Pacific coast under the same general plan that had formerly 
been pursued by Astor, proposing, however, to add salmon fishing to the fur business. 
A brig, called the JIaij Decres, sailed for the Columbia river with stores, and Mr. 
Wvetli, Avith sixty experienced men, started for the same place across the continent in 
1834. Near the head waters of Snake river, he established Fort Hall as an interior 
trading post, named in honor of one of his partners, where he left twelve men and a 
stock of goods. He then pushed forward to the Columbia and erected a fort on 
Sauvie's island at the mouth of the Willamette river, which he called Fort Williams, in 
honor of another partner ; and again tlie American flag waved over soil west of the 
Rocky mountains. 

The officers of the company again received him with much h(jspitality, and 
though they continued to treat liim with courtesy, this did not prevent them from 
taking the steps necessary to j^rotect the company's interests. Fort Boise was estab- 
lished as an opposition to Fort Hall and drew the bulk of the trade of the Indians 
of Snake river. (3n the Columbia Wyeth found that the natives were so completely 
under the control of the company that he could establish no business relations with 
them whatever. In two years he was compelled to sell all his possessions, including 
Fort Hall, to the rival company, and abandon this second effort at joint occupation. 

In 1835 the two rival American companies were consolidated as the American 
Fur Company, Bridger, Fontenelle and Briggs lieing the leadei's. The retirement of 
Bonneville and the sale of Fort Hall by Mr. Wyeth left only the consolidated com- 
pany and a few " lone traders" to compete with the English corporation. For a few 
years longer the struggle was maintained, but gradually the Hudson's Bay Comj^any 
absorbed the trade until the American trappers, so far as organized eff(irt was con- 
cerned, aliandoned the field. 

The chief secret of the failure of Americans and the success of the Englisii — and 
it is best to be candid in this matter — was the radical difference in their methods of 
conducting the business. The American trapjiers were, to a large extent, made up of 
a class of wild, reckless and brutal men, many of them fugitives from justice. With 
them might made right, and the privilege of shooting Indians was considered an in- 
herent right which should be exercised as often as circumstances permitted. They 
were insubordinate anil quarrelsome, and the histories of their adventurous lives, even 
those written for the glorification of Kit Carson, Joe Meek, Jim Beckwourth and oth- 
ers, convince us that these men composed the lowest stratum of American s(jciety. 
Irving, in one of many similar passages, says : " The arrival of the supplies gave 
the regular finish to the annual revel. A grand outbreak of wild debauch ensued 
among [the niduntaineeis ; drinking, dancing, swaggering, gand)ling, ([uarreling and 

126 OREGON. 

fighting. Alcohol, which, from its jiortable qualities, containing the greatest quantity 
of fiery spirit in the smallest compass, is the only liquor carried across the mountains, 
is the inflammatory Ijeverage at these carousals, and is dealt out to the trappers at four 
dollars a pint. When inflamed by this fiery beverage, they cut all kinds of mad 
pranks and gambols, and sometimes burn all their clothes in their drunken bravadoes. 
A camj), recovering from one of these riotous revels, presents a serio-comic spectacle ; 
black eyes, broken heads,"lack lustre visages." Alcohol was a leading article of mer- 
chandise, and the annual assemblage at the points of rendezvous and the meetings 
with Indians for the purposes of trade, were invariably the scenes of drunken de- 
bauchery like the one described. Many impositions were practiced on the Indians, 
and the men, being irresponsible and without restraint, were guilty of many acts of 
injustice. The Indians learned neither uprightness nor morality from contact with 
them, and had respect only for their bravery. 

On the other hand the servants of the Hudson's Bay Company were men, chiefly 
half-breeds and French Canadians, who had been reared in the business, as were their 
fathei-s before them, and cheerfully submitted to the rigid discipline maintained by the 
company. It was the j^olicy of the company to avoid all trouble with the natives, to 
whom they gave no liquor whatever, and, by just and even generous treatment, bind 
the Indians to them by a community of interest ; yet it never let an act of treachery 
or bad faith go unpunished. Thus, by an exhibition of justness and moral behavior 
on one hand and power on the other, it maintained unquestioned authority among the 
savages of a hundred tribes and over thousands of miles of wilderness. Had the 
American companies pursued the same jjolicy as their great English rival, far different 
would have been the result of their enterprises. Fortunately for America she was not 
compelled to rely upon reckless trajjpers for her dominion in Oregon. Fur traders 
could not gain it for her, nor could they hold it for Great Britain. Plows and not 
steel traps were to settle the question between them. 

During these years of competition in the fur business, diplomacy was also at 
work. Several expeditions were sent to the Rocky mountains by the United States 
government, to report upon the nature of the country and its adaptability to settlement. 
From these as well as from the reports of trappers, the idea was spread abroad, that 
the country west of the rocky mountains was valueless except for its fur-bearing ani- 
mals ; and this idea was fostered by the Hudson's Bay Company both in America and 
England. The consequence was that when the ten years of joint occupancy had ex- 
pired, such was the apathy of congress and American statesmen on the subject, that 
an indefinite extension of the treaty was agreed upon, to be terminated by either party 
upon giving notice one year in advance. This was done in 1828, and it was while the 
extended treaty was in force that Bonneville and Wyeth made a practical test of its 



Four Flathead Indians in St. Louis -The Methodist Mission-^The Congreg-ational Missions Whitman Takes 
a Cart to Fort Boise— American Settlements— The Wallamette Cattle Company Progress of Missions and 
Settlements — Advent of Catholic Missionaries — Population in 1840. 

There siuklenly a])2:)eared in St. Louis in 1832 four Flathead Indian:::. It was a 
common sight to see Indians of a dozen tribes lounging about the streets of that busy 
mart and mingling with the conglomerate crowd of idlers ; but these were different. 
They had not come to carouse or drink the white man's firewater. In the far off land 
of Oregon the Flatheads had heard that the white man had a different religion and a 
different God from that of his red brother, and that this was the secret of his knowl- 
edge, wealth and power; and these four braves had been delegated by their tribe to go 
in search of someone who would teach them this new religion, that they, too, might 
become a mighty people. Two of them died in the city, and the other two set out, de- 
jected, upon their return home without the great book of the white man, and one of 
them perished on the return journey. But their pilgrimage was not fruitless, for both 
the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, a Congregational organi- 
zation, and the ^Methodist Board of Missions, were aroused to a knowledge of the fact 
that Oregon was an inviting field for missionary labor. Each delegated suitable per- 
sons to proceed to Oregon and lay the foundation for missions among the natives. 

The Methodists were prepared first, and in 1834, Rev. Jason Lee, Rev. Daniel 
Lee, Cyrus Shepard, and P. L. Edwards started for Oregon in company with the 
party of Nathaniel J. VVyeth, previously alluded to. They left Mr. Wyeth's party, 
who were delayed in the erection of Fort Hall, and jiassed over the remaining distance 
in company with A. R. McLeod and Thomas McKay of the Hudson's Bay Company, 
reaching Fort Walla Walla September 1, and by boats, Vancouver, the fifteenth day 
of the same month. A location for a mission was immediately selected at a point on 
tlic Willamette river, some sixty miles above its mouth, and ten below the site of Salem. 
Their mission goods, brought around by Wyeth's vessel, landed at this place twenty- 
one days after their arrival at Vancouver. A house was soon constructed of logs, 32 
feet by 18, which they entered Novendjer 3, there being at the time but ten feet of the 
roof completed. So eager were they to commence labor as missionaries, that before 
the roof was all on their building, Indian children were received into it as pupils. De- 
cember 14, Jason Lee, while at Vancouver, baptized twenty-one persons, among whom 
were seventeen children ; and he received a donation of twenty dollars to aid in mis- 
sionary work from persons living at the fort. 

They were in Oregon with the sole purpose of elevating the mental and s|iiritual 
condition of the inhal>itaiits, I'egardlcss of nationalitv, rare, color or coiiditioii. Be- 

cause of this, tliev were kindly aud hospitably received by all, including the in(jnster 
corporation. Their plan was to educate the Indian, and teach him how to make the 
soil yield a livelihood. To do this they proposed opening a school for children, where 
they could live, learn to read, worship God, and till the soil. To carry out this design, 
it was necessary for the missionaries to become farmers, and produce the food required 
for themselves aud the support of their pupils. The agricultural branch of their en- 
terprise was inaugurated in the spring of 1835. Their first harvest yielded them two 
hundred and fifty bushels of potatoes, a quantity of wheat, barley, oats and peas, to 
which were added six barrels of salmon procured from the Indians. In September of 
this year, the mission people were attacked by an intermittent fever, from which four 
Indian pupils died. This was a misfortune, ai it caused the superstitious natives to 
look with mistrust upon an institution where the Great Spirit killed their children in- 
stead of benefiting them. One Indian visited the mission for the purpose of killing 
Daniel Lee and Cyrus Shepard because his little brother had died there, but was pre- 
vented from doing so by a companion, when he crossed to the opposite side of the river 
and murdered several of his own race, to satisfy his wrath at the " wdiite medicines." 
During the fall of 1835, a 16 by 32 foot addition was built to their premises, and the 
close of the year found them with comfortable log buildings, a reasonable supply of 
provisions for the Avinter and only ten pupils. 

The parties sent by the American Board were Rev. Samuel Parker aud Dr. Mar- 
cus Whitman, wdio started in 1835 with a trapping party of the American Fur Com- 
pany, intent upon selecting some suitable place for the founding of a mission. They 
reached the rendezvous of the company in the Rocky mountains, where they en- 
countered a large band of Nez Perce Indians, who had come there to trade with the 
company. There was a young chief among them, whom the whites called Lawyer, 
because of a ma'rked ability displayed by him in repartee and discussion, which could 
readily be awakened into active play by reflecting upon the acts or motives of his Ameri- 
can friends. Upon consultation with this chief, it was determined to establish a mis- 
sion among his people, this decision being hastened because of the peculiar character- 
istics of the two missionaries, which rendered them ill-calculated for traveling com- 
panions. To carry out this arrangement Dr. Whitman was to return home, accom- 
panied by two Xez Perce boys, and come back the ensuing year with the necessary 
material and associates for an establishment. Rev. Samuel Parker was to continue his 
way to the Pacific ocean, decide upon the 1jest point for a mission among the Xez 
Perces, and then send, by Indian source, a letter of advice, to meet Whitman in the 
mountains on his way out the next season. 

To carry out this arrangement, they separated August 22, 1835, one turning back 
upon the trail that led him to a martyr's grave ; the other, with an interpreter, push- 
ing forward in a triumphal journey among the Indians to the sea. No white man, 
before or since, has been received with such cordiality and ceremonious distinction, as 
greeted Mr. Parker on his way through Eastern Oregon to Walla Walla. His ap- 
proach to an Indian village w^as the signal for a general display of savage grandeur 
and hospitality. Since their first knowledge of white men they had seen that the pale 
face belonged to a superior race, and had heard that he worshiped a Great Spirit, a 
mysterious unseen power, that made him what he was. The Indians now hoped to 

OREGON. 129 

Icani, ti)(i, how they eoiild gam favor with this being, whose smiles gave power to his 
followers ami happiness to those who worshiped him. Now, when one had eome among 
them, who, they believed, could bring them the favor of the white man's God, they 
received him everywhere with outstretched arms and demonstrations of unbounded joy. 
Services were held at vaiuous places, and the eager natives were to a degree inducted 
into the mysteries of the white man's religion. 

October 5, Mr. Parker, Avith his interpreter and guides, passed down the Touchet 
river and reached Fort ^^^alla AValla the next day, where he was hospitably received 
l)y P. C. Pambrun, the commandant in charge. From there he continued his way 
down the Columbia to Fort Vancouver, where he spent the winter. In the sirring he 
revisited the Nez Perces, went as far north as Spokane and Colville, and returning to 
Vancouver embarked for home by way of the Sandwich islands in June, 1836. 

The efforts of Dr. Whitman resulted in his obtaining the necessary funds and as- 
sociates for the establishment of two missions in Oregon. He had married in Febru- 
ary, 1835, ]Miss Narcissa Prentiss, a lady of refined nature, rare accomplishments and 
with commanding appearance. She possessed a voice of winning sweetness, was 
affable to all with whom she came in contact, firm in purpose and an enthusiast. Her 
sympathies had been enlisted in the cause, and yielding all her fair prospects for the 
future in the country where she was born, she devoted her life to banishment and iso- 
lation among savages, in a country so far aAvay that its name even conveyed to the 
mind a sense of loneliness and mystery. The associate workers were W. H. Gray and 
Rev. H. H. Spalding and wife, a lady of much firmness of character and excellently 
adapted for the labor she had chosen to perform. 

The missionary party brought with them three wagons, eight mules, twelve horses 
and sixteen cows. In those wagons were farming utensils, blacksmith and carpenter 
toals, seeds, clothing, etc., to enable them to become self-supporting. In crossing the 
plains they traveled under protection of the American Fur Company. Sir William 
Drummond, an English nobleman, under the alias of Captain Stewart, with a com- 
panion and three servants, and Major Pilcher, a celebrated mountaineer, were also of 
the party. On arriving at Fort Laramie the wagons were all abandoned except one, 
which was retained by Dr. Whitman for the ladies to ride in, and then the fur com- 
pany concluded to, try the experiment of taking one of their carts along. After 
leaching the trappers' rendezvous on Green river, the mission party were introduced 
by Captain Wyeth — who was on his way home after having sold his forts and trap- 
ping interests to the Hudson's Bay Company — to Thomas McKay and A. R. McLeod, 
with whom they were to continue to the Columbia river. Upon resuming the journey, 
the Doctor, contrary to a manifest hostility evinced to his doingso, insisted upon taking 
the one remaining wagon with him, but was obliged on reaching Fort Hall, to reduce 
it to a two-wheel truck, and the men insisted upon his leaving even that when they 
reached Fort Boise. Such was the result of the first effort to cross the continent Avitli 
a wagon, which demonstrated that the Rocky mountains were not an impassable bar- 
rier to American immigration. The party arrived a Fort Walla Walla September 2, 
1836, where they were received by Mr. Pambrun with demonstrations of heartfelt 
cordiality that caused the travel-worn missionaries to feel as though they had reached 
n homo in tliis land of the setting sun. A few days later they passed down the Co- 

130 OREGON. 

luinbia to Fort Vaneouver, where Dr. McLaughlin gave them a most hearty welcome. 
Here the ladies enjoyed his hosjiitalities for some time, while the gentlemen returned 
to Fort Walla Walla to seek suitable locations for their two missionary establishments. 
With the aid of Mr. Pambrun, and after careful examination of the country, they de- 
cided to establish one mission among the Cay uses and one among the Nez Perces. The 
former was located at the junction of Walla Walla river and Mill creek, near the 
present city of Walla Walla, and was called Waiilat]3u, the jiroper name of the Cayuse 
tribe, being placed under the direction of Dr. Whitman and his noble wife ; the latter, 
called Lapwai and put in charge of Mr. Spalding and wife, was situated on the Clear- 
water, above the site of Lewiston. By December suitable accommodations were pro- 
vided at both missions and the founders began their labor of love. 

Additions were also made to the force at work in the Methodist mission in the 
Willamette valley. In July, 1836, Elijah White and wife, Alanson Beers and wife, 
W. H. Wilson, Annie M. Pitman, Susan Downing and Elvina Johnson, sailed from 
Boston, but did not reach their destination until May, 1837. The scourge of fever 
still afflicted them, and the mission in consequence bore an ill repute among the natives, 
in spite of the most earnest and conscientious efforts of its people to win the good will 
of those whom they had come so far to benefit. 

The attaches of the missions were not the only Americans that were now living in 
Oregon. From the trappers who had visited the coast, some of them with the Ameri- 
can companies, some as roving " free trappers " and still others in the service of the 
Hudson's Bay Company, knowledge of the beautiful and fertile Willamette and Sacra- 
mento valleys was sj^read along the American frontier, and the thoughts of many of 
the hardy western people were turned in this direction. The breaking nj) of the 
American trapping companies left many mountaineers without an occupation, unless 
they engaged in trapping on their own account, and these men began to find their 
way into California and Oregon for the purpose of building for themselves homes, the 
majority of them, however, going to the former country. At the close of 1836 there 
were some thirty white persons in Oregon not connected with the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, including the missionaries and their wives. 

The presence of these j^eople, in the capacity of settlers, was regarded by the com- 
pany with much disfavor; not simply because they were Americans, but because the 
settlement of any persons whatever, over whom the company had no control, was cal- 
culated to weaken its hold upon the natives. It had been the policy of the company 
to discourage settlements, even of its own employees whose terms of service had expired, 
though it could exercise control over them almost as much as when still in its service; 
consequently the settlement of Americans beyond the 23ale of their authoritj^ was very 
distasteful. The Methodist missionaries, also, who had been so cordially welcomed by 
the company's officers when it was supposed they were simply to engage in missionary 
work, now that they encouraged these settlers and sided with them against the company, 
were classed in the same category and deprived of the aid of the company's influence. 

In order to be still more independent of the company, Ewing Young, who ^«^s 
the leading spirit among the American trappers who had located in the valley, and 
Jason Lee, the missionary, set on foot a scheme to j^rocure a sujiply of cattle from 
California. The effort was opposed by the company, but with the aid (if William A. 

OREGON. 131 

Slocum, an officer of t\u- United State-; navy, wIid advauL'cd money and gave a free 
pas.sage to California in liis vessel t(j those who went after the cattle, it was completely 
successful, and the " Wallamette Cattle Company" was organized. The party which 
went to California was under the leadership of Mr. Young, and was composed of P. 
L. Edwards, who kept a diary of the expedition which is now preserved in the State 
Library at Sacramento and numbered 23,989, Hawchurst, Carmiehael, Bailey, Ere- 
(juette, DesPau, AVilliams, Tibbetts, Gay, Wood, Camp, Turner, and enough others to 
make a company of about twenty men, all inured to the dangers and privations of 
mountain life. They collected a baud of 700 cattle at three dollars per head, and, 
with much labor and difficulty succeeded in bringing 600 of them into the valley. 
They had much trouble with the Indians on Siskiyou mountain and along Rogue 
river, and Gray, without any foundation charges the compaay with stirring up the 
Indians to cut them off. TJie fact is, as Edwards' diary plainly shows, the trouble 
grew out of the un^^rovoked murder by one of the party of an Indian who visited 
their cimp on Klamath river. Turner, Gay and Bailey were three of four survivors 
of an American party which had been attacked on Rogue river two years before, and 
shot this Indian in a spirit of revenge. It is certainly difficult to trace any agency of 
tlie company in this affair, or to assign any other cause than wanton murder for their 
trouble with the Indians. 

The arrival of the cattle was hailed with joy by the settlers, as it guaranteed 
them comj^lete independence of the company and demonstrated that Americans could 
settle in the Willamette valley with an assurance of being self-supporting. At the 
close of 1837 the independent population of Oregon consisted of forty-nine souls about 
equally divided between missionary attaches and settlers. Of these Rev. David Leslie 
and wife. Rev H.''K. W. Perkins and Margaret Smith were new recruits for the Meth- 
odist mission. 

In 1838, W. H. Gray, who had returned East the year before to j)rocure rein- 
fin-cements for the Congregational missions, came out with Revs. E. Walker, Gushing 
Eells and A. B. Smith and the wives of the four, also a young man named Cornelius 
Rogers and John A. Sutter, the honored pioneer of the Sacramento valley. At Fort 
Hall, Gray's associates were induced to trade the fourteen cows tbey were bringing 
with them, all of a superior breed, for a like number of cows to be delivered to them 
by the Hudson's Bay Company after reaching their destination. They failed to fully 
appreciate the advantages of that trade until after arriving at Whitman's mission in 
September, where they found that only an e.xpert vaquero could catch one of the wild 
heifers roaming with the herds belonging to the company. 

The Methodists enlarged the field of their missionary labors in the spring of 
1838, by establishing a mission at The Dalles, under the charge of Daniel Lee and H. 
K. W. Perkins. The Protestant method of benefiting the Indians, aside from merely 
preaching Christianity to them, was to teach them how to live, how to procure food 
and clothing by their own labor intelligently applied, so that they should no longer be 
subjected to alternate seasons of feasting and famine. They thought to make a farmer 
of the Indian, and thus destroy his roving habits. To do this it was necessary that 
those being taught l)e supported by them until they could be rendered self-sustaining ; 
and this re(iuired money. Con^eijuently wlien it was derided to establisji a mission at 

The Dalles, Kev. Jasou Lee started East to procure financial aid, accompanied by P, 
L. Edwards, F. Y. Ewing and two Indian boys. During his absence his wife died, 
also Cyrus Shepard, who was teaching the school at the Willamette mission. 

In 1838 a new element was introduced into Oregon in the form of a delegation of 
Catholic missionaries ; and immediately upon their arrival was begun anew that same 
sectarian rivalry, that battle of religious creeds, which has caused so much of blood- 
shed, horror and misery in the world. Intolerance and bigotry were displayed as much 
by the one side as the other, and responsibility for the terrible results which followed 
their contest for spiritual control of the Indians rests equally upon the shoulders of 
both. Revs. Francis N. Blanchet and Modest Demers reached Vancouver on the 
twenty-fourth of November, having come overland from Montreal, and having bap- 
tized fifty-three persons during their passage down the Columbia. The Congregational 
missions were extended during the year by the establishing of a new one among the 
Spokane Indians by Eevs. Gushing Eells and E. Walker. 

During the following year but little advancement was made, either in missionary 
work or settlements. The Catholics traveled extensively among the tribes, while the 
Protestants confined their attention to their various stations. The Indians learned 
that the white man had two ways of going to heaven, and naturally were themselves 
divided in opinion as to which was the better one; or, as they themselves expressed it, 
all their bad feelings towards each were stirred up, and those quarreled who had be- 
fore been friends. A printing press was presented in 1839 to the Protestant mission- 
aries, by their co-laborers in the Sandwich islands ; and it was taken to Lapwai with 
its accompanying material, and there E. O. Hall and Messrs. Spalding and Rogers used 
it to ]3rint portions of the New Testament in the Nez Perce tongue. This was the first 
appearance of the typographic art on the Pacific coast of North America. 

In the latter part of 1839 A. B. Smith located among Ellis' band of Nez Perces 
and began missionary work. The next year he undertook to cultivate a small patch 
of ground, when he was ordered by Ellis to desist upon pain of death. Smith not 
only abandoned his potato patch but his mission as well, and departed for the Sand- 
wich islands. The failure of this effort gave great satisfaction to the Catholics, as is 
indicated by the published writings of Father P. J. DeSmet, who had located a mis- 
sion among the Flatheads the same year. 

In June, 1840, Jason Lee returned with a party of forty-eight, of whom eight 
were clergymen and nineteen ladies. The names of the new arrivals in 1839 were 
Rev. J. S. Griffin and wife and Mr. Mungar and wife, who had intended to found a 
mission on Snake river but had not succeeded, Ben Wright, Lawson, Reiser, Geiger, 
Sidney Smith, Robert Shortess and Blair, a blacksmith. In 1840 the arrivals were 
more numerous. They are thus named and summarized by Gray : 

" In 1840, Mrs. Lee, second wife of Rev. Jasou Lee; Rev- J. H. Frost and wife ; 
Rev. A. F. Waller, wife and two children; Rev. W. W. Kone and wife; Rev. G. Hines, 
wife and sister ; Rev. L. H. Judson, wife and two children ; Rev. J. L. Parish, wife and 
three children; Rev. G. P. Richards, wife and three children; Rev. A. P. Olley and 
wife. Laymen — Mr. George Abernethy, wife and two children ; Mr. H. Campbell 
wife and one child; Mr. W. W. Raymond and Avife; Mr. H. B. Brewer and wife; Di-. 
J. L. Babcock, wife and (me child; Mrs. Daniel Lee; Mrs. David Carter; Mrs. 

> ^ 

^ : 

^'- iWHii ^\¥ 

Joseph Holman ; Miss E. Pliillips. Methodist Episcopal Protestant mission — llev- 
Harvy Clark and wife ; P. B. Littlejoh.n and wife. Independent Protestant mission — 
Robert Moore, James Cook and James Fletcher, settlers. Jesuit priests — P. J. DeSmet, 
Flathead mission. Rocky mountain men with native wives : William Craig, Doctor 
Robert Newell, Jos. L. Meek, Geo. Ebbert, William M. Dougherty, John Larisou, 
(leorge Wilkinson, a Mr. Nicholson, and Mr. Algear and William Johnson, author of 
the novel, 'Leni Leoti; or, the Prairie Flower.' The subject was first written and read 
liefore the Lyceum at Oregon City, in 1843." He classifies the population as follows : 
American settlers, twenty-five of them with Indian wives, 36 ; American women, 33 ; 
children 32; lay members, Protestant missions 13; Methodist ministers 13; Congrega- 
tional 0; American physicians 3; English physicians 1; Jesuit priests, including 
DeSmet, 3; Canadian French, (30; total Americans, 137; total Canadians, including 
priests, (J3 ; total population, not including Hudson's Bay Company operatives, within 
what now is a portion of Montana and all of Idaho, Washington and Oregon, 200. 



First Efforts at Government Petition to Congress in 1840 -Plans of the Hudson's Bay Company- Unfounded 
Charges against the Company -Unsuccessful Attempt to Organize in 1841 -Visit of Commodore Wilkes 
The Hudson's Bay Company Imports Settlers from Red River Visit of Governor Simpson Whitman's Win- 
ter Journey The Ashburton Treaty Emigrants and Wagons for Oregon Names of Oregon Residents in 
1843- A Provisional Government Organized -Treaty of 1846 Gives Oregon to the United States. 

In 183!> was made the first attemj)t at any form of government, otlier than the 
enforced rules of the Hudson's Bay Company. The ^Methodist missionaries in the 
Willamette valley selected two persons to act as magistrates, and though this was done 
without the co-operation of the settlers the action was acquiesced in and their authority 
respected. The most important case before this tribunal was that of T. J. Hubbard, 
who was tried for murder before Rev. David Leslie, having killed a man who was at- 
tempting to enter his house through the window. The jury ac(iuitted the prisoner on 
the grounds of justifiable homicide. In 1840, soon after this event, a petition was 
forwarded to congress, asking the establishment of a territorial government in Oregon, 
which had the effect of drawing attention to this country and of reminding those who 
had formerly thought the Willamette valley a desirable spot for a home that now was 
a good time to emigrate. 

There was still another ami iiKire iiu|iiirtaiit effect prudiiced l»y this petition and 
the apparent delermiiiatioii of the Aiiieriean settlers to have a government of tlieir 

13i OREGON. 

owa, and that Wci.s to arouse the Hudson's Bay Company to a realization of the pre- 
carious condition of its authority in Oregon. It began to recognize the fact that as a 
company it could not control these new-comers nor could it prevent the influx of others 
who were inimical to its interests. This conviction wrought a change in policy, and 
with it was made a bold stroke to gain possession of the prize. It has been stated that 
the company was opposed to settlements of any kind, preferring that the Country 
should remain uninhabited by all save the natives and actual servants of the corpora- 
tion. It had even gone so far as to send to Canada at its own expense employees 
whose terms of service had expired, to prevent them from settling here. It is to 
this policy, wise if all that was desired was to keep this region as a fur-bearing wil- 
derness, but very unwise if it was the expectation to gain possession of it for Great 
Britain, that England can charge the loss to her of the disputed territory. Had the 
company from the first planted colonies in the Willamette like those of Lord Selkirk 
at Winnipeg, or had it even encouraged the settlement of its discharged employees, 
there would now have been enough British subjects to have controlled local affairs and 
laid a foundation for a claim of permanent ownership. Daring the past few years the 
company had been gradually realizing the unpleasant fact that it could not hope to exclude 
settlers, and had therefore withdrawn its objection to the location of permanent homes 
here by its old servants, and, preferring them to the Americans, had even encouraged 
them in so doing ; but now it realized that it must adopt a more comprehensive and 
aggressive policy, it must colonize Oregon with subjects of Great Britain or submit to 
being itself expelled from the country. A deep plan was laid, which, but for the fore- 
sight and energetic patriotism of Dr. Marcus Whitman, would have been completely 
successful ; and this plan was to bring a large emigration from the Red River settle- 
ments to overwhelm the Americans, and at the same time to open negotiations between 
the bome governments for a final settlement of the mooted question of title, in which 
the preponderance of English subjects here was to be urged as a reason why Great 
Britain's claim to the country should be conceded. 

There was nothing criminal nor even dishonorable in this ; and yet some Ameri- 
can writers speak of this and other steps of the company to obtain or retain possession 
of Oregon as though they were the most heinous of crimes. The subjects of Great 
Britain certainly had as much right to make an effort for possession as had citizens of 
the United States ; and the actual fact is that they were less active, less aggressive than 
were the Americans, to which is due in a large measure their defeat in the contest. 
Because they made these efforts, parties who were equally active on the other side, 
looking at the matter through their party-colored spectacles, have charged the com- 
pany's officers with the commission of grave crimes, not the least of which was the 
inciting of Indians to murder American settlers. These charges rest upon evidence 
which is entirely inferential and circumstantial, and even of this kind of testimony 
the greater portion is favorable to the company. There is no evidence to prove that 
the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company were guilty of any acts that would not be 
looked upon in any country and by any people as proper and necessary for the pro- 
tection of their interests could they have been placed in the same position. It is 
certainly questionable if some of those gentlemen, whose bitter enmity caused them to 
make these charges, had possessed the great power of the company, whether they 

OREGON. 135 

would liave used it as liouorably aud c-ouscieutiously as did Dr. McLaughlin and his 
associates. It is certain that these narrow-minded views were not entertained by the 
master mind of them all, the martyred Whitman. His brain was large enougli to 
keep 2)ersonality and politics separate, and he honored and respected these men and en- 
joyed their personal friendship even while doing his utmost to defeat their plans. It 
was the active part taken in the struggle by the Protestant missionaries which had lost 
them the supjjort of the company, and caused that organization to encourage and aid 
the Catholics, who, as subjects of Great Britain, could be counted upon to further the 
company's interests. It was this union of interest and action which was the true 
cause of the bitter enmity of the Protestant historians to the company. The mutual 
intolerance of the two creeds, and the especially bitter spirit engendered by the contest 
for control of the Indians, sufficiently explain why those whose minds were thus edu- 
cated to believe their Catholic opponents could be guilty of fiendish acts, should 
extend their prejudices to the company which supported them. It is time these un- 
founded charges were dropped and prejudice give way to reason. The workings of 
the company's new plan will be unfolded as this narrative progresses, as will also the 
circumstances which have called out these precautionary remarks. 

Although so few white people resided in Oregon at this time, still the objects 
which brought them here had resulted in their division into four classes, with interests 
to a greater or less extent adverse to each other. The Hudson's Bay Company, the 
Catholics, the Protestant missionaries, and the independent settlers, constituted the 
four interests, aud they were elements not easy to harmonize. The first two seemed 
to have but the one opinion, though there were a few members of the Catholic church 
who were favorable to American rule. The Methodist mission had served as a rallying 
point for settlers, who cared nothing for the religious creed it represented, their object 
in seeking homes in the Willamette having been to better their worldly condition. 
Such favored the mission influence to the extent only that it served their purpose of 
settling in the country. In February, 1841, Ewing Young died, leaving considerable 
property and no heirs. This naturally raised the (][uesti()n of what was to be done with 
his estate and who was to take charge of it. He was neither a Catholic, a Protestant, 
nor a Hudson's Bay Company employee ; he had only been an American citizen, was 
ilead in Oregon, and what was to be done ? Had he been one of the company's em- 
ployees it would have attended to the property ; if he had belonged to the Catholic 
family the priests would have taken charge ; if a Methodist, the mission could have 
a<lministered ; but, as he was an outsider, and as iio one had the color of right to 
oificiate, it became a matter in which all were interested aud a cause for public action. 
His funeral occurred on the seventeenth, and after the burial an impromptu meeting- 
was held, at which it was determined to organize a civil government over Oregon, not 
including the portion lying north of the Columbia river. A •Committee was to 
constitute the legislative branch of the government; a governor, a supreme judge 
with probate powers, three justices of the peace, three constables, three road commis- 
sioners, an attorney-general, a clerk of the courts and public recorder, one treasuier 
and twi) ovcrseei's of tlic ponr were to constitute its official machinery, (lentlemeu 
were put in iioniiiiation fur mII of these offices and the meeting adjourned until the 

next day, at which time, citizens of the valley were notified to be present at the Amer- 
ican mission house to elect officers, and to perfect the governmental organization. 

At the time and place specified, nearly all the male population south of the Colum- 
bia congregated, the several factions in full force. Most prominent among these was 
the Methodist mission ; second, the Catholics as allies of the Hudson's Bay Company ; 
and third, the independent settlers whose interests were not specially identified with 
either. The proceedings of the previous day were not fully indorsed. Two were added 
to the legislative committee, and the following gentlemen were chosen to serve in that 
capacity : Revs. F. N. Blanchet, Jason Lee, Gustavus Hines, Josiah L. Parrish, and 
Messrs. D. Donpierre, M. Charlevo, Robert Moore, E. Lucia, and William Johnson. 
The main point at issue seemed to be, as to which faction should secure the governor- 
ship. Revs. Leslie and Hines, and Dr. J. L. Babcock were the Methodist mission 
candidates and were liable to divide the vote snfficiejitly to secure the selection of Dr. 
Bailey, a man of strong English prejudices, who w^as opposed to religion generally, but 
could secure the French Catholics, and a majority of the settlers' votes. He drove the 
latter jDortion of his support into the opposition ranks, however, by his want of modesty 
in nominating himself for that position. It was finally determined to have no gover- 
nor, and Dr. J. L. Babcock having been chosen supreme judge, was instructed to ren- 
der decisions in matters coming before him in accordance with the New York code. 
This was an order easy to give, but difficult to fulfill, as there was not a New York 
statute book in Oregon at the time. The Methodists having secured the bench, and 
prevented the adverse interests from securing the executive branch of the embryo 
government, the Catholic influence was given a representation in Geo. LeBreton, who 
was made clerk of the court and recorder. Wm. Johnson was chosen from the Englisli 
element for the office of high sheriff, and the following named gentlemen were elected 
constables : Havier Laderant, Pierre Billique, and Wm. McCarty. The offices of 
justice of the peace, road commissioner, attorney general, treasurer and overseer of the 
poor, were not filled. After the transaction of this business, and the issuance of an 
order for the legislative committee to draft a constitution and code of laws, the meeting 
adjourned until the following June. 

On the first of June, the people assembled at the new building near the Catholic 
church in the Willamette, and learned that the committee had failed to either form 
laws, or even meet for that purpose. Rev. F. N. Blanchet withdrew as a member of it, 
and Dr. Bailey was chosen to fill the vacancy. The committee was then ordered to, 
" Confer with the commodore of the American squadron and John McLaughlin, chief 
factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, with regard to forming a constitution and code of 
laws for this community." The meeting then adjourned until the following October. 
In 1838 the United States Government sent out a fleet of vessels, under the command 
of Commodore Chaxles Wilkes, on an extensive voyage of exploration which lasted five 
years. Wilkes was now in Oregon with the purpose as much of ascertaining the actual 
state of affairs as of gathering geographical and scientific information. The committee 
applied to him for advice, and after visiting the Catholic and Protestant missions and 
consulting with Dr. McLaughlin, the missionaries and settlers, he ascertained that 
though all had participated in the meetings, but a minority, chiefly connected with the 
Methodist missions, were in favor of an organization. He therefore advised them to 




OREGON. 137 

wait until they were stronger and until the "government of the United States should 
throw its mantle over them." The committee accepted his advice, the adjourned meet- 
ing never convened, and the attemi^t at organization was abandoned. 

During 1841 the first regular emigration from the East arrived, consisting of 111 
])ersons, and these came without wagons, since it was the general belief both in England 
and the United States, that wagons could not cross the continent to Oregon. This idea 
was industriously supported by English authors, several of whom published books on 
Oregon about this time, and was strongly urged as a reason why Oregon should be 
given up to the British. As our statesmen derived their information on this subject 
chiefly from English sources, they held the same views about the inpracticability of 
overland emigration from the United States to Oregon. Sir George Simpson, governor 
of the Hudson's Bay Company, visited the country the same year, crossing overland 
from Montreal. Just *3ast of the Rocky mountains he passed the emigrants the com- 
pany was importing from Red river, consisting of " twenty-three families, the heads 
being generally young and active." They reached Oregon in September, and spent the 
winter on the Cowlitz. During 1841, also, there was the greatest clash yet experienced 
between the rival religions. The Catholics went among the Cascade Indians, who had 
been under the influence of the Methodist mission at The Dalles, and induced them to 
renounce the Protestant for the Catholic creed. This served to intensify the bitterness 
existing between the religious factions. The Catholic missions were rapidly growing 
in power and influence, the Methodist were as rapidly retrograding, while the Congre- 
gational missions in the interior were progressing but slowly. 

There was quite an immigration in 1842. Seventeen families started from Inde- 
pendence in March, with Stephen H. Meek as a guide. At Green river they were 
overtaken by Fitzpatrick's brigade of trappers on the way to Fort Hall, and several of 
the families cut up their wagons and made pack saddles, and packing their effects on 
their animals, accompanied the brigade. The remainder of the wagons Meek conducted 
safely through Sublette's cut-off', reaching Fort Hall the same day as the others, much 
to their surprise. Here, owing to the positive assertions of the company's officers that 
it was impossible to take wagons any further, they were abandoned, and the party pro- 
ceeded without them, passing down Snake river, across the Blue mountains, down the 
Umatilla and Columbia to The Dalles, and by the Mount Hood trail to Oregon City, 
which town was laid out that fall by L. W. Hastings, one of the new emigrants, 
as agent for Dr. McLaughlin. The greater portion of this party, being dissatisfied 
with the rainy winter, were guided to California in the spring by INIeek. Among these 
emigrants was Dr. Elijah White, who had authority to act as Indian agent, being the 
first official of the United States government to enter Oregon. 

We now approach the turning point in the long struggle for possession of this 
region, and as in the most popular accounts truth and fiction have been sadly mixed, 
the fiction will be given first and the reality afterwards. Gray's History of Oregon 
says: "In September, 1842, Dr. Whitman was called to visit a patient at old Fort 
AValla AA' alia. While there a number of boats of the Hudson's Bay Company, with 
several chief traders and Jesuit priests, on their way to the interior of the country, ar- 
liveil. While at dinner, the overland express from Canada arrived, bringing news 
that the emigration fiom the Red river settlement was at Colville. This news excited 

138 OREGON. 

unu.sual joy among the guests. One of them — a young priest — sang out : ' Hurrah for 
Oregon, America is too late; we have got the country.' 'Now the Americans may 
whistle; the country is ours!' said another. Whitman learned that the company had 
ai-ranged for these Red river English settlers to come on to settle in Oregon, and at the 
same time Governor Simpson was to go to Washington and secure the settlement of the 
question as to the boundaries, on the ground of the most numerous and permanent 
settlement in the country. The Doctor was taunted with the idea that no power could 
prevent this result, as no information could reach Washington in time to prevent it. 
'It shall be prevented,' said the Doctor, ' if I have to go to Washington myself.'' 'But 
you cannot go there to do it,' was the taxinting reply of the Briton. 'I will see' was 
the Doctor's reply. The reader is sufficiently acquainted with the history of this man's 
toil and labor in bringing his first wagon through to Fort Boise, to understand what he 
meant when he said, ' I will see.' Two hours after this conversation at the fort, he dis- 
mounted from his horse at his door at Waiilatpu. I saw in a moment that he was fixed 
on some imi^ortant object or errand. He soon explained that a special effort must lie 
made to save the country from becoming British territory. Everything was in the 
best of order about the station, and there seemed to be no important reason why he 
should not go. A. L. Lovejoy, Esq., had a few days before arrived with the immigra- 
tion. It was proposed that he should accompany the Doctor, which he consented to do, 
and in twenty-four hours' time they were well mounted and on their way to the States.'' 

Such is the fiction upon which has been founded a most extended controversy, the 
result of which has been to show that Dr. Whitman was moved to take this journey bv 
a deep and gradually formed resolution and that long and thoughtful consideration and 
not the sudden impulse ascribed by Gray had led him to form the resolution. That 
this scene depicted by Gray is a pure fiction is evident for several reasons: — First, be- 
cause the Red river immigration was all in and reached the Cowlitz in Septembei', 
1841, as surviving members testify, and there was no emigration from there in 1842 ; 
second, because Archibald McKinlay, who was in charge of the fort and was a warm 
personal friend of Dr. Whitman, says that at the time of the visit sjjoken of there was 
no one at Walla Walla but the half dozen regular attaches of the fort, and that the 
Montreal express did not arrive until two weeks after Whitman had departed for the 
East, during which time Mrs. Whitman remained his guest and then proceeded down 
the river under its protection; third, because the question of such a journey had been 
discussed by Whitman and his associates at a special meeting for that purpose several 
weeks before and the journey agreed ujjou and a day set for the departure. Let us 
pass from the realm of fiction to the domain of facts. 

Dr. Whitman was a true American, an enthusiastic patriot and lover of his 
country's institutions. From the time he first set foot in Oregon to the hour of his 
death, the Americanization of this fair land was one of his proudest hopes. Dr. Wil- 
liam C. McKay, son of Thomas ]McKay, says that in 1838 his father, who was then in 
charge of Fort Hall, decided to send him to Scotland to be educated. When they 
reached Waiilatpu, where they were to sei^arate, William to go by the Manitoba route 
and his father to Fort Hall, Dr. Whitman strongly urged McKay to send his son to 
the United States to be educated, and "make an American of him," since Oregon would 
surelv belong to the Americans. McKav was convinced, William's destination Avas 

OREGON. 139 

clianged and lie ])r(j(,'eeded by the way of Fort Hall to the States. He received his 
education at Fairfield, X. Y., where Whitman himself had attended school. This in- 
cident reveals the Doctor's abiding faith in the destiny of Oregon. Gifted with a 
pliilosojihical mind and keen perceptive faculties, he gathered from the visit of Gov- 
ernor Simpson and the arrival of Red river immigrants in 1841, an inkling of the 
plans of the company for ac(juiring Oregon. His mind dwelt on the subject during 
the following spring and summer, and when the American immigrants arrived that 
tall with intelligence that negotiations were in progress between the United States and 
Great Britain to settle definitely the boundary line, he realized the deep-laid jilan of 
the company. With A. Lawrence Lovejoy, one of the immigrants who had stopped 
near the mission to recruit, he often convei'sed about the situation, and one day asked 
if he would accompany him on a journey back to the States. Though the winter 
season was just coming on, Lovejoy consented to thus aid him in his effort to save Ore- 
gon to the United States. Whitman summoned his associates from Lapwai and the 
Tshimakain mission among the Spokane Indians, to consult in regard to the matter. 
Spalding, Gray, Eells and Walker soon assembled at Waiilatpu, and when the Doctor 
laid before them his plan for saving Oregon, they unanimously opposed it, on the 
ground that missionary work and politics should not be confused with each other. To 
this Whitman replied that his first duty was to his country, and if his mission inter- 
fered with the discharge of it he would resign. Knowing his inflexible character and 
deep convictions of duty, they dared no longer oppose him for fear of losing the 
master spirit of their mission, and gave a reluctant assent. That he might have official 
authority to leave his charge and that the real object of his journey might not be 
known by the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company, they delegated him to proceed 
to Boston to transact certain business in the interest of the missions. The day of his 
departure was set for the fifth of October, and the several members departed to their 
fields of labor to prepare reports of their missions for him to take to Boston. The pro- 
ceedings of this meeting were recorded in a book, which Avas lost at the time of the 
Whitman massacre. The papers having arrived, and all being in readiness for the 
journey, Whitman went to Fort Walla Walla, some authorities say to administer to a 
sick person, while Dr. Geiger, whom Whitman left in charge of Waiilatpu during his 
absence, says that it was to interview McKinlay in regard to the situation. At all 
events, his conversation with McKinlay whetted his anxiety to depart, and he re- 
solved to start at once. Twenty-four hours later he and his traveling companion 
turned their backs ujion Oregon and entered boldly u])on a journey they knew would 
be attended with hardships and suffering such as they had never before experienced . 
The only record of that memorable journey is a letter written by Mr. Lovejoy, and the 
only accounts of what Whitman did and where he went come from those who con - 
ver.sed with him on the subject and several who saw him at different places in the East 
inchuling the emigrants with whom he returned to Oregon. From the noble martyr 
himself there comes no word, save a letter written while at St. Louis the following 
spring, yet these are enough to place him first on the list of those whose names should 
be linked with Oregon so long a^ history siiall hot. Of that memoral)le journey Love- 
joy says 

" We left AVaiilatpu October 3, 1842, traveled rapidly, reached Fort Hall in eleven 
days, remained two days to recruit and make a few purchases. The Doctor engaged a 
guide and we left for Fort Wintee. We changed from a direct route to one more 
southern, through the Spanish country via Salt Lake, Taos and Santa Fe. On our 
way from Fort Hall to Fort Wintee we had terribly severe weather. The snows 
retarded our progress and blinded the trail so we lost much time. After arriving at 
Fort AVintee and making some purchases for our trip, we took a new guide and started 
for Fort Uncumpagra, situated on the waters of Grand river, in the Spanish country. 
Here our stay was very short. We took a new guide and started for Taos. After 
being out some four or five days we encountered a terrific snow storm, which forced us 
to take shelter in a deep ravine, where we remained snowed in for four days, at which 
time the storm had somewhat abated, and we attempted to make our way out upon the 
high lands, but the snow was so deep and the winds so piercing and cold we were 
compelled to return to camp and wait a few days for a change of weather. Our next 
effort to reach the high lands was more successful ; but after spending several days 
wandering around in the snow without making much headway, our guide told us that the 
deep snow had so changed the face of the country that he was completely lost and could 
take us no further. This was a terrible blow to the Doctor but he was determined not 
to give it up without another efibrt. We at once agreed that the Doctor should take 
the guide and return to Fort Uncumpagra and get a new guide, and I remain in camp 
with the animals until he could return ; which he did in seven days with our new 
guide, and we were now on our route again. Nothing of much import occurred but 
hard and slow traveling through deep snow until we reached Grand river, which was 
frozen on either side about one-third across. Although so intensely cold, the current 
was so very rapid about one-third of the river in the center was not frozen. Our guide 
thought it would be dangerous to attempt to cross -the river in its present condition, but 
the Doctor, nothing daunted, was the first to take the water. He mounted his horse — 
the guide and myself shoved the Doctor and his horse off the ice into the foaming 
stream. Away he went completely under water, horse and all, but directly came up, 
and after buffeting the rapid, foaming current he reached the ice on the opposite shore 
a long way down the stream. He leaped from his horse upon the ice and soon had 
his noble animal by his side. The guide and myself forced in the pack animals and 
followed the Doctor's example, and were soon on the opposite shore drying our frozen 
clothes by a comfortable fire. We reached Taos in about thirty days, suffered greatly 
from cold and scarcitv of provisions. We were compelled to use mule meat, dogs, and 
such other animals as came in our reach. We remained at Taos a few days only, and 
started for Bent's and Savery's Fort, on the head waters of the Arkansas river. When 
we had been out some 15 or 20 days, we met George Bent, a brother of Gov. Bent, 
on his way to Taos. He told us that a party of mountain men would leave Bent's Fort 
in a few days for St. Louis, but said we would not reach the fort with our pack ani- 
mals in time to join the party. The Doctor being very anxious to join the party so 
he could push on as rapidly as possible to Washington, concluded to leave myself and 
guide with the animals, and he himself taking the best animal with some bedding and 
a small allowance of provision, started alone, hoping by rapid travel to reach the fort 
in time to join the St. Louis party, but to do so he would have to travel on the Sab- 





OREGON. 141 

bath, sDiuethiug we had not done before. Myself and guide traveled on slowly and 
reachetl the fort in four days, but imagine our astonishment when on making in([uiry 
about the Doctor we were told that he had not arrived nor had he been heard of. I 
learned that the party for St. Louis was camped at the Big Cottonwood, forty miles 
from the fort, and at my request Mr. Savery sent an express, telling the party not to 
proceed any further until we learned something of Dr. Whitman's whereabouts, as he 
wished to accompany them to St. Louis. Being furnished by the gentlemen of the 
fort with a suitable guide I started in search of the Doctor, and traveled up the river 
about one hundred miles. I learned from the Indians that a man had been there who 
was lost and was trying to find Bent's Fort. They said they had directed him to go 
down the river and how to find the fort. I knew from their descrijjtion it was the 
Doctor. 1 returned to the fort as rapidly as possible, but the Doctor had not arrived. 
We had all become very anxious about him. Late in the afternoon he came in very 
much fatigued and desponding ; said that he knew that God had bewildered him to 
punish him for traveling on the Sabbath. During the whole trip he was very regular 
in his morning and evening devotions, and that was the only time I ever knew him to 
travel on the Sabbath." 

He at once pushed on with the mountaineers, leaving Lovejoy at Bent's Fort, 
and reached St. Louis in February. There he inquired eagerly abijut the status of ne- 
gotiations on the Oregon question, and learned that the Ashburton-Webster treaty had 
been signed on the ninth of the preceding August, been ratified by the senate, and had 
been proclaimed by the president on the tenth of November. He was too late by more 
than three months to have prevented the treaty; but his journey was not in vain, for 
the Oregon boundary had notbaen included in the treaty, had not even -been discussed, 
in fact, as appears from Mr. Webster's speeches and correspondence. This intelligence 
brought relief to the Doctor's overwrought feelings. There was still an opportunity 
for him to accomplish liis purpose. He found great preparations being made all along 
the frontier to emigrate to the Willamette valley, notwithstanding the prevailing opinion 
that wagons could not proceed beyond Fort Hall. He immediately wrote a small 
])amphlet describing Oregon and the nature of the route thither, urging people to em- 
igrate and assuring them that wagons could go through, and that he would join them 
and be their })ilot. This pamphlet and his earnest personal appeals were efficacious in 
adding somewhat to the number of emigrants, though it is a fact that probably the 
greater portion of those who started 'from tlie border of Missouri in May never heard 
of Dr. Whitman until he joined them on the route ; for the emigration was chiefly 
the result of the reports of Oregon received from trappers, letters written to friends in 
^lissouri by Robert Shortess, who came out in 1839, and debates in congress the year 
before. That AVhitman's efforts added somewhat to the number of emigrants is true, 
but that he initiated the movement or even contributed largely to it does not ap[)ear. 
He was too late for that; the movement was well under way before his arrival. 

After writing his pamphlet his next anxiety was to reach Washington before con- 
gress adjourned, so that he might have an opportunity to meet congressmen and urge 
upon them the claims of Oregon. He did not undertake to change his apparel, which 
is thus described by Dr. William Barrows, who met him in St. Louis : " The Doctor 
was in (• larse fur garments and vesting, and l)uckskin brecfhes. He wore a buffalo 

142 OREGON. 

coat, with a hcad-liood for emergencies in taking a .storm, or a bivonac uap. What 
with heavy fur leggings and boot moccasins, his legs filled uji well his Mexican stirrups. 
With all this warmth and almost burden of skin and fur clothing, he bore the marks 
of the irresistible cold and merciless storms of his journey. His fingers, ears, nose 
and feet had been frost-bitten, and were giving him much trouble." Such was Whit- 
man when in St. Louis, such was he still when on the third of March he appeared in 
Washington, having been to Ithica, New York, to ask for the co-operation of Dr. 
Samuel Parker, his first missionary associate, and such was he still later in Boston, 
where he treated the rebukes of the officers of the American Board with a quiet con- 
tempt that astonished and disarmed them. 

He found in Washington that the prevalent ideas of Oregon were far diflferent 
from those along the frontier. Public men possessed but little knowledge of the terri- 
tory west of the Rocky mountains, and deemed it of but little value because of its sup- 
posed sterile soil and inhospitable climate. Such had been the prevailing idea since 
Lewis and Clarke had subsisted on dog meat and Hunt's party had experienced such 
terrible privations in passing through it; such, also, was the idea fostered by the Hud- 
son's Bay Company and urged by England. It was the Great American Desert, fit 
only for the abode of Indians and trappers. A year later in a congressional debate it 
was asserted that: "With the exception of the land alougt he Willamette and strips 
along a few of the water courses, the whole country is among the most irreclaimable 
barren wastes of which we have read, except the desert of Sahara. Nor is this the 
worst of it. The climate is so unfriendly to human life that the native population has 
dwindled away under the ravages of its malaria to a degree which defies all history to 
furnish a parallel in so wide a range of country." 

To prove the contrary of this and to demonstrate that (Jregon could be settled by 
emigration from the States was Whitman's task. He had interviews with Secretary 
Webster, President Tyler and many members of congress, in which he urged the im- 
portance of securing for the United States as much of the indefinite region known as 
Oregon as possible, asserting that its agricultural and timber resources were unbounded. 
He told them of the large emigration preparing to start thither, and declared that he 
would accompany them and show them a route by which they could take wagons clear 
to the Willamette. His earnest protestations made a deep impression upon many, 
especially President Tyler, and he was assured that if he could demonstrate these 
things it would have a powerful effect upon the solution of the Oregon question. 

Whitman then visited Boston to discharge the official object of his journey, and 
was severely censured for leaving his mission upon so trivial a pretext. Then, after 
spending a few days at home, he hastened to the frontier to join the emigrants, some of 
whom had already started and were not overtaken by him till they had reached the 
Platte. His appearance among them was the first time the majority of them knew of 
the existence of such a man ; yet even these universally acknowledge that his services 
as guide and advisor on the route were almost indispensable. Reaching Fort Hall the 
earnest representations made by the official in charge that wagons could not cross the 
mountains between that post and the Columbia had a most demoralizing effect. Had 
it not been for AVhitman many would have changed their destination to California, 
while the remainder, leaving their wagons, plows and implements behind, would have 

continued the journe}' to Oregon with only what they eouhl paek upon tlieir animals. 
Earnestly he [)Ieadcd with them, assured them that he would guide them safely through, 
that they had found his counsel good in the past and should trust liim for the future. 
They did trust him; the wagons passed on, and after surmounting every obstacle he 
led them to the open plain in front of the mission at AVaiilatpu. He had won the day 
for his country. 

This great train of hardy jjioneers who had come to Americanize Oregon, con- 
tained 875 persons, of whom 295 were men over sixteen years of age. A complete 
roll of names was taken at the time by J. W. Nesmith, and is as follows : 

.[esse A23plegate, Charles Applegate, Lindsay Applegate, James Athey, William 
Athey, John Atkinson, William Arthur, Robert Arthur, David Arthur, Amon But- 
ler, George Brooke, Peter H. Burnett, David Bird, Thomas A. Brown, Alexander 
Blevins, John P. Brooks, Martin Brown, Oris Brown, J. P. Black, Layton Bane, 
Andrew Baker, John G. Baker, William Beagle, Levi Boyd, William Baker, Nich- 
olas Biddle, George Beale, James Braid)', George Beadle, Boardman, William 

Baldridge, F. C. C'ason, James Cason, William Chapman, John Cox, Jacob Champ, 
L. C. Cooper, James Cone, JNIoses Childers, Miles Carey, Thomas Cochran, L. Clymour, 
John Copenhaver, J. H. Caton, Alfred Chappel, Daniel Cronin, Samuel Cozine, 
Benedict Costable, Joseph Childs, Ransom Clark, John G. Campbell, Chap- 
man, James Chase, Solomon Dodd, William C. Dement, W. P. Doughertv, William 
Day, James Duncan, Jacob Dorin, Thonras Davis, Daniel Delaney, Daniel Delaney, 
Jr., William Delaney, William Doke, J. H. Davis, Burrell Davis, George Dailey, 

John Doherty, Dawson, Charles Eaton, Nathan Eaton, James Etchell, 

Solomon Emerick, John W. Eaker, E. G. Edson, Miles Eyres, John W. East, 
Niuiwon Everman, Ninevah Ford, Ephram Ford, Nimrod Ford, John Ford, 
Alex. Francis, Abner Fraziei-, W^illiam Frazier, William Fowlei-, William J 
Fowler, Henry Fowler, Stephen Fairly, Charles Fendall, John Gantt, Chiley B. Gray, 
Enoch (iarrison, J. W. Garrison, W. J. Garrison, William Gardner, Samuel Gardner, 

Mat. Gilmore, Richard Goodman, Major Gilpin, Gray, B. Haggard, H. H. Hide, 

William Holmes, Riley A. Holmes, John Hobson, William Hobson, J. J. Hembre, 
.lames Hembree, Andrew Hembre, A. J. Hembre, Samuel B. Hall, James H<mk, 
William P. Hughes, Abijah Hendrick, James Hays, Thomas J. Hensley, B. Holley, 
Henry Hunt, S. M. Holderness, Isaac Hutchins, A. Husted, Josejih Hess, Jacob 
Hann, John Howell, William Howell, Wesley Howell, W. G. Howell, Thomas E. 
Howell, Henry Hill, William Hill, Almoran Hill, Henry Hewett, William Hargrove, 
A. Hoyt, John Holman, Daniel Holman, B. Harrigas, Calvin James, John B. -Jack- 
son, John Jones, Overton Johnson, Thomas Keyser, J. B. Keyser, Pleasant Keyser 

Kelley, Kelsey, A. L. Lovejoy, Edward Lenox, E. Lenox, Aaron Layson, 

Jesse Looney, John E. Long, H. A. G. Lee, F. Lugur, Lew Linebarger, John 
Linebarger, Isaac Laswx'll, J. Loughborough, Milton Little, Luther, John Lau- 
derdale, Mc(Jec, William J. ^Martin, James Martin. -Iiilius .Martin, Mc- 
Clelland, F. McClelland. John 15. Mills, Isaac Mills, William .V. Mills, Owen 
Mills, G. W. McGarey, (Jilbert Mondon, Daniel Matheny. .Vdani Matheny, J. X. 
Matheny, -losiah Matheny, Henry Matheny, A. J. Mastire. John .McHaley, Jacob 
Myers, John .Manning, J^ames Manning, M. M. IMcCarvcr, George .McCorrle, Wil- 

liam Mays, Elijah Millicau, William McDaniel, D. McKissie, Madison Malone, 
John B. MeClane, William Manzee, John Melntire, John Moore, ^\\ J. Matney, J.W. 
Nesmith, W. T. Newby, Noah Newman, Thomas Nayler, Neil Osborn, Hugh D. 
O'Brien, Humi^hrey O'Brien, Thomas A. Owen, Thomas Owen, E. ^V. Otie, M. B. 
Otie, Bennett O'Neil, A. Olinger, Jesse Parker. AVilliam Parker, J. B. Pennington, R. 
H. Poe, Bamuel Painter J. R. Patterson, Charles E. Pickett, Frederick Prigg, Clayborii 
Paine, P. B. Reading, S. P. Rodgers, G. W, Rodgers, AVilliam Rnssell, James Roberts, 
G. W. Rice, John Richardson, Daniel Richardson, Philip Ruby, John Ricord, Jacob 
Reid, John Roe, Solomon Roberts, Emseley Roberts, Joseph Rossin, Thomas Rives, 
Thomas H. Smith, Thomas Smith, Isaac W. Smith, Anderson Smith, Ahi Smith, Robert 
Smith, Eli Smith, William Sheldon, P. G. Stewart, Dr. Nathaniel Sutton, C. Stimmer- 

man, C. Sharp, AV. C. Summers, Henry Sewell, Henry Stout, George Sterling, 

Stout, Stevenson, James Story, Swift, John M. Shively, Samuel Shirley, 

Alexander Stoughton, Chauncey Spencer, Hiram Strait, George Summers, Cornelius 
Stringer, C. AV. Stringer, Lindsey Tharp, John Thompson, D. Trainor, Jeremiah Teller, 
Stephen Tarbox, John Umnicker, Samuel Vance, AVilliam Vaughn, George Vernon, 
James Wilmont, William H. AVilson, J. W. Wair, Archibald Winkle, Edward Williams, 
H. AVheeler, John Wagoner, Benjamin AVilliams, David AVilliams, William AVilson, 
John Williams, James Williams, Squire Williams, Isaac Williams, T. B. Ward, James 
White, John (Betty) Watson, James Waters, AVilliam Winter, Daniel Waldo, David 
Waldo, William AValdo, Alexander Zachary, John Zachary. 

Add to these the following settlers residing here when the others arrived : 

Pleasant Armstrong, Hugh Burns, Brown, AVilliam Brown, — — Brown, 

J. M. Black, William Baldra," James Balis, Dr. W. J. Bailey, Brainard, Medo- 

rem Crawford; David Carter, Samuel Campbell, Jack Campbell, AVilliam Craig, Amos 

Cook, Aaron Cook, Conner, William Cannon, Allen Davy, William Doty, 

Richard Eakin, Squire Ebbert, John Edwards, Philip Foster, John Force, James 

Force, Francis Fletcher, George Gay, Joseph Gale, Girtman, Felix Hathaway, 

Peter H. Hatch, Thomas Hubbard, Adam Hewitt, Jeremiah Horegon, Joseph Holman, 

David Hill, AVeberly Hauxhurst, Hutchinson, William Johnson, King, 

Kelsey, Reuben Lewis, G. W. LeBreton, Jack Larrison, Joseph L. Meek, F. 

X. Mathieu, John AlcClure, S. AV. Moss, Robert Moore, IMcFadden, AVilliam 

McCarty, Charles McKay, Thomas McKay, Morrison, J. AV. Mack, 

Newbanks, Robert Newell, James A. O'Neil, F. AV. Pettygrove, Dwight Pomeroy, 

Walter Pomeroy, Perry, Rimmick, Osborn Russell, J. R. Robb, Robert 

Shortess, Sidney Smith, Smith, Andrew Smith, Andrew Smith, Jr., Darling 

Smith, Spence, Jack Sailor, Joel Turnham, Turner, Hiram Taylor, Cal- 
vin Tibbetts, Trask, C. M. AValker, Jack AVarnei-, A. E. AVilson, David 

Winslow, Caleb Wilkins, Henry AVood. B. AVilliams. 

Also add the following members of Protestant missions : 

Dr. Marcus AVhitman, A. F. Waller, David Leslie, Hamilton Campbell, George 
Abernethy, William H. Wilson, L. H. Judson, W. H. Gray, E. Walker, Gushing 
Eells, Alanson Beers, Jason Lee, Gustavus Hines, H. K. AV. Perkins, M. H. B. Brewer, 
Dr. J. L. Babcock, Dr. Elijah White, Harvey Clark, H. H. Spalding, J. L. Parrish, 
H. AV. Raymond. 


H. Gate's Flouring Mill, Roseburg. 

OREGON. 145 

The above list includes nearly every male resident of Oregon in 1843, exclusive 
of the ex-employees of the Hudson's Bay Company and those still in its service. 

On the heels of the emigrant train, came the exploring party of Lieutenant John 
C. Fremont, who had explored the Rocky mountains the year before. After spending 
a few days at Vancouver, he passed south, crossed the Cascades to Eastern Oregon, 
continued south into Nevada, and then with much labor and suffering, crossed the snow- 
bound Sierra Nevada to Sutter's Fort in the Sacramento valley. Though he earned 
the title of Pathfinder, he found his way to Oregon clearly marked by the wheels of 
tlie wagons that had preceded him. 

E irly in 18i3 the effort to organize a provisional government was renewed by the 
American settlers, who were unaware of the great reinforcements already on the way 
to join them. Even the missionaries were not trusted in the primitive councils and 
oparations of the organizers. The known hostility of every interest in Oregon to a 
government not under control of such interest, caused the settlers to plan with great 
caution and execute with extreme care. It became necessary for them to deceive every, 
one, except a select few, in regard to their designs, in order to obtain a meeting of the 
settlers under circumstances that would not arouse the suspicion of those adverse to 
such action, and array them in active hostility. The number and influence of such 
wore sufficient, when combined, to strangle the movement at its birth, A singular de- 
vice was resorted to. Wild animals had been destroying the young stock, and those 
who were wealthiest suffered most from such depredations. The Methodist mission- 
aries ,and Hudson's' Bay Company were consequently more anxious than the other 
settlers to be relieved of this scourge. There was but one sentiment, every one wished 
the depredators exterminated, and to do it necessitated a united action, an assembling 
of the people, and an organized movement. 

The conspirators circulated a notice calling upon resident to meet for this pur- 
pose at the house of W. H. Gray on the second of February, 1843. The meeting took 
place and a committee of six was chosen to perfect a plan for exterminating wolves- 
baars and panthers, and then call a general meeting of the settlers to whom their con- 
clusions were to be submitted. That committee consisted of W. H. Gray, William 

H. Wilson, Alansou Beers, Joseph Gervais, a Rocky mountain hunter named 

Barnaby, and a Frenchman named Lucie, who had formerly beer a member 

of Astor's expedition. With the appointment of this committee, and a general ex- 
change of views upon the subject of wolves, bears, jianthers, and the best way to get 
rid of their destructive raids upon stock, the meeting adjourned till the first Monday 
in March, when the people were to meet at the house of Joseph Gervais. At the ad- 
journed meeting, after the organization had been completed, one of the gentlemen 
present addressed the settlei's, stating that no one would question for a moment the 
rightfulness of the proceedings just completed; it was a just, natural action taken by 
the people to protect their live stock from being destroyed by wild animals ; but while 
they were so solicitous about their stock, would it not be a wise thing to take steps for 
the protection of themselves and their families. The result of this speech was the ap- 
pi)intment of J. L. Babcock, E^lijah White, Janies A. O'Neil, Robert Shortcss, Robert 
Xt'wcll. Lucie, Josepli Gervais, Thomas Hubbard, C. INIcRoy, W. H. (iray. 

146 OREGON. 

Smith and George Gay, as a eoiiimittee to consider the propriety of orgauizing a 


The committee soon met at Oregon City, many others being jiresent, and a lively 
discussion ensued. Rev. Jason Lee, George Abernethy, Revs. Leslie and Hines, and 
Mr. Babcock, took strong grounds against the movement and declared in favor of a 
delay of four years. By striking the office of governor from the list, a unanimous 
vote was secured to call a meeting on the second of May. At the appointed time the 
people assembled, the two factions being almost equal in strength, being fifty-two 
Americans in favor of organization against fifty, chiefly Hudson's Bay Company men, 
opposed to it. Like Cameron, the great ex-boss of Pennsylvania politics, who said 
that a majority of one was all the majority he cared for, the Americans were satisfied 
with a majority of two, and proceeded with the work of organizing, their opponents 
leaving in disgust. The result of this action was the following organization: 

Legislative Committee — Robert Shortess, Robert Xewell, Alanson Beers, W. H. 
Gray, James A. O'Xeil, Thomas Hubbard, David Hill, Robert Moore, William 
Dougherty. Supreme Judge with probate powers — A. E. Wilson. Clerk and Re- 
corder — George W. LeBreton. Sheriffs — Joseph L. Meek. Treasurer, W. H. Wilson. 
Magistrates — A. B. Smith, Hugh Burns, Compo and L. H. Judson. Con- 
stables — Squire Ebbert, Bridgers, Reuben Lewis and F. X. Mathieu. Major — • 

John Howard. Captains — William McCarty, C. McRoy and S. Smith. 

The committee was instructed to report on the fifth of July at Champoeg. At 
the time appointed the committee made its report, which was adopted, in which the 
laws of Iowa were declared in force so far as they applied, and the executive manage- 
ment of the government entrusted to a committee of three instead of a governor. For 
this committee, David Hill, Alanson Beers and Joseph Gale were chosen, and at last 
the American settlers in Oregon had a government. The struggle was over, for the 
great emigration which a few weeks later came in with Whitman settled the question 
of American supremacy and the stability of the newly organized government. 

The first regular election was held May 14, 1844, to choose officers of the provis- 
ional government, at which 200 votes were cast. P. G. Stewart, Osborn Russell and 
W. J. Bailey were chosen executive committee ; Dr. John E. Long, clerk and re- 
corder; James L. Babcock, su^jreme judge; Philip Foster, treasurer; Jose2:)h L. 
Meek, sheriff". The territory had been partitioned into four legislative districts. The 
Tualatin district included what now is Washington, Multnomah, Columbia, Clatsop 
and Tillamook counties, and the jjersons chosen to represent it were Peter H. Burnett, 
afterwards governor of California, David Hill, M. Gilmore and M. M. McCarver. The 
Champoeg district, which has since been divided into Linn, Marion, Lane, Josejihine, 
Coos, Curry, Benton, Douglas and Jackson counties, was represented by Robert Xewell, 
Daniel Waldo and Thomas D. Keizer. In the Clackamas district was what is now 
the eastern part of Oregon, a portion of Montana, and all of Idaho and Washington 
territories. This immense region with its few settlers was represented by A. L. Love- 
joy, Whitman's companion in 1842. The legislative committee elected met at the 
house of Felix Hathaway, June 18, 1844, and chose M. M. McCarver speaker of the 
house. A nine days' session followed, when they adjourned until December of the 
same year. On the 16th of December the legislative committee met again, this time 

OREGON. 1^17 

at the house of J. E. Lung in Oregon City, wlien a message was submitted to them 
from the executive committee, in which an amendment of the organic law was rec- 
ommended. A seven days' session followed, during which an act was passed calling 
for a committee to fi'ame a constitution. Several acts were passed requiring submis- 
sion to a popular vote to render them valid, among which was a change from the tri- 
umvirate to gubernatorial executive, and from a legislative committee to a legislature, 
which was adopted by the i)eople. 

The immigration of 1844 consisted of 800 people, of whom '2oO were ablc-ljodied 
men. The following list contains the names of the greatei- portion of them : 

Alderman, Bird, Nathan Buzzard, Charles Burch, Rol)ert Boyd, 

William Black, Blakely, George W. Bush, Thomas Boggs, William Bowman, 

Sr., William Bowman, Jr., Ira Bowman, Elijah Bunton, Joseph Bunton, William Bun- 
ton, Charles Buich, Capt. C. Bennett, Francis Bordran, Joseph Bartrough, William 
Bray, Nathan Bayard, Adam Brown, Peter Bonnin, David Crawford, Lewis Crawford, 

Daniel Clark, Dennis Clark, Clemens, James Cave, Joel Crisman, Gabriel 

Crisman, William Crisman, Aaron Chamberlain, Patrick Conner, Samuel B. Crockett, 

Wm. M. Case, William Clemens, Dougherty, Doty, Jas .Davenport, Dr. 

Dagon, Daniel Durban, Edward Dupuis, C. Emery, Moses Edes, C. Evernian, John 
Eades, Abr. Eades, Henry Eades, Clark Eades, Solomon Eades, David Evans, N. D. Evans, 
Robert Eddy, Jno. Ellick, Jno. Fleming, Nathaniel Ford, Mark Ford, Jas. Fruit, '"Doc" 
Fruit, Jenny Fuller, I. N. Gilbert, David Goff", Samuel Goff, Marion Gofi', David Grant, 
Mitchell Gilliam, Cornelius Gilliam, Smith Gilliam, Wm. Gilliam, Porter Gilliam, Wm. 

Gage, Jesse Gage, W. H. Goodwin, Gillespie, James Gerrish, Jno. Gerrish, Martin 

Gillahan, William Gillahan, Charles Gilmore, Alansou Hinjuan, A. F. Hedges, Jacob 
Hutton, Fleming Hill, J. C. Hawley, Jacob Hoover, T. Holt, James Harper, Joseph 
Holman, John Howard, James Hunt, Norris Humphrey, Jacob Hammer, Herman 
Higgins, William Higgins, George Hibler, John Inyard, Abr. Inyard, Peter Inyard, 
William Johnson, James Johnson, David Johnson, Daniel Johnson, James Johnson. 
John Jackson, David Jenkins, William Jenkins, Henry Jenkins, David Kindred, Bart, 
Kindred, John Kindred, Daniel Kinney, Barton Lee, John Lousenaute, Charles Lewis, 
William Morgan, Theophilus ]\IcGruder, Ed. McGruder, John Minto, Joshua McDaniel, 

Elisha ]\IcDaniel, Mrs. McDaniel, ]Mc]Mahan, Nehemiah Martin, Samuel ]\rcSwain, 

James McAllister, R. W. Morrison, ^lichacl ]Moor, James W. Marshall, Lafe^]Mo]'eland, 

Westley Mulkey, Luke Mulkey, Murray, Mudgett, George Neal, Attey. Neal, 

Calvin Neal, Robert Neal, Alex. Neal, Peter Neal, George Nelson, Cyrus Nelson, 
John Nichols, Frank Nichols, Benjamin Nichols, Ruel Owless, Henry Owens, James 
Owens, John Owens, John (^wens, Joel Perkins, Sr., Joel Perkins, Jr., John Perkins, 

David Parker, Priest, Joseph Parrot, S. Packwood, T. Packwood, R. K. Payne, 

William Prather, Theodore Prather, Eaben Pettie, Amab Pettie, J. Rowland, E. Rob- 
inson (Mountain), T. G. Robinson (Fatty), Ben Roliinson, Willard H. Recs, Parton 

Rice, Mac Rice, Rice (Old Man), Ramsey, Ramsdell, Franklin Sears, 

Jackson Shelton, William Sebring, John Scott, Levi Scott, M. T. Sinnnons, 

Springer, J. S. Smith, Charles Smith, Peter Smith, William Smith, Noyes Smith, 
Texas Smith, Henry Saffron, Big Sis, James Stewart, William Saunders, Joshua Shaw, 
A. C. R. Shaw (Sheep), Wash. Shaw, Thomas Shaw, B. F. Shaw. (apt. William Shaw, 

James Stephens, Sager (died on Green river ), Charles Saxton, Vincent Snelling, 

Benjamin Snelling, Snooks, Jerry Teller, Sebrin Thornton, O. S. Thomas, John 

Thorp, Alvin Thorp, Theodore Thorj), Mortimer Thorp, Milton Thorp, Cooper Y. 
Trnes, Benjamin Tucker, Long Tucker, Thomas Vance (died on the Platte), George 

Waunch, Poe AVilliams, Williams, Harrison Wright, Eichard Woodcock, James 

Welsh, James Walker, Sr., James Walker, Jr., Robert Walker, Henry Williamson 
Joseph Watt, Warmbough, Thomas AVerner. 

At the election held June 3, 1845, a total of 504 votes were cast, and George 
Aberuethy was chosen the first governor of Oregon. The other officers were, John E. 
Long, secretary; Francis Ermatinger, treasurer; J. W. Nesmith, judge; Marcus Ford, 
district attorney ; S. W. Moss, assessor ; Joseph L. Meek, sheriff". Two new districts, or 
as they were subsequently called, counties, were created, being Clatsop and Yamhill. 
A new code of laws was framed by the legislature then elected, and was adopted by the 
people by a vote of 255 to 52. A memorial to congress was then adopted, praying for 
the formation of a regular territorial government, which was carried to ashington by 
Dr. E. White. The legislature also created Polk and Lewis counties, the latter em- 
bracing all of Washington west of the Cascade mountains. Joseph L. Meek, the sheriff, 
was instructed to take a census of the population. By this it apj^ears that there wei-e 
2,110 people in Oregon, 1,259 males and 851 females. 

A train of 480 wagons and some 3,000 people crossed the plains in 1845, guided 
by Stephen H. Meek, a brother of the sheriff, the same who had taken the wagons to 
Fort Hall in 1842. At Fort Hall about one-third severed themselves from the train 
and went to California, being under the command of William B. Ide, of bear flag 
notoriety, and guided by Greenwood, the trapper. Meek undertook to guide them by 
a new route across the Blue and Cascade mountains, a route over which he had never 
passed. He lost his way and the emigrants started out on their own responsibility. 
The majority of them by a terrible struggle, succeeded in passing down John Day 
river to the Columbia. Even this episode has been seized ujion hj the anti-Hudson's 
Bay Company men, and the charge made that Meek was employed by the company 
to cause the destruction of this train in the mountains. The fact is that if the emi- 
grants had only trusted him a few days longer, the guide would have fulfilled all the 
promises he made them. As it was they came near hanging him, and he is roundly 
abused by the survivors of the train even to the present day. 

The Hudson's Bay Company was enjoying a thriving trade with the emigrants 
passing by their posts at Fort Hall, Boise and Walla Walla, especially in purchasing 
for almost nothing the worn out cattle, or taking them in exchange for wild cattle 
which were to be delivered by the chief factor at Vancouver. The feeling against the 
company was very bitter ; and a number of men who had settled in the extreme 
southern end of the Willamette valley, among whom Jesse and Lindsay Applegate 
were leading spirits, determined to open a new route to Oregon from Fort Hall. 
They organized a small party, which passed through Umpqua and Rogue river val- 
leys, along Klamath, Tule and Goose lakes, and across northern Nevada to Fort Hall, 
where were found a large number of emigrants, numbering 2,000 souls and having 470 
teams and 1,050 cattle. About one-half the number passed down the Humboldt to Cali- 
fornia, in separate trains, among which was the Donner party, of whom so many 

perished in tlie inountaini^. Of the remainder the greater portion followed the old 
ti'ail down Snake river and reached their destination after encountering the usual 
hardshijis of the trip. A train of 150 people with forty-two wagons tried the new 
route and found it a long one, almost devoid of grass and water until they reached 
Goose lake. They suffered severely and their cattle, half-starved and feeble, could 
scarcely pull the wagons along ; nor was this the end, for upon reaching the canyon 
of the Umpqua mountains they found it almost impossible to proceed and many of 
them remained a long time in the mountain fastness, themselves and their stock in a 
deplorable condition, while others only reached the Willamette by abandoning every- 
thing. Much abuse has been heaped upon the heads of the men who induced the 
emigrants to try this new route, but it is evidently undeserved, at least so far as it im- 
putes to them unworthy motives. They passed over the route on horseback and e\i- 
dently did not realize how more frequent grass and watering places must be for a train 
of wagons than for horsemen. However, this route through Nevada was a few years 
later used by thousands of emigrants entering Northern California and Southern 
Oregon, though, of course, the good camping places were well known by that time. 
As for the Umpqua canyon, wagons were taken through it by Stephen H. Meek in 
1843, and would have been easily jxissable by this party had their stock been strong, in- 
stead of being barely able to stand upon their feet, such, at least, as were not lying on 
the burning alkali deserts of Nevada. There has been too much of this imputing of 
bad motives for the conduct of those who differed in opinions in the pioneer days ; and 
if these reckless charges could be credited, instead of being j^roperly classed as the bitter 
fruit of sectarian or political prejudice, we would be compelled to believe that Oregon 
was peopled ]with the moral refuse of society instead of the brave and noble-hearted 
men and women we well know them to have been. 

Though the Oregon question had been practically settled by the American immi- 
grants, it was not officially disposed of until 1846. For several years it was warmly 
discussed at every session of congress and received much prominence in the newspapers. 
The people at large, as well as a few members of congress, adopted a very belligerent 
tone and asserted the superior title of the United States to all of the coast south of the 
Russian possessions. In the presidential contest of 1844, " Fifty-four forty or fight " 
became a party cry, and upon that issue James K. Polk was elected. In his first mes- 
sage to congress the new president devoted one-fifth of the space to an exhaustive dis- 
cussion of the question, and recommended that the required notice for a termination of 
the treaty of joint occupation be given, that military posts be constructed along the 
emigrant route and that the national laws be extended over Oregon. The debate which 
followed was long and earnest, and it seemed as though war would be the result. 
The resolution terminating the treaty of joint occupation passed the house and went to 
the senate, where for many days it engrossed the attention of the greatest statesmen of 
America. Finally the resolution passed that body, but so modified as to strip it of its 
l)ugnacious tone and admit of a compromise. It had occupied the attention of (jongress 
for four months and twenty-one days, during which time the whole country had been 
engaged in its discussion and the dark cloud of war hovered over the nation. Negotia- 
tions continued between the two governments until a treaty was signed on the seven- 
tecntli of , Tidy, 184(;. by which the l)oundary line of tlu'4'.»th parallel east of the Rocky 

150 OREGON. 

mountains was extended to the Pacific, but not including in the United States any por- 
tion of Vancouver island. 

On the fourth of June, 184(J, officers were elected in the varions counties in Ore- 
gon, as well as representatives in the legislature. June 3, 1847, another county and 
legislative election was held. At the same time George Abernethy was chosen gover- 
nor for a second term, the ojiposing candidate being A. L. Lovejoy, who had a minority 
of only sixteen votes. The other officers were: S. M. Holderness, secretary; John H. 
Couch, treasurer; George W. Bell, auditor of public accounts; A. Lawrence Lovejoy, 
attorney general; Theophilus McGruder, auditor; J. Quinu Thornton, judge of the 
supreme court; H. M. Knighton, marshal; Alonzo A. Skinner, judge of the circuit court. 
Another large immigration came in 1847 and still another in 1848. On the twelfth 
of June, 1848, county and representative officers were chosen for the last time under 
the provisional government. 



Sectarian Histories Unreliable — The Battle of the Creeds —Missionaries and Settlers Classed Together Rest 
lessness of the Indians — Dr. White's Visit to the Nez Perces Indians Incensed against Americans— Trouble 
at Oregon City Disbandment of Methodist Mission — Catholic Method of Converting Savages Growling 
Feeling of Hostility among the Cayuses- Catholics Establish a Mission in Opposition to Whitman— Joe 
Levffis and his Perfidy — Epidemic among the Cayuses— The Poison Theory — The Massacre at Waiilatpu — 
Spalding's Charges and Responsibility of the Catholics— Rescue of the Prisoners by Peter Skeen Ogden 
— The Cayuses Prepare for War — The Whites March against the Indians— The Cayuses Settle the Matter 
among Themselves— Execution of the Hostages. 

The literature of this portion of Oregon's history has tlowed chiefly from sectarian 
sources. So bitter became the feelings engendered by the religious contest, that all 
accounts of the events of this period are so impregnated with personal feeling as to 
render them valueless as history. Their very tone is evidence of unreliability ; and 
this apjilies as much to the Protestant as the Catholic writings. They are composed 
largely of abuse of the opposite sect, of suppression of or only obscure reference to facts 
detrimental to the side from which the writings proceed, and of enlargement of every 
trivial circumstance that can be shown to the disadvantage of the opposing party. 
That such writings should be dignified with the title of History is a reproach to litera- 
ture. A careful examination will satisfy an uni^rejudiced ^^erson that this chapter 
reveals as nearly as possible the true facts, and does justice to both ])arties to the con- 

OREGON. 151 

The first gun was tired and tlie nature of the campaign outlined by Dr. Samuel 
Parker, the first associate of Dr. Whitman; and this in 1836, before the Catholics had 
entered the field. At the mouth of Alpowa ci'eek, on Snake river, he came upon 
a burial party of Nez Perces, Avho " had prepared a cross to set up at the grave," and 
because the symbol of the crucifixion offended his sight and he feared it would make 
" a stejjping-stone to idolatry," he took " the cross which the Indians had prepared and 
broke it in pieces." As the Catholics had not yet made their appearance in Oregon 
and consequently " didn't know they were hit," this incident is of interest simply to 
show the spirit of religious intolerance which held possession of Dr. Parker, and which 
after events proved to pervade his successors. When the two Catholic priests. Fathers 
Blanchet and Demers, arrived in 1838, the Methodists had missions in the Willamette val- 
lev, and at The Dalles, and the Congregationalists had one at Waiilatpu among the Cay- 
uses, at Lapwai among the Nez Perces, and at Tshimakain among the Spokaues. The 
Protestants were well entrenched, and the Catholics had to enter new fields, of which 
there were many, or attack the others direct. It will be seen that they did both. 

The Catholic plan of operations is outlined by Father Blanchet himself, who in after 
years thus wrote of the duties of the missionary priests : " They were to warn their 
fiocks against the dangers of seduction, to destroy the false impression already received, 
to enlighten and confirm the faith of the wavering and deceived consciences, to bring 
back to the practice of religion and virtue all who had forsaken them for long years 
or who, raised in infidelity, had never known nor practiced any of them. ''' * * 
In a word they were to run after the sheep when they were in dangei-. Hence their 
passing so often from one post to another — for neither the white people nor the Indians 
claimed their assistance in vain. And it was enough for them to hear that some false 
prophet had penetrated into a [place, or intended visiting some locality, to induce the 
missionaries to go there immediately, to defend the faith and [)revent error from 
propagating itself." Here is a direct statement from the bisho]) at the head of 
the church, that it was the Catholic plan to counteract the influence of the Protestants 
where they had already located missions, as well as to hasten to any new point they 
might select in order to prevent the founding of new ones. The first overt act of this 
kind was made at Nescjualy, only a few months after they arrived. Blanchet says : 
" The first mission to Nesqualy was made by Father Demers, who celebrated the first 
mass in the fort on April 22, [1889], the day after he arrived. His visit at such a 
time was forced upon hira by the establishment of a Methodist mission for the Indians. 

'"'- '■' '•' After having given orders to build a chapel, and said mass outside of the 
fort, ho [parted with them, blessing the Lord for the success of his mission among the 
whites and Lidians, and reached Cowlitz on Monday, the 30th, with tht' conviction 
that his mission at Nesqualy had left a very feeble chance for a IMethodist mission 

Some ingenious artist auKjug the priests made a picture showing a large tree with 
many branches. The different Protestant sects were represented as going up the tree 
and out upon the various bi-anches, from which they dropped into a fire, and this fire 
was kept burning by a priest who fed it with the hei-etical books of the roasting vii-- 
tims. This picture tickled the Indians immensely, and among the Xez Perces it bid 
fair t(i capturi' the wliole triho. As an offset Mr. Spalding had his wife paint a num- 

152 OREGON. 

ber of illustrations of prominent bible events, and this panorama soon crowded the 
Catholic cartoon from the field. Thus this contest went on for several years. In 1841 
the Cascades Indians were won away from The Dalles mission in spite of Mr. Waller's 
strenuous efforts to hold them. This same Mr. Waller gave expression to his feelings 
on doctrinal points bv cutting down a cross erected by the Catholics at the Clackamas 

There was one thing which gave the Catholics a decided advantage among the 
natives, and that was the use of symbols and ceremonies, as Blanchet expresses it : 
" The sight of the altar, vestments, sacred vessels and great ceremonies, were drawing 
their attention a great deal more than the cold, unavailable and long lay services of 
Brother Waller." These were more akin to their own ideas of religion than the simple 
services of the Protestants. The mystery was fascinating to them, and they preferred 
to see the priests " make medicine " than to hear so much " wa wa " from the minis- 
ters. By thus working upon the superstitious nature of the savages and making no 
effort to suddenly change their habits and time-honored customs, the Catholics gained 
a firm hold upon them, and were thus able, gradually, to bring about the desired 
change. The Protestants, on the contrary, endeavored to accomplish too much at 
once, and having no censers to swing or imposing vestments to wear, could gain l)ut 
slight influence over the natives when their opponents were about. 

There was still another factor which contributed to the unpopularity of the Protes- 
tant missionaries, and one which became stronger as time rolled on, and that was their 
connection with American settlers, and their efforts to cultivate the soil. The Indians 
did not want white people to settle in the country. They recognized the fact that both 
races could not live here, and that if white people came the Indians must go. It was 
this feeling which caused Ellis to forbid A. B. Smith to cultivate a patch of ground in 
1840. The Hudson's Bay Company encouraged the idea among the Indians that the 
missions were but stepping stones to American occupation, and this idea was supported 
by the conduct of those in charge of the Methodist mission in the Willamette, which 
had become the general headquarters for American settlers. The fur company had 
been here for years and had not taken their lands away from them but instead, had 
supplied them with a good market for such furs as they might have; yet the Americans, 
who were but new comers, were already taking their lands, and more kept arriving 
yearly. The outgrowth of this was a feeling of bitterness against the Americans, in- 
cluding the Protestant missionaries, in which neither the Hudson's Bay Company men 
nor the Catholics were included; and this feeling intensified year by year. 

In 1841, Dr. Whitman was insulted and attacked at Waiilatpu in consequence of 
trouble between Gray and an Indian. Immediately after he left on his winter journey 
and before Mrs. Whitman went to Fort Walla Walla, a Cayuse chief attemj)ted to enter 
her room at night, and a few days later the mission mill and its contents, were destroyed 
by fire. About the same time Mrs. Spalding, at the Lapwai mission, was grossly in- 
sulted and ordered from her own house ; and at another time Mr. Spalding's life was 
threatened. Dr. Elijah White, the Indian agent who arrived but a few weeks before, 
determined to check this growing spirit of hostility. Accordingly, in November, 
accompanied by Thomas McKay, who had left the company's service and settled in the 
valley, and six men, he left the Willamette for the interior. At Fort Walla AValla 



McKiiilay joined them and the party proceeded to Lapwai to hohl a counsel with the 
Nez Perces. After a long talk, in which McKay and McKiulay took an important 
part, a treaty was entered into whereby whites and Indians were to be equally punished 
for offences, and the Nez Perces adopted a system of laws in which the general princi- 
ples of right and justice were eml^odied in a form suitable to their customs and condi- 
tion. Ellis was chosen head chief to enforce the laws. The i:)arty of Dr. White then 
returned to hold a council with the Cayuses. But little was accomplished with them 
except to ajipoint the tenth of the ensuing Ajiril for a general council with the whole 
tribe. The next tribe visited was the Wascopum, at The Dalies, and these readily 
adopted the same laws Dr. White had given the Nez Perces. The result of these 
councils was to infuse a sense of security into both the whites and Indians. 

The next summer disaffection broke out afresh, owing to the evil counsels of 
Baptiste Dorion, a half breed son of Pierre Dorion who had been interpreter for Hunt's 
party of the Astor expedition in 1811. This man was interpreter for the Hudson's 
Bay Company, and ujion his own responsibility informed some of the Indians about 
Fort Walla Walla that the Americans were coming up in the summer to take their lands. 
This story spread among the tribes along the base of the Blue mountains and created 
great excitement. The young warriors wanted to go to the Willamette and exterminate 
the Americans, but were held in check by the older ones. Peo-peo-mux-mux, chief of 
the Walla Wallas, visited Vancouver to ascertain the truth of Dorion's statements, and 
was informed by Dr. McLaughlin that he did not believe the Americans entertained 
any such idea; but if they did he could rest assured that the Hudson's Bay Company 
would not aid them in a war of that kind against the Indians. The return of the 
Walla Walla chief quieted the excitement to a certain extent, yet a feeling of appre- 
hension still remained, and the missionaries sent for Dr. White to make another official 
visit to the tribes. He started in the latter part of April, accompanied by Rev. Gus- 
tavus Hines, George W. LeBreton, one Indian boy and a Kanaka. Several French 
Canadians were to have accompanied them, but were advised by Dr. McLaughlin to 
remain at home and "let the Americans take care of themselves." 

The result of this visit was to restore the spirit of security, and to insure tranquil- 
ity for a time at least. The Cayuses adopted the Nez Perce laws and elected for head 
chief Five Crows, who had embraced the Protestant faith and was favorably disposed 
towards the Americans. The action of Dr. McLaughlin has been severely censured 
and has served as an argument to prove that the Hudson's Bay Company was stirring 
up the Indians to drive the Americans from the country. That is certainly putting a 
strained construction on it, as will be admitted when it is understood that the Ameri- 
can settlers had but a few days before unanimously signed a memorial to congress, in 
which Dr. McLaughlin was severely censured. Father Demers arrived from the 
interior at this time and informed him that : " The Indians are only incensed against 
the Boston people ; that they have nothing against the French and King George peo- 
ple ; they are not mad at them, but are determined that the Boston jieople shall not 
have their lands and take away their liberties." Is it at all unnatural that, learning 
that his people were in no danger and smarting under the unjust charges of the Amer- 
icans, he should have said, " Let the Americans take care of themselves?" 

154 OREGON. 

There was trouble iu the Willamette valley in 1844 which served to still more 
embitter the Indians against the Americans. There was a sub-chief of the Molallas 
named Cockstock, a man of independent nature and belligerent disposition. He had a 
few followers who jjartook somewhat of his spirit, and they were generally the prime 
movers in such hostile acts as the natives of the Willamette indulged in. He was 
rebellious of restraint, and not friendly to the encroachment of the white settlers. A 
relative of his having mistreated Mr. Perkins at The Dalles mission, was sentenced by 
the Wasco tribe to be puni.shed according to Dr. White's laws. The sub-chief was 
enraged at the whipping his kinsman had received, and set out to revenge the 
insult upon the Indian agent. Reaching the agent's Willamette home during his ab- 
sence, he proceeded to break every window pane in the house. He was pursued, but 
not caught, and became an object of terror to the Doctor. All depredations committed 
in the country were charged to this chief, and it finally resulted in the offer by Dr. 
White of one hundred dollars reward for the arrest of the formidable Indian. Learn- 
ing that he was being accused of acts committed by others, the chief visited Oregon 
City March 4, accompanied by four of his band, with the avowed purpose of having 
a talk with the whites for the purpose of exculpating himself He entered the town, 
staid for about an hour, and then crossed the river to visit an Indian village to procure 
an Indian interpreter. He then recrossed the Willamette, when several men under- 
took to arrest him and a desperate fight ensued. Cockstock was killed, and his fol- 
lowers, after fighting valiantly until the odds became too great, made good their escape. 
On the other side George W. LeBreton was killed by Cockstock, and Mr. Eogers, who 
was working quietly near by, was wounded in the arm by a poisoned arrow, which 
caused his death. It has been asserted that the Molalla chief attacked the town, Init 
it requires too much credulit}^ to believe that five Indians would in broad daylight 
attack a town containing ten times their number. The whole affair is chargeable to 
the rash conduct of a few men who were eager to gain the paltry reward offered by 
Dr. White, one of whom paid for his cupidity with his life. Fearing that trouble 
might follow, the executive committee of the j^rovisioual government issued a procla- 
mation for the organization of a military company. A company was organized on the 
tenth of March by citizens who assembled at Champoeg. Nineteen names were en- 
rolled, T. D. Keizer being elected captain and J. L. Morrison and Mr. Carson lieu- 
tenants. Their services were not required. 

In May, 1844, Rev. George Gary arrived by sea to sn23ersede Jason Lee in charge 
of the Methodist missions, the latter being already on his way East. The mission 
property was immediately sold and the missionary work, which had amounted to little 
so far as accomplishments were concerned for several years, was discontinued, excejit 
at The Dalles. While the ]\Iethodists were thus withdrawing from the field, the Cath- 
olics were largely increasing their force. Among other arrivals for that purpose were 
six sisters of the order of Notre Dame, who came to found a convent in the Willam- 
ette. As Father Blauchet expresses it : " The schemes of the Protestant ministers 
had been fought and nearly annihilated, especially Nesqualy, Vancouver, Cascades, 
Clackamas, and Willamette falls, so that a visitor came in 1844 and disbanded the 
whole Methodist mission, and sold its jjrojjerty." The Methodists being disposed of 
the next thing in order was to get rid of the Cono;reo;ationalists, whose missions were 

OREGON. 15.-. 

at least holding their own, and one of them, that of Mr. Hpalding, at Lapwai, making 
considerable ^jrogress iii civilizing the Xez Perccs. 

The most successful missionaries among the aborigines of America have been the 
Catholics. The extent of their operations and success of their efforts in this field, are 
but partially known to either the Protestant or Catholic world ; and the secret of their 
.success lies in the zeal and judgment with which their religion is impressed upon the 
uncultivated understanding by ceremonies and .symbols. All Indians believe in im- 
mortality, in the power and influence of both good and evil spirits upon the family of 
nian. The strongest hold that can be obtained upon that race is to bind them with 
cords of belief and fear to an unseen power, let that power be what it may. Their 
superstitious natures lead them to attribute their good or ill fortune largely to super- 
natural influences, and to enter the door to their understanding of spiritual matters it 
is necessary to keep that door ajar for such purpose. the white man's God is 
a greater medicine than the Indian's, they want none of him. he can save 
them more effectually now and hereafter than the one they have always worshiped, 
they would prefer the old God to the new one. They believe that the Great Spirit 
helps them to slay their enemies, directs the fish to their snares and the wild game to 
their hunting grounds. If he fails so to do, it is because he is angry with them and 
must be propitiated. A God that leaves an Indian hungry and a scalp on the head of 
his offending enemy, would be void of interest or attraction. The Catholic missionary 
teaches the credulous Indian that the white man's God not only takes heed of the hair 
that falls from the head of his chosen, but provides for him ; and, being the God not 
only of peace, but of battle, makes his arms invincible in waging just war against his 
enemies. No stronger inducement can be given to a savage for adopting any religious 
faith tiian that of being able by that means to protect himself against his foes, to fill 
his stomach, and to go after death to the happy hunting grounds, where there are no 
enemies and no fasting. The Catholic missionary not only under.stands all this and 
teaches as stated, but he deals out to them religion in homeojaathic doses. Through 
the sense of sight, the priest makes an impression upon the brain by ceremonies and 
the attractive symbols of his faith. He follows more closely than the Protestant in 
the line of what the Indian expects to see as typical of a mysterious something unseen. 
It being nearer to his conception and what he has been accustomed to, lie more readily 
believes and adojjts it. Using these levers, the missionary moves the Indian by tribes 
into the Catholic church. After gaining an ascendancy the priest makes a judicious 
use of his influence to eradicate the evil practices of his neophytes, witliout destroying 
his chance for accomplishing any good by asking too great a change suddenly. By 
such systematic methods as this, the Catholic power had been so increased by 1847 that 
there were eight missions and twenty-six priests, sixteen churches and chapels, three 
institutions of learning, .5,0.')!) Indian converts and 1,500 Catholic settlers, chiefly 

On tlie conti'ary the Protestant missions were making comparatively little head- 
way. At each station thei'e wereafeAV who seemed to be in full accord with them, but 
the great majority of the tribe were but slightly affected by their preaching. At 
Waiilatpu things had been going wrong for some time. From the time Whitman first 
went among them there was a small portion of the Cayuses who were opposed to him 

156 OREGON. 

and liis work. At the heatl of this faction was Tam-su-ky, an influential chief who 
lived on Walla Walla river a few miles from the mission. Five Crows, the head chief, 
resided on the Umatilla forty miles away. It was this element which made the trouble 
in 1842 and burned the Doctor's mill. When Whitman returned with the great train 
of emigrants in 1843, these Indians pointed to it as an evidence that his missionary 
pretentions were but a cloak for a design upon their liberties, that he was bringing 
Americans here who would take away their lands. In them Baptiste Dorion found 
willing associates in spreading his stories about the sinister designs of the Americans. 
This feeling of hostility spread from year to year, especially among the Cayuses, 
through whose country the immigrants all passed, and who were thus better able than 
the other tribes to see what great numbers were coming and what a hearty welcome they 
all received from Dr. Whitman and his associates. As far back as 1845, a Delawai-e 
Indian, called Tom Hill, had been living w^ith the Nez Perce tribe. He had told them 
how American missionaries had visited his people, first to teach religion, and then the 
Americans had taken their lands ; and he warned them to drive Mr. Spalding away, 
unless they would invite a similar misfortune. This Indian visited AVhitman's mission 
and repeated to the Cayuses his story of the ruin to his tribe that had followed the 
advent of American missionaries to live among them. In the latter ^^art of 1847, an- 
other Indian came among the Cayuses, who had been taken from west of the Cascades 
to the States, when a boy, where he grew to manhood among the Americans. His 
name was Joe I^ewis, and he bent all the powers of his subtle nature to the task of 
creating hatred of the missionaries and Americans among the Indians at Waiilatpu. 
He reaffirmed the statements of Dorion and Tom Hill, and said it was the American 
plan of operations to first send missionaries, then a few settlers every year until they 
had taken all the land and made the Indians slaves. It was then that Tam-su-ky and 
his followers were triumphant and could boast of their superior wisdom in opposing 
the mission from the first. The tribe was divided into three classes, a few faithful fol- 
lowers of the Doctor and his God, a few bitterly opposed to the mission, and the great 
majority of the tribe indifferent but gradually acquiring a feeling of hostility. There 
were many, also, who desired to exchange to the Catholic religion, of which they heard 
favorable reports from other tribes. The long black gowns and imposing ceremonies 
had captured them. Whitman perceived the gathering storm but thought it could be 
averted. Thomas McKay warned him that it was unsafe to live longer with the Cay- 
uses, and the Doctor offered to sell the proj^erty to him, an offer wdiich McKay agreed 
to accept if he could dispose of his claim on the Willamette. With this in view 
Whitman went to The Dalles in the fall of 1847, and purchased the disused Methodist 
mission there, and leaving his nephew, P. B. Whitman, in charge he returned to 
Waiilatpu to sijend the winter, preparatory to moving away in the sjjring. 

This was the condition of affairs at Waiilatpu when the Catholics decided to take 
advantage of the desire of a number of the Cayuses to embrace their faith and estab- 
lish a mission among them. On the fifth of September, 1847, Father A. M. A. Blanchet 
reached Walla Walla w^ith three associate priests, and the fort became their headquarters 
for a. number of weeks while they were seeking a suitable place for a permanent 
location. Whitman found them there upon his return from The Dalles, and quite a 
stormy interview ensued, though it nuist be confessed that the storming was chiefly 

OREGON. 157 

iloue by the Doetur; aiul no woiukT. He had just made aiTaiigements to abandon all 
he had accomplished by eleven years of self-denial and labor, and here he found those 
to whom he attributed his misfortunes ready to take his place even before he had left 
it. He did not hesitate to tell them his opinion of their conduct, and the complaisant 
manner in which they received his complaint aggravated him the more. 

Immigrants from the States in the fall of that year brought with them the dysen- 
tery and measles, which soon became epidemic among the Cayuses. Many Indians 
died in spite of the remedies administered by the Doctor. Joe Lewis made good use 
of his opportunity. He told the Indians that Whitman intended to kill them all; that 
for this purpose he had sent home for poison two years before, but they had not for- 
warded a good kind ; that this year the immigrants had brought him some good poison 
and he was now using it to kill off the Cayuses; that when they were all dead the 
Americans w^ould come and take their lands. He even went so far as to declare that he 
overheard a conversation between Mr. Spalding and Dr. and Mrs. Whitman, in which the 
former complained because the Doctor was not killing them fast enough, and then the 
trio began to count up the wealth they would acquire when the Indians were all dis- 
posed of. This received much credence among the tribe, especially since they knew of 
a somewhat similar case a few years before, when an American purposely spread small- 
pox among the Blackfeet and killed hundreds of that tribe. Without knowing the 
perfidious conduct of Joe Lewis, who was employed about the mission, Dr. Whitman 
perceived the signs of danger, and asked Thomas McKay to spend the winter with 
him, as that gentleman's influence with the natives was great; but Mr. McKay was un- 
able to comply. 

On the twenty-seventh of November, two days before the massacre, the Catholics 
established their mission on the Umatilla, forty miles from Waiilatpu and near the 
home of Five Crows, the head chief. Joe Lewis had assured the Cayuses that the 
priest had told him Dr. Whitman was giving them poison, which does not seem to be 
sustained by reason or probability. In 1882 the writer had a long interview with 
three of these Indians, ones who were still adherents of the faith taught them by Whit- 
man, and since they have suffered much persecution at the hands of the Catholics in 
charge of the mission, were not inclined to tell untruths in their belief They unani- 
mously agreed that they never heard the priest say anything about Dr. Whitman 
giving them poison ; that Joe Lewis told them that, and said he learned it from the 
priest ; that it was generally believed the priest had said so, but afterwards in investi- 
gating the matter among themselves they could find no one to whom the priest said^ 
anything of the kind, and that it all came through Joe Lewis. One thing the Roman 
missionary did say, and this helped to confirm the Indians in their belief that he had 
also said the other, and that was that Dr. Whitman was a bad man, and if they be- 
lieved what he told them they would all go to hell, for he was telling them lies. Even 
such a statement as that, to unreasoning and passionate savages, was almost enough, in 
case they believed it true, to have caused the bloody scene which followed, even had 
not the poison theory been so industriously circulated by the scheming Lewis. 

The followers of Tam-su-ky determined to prove the poison theory. The wife of 
tiiat chief was sick, and they agreed among themselves that they would get some med- 

icine from the Doctor aud give it to her ; if she recovered, good, if not, then they 
would kill the missionaries. They did so, aud the woman died. 

Waiilatpu was centrally located, since the Cayuses occui^ied the country from 
Umatilla river to the Tukannon. Every Sunday large numbers gathered at the mission, 
some of them to actually 25artici2:)ate in the services, and others because of the crowd 
they knew would be assembled. On week days, however, it was seldom that a dozen 
could be found there at a time. For this reason Tam-su-ky and his followers chose a 
week day for their deed, a time when they thought none of the Whitman Indians 
would be present to interfere. They were careful to conceal their design from the 
Christian Indians and from the head chief, Five Crows, for fear he would prevent its 
execution. About fifty Indians assembled at the mission on the twenty-ninth of Novem- 
ber, 1847, being chiefly the relatives and friends of Tam-su-ky. Of these only five 
participated in the bloody work, the others simply looking on and preventing the in- 
terference of any outsiders and especially of the one or two Whitman Indians who 
happened to be present. The horrible details of the massacre it is needless to relate. 
Mr. Spalding has given them with a minuteness that is strongly suggestive of an origin 
in the imagination, yet his narrative is probably in the main as correct as could possi- 
bly be gathered from the incoherent stories of frightened women and children. It is 
only when he carries the melodramatic too far, and when he is endeavoring to make it 
appear that the massacre was perpetrated at the instigation of Father Brouillet aud 
sauctioued by the Hudson's Bay Company, that his statements become unreliable. 
His picture is much overdrawn, though Heaven knows that in some particulars, and 
especially in the after treatment of the female prisoners, even those of tender age, the 
pen utterly fails to depict the horrors of the scene. He uses such exj^ressions as " mul- 
titudes of Indians," " cutting down their victims everywhere," " the roar of guns," the 
" crash of loar clubs and tomahawks," " shock like terrific peals of thunder," in refer- 
ring to the discharge of a few guns, " crash of the clubs and the knives ;" and yet 
when the whole is summed up but thirteen were killed in all, nine that day, two the 
next and two eight days later. He is equally reckless in his language when making 
charges against Father Brouillet, whom he accuses of coming up from the Umatilla 
the day after the massacre and " baptizing the murderers." The facts are that he 
came upon an invitation given him by the missionary several days before, onh'^ learn- 
ing of the horrible tragedy upon his arrival ; and the " murderers " whom he baptized 
were three sick children, two of whom died immediately after the ceremony. He also 
accuses him of pretending to find the poison and burying it so that it could have no 
more influence. The Whitman Indians stated unanimously that Joe Lewis did this 
and not the priest. The only interference the priest dared to make at all was when he 
successfully interposed to save Spalding's life. 

The bloody excesses into which religious zealots were led in times past suggest the 
possibility of the truth of these charges, yet they are entirely unsupported by evidence, 
and common charity should demand convincing proof to sustain such an accusation. 
Though the Catholics are cleared of the charge of directly instigating the massacre by 
telling the Indians that Dr. Whitman was poisoning them so that he might secure 
their lands for his friends, yet they cannot escape the moral responsibility of the deed . 
In the first jilace they went among the Cayuses for the purpose of driving Whitman 

OREGON. 15!) 

away and olitaining control of the tribe. To aeeonijilish this they told tlie Indians 
that Dr. AVhitman was a bad man, was telling them lies, and if they believed him they 
would all go to hell. Father Brouillet ought by that time to have become sufficiently 
acquainted with the Indian character to know that such assertions, if they were credited, 
were calculated to bring on just such a tragedy as was enacted. Whether he knew 
this and acted with that end in view, or whether he expected to simply win the relig- 
ious trust of the Cayuses away from Whitman, will remain a secret forever. The mas- 
sacre was the result of four separate causes — the dislike of Americans, the ravages of 
the epidemic, the poison intrigue of Joe Lewis, and the priest's denunciations of Dr. 
Whitmau — and Father Brouillet can never shake off the moral responsibility for 
one of the most potent of these causes. The victims of this conflict of creeds were: Dr. 
Marcus Whitman, Mrs. Narcissa Whitman, John Sager, Francis Sager, Crockett Bewley, 
Mr. Rogers, Mr. Kimball, Mr. Sales, Mr. Marsh, Mr. Sanders, James Young, Jr., Mr. 
Hoifman, and Isaac Gillen. 

Immediately after the massacre Joe Lewis told the Cayuses that now they must 
fight, for the Americans would surely come to punish them. He advised them to send 
him and two others to Salt Lake with a band of horses, to purchase ammunition from the 
Mormons. He started with a select band of animals and two young braves, and a few 
days later one of the braves returned with the intelligence that Joe Lewis had killed 
the other one and decamped with the horses; and this was the last the Cayuses saw of 
that scheming villain. 

Intelligence of the massacre reached Fort Vancouver by special messenger from 
William McBean, in charge of Fort Walla Walla. The messenger did not Avarn the 
people at The Dalles of their danger, but went directly to the fort and delivered his 
message to James Douglas, then the chief factor at A^'ancouver. When questioned 
about his conduct he said he was obeying instructions received from McBean. This 
and the conduct of McBean at Fort Walla Walla in displaying an unwillingness to 
receive and 2)rotect fugitives from Waiilatpu, have been cited as conclusive evidence 
that the Hudson's Bay Company connived at the massacre; but nothing in the conduct 
of other officers of the company sitstains such an opinion, while much is to the contrary, 
and it simply shows that McBean was a narrow-minded man who, knowing the general 
feeling of the Indians in that region against the Americans, was afraid he would com- 
promise the company by defending them. He had not soul enough to rise to the 

Mr. Douglas sent a message to Governor Abernethy, advising him of what had 
taken place; and without waiting to see what steps the Americans would take, Peter 
Skeen Ogden, an old and influential factor of the company, departed from Vancouver 
with an armed force for the scene of the tragedy, advising the people at The Dalles of 
their danger as he passed. He reached Walla Walla on the nineteenth of December. 
The next day the Cayuses held a council and decided that if the Americans would call 
everything scpiare and would make a treaty of peace, they would deliver u[) the pris- 
oners. Three days later the chiefs came to Walla Walla and held a council with ^Iv: 
Ogden, who offered to ransom the captives and assured the Indians that they wouhl 
regret it if they provoked the Americans to war, and that the company was much dis- 
pleased with tlieii- conduct. The conference resulted in the surrender of foi'ty-seven 

160 OREGON. 

jH-isouers upon thf payment of a small quantity of tobacco, clothing, guns and am- 
munition. On the first of January fifty Nez Perces arrived with Mr. Spalding and 
ten others from Lapwai, receiving a similar payment from Mr. Ogden, and on the 
second the whole party started down the Columbia. Two hours later fifty Caynse 
warriors dashed u}) to the fort to demand the surrender of Mr. Spalding, as they had 
just learned that a company of Americans had arrived at The Dalles to make war 
upon them. On the tenth of January they all reached Oregon City, and great was 
the joy of the people. For his humane conduct and prompt action Peter Skeen Ogden 
should always occupy a warm j)lace in the hearts of Americans ; yet there are those 
who ungratefully accuse him of attempting to arm the Cayuses against the Americans, 
simply because a few guns and a little ammunition formed a portion of the ransom 
paid to deliver these helpless women from a captivity that was worse than death. 

While Mr. Ogden was absent on his errand of mercy, the American settlers were 
not idle. On the eighth of December Governor Abernethy informed the legislature of 
what had been done at Waiilatpu, and by message called for volunteers. That night 
at a public meeting a company was organized to proceed at once to The Dalles, as an 
outpost to protect the missionaries there, and to dispute a passage of the Cascade moun- 
tains with hostile Indians if any attempted carrying war into the Willamette settle- 
ments. The company was commanded by Henry A. G. Lee, captain, and Joseph 
Magoue and John E. Ross, lieutenants. The legislature pledged the credit of the 
provisional government to pay the expenses of procuring an outfit for this company, 
and appointed a committee to visit Vancouver and negotiate for the same from the 
Hudson's Bay Company, which they did, but were obliged to become personally respon- 
sible for the amount. December 10, the Oregon Rifles reached Vancouver, received 
their supplies, and pushed on for The Dalles, where they arrived on the twenty-first of 
the month. In the meantime the legislature entered with energy upon a series of 
resolutions and enactments with a view to military organization of magnitude sufficient 
to chastise the Indians, and the citizens by subscriptions and enlistments seconded 
cordially the efforts of their provisional government. Many were for pushing forward 
into the enemy's country at once with a formidable force, but wiser counsels prevailed, 
and nothing was done likely to prevent the Indians from surrendering their white 
captives to Mr. Ogden. 

On the ninth of December the legislature autliorized the equipping of a regiment 
of 500 men, and in accordance with the act sixteen companies were raised. Cornelius 
Gilliam was chosen colonel, James Waters, lieutenant-colonel, and H. A. G. Lee, major. 

February 23, 1848, Colonel Gilliam reached The Dalles with fifty men. The 
main body of his regiment arriving at that place, he moved to the Des Chutes river 
on the twenty-seventh with 130 men, crossed to the east bank, and sent Major Lee up 
the stream about twenty miles on a recounoisance, where he found the enemy, engaged 
them, killed one, lost some of his horses and returned to report progress. On the 
twenty-ninth Colonel Gilliam moved up the Des Chutes to Meek's crossing at the 
mouth of the caflon in which Major Lee had met the Indians. The next morning on 
entering the canon a skirmish followed, in which were captured from the hostiles, 40 
horses, 4 head of cattle and |300 worth of personal property, all of which was sold by 
the quartermaster fi)r |1,400. The loss of the Indians in killed and wounded was not 


known. There was one white man wounded. The result was a treaty of peace with 
the Des Chutes Indians. The commaud pushed immediately forward to the Walla 
Walla country and reached the mission prior to March 4. On the way to that place 
a battle occurred at Sand Hollows, on the emigrant road eight miles east of the Well 
Springs. It commenced on the plain where washes in the sand make natural hiding 
places for a foe, and lasted until towards night. The volunteer force was arranged 
with the train in the road protected by Captain Hall's com^sany. The companies of 
Captains Thompson and Maxon, forming the left flank, were on the north side of the 
road, and those of Captains English and McKay, as the right flank, were on the south 
or right of the commaud. Upon McKay's company at the extreme right the first 
demonstration was made. Five Crows, the head chief of the Cayuses, made some pre- 
tensions to the possession of wizard powers, and declared to his people that no ball from 
a white man's gun could kill him. Another chief of that tribe named War Eagle or 
Swallow Ball, made similar professions and stated that he could swallow all the bullets 
from the guns of the invading army if they were fired at him. The two chiefs prom- 
ised their people that Gilliam's command should never reach the Umatilla river, and 
to demonstrate their invulnerability and jjower as medicine chiefs, they dashed out 
from concealment, rode down close to the volunteers and shot a little dog that came out 
to bark at them. Captain McKay, although the order was not to fire, could hold back 
no longer, and bringing his rifle to bear took deliberate aim and shot War Eagle 
through the head, killing him instantly. Lieutenant Charles McKay brought his shot 
gun down to the hollow of his arm, and firing without sighting it, so severely wounded 
Five Crows that he gave up the command of his warriors. This was a serious, chilling 
opening for the Indians, two chiefs gone at the first onset and their medicine proved 
worthless ; but they continued the battle in a skirmishing way, making dashing attacks 
and masterly retreats until late in the afternoon. At one time during the engagement. 
Captain Maxon's company followed the enemy so far that it was surrounded, and a 
sharp encounter followed, in which a number of volunteers were disabled. In fact, 
eight of the eleven soldiers wounded that day were of Maxon's company. Two Indians 
were known to have been killed, but the enemy's loss could not be known as tliey re- 
moved all of their wounded and dead, except two. 

That night the regiment camped on the battlefield without water, and the Indians 
built large and numerous fires along the bluffs or high lands some two miles in advance. 
The next day Colonel Gilliam moved on, and without incident worthy of note, reached 
Whitman's mission, the third day after the battle. The main body of Indians fell 
l)ack towards Snake river, and a fruitless attempt followed to induce them to give up 
the parties who had committed the murders at Waiilatpu. Colonel Gilliam at last de- 
termined upon making a raid into the Snake river country, and in carrying out this 
programme, surprised a camp of Cayuses near that stream, among whom were some 
of the murderers. The captured camp professed friendsliip, however, and pointed out 
the horses of Indians on the hills, which tliey, said belonged to the parties whom the 
Colonel was anxious to kill or capture, stating that their owners were on the north side 
of Snake river and beyond reach. So well was their part acted that the officers be- 
lieved their statements, proceeded to drive off" the stock indicated, and started on their 
return. Tlioy soon found that a 2;rievons crroi- liad l>cen committed in releasing the 

village, whose male population were soon mounted upon war horses, and assailed the 
volunteers on all sides, forcing them to fight their way as they fell back to the Touchet 
river. Through the whole day and until evening, yes, into the night after their arri- 
val at the latter stream, the contest was maintained,, a constant, harassing skirmish. 
The soldiers would drive the Indians back again and again, but as soon as the retreat 
•was resumed, ilie red skins were upon them once more. Finally, after going into camp 
on the Touchet, Colonel Gilliam ordered the captured stock turned loose, and when 
the Indians got possession of it, they returned to Snake river without molesting the 
command any further. In the struggle on the Touchet, when the retreating soldiers 
first reached that stream, William Taylor was mortally wounded by an Indian who 
sprang up in the bushes by the stream and fired with but a few yards between them- 
Nathan Olney, afterwards Indian agent, seeing the act, rushed upon the savage, snatched 
from his hand a war club in which was fastened a piece of iron, and dealt him a blow 
on the head with it with such force as to cause the iron to split the club, and yet failed 
to kill him. He then closed with his antagonist in a hand to hand struggle, and soon 
ended the contest with a knife. The writer has not been able to learn of any other 
known casualties in that affair, which ended without having accomplished anything to 
further the purposes of the campaign. 

Colonel Gilliam started from the mission on the twentieth of March, with a small 
force destined to return from the Dalles with supplies, while he was to continue to the 
Willamette and report to the governor. While camped at Well Springs he was killed 
by an accidental discharge of a gun, and his remains were taken to his friends west of 
the Cascades by Major Lee. This officer soon returned to his regiment with a com- 
mission as colonel, but finding Lt. Col. Waters had been elected by the regiment to 
that position in his absence, he resigned and filled a subordinate oflSce for the remainder 
of his term of enlistment. The attempt by commissioners, who had been sent with the 
volunteers, as requested by the Indians in their memorial to the Americans, to nego- 
tiate a peaceful solution of the difficult problem, failed. They wanted the Indians to 
deliver up for execution all those who had imbued their hands in the blood of our 
countrymen at Waiilatpu, and it included several chiefs ; they wished the Cayuses to 
pay all damages to emigrants caused by their being robbed or attacked while passing 
through the Cayuse country. The Indians wished nothing of the kind. They wanted 
peace, and to be let alone ; for the Americans to call the account balanced and droj) 
the matter. The failure to agree had resulted in two or three skirmishes, one of them 
at least a severe test of strength, in which the Indians had received the worst of it, and 
in the other the volunteers had accomj^lished nothing that could be counted a success. 
The Cayuses finding that no compromise could be effected, abandoned their country, 
and most of them passed east of the mountains. Nothing was left for the volunteers 
but to leave the country also, which they did, and the Cayuse war had practically 
ended. Finally, they were given to understand that peace could never exist between 
them and the Americans until the murderers were delivered up for punishment. 

At that time, early in 1850, Tam-su-ky and his supporters, including many 
relatives who had not in any manner participated in the massacre, were hiding in the 
mountains at the head of John Day river. The Indians who desired peace went after 
them, and a fight ensued, ending in the capture of nearly all of the turbulent band. 

Only one, however, of the five who were actually engaged in the Ijloody work at 
AVaiilatiHX (so the Whitman Indians assert) was captured, and he was Ta-nia-has, a 
bloody-minded villain whom his countrymen called The "Murderer." It was he who 
commenced the work of death by braining Dr. Whitman with a hatchet. Taking him 
and four others, several of the older men and chiefs went to Oregon City to deliver 
them up as hostages. They were at once thrown into prison, condemned, and hung at 
Oregon City on the third of June, 1850 ; and even the ones who brought them, in 
view of this summary proceeding, congratulated themselves upon their safe return. 
They believed that Ta-ma-has should have been hung, but not the other four, not 
understanduig the theory of accomplices, and so the few survivors of the tribe assert to 
the iiresent dav. 



Discourag;ing; News Brouefht by Immigrants in 1847 -Letters from President Polk and Senator Benton -J. 
Quinn Thornton's Mission to Washington Senatorial Struggle over the Oregon Bill— Joe Meeks' Trip 
Across the Continent— Arrival of Governor Lane -Discovery of Gold— Effect upon Oregon -Beaver Money- 
Steps Leading to Creation of Washington Territory -Division of Oregon -First Government of Washing- 
ton Territory— Indian War of 1855-6. 

With the immigration of 1S47, so large and so encouraging to the struggling set- 
tlers of Oregon, came the disheartening intelligence that congress had failed utterly to 
l)rovide for a territorial government for this neglected region, or to extend to it in any 
way the benefit of the national laws. Four years had the people of Oregon governed 
themselves, loyal in heait and deed to their native land, and for a year had England 
by solemn treaty relinquished all her asserted rights, and yet the national legislature 
denied it the aid and protection of the law. Congress had, during the session of 1840-7, 
iiKide an appropriation for a mail service ria Panama to Oregon, and two post masters 
were appointed, one for Astoria and one for Oregon City, also an Indian agent. By 
one of the new officials, Mr. Shively, James Buchanan, secretary of state, transmitted a 
letter to the people, expressing the deep regret of President Polk that congress had 
been so unmindful of their needs and rights. The communication also contained the 
assurance that the executive would extend to this far off region all the protection with- 
in his power, including occasional visits of vessels of war and the presence of a regi- 
ment of dragoons to guard the immigration. Mr, Shively also bore a letter from 
Thomas H. Benton, that sturdy senator from Missouri, whose voice and pen had un- 
swervingly championed the cause of Oregon for thirty years. In tliis letter, dated at 
Wiishino-ton Citv. March, 1S47. Mr. Benton savs : 

164 OREGON. 

" The house of representatives, as early as the middle of January, had passed the 
bill to give you a territorial government, and in that bill had sanctioned and legalized 
your provisional organic act, one of the clauses of which forever prohibited the 
existence of slavery in Oregon. An amendment from the senate's committee to whieli 
this bill was referred, proposed to abrogate that prohibition, and in the delays and vex- 
ations to which that amendment gave rise, the whole bill was laid upon the table, and 
lost for the session. * * * But do not be alarmed or desperate. You will not l)e 
outlawed for not admitting slavery. * * * A home agitation, for election and dis- 
union purposes, is all that is intended by thrusting this fire brand question into your 
bill ; and, at the next session, when it is thrust in again, we will scourge it out ! and pass 
your bill as it ought to be. '''' * '"'' 'In conclusion, I have to assure you that the 
same spirit which has made me the friend of Oregon for thirty years — which led me 
to denounce the joint occupation treaty the day it was made, and to oppose its revival 
in 1828, and to labor for its abrogation until it was terminated ; the same spirit which 
led me to reveal the grand destiny of Oregon in articles written in 1818, and to sup- 
port every measure for her benefit since — this spirit still animates me, and will continue 
to do so while I live — which, I hope, will be long enough to see an emporium of 
Asiatic commerce at the mouth of your river, and a stream of Asiatic trade pouring 
into the valley of the Mississippi through the channel of Oregon." Would that the 
grand old statesman could have lived to see his prophecy fulfilled in the new era upon 
which far off Oregon — now far oflP no longer — has so propitiously entered. 

These letters were both disheartening and cheering. The people felt despondent 
at being so neglected by the authorities of their loved country, but were cheered by 
the thought that warm friends were laboring for their welfare far beyond the reach 
of their grateful voices. Hon. J. Quinu Thornton, supreme judge of the provisional 
government, had been, during the past year, frequently urged by influential men, to 
proceed to Washington and labor with congress in behalf of Oregon. In particular 
had the lamented Dr. Whitman requested him so to do, asserting that only the estab- 
lishment of a strong territorial government, one that the Indians would recognize as 
powerful, would " save him and his mission from falling under the murderous hands of 
savages." Mr. Thornton recognized the importance of such a delegate, and solicited 
Hon. Peter H. Burnett, subsequently the first governor of California, to undertake the 
mission, but without success. The news of the state of affairs at Washington brought 
by Mr. Shiveiy, decided Mr. Thornton, and on the eighteenth of October, 1847, having 
resigned his judicial office, he departed on his arduous mission, armed with a letter 
from Governor Abernethy to President Polk. Mr. Thornton was by no means a reg- 
ularly constituted delegate, since Oregon was not authorized to accredit such an official 
to congress, but simply went as a private individual, re^n-esenting in an unoflBcial man- 
ner the governor and many of the prominent citizens of Oregon. In fact the legis- 
lature, deeming its functions infringed upon by this action of the governor, passed 
resolutions embodying their idea of the harm done the colony by the ofiiciousness of 
" secret factions." 

There was not ready money enough in the treasury to have paid the passage of 
Mr. Thornton, even had it been at his disposal. A collection was taken up, contri- 
butions being made partly in coin but chiefly in flour, clothing, and anything that 

^^^^^a. ^ 



Mill Property of Gurney Bros. 
Ten Mile, Douglas Co, 


could be of service or was convertible into money. A contract was made with Captain 
Roland Gelston, of the bark Whit/on, to convey Mr. Thornton to Panama, and the 
vessel sailed at once for San Francisco, and thence to San Juan, on the coast of Lower 
California. Here the Captain informed his passenger that he must decline to fultill 
his contract^ as he desired to engage in the coasting trade. From the perplexing 
dilemma he was extricated by Captain Montgomery, commanding the United States 
sloop of war, Portsmouth, then lying at anchor in the harbor. This gentleman deemed 
the mission of Mr. Thornton of sufficient importance to the government to justify 
him in leaving his station and returning with his vessel to the Atlantic coast. He 
accordingly tendered the delegate the hospitalities of his cabin, and set sail as soon as 
preparations could be made for the voyage. The Portsmouth arrived in Boston harbor 
on the second of May, 1848, and Mr. Thornton at once hastened to Washington to 
consult with President Polk and Senators Benton and Douglas, those warm champions 
of Oregon, as to the proper course to pursue. By them he was advised to prepare a 
memorial to be presented to congress, setting forth the condition and needs of the peo- 
ple whom he represented. This he did, and the document w-as j^i'esented to the senate 
by Mr. Benton, and was printed for the use of both branches of congress. Mr. Thorn- 
ton also drafted a bill for organizing a territorial government, which was introduced 
and placed upon its passage. This bill contained a clause prohibiting human slaveiy, 
and for this reason was as objectionable to the slaveholding force in congress as had 
been the previous one. Under the lead of Senators Jefferson Davis and John C. Cal- 
houn, this wing of the national legislature made a vigorous onslaught upon the bill, 
and fought its progress step by step with unabated determination, resorting to all the 
legislative tactics known, to so delay its consideration that it could not be finally passed 
by the hour of noon on the fourteenth of August, the time fixed by joint resolution for 
the close- of that session of congress. 

The contest during the last two days of the session was exciting in the extreme, 
and the feeling intense throughout the Union. The friends of the bill had decided 
upon a policy of " masterly inactivity," refraining entirely from debate and yielding 
the floor absolutely to the " filibusters," who were therefore much distressed for means 
to consume the slowly passing hours. Though silent in speech they were constantly 
present in force to prevent the opposition from gaining time by an adjournment. The 
bill was then on its second passage in the senate, for the purpose of concurrence Avith 
amendments which had been added by the house. On Saturday morning, August 12, 
the managers of the bill decided to prevent an adjournment until it had been disposed 
of, having a sufficient majority to pass it. The story of that memorable contest is thus 
told by Mr. Thornton, who sat throughout the scene an earnest spectator : 

" I re-entered the senate chamber with the deepest feelings of solicitude, and yet 
hopeful because of the assurances which had been given to me by the gentlemen I have 
named. [Douglas, Benton and Hale.] I soon saw, however, that Calhoun and But- 
ler, of South Carolina; Davis and Foote, of Mississippi; and Hunter and Mason of 
Virginia, as leaders of the opposition, had girded up their loins and had buckled on 
their armor for the battle. The friends of the bill, led by Mr. Benton, having taken 
their position, waited calmly for the onset of their adversaries, who spent Saturday 
until the usual lionr of adjournnient in skirmishing in force, as if feeling the strength 


of their opponents. When the motion was made at the usual time in the afternoon for 
adjournmeut, the friends of the bill came pouring out of the retiring rooms, and on 
coming inside the bar they voted 'No' with very marked emphasis. '^ * * This 
state of affiiirs continued until after night. [Here ensued a series of filibustering tactics, 
(hiring which a personal altercation between Judge Butler and Senator Benton came 
near resulting in blows.] General Foote, the collegue of Jeflf. Davis, then rose, and in 
a drawling tone assumed for the occasion, said his powers of endurance, he believed, 
would enable him to continue his address to the senate until Monday, 12 o'clock M., 
and although he could not promise to say much on the subject of the Oregon bill, he 
could not doubt that he would be able to interest and greatly edify distinguished sena- 
tors. The friends of the bill, seeing what was before them, posted a page in the door- 
way opening into one of the retii-ing rooms, and then, after detailing a few of their 
number to keep watch and 'ward on the floor of the senate, withdrew into the room of 
which I have spoken, to chat and tell anecdotes and to drink wine, or perhaps some- 
thing even much stronger, and thus to wear away the slowly and heavily passing hours 
of that memorable Saturday night. Soon great clouds of smoke filled the room, and 
from it issued th'e sound of the chink of glasses, and of loud conversation, almost drown- 
ing the eloquence of the Mississippi senator, as he repeated the bible story of the 
cosmogany of the world, the creation of man, the taking from his side of the rib from 
which Eve was made, her talking with the 'snake,' as he called the evil one, the fall of 
man, etc. etc. The galleries were soon deserted. Many of the aged senators prostrated 
themselves upon the sofas in one of the retiring rooms, and slumbered soundly, while 
'thoughts that breathed and words that burned' fell in glowing eloquence from the lips 
of the Mississippi senator, as he continued thus to instruct and edify the few watching 
friends of the bill, who, notwithstanding the weight of seventy years pressed heavily 
upon some of them, were as wide awake as the youngest ; and they sat firm and erect 
in their seats, watching with lynx eyes every movement of the adversaries of the bill. 

"At intervals of about an hour, the sj^eaker would yield the floor to a motion for 
adjournment, coming from the opposition. Then the sentinel page at the door would 
give notice to the waking senators in the retiring room, and these would immediately 
arouse the slumbering senators, and all would then rush pell mell through the doorway, 
and when the inside of the bar -was reached, would vote 'No' with a thundering emphasis. 
Occasionally southern senators, toward Sunday morning, relieved Gen. Foote by short, 
dull sjieeches, to which the friends of the bill vouchsafed no answers ; so that Mr. Cal- 
houn and his pro-slavery subordinates had things for the most part all their own way 
until Sabbath morning, August 13, 1848, at about eight o'clock, when the leading 
opponents of the bill collected together in a knot, and after conversing together a short 
time in an undertone, the Mississippi senator who had been so very edifying and enter- 
taining during the night, said that no further opposition would be made to taking a 
vote on the bill. The ayes and nayes were then called and the bill passed." 

Not alone to Mr. Thornton is due the honor of representing Oregon at Washington 
dui-ing that long struggle for justice. Another delegate, one with even better creden- 
tials than the first, was there to aid in the work. This was Joseph L. Meek, the moun- 
taineer and trajjper whose name is indelibly inscribed upon the early annals of the Pacific 
coast. When the massacre of the martyred Whitman and his associates at Waiihitpu 

OREGON. 167 

|iliinL;cJ tlie settlers into a state of niingled grief and alarm, it was thought 
to di.spatch a messenger at once to Washington to impart the intelligence, impress the 
authorities with the precarious situation of the colony, and appeal for protection. 
Winter had set in with all its vigors in the mountains. The terrible journey made at 
that season six years before by Dr. Whitman, on his patriotic mission, the same person 
wliose martyrdom now rendered a second journey necessary, was fresh in the minds of 
all, and appalled the stoutest heart. Mr. Thornton had taken the longer but safer 
route by sea, but time was too precious, too much was at stake, to admit of the delay 
such a journey would impose, even if the vessel were at hand to aiford the means. 
Nothing but a trip across the thousands of miles of snow-bound mountains, plains and 
deserts, would be of any avail. In the emei-gency all turned to Joseph L. Meek as the 
one man in their midst whose intrepid courage, great pow'ers of physical endurance, 
long exi^erience in mountain life and familiarity with the routes of travel and Indian 
tribes to be encountered, rendered him capable of undertaking the task with a good 
prospect of success. Unhesitatingly he accepted the mission, resigned his seat in the 
legislature, received his credentials as a delegate from that body, and set out on the 
fourth of January for Washington, accompanied by John Owens and George Ebberts, 
who decided to go with him and avail themselves of his services as guide and director. 
At The Dalles they w^ere forced to delay several weeks until the arrival of the Oregon 
volunteers rendered it safe for them to proceed, since the whole upper countrv was 
overrun by hostile Indians. 

They accompanied the troops to Waiilatpu, where Meek had the mournful satis- 
faction of assisting in the burial of the victims of Cayuse treachery, among whom was 
iiis own daughter, and then were escorted by a company of troops to the base of the 
Ijlue mountains, where they finally entered upon their long and solitary journey. By 
avoiding the Indians as much as possible, and whenever encountered by them repre- 
senting themselves as Hudson's Bay Company men, they reached Fort Boise in safetv- 
Here two of four new volunteers for the journey became discouraged and decided to 
lemain. The other five travelers pushed on to Fort Hall, saving themselves from the 
clutch of the Bannacks only by Meek's experience in dealing with the savages. It is 
needless to recount the many hardships they endured, the sleepless nights and dinner- 
less days, the accidents, dangers, fatigues, narrow esca|:)es from hostile Indians and the 
thousand discomforts and misadventures to which they were subjected. It is sufficient 
to say that through all these they passed in safety, never forgetting for an instant the 
imperative necessity for haste, and never flinching from the trials that lay in their 
pathway. The hearty invitation to spend a few weeks here or there in the few jj'aces 
where they encountered friends and comfortable quarters, was resolutely declined, and 
with only such delay as was absolutely rec|uired, they plunged again into the snowy 
mountain passes with their faces resolutely .set towards the rising sun. They reached 
!St. Joseph in but little more than two mouths after leaving the Willamette valley, 
having made the ijuickest trip across the continent that had been accomplished at aiiv 
season of the year. 

Meek was now reduced to most embarrassing straits. Dressed in buckskin and 
lilanket clothes and wolf skin cap, ragged and dirty in the extreme, beard and hair 
long and unkempt, without monev or friends, how to get to Washington or how 

to conduct himself when there, were jjerplexing questions. His solution of the diffi- 
culty was a characteristic one. By making a clown of himself at one place, by assum- 
ing an air of imijortance and dignity at another, he succeeded in reaching the city of 
his destination only a week or two later than Mr. Thornton, though his news from 
Oregon was four months fresher than that brought by his predecessor. The united 
labors of these two men brought about the result which has been detailed, the passage 
of the act of August 14, 1848, creating the territory of Oregon. 

President Polk, the staunch friend of Oregon, the man who had been elevated to 
the chief office in the nation amid the universal shout of " Fifty-four-forty-or-fight ! " 
was eager to have the work consummated before the expiration of his term on the fourth 
of the ensuing March. To this end he appointed Meek marshal of the new territory, 
and delegated him to convey a governor's commission to General Joseph Lane, then 
]-esiding in Indiana and unaware of the honor to be conferred, or the sacrifice to be re- 
quired, in which ever light it may be viewed. With that promjjtness of decision and 
action which was General Lane's distinguishing characteristic, he accepted the com- 
mission on the spot, and in three days had disposed of his property, wound up his bus- 
iness affairs and begun his journey to the far off" wilds of Oregon. They were escorted 
by a detachment of troops, and after a journey of six months, by the way of New 
Mexico and Arizona, seven only of the party reached San Francisco, two having died 
on the route and the others having deserted to try their fortunes in the new gold fields 
of the Sierra. These seven were General Lane, Marshal Meek, Lieutenant Hawkins, 
Surgeon Hayden and three enlisted men. Taking passage in the schooner Jeannette, 
they reached the Columbia river after a tedious voyage of eighteen days, ascended that 
stream to Oregon City, a distance of 120 miles, in small boats, reaching that jjlace, 
then the seat of government, on the second of March, 1849. The following day Gov- 
ernor Lane issued his proclamation and assumed the duties of his office, being but one 
day before the expiration of President Polk's official term. 

The first territorial officers of Oregon were : governor, Joseph Lane ; secretary, 
Kintzing Pritchett ; treasurer, James Taylor ; auditor, B. Gervais ; chief justice, Wil- 
liam P. Bryant ; associate justices, O. C. Pratt and P. A. Burnett ; United States 
marshal, Joseph L. Meek ; superintendent of common schools, James McBride ; libra- 
rian, W. T. Matlock ; territorial printer, Wilson Blain ; commissioner of Cayuse war 
claims, A. A. Skinner. All of these officials, save the governor, secretary, marshal and 
judges, were appointed by the legislature when it convened in the fall. 

General Lane appointed census marshals as provided for in the organic act, who 
reported the population of the territory as shown in the following table: 

Census of 1840, 












a S 


=5 -r^ 






















































Liim ■ 













Subsequent to the departure of Thornton and Meek upon their mission to Wash- 
ington, but prior to the return of the latter with Governor Lane, a new era set in on 
tlie Pacific coast. On the nineteenth of January, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered 
gold on the south fork of the American river, in California. Marshall had come to 
Oregon in the immigration of 1844, and had the next year passed south into Cali- 
fornia, where he entered the employment of Captain John A. Sutter, who had crossed 
the plains to Oregon in 1838 and to California by way of the Sandwich islands in 1839. 
In the fall of 1847, Marshall went up into the Sierras east of Sutter's settlement of 
New Helvetia (Sacramento), and began building a saw mill for his employer, which 
was nearly completed at the time he accidentally discovered gold in the tail race. All 
California was excited by the discovery, and nearly every able-bodied man abandoned 
everything and hastened to the mines. The intelligence did not reach Oregon until 
the following August, and the effect upon such a class of adventurous spirits as com- 
posed the pioneers can w'ell be imagined. There was at once a gi-eat rush for Cali- 
fornia, and it looked as though Oregon would be deserted and relegated back to the 
dominion of the Hudson's Bay Company and Indians. This, however, was but tem- 
porary. Family and business ties held many back and hastened the return of others, 
many bringing with them heavy sacks of the yellow treasure. What had at first 
2"»romised to be an overwhelming calamity soon proved a bountiful blessing. Thous- 
ands of men poured into California from every quarter of the world, and a brisk 
demand at once sprung up for the grain, flour, vegetables and food products of all 
kinds which Oregon could produce in abundance, but for which no market had pre- 
viously existed. California gold began to pour into Oregon in a steady stream, com- 
merce began to assume large proportions, a custom house was established at Astoria, 
and this region made great strides on the road to wealth and prosperity. This sudden 
increase in business gave rise to a direct infringement of the constitutional prohibition 
of the coinage of money by state governments or individuals, and this forms one of 
the most interesting (>pisodcs of Oregon history. 

170 OREGON. 

Duriug the winter of 1848-9 people began straggling back from the -California 
mines, bringing with them sacks of gold dust. As a circulating medium gold in such 
a shape was inconvenient and certain to decrease in quantity as it passed from hand to 
liand, and an ounce was only called the equivalent of eleven dollars in trade, though 
intrinsically worth at least sixteen. Commerce and business generall)^ suffered much 
inconvenience from the lack of coin, and to remedy the evil the legislature passed an 
act providing for the " assaying, melting, and coining of gold." The advent of Gov- 
ernor Lane and the decease of the provisional government, operated to render the act 
void before it could be carried into effect. Still the necessity for money increased, and 
the want was sup)plied by private enterprise. A company was organized by responsible 
and wealthy men, which issued five and ten dollar " Beaver " coins, bearing on one 
side the figure of a beaver, over which appeared the initial letters of the names of the 
members of the company — Kilbouru, Magruder, Taylor, Abernethy, Wilson, Rector, 
Campbell, Smith — and underneath " O. T. 1849." On the reverse side was : " Oregon 
Exchange Comj^any, 130 Grains Native Gold, 5 D.," or " 10 pwts, 20 grains, 10 D." 
The dies by which the coins were stamped were made by Hamilton Campbell, and the 
press and rolling machinery by William Eector. The workmanship was quite credit- 
able. The intrinsic worth of these coins being greater than their representative value, 
they quickly passed from circulation wdien the government coins appeared in quantity, 
and are now only to be found in the keeping of pioneers, in the cabinets of curiosity 
preservers or the collections of numismatologists. 

During the next four years the progress of the territory was marked. In 1851 
gold was found to exist in great quantities in Southern Oregon, and that region soon 
teemed with a restless jiopulation of miners. Towns and cities sprung np, and the fer- 
tile valley lands were located on by settlers and brought under the dominion of the 
plow. These changes were accompanied by the inevitable trouble with the native 
owners of the soil, and the scenes of horror whi(;h marked them are recounted in other 

By the act of March 3, 1853, congress set off the territory of AVashington from 
that of Oregon, and gave to it a separate political existence. Oregon at that time con- 
tained 341,000 square miles, equal in area to the six great states of Indiana, Illinois, 
Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, by far too large for admission into the Union 
as a single state. Through it ran the great Columbia river, dividing it into nearly 
equal parts from the ocean to Fort Walla Walla, where it made a long sweep to the 
north and east. That portion of the territory lying north and west of this great stream 
was called Northern Oregon, and within it were a number of small settlements, which 
included a population, " Quite as great," declared Joseph Lane in congress, " as the 
whole of Oregon at the period of its organization into a territory." In 1833 the fort 
at Nisqually, near the head of Puget sound, was located by the Hudson's Bay Cora- 
i)any, and soon after the Puget Sound Agricultural Company began to graze cattle 
and sheep in the vicinity, and to cultivate the lands. These were guarded by the 
stockade and buildings afterwards occupied by U. S. troojis, and known as Fort Steila- 
coora. In 1838 the Rev. F. N. Blanchet and Rev. M. Demers, of the Society of Jesus 
of the Roman Catholic fiiith, established a mission at Fort Vancouver, and soon after 
one was located on Cowlitz prairie near a post that had been established by the Hud- 

OREGON. 171 

son's; Bay CoiupaDv. In ISo'.' the Methodists hy Kevs. David Leslie and W. H. 
Wilson, and the Catholics by Father Demers, each established missions at Nisqually. 
It was the desire of Great Britain, during the decade previous to the treaty of 
1846, to have the Columbia river declared the boundary line between its possessions 
and those of the United States. To this end efforts of the Hudson's Bay Company 
were directed, and they looked with disfavor upon the making of any settlements north 
of that stream by Americans. Nevertheless, in 1844, Col. M. T. Simmons made an 
unsuccessful attempt to reach Puget sound, having crossed the j^lains the year before. 
In 1845, with a few companions, he renewed his efforts and located at the head of the 
sound, where the Des Chutes river empties into Budd's inlet. Their little settlement 
was called New Market, now the town of Tumwater, but a mile from Olympia. To 
this, no active opposition was made by the company ; and in the few following years 
many other Americans located along the Cowlitz and other streams, and about the 
head of the sound. The immigrants brought out by the company from the Ked river 
settlements in 1841, whose arrival created so much anxiety in the minds of the Amer- 
icans, located chiefly on the Cowlitz, in accordance with the )>lan of making the 
Columbia the dividing line. 

June 27, 1844, the Oregon Pi'ovisional Government designated all tlie territory 
north and west of the Columbia, ^''ancouver county ; but owing to the settlements 
alluded to, that portion lying west of the Cowlitz was made Lewis county ; and the 
name of Clarke was given to Vancouver county in 1849. 

Captain Lafayette Beach founded Steilacoom in January, 1851. In February of 
the same year Pacific county was created, because of the thriving settlements of Pacific 
City and Chinook that had sprung up on the north bank of the Columbia, near its 
mouth. In April, 1851, Port Towusend was located. Congress ertablished the Puget 
Sound Collection District February 14, 1851, and a custom house was located during 
the year at, Olympia, then the only town on the sound. On the third of November, 
1851, the sloop Georgiana, Captain Rowland, sailed with twenty-two passengers for 
Queen Charlotte's island, where gold had been discovered. On the nineteenth the 
vessel was cast ashore on the east side of the island, was plundered by the Indians, and 
the crew and passengers were held in captivity. Upon receipt of the news, the col- 
lector of customs at Olympia dispatched the Damariscore, Captain Balch, with a force 
of volunteers and U. S. troops from Fort Steilacoom, which had been garrisoned after 
the treaty of 1840. The schooner sailed on the eighteenth of December, and returned 
to Olympia with the rescued men the last day of January, 1852. 

In 1852 a superior article of coal was found, something much needed on the coast, 
and capital was at once invested in developing the mines. Three saw mills were built 
on the sound ; and during the year (|uite extensive shipments of coal, lumber and fish 
were made. Many claims were taken up on the fine agricultural lands, and all the ele- 
ments for a vigorous growth were collected there. The chief settlements then in North- 
ern Oregon were : Pacific City ; Vancouver, the Hudson's Bay Company headquarters, 
consisting of 100 houses occupied by its employees, chiefly Kanakas, enclosed by 
l)icket fences, and defended by armed bastions and a blockhouse ; Forts Walla Walla, 
Okinagan and Colville, further up the Columbia; Olympia, a new town on the sound; 
Fort Nis(jual]y on tlie soun.l, oei-upied by the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, wlio 

172 OREGON. 

owned extensive farms and su2:)plied provisions to the Hudson's Bay Company, besides 
shi23ping products to the Sandwich islands and the Russian post at Sitka. These with 
many settlements along the sound and between it and the Columbia, formed a section 
distinct from Oregon proper, with which they had no community of interest, and from 
whom, being in the minorit}' in the legislature, they were unable to obtain many of 
the rights they deemed themselves entitled to. Many of them were 500 miles from 
the seat of the territorial government. 

In September, 1852, the Columbian began publication in Olympia, and advocated 
the formation of a new territory, expressing the wish of a majority of the people in the 
Sound country. As to those east of the Cascades, they were so few in number, most of 
them belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company, that they cared little about the matter. 
A convention of delegates from counties north of the river met at a little settlement on 
the Cowlitz called Monticello, to consider the question, November 25, 1852, A mem- 
orial to congress was prepared, stating the condition of this region and asking that body 
to create the territory of Columbia, out of that j^ortion of Oregon lying north and west 
of the Columbia river. There was no conflict in this matter, the peoj^le of Oregon 
south of the river raising no objection to the proposed change. In fact, delegate Joseph 
Lane, living in Southern Oregon and elected by the votes of that section, procured the 
passage of the bill in congress. He first introduced the subject on the sixth of Decem- 
ber, 1852, by procuring the passage of a resolution instructing the committee on ter- 
ritories to consider the question and report a bill. The committee reported House Bill 
No. 8, to organize the territory of Columbia, which came upon the eighth of February, 
1853. Mr. Lane made a short speech and introduced the citizens' memorial signed by 
G. N. McCanahei', president of the convention, R. J. White, its secretary, and Quincy 
A. Brooks, Charles S. Hathaway, C. H. Wiuslow, John R. Jackson. D. S. Maynard, 
F. A. Clarke, and others. Richard H. Stanton, of Kentucky, moved to substitute the 
name of " Washington " for " Columbia," saying that we already had a District of 
Columbia while the name of the father of our country had been given to no territory 
in it. With this amendment the bill was passed through the house on the tenth with 
128 votes for and 29 against it. On the second of March, it was adopted by -the 
senate and received the President's signature the following day. 

The act created a territory more than twice the size asked for in the memorial^ 
being "All that portion of Oregon Territory lying and being south of the forty-ninth 
degree of north latitude, and north of the middle main channel of the Columbia river, 
from its mouth to where the forty-sixth degree of north latitude crosses said river near 
Fort Walla Walla, thence with said forty -sixth degree of latitude to the summit of the Rocky 
mountains." This included all of Washington Territory as it now stands, and a portion 
of Idaho and Montana. The act was in the usual form creating territories, and pro- 
vided for a governor, to be fti-q^Vio commander-in-chief of militia and supei'inten- 
dent of Indian affairs, a secretary, a supreme court of three judges, an attorney, and 
a marshal, all to be appointed by the President for a term of four years. It also 
called for a delegate to congress, whose first term was to last only during the congress 
to which he was elected. A territorial legislature was created, with two branches — a 
council with nine members and a term of three years, the first ones to serve one, two 
and three years as decided by lot among them ; and a house of eighteen members, with 

OREGON. 17:3 

a term ot'une year, to be iiicreasetl t'roin time to time to not more than tliirty. Twenty 
thoiLsand dollars were appropriated to defray the- expenses of a census, after the taking 
of which the Governor was to apportion the members of the legislature and call an 
I'lectiou to choose them and the delegate to congress. The first legislature was to 
meet at any place the Governor might select, and was then to fix the seat of govern- 
ment itself; |5,000 were apportioned for public buildings, and the same amount for a 
library. County and local officers then serving were to hold their positions until suc- 
cessors were chosen tinder acts to be passed by the legislature of the new territory. 
Causes were to be transferred from the Oregon courts, and the territory was to be 
divided into three districts, in each of which one of the supreme judges was to hold a 
district court. Sections 16 and 36 of the 2)ublic lands, or their equivalent, were given 
the territory for the benefit of public schools. 

Soon after his inauguration President Pierce appointed Major Isaac I. Stevens, 
United States engineer, governor ; Charles H. Mason, of Rhode Island, secretary ; J. 
S. Clendeuin, of Mississippi, attorney ; J. Patton Anderson, of Tennessee, marshal ; 
Edward Lander, of Indiana, chief justice ; Victor Monroe, of Kentucky, and O. B. 
McFadden, of Pennsylvania, associate justices. Marshal Anderson arrived early in 
the summer, and took the census provided for in the act, returning a total population of 
3,96o, of whom 1,682 were voters. Governor Stevens was in charge of the expedition 
sent out by the war department to survey a northern route for a trans-continental rail- 
load, and was thus occupied all the summer and fall. Upon crossing the boundary 
line of the new territory September 29, 1853, he issued a proclamation from the sum- 
mit of the Rocky mountains, declaring the act of congress and as.suming his duties as 
executive. He arrived in Olympia in November, and on the twenty-eighth issued a 
second proclamation, dividing the territory into judicial and legislative districts and 
calling an election the following January. Until this time the counties north of the 
Columbia had constituted the second judicial district of Oregon, William H. Strong, 
associate justice, presiding. They were Clarke, Lewis, Pacific, Thurston, Pierce, King, 
and Jefferson, all but the first three having been created by the Oregon legislature 
during the session of 1852-3. 

The legislature chosen in January assembled at Olympia the following month; 
and in accordance with provisions of the organic act, chose that place for the permanent 
seat of government. They created ten counties, retaining the name and general loca- 
tion of those set off by the Oregon legislature. The counties were Clarke, Lewis, 
Pacific, Thurston, Pierce, King, Jefferson, Island, Chehalis, Clallam, Cowlitz, Sawamish 
(now Mason), Skamania, Wahkiakum, and Walla Walla. Among these, the repre- 
sentation in the assembly was apportioned, and the territory was divided into judicial 
districts. The legislature adopted a code of 2)rocedure, substantially the same as in 
force at the present time. At the election in January, Columbia Lancaster, first chief 
justice of the Oregon provisional government, was chosen delegate to congress by 
the democrats, his whig opponent being Col. William H. Wallace During the first 
two years, considerable annoyance was caused by hostile incursions into northern por- 
tions of the territory by Indians from British Columbia. Some difficulty was expe- 
rienced, also, with Indians at home, but the energetic action of Governor Stevens and 
the troojts at Fort Steilaconm prevented a serious outbi-eak until the fall of IS.")."), when 

the Oregou-Wasliiugtou Indian war Avas begnn and waged with great expense to Ijoth 
territories. Hostilities were begii u abont the same time b^' the powerful Indian tribes of the 
Columbia river and those of Southern Oregon, which taxed to the utmost the resources 
and power of the two territories and that portion of the United States army stationed 
on the coast. The simultaneous beginning of hostilities in these two sections, so widely 
separated, has been pointed to by many as an evidence of a conspiracy between the 
natives of Eogue river valley and Columbia river ; but the coincidence seems to be the 
only evidence of such a combination. The causes which led to the outbreak along 
Rogue river, and the events of the long campaign which followed, are detailed with 
great minuteness in succeeding chapters, and seem to be sufficient in themselves to 
account for the outbreak there, and to that narrative the reader is referred. The 
trouble at the north seems to have had its origin in an entirely different chain of causes. 

Governor Stevens, soon after entering upon his career as chief executive of Wash- 
ington, deemed it judicious to exercise his authority as ex-officio Indian agent, and 
make treaties with the powerful tribes east of the Cascades. To this step he was 
especially urged by the fact that in March, 1855, gold was discovered on Clarke's Fork, 
near its entrance into the Columbia. For miners to straggle through the Indian 
country, without a special treaty having been made, he knew was but to court the 
commission of murder by the native proprietors. He at once opened negotiations, and 
on the ninth of June secured the cession of the greater portion of Eastern Wash- 
ington and a slice of Oregon, excepting the Umatilla and Yakima reservations. The 
treaty was signed by the chiefs of the fourteen tribes comprising the Yakima nation, 
including the Palouse Indians, and by the Cayuses, Walla Wallas and Umatillas. 
"With the treaty none of the Indians were satisfied, and especially Kama-i-akun, head 
chief of the Yakiraas, and Peo-peo-mux-mux, the great AValla Walla chieftain. They 
felt that they had been bribed to sell their country, and were resentful and bitter. 
This was followed by similar treaties with the Nez Perces, Flatheads and the tribes 
living south of the Columbia between The Dalles and Umatilla river. Governor 
Stevens then crossed the mountains to treat with the powerful and warlike Blackfeet. 

In the fall of 1875 several men who were passing through the Yakima country, on 
their way from the Sound to the Colville mines, were killed by the ladians. Among 
the killed was the Indian agent, A. J. Bolan, who had gone to inquire into the circum- 
stances of the death of the other men. Lieutenant W. A. Slaughter, with forty men, 
started across the mountains from Fort Steilacoom late in September, and Major G. O. 
Haller marched south from The Dalles with a force of more than one hundred men, 
to co-operate with him. Major Haller engaged the Indians on Simcoe creek, was 
forced to retreat to the summit of a hill, where he was surrounded by the enemy. He 
dispatched a courier in haste to procure aid, but before it could reach him his force was 
driven from the Indian country with considerable loss. Upon receipt of the intelli- 
gence of this disaster. Major G. J. Raines, commander of the post at Vancouver, ad- 
dressed communications to Governor George L. Curry, of Oregon, and Acting Gov- 
ernor C. H. Mason, of Washington, requesting the aid of volunteer trooi^s, since the 
national forces were entirely inadequate to meet the emergencies. Two companies were 
raised in Washington, which were mustered into the regular army, while the ten com- 
panies recruited in Oregon retained tlieir volunteer organization, being under the com- 

OREGON. 175 

inaiid of Colonel J. W. Nesmith. This division of authority led to a want of cordial 
co-operation and consequent futility of action. Sixteen other comjjanies were organ- 
ized at various places in Washington territory, chiefly for home protection. 

Lieutenant Slaughter, having withdrawn back across the Cascades, his force was in- 
creased, and on the twenty-fourth of October again started for the Yakima country, 
under the command of Captain M. Maloney. He soon learned that no troops had 
started from The Dalles to co-operate with him, and feaHng to be caught in the moun- 
tains by snow he returned to Steilacoom. Before his dispatch, announcing this fact, 
reached The Dalles, Major Eaines and Colonel Nesmith had jointly marched north- 
ward to form a junction with him. After an engagement, in which Kama-i-akun's 
warriors were defeated, the Indians abandoned the country and the troops, 
learning that Captain Maloney had returned to Steilacoom and required no assistance, 
marched back to The Dalles, having been absent about three weeks. 

Prior to the return of these two commands, another foi'ce of volunteers marched 
up the Columbia towards Fort Walla Walla, where Peo-peo-mux-raux, was reported to 
be stationed with 1,000 warriors. Other volunteers marched to join them, tlie whole 
force being placed under the command of Lieut. Colonel James K. Kelly. This move- 
ment was especially designed to clear the route of hostile Indians and permit the safe 
return of Governor Stevens from east of the Rocky mountains, that gentleman being 
already on his way back and ignorant of the existing hostilities. In this movement, 
General John E. Wool, commander of the department oi the Pacific, who had hastened 
to the scene from San Francisco, refused to jjarticipate with the regular troops, deeming 
a winter campaign unnecessary and unlikely to be successful. Nothing daunted, the 
Oregon volunteers proceeded alone, having a force of about 500 men. 

A great battle was fought along Walla Walla river, which lasted three days and 
I'esulted in the complete defeat of the Indians, whose loss was reported at seventy-five. 
The troops lost seven killed and mortally wounded, and thirteen wounded. Among 
the dead on the Indian side was the great Peo-j)eo-mux-mux, who at the time of the 
battle was a hostage in the hands of the whites, and was shot during the excitement 
incident to the battle. The Indians then withdrew from the country, leaving it in the 
possession of the volunteers, who spent the winter there, suffering many hardships. 
Governor Stevens returned in safety and immediately jireferred charges against General 
Wool, accusing him of incapacity and willful neglect of duty. 

During the winter the settlements along Puget sound suffered severely from tiie 
ravages of Indians. Seattle was attacked, and all of King county beyond the limits of 
that place was devastated. Volunteers, regular troops, Indian auxiliaries and the small 
naval force on the sound, occupied block houses at all the important points fi-om the 
Cowlitz to Bellingham bay, but did not engage in a regular campaign, since the hostile 
savages were not gathered in a large body as were those east of the mountains, but 
roamed about in small bands, destroying property and killing settlei'S wherever they 
could be found unprotected. The po])ulation, to a great extent, were collected in block 
houses for safety. Ivirly in March, IH.'Ai, the Oregon volunteers who had occu[)ied tlie 
WallaWalla country during the winter,again entered upon an aggressive campaign, under 
tlie command of Colonel Thomas K. Cornelius. After considerable traveling about north 
of Snake river the command crossed the Columbia near the mouth of the Vakima and 

176 OREGON. 

followed down the west bauk to Fort Walla Walla. From there they started u[)OU their 
return to The Dalles, i^assiug through the Yakima country. On the seventeenth of 
April, near Satas creek, the Yakima Indians suddenly attacked the advance forces, 
killing Captain A. J. Hembree, but were repulsed with the loss of two braves. An 
engagement ensued, in which six Indians were killed and the others driven from the 
field, without any loss to the volunteers. The troops then marched to The Dalles, 
going into camp in Klickitat valley. While there fifty of Kama-i-akun's warriors 
made a descent upon the camp and captured 300 horses. Thus summarily dismounted, 
the volunteers were mustered out and returned to their homes. 

Before this, however, important events occurred nearer home. A railway portage 
was under construction between the lower and upper Cascades of the Columbia, on the 
Washington territory side of the river, and quite a force of men was at work. On the 
morning of March 16, a band of Yakima Indians made a sudden attack upon the Upper 
Cascades. The men retreated hostility to a combined store and dwelling on the river 
bank and defended themselves successfully till aid arrived two days later. On the 
morning of the third day the steamers Ilary and Wasco arrived from The Dalles loaded 
down with troops, and the Indians hastily decamped. A like siege was sustained by 
parties in the block house at Middle Cascades, and quite a battle was fought at the 
lower landing. In all fifteen men and one woman were killed and twelve were wounded. 
How many Indians were killed is not known, liut nine of them were hanged for their 
treachery immediately afterwards. 

Colonel George Wright marched north from The Dalles in May for the pur- 
pose of driving the Indians out of the Cascade mountains and across the Columbia 
eastward. Early in July volunteers from the sound pushed across the mountains with- 
out encountering the enemy, and united at Fort Walla Walla with another battalion 
which had proceeded from The Dalles. The whole force numbered 350 enlisted men, 
and was under the command of Colonel B. F. Shaw. With a portion of his force Colonel 
Shaw crossed the Blue mountains and fought a severe battle on Grand Ronde river 
on the seventeenth of July. At the same time another detachment encountered 
the hostiles on Burnt river, and had an engagement with, them, lasting two days. 
Some fifty Indians were killed in these two battles, while the loss of the volunteers was 
five killed and five wounded. Meanwhile, unable to concert terms of peace with Kama- 
i-akun. Colonel Wright marched his force of regulars back to The Dalles. 

In the fall Colonel Wright dispatched Lieutenant-Colonel E. J. Steptoe with sev- 
eral companies to establish a military j^ost at Walla Walla. Governor Stevens pro- 
ceeded to that region, and had an unsuccessful council with the hostiles. When he set 
out upon his return, he was attacked by the Indians, and his small command defended 
itself all day and until relieved by the regulars. In November Colonel Wright re- 
turned with a detachment of regulars and established a military j)ost at Walla Walla, 
and held a council at which he procured a cessation of hostilities by promising the 
Indians immunity for past offenses and agreeing to prevent white settlers from enter- 
ing their country. It was a practical victory for the Indians. In November Puget 
sound was invaded by water by a band of northern Indians, who committed many dep- 
redations ; but they were severely defeated and driven away by the naval forces sta- 
tioned there to guard the sound country. 




Relative Importance of the Subject — Material for Writing History —Common Origin of Indian Wars -Brief 
Account of Indian Tribal Affinities— Modocs, Klamaths, Shastas and Rogue Rivers were Related — Habits 
of Life Umpqua Indians Decadence Invasion of Klickitats— Sources of Information -Aboriginal Desig- 

Ainoug those episodes which lend interest to the history of Southern Oregon, the 
series of hostile acts which we collectively style the Rogue river wars, undoubtedly, 
possess the greatest interest. The period of the occurrence of these events is so com- 
paratively recent that their recollection is yet fresh in the minds of many who partici- 
pated therein, and there are persons not yet beyond the middle years of life to whom 
they were once a present reality. To write a history of those wars is the task which 
the writer now assigns himself, confident that the collection and preservation of the 
existing memorials and recollections of the stirring scenes of Indian hostility will prove 
a work of public and acknowledged value. For such a work ample materials exist ; 
official documents, reports of military attaches, newspaper accounts, memorials of gov- 
erning bodies, the acts of legislative assemblages, but chiefly the personal recollections 
of eyewitnesses, make up a vast mass of evidence extraordinarily perfect in scope and 
thoroughness. From such resources the compilation of a history sufficiently detailed 
to interest those previously acquainted with its subject, and sufficiently ample in scope 
to form a useful addition to the records of the Pacific coast, would seem an easy task 
requiring but the common attributes of the historical writer — industry and conscien- 
tiousness. Under such circumstances it has seemed possible to trace with considerable 
minuteness the occurrences of the wars ; and it will probably be more in consonance 
with the desires of the readers of this b;iak if tlie writer describe in detail this inter- 
esting contest, instead of confining liiiii<i'lf in rlic in;i 
tion, to salient instances in which the tcinlciic 

It will doubtless occur to the alt<'nti\c iviidcr \vh 
count, that there was nothing extraordinary in lliis wa 
ing circumstances connected with it that raise its 
oriHnai-v Indian war; that it was a slrngt;lc. siniihii' 

ler of 


phical disserta- 

of the 

age is : 

Host strikingly 

rises t'l 

I'oin a |)cr 

iisal of this ac- 

that t 

hcl'f Wl'lT 

no distiiiguish- 

ist()ry ; 

ahnvc tht 

' account of an 

1 all" I 

-...jH.rts. s; 

ivc names, time 


ami place, to each of those innumerable contests by which the American settler has 
won his way to the possession of his home, and driven forward the bounds of civiliza- 
tion from State to State, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In no essential does it seem 
to differ from the desperate and bloody contests waged against the Indians of Massa- 
chusetts, of New York, of Ohio, of Florida, of Kentucky, and of a dozen other States, 
where the blood of the early settlers was poured out in vindication of the grand prin- 
ciple of Caucasian progressiveness. For the white and the red races are equally 
unconformable to each other's habits of life, and meet only to repeat the old story of 
white conquest and native subjection. Still there is much in each individual account 
of .stern and bloody Indian warring to enchain the reader's attention, unwearied by 
the hackneyed repetition of sanguinary fight or hair-breadth escape. So we find it in 
the Rogue river wars ; a generation has passed, but the oft-told story of a woman's 
heroic defense of her hearth, or the terrible massaci-e of innocents, has rather gained 
than lost in interest, and every brave Tecumseh, King Philip, Red Jacket, Black 
Hawk or Osceola is matched in the exploits of Old John, Joe, Sam and Limpy, hum- 
bler savages though they were, and living iu a prosaic age which has not told in son|; 
their deeds. 

To discover romance or any elevated qualities in an Indian distance is required. 
Thus separated from living aborigines by the breadth of a state, Fennimore Cooper 
was enabled to give those inimitable portrayals of the American Indian which through 
half a century have been unrecognized. Other writers have found their keynote in a 
depreciation of the savage ; but the people of southern Oregon, long ago sated of the 
Indian, will join the writer in denying to him any useful or civllizable qualities, but 
will make partial amends by conceding to him — at least to the tribe of Rogue Rivers — 
bravery and steadfastness on the battle-field, and patience and perseverance in the 
worst straits to which he was reduced by war. To make a less acknowledgment 
were to do discredit to the troops by whom the red men were conquered, and to those 
others who sustained and repelled their assaults during the years of hostility. To ren- 
der this much of justice to an enemy who can no longer ask it, is befitting, nor does it 
detract from the credit of the stronger race. It seems a creditable and worthy thing 
that a man should have so strong a sense of right that, disregarding the feelings of 
friendship and his own personal prejudices, he could write or read the truth under all 
circumstances. In an attempt to tell the exact truth this account was composed ; in 
the same spirit may it be read. 

The principal tribes with whom our history has to deal were the Rogue Rivers, 
Shastas, Klamaths, Modocs and Umpquas. Among the first four are found strong- 
race affinities, and they spoke dialects of the same language. Their localities ad- 
joined, their intercommunication was frequent, and in time of war they often fought 
side by side. For a detailed description of these savages, see Mr. Bancroft's work on the 
Native Races of the Pacific Coast, wherein is embraced an enormous quantity of in- 
formation bearing upon the subject. The four tribes first mentioned abode in the 
contiguous valleys of the Rogue, Klamath, Shasta and Scott rivers and their 
affluents, and in the vicinity of Klamath, Tule, Clear and Goose lakes. The country 
about the three latter belonging exclusively to the Modocs, whose habitations were 
mainly in California. The Rogue river valley was occupied, i)revious to the advent 



of tlie wliites, by the powerful and imj)ortant tribe known by the name of the river. 
Branches of the tribe, more or less corrupted by intermixture with the neighboring 
Umpquas and others, lived on the Illinois, Applegate, Big Butte and other tributary 
streams, always paying to the head chief of the tribe the allegiance customary to the 
aboriginal headship. Along the Klamath river and about Klamath lake dwelt a 
strong tribe, generally known as the Klamaths. The Shastas had their home about 
the base of the great mountain of that name. These four tribes, apparently equally 
numerous and powerful, formed, with others, what Bancroft has styled the Klamath 
taraily. " This family is in every way superior to the more southern tribes. In phys- 
i(]ue and character they approached more nearly to the Indians of eastern Oregon than 
to the degraded and weak tribes of central California. The Kogue River Indians were 
an exception to the general rule of deterioration on approaching the coast, for in their 
case the tendency to improve toward the north held good ; so that they were in many 
respects superior to those of the interior. 

" The Klamaths formerly were tall, well-made and muscular, with complexions 
varying from black to light brown, according to their proximity to large bodies of 
water. Their ftices were large, oval and heavily moulded, with slightly prominent 
cheek bones ; nose well set and eyes keen and bright. The women were short and 
sometimes quite handsome, even in a Caucasian sense." Powers, in the Overland 
Monthly, wrote of the Klamaths : " Their stature is a -trifle less than Americans ; they 
have well sized bodies strong and well knit. With their smooth skins, oval faces, 
plump and brilliant eyes, some of the young maidens — barring the tattooed skins — 
have a piquant and splendid beauty." Gibbs, in Schoolcraft's Archaeology, says : 
" ]Many of the women were exceedingly pretty, having large, almond shaped eyes, 
sometimes of a hazel color, and with the red showing through the cheeks. Their fig- 
ures were full, their chests ample; and the young ones had well shaped busts and 
rounded limbs." On the other hand most travelers have failed to remark any special 
l)eauty in these tribes, and some have chai-acterized the women as " clumsy, but not 

As for clothing, the men of the Klamath family anciently wore only a belt, some- 
times a breech-clout, and the women an apron or skirt of deer skin or braided grass. 
In colder weather they threw over their shoulders a cloak or robe of marten or rabbit 
skins sewn together, deer skin, or among the coast tribes sea-otter or seal skin. They 
tattooed themselves, the men on the chest and arms, the women on the face in three 
blue lines extending perpendicularly from the centre and corners of the mouth to the 
chin. In some few localities, more especially near the lakc^, the men painted them- 
selvi's in various colors and grotesque pattei'us. 

Their houses were of designs common to many tribes. Their winter dwellings, 
varying with locality, w^ere principally of two forms, conical and s(|uare. Those of the 
former shajje prevailed most widely and were thus built: A circular hole, from two to 
live feet deep and of variable width, was dug. Round this pit or cellar stout poles 
were driven into the ground, which being drawn together at the toj?, formed the rafters 
of tlic l>uil(ling. A covering of earth several inches deep was placed over the rafters, 
a hole was left at the top to serve both as door and chimney, to which rude ladders 
composed of notched [)()les gave access. Some houses were built of heavy timljer form- 


ing H bee-hive shaped structure. The temporary summer houses of these tribes were 
square, couical or conoidal in shape, by driving Hght poles perpendicularly into the 
ground and laying others across them, or by drawing the upj^er ends together at the 
top. Huts having the shape of an inverted bowl were built by driving both ends of 
poles into the ground. These frames, however shaped, were covered with neatly woven 
lule matting, or with bushes and ferns. The ground beneath was sometimes scooped out 
and thrown up in a low circular embankment. 

The men of the tribes were usually practiced hunters. A portion of their food 
during a great part of the year w^as the wild game of the forest, and this they approached 
and captured with considerable adroitness. The elk, too large and powerful to be taken 
by bows and arrows, was sometimes snared; and the same fate befell the deer and ante- 
lope. The bear was far beyond the power of the natives when their only weapons were 
the bow and arrow, but after their acquisition of the white man's rifle, they have hunted 
bruin with success. The last grizzly bear ever seen Avest of the Cascades was killed in 
1877, by Don Pedro, a Klamath, near White Rock Butte, east of Roseburg. 

Fishing was a more congenial and more productive occupation than hunting. Its 
results were more certain, and in the prolific waters of the Klamath and Rogue, more 
abundant as well. Several methods were in vogue for taking fish. Sometimes a dam 
of interwoven twigs was placed across a rapid so as to intercept the salmon in their 
periodical visits to deposit thfeir spawn. Within niches suitably contrived the fish 
collected and were speared. These dams often required an immense amount of work 
in their construction, especially if upon a large stream. (3n Rogue river the fish were 
speared by torchlight in a manner similar to that in use in Canada and the far north. 
Many trout were taken from small streams by beating the water with brush, whereby 
the fish were driven into confined spans and dipped out. Bancroft says : "When preserved 
for winter use, the fish were split open on the back, the bones taken out, and then dried 
or smoked. Both meat and fish, when eaten fresh, are either broiled on hot stones, or 
boiled in water-tight baskets into which hot stones are thrown to make the water 
boil. Bread is made of acorns ground to flour in a stone mortar with a heavy stone 
pestle, and baked in the ashes. Acorn flour is the principal ingredient, but berries of 
various kinds are usually mixed in, and frequently seasoned with some high-flavored 
herb. A sort of pudding is als(j made in the same manner, but it is lioiled instead of 

The Indians gathered a great variety of roots, berries and seeds which they made 
use of for food. The principal root used was the cainas, great quantities of which were 
collected and dried during summer and stored for the coming winter's provision. This 
is a bulbous root much like an onion, and is familiar to nearly every old resident of 
Oregon. Another root called Ic'ice or hace was held in high esteem ; it w^as bulbous, 
about an inch long, of a bitterish taste like ginseng. The ip-ar e-pua or c-par root was 
a prominent article of diet and greAV abundantly upon the banks of the Rogue and 
other rivers. There were several varieties of grass seeds, the huckle-berry, l)lack-berry, 
salmon-berry, squaw-berry, manzanita-berry and perha23s others, which entered into 
the diet of the Indian generally, or as governed by the locality in which they grew. 
At Klamath lake the pond lily grows in jirofusion; and its seeds, called tro-cm by the 
savages, formed an article of diet of which thev were verv fond. The women, as is 


iuv;irial)ly the i-ise among the North .Vmeric-aii Indiaiis, performed all thework of gather- 
ing these comestibles and of prejjariug them likewise. The men were not in any de- 
gree an exception to the general rnle of laziness and worthlessness. Their only active 
days were when in pursuit of game or their enemies. Wars among these Indians 
were of frequent occurrence, but were hardly ever long or bloody. The casu.^ 
bclU was usually lovely woman. Wicked sorceries inflicted by one people on another 
were also causes of war. If one tribe obstructed a salmon stream so as to prevent their 
neighbors above from obtaining a supply of food the act often provoked war. No scalps 
were taken, but the dead foeman was decapitated — a fate meted out to all male j^ris- 
oners, while the women and children were spared to be the property of the conquerors. 

Their bows were usually about three feet long, made of yew or some other tough 
wood ; the back was an inch and a half in width and was covered with the sinews of 
the deer. The arrows were about two feet long, and occasionally thirty inches. They 
were made of reeds, were feathered and had a tip of obsidian, glass or iron. They 
often made their arrows in two sections, the front one containing the tip being short 
and fastened by a socket so contrived as to leave the tip in a wounded animal, while 
the longer and more valuable feathered section dropped upon the ground and could 
be found in the fleeing animal's trail. Poisoned arrows seem to have been in use, es- 
pecially among the ]Modoc^<, who used the venom of the rattlesnake for the ^^i^irpose. 
They macerated the rL'[)tile's head in a deer's liver which, putrefying, absorbed the 
poison and assumed the virulent character itself. Arrows dipped therein were regarded 
as capable of producing death. There is no record of these poisoned arrows having 
been used with fatal effect on a white man, but there is no good reason to suppose that 
in the absence of remedies a wound of this sort would be otherwise than fatal. 

The Indian women ingeniously plaited grass, tide or fine willow roots into bas- 
kets, mats, etc. The baskets constructed for cooking purposes would retaiii water and 
were even used as kettles for boiling that fluid. Stones, heated very hot, were thrown 
into the vessel, whereby heat was communicated to the water. Canoes were made from 
the trunk of a tree, hollowed out and shaped by means of fire. Pine, fir and Cot- 
tonwood were the species used, and the completed vessel was blunt at each end, and 
those made by the Rogue River Indians were flat-bottomed. The tree having been 
felled by burning off, or being found as a windfall, was burned off to the required 
length and hollowed out by the same agency. Pitch was spread on the portion to be 
burned away, and u piece of fresh bark served to prevent the flames from spreading 
too far. These canoes were propelled by means of paddles. Such constructions of 
course lacked the requisite lightness and grace of the birch-bark canoes of the far- 
eastern Indians, nor could they equal them in speed or handiness. 

Canoes, women, Aveapons of war and the chase, and the skins of animals formed 
the most valued property of these savages, and were articles of trade. W^ealth was 
estimated in strings of shell money like the wampum of eastern aborigines, but this 
money was here known as aUi-((x-rhick or (lU-tiaa-cliiok. This cii'culating medium was 
a small white shell, hollow and valued at from five to twenty dollars. Hence the 
monetary standard of these savages was variable like that of more civilized nations, 
but was probably a source of less confusion and speculation. White deer skins and 
the sc;il]is of red-headed wood peckers seem to have been articles of great estimation. 


possessing fictitious values depending upon the dictates of fashion. These articles 
were the insignia of wealth and were sought after by the Indians as seal-skin gar- 
ments and diamonds are affected by the higher classes of white society. " Wives, also, 
as they had to be purchased, were a sign of wealth, and the owner of many was thereby 
distinguished above his fellows." To be a chief among the Klamaths or Eogne Rivers 
pre-supposed the possession of wealth. Power was not hereditary, and the chief who 
became too old to govern was summarily deposed. La-lake, the peaceable old chief 
of the former tribe, was compelled in his later years to give place to a younger man. 
Each village had a head man who might be styled chief, who held his power in some 
way subordinate to the main tribal chiefs, but whose actions in most ways were not 
regulated by the head chief. A new settlement being formed a chief was elected who 
held his power until deposed by his subjects or nntil death removed him. Frequently 
from a multiplicity of candidates for the chiefshi^) two were chosen, who together ad- 
ministered the affiiirs of the tribe, the divided authority appearing to have been con- 
sistent with peace and friendliness. ' One of the two was usually styled peace chief, tha 
other war chief. A well-known example of this is seen in Sam and Joe, brothers, and 
respectively war chief and peace chief of the Rogue Rivers. However, it does not 
appear that the duties of the two were in any case divided, or that the occurrence of 
war necessitated the intermission of the peace chief's authority. As the case of the 
two chiefs mentioned, Joe, probably a more skillful warrior, assumed the conduct of 
warfare in 1853, and possibly in 1851, though the latter fact is not fully ascertained. 

The Indians of Southern Oregon and Northern California were a filthy race, 
viewed from a Caucasian standpoint, but probably did not surpass other aborigines in 
that respect. Their habits of life were such as to render them subject to parasites of 
all sorts, so much so that an Indian deprived of the presence of pi'dlruhix would be an 
anomaly. " The Rogue Rivers bathed daily; yet they brought out witli them the 
dirt which encased their bodies when they went in. Their heavy, long and thickly 
matted hair afforded refuge for vermin which their art could not remove. To destroy 
in some measure this plague they were in the habit of burning their houses occasion- 
ally and rebuilding with fresh materials." 

TheUmpqua region and the coast between the Siuslaw and Coos bay were inhab- 
ited by the Umpquas and minor related tribes. These possessed many tribal divisions 
of which the names have mostly perished. Ultimately they belonged to the extensive 
family called by Bancroft the Chinooks, a division of the Columbians so-called. An- 
ciently the Umpquas were a tribe of importance and strength, though individually far 
inferior to the Klamath family. This is true in regard to physique and mental cpiali- 
ties. In stature the men rarely exceeded five and a half feet nor the women five 
feet. Both sexes were heavily and loosely built, and were much deformed by their 
squatting position, and had every appearance of degeneration. Their faces were 
broad and round, their nostrils large, the mouth wide and thick-lipped, teeth irrogulai-, 
countenance void of expression and vivacity, yet often regular. 

As to clothing, the Umpquas were not in any way peculiar. The men wore no 
covering in fair or warm weather, but in severe seasons adopted a garment made of the 
skins of animals. Females wore a skirt of cedar fibres fiisteued around the waist and 


liangiiig to the knees. In cdld weatlier they wrapped a robe of sea-otter or other 
skins about the body. 

Fish formed a staple article of diet with the Unipquas, salmon and salmon trout 
being the principal varieties, which were, and still are, abundant in the Umpqua river 
and its tributaries during certain seasons. The fish, being caught in some approved 
Indian fashion, was roasted before fires. Being cut into convenient sized portions, it 
was impaled on a pointed stick, first being stuck through with splinters to prevent it 
from falling to pieces. Thus broiled the fresh salmon or trout formed a very welcome 
and toothsome addition to their limited ci(isi)ic. 

In times before the coming of the whites the Rogue Rivers and Shastas had fre- 
quent wars with the Umpquas, but finally, through mutual interest, eifected a coalition. 
From this time the power of the latter tribe began to wane. In the decade ending in 
1850, the Klickitats, a powerful and restless tribe from beyond the Columbia, entered 
the Umpqua valley, having conquered all the Indians whom they met in the Willam- 
ette valley, and subjected the Umpquas also to defeat. They occupied a portion of the 
latter's country and became the dominant tribe northward of the Rogue river valley. 
The Klickitats were equally renowned in trade and war, and their services were in re- 
quest by the whites at various times when other tribes were to be fought. In 1851 
sixty Klickitat warriors, well mounted and armed, offered themselves to assist in the 
war against the Rogue Rivers, but their presence was not desired. Similar to these 
were the Des Chutes, a small but active tribe, who, under their chief, Sem-tes-tis, made 
expeditious for purposes of war or barter from their homes east of the Cascades as far 
as Yreka, where, in 185-t, they assisted the whites against the Shastas. In some of 
their characteristics the Klickitats irresistibly bring to mind the early Jews, whose mi- 
grations, success in war and love of barter form strong points of resemblance to this 
Indian tribe's peculiarities. Some few of the Klickitats yet remain in the eastern part 
of Douglas county, where they own and till farms, and are useful members of that 

As regards the origin of these tribes, only conjecture is at hand. Xot enough is 
known on that topic to serve for the foundation <jf a respectable liypothesis, although 
the common origin of all Xorth American tribes has been taken for granted. From facts 
which have come under his notice. Judge Rosborough, formerly Indian agent in 
Northern California, is of the opinion that there have been three lines of aboriginal 
migration southward through Southern Oregon and Northern California, namely : 
one by the coast, dispersing toward the interior; secondly, that along the Willamette 
valley, crossing the Calapooia mountains and the Umpqua and Rogue rivers, Shasta 
and Scott valleys ; the other wave coming up the Des Chutes river and peopling the 
vicinity of the lakes. As an evidence of the second movement it is known that all 
the tril)es iidiabiting the region referred to spoke the same language and confederated 
against their neighbors, particularly the Pit river Indians, who arrested their course 
in the south. The traditions of the Shastas show they had driven a tribe out of their 
habitation and occupied it themselves. 

The Klamaths have been known among tiiemselves antl surrounding tribes as 
Muck-a-lucks, Klamaths, Klamets, Luuami (their own name), and Tlaniath. The 
Rogue Rivers, according to various authorities, called themselves Lo-to-ten, Tutatamv, 


Totiitime, Tootouui, Tootooton, Tutoten, Tototin, Tutotutua, and Too-toot-ua; all of 
which may be regarded as the same word, uttered variously by individuals of different 
tribes, and rejiroduced in writing as variously. For the purposes of this history their 
ordinary designation. Rogue Rivers, will be adojrted, inasmuch as they have attained a 
celebrity under that name, and as it in consequence conveys a readier meaning than 
either of the native words the use of which, in addition, carries a suspicion of pedantry. 
Tribal designations among the Indians, it is to be observed, were and are exceedingly 
indefinite and troublesome to the student. For example : tribes of restricted numbers 
frequently call themselves by the name of their head chief ; and the tribal name is fre- 
quently used indifferently with that of the chief The Klamaths, for a time called 
themselves, and were called by their white neighbors La-lakes. Their principal chief 
also bore that name, and by it was known to a large part of the State. The name, be- 
yond doubt, is la-lac — meaning, in French, the lake, and was applied by French or 
Canadian travelers or trappers, in allusion to the great Klamath lakes, upon whose 
shores these people dwelt. Adopted by the natives, this foreign word was applied to 
the tribe and to the great peace chief, who became in his day the most eminent of his 
race. The habit of loosely applying their designations has made the study of Indian 
traditions and history very difficult indeed, and is probably the most fruitful source of 
error which presents itself in the i)ursuit of aboriginal archteology. 



Jedediah S. Smith's Journey Through Northern CaUfornia and Southern Oregon-First Knowledge of the In- 
dians Locality of Smith's Defeat— Turner— Gay— Ewing Young Wilkes' Exploring Expedition— Fremont's 
Expedition Across the Plains— Attack by Modocs Travel Through Southern Oregon— Indian Outrages in 
1850 and 1851. 

It is pertinent to the subject to introduce here the account of Jedediah S. Smith's 
remarkable trip through Southern Oregon, from California to the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany's settlements at Vancouver. It will thus be seen that the spirit of hostility 
against the whites was developed at the very moment of the latter's first appearance in 
the country ; and we shall see that this spirit of hostility was kept alive until the In- 
dians' expulsion from the country, twenty-eight years after. [For full details of this 
affair see pages 118 to 122 of this volume.] 

The evidence shows that Smith followed the coast line in his first trip northward 
to Cape Arago, and doubtless he with his two companions continued along the coast as 
far as the Columbia, for the interior he could have known nothing of, since even the 
Hudson's Bay peojile had not made exjilorations in that direction. ^A'hile every one 

IVlRS. Gen. Joseph Lane 


accords to Smith the disthictiou of having led the firi-t white mea into Southern Ore- 
gon, there is much left to conjecture in regard to numerous imi:)ortant details of his 
passage. The exact spot wliere his camji was destroyed by Indians is not known, nor 
its approximate situation. Certain manuscripts ascribe an island in [or near] the 
Umpqua as the place of the tragedy ; while others mention Cape Arago as the locality in 
(juestiou. TJie fact that an important tributary of the Umpqua has been named Smith 
river does not settle the question, while from certain facts the presumption is in favor 
of Cape Arago. At any rate the Umpqua Indians (who are well known to have inhab- 
ited the vicinity of the mouth of that river) are characterized by an indisposition to 
acts of violence, while the natives of Coos bay, and more particularly of the Coquille 
country, achieved quite a reputation as murderers of stray parties of whites, as will 
appear in another part of this book. These considerations render it likely that Smith's 
2)arty was attacked at some point further south than the generally accepted locality, 
though the question — an interesting one — deserves and should receive full investiga- 

Under such circumstances Southern Oi'egon began to become known to the world, 
and for a long series of years remained unsettled by civilized men, the only objects of 
the few white persons who entered its bounds being the jJursuit of fur-bearing animals 
or else urged through these dangerous solitudes by the exigencies of travel. The Hud- 
son's Bay Company's agents were quick to take advantage of the information brought 
by Smith, and jmrties of hunters and trappers were sent forth to systematically exi^lore 
and in some sense occupy the country. This occupation extended no farther than the 
construction of a permanent post at the junction of Elk creek and the Umpqua river, 
where Elkton is now situated. This post, called Fort Umpqua, served as the head- 
quarters of the company's employees throughout the section embracing the Umpqua, 
Rogue, Klamath and Upper Sacramento rivers. 

In June, 1836, as is credibly told, a party of whites, including George Gay, well 
known in Oregon's early history, Daniel Millei-, Edward Barnes, Dr. Bailey, J. Turner, 

and his squaw, Sanders and Woodworth, and a man known as Irish Tom, 

were attacked near the mouth of Foot's creek (below Rock Point) on Rogue river, and 
Miller, Sanders, Barnes and Irish Tom were killed, while the others, badly wounded, 
made their escape. As narrated by J. W. Nesmith, in Transactions of Oregon Pio- 
neers, 1882, the circumstances were as follows : " The party was under the leadership 
of Turner and was on a trapping exjiedition. About the middle of June they were 
encamped at the Point of Rocks [Rock Point] on the south bank of Rogue river. 
Several hundred Indians dropped into camp, but Turner thinking there was no dan- 
ger took no precautions, and the natives most unexpectedly attacked the party with 
clubs, bows and knives. They got possession of tlii'ee of the eight guns with which 
the whites were armed, and for a time the trappers fought them with fire-brands, 
clubbed guns and whatever came handy. Turner, a big Kentucky giant, seized a lir 
limb from the fire and fought lustily. He released Gay who was held down by the 
savages, and finally the assailants were driven from the camp. Dan Miller and another 
trapper were killed on the spot, while the six survivors were all more or less wounded. 
The latter took to the brush, and without horses and deprived of all the guns but two, 
trav('lc'(l, lio-liting Indian-; bv day and walking bv night, making tlieir way northward. 


Dr. Bailej' was wuiiuded by a tomaliawk blow which had cleft his shin. Sanders' 
wounds disabled him from traveling, and he was left on the South Cmpqua, while 
" Big Tom " [Irish Tom] was left on the North Umpqua. The' Indians reported to 
Dr. McLaughlin, of the Hudson's Bay Company, that both men soon died of their 
wounds where they were left. Turner, Gay, Woodworth and Dr. Bailey ultimately 
reached the settlement on the Willamette. 

Two years later, or in 1837, a party of Oregonians proceeded to California to buy 
cattle to drive to the Willamette. They secured a drove, and returning passed through 
the Umpqua and Bogue river valleys. The party was composed in part of Ewing 
Young, the leader ; P. L. Edwards, who kept a diary of the trip ; Hawchurst, Car- 
michael, Bailey, Erequette, DesPau, B. Williams, Tibbetts, Gay, Wood, Camp, and 
about eight others, all frontiersmen of experience. While eucamped at the Klamath, 
on the fourteenth of September, 1837, Gay and Bailey shot an Indian who had come 
peaceably into camp. This act was in revenge for the affair at Foot's creek, but that 
locality had not by any means been reached, and the Indians' crime of 1835 was re- 
venged on an individual who, perhaps, had not heard of the event. The act was deeply 
resented by the Indians throughout the whole section, and the party met with the 
greatest difficulty in continuing their course. On the seventeenth of the same month 
they encamped at Foot's creek, and on the next morning sustained a serious attack of 
the savages, narrated thus in the diary of Edwards : 

September 18. — Moved about sunrise. Indians were soon observed running along the moun- 
tain on our right. There could be no doubt but that they were intending to attack us at some 
difficult pass. Our braves occasionally fired on them when there was a mere possibility of doing 
any execution. About twelve o'clock, while we were in a stony and brushy pass between the river 
[Rogue river] on our right, and a mountain covei-ed with wood on our left, firing and yelling in 
front announced an attack. Mr. Young, apj)rehensive of an attack at this jDass, had gone in ad- 
vance to examine the brush and ravine, and returned without seeing Indians. In making further 
search he found them posted on each side of the road. After firing of four guns, the forward 
cattle having halted, and mj'self having arrived with the rear, I started forward, but orders met 
me from Mr. Young that no one should leave the cattle, he feeling able, with the two or three men 
already with him, to rout the Indians. In the struggle Gay was wounded in the back by an arrow. 
Two arrows were shot into the riding horse of Mr. Young, while he was snapi^ing his gun at an 
Indian not more than ten yards off. To save his horse, he had dismounted and beat him on the 
head, but he refused to go off, and received two arrows, probably shot at his master. Having an- 
other brushy place to pass, four or five of us went in advance, but were not molested. Camped at 
the spot where Turner and party were attacked two years ago. Soon after the men on day guard 
said they had seen three Indians in a small grove about three hundred yards from camp. About 
half of the party went, surrounded the grove, some of them fired into it, others passed through it, 
but could find no Indians. At night all the horses nearly famished as they were tied up. Night 
set in dark, cloudy and threatening rain, so that the guard could herdly have seen an Indian ten 
j)aces off, until the moon rose, about ten o'clock. I was on watch the first half of the night. 

Here Mr. Edwards' diary breaks off", leaving untold much of interest to the gen- 
eral reader. As regards the skirmish at Foot's creek, just narrated, there is a doubt 
of it were it not succeeded by still more severe ones, inasmuch as the record of Wilkes' 
exploring expedition suggests further calamities to Young's company. Lieutenant 
Emmons, U. S. N., commanded a detachment of Wilkes' expedition, which left Van- 
couver for Yerba Buena, in September, 1841, J. D. Dana, the great scientist, being of 
the party, as well as Tibbetts, who was with the Young party. This man informed 


his new associate.s that the Young expedition was defeated bj' the Indians who killed 
one white, and wounded two others who died when they reached the Unipqua. " He 
showed great anxiety to take his revenge on them, but no opportunity offered, for our 
party had no other difficulty than scrambling up steep paths and through thick 

In the work just referred to the natives about the Oregon-California line are 
spoken of as " bad Indians" — as if that were their common designation. Hence, we 
infer that they had, even at that date, acquired a sustained reputation for hostility to 
the whites. Such a name does not afford any chie to their real character, however, 
but only suggests a spirit of opposition to the whites with whom they came in contact. 
This opposition probably in most cases took the form of hostility. On other and more 
occasions it may not have exceeded that form of independence known to the early set- 
tlers as " insolence." This, be it remarked, was a favorite word wath certain whites 
and infinitely recurs in the accounts of the early contests. It is only by the context 
that one can judge what the expression really signifies. To characterize an Indian as 
insolent, in certain cases meant that he was on the point of murder , at others that 
he had refused to allow white men to outrage his family. Such exj^ression of inde- 
pendence or freedom or even of self-defense were all included in the then comprehen- 
sive term, insolence. Concerning the years preceding 1850 there is a dearth of 
information, whence not only are we unable to array many facts, but the power ot 
drawing inferences pertaining to what is known is lost, whereby a discussion of the 
aboriginal character in the light of the earlier events is impossible. 

In May, 1845, J. C. Fremont, with his exploring expedition, arrived in South- 
ern Oregon, having come up the Sacramento and Pit river valleys, and traveled 
by Avay of Goose, Clear, and Tule lakes to the west shore of Klamath lake, where he 
camped for a few days. His force consisted of about fifty men. On the ninth of May, 
Samuel Neal and M. Sighler rode into camp with the information that a United States 
officer was on their trail with dispatches, and would fall a victim to savages if not res- 
cued, the two messengers having escaped only by the fleetness of their horses. Taking 
five traj)pers, four friendly Indians and the two messengers, Fremont hastened to the 
rescue, and at sun-down met Lieutenant Gillespie, guided by Peter Lassen and bearing 
dispatches from the United States government to Fremont. The })lace of meeting was 
sixty miles from Fremont's camp on the lake, which they had left in the morning. 
They camped that night in the Modoc country, near Klamath lake, and then it was 
that the savage Modocs committed the first of the long series of hostile acts which have 
marked their dealings with the whites. Exhausted as they were, the men lay down to 
sleep without setting a guard. The Modocs were not slow to take advantage of the 
opportunity. Late in the night, the watchful Kit Carson heard a dull, heavy thud as 
of a falling blow, and called to Basil La Jeunesse, who was sleeping on the other side 
of the camp-fire, to know what was the matter. Getting no answer, and seeing moving 
figures he cried, "Indians, Indians!" and seized his rifle. Quickly, the tra])pers, Lucian 
Maxwell, Richard Owens, Alex. Godey and Steppenfelt, with Carson rushed to the aid 
of the man attacked. The Indian chief was killed and his followers fled, but La Jeunesse, 
Denne, an Iroquois and Crain, a Delaware, were dead. This camp was on Hot creek, 
in Siskivou eountv, California. 


Au examination of the trail in the morning showed that the attacking party nnm- 
bered about twenty, and Lieutenant Gillespie recognized the dead chief as an Indian 
who had on the preceding morning given him a fine fish, the first food he had tasted 
for forty hours. On the eleventh of May Fremont left his main camp and started for 
California, to begin the war of independence which resulted in its conquest by the 
United States. A detachment of about fifteen men was left at the scene of the mid- 
night attack to punish the perpetrators should they return to it. Two Modocs were 
killed and scalped there, and the men rejoined the main party. Ten men of the 
advance guard, under Kit Carson, came suddenly upon an Indian village on the east 
bank of Klamath lake, and charged into it at once, killing many braves and burning 
the rancheria, but sparing the women and children. Years afterward a Modoc chief 
related these occurrences to Lindsay Applegate, and in response to questions, said the 
Indians made the attack on Fremont because these were the first white men who came 
into the country, and they wanted to kill them to deter others from coming. 

Even prior to the Fremont explorations considerable migration to and from Cali- 
fornia began to take place through Southern Oregon. As yet there were few people 
settled south of the Willamette valley, whence came the greater number of the trav- 
elers, and the route was a very dangerous and difficult one. Time and distance had 
even magnified the sufficiently dangerous character of the Indians, and it required a 
considerable degree of daring to venture upon the journey. However, no dangers 
could have daunted such travelers as in 1848-9-50 set out for California, intent upon 
mining, although their passage through this region was usually attended with fighting 
and many times with loss of life. Tradition relates the murders of several men near 
Foot's creek and the robbery of their camp wherein was gold to the value of many 
thousand dollars ; but the time, place and names are inextricably confused. Of course 
all travelers went heavily armed, and as far as possible in strong numbers. J. W. 
Nesmith in a letter to the compiler of this account, says : " I first saw Southern 
Oregon in 1848, when, with thirty-two companions, I set out from Polk county to go 
through to California. The Indians were all hostile from the Umpqua mountains to 
the valley of the Sacramento, and there was not a day during our march between 
these two points that we did not exchange shots with them, though we had no engage- 
ment with them that could be called a battle." 

In August, 1850, two j^ackers, Cushing and Prink, were killed on the banks of 
the Klamath river near where the ferry was afterwards established. Their train was 
taken and their cargo destroyed by Shasta Indians. 

In January, 1851, a conflict occurred at Blackburn's ferry on the Klamath, in 
which James Sloan, Jenalshan and Bender were killed by savages presumably Klam- 
aths. Blackburn and his wife defended their house until help arrived and the Indians 
fled. On examining the neighborhood of the ferry, the body of Blackburn's lather 
was most unexpectedly found, he having come in the evening to visit his son whom he 
had not seen for years, and met his death almost at the threshold, at the hands of the 
besiegers. Some two weeks later a party of white men from the ferry went in pursuit 
of the hostiles and shot two Indians, one, a squaw, being killed by mistake while in a 
canoe. The same party, being in the vicinity of Happy Camp, attacked a rancheria of 
Eurocs (down-river Klamaths) and killed everv male inhabitant and two females. One 



of the uttacking party was killed. This action is called the Lowden's ferry fight. 
During the following May, four miners were killed on Grave creek and Rogue river, 
whose names are unknown. Mosin and McKee (otherwise called Reaves) were at 
about the same date killed on the Klamath. 




Coming of the Whites -General Wane and the Shastas -Divisions of the Shastas— Their Chiefs - Rogue River 
Indians -Applegate John— Limpy, George and their Bands-Table Rock Band -Sam and Joe— Census of 
Indians Diminution of the Indians— Reflection on their Condition— Sentiment of the Whites— Discussion on 
the Causes of the Wars. 

The events narrated in the last chapter mainly occurred prior to the settlement of 
Southern Oregon, which we may conveniently date from tlie spring of 1851. We now 
come to consider occurrences which took place during the following years, when the 
country was being rapidly peopled, in consequence partly of the discovery of gold 
placers in the Rogue river country, and where a state of feverish excitement existed, 
consequent upon the rapid growth of population and other serious causes. It was in 
the spring of 1851 that these gold discoveries took place whose repeated occurrence 
attracted thousands to these valleys. The news of the first " find " drew other pros- 
l)ectors who, advancing into the previously untrodden wilds, speedily found other rich 
deposits, and so within a few short months it was learned that the precious metal 
existed on the banks of innumerable streams draining extensive regions. At the same 
time numerous discoveries were being made in Northern California, and a constant 
succession of travelers passed north and south on the way to the Sacramento and 
Shasta valleys, or homeward to the AMllamette with a filled purse, or perhaps with 
defeated hopes and an empty pocket. The mines about Yreka were being worked, 
and a busy swarm of men, estimated by some at above 2,000, were digging for gold. 
Adventurous prospectors had spread themselves over a vast region, and toward every 
point of the compass. x^ll the affluents of the Sacramento, Shasta, Trinity, Scott, 
Pit, Rogue and Ump(][ua were infested by busy men with j^ick and jjan, and the aurif- 
erous wealth of the country speedily became known. In June of 1850, Dollarhide 
and pai'ty discovered the Scott river placers, but abandoned them from fear of the In- 
dians and from other causes. Soon after came Scott and party who made additional 
discoveries, the news of which was speedily circulated, bringing many miners to the 
spot. General Joseph Lane arrived on the headwaters of the river in February, 1851, 
and set about gold digging in company with his own party of Oregonians. By the 
tacit consent of whites and natives alike (but as some have said l)y the intercession of 


Chief Tolo) the general became a sort of mediator iu their diftereiifes ; and kept both 
parties in harmony throughout his stay on the river. The Indians of that vicinity, 
belonging to the Shasta tribe, were very numerous, but were divided into several bands. 
They occupied Shasta and Scott valleys, and the banks of the Klamath river adjacent. 
They had been separated from the Rogue Rivers only recently, owing to the death oi 
their principal chief. There is no doubt that these two tribes were one and undivided 
previously, but now thej were broken up and formed several communities, each with 
its own chief. At Yreka old Tolo was chief, an always firm friend and ally of the 
whites ; in Scott valley Tyee John, a son of the deceased head chief, was supreme ; 
in Shasta valley, Tyee Jim ; on the Klamath, Tyee Bill ; on the Siskiyou mountains 
and about the head of the Applegate, Tipsu (commonly called Tipsie) Tyee (bearded 
or hairy chief). On Rogue river were gathered the Indians who bore that name, num- 
bering, according to the best evidence, about 600 souls. They were broken up into 
tribal communities of greater or less importance, and, as before remarked, all owed a 
quasi allegiance to Joe and Sam, chiefs of the Table Rock band, the main division oi 
the tribe. On Applegate creek dwelt Chief John, a redoubtable warrior who properly 
fills more space in history than any other Oregon Indian, excepting, perhaps, 
Kam-a-i-a-kun, the celebrated warrior of the Yakimas, and Peo-peo-mux-mux, the 
great chief of the AValla Wallas. John's clan, the Ech-ka-taw-a, was numerically 
small ; not more than fifty braves followed him to war, but these, under such a 
leader, more than made u}) for lack of numbers, by courage, strategy, and indomitable 
perseverance. We shall have much to say of this wily and sagacious chief, when treat- 
ing of the events of the war of 1855-56. Another prominent Indian was Limpy, 
— so called by the whites — who was of the Haw-quo-e-hav-took, a rather more numer- 
ous band, dwelling in the region drained by the Illinois river. His character was well 
known to the whites, by reason of his taking part in hostilities against them on all 
possible occasions. The acts of Limpy and John have become in a great measure con- 
founded in most people's recollections, and to the Illinois Indians are attributed many 
acts and exploits of which the blame or credit should be given to the Applegate band. 
George, another and less prominent sub-chief, dwelt upon the Rogue river below Yan- 
noy's ferry. His people united on occasion with those of Limpy, and together made 
up an active and dangerous force. 

In the vicinity of Table Rock dwelt the sub-tribe of Indians previously alluded 
to as the baud of Sam and Joe, which will be further referred to under the name ot 
the Table Rock band. Their home was upon the banks of the Rogue river, and in 
the midst of a pleasant country, fruitful in game, roots, seeds and acorns, while in the 
river, at the proper season, salmon swarmed by the thousand. They derived an easy 
and abundant living from the advantageous surroundings and were the dominant band 
of the tribe. Their number probably reached at one time 500 souls ; but in addition 
quite a number of Indians of other tribes were settled within the valley and through 
some consideration of Indian polity, gave their adhesion to the Table Rock chiefs and 
were in efifect a part of their people. This band was ever regarded with jealousy by 
the whites until their removal to a distant reservation in 1856 ; but with little cause, 
as will be shown in the following pages. We shall have occasion to set forth the com- 
j)arative superiority of this particular band and of their chiefs in matters of civility. 


good faith, and regard tbr their engagements. The people of Jackson county still 
have lively memories of many of these Indians, particulaidj'- of the two chiefs. They 
tell that the twain were tall and stately men, Sam somewhat portly, the other of a more 
slender build, but alike in having massive heads and relatively intellectual foreheads. 
In the late years of their stay at Table Rock they dressed in " Boston " style, wearing 
tall hats, etc. Their manners were said not to be inferior to those of the ordinary 
miner or farmer. These comparatively intelligent and teachable Indians wielded a 
great influence among the surrounding tribes at a time when the utmost revengeful 
feelings had been excited against the whites. The Indian name of Joe was Aps-er- 
ka-ha, as is discovered on perusing the text of the Table Rock treaty of 1853, and 
from the same source we learn that Sam's name was To-gun-he-a ; and a less impor- 
tant chief named by the whites Jim, was in Too-too-tenni (the Rogue River language) 
called Aua-cha-ara. As the before-mentioned chiefs were the most prominent actors 
on the part of the Indians in the ensuing wars, further mention of them is deferred to 
its appropriate place. 

In 1854 a census was taken of the entire inhal)itants of the ujiper portion of 
Rogue river valley, from which the following figures are extracted. The Indians were 
in this enumeration divided into two classes — those who accepted the provisions of the 
Lane treaty of 1853, and the outside or non-reservation Indians. Of the former the 
Table Rock band numbered seventy-six persons ; John's band, fifty-three ; the com- 
bined peoj^le of George and Limpy, eighty-one ; making a total of 307 Indians of 
both sexes and all ages, gathered upon the reservation at Table Rock. Of these, 108 
were men. The non-treaty Indians comprised Elijah's band of ninety-four ; the "Old 
Applegates" (probably Tepsu Tyee's people), numbering thirty-nine; Taylor's band 
and the Indians of Jump-oflf-Joe creek, sixty strong ; and forty-seven remaining on 
the Illinois river; total, 240; of whom seventy-two were men. Thus the total In- 
dian population of the upper portion of the Rogue river country was 547 — a number 
that will seem disproportionately small to those who are in any degree familiar with 
the history of their actions. To this estimate Agent Culver added twenty-five per 
cent., as representing the number of alien or foreign Indians who might be found at 
any time with or near the bands named. There is reason to belie^^e that the stranger 
Indians at times exceeded this large estimate, especially in time of hostilities. 

The best evidence exists to show that the Indian i)opulation of the valley suf- 
fered very serious diminution between the years 1854 and 1855. What the extent of 
this decrease was, or how long its causes had been in operation is not ascertainable. It 
is a very common expression with the earlier white settlers that the Indians were much 
more numerous at first. Agent Culver remarked that the loss to the " treaty Indians" 
collected at Table Rock reservation, amounted during the fir,<<f twelve months to not 
less than one-fourth of their whole number. Among the several strong bands of 
Indians resident in the Grave creek. Wolf creek and Jump-off-Joe region, the mor- 
tality was still greater ; and those intractable bands, dangerous enemies of the whites 
(they spoke the Ump(|ua language btit were not of that blood), were nearlv blotted 
out of existence. 

This theory of the diminution of the Indians will help to exj)lain the apparently 
monstrous exa"oerations of those who first Imttled with the Rogue Rivers — an exae- 


geration inexplicable on any other hypothesis. Thus, Major Kearney, writing to his 
superior officers concerning an engagement, professes to have been opiDOsed by from 
300 to 500 Indians. Many such statements might be adduced, which with the above 
theory are mutually supporting, though they do not rest on the same class of evidence 
by any means. 

The iwsition in which these Indians found themselves at the era of the rapid 
influx of white men was anomalous. They were suddenly surrounded by a white 
population largely exceeding their own numbers, engaged in the pursuit of gold. Nor 
was this white population of a character to enable the Indians to remain in quiet. 
Ordinary observation speaks loudly to the contrary. Says J. Eoss Browne, "The earliest 
comers were a wild, reckless and daring race of men, trappers and hunters, whose 
intercourse with the Indians was not calculated to aflFord them a high opinion of Ameri- 
cans as a people." These remarks were intended to apply to the travelers who came 
prior to the discovery of gold. With a slight modification they will apply perfectly to 
a very large number of subsequent arrivals. Concerning the character of the general 
white population in 1851-6, nothing need be said. Men of all ranks in life and of all 
conceivable characters were there. There is no occasion to go into raptures over the 
generosity, magnanimity and bravery of the better sort, nor to enter upon a long 
description of the vices of the worse. Good men were there and bad. The same 
vicious qualities which characterized the ruffian in more settled communities marked 
his career in this, except that circumstances may have given him a better chance here 
to display himself. "A majority of white persons came to the country with kind feel- 
ings for the Indians and not wishing to injure them; but there also came many having 
opposite sentiments." This sentence sets forth the condition of affairs as forcibly as ir 
it were expanded into a volume. A portion were ready to do the Indian harm, and 
circumstances never could have been more favorable to their malice. Law and justice 
were not; and whenever and wherever a white man's lust or love of violence led him 
then and there an outrage was perpetrated. Public sentiment to-day admits the truth 
of the strongest general charges of this nature; and the venerable pioneer tottering per- 
haps on the edge of the grave says sadly — " The Indians suffered many a grievous 
wrong at our hands ; unmentionable wrongs, they were, of which no man shall ever 
bear more." Because these Indians were poor, because they were ignorant, and because 
they were aliens, society frowned on them, justice ignored them, the United States gov- 
ernment neglected to protect them and they were left a prey to the worst passions of 
the worst of men. To again quote, "Miscreants, regardless of sex or age, slaughter 
poor, weak, defenceless Indians with impunity. There are no means for agents to 
prevent it or punish it. There are many well-disposed persons, but they are silent 
through fear or some other cause," etc. These are the words of Joel Palmer, superin- 
tendent of Indian affairs for Oregon. In continuation of the subject, J. L. Parrish, 
Indian agent at Port Orford, said: "Many of the Indians have been killed merely on 
suspicion that they would rise and avenge their own wrongs, or for petty threats that 
have been made against lawless white men for debauching their women; and I believe 
in no single instance have the Indians been aggressors." The Oregon Skitesman, of 
September 27, 1853, contained this language, which is all the more striking as being 
published at a time when to utter a word in favor of the Indians was to court unpopu- 


lurity: "8oin(.' of the whites are i-eckless and imprudent men, who expected passive 
submission from the natives under any treatment, while the latter have never had any 
correct idea of the policy of our government in relation to their race, and consequently 
regard all whites as lawless intruders endeavoring to despoil them." 

It is useless to multiply incidents and quotations with the single view of showing 
the immediate cause of the Indian wars. Those who wish to investigate more fully the 
subject of outrages by whites on Indians will do well to consult the various govern- 
mental reports of the superintendent of Indian affairs, and other like publications; but 
let it be taken for granted at once that the newspapers will afford no evidence of the 
kind sought. Nor should the evidence of the regular army or other government 
officers be accepted as conclusive. There is as much of prejudice and downright 
untruthfulness in certain official reports on the conduct of the Indian wars of Southern 
Oregon as could well be found in any newspaper. We behold, at the close of the final 
hostilities with the Indians (war of 1855-6), the inglorious spectacle of a renowned 
general engaged in a wordy and abusively personal contest with certain civilians, 
respecting the comparative merit of the regulars and the volunteers in bringing the 
war to a close. This unseemly quarrel between General Wool and the citizens of 
Oregon and Washington territories hinged upon the very least of all the results of 
those memorable months of fighting, yet these wordy hostilities continued throughout 
many years, and their echoes are hardly yet died away. To burden history with grave 
discussions of such matters is not at all the intention of the present writer; and those who 
would inform themselves upon the subject matter of the Wool-Curry -Stevens dispute, 
should seek it in the files of the newspapers of the date of 1856 and subsequently. 

To subserve some hidden political or pecuniary purpose, the legislature of Oregon 
once procured the publication of a list of persons murdered by Indians prior to 1858. 
That this list was inaccurate, incomplete and unreliable, did not affect the purjjose 
of its publication. It probably assisted in carrying the measure as intended, and thus 
far was of use. But that publication has done more to create unjust and erroneous 
impressions regarding the Indian wars than aught else. All the newspaper pathos 
concerning the blood of our slaughtered friends, all the speeches of demagogues trying 
to make political capital by playing upon men's vanity, never could have appealed to 
the feelings as does that simple list, containing, without circumstance, the names of 
perhaps 200 persons killed within the boundaries of Oregon. It is a pity that for 
purposes of comparison we have not a similar list giving the names of Indians who, 
have been murdered by white men. The total would be at least convincing. 

Keturning to our subject of the immediate causes of the wars, we find ourselves 
under the necessity of quoting from the words of General Sam Houston : "The out- 
breaks of Indians are always preceded by greater outrages on the part of the whites." 
There was a very peculiar yet probably common class of outrage? inflicted on the 
Indians that seem more particularly to illustrate the words of the venerable speaker. 
These outrages were upon women; and although we cannot suppose that the savage 
heart was capaljle of feeling all the severe emotions which under such circumstances 
would agitate the breast of a white man so wronged in the person of his wife, still there 
is no reason to doubt the gravity of such a matter to them. It may well be taken for 
granted that such outrages were of not uncommon occurrence. The debauchery of 


the Indian women was an accompanj^ing circumstance, ana donbtless the two neai'ly 
identical facts had an important bearing on the relation of the races. 

The scheme upon which the writer will endeavor to arrange the evidence bearing 
on this topic divides such evidence into — first, that bearing upon the tone of public 
sentiment during the years of hostilities ; second, the remarkable change in public 
opinion during the subsequent years ; third, the opinions of intelligent and reliable 
living actors in the wars ; fourth, contemporary evidence contained in newspapers, 
manuscripts, etc.; fifth, the unjust terrorism of opponents of the war. The ordinary, 
or what may be termed the patriotic, view of the cause, remote and immediate, of the 
war, rests upon opinion only, and presents no stronger grounds than — first, the public 
consension of opinion of the Indian character ; second, traditions concerning the facts 
of the war ; and third, one-sided newspaper reports. 

Having suggested the most important immediate causes of the war, let us imagine 
that these causes have produced their inevitable effects, and that open hostilities exist. 
In such a case it is manifest that the ignoble causes would sink from sight, while pub- 
lic attention would become engrossed by the more important actual condition of affairs; 
and practical measures rather than theoretical speculation would be the order of the 
day. The varying feelings of all white inhabitants would become merged in a desire 
to speedily conquer, and 230ssibly to exterminate their enemies. These would be the 
inevitable results, and we might expect those who previously had been the most con- 
servative and sympathetic to manifest the greatest vigor and enthusiasm on attacking 
the savages. The jjopulation then, we have abundant reason for saying, would become 
unanimous upon the breaking out of an Indian war. There would have existed a 
constant though indefinite dread of Indian retaliation among nearly all classes, and 
this feeling would have assumed a more serious import to men of family and to those 
who inhabited exposed places. By degrees this wearing annoyance would have become 
intensified, and the habit of expecting evil would have become, in the less steadfast 
minds, actually insupportable. The feeling then, we are assured, would have merged 
into one of deadly hostility towards Indians in general. It is difficult for us, in the 
calmness of every-day life, to conceive the feverish intensity of excitement to which 
man may be wrought, when the animal energies of his nature converge to a point, and 
the buoyancy of strength and courage reciprocates the influences of anxiety and solic- 
itude. We shall see the bearing of these remarks in treating of the beginning of the 
war of 1855-6, where they apply with distinguished force to the noted lAipton case. 
Thus we may believe it was less the actual Indian outrages that inspired the whites to 
violence than the soul-harrowing expectation of them. In corroboration of these views 
we find S. H. Culver, Indian agent at Table Kock, expressing himself as follows : 
"The feeling of hostility displayed by both j^ai'ties would be almost impossible to 
realize except by personal observation. Worthy men of standing entertained senti- 
ments of bitter hostility entirely at variance with their general disposition." 

The consideration of the causes of an Indian war divides itself naturally, as has 
been inferred, into two parts, namely: The immediate cause or causes, and the remote 
cause. Of the two, the latter is, from its generality, incomparably the more interesting 
and important, but its discussion leads ultimately to a train of jjhilosophical specula- 
tions not in consonance with ordinary conceptions of history, and of interest to a very 


slight proportion of" readers. The student of American history, casting his eyes upon 
the records of the settlement of this land, observes the multifarious accounts of Indian 
wars, and remarking their similarity in cause and effect, instinctively assigns them to a 
single primary cause, sufficiently comprehensive and effective to have produced them. It 
would be unphilosophical to ascribe the cause of these innumerable yet similar wars to 
the isolated acts of individuals, although we may credit the latter with their immediate 
production. The primary cause, says one, is the progress of civilization, to which the 
Irulians are normally opposed. As otherwise stated, the cause is the result of immi- 
gration and settlement, which are also in opposition to the wish of the Indians. Another 
authority states it thus: "The encroachments of a superior upon an inferior race." 
These three propositions appear to set forth three diflPerent consequences of a universal 
truth, but by no means the primary truth itself Probably the fundamental reason 
could be found in race differences, or still more likely in some psychological jirinciple 
akin to that by which men are led to inflict death by preference upon the wilder animals, 
manifesting less hostility as species prove more tameable. Races are antagonized 
though mere facial differences ; and prol^ably the principle, however it should be stated, 
enters into the actions and prejudices of even the most civilized and tolerant nations to 
an unsuspected extent. 

Finally, if we sum up the opinions brought out by close study of all the phases of 
the question as to the origin of the war, it seems an unavoidable result of the analogy 
of the various Indian wars, that hostilities in Southern Oregon were unavoidable under 
any circumstances attainable at the time, inasmuch as there existed no Quaker colony 
headed by a William Penn, to peacefully and wisely uphold law and order. Second, 
the immediate causes of the wars were due to the bad conduct of both parties, but were 
chiefly caused by the injudicious and unjust acts of reckless or lawless and treacherous 
white men. After a careful examination of the following pages, the unprejudiced 
reader will probably acknowledge that these conclusions are stated in singularly 
moderate and dispassionate language. 



Murder of Dilley— Other attacks— Arrival of Government Troops -Battle with the Indians— Death of Captain 
Stewart — His Character—General Lane Arrives — Further Operations— The Indians Chastised Governor 
Gaines Makes a Treaty with the Indians— Official Acts— Agent Skinner- More Complaints Against the In- 
dians — Affairs on the Coquille. 

About May 15, 1851, a party of three white packers and two supposed friendly 
Indians camped about tliirty miles soutli of the Rogue river crossing, probably near 
the site of Pho?nix. During the night the two savages arose, and taking the only gun 
owned by the party shot and killed one Dilley, and then tied, carrying away the mules 
and packs. The other two whites escaped, and spread the news of the murder. Cap- 
tain Long, of Portland, then mining near Shasta Butte City (Yreka), raised a com- 
pany of thirty men to correct the savages, and proceeding north, encountered at some 
undesignated place a party of tliem. These they attacked, killing two and capturing 
four, of whom two were the daughters of the chief. The latter were held as hostages. 

Probably in nearly the same locality, and certainly witliin the Rogue river valley, 
several other hostile occurrences took place, which are casually mentioned in the public 
prints of that time. On the first of June, 1851, a band of Indians had attacked 
twenty-six prospectors, but withdrew, doing no damage. On June second four men 
were attacked and robbed of tlieir mules and packs while on the way to the mines. 
On the same day and near by, Nichols' pack-train was robbed of several animals and 
packs, and one man was hit in the heel by a bullet. Other travelers were beset at 
about the same time and place, one train losing, it was reported, four men. Says the 
Statesman: "The provisions stolen by these Indians were left untouched, because a 
Mr. Turner, of St. Louis, had killed several of them by allowing them to rob him of 
poisoned provisions (sixteen or seventeen years before)." On June third a party of 
thirty-two Oregonians under Dr. James McBride, and including also A. M.- Richard- 
son, of San Jose, California ; James Barlow and Captain Turpin, of Clackamas county; 
Jesse Dodson and his son aged fourteen years ; Aaron Payne and Dillard Holman, of 
Yamhill county ; and Jesse Runnels, Presley Lovelady, and Richard Sparks, of Polk 
county ; had a severe fight with the Indians near " Green Willow Springs, about twenty 
miles the other side of Rogue river crossing." At daybreak they were attacked by a 
j)arty of Rogue River Indians under chief Chucklehead, as he was called by some 
whites. The assailed party had seventeen guns, the assailants about as many, the most 
of the latter being armed with bows and arrows. After fighting four and a half hours 
the Indian leader was killed and the rest retreated. The chief was in the act of aim- 
ing an arrow at James Barlow when Richardson shot hiin. Six or seven Indians were 
killed, but no hurt was done to the whites, excei^ting that Barlow was wounded in the 


Masonic Cemetlry, Roseburg. 


thigh by an arrow. The Indians drove oft' four saddle and pac-k animals, one carrying 
about fifteen hundred dollars in gold dust. 

These events, occurring in rapid sequence, deepened the before general impression 
of the hostile character of the Rogue Rivers and made it necessary that an armed 
force should be employed to paeifieate the red men. Providentially, it happened at 
this juncture that Brevet Major P. Kearney, afterAvards a celebrated general in the 
Union army, and killed at the battle of Chantilly, with a detachment of two com- 
panies of United States regulars, was on his way from the station at Vancouver to 
that of Benicia, California, guided by W. G. T'Vault. Approaching closely to the 
scene of hostilities he was invited to lend his aid in suppressing the savages. About 
the same time Governor Gaines, of Oregon, disquieted by the reports of Indian out- 
rages, set 'out from the seat of government with the design of using his executive 
authority to form a treaty with the offenders ; and the task was made an easy one by 
the promjDt and energetic action of Major Kearney and General Joseph Lane, who 
cleared a way for executive dii^lomacy, whereas, without their help his excellency 
would most certainly have failed of his laudable object and possibly have lost his scalp 

The most intelligible accounts which can be gathered represent that Major Kearney 
found the main body of the Indians on the right bank of Rogue river, about ten miles 
above Table Rock and nearly opposite the mouth of a small creek which enters the 
river from the east, and above Little Butte creek. The troops consisted of two coni- 
l)anies ; one of dragoons, commanded by Captain Stewart, the other a rifle company, 
under Cajjtain Walker. The latter officer crossed the river, probably with the design 
of cutting off" the savages' retreat, while Captain Stewart, dismounting his men, charged 
upon the Indians who were gathered at a rancheria. The conflict was very short, the 
Indians fleeing almost immediately. A wounded Indian lay upon the ground, and 
Captain Stewart approached, revolver in hand, to dispatch him ; but the savage, fixing- 
an arrow to his bow-string, discharged it at close range and pierced the captain's abdo- 
men, the point transfixing one of his kidneys. The fight and pursuit soon ended and 
the wounded man was taken to the camp of the detachment which spot was named, and 
subsequently ftjr several years known as Camp Stewart, and is popularly supposed to 
be the spot where the battle occurred. Jesse Applegate is the authority for fixing the 
location as above stated. Accounts of the battle proceed to say that the wounded man 
was mortally injured, but remained sensible to the last. He lived a day, and, before 
dying said : " It is too bad to have fought through half the battles of the Mexican war to 
1)6 killed here by an Indian." He Avas buried with military honors in a grave near 
the present village of PlKjeuix, nearly at the place where the ditch crosses the stage 
road, and where ]Mr. Culver's house now stands. In later years the remains were 
exhumed and taken to Washington to be re-interred near those of his mother. General 
Lane said of the deceased: " We have lost Captain Stewart, one of the bravest of the 
brave. A more gentlemanly man never lived; a more daring soldier nevei' fell in 

Ca|)tuin Stewart's engagement is supposed to have taken place on ,)une 2() or 27. 
It liappeiied that at the same time Major Alvord, with Jesse Applegate as guide, was 
UKikiiig an examination of the canyon or Cow creek mountain, l)etween the Umpqua 


aud Rogue river regions, to determine a feasible route for a military road. The .sur- 
veying party, which included several other well known early pioneers as well as a 
small military escort, was in the neighborhood of Cow creek. At the same time Gen- 
eral Lane, who was on his way south, had arrived in the canyon. Here he was met 
by men who informed him of the occurrences of the preceding days, that a severe fight 
had taken place, and that the Indians were gathering from every quarter; that they 
were hy-as solluks, (fighting mad), and that heavy fighting was anticipated. This was 
news enough to arouse the warlike spirit of the General, and without losing a moment 
by delay he and his little party pushed for the scene of hostilities, anxious to be the 
first to strike a blow in the cause of humanity. It was characteristic of the man to 
make all possible haste to the scene, and accordingly we find him on Rogue river in 
the shortest possible time, an enthusiastic volunteer, armed with no military or civil 
authority, but taking, as became the man and the time, a most active and important 
part in the events of the succeeding days. 

In his own words; "On Sunday night, while picketing our animals, an express 
rider came, who informed us that the Major [Kearney] had set out with his command 
that evening to make a forced march through the night and attack the enemy at day- 
break. Early Monday morning I set out with the hope of falling in with him or with 
the Indians retreating from him. We made a hard day's ride, but found no one. On 
Tuesday I proceeded to camp Stewart; but no tidings had been received from the 
Major. Late in the evening Captain Scott and T' Vault came in with a small party, 
for supplies aud re-inforcements. They reported that the military had fonght two 
skirmishes with the Indians, one early Monday morning, the other late in the afternoon, 
the Indians having, after wounding Stewart, posted themselves in a dense hummock 
where they defended themselves for four hours, escaping in the darkness. The Indians 
suffered severely, and several whites were injured. 

" By nine o'clock at night we were on our way, and at two o'clock the next morn- 
ing we were in the Major's camp. Here I had the pleasure of meeting my friends 
Applegate [Jesse], Freaner, and others. Early in the morning we set out [soldiers 
and civilians together], proceeding down the river, and on Thursday morning crossed 
about seven miles from the ferry. We soon found an Indian trail leading uj) a large 
creek, and in a short time overtook and charged upon a party of Indians, killing one. 
The rest made their escape in dense chaparral. We again pushed rapidly forward and 
late in the evening attacked another party of Indians, taking twelve women and chil- 
dren and wounding several males who escaped. Here we camped; and next day 
scoured the country to Rogue river, crossing it at Table mountain and reaching camjs 
at dark. 

" The Indians have been completely whipped in every fight. Some fifty of them 
have been killed, many wounded, and thirty taken prisoners. Major Kearney has 
been in the saddle for more than ten days, scouring the country, and jjouncing upon 
the Indians wherever they could be found. Never has an Indian country been invaded 
with better success nor at a better time. The establishing of a garrison in this district 
will be necessary for the preservation of peace. That done, and a good agent located 
here, we shall have no more trouble in this quarter. As for our prisoners, the Major 
was anxious to turn them over to the people of Oregon, to be delivered to the Superin- 


tendent of Indian affairs ; but no citizens conkl he found who were willing to take 
charge of them. Conseciuently he determined to take them to Ban Francisco and send 
them from there to Oregon." 

A few days later when the troops and General Lane had reached the diggings 
near Yreka, the General himself, having determined to return to Oregon, took charge 
of the prisoners and delivered them to Governor Gaines, at the Rogue river crossing 
(near A^'annoy's). The General closes his account by assigning due credit to different 
members of the expedition, as Major Kearney, Caistain Walker, of the Rifles; Dr. Wil- 
liamson, Lieutenant Irvin, Messrs. Applegate, Scott, T'Vault, Armstrong, Blanchard 
and Boon, Col. Freaner and his volunteers, etc. Quite a number of miners assisted 
against the Indians, many having come from the newly discovered diggings on Jose- 
phine creek to take part. A great rush of men from Yreka and that vicinity had 
taken place just previous, and many of these, not finding sufficient inducements to 
remain, were on their way back to California, but stopped at Bear creek and lent their 
aid to suppress the Indians. 

The campaign of June ended by the departure of the regulars, who took up their 
line of march for California and will be heard of no more in our story. But before 
the effects of their operations in the Rogue river valley had died away, and while most 
of the men who inflicted such sudden punishment on the Indians were still near by^ 
Governor Gaines came to the Rogue river crossing and arranged a treaty of peace. 
The terms of this treaty mainly consist of a promise on the part of the Indians that 
they would be very good Indians indeed, and not kill or rob any more white men. 
They would stay on their own ground, which for official purposes was recognized as 
the north side of the river ; and they would cheerfully obey the commands of wdiat- 
ever individual was sent among them as agent. To this treaty the signatures of eleven 
chiefs were appended, whose bands were bound thereby to obey its stipulatiojis. But 
the most troublesome and desperate individuals of the native tribes refused to be thus 
bound ; and the strong parties known as the Grave creek and Scisco mountain bands, 
refused to meet the governor or have aught to do with the treaty. 

Something of an organization had been given to the depailment of Indian affairs 
of Oregon, by the creation of a superintendent thereof, who being the governor of the 
territory, held the former position ex officio. But the administration of this depart- 
ment not proving, for some reason, satisfactory to the authorities at Washington, the 
two offices were separated, and Doctor Anson Dart was appointed superintendent in 
1851, soon after the Rogue river treaty was formed. Judge A. A. Skinner, formerly 
on the territorial bench, was chosen agent for the Indians of the southern part of the 
territory, and set about his duties. The judge was a gentleman of tlie strictest honor 
and probity, but was singularly unsuccessful in his dealings with the Rogue river 
bands. AVithin a short time after his accession to office, the terms of the Gaines treaty 
being still recognized, a number of Avhite immigrants took uj) donation claims on the 
north side of Rogue river, within the region informally set apart for the Indians. 
Judge Skinner expostulated ; but commands and appeals to the new-comers were alike 
unheeded ; the settlers remained and the Indians took umbrage at what they consid- 
ered a breach of faith on the part of the whites. It does not appear that the intrud- 
ing settlers in all cases maintained a permanent residence upon the land assigned to 


the Indians, and this cause of complaint seems never to have assumed much magni- 
tude. However that may have been, Judge Skinner was much liked by his wards, 
and was lamented by them at his departure. He was ever ready to interpose his 
authority, limited though it was, between the whites and the Indians, and with ampler 
power might have served to obviate, for a time, the ills of the subsequent year, though 
not even the ablest of minds could have permanently settled the causes at issue, since 
th«y were inevitably bound to terminate in war. 

As some pretended to have foreseen the Gaines treaty proved an unmitigated fail- 
ure. Hardly had the governor set his face toward the valley of the Willamette, 
than quarrels, misunderstanding, and serious difficulties broke out between tliQ red and 
white occupants of Rogue river valley and neighboring localities. The one race speedily 
grew "insolent" and the other began, as usual, reprisals. There were not wanting 
unprincipled men of both races, whose delight was to stir up war and contention, and 
ruffianly bands of either color paraded the country and a condition of terrorism pre- 
vailed. Among the Indians, it was said, were several white men who had adopted 
Indian dress and manners, and these, if such existed, as there doubtless did, must have 
proved among the worst enemies of peace. Much complaint of the Indians began to be 
rife very soon after the treaty was signed; and the Cow Creek Indians, always a pugna- 
cious tribe, were charged with the commission of several outrages within two months oi 
that event. The whites mining at Big Bar and other places on the Rogue river, and 
industriously prospecting the numerous streams which flow into it, were in constant 
danger. Lieutenant Irvin, of the regular army, was kidnapped by two savages (Shastas 
probably) and a Frenchman, removed to the trackless woods, tied to a tree and sub- 
jected to many sorts of personal indignity. He escaped however, injured only in mind, 
but deeply convinced that the locality was too dangerous for a pleasant existence. This 
occurred in July. In consequence of this and other occurrences, General Hitchcock, 
commanding the Pacific Department, dispatched a force of twenty regular troops 
from Vancouver and Astoria to Port Orford, a newly located place on the coast of 
Curry county, thirty miles north of the mouth of Rogue river and then supposed 
to be accessible from the former seat of war near Table Rock. Subsequent explora- 
tions have dispelled this idea and proved that the military, so far as their effect 
upon the malcontents of the upper portion of Rogue river valley was concerned, 
might as well have been left at Vancouver. However, they were well situated to awe 
the hostiles who had broken out nearer the coast. Contemporaneously with the events 
above mentioned had occurred on the coast several incidents of the greatest celebrity. 
The accounts of two of these, the defense of Battle Rock, at Port Orford, and the mem- 
orable T' Vault-Williams exploring expedition, will be found in another part of this 
work, the space deemed suitable for their proper presentation being too extended for 
this article. The Indians of the Coquille river being thus found hostile, the detach- 
ment, somewhat re-inforced, proceeded under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Casey, to teach them a lesson. Dividing his small force into two bodies, the commander 
proceeded to the forks of the Coquille, and near the locality now called Myrtle Point, 
attacked a band of natives, who retreating from the one detachment fell in with and 
were beaten by the other. This took jilace in the autumn of 1851. 



Events of the Year -Murder of Woodman — Pursuit of the Murderers — The Steele Expedition — Affairs at Big 
Bend— A Slaughter of Indians— A Peace Talk— Steele Returns to Yreka— Ben Wright— His Character -The 
McDarmit Expedition -Massacre at Bloody Point -Ben Wright Sets Out for Tule Lake -The Indians De- 
feated Discovery of Murdered Immigrants- Scouting at Tule Lake-- The Lost River Massacre— Three Ver- 
sions — Triumphal Return to Yreka— Concerning a Murder at Galice Creek or Vannoy's Ferry — Fort Jones 

The main events of importance in 1852 included the murder of Calvin Wood- 
man, the massacre of Bloody Point, wherein thirty-six persons lost their lives ; and 
the killing of the seven miners on Rogue river, near the mouth of Galice creek. Of 
these events, only the last took place within the limits of Southern Oregon, but they 
are all of sufficiently connected interest to justify a narration herein. 

The date of Woodman's death is unsettled ; the author of the history of Siskiyou 
says it occurred in May, 1852 ; but certain official documents, particularly a report on 
the number and names of those whites killed by various Indian tribes in Southern 
Oregon and Northern California, mention it as occurring in June of that year. June 
second has been specifically mentioned ; but the exact date is immaterial. The man — 
a miner — was killed while riding along the banks of Indian creek, a tributary of Scott 
river. Two Indians did the bloody deed, and fled. Quickly the whites gathered at 
Johnson's ranch and fired upon whatever Indian they could find, and making the 
peaceful natives of Scott valley the principal victims. These Indians who had never 
broken out into hostilities, but had rather signalized themselves by moderation and an 
obliging disposition toward the whites, retaliated upon occasion and severely wounded 
S. G. Whipple, the deputy sheriff, but late captain in the regular army. Old Tolo, 
Tyee John of Scott valley, and Tyee Jim offered themselves as hostages to secure 
the whites against the Shastas, and accompanied Elijah Steele to Yreka, where the 
real culprits were supposed to have fled. All were convinced that the Shastas had 
nothing to do with the murder, and that it was most 2:)robably committed by Rogue 
River Indians, who, it was said, had been seen in the Ticinity, and who had now gone 
north to join Tipsu Tyee, or the bauds on the river near Table Rock. There was a 
great deal of excitement at Yreka concerning the matter, and the court of sessions 
authorized Steele to apprehend the suspected parties, it not being supposed that much 
time or travel would be necessary to enable him to comply. 

The undertaking, however, proved an arduous one ; and Steele and his eleven 
companions, who included John Galvin, Peter Snellback, James Bruce (afterwards 
major in the war of 1855-0) Frank Merritt, John McLeod, Dr. L. S. Thompson, James 
White, the two hostages, and a Klickitat Indian named Bill, rode to Rogue river in 


the searcli, taking two Indians captive on the way. The first of these attempted to 
escape, but was shot by the KHckitat, who was detailed to pursue him. The dead man 
had been sent out, it was afterwards conckided, to persuade the Shastas to join Sam's 
band in a proposed war against the whites. The other prisoner was well mounted and 
armed, and proved to be a son of Tipsu Tyee, the enigmatical chief who dwelt in the 
Siskiyous. Him they took along and hearing that there was a prospect of finding their 
refugees at the general encampment of the Rogue Rivers, kept on to that stream. 
Farther along they met Judge A. A. Skinner, the Indian agent, and by him were 
requested to camp at Big Bend, where he had arranged for a conference of whites and 
Indians on the morrow. Certain grievances had arisen between the Indians and 
whites, which at this distant day cannot be fully made out. Chief among these griev- 
ances, it was said, was the desire of " Young Sam," son of Tyee Sam, the principal 
war chief, to possess the hand and heart of little Miss Ambrose, daughter of Dr. 
Ambrose, afterwards Indian agent, and who was living with his family on an agricul- 
tural claim adjoining T'Vault's at the Dardanelles. But this is doubtless a mistake, 
as the writer is informed that the young lady in question had not yet reached two years 
of age. The cause was a more trivial one, it is said, and concerned only a piece of 
beef. The settlers near by, alarmed for the safety of themselves and families, applied 
to the people of Jacksonville for assistance, and a company numbering some twenty- 
eight or thirty, all young men, under the command of J. K. Lameiick, of after celeb- 
rity, proceeded instantly to their assistance, arriving on Big Bend, in front of and across 
the river from the Indian rancheria, a short time previous to Steele's arrival. Besides 
the companies of Lamerick and Steele, quite a number of neighboring settlers had 
gathered there, anxious to see the result of the proceedings, and these being armed, 
attached themselves to Lamerick's company in order to assist in the exjsected engage- 
ment. The whole of Joe and Sam's Indians were at the rancheira, and considerable 
coaxing was necessary to bring them to talk with the whites. Some crossed over, and 
the rest, emboldened by Judge Skinner's promises, also came, to the number of a hun- 
dred or more. The Judge, always favorable to the Indians, tried to bring about a 
reconciliation ; and for this purpose proposed that both parties should remove to a log 
cabin situated at some little distance away. Suspecting treachery, the Indians refused 
to go, although Joe, their peace chief, tried to persuade them to do so. Sam, his brother, 
had recently returned to the rancheria for safety. At this moment John Galvin, one 
of Steele's Yrekans, rudely pushed the muzzle of his rifle against an Indian's naked 
back, desiring him to move toward the cabin. The savage made a natural motion to 
resent the indignity, when Galvin instantly shot him dead. Fighting immediately 
took place. The dismayed and . overmatched Indians got behind trees or sprung into 
the river and all was confusion. Those of the savages who were on the north side, 
began firing, but without effect, and hostilities only ceased when thirteen Indians had 
been killed. No white men were injured. Old Joe, the peace chief, clasped his arms 
about Martin Angell and clung desperately to him for protection. He was saved from 
his impending fate by Angell and two or three others, who kept off the excited throng 
of whites. 

Fighting ceased, and arrangements were made for the morrow's operations. 
Steele, with his Yrekans, agreed to move up the river to a certain point, cross the 


stream at Hailey'.s ferry and come down on the north bank to the vicinity of the 
rancheria. A detachment of Lamerick's company, embracing mainly the settlers who 
had proffered their services, was appointed to go dt)wn the river, cross and gain the top 
of upper Table Rock, whence they could command the vicinity. The main body, 
under Lamerick, rendezvoused at Ambrose's ranch and at night returned to the scene 
of the fight and crossed in the darkness at a very dangerous and difficult ford near the 
rancheria. When across they stopped until it grew light, and then moved toward the 
Indian stnmghold which was surrounded by thick shrubbery, interlaced and nearly 
impervious to man or beast. When within shooting distance the Indians oj^ened fire 
on them, which was returned, and as the expected reinforcements had not arrived, the 
troops had to wait. Sometime in the forenoon the settlers appeared, when the Indians 
immediately proclaimed their desire for a klose toa wa. This the volunteers somewhat 
objected to, as it dispelled all chance of fighting for which they were eager and 
now so well prepared. A council of war was held, and it was decided that in view 
of the fact that the Indians had already suffered much damage, and the cause of 
the difficulty did not warrant a war of extermination, it would be best to have a 
talk. The contending forces soon came to an amicable understanding and agreed 
to let the past be buried with the hatchet, and then the volunteers returned 
home. Steele's company moved down the river as agreed upon, but found that 
peace had been restored before their arrival. They then returned to Yreka. Even 
their homeward journey was not without its share of excitement, for it apjiears 
the party, in order to avoid Tipsu Tyee, who was supposed to spend his time watching 
for the scalps of all those who passed his domains, took a wide and painful circuit 
through the untrodden wilds and suffered somewhat from hunger as well as apprehen- 
sion. The Steele expedition failed to arrest the two murderers, and was beside some- 
what expensive to its leader, who afterwards deposed that it cost him $2,000 which 
he could get nobody to pay. 

About the time of Steele's departure from Yreka, Ben Wright, the Indian fighter 
par excellence of all the country around, also set out from that town in search of the 
two murderers of Woodman ; he was accorajjanied by several Indians, among them 
being Scar-face, a Shasta sub-chief, a man much suspected by the whites. Proceeding 
toward the Klamath the party was divided and Scar-face, venturing near Yreka alone, 
was seen and pursued by several whites who sought to add him to their already long 
list of " good Indians " slain in revenge for the killing of a man they had doubtless 
never heard of. The terror-struck Indian, on foot as he was, led them a race of 
eighteen miles along the hill sides before he was taken by his mounted pursuers. He 
was then hung to a tree in what is now known as Scar-face gulch. Wright was more 
fortunate than Steele ia his search, for he returned to Scott valley with two prisoners, 
who were tried by a citizens' court at the Lone Star ranch, where immense crowds of 
men from Yreka, Humbug, Scott river and other mining centers attended. They found 
one of the prisoners guilty and hanged him immediately ; the other one was allowed 
to go. Thus ended the Woodman tragedy. 

The people of Jacksonville and Yreka became much exercised in the summer of 
1852 in regard to the probable fate of the immigrants of that year, who were coming 


in large numbers by way of the southern route from Fort Hall via Clear lake and Tule 
lake. The Indians on the route, consisting mainly of Piutes and Modocs, had long 
been regarded as hostile, and the advance parties of that year's immigration reported 
them as being exceedingly troublesome. During the previous year the settlers of 
Yreka had lost quite a number of horses by the Modocs, part of them being recovered 
by Ben Wright with a small company of miners, who pursued the Indians. This Ben 
Wright enters largely into the history of Indian matters in Northern California and 
Southern Oregon, and divides the honors of a successful Indian fighter with such 
men as Kit Carson and other celebrated frontiersmen. Much has been written of him, 
and his career would apj^ear to bear out in full both the praises bestowed, on him as 
a courageous and successful scout and a skilled mountaineer. In any other walk 
of life, or amid any other surroundings, Wright doubtless would never have been 
heard of. But circumstance, which has made and marred the fortune of so many, 
raised him into prominence as an " Indian fighter " — an unenviable occupation, one 
would think, but seemingly the object of many men's ambition. Wright, we are told, 
was the son of Quaker parents ; but the peaceful tenets of that sect were set at naught 
by their son, who was possessed of a spirit of adventure and a disposition as foolhardy 
and reckless as ever guided man. After years spent in living with or fighting against 
Indians, he found himself, in the early part of 1851, on Scott river, a digger of gold. 
From here he went, during the same year, in search of the stolen horses, and returned 
measurably successful, driving the horses and carrying some Indian scalps. Indeed he 
was quite an Indian in habits and appearance, living with a squaw, wearing long, black 
and glossy hair, which fell to his belt — a fashion aped by the inferior cow boy — dress- 
ing in buckskin and getting himself up to look the Indian as nearly as possible. He 
fought Indians after the manner of their own warfare, even to the scalping and muti- 
lating of the dead, and to the use of strategy and treachery to get the foe within his 
grasp; but to his own race he was ever true and honorable, though his associates were 
far below even the low standard of society then existing. By the Indians who encoun- 
tered him, he was regarded as the greatest warrior living; and taking all things together 
he was just the man for the emergency. Let the good results and the accompanying 
circumstances be the palliation of his methods. 

Early in the summer of J 852, a letter was received at Yreka from an immigrant, 
who was on his way to that place, saying that great suffering would ensue if the train 
was not met by a supply of provisions. In consequence of this statement, a company 
of men was organized, with Charles McDermit as captain, and provisions being con- 
tributed by merchants and others of Yreka, the train set out for Lost river. After 
passing Tule lake they were met by a jDarty of men who had j^acked across the jilains. 
McDermit and his company went on, and the packers continued toward Yreka. When 
they reached Bloody Point, on the north side of Tule lake, they were surprised by the 
Modocs who were hid in the tules bordering the trail, and who rose up and discharged 
volleys of arrows at them at short range. All these men were killed save one, Cofiin 
by name, who cut the pack from ahorse, mounted the aniinal and riding to Yreka gave 
the alarm. Bloody Point is a place on the north side of the lake where a spur of the 
mountains runs down close to the lake shore. Around this spur the old emigrant trail 

ifl^^^^y'i.% ^ I 


passed, just beyond being a large, open flat, covered with tules, wild rye and bunch 
grass. This was a favorite place of ambuscade. 

When Coffin arrived in Yreka the news at once spread far and wide. Ben 
Wright was sent for, and a company of twenty-seven men quickly volunteered to serve 
under him in an expedition to annihilate utterly and without remorse the treacherous 
and blood-thirsty hostiles who performed the deed. These set out without loss of a 
moment, being well supplied with arms, horses and provisions, by the benevolent citi- 
zens of Yreka. But meanwhile the savages had not been idle. McDermit, not hear- 
ing of the tragic fate of the packers, had continued on, meeting at Black Rock two 
teams, for whose guidance he detailed three men, John Onsby, Thomas H. Coats assem- 
blyman-elect of Siskiyou county and a favorably known young man, and James Long. 
About the last of August the teams encamped at Clear lake, and the next day the 
three guides rode on in advance to select a proper halting place at noon. One of the 
trains delayed somewhat to make repairs to wagons, and thus was separated from the 
foremost one, which included thirty men, one woman and a boy. As they came over 
the divide, they saw the Indians about Bloody Point, while the guides were unsus- 
pectingly riding into danger. They disappeared around the point when shots were 
fired, and the three were butchered relentlessly by the savages, who retired again to 
the tides to wait for fresh victims. The men with the train divided themselves into 
a front and a rear guard and kept the savages at bay until reaching the flat. Here 
they made a barricade of their six wagons and retired within it for jjrotection. By 
being constantly on their guard they managed to thwart the attemjits of the Indians 
to dispossess them, but were kept closely beleaguered until noon the next day, when 
the Modocs drew off to attack the other train. These men, however, more wise than 
the first, drove over the hill, thus avoiding the ambush so carefully laid for them, and 
found safety in the barricade with the others. 

In the afternoon Ben Wright ajjpeared, and taking in the situation at a glance, 
did not pause to communicate with the whites, but furiously charged the Modocs even 
in the midst of the tides, and attempted to cut them off from their boats. The sav- 
ages stampeded, and making for the water, were mingled indiscriminately with 
AVright's men, who killed them almost without resistance. All along the bank of the 
lake the fight raged ; the volunteers shooting and cutting with a ferocity suited to a 
combat with such cruel adversaries. The savages sought only to reach their boats and 
get out of range, and even in this they but partly succeeded, for an undetermined 
number, ranging from twenty to forty, if we may believe the ordinary accounts, met a 
richly deserved fate. 

Several succeeding days were spent in search for the Modocs' victims, and the 
mangled bodies of many immigrants were found, whose death had not been heard of. 
Two of these were women and one a little child. They were all mutilated and disfig- 
ured horribly, bej^ond recognition in probably every case. Portions of wagons were 
found, and camp utensils, fire-arms, clothing, money, and other articles, which con- 
clusively showed that an entire emigrant train must have fallen a prey to the demoni- 
acal hostility of the Indians. Twenty-two bodies were found and buried by Wright's 
company and fourteen by that of Captain Ross. Of these hist several were of women 
and children, and all disfiourcd and mutilated. 


Tlie stay of Captain Ross' Jacksonville company was necessarily shorter than that 
of the Yreka men, but considerable service was clone, nevertheless, in j^rotecting immi- 
grants and assisting in the search for the murdered peojile. The comj)any left Jack- 
sonville in hot haste after thirty men had volunteered, the news of the attack on the 
pack train arriving in the evening. By the next morning the company was ready to 
march. Daniel Barnes was chosen first lieutenant, Nathan Olney, second. Returning 
homeward, Ctiptain Ross escorted Snelling's train, the largest one of the year, safely 
to its destination at Yreka, and afterwards proceeded to Jacksonville. 

A three-months' campaign by Wright's comjjany, with active scouting and a good 
deal of skirmishing with hostile parties, effectually protected the immigrant trains 
coming west. Captain Wright being well supplied with ammunition and provisions 
contributed by the joeople of Northern California, was enabled to protract his stay until 
all the immigrants had passed, some of whom were provided with escorts from his com- 
pany and McDermit's, reducing Wright's strength to eighteen men. With these he 
determined on a campaign against the savages, the main body of whom were securely 
posted on an island in Tule lake. A company of U. S. dragoons under Major Fitzgerald, 
had materially assisted, by scouting along the shores of the lake, obliging all the 
hostiles to seek refuge on the island. A boat was provided, l)eing hauled out from 
Yreka, in which six armed men reconnoitered almost daily the savages' position. The 
Modocs had large supplies of fish, grass seeds, wo-cus (pond lily), camas, and ijy-n, 
which were their chief articles of sustenance, stored away in caches around the lake. 
These were nosed out by Wright's men, assisted by five Shastas and Swill, a Columbia 
river Indian, a stray Umatilla, and destroyed. The loss affected the Modocs seriously, 
and they thought of coming to terms. Old Mary, a stray squaw, was sent out to the 
island, and after a day or two forty Indians came over and peace appeared about to 
spread her snowy wings over the scene. The object of Captain Wright, however, was 
not to secure peace, but to kill Indians; and this he set about. As to the manner in 
which he did it, accounts differ widely. 

Captain Goodall, now residing at Kanaka Flat, near Jacksonville, may be esteemed 
a credible witness, as he lived in Yreka in 1852 and was intimate with the most of the 
members of the Ben Wright expedition, particularly with the leader. It is reasonable 
to suppose that he was in Wright's confidence as he was instrumental in sending out 
the party, and was the more apt to know with certainty concerning it as he, also, was 
an Indian fighter of experience. The Captain says : " Ben Wright had several pow- 
wows with them, and when at length it was found necessary to close the campaign on 
account of approaching winter and snow, a final talk was had, in which a beef was 
killed and well dosed with strychnine which I bought in Yreka and sent out to Wright. 
This was given to them and by them eaten half raw. But the plan failed of killing all 
of them off, for the heat of the fire deprived the poison of its strength. However it 
was successful thus far, that it made them all very sick with the 'jerks,' and actually 
killed five of them — that is, made good Indians of them; or in other phrase 'sunned 
their moccasins.' " Captain Wright and company were discharged at Yreka, their 
muster-rolls and accounts made out by Captain Goodall, and they were duly paid by 
the state in scrip, and afterwards by the United States in greenbacks. 


This is one, and an apparently fair version. Next comes the more commonly 
accepted, but very improbable one of Wright's having poisoned forty Modocs, thus 
annihilating the whole band with the exception, some say, of two who slipped out of 
camp just before the feast of poisoned meat began. Several writers have adopted this 
tale, for examj)le, A. B. Meacham in his ridiculous book "Wigwam and Warpath." 
It will be seen that the above stories differ only as to the number of Indians killed ; 
which would naturally be exaggerated as time went on. Hence as between the two, 
we must incline to that of Captain Goodall. Wright, it is said, persistently denied the 
story; not probably from any deference to refined people's feelings, and certainly not 
from any desire to screen himself from any measure of obloquy, for he was probably 
very far from caring for anybody's opinion. 

Finally we shall consider the account published in the History of Siskiyou county 
in 1881. This account, evidently prepared with great pains and unlimited attention 
to accuracy of details, was written to be read by people who might be presumed to know 
a great deal concerning the matter. Thus far, we believe, it has escaped adverse 
criticism, which in the event of error it would be nearly certain to meet. A synopsis 
of the account is as follows : 

Negotiations being in progress, word was sent to the Modocs to come in and feast. 
The camp was on Lost river, and the Indians who speedily came in, camped near by 
and on the bank of the river, both camps being about one-fourth of a mile above the 
natural bridge, and not far from the spot where Captain Jack and the troops first fought, 
ushering in the Modoc war of 1873. Some, half hundred braves, with their squaws, 
made their home in camp and lived upon the provisions of the whites. Old Sckonchin, 
head chief, foreseeing trouble, left the camp as did others. It appears to have been 
Wright's intention from the first to endeavor to get the Indians to restore the valuables 
they were thought to have stolen from immigrants, and then to bring on a fight and 
kill all of the savages he could. The time was November; the river was very low, and 
had two banks, forming a high and a low terrace. On the higher one the whites slept, 
while they cooked and ate on the lower one. The Indians camped but a few yards 
away, mingled with the whites during eating times, both parties leaving their arms in 
camp. Wright, it is said, discovered a plan on the part of the Indians to surprise and 
massacre his force; but be that as it may, he was too quick for them, and put in effect 
his own plan without delay. Sending six men across the river to where they would be 
opposite the Indian camp and hence able to cut off their passage across the stream, 
Wright himself went down among the Indians who were scattered about the camp-fires 
and shot dead, as a preconcerted signal, a young buck. The other whites being ready, 
continued the work of destruction and soon no men were left alive except John Schon- 
chin and Curly-headed Doctor. These two 'escaped and were heard of twenty years 
after, in the murder of Canby and Thomas. Forty-seven braves and several squaws 
were killed. Wright's men numbered but nineteen, including two Indians. Their 
casualties consisted in severe wounds to Isaac Sanbauch, Poland and Brown. The rest 
were uninjured. Wright's company then returned to Yreka and were grandly feted 
by the people. They rode into town accompanied by a guard of honor, their forty-odd 
scalps and sundry other mementoes dangling from their rifles, hats, and horses' heads. 
Cheers rent the air. The enthusiastic crowd lifted them from their horses and bore 


them to the saloons, where the best was none too good. Whisky was free for all, and a 
grand dinner was given in honor of the returned avengers. For a week, high carnival 

We have seen how these accounts vary ; and probably the reader, in trying to 
settle his doubts, consciously or unconsciously inclines to the last version. Being the 
result of long and careful investigation and weighing of testimony of parties of all 
shades of opinion, it should be accepted in preference to the idea of any one man. That 
poison was prepared by parties in Yreka is true, but all the surviving members of 
Wright's company deny any attemjit to use it, and give as their reason the very evident 
fact that there was no fun in it; most of them were there killing Indians for the pleas- 
ure of doing so, and the use of poison would have taken all the amusement away. In 
killing them with bullets and knives from an ambuscade all the conditions requisite to 
pleasure in Indian killing were satisfied. Only sickly sentimentalism could regret the 
worst fate which might be meted out to such monsters of cruelty and wickedness as 
the Modocs. It is apparent that in point of cruel vindictiveness and unsparing malig- 
nity they were the worst savages who ever inhabited this coast. Their attacks on the 
immigrants were utterly causeless, and could have had no motive except the love of 
diabolical wickedness, for the property of the whites, even their fire arms, was totally 
useless to the Indians and the captured women were killed. Hence the motives which 
are supposed usually to incite barbarous men to such deeds of murder, were wanting. 

The aspect of a circumstance which took place at the mouth of Galice creek in 
December, 1852, and consisted in the murder, or supposed murder, of seven miners, is 
very peculiar. It would appear that all the evidence respecting the killing was derived, 
if at all, from the extorted confession of the supposed murderers. The circumstances, 
as they appear in perhaps the earliest account, stand thus : William Grendage, or 

Grundage, Peter Hunter, James Bacon, Bacon, Bruner, William Allen and 

Palmer, miners at the place mentioned, were missed from their accustomed 

haunts for several weeks. " Suspicion was aroused against the Indians," and when, 
some weeks later, Chief Taylor, of the Grave creek band, accompanied by a number 
of his men, visited Vannoy's ferry to trade, further suspicion was excited by the fact of 
these supposed poverty-stricken creatures having some gold dust about them in larger 
quantity than was usual (or allowable, probably). They were closely questioned as to 
their mode of obtaining it, and also as to the whereabouts of the supposed murdered 
men. They are said to have replied that the seven were washed oS their claim during 
high water and drowned. " Their manners and explanation led to a strong belief that 
these Indians had murdered the missing miners, and an investigation proved that Tay- 
lor and his band had murdered the entire ])aYty." He and some of his men were 
arrested by the citizens, and as there were no courts yet organized in this part of the 
territory, they were brought before a citizens' jury, tried, convicted and sentenced to be 
hanged. Finding that the decree of the court was about to be executed, and seeing 
no chance of escape, they related the particulars of the case themselves and boasted of 
the share each had taken in the murder and robbery. They gave a minute account of 
the manner in which they tortured the victims after they were taken captive, stabbing 
them with knives and burning them with fire-brands, "just to see them jump." The 


Iiuliaas were liaugeil, tliougli Taylor tried to excuse liiiuself Ijy saying he only stabbed 
the whites with a little knife, while the others used large ones. 

Thus runs the account, and as it is the only account known to be in existence, we 
have an imjjortant case to consider, without any corroborative evidence whatever, for 
there were no eye-witnesses to the murder after the Indians had suffered for the crime. 
There was no investigation at all ; and if such had been fully made it might have 
resulted in showing that the seven missing miners had, with the characteristic rest- 
lessness of their class, i^acked up their tools and left unceremoniously for richer placers, 
some time before they began to be missed. It is certainly a common enough proceed- 
ino- for miners to desert their claims without giving notice, and possibly this is what 
the seven did. 

It was in the fall of 1852 that Fort Jones, in Scott valley, Siskiyou county, was 
established. Major Fitzgerald, on returning from the Modoc country, somewhat 
before the Lost river massacre by Ben Wright, selected the site of the new post, whose 
first garrison was his company of dragoons. The major being soon ordered hence, was 
relieved in command of the jjost by Captain B. R. Alden, and he by Captain, 
afterwards Major General H. M. Judah. Under the latter were three lieutenants, J. 
C. Bonnicastle, George Crook and J. B. Hood. The two latter names are now house- 
hold words for the American people. Crook, as is well known, fought well against 
the rebellion and became a major general of volunteers, and since the war has done 
invaluable service as a subduer of Indians, winning thereby a great reputation. Hood 
was even more famous during the civil war, and taking sides with the south was Joe 
Johnston's successor in command of the great army that faced Sherman in his cele- 
brated Atlanta campaign and was disastrously beaten by Thomas at Nashville. Gen- 
eral Hood died several years since. 


THE WAR OF 1853. 

A Prejudiced Writer Criticised— How the Indians Procured their Arms— Indian Characteristics— Their Allies Not 
to be Depended on — The Cow Creeks and Grave Creeks in Trouble— The Rogue Rivers Commit Outrages — 
Murder of Edwards -An Indian's Revenge- -Murder of Wills and Nolan— Killing of Hodgings. Gibbs, Smith, 
and Whitmore — Miners and Settlers Seek Safety -Organization of a Military Force — Californians Offer their 
Services— Energetic Officers and Efficient Troops -The Indians also Organize— The First Fight an Indian 
Victory— Lieutenant Griffin's Battle Disgraceful Atrocities— The Governor and General Lane Appealed to- 
The Indians Evacuate Table Rock— Ely's Desperate Fight —General Lane Arrives and Assumes Command — 
Disposition for a Campaign— The Army Follows the Indians -Finds Them -Battle of Evans' Creek — A Drawn 
Battle— General Lane Wounded--A Peace Talk— Armistice Arranged— Casualties. 

A certain writer for the public prints, -wliile treating of the condition of the In- 
dian affairs in Southern Oregon in the early part of 1853, made use of the following 
language : 

"The summary justice dealt out to ' Taylor' had the effect to somewhat check for 
a time the depredations of the Indians north of the Siskiyous, and they became more 
friendly, and more profuse in their expressions of good will toward the whites. These 
professions jDroved only a blind, however, under which the Indians matured plans, and 
collected munitions of war for the renewal of hostilities on a larger scale. By resort- 
ing to this ruse, they were enabled to augment their forces from neighboring tribes, 
and form alliances unsuspected by the whites. In the meantime, being allowed access 
to the premises of the settlers, they procured more or less guns and pistols by theft or 
otherwise ; and also to accumulate considerable ammunition. In those days all the 
tea brought into the country was put up in lead caddies, which being emjjtied, were 
thrown out with the rubbish, and from this source the Indians collected a very abund- 
ant supply of lead, and through a few unjiriueipled dealers they procured a large 
amount of powder." 

It may be a pleasing diversion to examine a few of the statements made with such 
assurance. It is said that the Indians began, in the spring of 1853, to court the 
friendship of the whites. This article evidently refers to the Rogue Rivers almost 
exclusively, thus seeming to imply that this tribe had not thus far been friendly to the 
whites. Yet there is an immense amount of first-rate evidence to show that this ti'ibe 
was on excellent terms with the whites in 1852, both before and after the fight at Big 
Bend. So quickly were the scars of war healed that Sam and Joe felt highly aggrieved 
because they were not invited to the celebration given at Jacksonville in honor of Cap- 
tain Lamerick and his brave followers. Several highly respected pioneer inhabitants 
of Jacksonville, including two or more ladies, have now (1883) given testimony con- 
cerning the unvarying courtesy and gentleness of the principal chiefs of the tribe, 
when met in times of peace. Sam and Joe, they say, were favored guests in private 


houses ; and by their dignified and manly ways, won the approbation of all who could 
ajipreciate their sim^ile yet honorable character. They were, to be sure, only ignorant 
and uncultured savages, and perhaps entirely incapable of a high degree of civiliza- 
tion ; yet with proper treatment they remained harmless and peaceable individuals, 
however intractable and fierce a great part of their tribe might have been. To charge 
these simple natives, who were merely children of a larger growth, with such a degree 
of duplicity as that implied by the writer we have quoted, seems absurd. And at the 
time mentioned nearly all the Rogue Rivers were in the habit of coming into Jack- 
sonville, where they begged food, fraternized with the lowest whites, and were friendly 
to all. Sam, Joe, Tipsu Tyee, Queen Mary, and others were familiar figures. These 
barbarian aristocrats were immeasurably above their subjects, as they never conde- 
scended to beg, but took with ready grace what was offered. Their indignation was 
quickly roused when their worth and dignity were slighted, and to neglect to invite 
them to eat at the dinner hour was an offense which their haughty blood could not 
brook. U^wn such occasions they would stalk indignantly homeward. Tipsu Tyee> 
whose home was in the mountains between Applegate and Bear creeks, used frequently 
to be seen in Jacksonville. This savage, less interesting and attractive than the others, 
was a bugbear to the miners and settlers, because of his occasional " insolence" and 
mysterious character. Yet his impulses were not all bad, as the following anecdote 
will show. This is given on the authority of Henry Klii^pel, who was an eye-witness. 
John Sands, a rough miner, intoxicated himself, and meeting Tipsu Tyee in Jack- 
sonville, struck him over the head with a stick. The insulted savage, bow in hand, 
drew an arrow to the head, and appeared about to pierce his assailant's heart ; but shout- 
ing "Hiyu lum; 7iika wake memeloose mika!" lowered his bow. Experts in the Chinook 
jargon translate the above as "You are very drunk, or I would kill you!" This is 
certainly a case of forbearance on the Indian's part, as he had ample oppoi-tunity for 
escape to his brushy kingdom in the hills. 

Such incidents and peculiarities throw considerable light upon the character of the 
savages, and go far to prove the improbability of any such deep plots as many have 
ascribed. Their schemes could not have taken such a range as we are assured they 
did. All that we can allow in this connection is that the Indians wei'e in time of war 
accustomed to receive re-inforcements from such neighboring tribes as were accustomed 
to fraternize with them in time of peace. But it should not be supposed that this aid 
was regularly granted or withheld by the chiefs or headmen of the neighboring tribes, 
for on such occasions the young men were accustomed to use their own discretion as to 
their individual acts of assistance, and were not under sufficiently strict command to be 
deterred from doing as they liked in that regard. There is a restless element in every 
tribe and on every reservation, consisting chiefly of young braves desirous of achieving 
renown in battle, and the history of Indian wars, almost without an exception, shows 
that the ranks of the hostiles are swelled by such volunteers from neighboring tribes, 
without any preconcerted arrangement being made; and, it may be remarked, this 
element seems at times as willing to fight on one side as the other, and to their assist- 
ance we owe many of our greatest victories over hostile tribes. The extent of the aid 
furnished is an important, but indeterminate matter. It seems consistent with the 
Indian cliaracter that aid so furnished would lie of a most unreliable sort indeed. It 


would most likely occur that the volatile young warriors would desert the cause of 
their friends when the novelty of the occasion was worn off. Such scenes to have been 
the case in the principal war in Southern Oregon, as we shall see. Before dismissing 
the subject we may enunciate the broad general truth, that the tribes of American 
Indians have been found altogether unable to combine together in the sense in which 
political combinations are spoken of It is a significant fact that not even Tecumseh 
nor Pontiac nor King Philip was able to unite several tribes permanently against the 
whites. Had the latter, with his consummate strategy, been able to consolidate the 
New England tribes, the unavoidable result would have been to exterminate the Puri- 
tan colonists of that country. It is true of the Indians of New York and generally 
throughout the thirteen original colonies, that in their incipiency a thorough union of 
the hostile tribes would have resulted in a total extinction of the white inhabitants; but 
providentially for the pioneers of these now powerful and prosperous states, the Indian 
character was incapable of such union. It is true that Pontiac, and afterwards Tecumseh 
and his brother the Prophet, brought about a sort of confederacy between the great 
Indian tribes of the Ohio valley ; but these existed for but little time ; and we may 
conclude that if these chiefs of experience and intelligence, operating as they did at a 
great distance from the whites, could not effectually unite the Indians of their time, the 
Rogue River chiefs, surrounded and watched by whites, most certainly could not effect 
that result. It appears consistent to allow only that the Indian allies were but chance 
visitors or errant warriors from neighboring tribes. 

The writer further says: "They procured more or less guns and jjistols by theft 
and otherwise." Giving its due weight to the word otherwise, no one can dispute that 
assertion. To ascribe procurement by theft, when it ls an undisputed fact that their 
arms were usually procured by a much viler means, is to avoid a topic whose relative 
importance excuses the indelicacy of naming it. Every one of experience knows that 
the Indians often came into possession of their guns, horses, ammunition and other 
valuables through the sale of their women. It is useless to disguise the fact. White 
men became the eager purchasers, and the Indian who had traded a bad wife for a good 
gun, felt equally the gainer. Thus both parties were satisfied and harmony prevailed. 
But by and by the new found bride might tire of her white lord, and taking advantage 
of his absence, might run away, seeking again the wigwam of her earliest love. In 
such a ease the impassive brave awaited the coming also of the white Lothario, whose 
judgment was war23ed by affection, and who to regain the society of his bright particu- 
lar star, would give a second gun. Thus the Indians grcAV rich in guns, while the 
white men found their compensation in gentle woman's blessed companionship. Thus 
the Indian warriors placed themselves on a war footing, while the whites were figura- 
tively sunk in luxurious ease. This is certainly an easier mode of providing arms and 
munitions of war than by theft, even were Sam and Joe's men such expert thieves as 
certain individuals insist. 

Throughout the spring and the first part of the summer of 1853 little was heard 
of the depredations of the savages, only one incident seeming to mar the ordinary 
relations of white man and native. The event referred to was the murder of two miners, 
one an American, the other a Mexican, in their cabin on Cow creek, and the robbery 
of their domicile. As a matter of course the deed was laid to Indians and probably 










justly; for the IndiiUis! alung that creek had a very bad reputation. They were of the 
Umpqua family, but had independent chiefs and were tar more fierce and formidable 
than the humble natives of tlie Umpqua valley proper. They had committed several 
small acts of depredation on the settlers in that vicinity, such as attempting to burn 
grain-fields, out-buildings, etc., but had not, it appears, entered upon any more danger- 
ous work until the killing referred to. The unfortunate Grave creek band allowed 
themselves to be mixed up in the affair, and suffered ill consequences ; for a party of 
whites proceeded to their encampment and fired unceremoniously into it, killing one 
Indian and wounding another. The total number of Grave Creek Indians who were 
killed in consequence of their supposed complicity in the acts and in the so-called mur- 
der on Galice creek previously spoken of was eleven; of whom six were hanged and 
five shot. The Grave creek tribe was rapidly becoming extinct. 

In August, 1853, the Indians broke out into open war, or to limit this assertion 
somewhat, certain Indians, indifferently from various bands of the Rogue Rivers, com- 
mitted several bloody atrocities in the valley, alarming the settlers and causing them to 
seek the protection of fortified places, while the Table Rock band under Sam and Joe,, 
joined by several other bands, left their pleasant location and retired to the hills ta 
escape the vengeance of the whites from whom their leaders wished to permanently 

On the fourth of August the first act of the new era of hostilities took place, 
being the nuirder of Edward Edwards, an old farmer, residing on Bear creek, about 
two and a half miles below the town site of Phojnix. In his absence the murderers: 
secreted themselves in his cabin, and on his return at noon, shot him with his own 
gun, and after pillaging the house, fled to the hills. There were but few coucerned in 
the deed, and subsequent developments fixed the guilt upon Indian Thompson, who 
was surrendered by the chiefs at Table Rock, tried in the United States circuit court in 
February, 1854, and hanged two days later. According to the prevailing account of 
the circumstances of this murder, the deed was committed in revenge for an act of 
injustice perpetrated on an Indian by a Mexican named Debusha, who enticed or ab- 
ducted a squaw from Jim's village, and when the chief and the Avoman's husband went 
to reclaim her they were met by threats of shooting. Naturally disturbed by the 
affair, the aggrieved brave started upon a tour of vengeance against the white race, 
killing Edwards and attempting other crimes. Colonel Ross, a jtrominent actor in the 
events that follo^'ed, identifies the murderer as Pe-oos-e-cut, a nephew of Chief John, 
of the Applegates, and re^iresents the difficulty substantially as above stated, adding 
the particulars that Debusha had bought the squaw, of whom the Indian had been the 
lover. She ran away to a camp on Bear creek, and the Mexican, with Charles Harris, 
went to the camp and took her from Pe-oos-e-cut, much to his anger and grief. The 
disappointed lover next day began venting his rage against the whites by killing cattle 
and also shot Edwards as described. No sooner had the murder become known, than 
other savages became imbued with a desire to kill, and during the following fortnight 
several murders were committed, through treachery mainly. 

On August fifth, occurred the murder of Thomas Wills, a member of the firm of 
Wills ct Kyle, merchants of Jacksonville, who was shot when near the Berry house, 
on the Phd'nix roa<l, and almost within the town of Jacksonville. The murder was 


committed at about the hour of twilight. The report of the Indian's gun was heard, 
as- well as the wounded man's cries, and immediately his saddle-mule galloped into 
town, with blood on the saddle. Men went hurriedly to his assistance, but saw no 
Indians. The wound was through the back-bone, and necessarily fatal, although the 
victim lingered until August seventeenth. Excitement prevailed throughout the place 
and every man of Jacksonville's overflowing population armed himself and constituted 
himself a member of an impromptu committee of safety. The alarm was increased 
l)y a third murder which took place the following morning (August sixth.) The vic- 
tim was Rhodes Nolan, a miner on Jackson creek, who, in returning from town, at 
sunrise, after a night of watching to repel anticipated assaults, was shot as he entered 
his cabin door. 

Somewhat later than the events mentioned above, a very serious murder, or per- 
haps it may be called massacre, took place in the upper part of Bear creek, resulting 
in the death of several persons aud the serious wounding of others. Tipsu Tyee 
became hostile, probably in consequence of the influence of the Indians in the lower 
valley, and an attack was made on settlers in the vicinity of the site of Ashland. 
Tipsu Tyee was not present at this event, and no evidence tends to show the degree of 
his participation therein ; nor is it material to the story. A detached party of his 
band, under sub-chief Sambo, being temporarily encamped on Neil creek at the time 
of the Edwards- Wills-Nolan murders, excited the suspicion of the white men newly 
settled in the upper part of Bear creek valley and on tributary streams, who united to 
the number of twelve and proceeded to the Indian camp. The whites being armed, 
fired on the savages, who took refuge, as is their invariable custom, in the brush, 
whence they fired at the whites and shot Patrick Dunn through the left shoulder and 
Andrew Carter through the left arm. " One Indian only is known to have been 
killed, and a few slightly wounded." According to the accounts of interested parties 
this action occurred on the thirteenth of August. On the same day or that following, 
the Indian women and children of the encamjiment were collected and taken to the 
camp of the whites, which was the house of Messrs. Alberding aud Dunn (now the 
General Tolman place), where a stockade had been constructed for the protection of 
the settlers and their families. On the seventeenth. Sambo and his Avarriors, number- 
ino- a dozen or so, came in voluntarily and surrendered to the whites and were pro- 
vided for and retained at the " fort." Several families, including those of Samuel 
Grubb, Frederick Heber, Asa Fordyce, Isaac Hill and Robert Wright, were at this 
station, besides several single men whom the idea of mutual protection had drawn 
there. Having ample confidence in the good faith of their savage guests, no great 
IDrecautions were taken to guard against surprise, and so the Indians had ample op- 
portunity for an outbreak, which they effected on the morning of the twenty-third of 
Auo-ust, as asserted by survivors, but on the seventeenth as given in various printed 
records. On this occasion they killed Hugh Smith, and wounded John Gibbs, Wil- 
liam Hodgings or Hudgins, Brice Whitmore, Morris Howell and B. Morris. Gibbs 
died soon after at the stockade at Wagner's, where the whites moved for protection ; 
Hodgings expired while being taken to Jacksonville, and Whitmore, reaching that 
]-)lace, died within a few days. The others recovered, as did Dunn and Carter, pre- 
viously wounded, both of the men being alive and well at this day. 


111 consequence of the murders described, a spirit of alarm necessarily spread itself 
throughout the country. The miners ou Applegate, Foot's, and other creeks aban- 
doned their places and come into Jacksonville for protection. The settlers in various 
directions did the same, some of those who were better prejjared, " forting up," with the 
intention of resisting Indian attacks. The people who thus pi-epared to defeird them- 
selves were gathered mainly at T' Vault's place (the Dardanelles), N. C. Dean's (Willow 
springs), Martin Angell's (now Captain Barnes') and Jacob Wagner's, in Upper Bear 
creek valley. As soon as possible a military company was formed in Jacksonville, 
having Ben Armstrong as captain, and John F. Miller, B. B. Griffin and Abel George 
as lieutenants, and Charles E. Drew, quartermaster. But within a few days this organi- 
zation was superseded by others, a company of home-guards taking the most of the 
men. This latter company was under the command of AV. W. Fowler. A large pro- 
portion of the houses outside of Jacksonville were abandoned by the owners, and these 
were mostly burned by roving parties of natives, who were scattered for a few days 
over the whole valley. 

The people were compelled to seek assistance from wherever it might be procured 
and with this view dispatched messengers to Fort Jones the newly established military 
post near Yreka. The messengers arrived there on the eighth of August, and Captain 
B. R. Alden, 4th U. S. Infantry, commanding Fort Jones, instantly set out for the 
scene of hostilities with a very small force of infantry, not more than twenty men all 
told, but with forty or fifty muskets, and a supply of cartridges. Simultaneously a 
large number of volunteers presented themselves at Yreka and agreed to serve under 
Captain J. P. Goodall and Jacob Rhoades, well known as Indian fighters. Captain 
Goodall's company numbered ninety men, all mounted, as were those of Rhoades' com- 
pany which was about sixty strong. Unfortunately the muster-rolls of these two com- 
panies have been lost, so that it is impossible to present the names of all the members. 
Of Captain Goodall's company a partial list only is given, which will be found in its 
ap2:)ropriate place. 

The volunteers raised in Southern (.)regon were six companies in all, having as 
captains, R. L. Williams, J. K. Lamerick, John F. Miller, Elias A. Owens, and W. 
W. Fowler. They were ordered — with the exception of Fowler's company, which was 
raised exclusively for the protection of Jacksonville, and which did no outside service — 
to rendezvous at Camp Stewart. An organization was here effected and the troops, 
the most formidable, and numerous body of men thus far seen in this part of Oregon, 
assumed the semblance of an army. Each volunteer furnished, as a matter of course, 
his own riding animal and equipments. A quartermaster's department was extem- 
porized for the occasion, and B.F.Dowell became master of transportation or equivalent 
title. Captain Alden, by wish of the volunteers, assumed command of the whole force, 
whose numbers probably reached three hundred men. All the volunteers were of 
course without uniforms, wearing merely their ordinary clothes, and carrying rifles and 
revolvers as dissimilar in pattern as their own garments. Their saddle animals were 
horses and mules indiscriminately. It would be difficult to conceive a body of soldiery 
of more irregular type than the "army" at Camp Stewart; but it would be ecjually 
difficult to imagine a body of men better adapted for Indian fighting in a rough coun- 
try, or for that matter, in any country. The seipicl of the short campaign wliich they 


carried on showed conclusively that with energetic and reliable commanders they were 
capable of the greatest services. The successful issue of their expedition it would seem 
was due to the energy and vigor with which their leaders moved upon the foe, and 
having found him, fought him relentlessly. 

Meanwhile, the malcontents who were scattered about the valley doing much dam- 
age in the way of burning houses, barns, fences, etc., left that employment and sought 
security with Joe, Sam and other chiefs, who were gathered at Table Rock, making 
what preparations they could against the threatened attack of the whites. They selected 
a naturally strong position and fortified it with considerable skill, digging a ditch, 
rearing a wall of rocks and earth, and otherwise strengthening the place. They were 
reported to be in strong force, numbering not less than 300 (an exaggeration, doubtless), 
and consisting of the Table Rock band, and the subsidiary bands of Jim and Jake 
(the Butte Creek Indians), with the Applegates and a few Grave Creeks. These minor 
bands had been worse treated by the whites than had the Table Rock Indians, and in 
consequence were much worse affected toward them, and as a result they entered into 
the coming contest with alacrity. The attitude of Tipsu Tyee was a subject of anxiety 
to the endangered whites, but much to their surprise this Indian refrained entinely from 
hostilities throughout the war, which would have been thought a fitting opportunity 
for his hatred to vent itself. But he kept aloof from either party, doubtless fearing the 
whites less than the defection of the lukewarm chiefs, Sam and Joe, who were deemed 
likely to accejjt the first overtures on the part of the whites. Be the cause what it 
may, he remained personally in seclusion until after the close of hostilities. 

From the eighth to the sixteenth of August, movements were made with a view 
of ascertaining the savages' whereabouts, and the vicinity of Table Rock was recon- 
noitered, when it was found that they had abandoned their position and retired to the 
north or west. Their trail showed that they were in great force and nearly the whole 
tribe were together. They had sent out their scouts, and up to this time knew every 
move of the whites. They declared themselves satisfied to await the decision of war- 
fare, and that they would fight until every white man was driven from the valley. 
Such bold, defiant talk naturally produced a great effect upon the whites, who were imbued 
with a sense of the fighting qualities of the Indians, and added to the anxiety of many for 
their families increased the feeling of apprehension throughout the valley. This feel- 
ing was heightened by the news of an engagement, the first of the war, between a 
party of whites under Lieutenant Burrell B. Griffin, of Miller's company, and a party 
of Indians under the redoubtable Old John. This fight occurred on the twelfth of 
August, on Applegate creek, near the mouth of Williams' creek (subsequently so 
named). The lieutenant, with some twenty men, had reached the main Applegate, at 
the mouth of Little Applegate, and proceeding thence to Sterling creek, destroyed an 
Indian village. Some little resistance was experienced, and Private George Anderson 
was wounded in the hip. Moving down to Williams' creek, the next day, an Indian 
band was found and followed, and when several miles up that stream, the men were 
ambushed by their wily foes and defeated with the loss of two. Lieutenant Griffin 
severely wounded in the right leg, and Private Francis Garnett killed. The engage- 
ment, which lasted three-quarters of an hour, was closely contested, and bravely and 
skillfully fought. The Indians, better sheltered than the whites, met with a heavier 

Times Printing Building, Ghas.Nickell. Proprietor. 



loss, as they acknowledged five killed and wounded. The soldiers were compelled to 
retreat finally, leaving the battle-field to the Indians. The savages probably outnum- 
bered the whites by at least two to one, and had the additional advantage of being at 
home. But more than anything else that contributed to this success was the fact that 
Old John, their redoubtable war chief, led them, and by his strategy and foresight 
secured a victory. If their chief was so warlike the individual warriors of his baud 
were hardly less so. Of one of them, " Bill," who was wounded at the fight on Wil- 
liams' creek. General Lane once said that he never met a braver man in peace or war. 
Their opponents, without in the least recognizing the valor and shrewdness of John 
and his band, sought to explain Griffin's defeat by asserting that the hostiles num- 
bered from three hundred to five hundred — which is a palpable absurdity. Probably 
there were not more than fifty Indians present at the fight, nor were more required. 

John E. Harding (or Harden) and William R. Rose, of Lamerick's company 
wei-e killed on August tenth, near Willow Springs, The two, with one or more com- 
jtanions, were on detached service, or, according to other accounts, were proceeding to 
Jacksonville ; when having reached a point a mile north of the springs they were 
fired on by Indians concealed near the road, and Rose was killed, and Harding was 
shot through the hips. , He escaped, as did the others, but died on August fourteenth 
(some accounts relate that he died in eleven hours). Rose's body falling by the way- 
side, was stripped and mutilated, the throat cut and an eye gouged out ; six hundred 
dollars upon his person were taken, and his saddle horse also. 

Other incidents of the eventful period preceding Lane's campaign of August 
21-25, were the capture and shooting of a suspected Indian by Angus Brown, the 
hanging of an Indian child in the town of Jacksonville, and other acts of that nature, 
which reflect no credit upon those engaged therein. That stern-visaged war had 
wrought up people to deeds of this sort, is not very remarkable. Five Indians, it is 
credibly reported, were hanged in one day, on a tree which stood near David Linn's 

On the fourteenth of August a Mr. Ettlinger was dispatched north, with letters 
to the governor of Oregon and to other parties, setting forth the condition of affairs 
and soliciting aid to prosecute the war. General Lane lieard the news when at his 
home on Deer creek, and instantly set about raising volunteers. Fifty men joined his 
jiarty, and with these he set out and traveled rapidly to the scene of hostilities. On 
arriving at Camp Stewart he found the main part of the troops there, together with 
Captain Alden and his regulars. The command of all was tendered to the General by 
Captain Alden, and by him accepted. Preparations for moving on the enemy had been 
made, and an active campaign was resolved upon. 

On or about the fifteenth, a detachment under Hardy Ellift' was sent to the rear of 
the enemy's position behind Table Rock, in order to provoke an engagement ; but their 
position had been evacuated, and the hostiles had withdrawn. On August sixteenth a 
detachment of Goodall's company was sent out, consisting of twenty-two jjicked men, 
commanded by Lieutenant E. Ely, with the design of discovering the enemy's where- 
abouts. So well did they perform their duty, that on arriving at Little INIeadows, on 
Evans' or Battle creek, they ran upon the savages and lost several men in one of the 
sharpest skirmishes that has been known in the annals of Indian warfare. The scene 


of the collision was some two miles northwest of Table Rock, and about the same dis- 
tance from the mouth of the stream which flows into Kogue river at the village now 
called Woodville. It was on the seventeenth of August ; the men had picketed their 
horses in the flat and sat down to enjoy dinner ; sentries were stationed, but soon left 
their posts and gathered with the rest around the smoking viands. Just at this bliss- 
ful moment there came a volley of bullets from a fringe of willows close by, that 
killed and wounded ten of their number. Leaving their horses they rushed to cover 
250 yards away, and gaining a strong jiosition in the brush and amid fallen trees, they 
kept the savages at bay. They fought the enemy in true Indian style, from behind 
the protection of trees and rocks, and probably inflicted considerable injury. Privates 
Terrell and McGonigle set out for help, and before the enemy had completely sur- 
rounded them got away and hastened to Camp Stewart, where Goodall's company was 
stationed, and reported that they had found the Indians, and that ten men with Lieu- 
tenant Ely were in a precarious situation, seventeen miles off" and the Indians hi-as 

Goodall and his men set out at top speed, and in the shortest practicable time 
arrived on the field. J. D. Carly and five others were in the advance, and when the 
Indians saw them they decamped at once, carrying away eighteen horses, blankets, 
etc. The casualties inflicted on Ely's men were found to be — Sergeant Frank Perry 
and Privates P. Keith, A. Douglas, A. C. Colbourn, L. Stukting, and William Neff 
killed outright ; and Lieutenant Ely and Privates Zebulon Sheets, John Alban and 
James Carroll wounded. Carl Vogt, a German, is said to have been killed at this 
fight, although his name is not to be found in any official documents relating to tlie 
killed in the war. The Indians had fallen back, and the main force under Captain 
Alden came uj) during the night, and all camj^ed on the flat. The next morning the 
dead were buried with the honors of war. Scouts sent out reported that the Indians 
had retired a long distance into the mountains, setting fire to the woods in their rear, 
and almost obliterating their trail. It was decided by the council of officers that it 
was necessary to return to headquarters and recruit with jerked beef and other frontier 
relishes in preparation for still more arduous duties. This was done ; and General 
Lane most opportunely appearing, received the command of the whole army, as has 
been related. 

The commander-in-chief made the following disposition of his forces. The com- 
panies of Miller and Lamerick, composing a battalion in charge of Colonel Ross, were 
ordered to proceed down Rogue river to the mouth of Evans' creek, and thence up that 
stream to the supposed vicinity of the enemy, or to a junction with Captain Aldeu's 
command, which consisted of his regulars and the two California companies of Goodall 
and Rhoades. This division was ordered to proceed up Trail creek to the battle ground 
where Ely was found by the Indians. The orders were to find the enemy's trail and 
pursue it regardless of the whereabouts of the other battalion. General Lane himself 
proceeded with Captain Aldeu's division. Scouts reported late in the day of starting 
that the Indians had taken to the mountains west and north of Evans' creek; hence the 
general ordered a halt and the forces encamped for the night. Early on the following 
day (August 23), the line of march was taken up and the Indian trail was followed 
through a very difficult country, mountainous, precipitous and bushy, where there was 


constant prospect of going astray, as the trail left by the savages was very dim and 
nearly obliterated by fire. Late in the afternoon, having crossed a high mountain, the 
command reached a branch of Evans' creek and halted for the night. The horses were 
allowed to feed on the bulrushes which grew by the side of the stream and which alone 
had escaped the forest fires. Indian "sign" had been noticed, it being small patches 
of ground left unburned, recently killed game, etc., thus indicating the proximity of the 
enemy. On the morning of the twenty-fourth, a shot was heard, which was known to 
come from the Indian camp. Scouts came in directly afterward and reported the enemy 
encamped in a thick wood filled with underbrush, and apparently impenetrable to 
horses. General Lane decided to attack instantly. Captain Alden insisted on leading 
the advance with his little force of regulars, and the whole command (with the excep- 
tion of a detachment of ten men under Lieutenant Blair of the Humbug volunteers, 
who were sent to turn the enemy's flank) precipitated themselves on the enemy's posi- 
tion. The first intimation that the savages had of the ajjproach of the army (which 
they doubtless thought still at Camp Stewart), was a volley of bullets. They were not 
stampeded by this rough salute, however, but catching up their guns, entered with zest 
into the fight, while the squaws and other impediamenta were sent out of harm's way. 
A small force having been sent down a ridge to jirevent the enemy's escape in that 
direction, all the remaining volunteers were brought into action in the Indians' front, 
and each man selecting a tree, got behind it and fired at the enemy, who were equally 
well concealed. The result was that the casualties were not very numerous. Captain 
Alden was wounded early in the fight, and his regulars had difficulty in preserving 
him from the Indians, who attempted his capture as he lay upon the ground The 
soldiers kept them at bay, however, until the wounded officer was removed to the shelter 
of trees. Pleasant Armstrong, of Yamhill county, a much respected gentleman who 
had volunteered with his friend General Lane, was mortally wounded by a bullet in 
the breast and fell, it is said, exclaiming, "A dead center shot!" The fight was very 
warm, and had lasted for an hour, when the pack trains arrived with their guard. 
Leaving fifteen men to guard the animals, General Lane took command of the others, 
not more than ten in number, and ordered a charge, to drive the natives from their 
cover. Being in advance he approached within thirty yards of the nearest Indians, 
when he received a severe bullet wound through the right arm. Still exposing him- 
self, he was forcibly dragged back behind a tree, where he continued to direct the fight. 
He gave orders to extend the line of battle so as to i)revent the Indians from outflank- 
ing his force, and feeling the loss of blood, retired temporarily to have his wound 
attended to. The savages still held their strong position, and it was thought that they 
could not be driven from it. At this juncture the Indians, having found that General 
Lane was in command of the whites, began to call to him and to the soldiers, professing 
their readiness to treat for peace. A close wa-wa seemed very desirable to them, as 
they could not get away, and did not wish to risk further attacks. Robert Metcalf, 
sub-agent for the Indians, went to their camp, and through him and others negotiations 
were commenced. General Lane having returned to the front. Not wishing to inform 
the savages of his wound, the general went among them, having thrown a heavy coat 
over his shoulders so as to conceal his arm. In spite of pain and inconvenience he 
conversed with the Indians throughout an interminable peace talk, and ultimately 


agreed with them upou terms for a cessation of hostilities. No definite arrangements 
were made upon the occasion, but it was agreed between Chief Joe, who was in charge 
of the Indian force, Sam being absent, that a fijial peace talk should be held at Table 
Rock, within a few days; and that the Indians should proceed there in a body and 
await the results of the conference. Seven days were agreed upon as the duration of 
the armistice, after which the natives were to deliver up their arms to General Lane, 
and go upon the reservation at Table Rock which was to be, and afterwards was duly 
set off. 

During the following night both sides received accession to their forces, Colonel 
Ross arriving with the battalion, and Chief Sam coming in with about half the war- 
riors, with whom he had been reconnoitering for a permanent camp. It seems that as 
soon as the engagement began, runners were sent out by Joe to apprise his brother of 
the state of affairs and hasten his return. The distance prevented his arrival in time 
to take part in the fight, and his braves had no opportunity to display their valor. It 
is the oisinion of many who took part in that battle, that Joe's deliberate intention was 
to throw the whites off their guard by professions of peace, and having done so to re- 
commence hostilities at a time when all the advantages were with his side. It is possi- 
ble that he was only waiting for Sam's braves in order to commence a massacre of hun- 
dreds of sleeping volunteers. It would be in consonance with the Indian character to 
act in that manner, therefore it may have been providential that Ross' battalion arrived 
when it did. 

Peace and good-will reigned between white and red man when war's stern alarms 
were so quickly changed into the piping of peace, and in figurative language the lion 
and the lamb lay down together. The Indian ponies and the American were 
turned loose to browse, and the Indians furnished a relief party to assist in bringing in 
the American wounded. They themselves owned to a loss of twelve killed and wounded, 
which is very likely, considering the superior excellence of white men's marksmanship. 
John Scarborough, of the Yreka volunteers, and P. Armstrong, aids to the general, 
were killed, and General Lane, Captain Alden, privates Thomas Hays (Humbug vol- 
unteers), and Henry Flesher and Charles Abbe (Yreka volunteers) were wounded, the 
latter mortally. Captain Alden died two years later from the result of his wound, and 
General Lane never quite recovered from his own hurt. 

As soon as the terms of the armistice were arranged, the troops took up their march 
homeward and went into camp at Hailey's (Bybee's) ferry, giving the location the name 
of Camp Alden, in honor of the gallant Major. 



Arrival of Reinforcements— The Army at Camp Alden— An Incident— The Council at Table Rock— The Treaty 
of Peace Signed— Cession of the Indians' Lands— Muster-Rolls of Certain Companies— List of the Killed 
and Wounded— Public Sentiment Concerning the Treaty -Ill-Faith of Certain Whites— Tragedy at Bates- 
House— Affairs on Illinois River— Cruelty of the Miners at Randolph— Indian Atrocities— Murder of Frizzell 
and Mungo— War on Deer Creek- General Lane Visits Tipsu Tyee— Military Affairs— Fort Lane Begun— 
Murder of Kyle— Expedition to the Modoc Country— The United States Pays the War Debt. 

Reiuforcements began to arrive from various quarters by the time the forces 
returned to the valley. Ettlinger had faithfully performed his duty, and presented 
the governor with memorials from citizens and officials of Jacksonville and vicinity, 
which set forth the dangerous condition of affairs and appealed for help. Among 
other things a howitzer was asked for, and this request was referred by the governor 
to the authorities at Fort Vancouver, who sent the weapon with a supply of ammuni- 
tion, forty muskets with accoutrements, 4,000 cartridges, and some other articles. 
Lieutenant Kautz, since general, was sent in charge of the howitzer, with seven experi- 
enced men. Acting Governor Curry made proclamation for an armed guard of citizen 
volunteers to accompany the Lieutenant and his charge. In obedience to the call forty- 
one men volunteered, and led by J. W. Nesmith, with Lafayette Grover as lieutenant, 
hastened to the scene of hostilities. Lieutenant Grover went in advance with twenty 
men, and was joined at South Umpqua, on September first, by Judge M. P. Deady, 
who was on his way to Jacksonville to hold court. The next night they stopped at 
Levens' station, and a day or two later came to Table Rock, too late to be of service, 
but in time to assist at the peace talk. Joel Palmer, superintendent of Lidian affairs 
in Oregon, and Samuel H. Culver, government Indian agent, successor of Judge Skin- 
ner, who had resigned his charge, also arrived. From Port Orford came Captain A. 
J. Smith, with his comjiany of the first dragoons, sixty men in uniform, an imjjosing 
and unfamiliar sight to the peojile of the valley. These had slowly and laboriously 
toiled through devious trails, over fallen trees and through the almost impenetrable 
wildwood tangles along Rogue river to where their assistance might be needed, but 
only to find their services useless, unless it was to awe the haughty savage whose heart 
was yet divided in its councils. Owing to Palmer's failure to arrive at the time ap- 
pointed, the peace talk was postponed until September tenth. Meantime the volunteers 
lay about headquarters talking over occurrences of the past fortnight and speculating 
upon those to come. They were 400 strong, and had little need to fear the results 
of future deliberations. Besides, Smith and Kautz were at hand and the former's 
sabres and the hitter's twelve-pound howitzer with its shells, spherical case shot and 
cannister, would soon make short work of the comparatively defenseless aborigines. 


The latter, too, talked aud thougbt of the new disijeusation of affairs, and looked with 
wonder and awe upon such preparations for their injury, and begged General Lane — 
" Tyee Joe Lane " — not to have the luj-as rife fired, which took " a hat-full of powder 
and would shoot a tree down." 

The inevitable w'ar correspondent was abroad, even in that day, and under the 
title of " Socks " wrote to the Statesman of his visit to headquarters : 

" Never having seen General Lane my curiosity prompted me to visit his camp 
day before yesterday. Having seen generals in the States togged out in epaulets, gold 
lace, cocked hats and long, shining swords, I expected to find something of the kind 
at headquarters. But fancy my surj^rise on being introduced to a robust, good-looking 
middle-aged man, with his right arm in a sling, the shirt sleeve slit ojaen and dangling 
bloody from his shoulder, his legs incased in an old pair of gray breeches that looked 
like those worn by General Scott when he was exposed to the ' fire in the rear.' One 
end of them was supported by a buckskin strap, in place of a susjjender, while one of 
the legs rested upon the remains of an old boot. His head was ornamented by a for- 
age cap that from its appearance recalled remembrance of Braddock's defeat. This 
comjjosed the uniform of the hero ' who never surrenders.' 

" The ' quarters' were in keeping with the garb of the occupant ; it being a rough 
log cabin about sixteen feet square, with a hole in one side for a door, and destitute of 
floor and chimney. In one corner lay a pile of sacks filled with provisions for the 
troops, in another a stack of guns of all sizes, from the old French musket down to 
the fancy silver-mounted sporting rifle, while in a third set a camp kettle, a frying-pan, 
a coffee pot minus the spout, a dozen tin cups, four pack saddles, a dirty shirt and a 
moccasin. The fourth corner was occupied by a pair of blankets said to be the gen- 
eral's bed ; and on a projecting puncheon lay ammunition for the stomach in the shape 
of a chunk of raw beef and a wad of dough. In the center of the ' quarters' was a 
space about four feet square for the accommodation of guests. Such being the luxuries 
of a general's quarters you may judge how privates have fared in this war." 

A pleasant incident of the stay at Camp Alden was the flag presentation. The 
ladies of Yreka had decided to honor the braves of that locality who had so promptly 
volunteered in defense of their neighbors across the line, and had prepared flags and 
sent them through Dr. Gatliff to Camp Alden. The doctor gave them to General 
Lane, and a ceremony was arranged for the afternoon of September first. The two 
companies of Rhoades and Goodall, escorted by Terry's Crescent City Guards (an 
independent organization which volunteered to fight Indians, but performed no service 
owing to the abrupt close of the war), were marched up, and with ap^sropriate words 
the General presented the banners. 

On the tenth of September the leaders of opposing races met at the appointed 
place on the side of Table Rock and discussed aud agreed upon terms of peace. The 
occasion was a remarkable one; and brought together many remarkable individuals. 
]\Iany of those who were eye-witnesses of the "peace-talk" still live, and several have 
attained to honor and distinction. From the pens of two of these we have life-like 
and intelligible accounts of that meeting which was in some respects the most remark- 
able occurence that ever took \A-aq.q in Southern Oregon. Judge M. P. Deady wrote 
concerning it : 


" The scene of this famous ' peace talk ' between Joseph Lane and Indian Joseph — 
two men who had so lately met in mortal combat — was worthy of the pen of Sir 
Walter Scott and the j^encil of Salvator Koss. It was on a narrow bench of a long, 
gently-sloping hill lying over against the noted bluff called Table Rock. The ground 
was thinly coverd with majestic old pines and rugged oaks, with here and there a clump 
of green oak bushes. About a half mile above the bright mountain stream that threaded 
the narrow valley below sat the two chiefs in council. Lane was in fatigue dress, the 
arm which was wounded at Buena Yista in a sling from a fresh bullet wound received 
at Battle creek. Indian Joseph, tall, grave and self-possessed, wore a long black robe 
over his ordinary dress. By his side sat Mary, his favorite child and faithful compan- 
ion, then a comparatively handsome young woman, unstained with the vices of civiliza- 
tion. Around these sat on the grass Captain A. J. Smith — now General Smith of St. 
Louis — whohad just arrived from Port Orford with his com^jany of the First Dragoons ; 
Captain Alvord, then engaged in the construction of a military road through the 
Umpqua canyon and since j^ay master of the tJ. S. A.; Colonel Bill Martin of Urapqua, 
Colonel John E. Ross of Jacksonville and a few others. A short distance above us on 
the hillside were some hundreds of dusky warriors in fighting gear, reclining quietly 
on the ground. 

" The day was beautiful. To the east of us rose abruptly Table Rock and at its 
base stood Smith's dragoons, waiting anxiously with hand on horse the issue of this 
attempt to make peace without their aid. After a proposition was discussed and settled 
between the two chiefs, the Indian would rise up and communicate the matter to a huge 
warrior who reclined at the foot of a tree quite near us. Then the latter rose up and 
communicated the matter to the host above him, and they belabored it back and forth 
with many voices. Then the warrior communicated the thought of the multitude on 
the subject back to his chief; and so the discussion went on until an understanding was 
finally reached. Then we separated — the Indians going back to their mountain retreat, 
and the whites to the camp." 

J. W. Nesmith, who was present and quite prominent at the treaty, has left some 
additional particulars of interest. He says : 

" Early in the morning of the tenth of September, we rode toward the Indian 
encampment. Our party consisted of the following persons: General Lane, Joel Palmer 
Samuel Culver, Captain A. J. Smith, 1st Dragoons ; Captain L. F. Mosher, adjutant ; 
Colonel John Ross, Captain J. W. Nesmith, Lieutenant A. V. Kautz, R. B. Metcalf, 
J. D. Mason, T. T. Tierney. After riding a couple of miles we came to where it waa 
too steep for horses to ascend, and dismounting, we proceeded on foot. Half a mile of 
scrambling over rocks and through brush brought us into the Indians' stronghold, just 
under the^ perpendicular cliflf of Table Rock where were gathered hundreds of fierce 
and well armed savages. The business of the treaty began at once. Much time was 
lost in translating and re-translating and it was not until late in the afternoon that our 
labors were completed. About the middle of the afternoon an Indian runner arrived, 
bringing intelligence of the murder of an Indian on Applegate creek. He said that a 
company of whites under Captain Owens had that morning captured Jim Taylor, a. 
young chief, tied him to a tree and shot him to death. This news caused the greatest 
confusion among the Indians, and it seemed for a time as if they were about to attack 


General Lane's party. The General addressed the Indians, telling them that Owens 
who had violated the armistice was a bad man, and not one of his soldiers. He added 
considerable more of a sort to ftlacate the Indians, and finally the matter of ' Jim's ' 
death was settled by the whites agreeing to pay damages therefor in shirts and blankets." 
The treaty of peace of September 10, 1855, contained the following provisions : 
Article 1 defines the boundaries of the lands occupied by the Rogue River and 
related tribes. The principal geographical points mentioned as lying upon these boun- 
daries are, the mouth of Applegate creek, the summit of .the Siskiyou mountains at 
Pilot Rock, the Snowy Butte (Mount Pitt), and a point near the intersection of the 
Oregon road near Jump-oflf-Joe creek. All Indians within these limits were to main- 
tain peace with the whites, restore stolen property, and deliver up any of their number 
who might infringe the articles of the treaty. The second article provides that the 
tribes should permanently reside on a reservation to be set apart. According to article 
three they were to surrender all fire-arms except fourteen pieces, which were reserved 
for hunting. According to article 4, when the Indians received pay for their surren- 
dered lands, a sum not exceeding |1 5,000 was to be set aside to pay for whatever dam- 
ages they had caused. By article 5, they were to forfeit their anuuites if they again 
made war. In article 6 they agree to inform the agent if hostile tribes entered the reser- 

A supplemental treaty regarding the sale of the Indians' lands, was entered into 
on the same day. By it they ceded to the United States government all their right to 
the lands lying within these boundaries : Commencing at a point on Rogue river 
below the mouth of Applegate creek, thence southerly to the divide between Applegate 
and Althouse creeks ; thence along the divide to the summit of the Siskiyou moun- 
tains ; thence easterly to Pilot Rock ; thence to the summit of Mount Pitt ; thence to 
Rogue river ; thence westerly to Jump-oflf-Joe creek ; thence to place of beginning. 

The Indians were to occupy temporarily a reservation on Evans' creek, west and 
north of Table Rock, until another residence was found for them. 

In consideration for the transfer of their rights, the agents agreed to pay the 
Indians sixty thousand dollars ; of which fifteen thousand were to be retained as pro- 
vided in the treaty of peace. The damages caused by the Indians were to be estimated 
by three disinterested persons. Five thousand dollars were to be expended in pur- 
chasing blankets, clothing, agricultural implements, and other desirable and necessary 
articles. The remaining forty thousand dollars were to be paid in sixteen annual 
payments of live stock, blankets, necessaries of life, etc. Three dwelling houses, one 
for each of the principal chiefs, were to be erected, at a cost of not more than five hun- 
dred dollars each. The remaining provisos relate to the non-molestation of the whites 
passing through the reservation ; to the referral of grievances to the resident Indian 
agent ; to the discovery of thefts, murders, etc. ; and to the ratification of the treaty by 
the president, at which time it would take effect. The treaty for the cession of lands 
bore the signatures of Joel Palmer, Samuel H. Culver, Joe Aps-er-ka-har, Sam To- 
qua-he-ar, Jim Ana-cha-ara, John, and Limpy. 

Here follow the names and organizations of those who took part in the war of 
1853. No apology is needed for inserting them. They are the names of men who 
"•ave their services for the defense of their fellow beings, and to many of whom 

Masonic Temple, Ashland. 


the thanks and gratitude of this hiter generation is due. It is a regrettable eircnra- 
stanoe that the muster-rolls of all the companies which were formed cannot be obtained. 
The missing ones are those of Terry's Crescent City Guards, Rhoades' Humbug Creek 
Volunteers, and Goodall's Yreka Volunteers. Of the latter a 2iartial list is given from 
memory by their cajitain. 

Althouse Mounted Volunteers. — Mustered in August 24, 1853; discharged 
September 21, 1853 — Captain, Robert L.Williams; First Lieutenant, John W. Burke; 
Second Lieutenant, William Mendenhall ; Corporal, William T. Ross ; Privates, 
Isaac Auger, Alfred Allen, Michael Bush, James B. Bowers, Gabriel Cooper, Joseph 
Cooper, William Fountain, Paul Fairclo, James Jordan, John Makin, William A. 
Moore, William McMahon, William Mitchell, Peter H. Peveler, Thomas Phillips, 
Jackson Rader, Vinson S. Ricketts, Robert Shaw, Alex. St. Gilles, William Shelley, 
Christopher Shelley, Harry Spurgeon, John Spurgeon, William Shin, Z. A. Triplett, 
Christopher Taylor, Robert G. Worthington. 

Lameeick's Company. — Mustered August 7, 1853 ; discharged September 10, 
1853 — Captain, John K. Lamerick ; First Lieutenant, John W. Babcox ; Second 
Lieutenants, Anthony Little, William Hunter, Henry Green ; Sergeant, S. B. Fargo ; 
Corporal, John Swiuden ; Privates, Isaac Adams, G. H. Ambrose, Nicholas Belcher, 
John Benjamin, R. E. Bondevant, E. H. Blanchard, David Crockett, John Creighton, 
William Chase, William Crogey, Joseph Copeland, Vincent Davis, E. Downing, Wil- 
liam Ewing, T. E. Estes, C. C. Gall, S. Gall, J. F. Hedrick, John W. Hillman, 
George Hillman, I. A. Hull, John R. Harding, G. H. Hazlett, W. B. Howe, Robert 
Hill, D. C. Ingles, James T. Jones, A. J. Kane, Henry Klippel, John Lancaster, Law- 
rence LaPointe, Levi Libby, John Milligan, Roderick McLeod, Malcolm McKay, J. 
W. Patrick, Alonzo Price, A. Russell, Solomon Rader, William R. Rose, J. R. 
Reynolds, William M. Sevens, Peter Snelback, S. B. Sarles, S. R. Senor, William G. 
T' Vault, David Thompson, Gustaf Wilson, Thomas Wilson, J. B. Wagner, Charles 
Williams, T. B. Willard, H. N. Winslow. 

Miller's Company. — Mustered in August 8, 1853; discharged November 2, 
1853. — Captain, John F. Miller; First Lieutenant, Burrell B. Griffin; Second Lieu- 
tenants, Abel George, Alfred Waterman; Sergeants, Claes Westfeldt, J. C. McFarland, 
William Hiatt, James Mattony; Corporals, A. J. Mattoon, Andrew Herron, James 
King, Payton W. Cook; Farrier, William Hill; Privates, Benjamin Armstrong, Jesse 
Adams, Moses Adams, George Anderson, Thornton Anderson, Benjamin Antram, 
Richard Barker, Richard Benson, James Bailey, Henry Brown, Mases Bellinger, D. 
Bates, John Bland, David Brown, Daniel Carlysle, Daniel F. Counsel, David D. Cal- 
houn, Hugh C. Clawson, William Duke, Martin Elliott, Kela Farrington, Carter L. 
Fuller, Francis Garnett, Lewis D. Gibson, William M. Griffin, Thomas Gill, Thomas 
Guthrie, William Gee, John B. Hice, Lewis Hiatt, Hiatt, James Huggins, 
Charles B. Houser, David Hicks, Samuel Hicks, Abraham G. Hedden, Martin Hoover, 
N. Hulz, Thomas Inman, Charles Johnson, William Johnson, David C. Jamison, 
Thomas B. Jackson, Lycurgus Jackson, Isham P. Jones, J. T. Jones, John Layton, 
George Ludlow, Hugh Lyle, Jacob Long, Elijah Lcasure, William Lippard, William 
P. Miller, Isaac Miller, John S. Miller, Green ]\ratthews, William J. Morrison, Samuel 
Moore, John T. Moxlev, John :\readcr, Elijah McCall, John :\IcCombs. David .^LcRae, 


Andrew McXeal, Thomas McF. Patton, Cornelius Xajip, Joshua Xohiud, John Orton, 
John Osborne, Henry Patterson, Sylvester Pease, Robert Parker, R. Pearce, Alonzo 
Pattee, Christian Peterson, David Redpath, Abraham Robinson, Josiah Register, E. 
Ransom, Edward Smith, James F. Stewart, John Shorkman, Enoch Sjiringer, William 
M. Shaffer, James Stejjhens, Oscar T. Sandford, Thomas I. Sutton, John Thurber, 
Henry C. Turner, James Toabeler, Titus B. Willard, J. Wilkes, C. L. Wilcox, Alex- 
ander Williamson, Charles Wright, Charles Wright (Indian), Washington Waters, J. 
Willis, Elijah Williams, Samuel Williams, Samuel Wilkes. 

Halstead Mounted Yolunteers. — Mustered in August 21, 1853; discharged 
September 14, 1853 — Captain, Elias A. Owens; First Lieutenants, Benjamin Halstead, 
Thomas Frizzell ; Second Lieutenant, Silas Crandle; Sergeant, William B. Lewis; Pri- 
vates, A. Allen, Sherlock M. Abrams, Charles Bushman, X. C. Boatman, Samuel S. 
Bowden, Louis Dernois, Joseph Despar, Robt. M. Denton, Jas. P. Frizzell, John FrizzelL 
John Green, Silas R. Howe, William S. Hamock, Albert P. Hodges, William Johnson, 
Henry Kelly, William King, James Lafferty, John Lynch, Alexander McCloy, James 
Mungo, J. W. Pickett, Robert L. Smith, David Sexton, Joseph Umpqua. 

Yeeka Voluxteees. — Mustered August 11 ; discharged Captain, Jas. P- 

Goodall; First Lieutenant, Simeon Ely; Second Lieutenants, Philyar A. Bod well, Geo. 
W. Tyler ; Sergeants, John W. Fairchild, Joseph G. Barber, James Thomas, Frank 
Perry; Corporal, Mike Brown ; Privates, John Albau, Kilian Albert, Charles Abbe, 
Asa Colburn, Carl Vogt, AVilliam Neff, Isham P. Keith, Alfred Douglass, John Scar- 
borough, James Bradley, James Bruce, John W. Crowell, Philip Edwards, William 

Terrill, McGonigle, Christopher Shack, Henry Flesher, William Lewis, Joseph 

Gaunyau, Robert Neal, James Carroll, Charles A. Johnson, James T. Hurd, Albert 
M. Price, John W. Cawood, Charles Lacey, D. Y. Ellington, George Charles, J. D. 

Nes.mith's Compaxy. — Enlisted in the AVillamette valley, in compliance with the 
Governor's proclamation — Captain, J. W. Nesmith; First Lieutenant, L. F. Grover; 
Second Lieutenant, W. K. Beale; Surgeon, J. D. McCurdy; Sergeant, J. M. Crooks; 
Privates, Samuel B. Gregg, Ben. McCormack, Jas. Gay, H. S. Young, James Pritchett, 
R. Woodfin, Francis A. Haynes, S. T. Burch, J. Fortune, G. H. McQueen, F. M. P. 
Goff; W. E. Clark, J. W. Jones, R. C. Hague, J. A. Millard, Samuel E. Darnes, Wm. 
Beale, Samuel Abbott, Jas. S. Rose, James M. Baldwin, Z. Griffin, J. Jones, Thos. 
W. Beale, A. A. Eugles, James Stanley, George W. Cady, John McAllister, R. C. 
Breeding, N. F. Herreu, John Ragsdale, David Kirkpatrick, Wilson Blake, Horace 
Dougherty, James Daniel, J. M. Case, J. W. Toms. 

Hospital Attaches. — In the military hospital at Jacksonville, in 1853, E. H. 
Clea viand, as surgeon and medical director, was in charge, assisted by eleven attaches 
— R. A. Caldwell, C. Davenport, Thomas Gregory, W. W. Hanway, George Hillman, 
J. B. Hice, John Inman, James S. Lowery, Francis Peirce, J. B. Shepley, and B. W. 
Woodruff. These men served various terms, ranging from sixteen to sixty-three days, 
for which they received pay at the rate of five dollars per day and rations. 

List of Killed axd Wou>'ded. — On Applegate creek, August 8, George 
Anderson wounded, and on the following day B. B. Griffin, first lieutenant in the 
same company (Miller's), wounded, and Francis Garnett, private, killed; on August 


10, while on detached service, John E. Harding and AVilliam R. Rose, privates, 
Lamerick's company, killed; on Angust 17, at Little Meadows, Sergeant Frank Perry 
and Privates Asa Colburn, Alfred Douglass, Isham P. Keith, William Nefif and L. 
Stockting killed or mortally wounded, and First Lieutenant Simeon Ely and Privates 
Zebulon Sheets, John Alban and James Carroll severely wounded, all l)elongiug to 
Goodall's company; on the twenty-fourth of August, at Battle creek. Private Thomas 
Hays of Rhoades' company, and Henry Flesher and Charles Abbe of Goodall's com- 
pany were wounded, the latter dying of his wounds on the second of September, and 
John Scarborough, private of Goodall's company, was killed; August 28, at Long's 
Ferry, First Lieutenant Thomas Frizzell and Private James Mungo (Indian), were 
killed in battle; September 14, Thomas Phillips, private in Williams' company, was 
killed by the Indians on Applegate creek ; on October 4 occurred the last casualty of 
the war, in the wounding with arrows of Private William Duke, of Miller's company. 

When General Lane and his officers made the treaty with Joe and his people, 
there were many persons who in a subdued manner opjiosed it, and prognosticated its 
utter failure. These people were of the sort who in the earlier days of August had 
said: "Hang the Indian children; tlrey will grow up to be our enemies." They 
urged a war of extermination ; humanity's dictates were too refined to be applied to 
cases wherein Indians were concerned. This class, while they affected to deplore the 
horrible massacres of whites, still did their utmost to rouse the Indians to other deeds 
of like savagery, by inflicting on them unprovoked acts which really brave and merci- 
ful people abhor. It is a fact that after the Lane treaty was signed, its provisions were 
repeatedly broken by whites, who deliberately murdered unsuspecting and helpless 
Indians. Chief Joe, whom none of his white contemporaries suspected of falsehood, 
said at the Lane peace conference that he did not begin war nor seek to retaliate until 
fourteen of his tribe had been shot or hung by the whites. Least these remarks should 
be misunderstood, the I'eader is informed that they apply only to that irresponsible ele- 
ment in the population which had but little respect for law and justice, and not to that 
great body of respectable and law abiding citizens who cast their lot in Southern 
Oregon, and by thirty years of industry have made it what it is to-day. 

During the armistice and subsequent to the signing of the treaty, the class of ex- 
terminators alluded to kept up their efforts to kill off as many Indians as they could, 
regardless of any moral restriction whatever. Revenge was the motto, and these men 
lived up to it. Not half of the outrages which were perpetrated on Indians were ever 
heard of through newspapers; yet there are the accounts of several, and these are of a 
most cold-blooded description. We will allude lightly to a few examples. Captain 
Bob Williams, stationed with his comjiany on the banks of Rogue river, during the 
armistice was not too brave and magnanimous to attempt to kill two children, the sons 
of Chief Joe; but General Lane with the utmost haste ordered his removal from the 
locality to another, where there would be less opportunity for the exercise of his pro- 
pensities. We have the evidence of no less an authority than Judge Deady to prove 
that a fearful outrage was perpetrated at Grave creek after the armistice was agreed 
upon. He writes : "At Grave creek I stopped to feed my horse and get something 
to eat. There was a house there, called the 'Bates House,' after the man who kept it. 
It was a rdugh, wooden structure without a floor, and had an immense clapboard fun- 


nel at one eud, which served as a chimney. There was no house or settlement within 
ten or twelve miles or more of it. There I found Caj^tain J. K. Lamerick in com- 
mand of a company of volunteers. It seems he had been sent there by General Lane 
after the fight at Battle creek, on account of the murder of some Indians there, of 
which he and others gave me the following account : 

Bates and some others had induced a small party of peaceable Indians who be- 
longed in that vicinity to enter into an engagement to remain at peace with the whites 
during the war which was going on at some distance from them, and by way of ratifi- 
cation to this treaty, invited them to partake of a feast in an unoccupied log house just 
across the road from the 'Bates House;' and while they were partaking, unarmed, of 
this proffered hospitality, the door was suddenly fastened upon them, and they were 
deliberately shot down through the cracks between the logs by their treacherous hosts. 
Near by, and probably a quarter of a mile this side of the creek, I was shown a large, 
round hole into which the bodies of these murdered Indians had been unceremoniously 
tumbled. I did not see them, for they were covered with fresh earth." 

Some miners from Sailor Diggings attacked a rancheria on Illinois river or Deer 
creek, as the accounts go, and killed two of the seven male Indians present. The 
others hastily seized their bows and arrows, and began a lively resistance. Two white 
men were hit, which so discouraged the others that they ran away. The act of aggres- 
sion was severely denounced by other people, and the term "desperado" was applied 
to the perjjetrators. Agent Culver was sent for to investigate matters, but it is not 
known that the guilty parties were ever brought to justice; indeed, there is a certain 
presumption that they were not. 

An incident bearing somewhat ujion this question is worthy of mention, though 
it occurred somewhat outside of the region supposed to be covered by the Lane treaty. 
On January 28, 1854, a small j^arty of armed men from the Randolph mines, in Coos 
county, went to a rancheria, attacked the Indians and killed fifteen, as far as is knov.'n, 
without jirovocation. Two squaws were shot dead, one with her babe in her arms. 
The next day the miners j^assed a law providing that whosoever should sell or give any 
gun, rifle or pistol to Indians, should for the first offense receive thirty-nine lashes, and 
for the second offense should suffer death. Meeting considerable adverse criticism for 
their attack uj^on the helpless and unarmed creatures at the rancheria, these men next 
proceeded to hold a meeting and pass resolutions, one maintaining that the Indians at 
the time were on the eve of an outbreak, and another congratulating themselves on 
their bravery! The whole absurd ^proceedings are contained in a letter written by one 
of the assailants to the Oregon Statesman of contemporary date, and in the report of the 
Bureau of Indian Afiairs for 1854, within which may be found letters from F. M. 
Smith, agent at Port Orford, and G. H. Abbott, leader of the attacking force of miners. 

It does not require the thorough investigation to which the records of these events 
have been subjected by the writer, to determine conclusively that while the whites as a 
class were content with the treaty and obedient to its provisos, there was a considerable 
minority who lost no opportunity to manifest their contempt of the instrument and 
their disregard of its obligations. Kor were the Indians idle. As soon as the report 
of the killings at Grave creek, at Applegate and other jDlaces, had been bruited abroad, 
and the natives had become convinced that they were individually in as much danger 


/^. ^. (me^^^a^^z/ 


as before the treaty, they began reprisals. They committed atrocities that were not 
exceeded in bloodthirstiness by those at whom they were aimed. A few days after the 
battle of Evans' creek Thomas Frizzell and Mungo were murdered by Indians on Rogue 
river, below Vannoy's. It seems that Frizzell owned a ferry in that locality, which 
he was constrained to leave at the commencement of hostilities. He joined Owens' 
company, of which he was chosen first lieutenant. On the day mentioned, he went 
home to examine into the condition of things, being accompanied by Mungo, a private 
of his company. On returning they arrived within two miles of Vannoy's, when they 
were fired on by concealed Indians, and Frizzell was instantly killed. Mungo, 
wounded, took refuge in a thicket and with his rifle kept the enemy at bay for hours 
until a relief party came to his aid. He was carried to Vannoy's, but died on arriving 
there. These men were said to have been killed in retaliation for the massacre of the 
Indians at Bates' house, but this assertion, of course, does not admit of proof. The 
same day (August twenty-eighth), the savages burned the house of Raymond, at Jump- 
off'-Joe creek, as well as two others in the vicinity. 

These disturbances were chiefly confined to Josephine county and the western part 
of Jackson county ; or to speak more specifically, to the Grave creek, Applegate creek, 
Illinois river and Althouse creek country. 

About the twelfth of September, 1853, there occurred a catastrophe of some note 
several miles below Deer creek bar. Two prospectors, Tedford and Rouse, were 
attacked by Illinois Indians, peaceable until that time, and both injured very severely. 
Rouse was cut in the face, and Tedford was shot in the left arm, shattering the bone. 
The men were alone at the time, but were speedily found by neighboring miners and 
carried to a' place of safety. Tedford's injuries were mortal ; he died within a week. 
This, and some slighter injuries perpetrated the same day on other parties, were the 
first hostile acts of the Illinois Indians, who until then had shown a tolerably peaceful ■ 
disposition. This was in the absence of nearly all the fighting portion of the white 
community, who were with Captain Williams on the Rogue river. On their return a 
party was made up to pursue certain Indians who had stolen some property from the 
Hunter brothers, including quite a number of mules. The thieves were followed for 
three days, over rough mountains, across creeks and through jungles, and at last 
traced to an Indian village on Illinois river. This was attacked by the pursuers, and 
several Indians were killed ; but the whites had ultimately to retire, Alex. Watts 
being slightly wounded in the attack. The regular troops shortly after occupied this 
village, after killing several of its inhabitants and driving the rest away. On their 
return to headquarters the Indians followed them, and killed Sergeant Day, wounded 
Private King, and re-took sixteen stolen animals. Lieutenants Radford and Carter 
were in charge of the expedition, having been sent by Captain Smith, on the seven- 
teenth of October, from Fort Lane, and the action took place on the twenty-fourth of 
the same month. It has always been supposed that the malcontents spoken of were 
Coast Indians, from the vicinity of Chetco. At any rate they were no triflers, as the 
whites found to their cost. On the twenty-sixth the miners again assembled, to the 
number of thirty-five, to make another descent upon the same cam|), when the Indians' 
scouts discovered them and received them with unexpected warmth. William Hunter 
was wounded by three bullets, not seriously, and the pai-ty returned to tlieir i'es;x'ctivo 


homes \Yithout carrying out their projected anuibilatiou of the hostile camp. Michael 
Biishey was of the number, and through his exertions a treaty of peace and amity was 
entered into between the miners and the Indians of that rancheria. The Indians ob- 
served the treaty faithfully enough, but the whites were not so honorable. It has been 
mentioned how certain whites from Sailor Diggings attempted to " make good Indians" 
of seven " bucks" at a certain rancheria, but were driven off ignominiously. These 
Indians were the survivors of those who slew Sergeant Day, and foiled Bushey and 
his party. They were now living in quietness op Deer creek, when attacked by the 
party -from Sailor Diggings, who were said to have numbered twenty. Again Bushey, 
■with Alex. Watts, jmtched up a treaty with them which existed until 1855, when cer- 
tain events on the lower Klamath river, in which these Indians were implicated, 
sundered those pleasant relations. 

On Applegate creek, Septemlier 2, four houses were burned by Indians, and their 
contents destroyed. At about the same date, or possibly a little later, a pack-train 
coming from Crescent City was fired upon and the three Mexicans who drove, were 
wounded, three mules were killed and all the merchandise caj)tured by Indians. This 
closes the list of outrages perpetrated in that part of the country subsequent to the 
treaty, and the subject now leads us to consider the state of affairs on Rogue river. 

General Lane left for the north on or about October, 1853. But before taking leave 
of the 2>eople of the valley, lie made a. visit to Tipsu Tyee, hoping in the interests of 
peace, to induce that much feared warrior to join the Rogue River chieftains in amity 
to the whites. Tipsu had not made himself felt in the recent hostilities probably for 
reasons already set forth, but as if still further to signalize his independence of both 
white and Indian influence, he sent word to Jacksonville that he did not recognize the 
peace of September 10, and should not by any means subscribe to its terms. As for 
Sam, Joe, George, Limpy and the rest, they might do as they chose ; he was upon his 
own land, came upon it first, and should remain uj)on it. Tins message j^resented a 
new difficulty. It seemed to the 2:)eo25le and to the Indian agents alike, that Tipsu Tyee 
needed to be put down. His outbreak of insolence ought to be punished. But to pun- 
ish such an Indian as the wily old Tyee was an undertaking of considerable difficulty* 
and very few were ready to attempt it. The chief staid in his lair, and General Lane, 
who to great fighting qualities added a heart that was capable of feeling for even the 
most savage of God's creatures, paid him a visit in the interests of peace and humanity. 
Accompanied by two men only, he went into the mountains, found the chief, and 
entered upon an agreement with him by which the rights of the settlers were to l)e 
respected and grievances to be settled satisfactorily ; and having taken leave of his host, 
returned safely from a journey which most men regarded as infinitely dangerous. 

The different companies (Lamerick's, Miller's, Owens', Goodall's,. Rhodes', Wil- 
liams', Terry's and Fowler's) were mustered out, with the exception of Miller's, during 
the early days of September, soon after the close of disturbances, and sent home. Peo- 
ple were now returning to their customary occupations, generally well pleased with the 
result of the war and hoping that no more "unpleasantness" might supervene, as 
considerabl force of regular troops had arrived, and Colonel Wright, with four com- 
panies from Benicia and Fort Reading, was daily expected. Captain Alden, convales- 
cent, set out for Fort Jones, about the time that the military authorities resolved upon 


founding a permanent fortified camp near Table Rock. The Indians were safely domi- 
ciled near that locality, their reservation extending north and west of those prominent 
and celebrated land marks. Their position was a good one and to their liking. Camas 
and ip-a roots grew there in profusion; salmon in their season swarmed in the river, 
game of all kinds was abundant in the neighboring mountains. Besides, it was in the 
land of their nativity; and though nominally confined to the narrow limits of a com- 
paratively small tract, they were not perceptibly worse off than before. Opposite their 
home, the new military j)ost reared its imposing front. Appropriately named Fort 
Lane, it was commodiously and even handsomely built, and in a manner Avell adapted 
to the uses of such a post. A stockade enclosed quite a spacious area in which was a 
parade ground, together with barracks for private soldiers, houses for officers, an armory> 
hospital, and other necessary buildings, all built of logs. It continued to be the head- 
(i[uarters of the military forces in this region for three years ; at the end of the last 
Indian war being abandoned. A quarter of a century has seen the old fort fall into 
ruins, and to-day scarcely a vestige of what was once a lively encampment remains. 
The officers and men who guarded its wooden ramparts are scattered and many of them 
have found a soldier's grave. Some of them died fighting for the flag that waved above 
the old fort; others forsaking that flag, espoused the "Lost Cause" and were lost with it. 

Very soon after the construction of the military post was I'esolved U230n, a circum- 
stance occurred which ranks as one of the most important, and at the same time singu- 
lar, that we have to narrate. This was the murder of James C. Kyle, on the sixth of 
October, 1853, by Indians from the Table Eock reservation. This sad affair took 
place within two miles of Fort Lane, at a time when the settlers were congratulating, 
themselves that Indian difficulties were at an end. Kyle was a merchant of Jackson- 
ville, partner of Wills whose untimely and cruel death has been recorded. A rigid 
examination and investigation of the homicide proved that it was committed by indi- 
viduals from the reservation, and the chiefs were called upon to surrender the criminals 
in compliance with the terms of the treaty. They did so ; and two Indians, George 
and Tom, were handed over to the proper authorities, as the murderers of Kyle, while 
Indian Thompson, tilicum of the same tribe, who has been previously mentioned, 
was surrendered as the murderer of Edwards. Like Thompson, the other two suspects 
were tried before Judge McFadden of the United States circuit court, at Jacksonville, 
in February, 18o4. They were found guilty, and hanged two days later. 

At the close of the Evans' creek campaign, General Lane, with commendable 
humanity and sagacity, remembering the helpless condition of the incoming migra- 
tion of the season, dispatched a force of mounted men, being Miller's company, well 
armed and provisioned, to operate against the Indians in the region where such sicken- 
ing butcheries were perpetrated the year before, and where Ben Wright and Captain 
Ross had done such good service in aweing the savages and teaching them lessons of 
the white man's vengeance. Caj^tain Miller proceeded thence with his men and 
throughout the season did excellent service in scouting, fighting those Indians who 
showed signs of hostility, and in piloting trains to their destination. They left Jack- 
sonville September twelfth, and returning at the close of their campaign, were dis- 
charged from service on the second of November. Their total term of service was 
about three months. The only casualties happening to them while on the emigrant 


trail was the wouudiug of Private William Duke by Indians at Goose lake, October 
fourth, and of Private Watt, at another time and place. Captain Miller's command 
on this expedition consisted of 115 men. 

These occurrences complete the history of Indian difficulties for the year, and 
together constitute the natural termination of what is known as the "War of 1853." 
There is a short note to be appended relating to the indebtedness which grew out of 
the war. This was assumed by the United States; and however, the people of South- 
ern Oregon might grumble — and grumble they did — at the attitude of the govern- 
ment and its army toward the settlers and the Indians, there was no grumbling heard 
concerning the assumption of the debt by the government, nor at the way in which 
that debt was paid. The muster-rolls and accounts of all the eight comj^anies and 
General Lane's staff (the General refused to accept compensation for himself), were 
made out and adjusted by Captain Goodall, as inspecting and mustering officer, acting 
under orders from General Lane, at the close of the war; and these papers were 
forwarded to Captain Alden at Washington, and being presented to congress were 
promptly acted upon at the instance of that officer and General Lane, in his capacity 
as delegate to congress from Oregon Territory. Major Alvord, paymaster of the 
United States army, under orders from the secretary of war, paid oflP the volunteers, 
in coin, at Jacksonville and Yreka, in June and July, 1855. The commissary and 
quartermaster accounts were at the same time sent in draft to Governor Curry, and by 
him disbursed to the proper creditors. The total cost to the United States was about 


EVENTS OF 1854. 

A Year of Comparative Peace— Tipsu Tyee — His Career — The Cave Fight— Death of Tipsu— The Cotton- 
wood War -Walker's Expedition — His Muster-roll — Fight at Warner Rock— Return to Jacksonville — 
Murder of Phillips. 

Eighteen hundred and fifty-four was a year of peace for most of the Rogue River 
tribe, safely gathered on their reservation. The military force at Fort Lane kept in 
awe such roving vagabond savages as desired or might be led to commit outrages, and 
also such whites as, not having the fear of the law before their eyes, might seek to 
interfere with the natives. This latter class, numerous in most frontier countries, was 
doubly troublesome in Southern Oregon. There were grasping, avaricious men who 
seemed to begrudge the poor savages the very air they breathed. The reservation, 
some would say, is too good for them; it ought to be thrown open to settlement by 
whites. This class, too, were dissatisfied with the annuity that was promised the 


Iiiiliaus. Nothing in our government's Indian policy commended itself to such men, 
unless it was the policy of referring the least of the Indians' faults to the stern arbit- 
rament of bullets, while permitting white men to ride rough-shod over them, regard- 
less of right or justice. 

Tipsu Tyee, however, did not join his brother chiefs in their friendly attitude 
toward the whites, but on the contrary entered systematically upon a career of stealthy 
warfare which was manifested in attacks on quite a number of parties on and near the 
Siskiyou mountains. He eflPectually terrorized a tract of country reaching from Ash- 
land to beyond the Klamath, and during many months made unexpected descents upon 
white settlements, or robbed towns, with almost entire impunity. The first notable 
outrage was the affair near Ashland on August 17, 1853. The visit of General Lane 
to Tipsu's headquarters would appear to have been abortive, for at various times we 
find the chief active against the whites. The principal affair of the season was the 
fight near Cottonwood, resulting in the death of Hiram Hulen, John Clark, John 
Oldfield, and Wesley Mayden, who were killed in January, 1854, on the road between 
Jacksonville and Yreka, by Shasta Indians. This affair had a curious origin. A uum- 
l)er of " squaw men" were living along the Klamath and about Cottonwood in the 
winter of 1853-4, and the women of two of these — Tom Ward and Bill Chance — 
deserted them and returned to their kindred, who were members of Tyee Bill's band 
of Shastas, dwelling in a large cave on the north bank of the Klamath, some twenty 
miles above Cottonwood. The squaw men proceeded after them, but on reaching the 
cave were ordered to leave. They immediately went to Cottonwood and falsely reported 
that a large number of stolen horses were in the possession of these Indians, when a 
company of men was raised to go and recover the animals. They went, and a fight 
ensuing, the four above mentioned were killed, and the rest driven away. The indig- 
nation in Cottonwood was great ; the deceased were well known citizens, and the people 
were not aware how they had been dujjed by the squaw men. Notice of the difficulty 
was sent to Captain Judah, commanding at Fort Jones, and he came up with a detach- 
ment of troops. A company of volunteers was raised at Cottonwood, commanded by 
R. C. Geiger, with James Lemmon as lieutenant. Their first act was to bury the bodies 
of Hulen and his friends, who served to start the new cemetery at Cottonwood, and 
were all buried in one grave. The regulars and volunteers went then to the cave, and 
laid siege to it, until Captain Geiger was killed by a bullet in his brain, from incau- 
tiously exjiosing himself. This happened on the twenty-sixth of January. On the 
same day Captain Smith arrived from Fort Lane with a detachment of regulars, and a 
mountain howitzei-, and being the senior military officer, took command of the forces. 
He advanced to the vicinity of the cave and opened fire ui^on the mouth of it with 
his howitzer, but ineffectually except as to endangering the volunteers who were sta- 
tioned near the Indians' den. An old trapper, Robinson by name, now arrived and 
told Captain Smith the origin of the difficulty. The officer suspended the bombard- 
ment and went to the cave accompanied by two men only, and conversed with Tyee 
P>ill, who confirmed the trapper's story. Words, it was said, had no power to describe 
the officer's indignation. Exasperated at the idea of a military force belonging to the 
United States being engaged in a dispute concerning the possession of squaws, he took 
liis (Icparturi' with his command in great anger. The inhabitants of Cottonwood 


and of all the .suiTounding country were displeased with this action, and for years the 
people and press of the border refused to be placated. 

Bill's band remained at the cave but made no hostile demonstration. On the 
twelfth of May a Shasta named Joe, made a felonious assault on a white woman, but 
was driven away by the approach of some men. He was pursued and fled to the cave. 
Lieutenant J. C. Bonnyeastle, then in charge of Fort Jones, set out for the cave to com- 
pel his surrender, but halting on Willow creek, was informed of the attack by Tipsu 
Tyee on Gage and Clymer's pack-train on Siskiyou mountain wherein David Gage was 
killed and the mules stolen. The next day Lieutenant Bonnyeastle and command set 
out for the scene of the last outrage, and on arriving they found that the murder had 
been committed by six Indians, of whom four had departed toward the cave. The 
detachment immediately followed, and reaching that place, they found that the Indians 
they were in pursuit of had arrived there, and they were none other than Tipsu Tyee, 
his son, and son-in-law, and another member of their band. But justice had overtaken 
the notorious old creature at last, for Bill and his party had fallen upon the four and 
killed them just before the troops arrived, being incited thereto by a desire to win the 
friendship of the whites, to whom they knew TijDsu to be a bitter enemy. They scalped 
the dead chief and sent that ghastly trophy to the office of Judge Roseborough in Yreka 
where it was seen by that gentleman, as he informed the writer. Lieutenant Bonny- 
eastle and Captain Goodall also saw the scalp, and not feeling perfectly assured of its 
identity, went to the cave and twice exhumed the body, finding satisfactory evidence 
that it was the old Tyee and none other. Tipsu, is described by Colonel Ross and 
others who knew him as a tall and powerful man, wearing a beard or goatee which was 
tinged with gray. He had high cheek bones and a distinctively Indian appearance, 
but was a fine looking brave. "He was a quiet, reserved man, who never went among 
white people, when he could avoid it, but staid almost constantly in the hills. He never 
begged, but if provisions or other gifts were offered, he would allow his squaws to 
receive them." 

The end of the Cottonwood affair is not yet told. The Shastas in the cave were 
visited by several individuals, among them Lieutenant Bonnyeastle, Judge Steele, 
Judge Roseborough, special Indian agent ; old Tolo chief of the Yreka Shastas and a 
friend of the whites ; Captain Goodall and others, and persuaded to set out for Fort 
Jones, where they were to be kept. On arriving at Cottonwood creek on June 24, they 
were fired, upon by a gang of the miners of that vicinity, and Chief Bill was killed, 
and several others wounded. The whites lost one man, Thomas C. McKamey. The 
Indians finally got securely on the Fort Jones reservation. This is the extent of our 
chronicles concerning the Cave Shastas, and they drift now out of our story. 

The remaining incidents of 1854, are connected with the expedition of Captain 
Jesse Walker to assist the immigrants of that year through the dangerous grounds 
infested by the Modocs and other hostile tribes who had been punished by the previous 
expeditions of Captain Ross, Ben Wright and Captain Miller. Under date of July 17, 
1854, Governor Davis addressed Colonel John Ross, authorizing him by virtue of his 
office as colonel in the Oregon militia, to call into service a company of volunteers to 
protect the immigration and particularly to suj^press the Modocs, Piutes, and other . 
disaffected aborigines. Colonel Ross accordingly made proclamation on the third of 


August following, inviting enlistments for the term of three months. Some sixty or 
seventy men responded, whose names, with the officers they elected, are annexed : 
Captain, Jesse Walker; Lieutenants, C. Westfeldt, Isaac Miller; Sergeants, William 
G.Hill, R. E. Miller, Andrew J. Long; Privates, Benj. Antum, John Bormonler, 
David Breen, William By bee, T. C Banning, O. C Beeson, Newton Ball, J. H. Clifton, 
R. S. A. Caldwell, Hugh C. Clauson, J. J. Coffer, W.W. Cose, David Dorsey, Henry C. 
Eldridge, W. M.D. Foster, T.V. Henderson, Jesse Huggens, J. B.Henit, J. M. Holloway, 
J.H. Hoffman, James Hathaway, John Head, John Halleck, John Hawkins, David W. 
Houston, Samuel Hink, William H. Jaquette, Eli Judd, J. P. Jones, L. W. Jones, John 
F. Linden,, Peter Mowry, John Martin, Greenville Matthews, John M. Malone, B. 
McDaniel, James McLinden, John Pritchett, J. B. Patterson, Warren Pratt, Sylvester 
Pase, J. A. Pinney, George Bitchy, W. M. Rise, R. M. Robertson, E. A. Rice, Thomas 
Swank, Seth Sackett, J. R. Smith, N. D. Schooler, John Smith, John Shookman, 
Silas R. Smith, Marion Snow, Vincent Tullis, John Tliom2ison, David Thompson, 
Peter H. Vanslyke, Samuel Wilks, Lafayette Witt, Squire Williams, Elijah Walker, 
George W. Wilson, M. Wolverton, James Wilks, Thomas P. Walker, James W. 
Walker, H. Wright. 

Colonel Ross' instructions to the officers before their departure, were to proceed 
immediately to some suitable point near Clear lake, in the vicinity of Bloody Point, 
and protect the trains. These instructions concluded: "Your treatment of the 
Indians must in a great measure be left to your own discretion. If possible, cultivate 
their friendship ; but, if necessary for the safety of the lives and property of the immi- 
gi'ation, whip and drive them from the road." Simultaneously with their starting, a 
small party of Yreka people also set out with the same object. These were only 
fifteen in number, but included, also, some very experienced Indian fighters. While 
traveling along the north shore of Tule lake, they were greeted by a shower of arrows 
from the tules. They retired to await the Oregon company. When Captain Walker 
arrived, he sent forty men of his company with five Californians to attack the Indian 
village, which was situated in the marsh three hundred yards from where the attack 
had been made. This was destroyed without resistance, and all the men returned to 
camp at the mouth of the Lost river. The permanent rendezvous was made at Clear 
lake; and here both companies established their headquarters. Lieutenant Westfeldt, 
with a mixed detachment of Oregonians and Californians, went eastward on the trail 
as far as the big bend of the Humboldt, to meet the coming immigrants. Trains were 
made up of the scattered wagons, and being furnished with small escorts, were sent on 
westward. The Californians soon returning home. Captain Walker set out to jamish 
the Piutes, who had stolen stock from the immigrants. On October third he started with 
sixteen men, traveling northward from Goose lake, when meeting a band of Indians, 
he chased them forty miles, coming the second day ujion them where they were forti- 
fied on the top of an immense rock, named by him Warner's rock, in remembrance of 
Captain Warner, killed there in I84U. The small party made a furious attack upon 
the stronghold, but was repulsed with one man, John Low, wounded. Returning to 
Goose lake, they met and killed two Indians. Setting out again with twenty-five men, 
the determined captain again headed for Warner's rock, and by traveling in the night, 
reached it without being suspected by the savages, who, it was found, had gone down 


from the rock, and were living ou tlie bank of a creek. The men rode up to the camp, 
and formed a semi-circle about it. At daydreak they began firing, and drove the 
Indians pell-mell into the brush, killing many. The only white man injured was 
Sergeant William Hill, who was severely wounded in the arm and cheek by a bullet 
from the gun of one of his companions. Returning now to Goose lake and then home- 
ward, they were mustered out of service at Jacksonville on November 6, 1854. 

Before closing this account of the events of 1854, there is mention to be made of 

two murders committed by Indians, the one of Stewart, an immigrant, while 

proceeding westward on the wagon trail, in September; the other that of Edward 
Phillips. The latter homicide occurred on the Applegate, about the middle of April. 
It was supposed to have been the deed of certain Indians residing thereabouts, but 
which was laid to the charge of the tribe on Rogue river. Captain Smith detailed a 
detachment to inquire into the matter, whose commanding officer reported that the 
man had been killed in his own cabin, and evidently for the purpose of robbery, as his 
gun, ammunition and tools had been taken. 

As we have seen, the greater part of the difficulties which occurred during the 
year 1854, were outside of the Rogue river valley, but they were still near enough to 
keep a portion of its inhabitants in a state of alarm. 



Character of the Events of 1855— Public Opinion— Situation of the Indians— The Speculative Class— Murder of 
Hill— Of Philpot— Of Dyer and McCue— The Humbug War— Invasion of Jackson County— Resolutions— 
The Invaders Retire— Death of Keene— Murder of Fields and Cunningham— Reflections— The Lupton 

The latter portion of the history of Southern Oregon's Indian wars 
peculiar distinction. It describes exclusively the strong^- struggles of a single tribe 
against extermination ; it tells their slow and gradual yielding, and finally the last act 
of their existence which bears interest to us ; namely, their exile from the land of 
their birth. The subject which we took up lightly at the year 1827 has assumed a 
weightier character. Year by year the irrepressible conflict of races has taken on 
more alarming symptoms. The unavoidable termination as it approached, bore to the 
people a more serious import. We can imagine the situation as after a lapse of nearly 
three decades we philosophize upon the subject. The Indians toward the end of 1855 
are growing restless, even desperate. The have long felt and now recognize the tight- 
ening bands of an adverse civilization strangling them. The white men who came 


2 "o 


CO a I— 



with fail- ^tromises, wlio bvouglit trifling presents, iind who broke their words as twigs 
are broken, outnumbered them by far. In the miuds of the whites distrust increases. 
There has also crept in a new element and an influential one. Speculative gentlemen 
nuised upon the profits of an Indian war, and took note how surely government reim- 
bursed the contractors, the packers, the soldiers, of previous wars. Being without 
other means of accumulating wealth, why should they not keep an eye open to the 
chance of a war against the Indians. "A good crop pays well, but a good lively cam- 
paign is vastly more lucrative." These few schemers were ready to take advantage oL 
a war, and doubly ready with their little bills ; bills that the government found so 
exhorbitant that it took alarm — imagined a grand conspiracy to bring on a war and by 
such means to defraud the treasury ; and, finally, would pay no bills, not even those 
of honest volunteers who had periled life and limb in the country's need. Years after, 
there came J. Ross Browne, as treasury agent, who looked into the matter and found 
therein nothing but the traces of shrewd contractors and unscrupulous purveyors, and 
he bore evidence to the honesty and uprightness of the people, and to the legitimacy 
of the war. But this is a digression from our topic. The events of I800 are easily 
suscejatible of arrangement in historical form. Those which precede the beginning of 
hostilities (which took place October eighth), we are enabled to arrange in three series 
with reference to their locality, date of occurrence, and cause. 

We are informed that on May 8, 1855, Hill was attacked and killed on 

Indian creek, in Siskiyou county, California. Primarily this information is obtained 
from the official list of white persons killed by Indians, referred to as the work of a 
legislative committee. The next entry is to the effect that " Jerome Dyar and Daniel 
McKew" were killed on the first of June, on the road from Jacksonville to the Illinois 
valley, and that, as in the former case, the killing was done by Rogue River Indians. 
On June second, says the report, Philpot was killed by the same Indians, in Deer 
creek valley. These constitute a chain of events to which particular attention should 
be paid in order to ascertain the comparative trustworthiness of the publication quoted 

From a careful comparison of accounts, oral as well as printed, it appears that a 
party of Illinois Indians, belonging possibly to Limpy's band, but more likely being 
the remnant of those active and formidable savages who so boldly resisted the attacks 
l)((th of the regulars and the miners, as described in foregoing pages, went over to the 
Klamath river about Happy Camp, and robbed some miners' cabins, and then proceed- 
ing to Indian creek, killed a man named Hill — sometimes sjielled Hull — and precip- 
itately returning, stole some cattle from Hay's ranch (afterwards Thornton's), and took 
their booty to the hills at the head of Slate creek. On the day following, Samuel Frve 
set out from Hay's ranch with a force of eight men, and following the Indians into the 
hills, came upon them and killed or mortally wounded three of them, as the whites 
reported. The latter i-etired and probably were follow^ed, as on the next day, while 
returning with re-inforcements, it was found that the Indians had gone to Deer creek 
and murdered Philpot and seriously wounded James Mills. The neighboring settlers 
and others moved immediately to Yarnall's stockade for safety, while Frye, with his 
military comj)any, now increased to twenty men, were active in protecting them, and 
seeking tlic Indians. News was sent to Fort Lane, and Lieutenant Switzer with a force 


of twelve men came down and entered npon the search, only to find that the Indians 
had murdered Jerome Dyer and Daniel McCiie, on the Applegate, where they had 
gone on their supposed way to the Klamath lakes. A day or so later the Indians, 
finding their way blocked for escape to the eastward, surrendered to the troof)s and 
were taken to the Fort for safe keeping, as there were no regularly constituted author- 
ities to receive them, and if once allowed to go out of the power of the soldiers would 
infallibly have been killed by the citizens, as indeed they well deserved. The Indians, 
. fourteen in number were brought up to the reserve, but Chief Sam put in forcible 
objections against their being allowed to come among his people, saying that some 
whites Avere endeavoring to raise disturbances among the latter, and their own good 
name would suffer, etc. To this Captain Smith and Agent Ambrose assented, and pro- 
vided a place for the Indians at Fort Lane, where they were kept under guard, as 
much to prevent whites from killing them as to discourage them from running away. 
The next sequence of events that deserves notice, constitutes the " Humbug War," 
well known by that name in Northern California. The whole matter, which at one 
time threatened to assume serious proportions, grew out of a plain case of drunk. Two 
Indians — whether Shastas, Klamaths, or Rogue Rivers there is no evidence to show, 
but presumably from the locality of the former tribe — procured liquor and became 
intoxicated, and while passing along Humbug creek in California, were met by one 
Peterson, who foolishly meddled with them. Becoming enraged, one of the Indians 
shot him, inflicting a mortal wound; as he fell he drew his own revolver and shot his 
opponent in the abdomen. The Indians started for the Klamath river at full speed, 
while the alarm was given. Two companies of men were instantly formed and sent out 
to arrest the perpetrators. The information that an Indian had shot a white man was 
enough to arouse the whole community, and no punishment would have been deemed 
severe enough for the culprit if he had been taken. The citizens found on the next 
day a party of Indians who refused to answer their questions as they wished, so they 
arrested three of them and set out for Humbug with them. While on the road, two of 
the three escaped, the other one was taken to Humbug, examined before a justice of the 
peace and for want of evidence discharged. When the two escaped prisoners returned 
to their camp, it was the signal for a massacre of whites. That night (July 28) the 
Indians of that band passed down the Klamath, killing all but three of the men work- 
ing between Little Humbug and Horse creeks. Eleven met their death at that time, 
being William Hennessy, Edward Parish, Austin W. Gay, Peter Hignight, John Pol- 
lock, four Frenchmen and two Mexicans. Excitement knew no bounds ; every man 
constituted himself an exterminator of Indians, and a great many of that unfortunate 
race were killed, without the least reference to their possible guilt or innocence- Many 
miserable captives were deliberately shot, hanged or knocked into abandoned prospect 
holes to die. Over twenty-five natives, mostly those who had always been friendly, were 
thus disposed of. Even infancy and old age were not safe from these " avengers," who 
were composed chiefly of the rowdy or " sporting " class. 

Meantime some had said that the Indians who had committed the massacre had 
gone north. On the dissemination of this report, preparations for a pursuit were 
rapidly made, and about the first of August five companies of volunteers started for 
the north side of the Klamath. These were commanded by Captains Hale, Lynch, 


Martin, Kelly and Ream — the latter's men being monnted, while the others were on 
foot. The total force amounted to about two hundred. The Indians were found to 
have fled beyond the Klamath, and the volunteers, findino- their trail, followed it 
closely. The jiursued were carrying the man whom Peterson wounded, and had gone 
over the summit of the Siskiyou range, and down into the valley of the Applegate, and 
made for the reservation at Fort Lane. When the five companies reached Sterling- 
creek, they camped, finding the Indians had escaped them and gone to the reservation. 
Here they held a meeting, and like all Americans in seasons of public anxiety, jjassed 
resolutions. Those Avere of the following tenor : 

Sterling, Oregon, August r>, 18.55. 

At a meeting of the volunteer companies of Siskiyou county, State of California, who have 
been organized for the jouriDOse of ajjprehending and punishing certain Indians who have committed 
depredations in our county, E. S. Mowrj', Esq., was elected chairman, Dr. D. Ream, secretary, 
and the following resolutions were unanimously adopted : 

Whereas, Certain Indians, composed of the Klamath, Horse Creek, and a portion of the Rogue 
River tribe, on or about the twenty-seventh or twenty-eighth of Juh', 18.35, came ujion the Klamath 
river, and there ruthlessly and without provocation, murdered eleven or more of our fellow-citizens 
and friends, a portion of whom we know to have escaped into the reservation near Fort Lane, 
Rogue river valley, Oregon territory, from the fact of having tracked them into said valley and 
from testimony of certain responsible and reliable witnesses ; it is, therefore, 

Resolved, That a committee of five men, one from each company now present, be chosen to- 
present these resolutions to Captain Smith, U. S. A., commandant at Fort Lane, and Mr. Palmer ,^ 
the Indian agent for Oregon territory. We would respectfully request Captain Smith, U. S. A., 
and Mr. Palmer, Indian agent, that they would, if in their power, deliver up to us the fugitive 
Indians who have Hed to the reservation, in three days from this date, and if at the end of this 
time they are not delivered to us, together with all the stock and proi^erty, we would most respect- 
fully beg of Cajitain Smith, U. S. A., and the Indian agent full permission to apprehend the fugi- 
tive Indians, and take the property wherever it may be found. 

Resolved, That if at the expiration of three days the Indians and property are not delivered to- 
ns, and the permission to seek for them is not granted, then we will, on our own responsibility, go 
and take them where they may be found, at all and every hazard. 

Resolved, That the following-named gentlemen compose the committee : 


J. X. Hale, 
A D. Lake, 
William Parrish, 
E. S. MowRY, Chairman. A. Hawkins, 

Dr. D. Re.\m, Secretary. Committee. 

The committee went to Fort Lane and found that some of the stock stolen by tlie 
Lidians was there, and that two Rogue River Indians who had been concerned in the 
massacre were then in the guard house. The committee waited u^ion Captain Smith, 
jiresented their credentials, and demanded the surrender of the stock and criminals. 
The Captain said that the animals would be delivered up on proof of ownership, but 
tluit the Indians could on no account be surrendered, except to the properly constituted 
authorities. Lieutenant Mowry then told him plainly that they came after the Indians 
and proposed to have them, if it was necessary to take them by force. This was too 
much for hot-tempered Captain Smith to endure. Threats from a citizen to a regular 
army officer were unheard-of in his experience. He stormed furiously, declined to 
submit to dictation, and invited the bold Californians to put their threats in execution. 
Tluy left, di'cliiring tli;it if the Indians were not fdrthcomiui;- in three davs thcv would 


take the fort by .storm. The camp was then removed to a poiut within three or t'uur 
miles of the fort, and the volunteers began to mature plans for its capture. Captain 
Smith made arrangements to repel attacks, placing his artillery (two or three small 
cannon) in position, loaded and trained upon the approaches, and suspended the visits 
of troops to the surrounding cam^JS. The invaders evolved a plan for making the 
soldiers drunk, whereby they might enter the fort, but this fell through on account of 
communications being sundered ; and within a day or two they left for their homes, 
feeling that a war against the government might terminate injuriously to them. 

After the war of 1855-6 closed, the Indian criminals in question, two in number, 
Avere surrendered to the sheriff of Siskiyou, upon a warrant charging them with mur- 
der. They were taken to Yreka, and kept in jail until the grand jury met, and no 
indictment being found, they were released. But it ha23peued that a number of men 
in that town had determined that the savages should die. As they walked forth from 
thejail these men locked arms with them, led them out of town, shot them and tum- 
bled their bodies into an old mining shaft where their bones yet lie. 

Years later appropriations Avere made by congress for the pay of the men belong- 
ing to the five companies, and about 1870 a number of them actually received compen- 
sation for their services in this expedition. 

On the second of September an affray occurred in the upjier part of Bear creek 
valley, Jackson county, which resulted in the death of a white man and the wounding 
of two others. A few days previously, some Indians, by some supposed to belong to the 
gang which committed the eleven murders on the Klamath, stole some horses from B. 
Alberding. The owner summoned his neighbors to assist in recovering them, and a 
very small company set out on the quest. Following the trail, they walked into an 
ambuscade of savages, and were fired upoii. Granville Keene was killed, Alberding 
was wounded by a ball that struck him above the eye, J. Q. Faber was shot through 
the arm, and another man received a wound in the hand. The party hastily retired, 
leaving the body of Keene where it fell. On the following day a detachment of troops 
from Fort Lane proceeded to the scene of conflict and obtained the much mutilated 
remains, but the Indians, of course, were gone. The savages who were concerned in 
this diabolism were said by different accounts to number from five to thirty. 

The next event of the sort is a still more serious one, which occurred on the 
twenty-fifth of September, and involved the death of two persons. On the previous 
dav Harrison B. Oatman and Daniel P. Brittain, of Phoenix, and Calvin M. Fields, 
started from Phoenix, each driving an ox-team loaded with flour destined for Yreka. 
Camping the first night near the foot of the Siskiyou mountains, the train started up 
the ascent the next morning, doubling their teams frequently as was made necessary 
by the steepness of the road. ■ When within three hundred yards of the summit, Oat- 
man and Fields advancing with two teams and one wagon, while Brittain remained 
with two wagons and one team, the latter heard five shots fired in the vicinity of the 
men in advance. Hurrying up the rise he quickly came in sight of the teams, which 
Avere standing still, while an Indian was apjjarently engaged in stripping a f;illen man. 
Turning back, Brittain ran down the mountain, followed by a bullet from the Indian's 
] ifle, but made his way unhurt to the INIountain House, three mile.s from the scene of 
the attack. Six men hastilv mounted and returned to the .summit. Oatman, mean- 


while had esfajied, aiul got to Hughes' house (now Byron Cole's) ou the California 
side, and obtained help. He reported that at the time the attack began, a youth 
named Cunningham, who was returning from Yreka with a team, was jsassing Oatmaa 
and Fields when the attack was made, and that he was wounded at the instant Fields 
fell dead. The latter's body was lying in the road, stripped, but Cunningham was 
only found the next day, lying dead by a tree behind which he had taken refuge. The 
exact spot where the catastrophe occurred — says Mr. Brittain, who still resides at 
Phaniix — is where the railroad tunnel enters from the Oregon side. It is the gentle- 
man's ojjinion that about fifteen Indians were concerned in the attack. The date 
mentioned, September twenty-fifth, is taken from Mr. Robinson's diary, although Mr. 
Brittain is of the opinion that it took place three days later. Newspaper accounts 
give the twenty-fourth as the proper date. On the following day Samuel ^\ arner was 
murdered ou Cottonwood creek, not far from the scene of the other tragedy, and most 
likely by the same Indians. At nearly the same time, two men, Charles Scott and 
Thomas Snow, were killed on the trail between Yreka and Scott Bar. These repeated 
killings (whose details are not now known) produced a very considerable degree of 
alarm, but no military measures of importance were taken, except by the officials at 
Fort Lane, who sent forty mounted troops to the various scenes of bloodshed, but these 
returned without having effected anything. 

Our account now approaches the beginning of the war of 1855-6, by some thought 
to have been the result of the incidents above recounted. It is truly difficult at this 
time to accord these circumstances their proper influence in the acts which followed. 
It is evident that the people of Rogue river valley toward the end of the summer of 
1855, must have felt an additional degTce of insecurity, but that it was wholly in con- 
sequence of the murders which had previously taken place does not seem probable, 
inasmuch as these murders were committed outside the valley. Their legitimate results 
could hardly have been sufficient to stir up a general war against the Indians, so we 
are left to conjecture the growth of a public sentiment determined upon war. The 
vast majority of settlers, wearied of constant anxiety, heartily and unaffectedly believed 
that the removal of the Indians was desirable and necessary. Whatever may have 
been the exact status of the war party, and whatever the influence of the speculative 
branch of it, it is clear there was no outspoken opposition such as would have been 
created by a general sentiment in favor of peaceful methods. Almost the only out- 
spoken advocate of Indians' rights was compelled to leave the country of his adoption 
from fear of personal violence. Whoever doubts the acerbity of public sentiment at 
that date, will do well to pause here and digest that statement, comparing with it the 
tenor of the editorial remarks to be found in the Sentinel at that time. If that paper 
were a truthful exponent of public opinion, and we believe it was, there must have 
existed a condition of feeling analogous to that in the southern states in the months 
preceding the rebellion. If such publications may be trusted to gauge public senti- 
ment, the feeling of absolute enmity against the natives must have increased ten-fold 
since the signing of the Lane treaty. And as there wa.s nothing in the conduct of the 
Indians to fully warrant this, we shall not, probably, be for out of the way in assign- 
ing much of it to the influence of those who, for various reasons, desired war. Un- 
doul)tedIy tliis view will foil to i)lease those whose belief as to the cause of the war of 


185.5-6 is fouuJed ui^ou current traditions; but such should remember that those tradi- 
tions date their commencement from a time when it was extremely unjjopular, even dan- 
gerous, to oppose the war, and as unpopular to print or sjjeak anything of an opposing 
character. It has thus far been regarded as indisputable fact that Indian outrages 
brought on the war, and were the sole cause of it. Keeping in view the principle with 
which we set out, that the war was unavoidable from the very nature of things, it seems 
a fair and impartial conclusion that it could have been, by the use of tact and justice, 
postponed at least for a time. Instances might be multiplied to show the drift of 
public sentiment at the time of which we speak; pages might be written and endless 
quotations made; but it would seem that the foregoing paragraphs set forth the state 
of affairs with sufficient clearness. The existence of a war party was assured; and with 
the uuexiJiected stimulus of the terrible massacre of October ninth, this war i^arty 
proved powerful enough to effect the deportation of the Indians — a fact not to be 
regretted. Previous to that date no excuses were deemed necessary for even the most 
violent measures; but when criticism subsequently awoke, editorials were written, 
affidavits prepared, and another war (of words) was fought to prove the first one neces- 
sary. For as matters then existed outside sympathy had to be created — the conscien- 
ces of some people had to be calmed — some men had to be made heroes of — appropri- 
ations had to be got — and congress had to be won over. 

It is undoubtedly true that those writers and speakers who have attempted to 
apologize for or extenuate certain acts having a bearing on the question have most 
blunderingly performed their task. To effect this end required a high degree of tact 
and skill, both of which it would appear were wanting at that date. For example : 
Although we have evidence to show that the Lupton incident was the work partly of 
hair-brained enthusiasts and ^^rofessed ruffians who in no sense rejwesented the com- 
munity, still their act was adopted and defended by those who took it upon themselves 
to advocate the what they styled the cause of the people of Southern Oregon. The act 
should have been promptly repudiated as of too brutal a nature to represent the wishes 
of an enlightened and humane public. In other respects these apologists far overstepped 
the bounds of tact and prudence. Officials of the United States government were 
antagonized, thereby endangering governmental support. Column after column of the 
Sentinel, the only paper then published south of Salem, was filled with abuse of Gene- 
ral Wool, Joel Palmer and other officials, and violent recriminations concerning the 
conduct of the war generally. The result of this was that the government become sus- 
picious and sent an agent to investigate, as has been before remarked. 

It has always been regarded as a remarkable circumstance that the Indians ou 
and near the reservation should have been (with the exception of Sam's band) fully 
prepared for an outbreak exactly at the time when the " exterminators " made their 
attack at the mouth of Little Butte creek, thereby furnishing an all sufficient reason 
for such outbreak. A still more suggestive fact is the simultaneous beginning of war 
in Oregon and Washington territory — a fact so striking as to suggest the collusion of 
those widely separated tribes. How this concert of action was brought about, several 
have attempted to explain, but never in a satisfactory manner. Leaving this subject 
we will proceed to consider the Lupton affair. 


Oil the seventh of October, 1855, a jmrty of men, priucii)ally miners and men- 
a bout-town, in Jacksonville, organized and armed themselves to the number of about 
forty (accounts disagree as to number), and under the nominal leadership of Captain 
Hays and Major James A. Luptou, representative-elect to the territorial legislature^ 
proceeded to attack a small band of Indians encamped on the north side of Kogue river 
near the moutli of Little Butte creek a few miles above Table Rock. Lupton, it appears, 
was a man of no experience in bush fighting, but was rash and headstrong. His mili- 
tary title, says Colonel Ross, was unearned in war and was probably gratuitous. It is 
the prevailing opinion that be was led into the affair through a wish to court popu- 
larity, which is almost the only incentive that could have occurred to him. Certainly 
it could not have been plunder; and the mere love of fighting which jH'obably drew the 
greater part of the force together was j^erhaps absent in his case. The reason why the 
particular band at Butte creek was selected as victims also appears a mystery, although 
the circumstances of their location being accessible, their numbers small, and their 
reputation as fighters very slight, possibly were the ruling considerations. This band 
of Indians apjDear to have behaved themselves tolerably ; they were pretty fair Indians, 
but beggars, and on occasion thieves. They had been concerned in no considerable 
outrages that are distinctly specified. The attacking party arrived at the river on the 
evening of the seventh, and selecting a hiding place, remained therein until daylight, 
the appointed time for the attack. The essential particulai's of the fight which followed 
are, when separated from a tangle of contradictory minutiae, that Lupton and his party 
fired a volley into the crowded encampment, following up the sudden and totally unex- 
pected attack by a close encounter with knives, revolver's, and whatever weajion they 
were possessed of, and the Indians were driven away or killed without making much 
resistance. These facts are matters of evidence, as are also the killing of several squaws, 
one or more old decrej)it men, and a number, probably small, of children. The un- 
essential particulars vary greatly. For instance. Captain Smith reported to govern- 
ment that eighty Indians were slaughtered. Other observers, perhaps less prejudiced, 
placed the number at thirty. Certain accounts, notably that contributed to the States- 
man by A. J. Kane, denied that there were any " bucks " present at the fight, the 
whole number of Indians being women, old men, and children. It is worth while to 
note that Mr. A. J. Kane promptly retracted this supposed injurious statement, and in 
a card to the Sentinel said he believed there ivere some bucks present. Certain "Indian 
fighters," also appended their names to the card. 

The exact con.dition of things at the fight, or massacre, as some have characterized 
it, is difficult to determine. Accounts vary so widely that by some it has been termed a 
heroic attack, worthy of Leonidasor Alexander; others have called it an indiscriminate 
butchery of defenceless and peaceful natives, the earliest possessors of the soil. To 
temporize with such occurrences does not become those who seek the truth only, and 
the world would be better could such deeds meet at once the proper penalty and be 
known by their proper name. Whether or not Indian men were present does not con- 
cern the degree of criminality attached to it. The attack was indiscriminately against 
all. The Indians were at peace with the whites and therefore unprepared. To fitly 
characterize the whole proceeding, is to say that it was Indian-like. 


The results of the matter, were the deatli of Luptoii, who was mortally wounded 
by an arrow which penetrated his lungs, the wounding of a young man, Shepherd by 
name, the killing of at least a score of Indians, mainly old men, and the revengeful 
outbreak on the part of the Indians, whose account forms the most important part of 
this history. 



A Memorable Day— The Indians Leave the Reservation— The Murder of Twenty People Women in Cap- 
tivity-Mrs. Harris Defends her Family -Volunteers to the Rescue— General State of Alarm— An Army 
Organized — An Example of Promptness Siege of Galice Creek — Discovery of the Indians' Where- 
abouts-Lieutenant Kautz Surprised— Expedition to Hungry Hill— Battle at Bloody Spring— A Defeat- 
Causes- The Volunteers and Regulars Disagree— A Parallel— Proclamation of Governor Curry— Army 
Reorganized — The Indians Retreat to the Meadows. 

Immediately succeeding the event last detailed, came a series of startling and 
lamentable occurrences, which j^roduced an impression on the community which 
the la|3se of over a quarter of a century has by no means effaced. The ninth of 
October, 1855, has justly been called the most eventful day in the history of Southern 
Oregon. On that day nearly twenty persons lost their lives, victims to Indian ferocity 
and cruelty. Their murder lends a somber interest to the otherwise dry details of 
Indian skirmishes, and furnishes many a romantic though saddening page to the 
annalist who would write the minute history of those times. A portion of the incidents 
of that awful day have been written for publications of wide circulation, and thus have 
become a part of the country's stock-in-trade of Indian tales. Certain of them have 
taken their place in the history of our country along with the most stirring and romantic 
episodes of border warfare. Many and varied are this country's legends of hair- 
breadth escapes and heroic defense against overpowering odds. There is nothing told 
in any language to surjiass in daring and devotion the memorable defense of the Har- 
ris home. Mrs. Wagner's mysterious fate still bears a melancholy interest, and while 
time endures the people of this region cannot forget the mournfully tragic end of all 
who died on that fateful day. 

As the present memories describe it, the attack was by most people wholly unex- 
jjected, in sj)ite of the jirevious months of anxiety. The recklessness of the whites 
who precipitated the outbreak by their conduct at the Indian village above Table Kock^ 
had left unwarned the outlying settlers, upon whose defenseless and innocent heads 
fell the storm of barbaric vengeance. Early on the morning of October ninth, the 




hands of several of the more warlike chiefs gathered at or near Table Rock, set out 
traveling westward, down the river, and transporting their families, their arms and 
other property, and bent on war. It is not at this moment possible to ascertain the 
names of those chiefs, nor the number of their braves ; but it has been thought that 
Limpy, the chief of the Illinois band, with George, chief of the lower Rogue river 
band, were the most prominent and influential Indians concerned in the matter. Their 
numbers, if we follow the most reliable accounts, would indicate that from thirty-five 
to fifty Indians performed the murders of which we have now to discourse. Their first 
act was to murder William Goin or Going, a teamster, native of Missouri, and em- 
ployed on the reservation, where he inhabited a small hut or house. Standing by the 
fire-jilace in conversation with Clinton Schieffelin, he was fatally shot, at two o'clock in 
the morning. The particular individuals who accomplished this killing were, says 
Mr. !~(chieft'elin, members of John's band of Applegates, who were encamped on Ward 
creek, a mile above its mouth, and twelve miles distant from the camp of Sam's band. 
Hurrying through the darkness to Jewett's ferry these hostiles, now reinforced by 
the baud of Limpy and George, found there a j^ack-train loaded with mill-irons. 
Hamilton, the man in charge of it, was killed, and another individual was severely 
wounded, being hit in four i)laces. They next began firing at Jewett's house, within 
which were several persons in bed, it not being yet daylight. Meeting with resistance 
they gave up the attack and moved to Evans' ferry, which they reached at daybreak. 
Here they shot Isaac Shelton, of Willamette valley, en route for Yreka. He lived 
twenty hours. The next victim was Jones, jiroprietor of a ranch, whom they shot 
dead near his house. His body w'as nearly devoured by hogs before it was found. 
The house was set on fire, and Mrs. Jones was pursued by an Indian and shot with a 
I'evolver, when she fell senseless, and the savage retired supposing her dead. She 
revived and was taken to Tufts' place and lived a day. O. P. Robbins, Jones' part- 
ner, was hunting cattle at some distance from the house. Getting upon a stum^i he 
looked about him and saw the house on fire. Correctly judging that Indians were 
abroad, he proceeded to Tufts and Evans' places and secured the help of three men, 
but the former place the Indians had already vi.sited and shot Mrs. Tufts through the" 
body, but being taken to Illinois valley she recovered. Six miles north of Evans 
ferry the Indians fell in with and killed two men who were transporting supplies from 
the Willamette valley to the mines. They took the two horses from the wagon, and 
went on. The house of J. B. Wagner was burned, Mrs. Wagner being 2>i'Pviously 
murdered, or, as an unsubstantiated story goes, she was compelled to remain in it until 
dead. This is refinement of horrors indeed. For a time her fate was unknown, but 
it was finally settled thus. Mary, her little daughter, was taken to the Meadows, on 
lower Rogue river, some weeks after, according to the Indians' own accounts, but died 
there. Mr. Wagner being from home escaped death. Coming to Haines' house, ]\Ir. 
Haines being ill in bed, they shot him to death, killed two children and took his 
wife prisoner. Her fate was a sad one, and is yet wrapi)ed in mystery. It seems 
likely, from the stories told by the Indians, that the unlia2)py woman died al)out ;i 
week afterwards, from the effects of a fever aggravated by improper food. When the 
subsecpient war raged, a thousand in(piiries were made concerning the captive, and 


not a stone was left unturned to solve the mystery. The evidence that exists bearing 
upon the subject is unsatisfactory indeed, but may be deemed sufficiently conclusive. 

At about nine o'clock a. m., the savages approached the house of Mr. Harris, about 
ten miles north of Evans', where dwelt a family of four — Mr. and Mrs. Harris and 
their two children, Mary aged twelve, and David aged ten years. With them resided 
T. A. Eeed, an unmarried man employed by or with Mr. Harris in farmwork. Reed 
was some distance from the house, and was set upon by a party of the band of hostiles 
and killed, no assistance being near. His skeleton was found a year after. David, 
the little son of the fated family, had gone to a field at a little distance, and in all 
likelihood was taken into the woods by his captors and slain, as he was never after 
heard of. Some have thought that he was taken away and adopted into the tribe — a 
theory that seems hardly probable, as his presence would have become known when 
the entire baud of hostiles surrendered several months afterward. It seems more 
probable that the unfortunate youth was taken prisoner, and proving an inconvenience 
to his brutal captors, was by them unceremoniously murdered and his corpse thrown 
aside, where it remained undiscovered. Mr. Harris was surprised by the Indians, and 
retreating to the house, was shot in the breast as he reached the door. His wife, with 
the greatest courage and presence of mind, closed and barred the door, and in obedi- 
ence to her wounded husband's advice, brought down the fire-arms which the house 
contained — a rifie, a double shotgun, a revolver and a single-barreled pistol — and 
began to fire at the Indians, hardly with the expectation of hitting them, but to deter 
them from assaulting or setting fire to the house. Previous to this a shot fired by the 
Indians had wounded her little daughter in the arm, making a painful but not danger- 
ous flesh wound, and the terrified child climbed to the attic of the dwelling where she 
remained for several hours. Throughout all this time the heroic woman kept the 
savages at bay, and attended as well as she was able to the wants of her fearfully 
wounded husband, who expired in about an hour after he was shot. Fortunately, she 
had been taught the use of fire-arms; and to this she owed her preservation and that 
of her daughter. The Indians, who could be seen moving about in the vicinity of the 
bouse, wei'e at pains to keep within cover and dared not approach near enough to set 
fire to the dwelling, although they burned the out-buildings, first taking the horses 
from the stable. Mrs. Harris steadily loaded her weapons, and fired them through 
the crevices between the logs of which the house was built. In the afternoon, though 
at what time it was impossible for her to tell, the Indians drew off and left the stout- 
hearted woman mistress of the field. She had saved her own and her daughter's life, 
and added a deathless page to the record of the country's history. 

After the departure of the savages, the heroine with her daughter left the house 
and sought refuge in a thicket of willows near the road, and remained there all night. 
Next morning several Indians passed, but did not discover them, and during the day 
a company of volunteers, hastily collected in Jacksonville, approached, to whom the 
two presented themselves, the sad survivors of a once happy home. 

When, on the ninth of October, a rider came dashing into Jacksonville and 
quickly told of the fray, great excitement prevailed, and men volunteered to go to the 
aid of whoever might need help. Almost immediately a score of men were in their 
saddles and pushing toward the river. Major Fitzgerald, stationed at Fort Lane, went 


or was sent by C'aptain Smith, at the head of fifty-five mouuted men, and these going 
with the vohinteers, jiroceeded along the track of ruin and desolation left by the 
savages. At Wagner's house, some five or six volunteers who were in advance, came 
upon a few Indians hiding in the brush near by, who, unsuspicious of the main l)ody 
advancing along the road, challenged the whites to a fight. Major Fitzgerald came 
up and ordered a charge; and six of the "red devils" were killed, and the rest driven 
"on the jump" to the hills, but could not be overtaken. Giving up the pursuit, the 
regulars and volunteers marched along the road to the Harris house, where, as we 
have seen, they found the devoted mother and her child, and removed them to a place 
of safety in Jacksonville. They proceeded to and camped at Grave creek that night, 
and returned the next day. 

A company of volunteei's led by Captain Rinearson hastily came from Cow 
creek, and scoured the country about Grave creek and vicinity, finding quite a number 
of bodies of murdered men. On the twenty-fifth of October the body of J. B. Powell, 

of Lafayette, Yamhill county, was found and buried. James White and Fox 

liad been previously found dead. All the houses along the Indians' route had been 
robbed and then burned, with two or three exceptions. 

It would be difficult to picture the state of alarm which prevailed when the full 
details of the massacre Avere made known. Self-preservation, the first law of nature, 
was exemplified in the actions of all. The peojile of Rogue river valley, j^robably 
without exception, withdrew from their ordinary occupations and "forted up" or retired 
to the larger settlements. Jacksonville was the objective point of most of these fugi- 
tives, who came in on foot, on horse or mule back, or with their families or more 
portable jjroperty loaded on wagons drawn by oxen. In every direction mines were 
abandoned, farms and fields were left unwatched, the herdsman forsook his charge, 
and all sought refuge from the common enemy. The industries which had suffered a 
severe but only temporary check in the summer of 1853, were again brought to a 
standstill, and the trade and commerce which were rapidly building up Jackson and 
her neighboring counties, became instantly paralyzed. All business and pleasure were 
forsaken, to devise means to meet and van(|uish the hostile bands. Nor was this state 
of affairs confined to the Rogue river country. Other and far distant regions caught 
the infection, and for a time the depressing expectation of Indian forays racked many 
a breast. The people of far removed districts devised means of defense from imagi- 
nary foes. The Methodists of the Tualatin plains, in peaceful Washington county, 
built a stockade about their little church, within which, unterrified l)y imminent 
danger, they might worship God as did the Pilgrim Fathers while their red-skinned 
adversaries howled and beat upon their impregnable fortress. An imaginary host of 
Indians threatened the Willamette valley from north, from south and from east. 
Three hundred Klamath warriors had arrived, it was rumored, at the head of the 
Santiam, and were preparing to rush upon the defenseless settlements below. Indian 
alarmists at Salem and Portland projected measures of defense, and boiled over in 
indignation when their advice was rejected. A safety meeting was held at Corvallis 
because three hundred Cow Creek Indians were said to have come north of the Cala- 
pooia mountains, and threatened the lives of all. The Oregon papers of that date 
wen- full <if matter cMlcuhited to show the extreme state of apprehension wliicli like a 


Avave swept over this fair land. It will be believed that there was ample reason for 
such a feeling in those Avho lived south of the Calapooias. The settlers on the 
Umpqua and its tributaries were obviously endangered, nor did they escape the incon- 
veniencies, and in some cases, the actual presence of war. They, like their less fortu- 
nate friends on the Rogue river, "forted up," that is, retired to places of safety, and 
there remained until the Indian scare had settled down to steady warfare. At Scotts- 
burg, more than a hundred miles from the seat of war, the inhabitants thus took 
refuge. The commonest form of protective structure was a house of logs with loop- 
holes between, through which a fire of small-arms might be kept up. At other jilaces 
more elaborate defenses were substituted, the old-fashioned block house, with its looj^- 
holes and projecting ujiper story, being a not uncommon sight. Earthworks, consist- 
ing of rifle pits including a house, were a favorite form. Any structure so situated as 
to command quite an area, and so built as to resist rifle bullets and afibrd immunity 
against fire, served for the temporary habitation of those who were driven from their 
own homes. 

It should be remarked that the situation in Southern Oregon was even more serious 
than was thought possible by those who viewed these affairs from abroad, or thi'ough 
the distorting medium of the newspapers. The people were beset on all sides by sav- 
ages, they knew not how numerous, and who might strike, they knew not where. The 
extent of the Indian uprising was not at first understood. The few Indians who had 
done so much mischief in the Siskiyou mountains were now imitated on a much graniler 
scale by many times tlieir number of bolder and more skillful fighters, who were well 
sui^plied with ammunition, and having in profusion, guns, rifles, revolvers and knives, 
as great in assortment and better in quality than the whites themselves were 23rovided 
with. Besides, of the several thousand Indians who inhabited Southern Oregon, no 
one could tell which band might dig up the hatchet and go on the war parth in imita- 
tion of those who were already so actively butchering and burning. The Table Rock 
band, steadfastly friendly, withstood the temptation to avenge their undoubted griev- 
ances, and remained upon the reservation, thereby diminishing the enemy's force very 
considerably. The Coast Indians, formidable and dangerous barbarians, as yet had 
not been influenced to join the malcontents, but we shall see how at a later date they 
became hostile and equalled their allies in savagery and bloodthirstiness. 

To oppose such an array of active murderers and incendiaries, the genei-al gov- 
ernment had a small number of troops unfitted to perform the duties of Indian fighting 
by reason of their unsuitable mode of dress, tactics and their dependence upon quar- 
termaster and commissary trains. The fact has been notorious throughout all the 
years of American independence that the regular army, however brave or well offi- 
cered, has not been uniformly successful in fighting the Indians. The reasons for this 
every frontiersman knows. They are as set forth above. But upon such troops the 
government in 1855 relied to keep peace between the hostile white and Indian popu- 
lation in Southern Oregon, and although w^ith final success, we shall see that the 
operation of subduing the Indians was needlessly long and tedious. We shall also see 
how an ill-organized, unpaid, ill-fed, ill-clothed and insubordinate volunteer organiza- 
tion, brought together in as many hours as it required weeks to marshal a regular 
force, dispersed the savages repeatedly, fought them wherever they could be found, and 


in the most cheerless dnys of winter resolutely followed their inveterate foe, and Avere 
" in at the death" of the allied tribes. 

The formation of volunteer comjjauies and the enrollment of men, began imme- 
diately upon the receipt of the news of the outbreak. The chief settlements — Jackson- 
ville, Applegate creek. Sterling, Illinois valley. Deer creek, Butte creek, Galice creek, 
Grave creek, Vannoy's ferry, and Cow creek — become centers of enlistment, and to 
them resorted the ftirmes, miners, and traders of the vicinity, who with the greatest 
unanimity enrolled themselves as volunteers to carry on the war which all now saw to 
be unavoidable. On the twelfth of October, John E. Eoss, Colonel of the Ninth j-egi- 
ment of Oregon militia, assumed command of the forces already raised, by virtue of his 
commission, and in compliance with a resolution of the people of Jacksonville and 
vicinity. Eecognizing the need of mounted troops for the duty of protecting the settle- 
ments, he made proclamation calling into service men provided with horses and arms, 
and in two days had increased his command to nine comj^anies, aggregating five hun- 
dred men. Several of these companies had been on duty from the day succeeding the 
massacre, so promiDtly did their members respond to the call of duty. The regiment 
was increased by the first of November, to fifteen companies, containing an average of 
fifty men each, or seven hundred and fifty in all. The initiatory steps of the organiza- 
tion of the volunteer forces were necessarily precipitous, and in some cases correspond- 
ingly irregular. This organization was based upon the militia law of the territory, as 
it then existed, declaring the territory a military district for brigade purposes, of which 
by authority of the act of congress organizing the territory, the governor was com- 
mander-in-chief. This law further provided for the appointment by the governor, of 
a brigadier general, and for the election in subordinate districts, of colonels and other 
regimental officers. It also embraced the usual departments of the general staff", and 
provided for the commission of their chief, and subordinate officers. 

It is justly thought remarkable that such a force could have been raised in a 
country of such a limited population as Southern Oregon ; and this fact is rendered still 
more remarkable by the extreme promptness with which this respectable little army was 
gathered. If we examine the muster-rolls of the different companies, we shall be struck 
by the youth of the volunteers — the average age being not beyond twenty-four years. 
From all directions they came, these young, jirorapt and brave men, from every gulch, 
hillside and plain, from every mining claim, trading post and farm of this extensive 
region, and from the sympathizing towns and mining camps of Northern California, 
which also sent their contingents. Thus an army was gathered, able in all respects to 
perform their undertaking of restoring peace, and suddenly too. These troops, as 
already said, were mounted. Their animals were gathered from pack-trains, farms and 
towns, and were in many cases unused to the saddle. But the exegencies of war did 
not allow the rider to hesitate between a horse and a mule, or to humor the whims of 
the stubborn mustang or intractable cayuse. With the greatest celerity and prompt- 
ness the single organizations had hurried to the rescue of the outlying settlements and 
in many cases preserved the lives of settlers menaced by Indians. Captain Rinearson, 
at Cow creek, enrolled thirty-five men on the day following the massacre, and by night- 
fall had stationer! his men so as to effectually guard many miles of the road, leaving 
men at the Canvon, at Levens' Station, at Turner's, and the remainder at Harkness 


aud Twogood's Grave Creek House; and receiving reinforcements, sent thirty men down 
Grave creek and to Galice creek. By such exertions the enemy were overawed, and 
the white inhabitants, seeing an armed force in their midst, began to regain calmness 
and confidence. 

While the work of organizing the forces was going on, the Indian maraviders had 
retired to the neighborhood of Grave creek, Cow creek and Galice creek, on each of 
which and particularly the two latter, were important settlements. The country 
threatened and partially occupied by the hostiles was the northern part of Josephine 
county — a land of canyons, narrow valleys, steep mountain sides and thick woods. 
Into this almost inaccessible retreat they had thrown themselves, and from there they 
issued forth at will to burn, plunder and murder. On the morning of the seventeenth 
of October the united bands of Limpy, George, John and Tenas Tyee made an attack 
on the headquarters of the volunteers on Galice creek, and the fight ensued which has 
been celebrated since as the "Siege of Galice creek." Captain William B. Lewis, in 
command of a company of about thirty-five men, was stationed at the creek, where his 
men were doing picket and garrison duty. On the day mentioned, two men came to 
headquarters and reported finding Indian signs near by. Directly after Sergeant 
Adams, who had proceeded out to reconnoitre, was fired at by the hostiles who 
appeared in strong force on the hill overlooking the houses used as headquarters. 
Several volunteers who were standing near were also fired upon, and Private J. W. 
Pickett was mortally wounded by a shot through the body, and died during the day. 
The headquarters consisted of two board houses, situated some twenty yards apart, and 
about an equal distance from the stream. Some four or five men took a position in a 
ditch which had been cut for defensive purposes; others took shelter within a log- 
corral adjoining one of the houses, while within the latter the remainder Avere installed. 
The enemy were hidden behind natural obstructions in all directions from the defenses, 
which they surrounded. Very soon the men were driven from the ditch, and took 
refuge in the houses. While retreating toward the house, Private Israel D. Adams 
was shot and fell, mortally injured, near the house, being assisted into it by Private 
Allen Evans, who, while thus engaged, received a severe wound in the jaw. The 
Indians immediately occupied the ditch to the number of twenty or more, and kept up 
a fire on the houses, within which the volunteers were erecting defences by digging uj) 
floors, piling up blankets, etc. The Indians loudly announced their intention of firing 
the houses, scalping the men, and capturing the provisions and ammunition, and this 
cheerful talk was translated by the squaw of Umpqua Joe, a friendly Indian who was 
taking part with the whites, and who, with the squaw, was in the house. Umpqua 
Joe himself had the misfortune to be wounded ; and during the fight a bullet pene- 
trated the thin walls of the and struck Private Samuel Sanders in the head, 
killing him instantly. Considerable conversation of an unfriendly nature passed 
between the different sides, and a steady fire was kept up by both. Several attempts 
were made by the enemy to set fire to the houses, and Chief George particularly distin- 
guished himself by attempting to throw burning faggots upon the I'oofs. This man, 
as well as John, Limj)y and others, were recognized by the besieged party. The 
engagement lasted nearly all day, the Indians at nightfall retiring from the scene. 
When they had disappeared, the volunteers went to work to strengthen their defences 


by exteiuliug their ditch, at which they occupied themselves nearly all night. In the 
morning some Indians apjieared, and seeing from the preparations that the whites were 
well ready to receive them, fired their guns, retreated, and were not again seen on 
Galice creek. The different accounts of this fight describe it as having been a closely 
contested affair, and of really important consequences. Three men had been killed or 
mortally wounded. Besides these, Benjamin Tufts, severely wounded, died on the 
twenty-eighth of November following. Captain Lewis, First Lieutenant W. A. Moore, 
and Privates Allen Evans, John Erixson, Louis Dunois, Milton Blacklidge and Ump- 
qua Joe were wounded. How great the Indian loss was could not be determined, as 
they carried away their injured, according to custom. The common opinion was that 
it was about ecpial to that of the whites. Thus the fight was comparatively desperate 
and bloody. 

A few days subsequent to the fight at Galice creek, and while the whereabouts of 
the Indians was unknown, an opportune circumstance revealed their place of abode. 
Lieutenant (since General) A. V. Kautz, of the regular army, set out from Port Orford 
with a guard of ten soldiers to explore the country lying between that place and Fort 
Lane, thinking to find a route for a practicable trail or wagon road by which the 
inland station could be supplied from Port Orford instead of the longer and very diffi- 
cult Crescent City route. The country proved even more rough, steejj and precipitous 
than it had been reported to be ; and the Lieutenant was many days upon his journey. 
Leaving the river near the mouth of Grave creek, he ascended the neighboring hills 
and, much to his surprise, came upon a very large band of Indians. As they proved 
hostile, there was no resource but to run for it, and losing one man by the savages' 
fire, the officer made his escape to Fort Lane, fortunate in getting away so easily. 

Having now, by this unlucky experience of Lieutenant Kautz, been made aware 
of the Indians' exact whereabouts. Colonel Ross and Captain Smith, combining forces 
as well as the mutual jealousies of regulars and volunteers would permit, began to plan 
an active campaign. All the disposable troops at Fort Lane consisted of eighty-five 
men and four officers : Captain A. J. Smith, first dragoons ; First Lieutenant H. G. 
Gibson, third artillery ; Second Lieutenant A. V. Kautz, fourth infantry ; and Second 
Lieutenant B. Alston, first dragoons. These set out on the twenty -seventh of October, 
and on arriving at the Grave creek house were joined by Colonel Ross' command, of 
about two hundred and ninety men, besides a portion of Major Martin's force from 
Deer creek. From this point the combined forces moved on October thirtieth, to the 
Indian camp, arriving at daybreak at a j'oint where Captains Harris and Bruci' were 
deployed to the left, while Captain Smith, with the regulars, took the ridge to the 
right, ^vith the expectation of arriving in the rear of the Indians' position, whereby 
they might be surrounded and captured. Captains Williams and Rinearson followed 
in Captain Smith's tracks. The country not being perfectly known by the whites, sev- 
. eral mistakes followed in con.sequence, and Harris and Bruce came directly upon the 
Indian encami)ment, and were in full view of the savages before any strategic move- 
ment could be made, and no opportunity for surprising the enemy offered itself The 
time was sunrise, and Captain Smith had gained his rear position and had built fires 
for his men's refreshment, at the place where Lieutenant Kautz had been attacked. 
By these fires the Indians were warned of the ])arty in their rear, and |)repare(l them- 


selves accordingly. The regulars descended into a deep gorge, climbed up the other side 
and directly were engaged with the Indians, who advanced to meet them. The savages 
" paraded in true military style," but directly fell back to a ledge of rocks or to the 
brushy crest of a hill. From the crest of the hill for a mile or more in the rear of 
the Indians, was a dense thicket ; on the right and left were precipitous descents into a 
gorge filled with j^ines and undergrowth, in which the natives concealed themselves 
almost jjerfectly from the view of the whites, who possessed no resources sufficient to 
dislodge them. The ridge being bare on top, the men were necessarily exposed to the 
enemy's fire, and some casualties resulted. Movements were made to get in the 
Indians' rear in this new position, but such attempts were futile. Several charges were 
made by the regulars but ineflPectually, although the men were for considerable periods 
within ten or twenty yards of the hostiles. The latter fought bravely and steadily, 
picking off^the whites by a regular fire from their rifles, which were pitied against the 
inferior w^eapons of the troops, or at least of the regulars, two-thirds of whom had 
only the " musketoon," a short, smooth-bore weapon, discharging inaccurately a heavy 
round bullet, whose range was necessarily slight. About sunset the commanders con- 
cluded to retire from the field, and did so, first posting sentries to observe the savages' 
movements. The united commands encamped for the niglit at Bloody Spring, as it 
was named, some distance down the hill. 

On the following morning Lieutenant Gibson, of the regulars, with ten men, pro- 
ceeded up the hill to the battle-field, to secure the dead body of a private of his detach- 
ment, and when returning with it was pursued by the savages, who came down and 
attacked the camp in force, firing numerous shots. No damage was done by this 
attack except the wounding of Lieutenant Gibson, and after a time the savages were 
driven off. No further attemj)t against the Indians was made, and after advising with 
their officers the two commanders decided to remove their troops from the vicinity. 
Accordingly, orders were given and the retrograde march began. 

The total loss was thirty-one, of whom nine were killed, and twenty-two wounded. 
Several of the latter died of their injuries. The volunteers killed were Privates Jacob 
W. Miller, James Pearcy and Henry Pearl, of Rinearson's company; John Winters, 
of Williams'; and Jonathan A. Pedigo, of Harris'. The wounded were Privates 
William H. Crouch, Enoch Miller and Ephriam Tager, of Rinearson's ; Thomas 
Ryan and William Stamms, of Williams' ; L. F. Allen, John Goldsby, Thomas Gill, 
C." B. Hinton, William M. Hand, William I. Mayfield, William Puruell and William 
White, of Harris'; C. C. Goodwin, of Bruce's; and John Kennedy, of Welton's. The 
latter died on the seventh of November, and C. B. Hinton. in endeavoring to make his 
way alone to the Grave Creek House, lost his road and perished from exposure. Tliis 
fight, occurring on the thirty-first of October and the first of November, is known by 
the several names of the Battle of Bloody Springs, Battle of Hungry Hill, and Battle 
in the Grave Creek Hills. 

From these details, and considering that the Indians maintained their position on 
the battle-field, without great loss, it is evident that the campaign was an unsuccessful 
one. It is generally admitted by the whites who took jjart in the engagement, that the 
affiiir resulted in a 23artial defeat, and they ascribe therefor several reasons, either of 
which seems sufficient. The inclemency of the weather is set forth as a reason, and is 

ft/'-" ^ 


doubtless an important one. It is known from good authority that one man perished 
from eohl and wet, and that the bodies of those slain in the fight were frozen stiff in a 
few hours. This would indicate very severe cold, but from independent sources we 
gather that the w^eather throughout the winter was exceptionally severe. Troops, ill 
provided with blankets and clothing, stationed at the very considerable altitude of 
the Grave creek hills, were under the worst possible circumstances for continuing the 
attack. Besides, a still more serious reason presented itself. There was not a sufficient 
supply of food to maintain a single company of men. The commissariat w^as in chaotic 
condition, alid supplies were either not sent out, or failed to reach the nearly starving 
troojjs in time to be of use. This is a notorious fact in Southern Oregon, but, singu- 
larly enough, fails to appear in the earliest published accounts of the affiiir. The 
commissary and quartermaster departments were at fault, nor do they aj^pear to have 
been efficiently administered at any time during the war, although their expenses (duly 
charged to the United States) were preposterously great. Figures are at hand to show 
that the expense of the latter department exceeded, for a time, eight hundred dollars 
per day! And this for transportation alone. A large number of Mexicans were borne 
on the rolls as packers, whose daily pay was six dollars, and who had the care and 
management of about one hundred and fifty pack animals, which were used in carrying 
supplies from Jacksonville or Crescent City to the seat of war. They belonged to the 
volunteer service, and were entirely distinct from the trains by which the regulars at 
Fort Lane were supplied. It was to the mismanagement of the persons in charge of 
the trains that the failure of the camp)aign was attributed, and apparently with con- 
siderable justice. The charge of insubordination made against the volunteers in con- 
sequence of their conduct at Bloody spring, will be recalled when treating of the later 
events of the war. 

As was customary with the regular army officials at that date, a great deal of 
blame was cast upon the volunteers fdr their alleged failure to properly second the 
efforts of the government troops. This charge is retorted upon Captain Smith's 
soldiers by counter-charges of similar tenor ; and as neither side in the controvesy is 
supported by any but interested evidence, we cannot at this date satisfactorily discuss 
the question. The matter, however, is connected with the invariable tendency to 
antagonism of the two related, yet oj)posed, branches of service, which antagonism 
shows itself on every similar occasion, and is an annoying subject indeed. We see the 
spectacle of two diffisrent organizations, bent upon the same object and pursuing an 
identical road to the attainment of their object, but falling into bitterness by the way- 
side and continually reviling each other, and failing to lend their moral suiqiort and 
frecjuently their physical aid. 

The governor of Oregon, George L. Curry, entered considerably into tlie buisiness 
of making proclamations during the events of the Rogue river war, and his first effort 
in that line, bearing upon the prosecution of hostilities in this region, was as follows : 

Whereas, By petition numerously signed by citizens of Umpqua valley, calling uj^ou me for 
protection, it has come to my knowledge that the Shasta and Rogue River Indians, in Southern 
Oregon, in violation of their soleiim engagements, are now in arms against the peace of this terri- 
tory ; that they have, without respect to age or sex, murdered a large number of our people, 
burned their dwellings, and destroyed their property ; and that they are now menacing the south- 
ern settlements with all the atrocities of savage warfare, I issue this my proclamation, calling for 


five comjDauies of mounted voluuteera, to constitute a uorthern battalion, and four companies of 
mounted volunteers to constitute a southern battalion, to remain in force until duly discharged- 
The several comi^anies to consist of one captain, one first lieutenant, one second lieutenant, four 
sergeants, four corporals, and sixty privates, each volunteer to furnish his own horse, arms and 
equipments, each company to select its own officers, and thereafter to proceed with the utmost 
possible dispatch to the rendezvous hereafter appointed. It is expected that Jackson county will 
furnish the number of men wanted for the southern battalion, which will rendezvous at Jackson- 
ville, elect a major to command, and report in writing to headquarters. It will then proceed to 
take effective measures to recover indemnity for the past, and conquer a lasting peace with the 
enemy for the future. The following-named counties are expected to make vij) the number of men 
wanted for the northern battalion : Lane county, two companies; Linn county, one company; 
Douglas county, one company ; Umpqua county, one company; which will rendezvous at Rose- 
burg, Douglas county, elect a major to command, and report in writing to headquarters. It will 
then proceed immediately to open and maintain communication with the settlements in the Rogue 
river valley, and thereafter co-operate with the southern battalion in a vigorous prosecution of the 

Given under my hand at Portland, the fifteenth of October, A. D., 1855. 

By the Governor, George L. Cuery. 

Johu K. Laiiierick, received the appointmeut of acting adjutant-general for the 
vokmteers on Rogue river, and was entrusted with the duty of mustering in and 
organizing the forces. He arrived at the seat of war several days after the fight at 
Hungry Hill, and immediately proceeded with his duties. Some twelve or thirteen 
companies, of from twenty to eighty men each, jiresented themselves and requested to 
be mustered in. Lamerick demurred to this, however, as under his instructions the 
services of only four companies could be accepted. He agreed in short, to muster the 
remaining companies into a separate battalion, who could then elect their own major. 
This proposition was not acceptable to many, who wished all to be in the same battalion. 
On the tenth of November the volunteers being encamped at Vannoy's ferry, the com- 
panies of Bruce, Williams, Wilkinson and Alcorn were mustered in, and organized into 
a battalion known as the southern battalion, of which Captain James Bruce was elected 
Major, over Captain R. L. Williams his only competitor. The remaining troops were 
disbanded by order of Colonel Ross. 

At the rendezvous for the northern battalion enlistments began early, and about 
the twentieth of October William J. Martin was elected Major. Quartermaster-General 
McCarver occupied an office in the court house at Roseburg, engaged in fitting out 
the troops. The strength of the companies, set originally at sixty-three rank and file, 
was increased by Major Martin to one hundred and ten. The Douglas county company 
called for by the governor, was easily recruited and held its election October 27, when 
Samuel Gordon was elected captain. The Linn county company was commanded by 
Captain Jonathan Keeney; the two from Lane county by Captains Buoy and Bailey; 
respectively. On the last of November, Major Martin moved his headquarters fi-om 
Roseburg to a point forty-eight miles south of Roseburg, and seven miles north of 
Grave creek, calling his new location Camp Leland. Here for a few days the com- 
panies of Buoy and Keeney lay, while Bailey moved to Camas valley, and Gordon, 
dividing his company, posted a part in Cow creek valley and the Canyon, and the 
remainder on the North Umpqua, where a few stray Indians had made hostile manifes- 
tations. Some fifty men of the Umpqua company were sent to Scottsburg, near the 
mouth of the river, where, as before remarked, some anxiety was felt regarding an 


attack by the savages. Major Martin's written instructions to C^aptain Bailey at 
Camas prairie, given under date of November 10, conclude thus : " In chastising the 
enemy you will use your owu discretion provided you take no prisoners." Captains 
Buoy and Keeney received similar instructions, the original order being now on file 
in the state house at Salem. 

The southern battalion had posted at the same time, detachments at Evans' ferry 
and at Bowden's, and troops were sent to assist Messrs. Harkness & Twogood, who were 
holding their tavern on Grave creek, and declared their jjurpose to retain it at all 
hazards. They had erected a complete stockade of timbers and prepared for a siege> 
as after the fight at Hungry hill it was sujd posed that Indian attacks would become 
frequent. The disposition of the military along the line of communication between 
the Rogue river and Umpqua valleys, however, effectually prevented the enemy from 
reaching the more important settlements, and the savages finding all avenues to the 
eastward closed, broke camp at Bloody spring and went down the Rogue river, taking 
refuge in the almost inaccessible country bordering that stream. The mountains 
thereabouts presented almost insuijerable obstacles to the transiJortation of troops and 
sujiplies by reason of their steepness, the number of deep gorges which intersect them 
and the dense foi-ests by which their sides are clothed. Underbrush of the densest 
kind abounds ; no roads nor even trails existed then, and scarcely do now exist ; am- 
bushes might have been easily formed ; and in a word, the Indians' hiding place was 
perfectly adapted to their security. Having so favorable a country to operate in, and 
being themselves unequaled as " mountain soldiers" and bush-fighters, through long 
experience in the woods, and in actual war they were well situated to resist attacks, as 
we shall see. 

The two battalions composing the " army" as newly organized, were expected to 
co-operate, although their commanding officers were mutually independent. After the 
mustering in at Camp Vannoy, the two Majors, having discovered through their scouts 
where the Indians had gone, determined on a plan of united action, in which thev were 
promised the supjiort of all the disjiosable regulars at Fort Lane. The United States 
forces in November were seriously curtailed by the withdrawal of Major Fitzgerald 
with his company of dragoons, ninety in number, who, under orders from Gen. John E. 
Wool, commanding the Pacific department, proceeded to Vancouver. Captain Judah 
still remained at the fort, and this oflicer, who acted under Captain Smith's orders, 
joined the expedition down the Rogue river — an expedition which we will designate as 
the First Meadows Cami)aigu. 



Expedition Down Rog-ue River— Nothing Accomplished— Various Diffitulties in Djuglas County— Siege of 
the Cabins on Applegate Creek— The Enemy Escape— Killing of Hull and Angell— Conclusion of the 
Applegate Affair— The Army Re-Organized— Its Strength -Jocular— The War Necessary— Appointment of 
a Brigadier General. 

Oil November twentieth Majors Martin and Bruce and Captain Judali left Evans' 
creek, taking all the regular and volunteer troops which could be s^iared, and a suffi- 
cient supply of provisions for a short campaign. A day or two days later, dates 
differing, they encamped at the mouth of Whiskey creek, and found traces of Indians. 
Proceeding down the river the next morning, keeping along the high lands back a 
mile or two from the stream, they found the Indians in strong force in the woods 
bordering the river. The country, as before mentioned, is exceedingly rough, covered 
with tangled underbrush, broken up into deep canyons, precipitous descents, and im- 
jjenetrable gorges. It was deemed proper to cross to the south side of the river, and 
for this purpose Major Bruce proceeded with his battalion down to the river, being 
then near the mouth of Jackass creek, and attempted to cross. The battalion 
were scattered upon the bar which borders the river on the north bank, and some 
engaged themselves in endeavoring to construct rafts to ferry the command across, 
while others prospected for gold in the gravelly bar. Indians within the dense 
cover of the trees along the south bank began firing, and the whites hurriedly left 
the bar and sought shelter in the brush. Captain Alcorn shouted " Form a line 

here ; where the are you running ?" But his Lieutenant replied, " Form ■ 

and ! Break for the brush, every one of you, or you'll get shot!" And the 

privates thought the latter advice best, and hid themselvas with desperate haste. 
This closed the campaign as far as the battalion of Major Bruce was concerned, for 
thus defeated in their attempt to cross the river they retired to communicate with 
Martin and Judah. The latter officer signalized himself on many occasions through- 
out his residence on the Pacific coast by his devotion to artillery jjractice. A heavy 
twelve-pound howitzer was the inseparable companion of all his expeditions to fight 
the Indians. On this occasion he had brought this piece with infinite difficulty and 
labor, to the Meadows ; and at the time of Bruce's discomfiture he with Martin lay 
upon the hill above him and several miles away, firing from that lofty position his 
clumsy piece of ordnance at the enemy, with the effect only to set the wild echoes flying 
through the hitherto silent solitude. After a deal of unprofitable practice the trio of 
commanders resolved upon a retrograde march ; and loading Captain Judah's toy upon 
a stalwart mule, the army slowly retired to Vannoy's and Camp Leland. One volun- 
teer, William Lewis, of Kenny's company, was killed, and five were wounded. At 

1^^'- M. 



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least one Indian bit the dust, for George Cherry killed a brave and carried the scalp 
tied to his war-horse's bridle. 

The various detachments arrived at the Grave creek camp (jn November twenty- 
first, and the companies were separated, being sent to guard the more exposed j^laces 
and endeavor to keep the savages from making forays upon the inhabited country lying 
to the westward of their position. The weather came on exceedingly cold and nearly 
put a stop to all military operations for a time. The various companies went into 
winter quarters, but a few events took place in December to prove to the citizens that 
a state of war existed. The first of these was the descent of some twenty or thirty 
Indians upon the Rice settlement at the mouth of Looking-glass creek, eight miles 
south of Roseburg. The hostiles burned the Rice house, and captured some fire-arms 
and did other damage. A small company of men, commanded by J. P. Day, went 
from Deer creek to the scene and engaged and defeated the Indians, killing three, it 
was said. The stolen guns, horses, etc., were re-captured. Castleman, a member of 
the com]:)any, was slightly wounded. The affray occurred on the second of December- 
The Indians were probably Cow Creeks, a band of disaffected natives, who were actu- 
ated by hostility to the whites, but did not, it appears, feel sufficiently warlike to join 
Limpy and George on the banks of Rqgue river. 

Some few of the peaceable, yet wretched and debased family of the Umpcpias, 
resided in and around the pleasant vale of Looking-glass, and these, true to their 
harmless instincts, refrained from war throughout the troublous times of the conflict 
in the south, and sought by every humble act to express their dependence on and lik- 
ing for the whites. When war broke out on Rogue river, these inoffensive people were 
gathered in Looking-glass valley, occupying a rancheria on the creek of that name, 
where they lived at peace with all the world, and ignorant and careless of everything 
outside of their own little sphere. Mr. Arrington was nominally their agent and pro- 
tector. In an evil hour — for them — certain white people of that vicinity, who imag- 
ined that they were dangerous neighbors, organized themselves into a comjjany, and 
fell suddenly upon the helpless little community, and scattered them to the four winds 
of heaven. Several men were killed ; and one old squaw, in whom old age and rheu- 
matic bones defeated nature's first law of self-preservation, died, a victim, unmeant 
perhaps, but still a victim, and slain by white men's bullets. The date of this trans- 
action is at hand ; and proof of all its particulars ; but like other wrongs and much 
violence done that race, it best were l)uried, and only resurrected to serve the truth 
where truth needs telling. 

On Cow creek quite a series of disturbances occurred during the wintei' of 18.3o-0. 
The first of these in brief was the attack on some hog-drovers from Lane county, who 
were traversing the road. H. Bailey was killed instantly, and Z. Bailey and three 
others wounded. The Indians burned on that day (October 24, ISoo) the houses and 
barns of Turner, Bray, Fortune, Redfield and one other. Mr. Redfield placed his 
family in a wagon and started for a place of safety, but soon the horses were shot, and 
he took his wife upon his back and carried her to a fortified place. Mrs. Redfield was^ 
wounded, however, before reaching there. 

The raid of certain Indians through Camas, Ten-mile and Looking-glass valleys 


is detailed in another part of this volume. This affair occurred in the later months 
of the war. 

Late in March Major Latshaw, of the second regiment, set out on an expedition 
against the Cow Creek Indians, taking with him a portion of the companies of Kobert- 
sou, Wallan, Sheffield and Barnes. On the twenty-fourth of the month some Indians 
were found at the big bend of Cow creek, and were attacked and routed. Several of 
them were killed or wounded, and one white man. Private William Daley, of Sheffield's 
company, was killed, and Captain Barnes and Privates Andrew Jones, A. H. Wood- 
ruff and J. Taylor were wounded. The Indians dissappeared from the vicinity after 
this defeat, and did not return for a considerable time. These incidents comprise the 
principal hostile acts which took place in Douglas county. 

The people on Butte creek, in Jackson county, had, with the first alarm of war, 
sought safety in a camp of log houses on Felix O'Neal's donation claim. Several 
families — in fact, nearly the whole poj^ulation of the country adjoining — made their 
residences there for a time, and carried out measures of defense. Alcorn's company 
was recruited among the hardy settlers thereabouts, and subsequent to their return 
from the first meadows cam23aign, were jDOsted in part at this fortified camp, and served 
to restore public confidence. Jake, a well-known chief of a small band of Indians, 
with his braves had long inhabited that portion of the country, and had refused to go 
on the reservation. The Indian agent, owing to the smallness of their numbers, had 
never thought it necessary to compel them to go there, and so they were suffered to 
remain, a nuisance, if not a positive danger to the whites. They were said to steal, 
and were not supposed to be above the crime of burning buildings. They dwelt in a 
rancheria, between the Butte creeks. On the night of December twenty-fourth, Caji- 
tain Alcorn, with a part of his men, marched to the rancheria and camped within a 
mile of it, in the cold and snow. At daybreak the next morning the troops moved 
within rifle range, and began to fire. This they kept u]) until the natives were killed 
or dispersed, their loss being eight "bucks" killed, and the remainder wounded. One 
squaw was wounded in the jaw, and two men were captured. Only four guns were 
taken, but no ammunition, and three stolen horses wei'e recaptured. Old Jake, the 
chief, was not in the fight, and was reported killed by the Shastas. 

A similar affair occurred at the same date between a detachment of Captain 
Rice's company, numbering thirty-four men, and the Indians of a rancheria four 
miles from and on the north side of Rogue river, and just below the mouth of Big 
Butte creek. A night march and an attack at daybreak formed the salient features 
of this affair also, which was likewise completely successful. The Indians were taken 
by surprise, and after several hours' fighting eighteen males were killed, and twenty 
squaws and children captured and the rancheria burned. The Indians, finding them- 
selves surrounded, fought bravely to the last. But one female was injured in the fight. 

On the same day on which the detachments of Alcorn and Rice started out, a third 
one consisting of twenty men of Bushey's company set out on a scouting tour to the 
neighborhood of Williams' creek, where a portion of old John's band were busying 
themselves in many a hostile way, much raised in self-esteem by the partial successes 
of their bold leader since the war began. On the evening of the same day an Indian 
trail was found by a spy party, which was followed the next day by the command, but 


witJiout finding the vanclieria. During the evening a man strayed off and became lost" 
The next day was S2)ent in searching for him under the impression that he had fallen a 
victim to Indian barbarity. However, on the following day news came of his safe 
arrival at Tliompson's ranch, on the Applegate, and of his having found a camp of ten 
or twelve Indians, near whom he camped for t)ie night, but escaped unobserved. 
Orders were immediately given for following that trail, and, the command being divided, 
the Indian camp was easily found. The foremost detachment, seven in number, opened 
fire on them and and killed three, putting the rest to flight. No whites were injured. 

Toward the last of December some scouts who happened to be near the forks of 
the Applegate discovered that a body of Indians probably twelve or so in number had 
taken possession of two deserted miners' cabins and had gone into winter quarters there, 
preparing themselves for a state of siege by excavating the floors of the houses and 
piling the dirt against the walls so as to form a protection against rifle bullets. The 
scouts withdrew unseen, and going to Sterling told the news. A body of sixty or more 
miners and others went immediately to watch the cabins and prevent the Indians from 
escaping, while word was sent to various military companies who began to repair to the 
spot. Captain Bushey arrived, and finding the position too strong for his small force 
to take, awaited the arrival of others. Captain Smith sent Lieutenants Hagen and 
Underwood with twenty-five regulars and the inevitable howitzer, with the design of 
shelling the savages out; but the fortune of war was unpropitious. The mule carrying 
the ammunition was so heedless as to fall into a deep creek and be killed, while the 
powder was ruined. Moi'e ammunition was sent for,, and Lieutenant Switzer with 
sixteen regulars brought it on a mule. This animal was more fortunate; and the regular 
army drew up in front of the cabins and at a safe distance fired a shell which passed 
into or through a cabin and killed, as the records say, two savages. But before the 
howitzer's arrival the Indians had signalized themselves by a strong resistance. They 
had killed a man by a rifle-shot, at a distance of 500 yards — a display of marksmanship 
equal to the best known among the whites. Five whites had been wounded. 

After the shell was fired, the regulars postponed further operations until the 
morrow, as night was near. Wlien they arose the next morning their birds had flown 
and the cages were empty. Quite a force of volunteers had gathered upon the scene. 
There were Captain Rice and his company, from the uj^per end of Bear creek valley; 
some men of Alcorn's company, a few volunteers from Jacksonville, and a delegation 
from the Applegate. A much regretted event occurred during the day ; this was the 
killing of Martin Angell, of Jacksonville, who set out to accompany the regulars to 
Starr gulch, the scene of the siege. When two and a half miles from Jacksonville, on 
the Crescent City road, Angell and Walker, who were about two hundred and fifty 
yards in advance, were fired on by Indians concealed in the brush beside the road. 
Angell was killed instantly, four Ijalls })assing througli his head and neck. Walker 
was not hit, but escaped deatli narrowly. When the troops came up the Indians had 
stripped the dead man and were just retreating into the brush. On the same day (Jan- 
uary 2,) Charles W. Hull was killed on the divide l)etween Jackson and Jackass creeks, 
his body being soon found by scouts. Deceased was hunting, but becoming separated 
from his friends, was waylaid and murdered by Indians. These occurrences, happen- 
ing SI) near to the pi-inci]iid lowu df llic whole region, made a very deep impression, 


and there were those who apprehended the greatest dangers from the " red devils." 
But happily these were not realized ; and the clamors of war died from the listening 
ears in Jacksonville. 

The history of the Applegate affair includes still another chapter. After it was 
found that the Indians had made their escape, the regulars returned to the quiet and 
seclusion of Fort Lane, while Major Bruce, who had arrived upon the field, set out 
with portions of Rice's, Williamson's and Alcorn's companies, to follow up the wily 
strategists who had so valiantly defended their positions, and so unexpectedly escaped. 
Following the trail of the fleeing Indians to the west, the scouts came upon a single 
Indian, who ran at the top of his speed directly to the Indian camp. The savages, 
warned by the shouting of the pursued, j^repared for a fight and for quite a while 
resisted that part of Bruce's command which came into action, killing one man, Wiley 
Cash, of Alcorn's company, and seriously wounding Private Richardson, of O'Xeal's 
company. Some ten or twelve horses, left unguarded by the whites, were taken by 
the Indians, and several more were shot. This fight occurred on the twenty-first of 
January, the locality being IMurphy's creek, tributary to the Applegate. Only twenty- 
five men jjarticipated at first, but Lieutenant Armstrong came up with a small rein- 
forcement, and after a most plucky fight succeeded in saving the lives of the detach- 
ment. They were surrounded, and being sejDarated from the main body of the troops, 
could not possibly have escaped but for the providential arrival. The total number of 
Indians engaged under the leadership of John was probably about fifty. 

The organization of the "southern army," as it was called, it will be recollected, 
was begun by Colonel Jonh E. Ross. For some reason hard to make out, but certainly 
not from any reasonable cause, the .command of the volunteers on Rogue river was, 
by proclamation of the governor, dated October 20, 1855, placed in the hands of two 
officers each with the rank of major, and possessing distinct commands. This notable 
piece of strategy proved not to succeed well, owing to causes which anyone could have 
foreseen, and after its ineffectiveness became apparent to the governor and his prime 
minister, Adjutant-General Barnum, the two battalions were united and elevated to 
the dignity of a regiment, and an election of colonel, lieutenant-colonel and majors 
was ordered for December seventh. Robert L. Williams was chosen colonel. This 
officer had attained a deserved reputation as an "Indian fighter," and was poj^ularly 
supposed to be devoid of fear. His qualifications for the office consisted in a highly 
developed hatred of Indians, a thorough knowledge of their tactics, and the liking of 
his fellow-soldiers, who had elected him triumphantly over Bruce and Wilkinson, both 
efficient commanders. W. J. Martin became lieutenant-colonel, whose command was 
to be the "right column," which was a newly invented name for the northern battal- 
ion. James Bruce remained as major, commanding the "left column" (southern 
battalion), and Charles S. Drew continued in his place as adjutant. Colonel Williams' 
regiment was officially styled the second regiment of the Orgeon mounted volunteers, 
and consisted at the time of the colonel's election, of the companies of Captains Bailey, 
Buoy, Keeney, Rice, O'Neal, Wilkinson, Alcorn, Gordon, Chapman and Bledsoe, the 
aggregate on paper being 901 rank and file, but the effective force was much less. 
This imjiosing force lay the greater part of the W'inter se23arately stationed at various 
jioints wherever their services were required as guards. Occasionally something 


occurred to break the stagnant routine of camp life, but not often. An Indian raid 
might be exjjected, else the war -would have lost all attraction. The main body of the 
army, lying in what is now Josephine county, centered at Yaniioy's as their head- 
quarters. The right column remained about the southern boundary of Douglas county. 

Almost the only interesting bit of information of a jocular character which survives 
to this day is the memorable trip of Captain Keeuey from his post to the verdure-clad 
plains of the Willamette. Captain Keeney was dissatisfied with guard duty. He hun- 
gered for a sight of the hills of Lane county. He applied to Colonel Williams for a 
furlough, but his commanding officer refused, saying no furloughs would be granted 
until the last Indian in Southern Oregon was killed. The Captain persisted; the 
Colonel told him to " go to grass." Captain Keeney returned to his command and 
indignantly related the story of his wrongs, when a private suggested, "He probably 
meant the Willamette; that's the only grass we've seen." The Captain, elated, said, 
"Boys, shall we go to grass?" The answer was unanimously affirmative. They broke 
camp, a hundred strong, arrived in Eoseburg December 27, and were in sight of their 
own homes in time to wish their friends a happy new year. The joke was a good one; 
but Lieutenant-Colonel William J. Martin failed to see it as such. He made it a part 
of his official business to prefer charges against the home-sick farmers who found the 
war so different from their joyous anticipations. This stern martinet accused Captain 
Keeney of disobedience to orders, abandoning his position in face of the enemy, " uni- 
form ungentlemanly conduct," and other like charges of formidable tenor. The gov- 
ernor suspended him, but at a later date, as we perceive, the company with their cap- 
tain were restored to all the rights and privileges pertaining to the most obedient, 
steady and reliable of soldiers. 

In this time of monotony and ennui charges and counter-charges (verbal) were fre- 
quent. In February, Major Bruce incensed by the torpor of the volunteers, addressed 
a communication to Governor Curry, preferring charges against Colonel Williams for 
inactivity, failure to make public certain orders addressed by the Governor to the 
troops, etc. Captains O'Neal, Eice, Alcorn, and Wilkinson, also appended their names 
to these charges, whose outcome was the appointment of a brigadier general, to shoulder 
the responsibility which Williams was unequal to. These charges were based on the 
hitter's supposed partiality tow^ard a certain clique of speculators who were thought at 
the time and since, to be using their influence to prolong the war in order to further 
their pecuniary object. The whole subject of the war is entangkd throughout with 
political and financial relations that are exceedingly difficult to unravel, and seem to 
ill repay the investigator, but nevertheless are so intermingled in people's minds with 
the cause of the war that it would be impossible to enter upon an examination without 
giving offense to those whose opinions are already formed. These chapters are wi-itten 
in the firm belief that hostihties with the aborigines were unavoidable, Avhich it requires 
no very deep reasoning to make apparent. Wherever the Caucasian and the American 
Indian have come in contact, war and bloodshed have resulted. Even in the remote 
Eastern States, where tlie Pilgrim Fathers made head against opposing man and nature, 
the red men were the first and their worst enemies ; and even their Puritanical prin- 
ciples could not avoid a war of extermination. Then from analogy we declare that 
the removal of the Indians from Southern Oregon was a nccessitv. We admit its 


iiiexpedieiicy, while on sentimental grounds we commiserate the unhapj^y and unfor- 
tunate humans whom ill-starred fate drove from a land which was theirs by the right 
of long possession. 

Sometime in the last days of January Colonel Williams removed the headquarters 
of the army to Charles Drew's farm, known as Forest Dale, near Jacksonville, and 
began the construction of barracks, stables and other buildings suitable for his pur- 
poses. This measure proved an unfortunate one for him, as it created quite a burst of 
indignation, being thought to be instigated by the owner of the land, whose interests 
would be enhanced thereby. Very soon after J. K. Lamerick was appointed brigadier- 
general, and displaced Williams in the chief command, the latter retaining his rank 
of colonel of the second regiment, subordinate to Lamerick. The new selection does 
not seem to have been a very happy one; it was made at a time when much dissatis- 
faction existed against Lamerick, instigated, probably, by the speculative clique, and 
to add to his embarrassments, the period of enlistment of many men had come to an 
end, and these were receiving their discharges. The work of re-organizing the forces 
was very difficult. Most of the former ca]) tains and subordinate officers were preju- 
diced against the new general, and many of these declined to serve under him. The 
inaction of the troops through the winter had given ample opportunity for political 
manipulators and others to bias the minds of the troops as they chose, and those small 
politicians looked upon the war as affording a satisfactory opportunity to urge their 
claims for preferment. 

By the middle of February two-thirds of the men had received their discharges, 
and the diminution of the necessary- guards made it unsafe, we are told, for anybody 
to travel alone. Indians were seen repeatedly at j^oints before deemed free from them, 
and alarm was felt lest there be a repetition of the sad tragedies of the pi-eceding 
autumn. In this state of affiiirs General Lamerick removed the headquarters of the 
regiment again to Vannoy's, deeming that a more suitable place than the retired glades 
of Forest Dale. In February the companies of Bailey, Keeney, Gordon and Lewis 
received their final discharge, and those of O'Neal, Sheffield, Abel George, Bushey, 
M. M. Williams, Wallan, Robertson and Barnes were enlisted. Of these, Abel 
George and M. M. Williams had commanded companies attached to the ninth regi- 
ment, in the preceding fall ; but being mustered out, along with numerous others, they 
had entered the service again at the date named. It was thought that it would be 
difficult to induce a sufficient number of men to enter the service, but these anticipa- 
tions were met by the re-enlistment of nearly every man of the discharged companies, 
and within a few days a sufficient force had been raised to meet all wants. 

The weather continued unpropitious for military movements throughout the 
months of February and March, and whatever strategical operations were then resolved 
upon by General Lamerick were not carried out. The companies remained in winter 
quarters, guarding suspected localities and taking care of themselves. No incidents of 
much importance occurred during the time, the Indians remaining mostly at their old 
haunts upon the lower river, until a-weary of waiting to be attacked. They made 
disconnected attempts at robbery on sundry occasions, wherever arms or ammunition 
were to be obtained; but there is no record of serious loss of life from these raids, until 
the famous one of March twenty-fifth, when Evans' pack-train was robbed, and the 
battle of Eight-dollar Mountain was fought. 



Removal of the Table Rock Band Their Peaceful Character— A Flag of Truce— The Governor's Proclamation — 
Matters in Illinois Valley— A Pack-train Taken by Indians-Battle of Eight-dollar Mountain— Election of 
Officers of the Second Regiment— A Grand Campaign Resolved Upon— March to the Meadows— Arrival at 
the Little Meadows- Reconnoissances in Force— The Enemy Found on Big Bar— A Plan of Attack— The 
Indians Retire— The Array at the Bar— Fort Lamerick Built— The Army Goes Home— Results. 

Subsequent to the events just detailed, a transaction of considerable importance 
took place at the reservation across the river from Fort Lane. This was the removal 
of Chief Sam's band to the coast reservation west of the Willamette valley. It was 
mentioned in treating of the Indian outbreak of the ninth of October, that the Table 
Rock band took no part in those proceedings. On the contrary, the members of that 
band crossed the river to Fort Lane, and besought the protection of Captain Smith, 
assuring him of their peaceful feelings and deprecating the ^^ossible and ever probable 
violence of the white settlers, which, but for such protection, would surely have 
liefallen them. During the succeeding months they remained under the immediate 
care of Captain Smith and Agent Ambrose (successor of Culver), and gave not the 
remotest cause for suspicion on the part of the whites. Chief Joe, celebrated as the 
foremost member of the Rogue River tribe, was dead. For a long time he had Avielded 
with his brother the divided authority of the tribe. He had been eminent in council; 
he was not a despicable enemy in battle. He died at his lodge at the lower end of 
l>ig Bar not long after the Lane treaty was signed- Notwithstanding the loss of their 
wisest counsellor, the band remained true to the agreements made in 1853, and with a 
striking devotion to their word, refrained entirely from giving aid or countenance to 
the hostiles, in spite of the utmost inducements to a contrary course. The whole 
annals of Indian wars have nothing more admirable than the truth and firmness with 
which these sorely troubled yet constant barbarians maintained the honor of their 
obligations. Finally, when the bureau of Indian affairs had decided to remove all the 
natives from Southern Oregon, the Table Rock band — being with the Umpquas, the 
only Indians accessible to authority — were sent to the jiermanent reservation about 
Vuquina bay. Such was the state of public sentiment that a guard of one hundred 
soldiers was deemed necessary in order to protect this little remnant on tKeir progress 
northward. And this, notwithstanding the fact that by their friendship for the whites, 
tliey had incurred the enmity of all the hostile Indians on Rogue river. The people 
of the Willamette vallej'^, jealous of the removal of such celebrated warriors into their 
neighborhood, and scarce understanding the situation of afiairs, called loudly for the 
citizens to raise an armed force to resist their coming, and exterminate them; but the 
excitement soon calmed, and the Indians found a final home by the shores of the 


Equally illustrative of the tone of public feeling, was a circumstance which hap- 
pened about the middle of February, a little time subsequent to the departure of the 
Table Eock band. At this time Chiefs Limpj and George, with about thirty warriors 
well armed, and mounted on horses, some of which carried two braves and others 
three, came up from the Meadows carrying flags of truce, and camped on the reserva- 
tion opposite Fort Lane. They sent a messenger to Captain Smith to announce their 
arrival and desire for a talk. Their object was not to make peace, but to secure the 
surrender of some squaws who were in the hands of the agent. The news of their 
arrival got abroad instantly, and the various volunteer companies assembled at Forest 
Dale in haste, no one yet understanding the circumstances, but all inquiring as to the 
purpose of the invasion. Messengers went to the fort and were informed that the 
regulars would not allow the Indians to be molested in consequence of their coming 
under a flag of truce, as these same Indians had respected that symbol on a certain 
occasion. The law of nations and the regular army prevailed in spite of threat, and 
the savages returned unmolested to their lair. The Sentinel published a fiery editorial 
against the United States troops, and refused to be pacified. "We are informed by 
Major Bruce that Captain Smith said that if anyone fired upon the Indians, he would 
return the fire. We would ask if our citizen soldiery are to be intimidated by the 
threat of any one from avenging the innocent blood that these savages have caused to 
flow?" This sort of rhetoric did the Indians no hurt; but it proved very expensive to 
those who furnished army supplies. 

Returning to our main subject, we find that the Illinois Indians, previously at the 
Indian encampment at the Meadows on Rogue river, had become tired of the monotony 
of life sufficiently to induce them to make trips to their old hunting grounds in search 
of plunder, and excitement. On the twelfth of February they killed John Guess in 
his field on Deer creek, leaving him dead in the furrow. On the morning of March 
24, news came to Vannoy's that the enemy had ambushed and killed two travelers, 
Wright,Vannoy's partner, and Private Olney, of O'Neal's company, who were encamj^ed 
at the foot of Eight-dollar mountain, and that the attacking party had at a later hour 
met another party consisting of five men, and mortally wounded John Davis. Orders 
Avere at once sent by Major Bruce to the various companies of his battalion to rej^air 
instantly to Fort Yannoy. Captain Hugh O'Neal, who with his company was nearest 
to the scene of action, had immediately set out for Hays' ranch, or Fort Hays, as it was 
called. Hoping to reach there before the Indians could do so, as that post had but few 
defenders. A sharp skirmish ensued when within a few hundred yai'ds of the post and 
private Caldwell was mortally wounded, and some jjack mules loaded with provisions 
etc., were taken by the Indians, who besieged the fort after the volunteers had taken 
refuge within it. The enemy abandoned the ground, during the night, and returning 
along the road southward, met and attacked Evans' pack-train which was coming from 
Crescent City. They killed a Mexican 2:)acker, and wounded "Big Dave." Evans 
escaped to Reeves' farm, but the mules and packs were all captured by the marauders, 
who gained a large amount of ammunition by the capture. On receiving the news of 
this late attack, Lieutenant-Colonel W. W. Chapman (recently elected to that office) 
ordered Major Bruce to attack the enemy with all his available force. There were per- 
haps ] 25 men who proceeded under the Major's orders to the scene of Evans' misfortune. 



The foremost of these engaged the enemy while yet the remainder were dismounting. 
All horses were left at the foot of the hill which it was necessary to ascend to find the 
enemy ; and a long line of battle, reaching several hundred yards along the side of 
the mountain, was formed and the troops advanced up the rise. Private Collins led 
the way up but was shot dead when near the top, falling in the road. John McCarty 
was also shot, dying soon after, and Private Phillips was mortally wounded. Abel 
George's men dismounted, and tying their horses to a fence, started up hill on the side 
next Deer creek, intending to outflank the Indians, while Captain M. M. Williams 
engaged them in front, assisted by members of Alcorn, Rice's (Miller's) and other 
companies. Major Bruce with about fifty men kept along the road to the place where 
Collins fell. The battle was now a lively one ; the rattle of rifles and revolvers was 
almost continuous, and frequent attempts were made by each party to charge the other- 
All sought cover, and there was little chance for life for the man who neglected thus to 
protect himself. At this interesting juncture a shout was raised that the Indians were 
making off" with the horses, left at the foot of the hill. A number of the savages, spy- 
ing the condition of affairs ran hastily to the spot and mounting some and leading 
others, escaped with some fifteen of the animals belonging to Abel George's Yreka 

The most of the fighting for a time was done by M. M. Williams and about a score 
of his bravest men, who stood their ground valiantly, and only retreated when the 
Indians had nearly or quite surrounded them. Alcorn's men and others fought well, 
also, but the general applause was marred by the conduct of a great many who either 
ran away during the fight, or else could not be brought into it at all. Over 200 men 
were within sound of the firing, but not one half that number took any part in the fight, 
and probably not over fifty engaged in it with energy and resolution. A hundred or 
more of the readiest fighters ever known among the Indians of this continent held with 
determination the hill and the thick woods and successfully barred the way. Against 
this force the volunteers effected nothing. Shortly they began to retire, and gaining 
the base of the hill, they mounted and returned to Fort Hays, hardly yet sensible of a 
defeat. The Indians withdrew in their characteristic manner and hostilities for the 
time were over. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Chapman now established a jjermanent camp at Fort Hays, 
making it the headquarters of the companies of Alcorn, George, O'Neal, Wilkinson 
and Williams, and of himself. Major Bruce and Regimental Surgeon Douthitt. 

On the eighteenth of March, 1856, an election was held in the various camps of the 
second regiment, and John Kelsey became colonel of the regiment in place of Williams, 
W. W. Chapman succeeded W. J. Martin as lieutenant colonel, and James Bruce and 
W. L. Latshaw were elected majors of the two battalions. The respective positions of 
the battalions remained unchanged or nearly so, that of Bruce being stationed in the 
Illinois and Rogue river valleys, while that of Latshaw occupied various posts in the 
southern part of Douglas county, notably Fort Sheffield, so-called, on Cow creek, a 
post in Camas valley, Fort Leland, on Grave or Leland creek, Fort Relief and other 
points considered to be of strategical importance. The total force of the second regi- 
ment, as appears by the rolls, was 807 non-commissioned officers and men, commanded 
by fifty-one commissioned officers inclusive of the staff". 


With a portion of tiiis force General Lamerick set out in April for an active cam- 
paign to the Big Meadows, on Rogue river, then recognized as the rallying point and 
base of supj^lies of the entire horde of hostiles, known to number at least 250 and 
popularly supposed to be twice as numerous. Having collected all his available force 
at the mouth of the Applegate, the General appointed a day of parade, and fixed upon 
the fourteenth of April as the day for setting out upon the proposed expedition. On 
the morning of that day the army set out, under the immediate command of Lieuten- 
ant Colonel Chajiman, who proceeded in advance with one hundred men, guided by 
the scouts of Lewis and Bushey. A very long pack-train came next, and Major Bruce 
brought up the rear with the remaining volunteers. A herd of beef cattle was driven 
along as a part of the commissariat, to be drawn upon as occasion required, and ample 
provision had been made for anticipated emergencies, even to supplying a couple of 
canvas boats, portable and collapsable, to be used in crossing the liver. Shovels for 
constructing roads were supplied, and twenty-five days' rations were taken, besides 100 
rounds of ammunition for each soldier. General Lamerick announced his intention 
to remain out until the Indians were completely conquered, or until the army had to 
return for provisions. 

The southern battalion marched down the south side of Rogue river, and in two 
or three days reached Peavine mountain, some twelve miles from the Little Meadows 
of Rogue river, the objective point of Colonel Kelsey's command. This latter 
division fitted out at Fort Leland, on Grave creek, and set out on or about the seven- 
teenth of April and arrived safely at their destination within two or three days, having 
come via Whiskey creek. No enemy was met upon the route but shortly after halting 
at the end of their march the pickets were fired upon by concealed Indians, whom a 
diligent search failed to discover. The country over which each detachment passed 
was thoroughly " scoured" by large numbers of scouts, and Indian " sign" in abundance 
was found, but the wily savages retired secretly before the army, and made no stand. 
On April twenty-seventh, three men, McDonald, Harkness, and Waggoner, express 
riders between Lamerick's command and Fort Leland, were attacked by Indians at 
Whiskey creek, and Harkness, a partner of James Twogood, in the Leland Creek House 
(otherwise called the Grave Creek House), was killed. His body was found horribly 

Caj)tain Barnes, of the spy company, reconnoitered during the halt at the Little 
Meadows, and found the Indians in large numbers, scattered in the rough, mountainous 
and brushy country between the camp and the Big Meadows, which lie below the 
Little Meadows, and also the north side of the river. Major Bruce being communi- 
cated with, his battalion was ordered up, and he joined forces with Colonel Kelsey, the 
total force gathered there being 535 ofiicers and men. The camjj was on a high bench 
or terrace, two miles north of the river and a thousand feet above it. A breastwork of 
pine trees was formed, enclosing a space sufficient for camping jJurposes, and there 
being an abundance of grass and water near, the locality was well adapted for that 
purpose. The Indian encampment was found to be on a large bar on the south side of 
the river and some three miles below. The Big Meadows were deserted by them, and 
the intervening country contained none except those doing duty as scouts. On the 
twenty-third Colonel Kelsey with 150 men made a reconnoissance towai'd a suspected 



point, but without results, aud on the same day Major Bruce at the head of a like 
force, started to descend the slope toward the bar. At a distance of a mile from camp 
a creek was arrived at, beyond which were collected a considerable number of Indians, 
but these being beyond rifle range, and Major Bruce's instructions not allowing him to 
attack, no fighting was done, and the detachment having plainly seen the Indian 
village on the bar, returned to camp. During the following days until the twenty- 
seventh, considerable reconnoitering was done, aud a brush with the enemy took place, 
without result. The Indians were thought to number several hundred, including 
women and children, and were found to be as actively employed in scouting as were 
the whites themselves. 

At a council of war ordered by General Lamerick it was resolved to attack the 
enemy in his stronghold on the bar; and to do this effectually and at the same time 
prevent the Indians from escaping over the mountains in their rear. Major Bruce was 
ordered to cross to the south side of the river and march to a point where they could 
be intercepted in case of flight. The other battalion under Colonel Kelsey in person 
was to proceed westward from the encampment, and gaining the summits opposite the 
Indians' position, was then to march down the steep declivity directly in their front 
and attack them from across the river. The southern battalion duly arrived at the 
point where they were to cross, but the two canvas boats being launched, the men 
declined to enter them, alleging that the Indians might easily sink them by rifle shots, 
or failing in that, might massacre the few who would be able to land. Major Bruce's 
authority was insufficient to compel them to obedience, and the plan was abandoned. 
It does not appear that any Indians had been seen by the battalion on their march to 
the river, nor does it seem likely that any considerable number of them, if any, were 
in the neighborhood, their total force probably having been at that hour at their 
rendezvous on the bar, three miles below. This is a fair example of the difficulties 
met with by the officers at that time. Such a state of insubordination prevailed that 
it rendered all plans nugatory. Every priv.ate thought himself entitled to reason upon 
his superior officer's commands, and to refuse compliance if they seemed injudicious. 
Under such circumstances it is no wonder that such a large force accomplished so 

Major Bruce being compelled to remain on the north side of the I'iver, concluded to 
move down stream and join Colonel Kelsey at the bar. Meanwhile, this commander had 
reached a point on the declivity nearly opposite his objective point, and started directly 
down hill, following a ridge which afforded comparatively little obstruction to his 
advance. In this he was much favored by a heavy fog which rested upon the hills, 
utterly obscuring his every movement from the Indians. Thus he was enabled to 
arrive nearly at the river before they discovered his whereabouts. The detachment 
was now formed in order of battle, and all rushed down and took position on the bank 
of the river facing the Indian encampment on the bar, and opened a continuous fire 
up:)n the enemy. Tiie savages were thi-own into confusion by the sudden attack, and 
did not return the fire for some time. The women and children, the former carrying 
heavy packs, soon left the camp and passed up the hill toward the Illinois river, while 
the greater part of the males sought shelter in tlie edge of the fir woods behind their 
encauipmi'at, and watched the m'jvements of the whites. 3Iajor Bruce arrived with 


his command, and taking a position on the left of the northern battalion, began firing 
at the enemy, who, however, were in positions of comparative safety. Desultory and 
ineffectual firing was kept up all day, but no means of crossing the river being at 
hand, nothing could be done to complete the victory. It is supposed that quite a 
number of Indians were killed, while the only loss to the whites was the severe 
wounding of Elias Mercer, of Wilkinson's company, who, on being removed U\ Eose- 
burg, died upon the way. John Henry Clifte also sustained a severe wound, but 

In the evening the whole force went into camp at the Big Meadows, on the north 
side of the river and six miles below the former camp. On the following morning 
Colonel Kelsey and Major Latshaw with 150 men went to a point on the river two miles 
below^ the bar, with the expectation of crossing to the south side and " scouring " the 
country thereabouts. At the same time Lieutenant-Colonel Chapman with 100 men 
marched to the battle-ground of the previous day to engage the enemy if they were still 
there, with the object of diverting their attention from the movement below. The 
former command found Indians scattered along the shore, who showed fight and "moved 
further into the brush and set up a considerable hallowing," consequently the detach- 
ment did not cross. The casualties of the day were, as might be judged, very light. A 
private of Sheffield's company was wounded, and one or two Indians were thought to 
be hit, but the latter is very doubtful. About twelve o'clock the Indians "withdrew 
beyond range of our guns, and deeming it impracticable to cross the river at this point 
we drew off the command and returned to camj)." Lieutenant-Colonel Chapman had 
found no Indians at the bar, so he returned, probably also thinking it impracticable to 
cross. Major Bruce had " scoured " in the direction of John Mule creek with 100 men 
and he also returned unharmed. 

On the twenty-ninth Captain Crouch, with his company, left for Roseburg, via. 
Camas valley, to escort the wounded to the hospital. The remainder of the regiment 
broke camp and occupied the bar where Jhe Indian encampment had stood, and met 
with no resistance in so doing. The scouts reported that the Indians had all left the 
vicinity and that the remains of seventy -five camp-fires existed on the mountain side 
above the bar, making the spot where they encamped on the night following Colonel 
Kelsey's attack. On the thirteenth the command remained at the bar on account of 
bad weather, and Captain Lewis' spies reported that the Indians had gone down the 
river. "The provisions now being nearly exhausted, and the weather continuing so 
unfavorable, it was considered impracticable to follow the enemy over the rough ground 
before us, which was covered with snow, and many of the soldiers were already nearly 
barefooted." On the first of May, the troops re-crossed the river, Captains George and 
Bushey proceeded immediately to Grave creek, while the rest camped at the Big Mead- 
ows, at a place selected as the site of a permanent fort. Williams, Wilkinson, Keith, 
Blakely and Barnes' companies were detailed to remain there, the remaining com- 
panies setting out for home the next day. Captains Sheffield and Noland with their 
men went to Roseburg via. Camas valley, and Robertson, Wallan, Miller (Rice's), 
O'Neal, Alcorn and Lewis' companies marched to Fort Leland, the headquarters of 
the northern battalion, Avhich they reached on the fourth of May. 


If we sum up the fruits of this, the Second Meadows Campaign, we shall find that 
they equal those of the first. To descend to details, we find that the army " scoured " 
a large tract of wild country, consumed twenty-five days' rations in two weeks, drove 
the Indians from their place on the har to another place in some unknown region, and 
returned to civilization. It is useless to enter into any long exjilanations of why such 
slight results were attained. It must have been partly the insubordination of the troops, 
who while nominally under the command of their general, colonel, lieutenant-colonel, 
four majors and unlimited captains and lieutenants, domineered shamefully over these 
officers and acted their own j^leasure in times of emergency. It is difficult to under- 
stand why these individuals retained their commands under such discouraging circum- 
stances, and why their own self-respect did not impel them to quit their charges in dis- 
gust. Some curious and amusing incidents, whose record has come down to us, will 
illustrate the spirit of insubordination which so injured the army's usefulness. After 
General Lamerick had planned the fight at the Meadows and had given Major Bruce 
the order to cross the. river, one of the latter's men said, "Look here. Gen 'ral; this ain't 
gwine ter do. Jest as sure as we cross thar, some of us will git hit. Don't yer know 
we got one man killed tryin' ter cross thar afore?" Eather more encouraging was a 
reply to one of Major Bruce's commands to charge, "Yes, We say charge, and we'll 
chalk you out a damned good charge, Major!" There is no question of the individual 
bravery of those men. As expressed by one who was among them — a coward had no 
chance. A more daring set could not have existed than these miners and settlers. 
Their experience had made them the most self-reliant men that the world contained. 
But the peculiar circumstances surrounding them, the fact of their ofiicers being raised 
from the ranks and being consequently regarded as no better than anybodv else, 
wonderfully impaired their eflficiency and reliability. 



Character of the Indians— Tribal Designation— Numbsr— Incidents— Coquille Massacre — Killing: of Buford, Haw- 
kins and O'Brien— The Natives Remain Peaceable— Captain Poland and His Company— Character of Enos— 
Massacre at Gald Baach— The Survivors Take Refuge in a Fort— Other Casualties— Seeking for Help— The 
Crescent City Company— Views of General Woal- A Military Campaig;n Planned— Arrival of Regular Troops 
Captain Smith Descends the River— Actions With the Indians— Volunteer Companies. 

Having now broug-lit the detail of events down to the end of the second meadows 
campaign, it will be necessary to retrograde in order that a connected account of 
of affairs in a totally distinct region may be given, and their bearing ujjon the main 
features of our story be understood. Tlie coast of Curry county had become known to 
Americans through the energetic explorations of Captain Tichenor and others in 
1850 and 1851. The gold-bearing sand along the beaches was examined a few years 
later, and during the half-dozen years next following its discovery the region became 
a mining locality of considerable importance. Several hundred miners had, by the 
fall of 1855, gathered near the mouth of Rogue river, and together with the traders 
and others incidental to mining communities, made up a considerable 2^oi3ulation. 
These people lived mainly at the mouth of Rogue river, and held communication with 
the outer world by way of San Francisco, accessible by steam and sailing vessels, and 
with Crescent City by means of a much traveled road along the coast southward. The 
mouth of Rogue river is sixty-one miles north of Crescent City, Pistol river is twelve 
miles south of Rogue river, and Chetco, nearly upon the California state line, is 
twenty-five miles south. Some thirty miles north of the Rogue river is Port Orford, 
celebrated as the place where the first landing and settlement upon this portion of 
the coast was made, and where the first people to land sustained a memorable siege 
by Indians. Port Orford was, during the Indian wars, a military j^ost of the United 
States army. No communication, or scarcely any, was carried on along the coast 
northward from Carry county, nor was it considered accessible from the eastward. 
Rough and impassable ranges of heavily wooded mountains cover almost the entire 
surface of the country and approach so near to the coast as to almost cut off travel by 
the sea shore. On the east these mountains penetrate to the Illinois, the Applegate 
and Cow creek. Among their defiles meander streams to whose beds the sunlight 
never penetrates. Steep hillsides and bushy canyons block the path of the adventur- 
ous explorer who would fain force his way among them, and roaring streams, swollen 
by winter's rains to an impassable height, impede the progress of man or animal. 
Among these mountains roamed the elk, deer, bear and smaller game in profusion. 
In the open glades and by the sides of the cool streams grew the salmon berry, and 
many edible roots. In such a region existence was an easily solved problem, and a 
numerous race of Indians gave proof of its solution. 


Here resided the To-to-tin, a numerous peojile, relatetl to the Rogue Rivers 
and Klamaths. Their northern limits were at Coos bay ; toward the south tliey reached 
Chetco. They were divided into twelve bands, of whom eight lived along the coast, 
being the Yasomah, at the mouth of the Coquille ; the Quah-to-mah, on Flores creek ; 
Sixes (first called Shix) river and Port Orford ; the Co-sut-hen-tan, near the Three 
Sisters ; the Eu-qu-ach-ees, along the coast from Port Orford to Rogue river ; the Tah- 
shutes, southward of the river ; next the Chet-less-un-tun, or Pistol Rivers, about the 
mouth of that stream ; the Wish-te-not-ins south of the Pistol Rivers, and north of 
the Chetcoes (Che-at-tee), who were the southernmost tribe. On Rogue river were 
the To-to-tins, who gave their name to the whole tribe ; the Mack-a-no-tins lived 
above, and the Shista-koos-tees still higher up stream, or about the mouth[of the 
Illinois. At the forks of the Coquille dwelt the Cho-cre-ten-tan band. All these 
divisions were small ; the Chetcoes, the most numerous, numbering but 242 in the sum- 
mer of 1854, while the total number of Coast Indians was 1230, of whom 448 were 

On the resignation of Judge Skinner in 1853, Samuel H. Culver became Indian 
agent for Southern Oregon, and resided for a part of the time at Port Orford. The 
government had decided upon the removal of the To-to-tin tribe to a reservation, but 
with the usual delay of governmental matters this was not carried out in time to avoid 
the great catastrophe. In 1854 Isaiah L. Parrish became agent and made the enumer- 
ation of the Coast Indians, whence the above statistics are taken. There is nothing 
distinctive or peculiar about the intercourse of these people with the whites who came 
into the country ; they received the usual treatment accorded the Indian by the Cau- 
casian. With rather more than ordinary patience and humility they endured the 
encroachments of the higher civilization, and lived on calmly in their smoky hovels, 
spearing the salmon and gathering mussels, until their outbreak in 1856. From a 
long list the following incidents have been extracted, to show whatever they may of 
the situation of affairs along the coast previous to that date. The report of the com- 
missioner of Indian affairs for 1854, states that on or about the fifteenth of February, 
1854, one Miller, with several accomplices from Smith river, killed fifteen Chetcoes, 
residing at the mouth of the river of that name, because these Indians interfered with 
the profits of a ferry which he was running. They transferred white passengers in 
their canoes, thus competing in a manner unacceptable to Miller. By another source 
we are told that Miller was subsequently indicted for the killing and sentenced to two 
years in the penitentiary. But this assertion is too wildly imin-obable for belief. It 
had no precedent, and has no subsequent counterpart. The only ease in our knowl- 
edge that liears a resemblance was that of a white man named Thomjjson, who was 
indicted for murdering an Indian on Galice creek some time in 1854. The defendant 
made his escape before his case came to ti'ial and left the country. 

On a previous page in this book the " Coquille massacre" was referred to. This 
was the work of forty miners and others living near the mouth of the Coquille, who 
killed sixteen Indians who were accused of having become " insolent" to the whites, 
and specifically of having said " God damn American" in the presence and contrary 
to the dignity of a white citizen of this great republic — of having fired a shot at a 
crowd of whites — of cutting a ferry-boat rope — of riding a white man's hoi-se without 


permission — and finally, of having refused to explain these insolent actions. On page 
272 and following, of the Indian commissioner's report for 1854, may be found 
descriptions of the subsequent proceedings of the whites, wherein they demolished an 
Indian village, killed sixteen jDcrsons, including a squaw and an infant, and wounded 
several more. These statements having been given by Abbott, leader of the whites, 
no room is left for cavil. 

Another incident of imjjortance has a termination somewhat different from the 
ordinary tale, but is itself very lamentable in its results. On August 26, 1855, James 
Buford, a miner living at the mouth of Kogue river, became involved in a quarrel 
with an Indian, and was shot by the latter, the bullet taking effect in Buford's shoul- 
der. The native was arrested and brought before a justice of the peace, and after a 
partial examination it Avas resolved to remove him for the night to the council ground, 
and afterwards to Port Orford. There being a considerable number of Indians there- 
abouts, a squad of United States troops was detailed for the service of guarding the 
prisoner, who was taken in a large canoe with his guard. Shortly, another canoe ran 
alongside in the semi-darkness, and from it Buford and two friends, Hawkins and 
O'Brien, fired and killed the pris3-:er and an Indian who was paddling. Instantly 
the soldiers returned the fire, killing two and mortally wounding the other assailant, 
who retained only sufficient strength to swim ashore, where he died upon the bank. 
This incident, we need not add, created a great deal of excitement, and resulted in a 
war of words against the army which could so quickly take the side of the savages, 
and leave unavenged the wrongs they committed upon the whites. Nevertheless, the 
army was, from the nature of things, opposed to the whites, although they could not be 
said to favor the Indians. Departmental instructions leave the officer commanding a 
military post no option regarding the treatment of either savage or civilized persons, 
but require him to interpose to restrain, on the one hand, the violence of the nation's 
aboriginal wards, and on the other to resist the action of the whites who may interfere 
unlawfully with them. After the uprising of the Interior Indians under John, Limpy 
and other chiefs, the Coast Indians were solicited to join in the warfare against the 
whites, but the sentiment of the larger portion was for peace, and the overtures of those 
chiefs were rejected. The Buford affair may be allowed to have contributed somewhat 
to produce the hostilities which followed in the spring of 1856, but still greater weight is 
probably to be attached to the success of the malcontents on tlie river above in resist- 
ing the efforts of their opponents who sought to conquer them. During the early part 
of the winter of 1855-6 symptoms of increasing discontent were noticed among the 
natives, and the condition of affairs was pronounced grave enough to warrant immedi- 
ate measures being taken to preserve peace. An Indian agent for the locality at the 
mouth of the river was considered indispensible, and Ben Wright, the celebrated 
Indian fighter, who had gained a vast experience in the management of the savages, 
and who had sustained intimate domestic relations with various tribes, was, at the 
solicitation of certain people of Yreka and elsewhere, appointed to that post as suc- 
cessor to Mr. Parrish, by Joel Palmer, superintendent of Indian affairs for Oregon. 
Wright began his ministrations under favorable auspices and for a time everything 
promised security for the whites, whose fears were not of the most serious cast. The 
military arm was present in the person of Brevet-Major Reynolds, U. S. A., who, with 

.i^W; -^i 

Rock and one half miles north of TableRock 


his company of the third artillery, was stationed at Port Orford, the ])ost bearing the 
official designation of Fort Orford. This force, though too small to be of much service 
in time of a real outbreak, still served to maintain order as between the whites and 
natives, and was much relied upon by the infant colony so far away from effective 
help, and so completely at the mercy of the savages. The settlers, of course, were 
atniost entirely men in the prime of life; very few women and children had yet arrived 
in the country — a jjeculiarly fortunate circumstance as we shall see. Only two or 
three white families were to be found at the settlement at the mouth of the river, 
called Gold Beach, but many miners abode in small cabins scattered along the banks 
of that stream for several miles upwards from the mouth, and along the sea-coast north 
and south, but mainly located near the present site of EUeusburg. Three miles up 
the river was Big Flat, where a considerable settlement had been formed, and some 
land brought under cultivation. 

Something had been done in the way of protection against possible outbreaks by 
the formation of a small company of volunteers who were under the command of Cap- 
tain Poland. This company numbered thirty-three men and had been called out by 
the agent and stationed at the Big Bend, some fifteen miles up the river, where they 
served to separate the hostiles above from the ^^eaceful Indians below. Here they had 
a strongly fortified post and were deemed secure from defeat or capture. These ti-oops 
maintained their station until about the first of February, 1856, when they abandoned 
it and joined the main body of citizens at Gold Beach. Wright; observing the growing 
discontent of the natives at this time, put forth every effort to induce them to go peace- 
ably on to the temporary reservation at Port Orford, where they would be safe from the 
attack of ill-disposed whites and the solicitations of hostile Indians. It was still thought^ 
notwithstanding hints of an outbreak, that the Indians about the mouth of the river 
would be induced to submit to the authority of the superintendent and would eventu- 
ally, without trouble or bloodshed, be removed to some distant reservation. It has 
always been sujiposed that it was owing to the intriguing of one man that this effect 
was not brought about. This man was an Indian of some eastern tribe — Canadian, it 
was said — and had been with Fren\ont on his last expedition ten years before. He pos- 
sessed great experience of savage warfare and savage craft and duplicity, of which latter 
qualities he was certainly a master. Enos, called by the Indians Acnes, had become a 
confident of Wright's to the extent of knowing, it is said, all his plans for the peaceful 
subjugation of the Indians. We must confess Ben Wright changed from what fact 
and tradition have described him, if instead of meditating a mighty coup-de-maia to 
destroy them, he relied upon negotiations, squaws' enticements and the persuasions of 
an Indian renegrade to accomplish what his arms alone had been want to do. Enos, 
nominally for Wright, constantly entered the Indian camps, in one of which his wife 
dwelt; and laid with the braves of these coast tribes a far-reaching plan to destroy 
utterly and beyond regeneration the small colony of whites; and this done, to join the 
bands of savages who were waging war along the up2:»er reaches of the Rogue, and at 
one fell swooiJ to defeat and drive from the country the invaders who so harrowed the 
Indian soul. Thus large they say his plan was ; but not larger, doubtless, than those 
of other savages, but moi'e nearly being executed than most otliers. because laid by a 
brain that could contrive and a disposition that made bloody deeds and violcuce like 


balm to his feelings. Many a dangerous and rough enemy the whites had in Southei'u 
Oregon, but none more dangerous nor capable than this i^lanning and contriving, smil- 
ing and hating foreign Indian, whose treachery cost the sea-cost colony many valuable 
lives and nearly its whole material wealth. 

The first step in Enos' portentious plan was to slaughter Wright and the settlers 
along the coast. On the evening of February 22, having completed his arrangements, 
Enos with a sufficient force of his Indians fell upon the scattered settlement at the south 
side of the mouth of the river, and finding Agent Wright alone in his cabin, entered 
it seen but unsuspected by him, and with an axe or club slaughtered this hero of a 
hundred bloody. fights. So died perhaps the greatest of the Indian fighters whom this 
coast ever knew. Concluding this villainy the Indians sought new victims, and during 
the night killed mercilessly, with shot or blows, twenty-four or twenty-five persons, of 
whom the list is here presented, as given by various authorities: Captain Ben Wright, 
Captain John Poland, John Geisel and three children, Joseph Seroc and two children, 
J. H. Braun, E. W. Howe, Barney Castle, George McClusky, Patrick McCollough, 
Samuel Heudrick, W. K. Tullus, Joseph W^agoner, Seaman, Lorenzo Warner, George 
Reed, John Idles, Martin Reed, Henry Lawrence Guy C. Holcomb and Joseph 
Wilkinson. Three prisoners they took — Mrs. Geisel and her remaining children Mary 
and Annie, the three of whom, after suffering the worst hardships at the hands of the 
Indians, were delivered from them at a later date, and now live to recount witli tears 
the story of their bereavement and captivity. 

A large portion of the inhabitants thereabouts had gathered on that fateful night 
at the Big Flat to attend a dance given there, and so failed of death ; and on 
the morrow these set out for the ransacked village, and arriving there found that 
the Indians had gone, leaving the fearful remains of the butchery. The corpses were 
buried; and the remaining poj^ulation, numbering perhaps 130 men, scantily sujjplied 
with fire-arms and jjrovisions, hastened to the north bank of the river, and sought 
protection in a fort, so-called, which quite providentially stood there, having been con- 
structed previously by some whites in anticipation of such need. Here the survivors 
gathered and for a time sustained a state of siege with the added horrors of an immi- 
nent death by starvation. Their only communication from without was by means 
of two small coasting schooners which made occasional trips to Port Orford or 
Crescent City. At the former place lay Major Reynolds with a force scarcely suffi- 
cient to maintain order ; and when the messengers from Gold Beach arrived and 
told their direful tale, the citizens of the post with their families and most valuable 
goods took refuge at the barracks, whence the commander refused to move. He 
advised an entire abandonment of the settlement at Gold Beach, but as the Indians 
surrounded it and commanded all approaches by land, it was obviously impossible 
for the beleaguered citizens to escape, unless by sea, and that recourse was also cut 
off. Meantime the now aroused savages were not idle. Every dwelling and every 
piece of property of whatever description that fire could touch was destroyed. The 
country was devastated utterly, and only the station of Port Orford remained inhab- 
ited, if we except the fort at the mouth of the river. The buildings at Gold Beach 
were all burned, and an estimate of the property destroyed along the coast fixes the 
damage at |125,000. Subsequent to the first attack a number of other persons were 


killed by the ludiaus, these being Henry BuUen, L. W. Oliver, Daniel Richardson, 
Adolf Schuioldt, Oliver Cautwell, Stephen Taylor, and George Trickey. By an 
unhappy chance H. I. Gerow, merchant ; John O'Brien, miner ; Sylvester Long, 
farmer; AVilliam Thompson and Richard Gay, boatmen, and Felix McCue, were 
drowned in the breakers opposite the fort, while bringing aitl and provisions fi'om 
Port Orford. 

At the same time the messenger proceeded to Port Orford application was made 
to Captain Jones of the regular army, who was stationed at Crescent City, and this 
officer offered the services of twenty-five troops, and except for General Wool's com- 
mands, would have instantly taken the field with that small force and marched to the 
assistance of the besieged citizens. But as we shall see a concerted movement against 
the Indians was about to be made wherein the scattered companies of regulars were 
each to bear a part. The citizens of Crescent City quickly organized a company of 
men, of whom G. H. Abbott was chosen cajitain ; T. Crook, first lieutenant, and C. 
Tuttle, second lieutenant; and these made preparations for a campaign against the 
Indians and were of much use in the hostilities which followed. The Crescent City 
people appealed to the troops in arms in Jackson county, and then mostly lying inac- 
tive at Vannoys', Fort Hays, Forest Dale, and other places, for assistance in putting 
down this new uprising and saving the lives of the coast people, but without effect, 
since the officers feared the consequences that might follow a withdrawal of any troops 
from the valley. 

The operations of the regular army which resulted in freeing Curry county from 
the presence of hostile Indians, are thus alluded to by Captain Cram. On the ninth 
of November, 1855, General John E. Wool, in command of the military department 
of the Pacific, while on his way to the Yakima country where war had broken out, 
arrived at Crescent City, and there learned of the existence of hostilities in Southern 
Oregon, of the formation of the "southern army" of volunteers, and of the fight at 
Hungry hill. Deeming the volunteers, with the assistance of the few regulars at 
Forts Lane and Jones, sufficient for the occasion, and there being no regular troops 
available for service in this district, General Wool gave himself no further concern 
about the matter, being averse to winter campaigns. General Wool's presence in 
Southern Oregon, says Caj^tain Cram, was exceedingly opportune. He was enabled 
to judge of the measures necessary to be taken by his own command, and acting upon 
the basis of humanity for the Indians and with a due regard for the safety of the settle- 
ments, he instructed commanders of posts to receive and protect such friendly Indians 
as chose to come in and remain at the military posts. These were the precautions 
taken in consequence of "a due regard for the safety of the settlements:" Captain 
Jones, who was posted with his company of fifty men at Fort Humboldt, received 
orders some time during the war to proceed to Crescent City and "jn-otect all supplies 
and [)ublic property, also to guard the friendly Indians gathered there by the superin- 
tendent of Indian affairs in Oregon;" and Major Reynolds with his company of just 
twenty-six artillerymen was ordered to remain at Fort Orford, ninety miles above 
Crescent City and thirty miles from Gold Beach, the spot where the Indians' blows 
must soonest fall, and only distant some forty or less miles from the common rendez- 
vous of iill the hostilcs. It would require no generalship to ascertain the unprotected 


state of the settlements along the coast. Absolutely no protection, military or natni'al, 
existed for the community at Gold Beach, excepting that these peoi^le had raised, as 
before mentioned, a small company, part of whom were stationed at the big bend of 
Rogue river, some fifteen miles aboye its mouth and a strategic point, where they acted 
as a guard to prevent the hostiles commanded by John, Limpy and other chiefs from 
communicating with or annoying the Indians of Gold Beach district, as before men- 
tioned. Had those indomitable warriors been disposed to attack the coast people, there 
was absolutely no power at hand cajDable of making a successful resistance. The 
garrison at Big Bend would have been crushed, the friendly Indians scattered, and 
scenes of blood enacted similar to those we have recounted. Why the hostile Indians 
made no such attempt is a subject for speculation; certainly the regular army did 
nothing to prevent it. When spring came, General Wool, "being previously well 
advised as to the topography of the district and of the probable positions of the 
Indians," and having been informed of the imminent danger of the coast settlements, 
proceeded, leisurely enough, to "put in effect a plan for terminating the Rogue river 
war by United States trooj)S." Which war he proposed to terminate thus is not 
known ; but it is plain that two separate wars had gone on during the weeks succeed- 
ing the "Ben Wright Massacre" — the one being by the Co-ast Indians against the coast 
colony, the other by John and Limj^y and their bands against the volunteers of the 
southern army. From and after the arrival of the United States troops at the mouth 
of the Rogue, we can only recognize a single contest, the exigencies of war having 
brought about an alliance of the savages, and the mutual though reluctant co-opera- 
tion of the regulars and volunteers. 

The general's plan is thus outlined in reports of the war department : A detach- 
ment of one hundred men had been sent from Fort Lane to guard Sam's band to the 
coast reservation, which left a very small number there for oifensive operations. Cap- 
tain Augur's company of the fourth infantry was ordered down from A^ancouver to 
Fort Orford to reinforce Major Reynolds, which "would afford troops enough to pro- 
tect the friendly Indians and public stores collected there, and leave another small 
force disposable for the field." Captain Ord's company of the third artillery, stationed 
at Benicia, California, was ordered to be in readiness to embark on the steamer for 
Oregon. Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Buchanan, major in the fourth infantry, was 
selected to take charge of the field operations. On March fifth the general embarked 
at San Francisco with Ord's com^jany, Lieutenant-Colonel Buchanan, Captain Cram, 
Lieutenants Bonnycastle and Arnold, and Assistant-Surgeon Milhau, for the seat of 
Avar. On the eighth of March Lieutenant-Colonel Buchanan lauded at Crescent City 
with Ord's company, and united with Jones' regulars and Abbott's volunteers in a 
vigorous prosecution of the war. General Wool's plan consisted of the conjoined 
action of the troops from Crescent City with those from Port Orford and those of Cap- 
tain Smith, to whom orders had been sent to descend the Rogue river in time to 
co-operate in the work. Captain Abbott, setting out from Crescent City before the 
regulars were ready, encountered the Pistol River and Chetco bands and fought them 
for a day, losing several men who were wounded and Private Miller killed, and ulti- 
mately being surrounded and forced to take refuge behind logs upon the beach. A 
night was sjDent thus when the regulars, 112 in number, under Captains Jones and 

Tunnel No.8, Length, Z,8P2 FEET. 
0& C.R.R. 



Ord (E. O. C. Ord, late a major-general in the United States service, deceased in 
1883), who charged and drove the savages away. Tarrying in the vicinity a few days 
for the pnrpose of inflicting a severe lesson on these hostiles, their carai) was taken by 
the volunteers and the fleeing inmates were met and severely chastised by the regulars. 

On the twentieth of March Lieutenant-Colonel Buchanan, with the regnhars from 
Crescent Gty, ai-rived at the mouth of Eogue river, having left Captain Abbott at 
Pistol river to keep open communications with Crescent City, the base of supplies- 
Operations on the lower Rogue began by an assault upon the Makanootenai rancheria, 
about ten miles up-stream and four or six below Big Bend. Captains Ord and Jones 
took the town, killing several Indians and driving the rest to their canoes. One man, 
Sergeant Nash, was severely wounded. A few days later a detachment of Captain 
Augur's company reached the mouth of Illinois river and found some ten or twelve 
Indians belonging to John or Limpy's band, and fought them. The Indians strove des- 
l)erately and five of them fell dead before the conflict was decided. Captain Augur had 
thus far failed to effect a junction with his superior officer and after the fight found it 
necessary to return toward Gold Beach. The Indians of the up-river band followed 
him closely, entering his camp as soon as he had abandoned it and whooping, l)urning 
loose powder and dancing to testify their joy 'at his presumed defeat. 

Captain Smith set out from Fort Lane Avitli eighty men — fifty dragoons compris- 
ing his own company, and thirty infantrymen. All of these went on foot, and the 
former carried their musketoons, "an ill-featured fire-arm that was alike aggressive at 
both ends " and which contributed to the inefficiency of that branch of the service as 
much as any cause. However, it is a matter of fact that the United States government 
is always at least a score of years behind the age in the armament of its troops, so the 
reader should not be surprised to learn the peculiarities of the musketoon, the princi- 
pal weapon of mounted troops in that decade. Cajitain Smith marched down Rogue 
river, up Slate creek to Hays' farm, from thence to Deer creek and theuce down Illinois 
river to the Rogue, and encamped a few miles further down that stream, having come 
to his destination. 

Negotiations had been in progress for a few days, thanks to the exertions of Palmer, 
superintendent of Indian affiiirs, and it was hoped that an agreement would be reached, 
at least with the Coast Indians who were now much scattered. Enos, with quite a 
number of his followers, had joined the up-river bands who were lying on the river 
above the Big Bend. Some others had gone to Fort Orford and placed themselves 
under the protection of the military there, and no malcontents were left upon the coast 
save a few Pistol river and Chetco Indians who had not yet been sufficiently pacificated. 
Several actions had taken place at various points along the coast, the results of which 
were calculated to humble the Indians. On the twenty-seventh of March a party of 
regulars were fired upon from the brush while jiroceeding down the banks of the Rogue, 
whereujion they charged the enemy and killed eight or ten savages, with a loss to 
themselves of two wounded. On April 1, Captain Creighton with a company of citi- 
zens attacked an Indian village near the mouth of the Coquille river, killing nine men, 
wounding eleven and taking forty squaws and children prisoners. These Indians liad 
been under the care of the government authorities at PurtOrford until a few days before 
tlie fight and (.nly left that place because some meddlesome whites had represented to 


them tliat it was the soldiers' intention to kill them. Consequently they left, and 
Creighton with his men pursued and attacked them. Again, a party of volunteers 
intercepted several canoe loads of Indians near the mouth of the Rogue river and killed 
eleven males and one squaw; one male and two squawks only escaped. On the twenty- 
ninth of April a party of sixty regulars, convoying a pack-train, were attacked near 
Chetco by the remnant of the band of savages of that name, supposed to number about 
sixty, but probably less, and two or three soldiers were killed or wounded. The battle 
ended by the defeat of the natives, who lost six braves killed, and several wounded. In 
the month of April three volunteer companies operated on the coast, and did much 
service in spite of their being badly armed and equipped. These were the Gold Beach 
Guards, the Coquille Guards and the Port Orford Minute Men. 



Usefulness of the Volunteers— Council at Oak Fiat— Chief John Refuses to Treat —Military Operations— Bat- 
tle of Big- Meadows— Indian Tactics— Arrival of Au^ur- Movements of the Volunteers— Proclamation 
of Disbandraent— The Indians Surrender— At the Reservation— The End— Financial History of the War. 

The Indian occupancy of Southern Oregon was now reaching its last days. The 
soil whereon the red man had trod and from whence arose the smoke of his camp fire, 
was about to pass forever into the possession of an alien race. The stormy scenes of 
the past six years were about to close, and the striving of white and red men had 
reached its climax. Hemmed in on all sides, w^ithout resources, without friends, the 
liostile tribes felt ther inability to cope with the organized forces now directed against 
them, and succumbed to the inevitable. Yet they did not relinquish their native land 
without tremendous struggles. The severest conflict of the war was the last. The 
part the volunteers took in the termination of hostilities was very creditable. Major